It didn’t take less time, ingredients or steps though, just less effort and hustle. The result was definitely better. I will include my recommendation and notes dark red and italics in the procedure. I have to note that the recipe is copied (and in some places adapted) from Martha Stewart’s Mississippi Mud Pie despite what she said about food bloggers.
You ask, what does the cake have? What are those delicious layers?
Oreo crust, filled with flourless chocolate cake, filled with thick chocolate pudding and topped with whipped cream.
How can I describe the result?
I’ll let my humble writing skills go wild.
The crust; crumbles under the little pressure of your fork
The cake, spongy, rich and full-bodied
The pudding! Where do I begin!!! Super dense and creamy. Reminds me of the pudding cups you buy from supermarkets.
Bake this pie as a whole day project, or a weekend thing. Read through the whole recipe and decide for yourself.
FOR THE CHOCOLATE COOKIE CRUST
- 35 to 40 cookies chocolate sandwich cookies such as Oreos, crushed
- 70g unsalted butter, melted
FOR THE FLOURLESS CHOCOLATE CAKE
- 56g unsalted butter
- 200g good-quality dark chocolate (60 to 70 percent), chopped
- 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
- 1/4 cup strong coffee, at room temperature
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 6 large eggs, separated, at room temperature
- 1 cup sugar
FOR THE CHOCOLATE PUDDING
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup dark unsweetened good-quality cocoa powder
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 4 large egg yolks
- 2 1/2 cups whole milk
- 40g unsalted butter
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 100g good-quality dark chocolate (60 to 70 percent)
FOR THE WHIPPED CREAM TOPPING
- 1 1/4 cups heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons sugar
Make the Chocolate Cookie Crust: Preheat oven to 150 degrees Celsius. Lightly spray a spring form pan with nonstick cooking spray. Line pan with parchment paper and lightly spray parchment and sides of pan. (I skipped spraying the parchment)
Place cookies in the bowl of a food processor; process to very fine crumbs. You should have about 3 1/2 cups. Transfer to a small bowl. Add melted butter and, using a spatula, stir until well combined.
Pour crumb mixture into prepared pan and press evenly with the back of a spoon into bottom and up sides, leaving about 1 cm between the top of the crust and top of the pan. Transfer to freezer until crust is set, about 10 minutes.
Transfer crust to oven and bake until dry to the touch, about 10 minutes. Transfer pan to a wire rack and let cool. (You can skip this step or decrease the amount of baking)
Make the Flourless Chocolate Cake: Increase oven temperature to 175 degrees.
Place butter and chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over (but not touching) simmering water to melt; stir to combine. Remove from heat.
In a small bowl, whisk together espresso powder, coffee, salt, and vanilla; set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment (or hand-held in my case), beat egg yolks with 1/2 cup sugar until light and almost doubled in volume, about 5 minutes. Add melted chocolate mixture and beat until just combined. Scrape down sides and bottom of the bowl and mix on low speed for 5 seconds. Add coffee mixture and beat until just combined. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl and mix on low for 5 seconds.
In another clean bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment (or hand-held in my case), beat egg whites until foamy. Gradually increase speed to high and slowly add remaining 1/2 cup sugar, beating until soft peaks form.
Transfer 1 cup egg white mixture to chocolate mixture and, using a rubber spatula, gently fold (FOLD, not mix) to combine, about 30 seconds. Add remaining egg whites and continue gently folding until they are almost completely combined; do not overmix. Pour into cooled cookie crust and transfer to oven. Bake until cake is set but still jiggles slightly, 38 to 42 minutes. It may not appear completely cooked. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Cake will deflate in the center as it cools. Tightly wrap cooled cake with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 3 hours and up to overnight.
Make the Chocolate Pudding: In a medium saucepan, whisk together sugar, cocoa powder, cornstarch, and salt. Add egg yolks and whisk until combined. The mixture will look like a thick paste (or crumbly powder). Slowly pour in milk, whisking constantly.
Place saucepan over medium heat and bring mixture to a boil, whisking constantly to prevent it from burning on the bottom of the pan. Boil for 30 seconds and immediately transfer to a medium bowl. Add butter, vanilla, and chocolate; whisk until combined (the chocolate added in this step is what gives the pudding its richness). Continue whisking until mixture is cooled slightly. Let stand at room temperature for 15 minutes. Press a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface of pudding to prevent a skin from forming. Transfer to refrigerator until chilled, at least 3 hours.
Prepare the Whipped Cream Topping: In the chilled bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a chilled whisk attachment, beat cream until soft peaks form, about 1 minute. Sprinkle sugar over cream and continue whisking until stiff peaks form.
Assemble the pie: Stir pudding to loosen and pour on top of cake, making sure to stay within the cookie crust border. Using an offset spatula, spread pudding to form an even layer on top of the cake. Transfer to refrigerator for 30 minutes.
Spread whipped cream over chilled pudding layer, working all the way out to the sides. Unmold cake and serve immediately. The cake can also be kept, covered, refrigerated, for up to 2 days.