Every odd year or so, I enjoy a shot or two of Baileys Irish Cream over ice and marvel at the wonder of a cream-based product that’s actually shelf stable, no refrigeration required. It’s the Irish whiskey in the liqueur that preserves the cream, while a cocoa extract imparts a mellow chocolate endnote to take the edge off the whiskey. Because it pairs so well with chocolate, I decided to use Baileys to flavor the whipped cream topping in a classic chocolate cream pie, and I loved the result. The crust is made from chocolate cookie crumbs, and the filling is a rich chocolate pudding. The topping is a Baileys whipped cream, piled high over the pudding. Nothing genius, you know, but a simple, crowd-pleasing pie that is bound to be a hit on St. Patrick’s Day or any day of the year.
Makes one 9-inch pie, serving 8
Chocolate Pudding Filling:
- ¾ cup (150 grams) granulated sugar
- ¼ cup (25 grams) natural (not Dutch-processed) cocoa powder, such as Hershey’s
- 3 tablespoons (22 grams) cornstarch
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 large (37 grams) egg yolks
- 1 ½ cups (348 grams) heavy cream, divided
- 1 ½ cups (362 grams) whole milk
- 6 ounces (170 grams) bittersweet chocolate morsels or chopped bittersweet chocolate (I used 60%)
- 2 tablespoons (28 grams) unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla paste or extract
Chocolate Wafer Crust:
- 1 3/4 cups (217 grams) chocolate wafer cookie crumbs (such as Nabisco’s Famous Chocolate Wafers or Oreo Thins with the filling scraped out)
- 2 tablespoons (25 grams) granulated sugar
- 5 tablespoons (71 grams) unsalted butter, melted
Bailey’s Cream Topping:
- 1 ½ cups (348 grams) heavy cream
- 3 tablespoons (42 grams) Bailey’s Irish Cream liqueur
- 3 tablespoons (18 grams) confectioners’ sugar, sifted
Make the chocolate filling:
- In a medium saucepan, whisk together the sugar, cocoa powder, cornstarch and salt. Whisk in half of the cream to form a smooth paste. Whisk in the egg yolks. Place the saucepan over medium-high heat and gradually whisk in the remaining half of the cream and all of the milk. Cook the mixture, whisking constantly, until it comes to a boil; once boiling, while continuing to whisk, allow to boil for exactly 1 minute, then remove from the heat. Whisk in the chocolate and butter and continue to whisk until both are completely melted and the mixture is nice and smooth. Whisk in the vanilla. Pour the pudding through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl, cover the surface of the filling with plastic wrap, and chill for at least 2 hours.
Make the crust:
- Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350˚F. Lightly oil (or coat with non-stick cooking spray) a 9-inch deep dish pie pan.
- In a medium bowl, combine the wafer crumbs, sugar and melted butter. Transfer 1 tablespoon of the crumb mixture to a small cup and set aside to garnish the pie. Scrape the remaining crumb mixture into the prepared pie pan and, using your fingers, press it evenly onto the bottom and up the sides of the pan. Bake the shell for 8 minutes, until set. Cool completely on a wire rack.
Fill the crust:
- When the filling has chilled, whisk it until smooth, then scrape it into the cooled crust and smooth it into an even layer. Refrigerate the pie while you make the topping.
Make the topping:
- In an electric mixer, using the whisk attachment, beat the cream and Bailey’s Irish Cream liqueur on medium-low speed for 30 seconds. Increase the speed to medium-high and continue to beat at medium-high speed until soft mounds just start to form. Add the confectioners’ sugar and whip at medium-high speed just until firm peaks form.
- Now you can either pipe or pile the topping onto the filling, as you prefer. To pipe, fill a pastry bag fitted with a large open star tip (such as Ateco #8) with the cream. Pipe large dollops around the perimeter of the pie, leaving a ¾-inch border of the chocolate filling showing. Continue to pipe dollops to fill the center of the pie, and then pipe another row on top of the dollops on the inner circle. If you prefer a more natural look, scrape the topping over the chilled pie and, using a rubber spatula, sweep it into dramatic swirls. Sprinkle the reserved wafer crumbs over the cream. Refrigerate the pie for at least 2 hours before serving.
Ateco # 828 – Open Star Pastry Tip .63” Opening Diameter- Stainless Steel