Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Coconut Crusted ChoCaramel Pie

Wow, that’s a lot of C’s!

I was having a girls’ lunch at my apartment and wanted to make a pie for dessert. So, I know I said that I don’t really like pie in a previous post, but for some reason the desire to make a toasted coconut crusted pie overcame me!

I’ll tell you up front that the first batch of caramel failed. Even though I almost constantly wiped the sides of the pot with a water-dipped pastry brush, the crystallization of sugar occurred and made the caramel gritty. So for my second batch, I cooked the sugar at a higher temperature to reduce the cooking time (and opportunity for crystals to form), and it turned out perfect!

Check out the verdict at the end of the post!

Coconut Crusted ChoCaramel Pie
Adapted from here.

Toasted Coconut Crust
¼ cup salted butter, softened
3 cups sweetened shredded coconut

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. In a bowl, mix the butter and coconut with your hands until the butter is evenly distributed and the mixture can form a ball.
3. Press into and up the sides of a 9-inch pie dish. Cover the edge with foil.
4. Bake for 10 minutes. Take off foil and bake for another 5 minutes or until golden.
5. Cool completely.

Salted Caramel
¾ cup sugar
1/3 cup water
1/3 cup heavy/whipping cream
¼ teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon salt
*you can double the recipe if you want a thicker caramel layer.

1. In a small saucepan, combine sugar and water and set over medium-high heat.
2. As the sugar cooks, brush the inside of the pan with a pastry brush dipped in water. This will prevent sugar crystals from forming (which = death of caramel).  Do not stir. Get the cream, vanilla, and salt ready.
3. When the sugar takes on an amber colour (takes around 20 min), take off heat and stir in cream (watch out for steam!). Add vanilla and salt, and stir to combine.
4. Let cool for 15 minutes before pouring into crust.

Dark Chocolate Ganache
1 ¼ cup chopped dark/bittersweet chocolate
2/3 cup heavy/whipping cream

1. Place chopped chocolate in a bowl.
2. Heat up cream in a saucepan to a simmer. Pour over chocolate and let sit for 10 minutes.
3. Starting from the middle, stir chocolate until cream is integrated and mixture is smooth.
4. Pour over set caramel layer.

Optional white chocolate swirls
Melt 1 oz (1/4 cup) of white chocolate in a water bath. Dollop onto ganache and swirl with a toothpick.

Set pie in fridge overnight to set. Take out 30 minutes before devouring.

Verdict: This pie was quite the showstopper – my friends eagerly anticipated dessert time and even those who are off carbs and who don’t like coconut had a piece. And it did not disappoint! Velvety dark chocolate with rich caramel with a kick of salt that oozed out from the middle of the pie, combined with the nutty toasted coconut crust was perfection.

Other things that I served at the lunch were salmon wellington and an arugula goat cheese salad with candied walnuts. We were stuffed.

The lunch ended with some news that was sweeter than the dessert! But you’ll have to wait for the reveal on another post!