2 tablespoons Dutch-processed cocoa powder, plus extra for garnish
1 teaspoon dry gelatin
2 tablespoons cold water
Heat the oven to 350 F and spray a 9″ pie dish with non-stick spray.
In a food processor add the graham crackers and pulse until they form rough crumbs, about 20 pulses. Pour in the melted butter, peanut butter, and sugar. Process until well blended and the crumbs are all coated. Pour the mixture into the prepared pie dish and press the crumbs into the dish. Bake for 10 minutes. Cool completely.
In a medium sauce pan whisk together the milk, egg, sugar, and cornstarch. Place the pan over medium heat and whisk until the mixture starts to get warm. Add the peanut butter and whisk the mixture until it thickens and starts to simmer.
Turn off the heat and add the vanilla and butter. Whisk until completely incorporated. Pour the mixture through a strainer then into the prepared crust. Smooth the top so the filling is even then lay a piece of plastic wrap directly on top. Chill for four hours, or overnight.
When you are ready to serve prepare the whipped cream. Pour the gelatin into the cold water and allow to stand for five minutes, or until completely bloomed. Heat for five seconds in the microwave, making sure it is melted, and cool to room temperature. Pour the cold cream into the bowl of a stand mixer. Add the powdered sugar and cocoa powder. Whisk on medium low speed until the sugar and cocoa are blended in then increase the speed to medium high. When the cream is softly whipped pour in the cooled gelatin. Whip until the cream forms medium peaks. Spread on top of the chilled pie.
Sprinkle a large rectangular serving platter with the cocoa or confectioners' sugar. Cut each cake into 4 squares, making 8 in all. Place 4 cake squares, alternating coconut and chocolate, down one side of the platter. Repeat with the remaining cake squares down the other side of the platter. Make sure that the sides of the squares are touching.
Beat the heavy cream and sugar in a medium bowl with an electric mixer on high speed until stiff peaks form. Spoon the whipped cream into a pastry bag. Pipe the whipped cream to cover the seams where the cakes come together and around the base of the cake. Serve immediately.
Tip: This recipe can also make 2 smaller cakes. Place 2 chocolate cake squares into opposite corners of a square platter. Place 2 coconut cake squares into the remaining corners. Pipe the whipped cream onto the seams as directed above. You can sprinkle one cake with chopped pistachio nuts and the other with chocolate shavings.
Holiday Tip: Crush peppermint candy canes and sprinkle on the chocolate cake pieces only.
Sift powdered sugar and cocoa. You must sift this to avoid lumps in the whipped cream. I sift it like this
Whip cream in a mixer on medium speed for about 1 minute. Then slowly add sugar/cocoa mixture to whipped cream about 2 tablespoons at a time until the whipped cream is whipped well. Do not over whip or you will have chocolate butter.
Brew up some of your favorite coffee. I almost always use a really dark roast.
Make the chocolate whipped cream
Like I said, this isn’t really the right way to make whipped cream. (If you like, you could certainly use a whisk or a proper handheld mixer.) But it *is* fast and easy. And that’s what I’m after. At least for today.
So! Put the cream in your blender.
Toss in the confectioner’s sugar and cocoa powder.
Blend for maybe 20 seconds, until the mixture thickens into whipped cream.
You want it to look about like this:
Assemble your coffee.
Fill your mug with hot coffee. Leave about a half inch or so at the top.
Pour in the amaretto and Frangelico. Give it a quick stir with a spoon to combine.
Top with a few heaping spoons of chocolate whipped cream. If you want to get fancy with it, put the whipped cream in a pastry bag and pipe it on. (Don’t have a pastry bag? Improvise one by spooning the whipped cream into a zip-top bag, nipping off one corner and using that to pipe the topping.) If you want to go nuts, grate on a little dark chocolate and serve with a chocolate Pirouette cookie.
The whipped cream will melt into the coffee as you stir.
Add a little more chocolate whipped cream, or top with some regular ole canned stuff if you like.
You mean Redi-Whip?!? Are you serious, Mouse?
I’m dead serious. Everyone should have a can of Redi-Whip (or something like it) in the house for dessert emergencies. It doesn’t hold a candle to homemade creme Chantilly, but it keeps forever and is the perfect two-second garnish for any kind of improvised sweet treat.
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons brown sugar
Ingredients for Frosting:
6 oz. white chocolate, finely chopped
1 1/2 cups cold heavy cream
To make the cupcakes: Preheat oven to 350 F. Line two cupcake pans with paper liners.
Place the chopped chocolate in a heatproof bowl and microwave in 30 second bursts at 50% power, stirring in between, until melted. Set aside to cool slightly. In a medium bowl, whisk the flour and salt together. In another medium bowl, whisk together the sour cream, cocoa powder and baking soda to form a paste, then slowly whisk in the hot coffee until the mixture is smooth.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and brown sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition, then add the vanilla extract. Add the melted chocolate and beat to incorporate. With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture alternately with the liquid mixture (beginning and ending with the flour mixture), beating just until all ingredients are incorporated.
Divide the batter evenly among the cupcake liners. Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let the cupcakes cool in the pans for about 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
To make the white chocolate whipped cream: Place the chopped white chocolate in a heatproof bowl and set the bowl over a pan of simmering water. Melt, stirring occasionally. Meanwhile, bring 1/2 cup of the cream to a boil in a small saucepan. When the chocolate is fully melted, move the bowl to a work surface and pour in the hot cream. Let stand for 1 minute. Stir gently until the cream is incorporated and the mixture is smooth. Let the chocolate/cream mixture stand until it is completely cool. The mixture must be at room temperature before it is added to the whipped cream.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the remaining 1 cup of heavy cream only until it holds the softest peaks. With the mixer on high speed, add the white chocolate all at once and continue to beat just until the mixture holds firm peaks. Transfer the cream to a bowl, press a piece of plastic wrap gently against the surface and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
Frost the cupcakes as desired. Store the frosted cupcakes in the refrigerator but serve at room temperature for best flavor.
Yields 24 cupcakes
Looks pretty good, aren’t they? Some of them are too simple to make…