Recipes & Advice
SCHARFFEN BERGER Chocolate Cream Pie with Cinnamon and Ancho Chile

Serves 8 to 10

This dessert by Alice Medrich was featured during the 2011 Elevate a Classic Dessert with Scharffen Berger Chocolate Contest.

Expand/Collapse Ingredient Details


For the Crust

  • 1/3 cup pecan pieces
  • 1 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ancho chile
  • 4 tablespoons melted butter
  • 2 ounces (2/3 of a 3-ounce bar) SCHARFFEN BERGER 41% Cacao Rich Milk Chocolate, finely chopped (reserve the rest of the bar in one piece, for garnish)

For the Filling

For the Topping and Garnish

  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • Cinnamon stick (for grating) or pinches of ground cinnamon
  • Pinches of ground ancho chile
  • Remaining 1/3 of a bar of SCHARFFEN BERGER 41% Cacao Rich Milk Chocolate

Special Equipment

  • 9-inch pie plate


To Make the Crust
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees with a rack in the lower third. 

Finely chop or pulverize the pecans in a food processor. Mix the pecans with the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, salt, cinnamon, ancho chile, and butter.  Press the mixture evenly and firmly over the bottom and sides (but not the rim) of the pie plate.   Bake until the crust begins to set and colors slightly, 12-14 minutes.  If the crust puffs up while baking, press it gently back into place with the bottom of a spoon or custard cup.  Remove the crust from the oven and sprinkle the chopped chocolate over the bottom. Let the chocolate soften for 1 to 2 minutes.  Use the back of a spoon to spread chocolate over the bottom and sides of the crust.  Cool and then refrigerate the crust to harden the chocolate, about 20 minutes. 

To Make the Filling
In a heavy medium saucepan, whisk sugar, cocoa, cornstarch, and salt to blend.  Add about 1/4 cup of the milk, and mix to form a smooth paste.  Mix in the remaining milk and the cream. Using a heatproof spatula or wooden spoon, stir the mixture constantly over medium heat, scraping the bottom, sides, and corners of pan until pudding thickens and begins to bubble at the edges of the pot, about 5 minutes. Continue to cook and stir for 30 seconds. Add the chocolate, and stir briskly until the chocolate is melted and the pudding is smooth, about 30 seconds longer.  Remove the pan from heat and immediately scrape the hot pudding into the chocolate-coated crust.  Let the pudding cool for one hour, undisturbed.  Refrigerate the pie to set the pudding, or until serving. 

To Make the Topping and Finish the Pie
Whip the cream, sugar, and vanilla until nearly stiff. Spoon dollops of whipped cream (or pipe it with a pastry bag fitted with a very large star tip) around the edge of the pie.  Grate a little of the cinnamon stick (or sprinkle pinches of ground cinnamon) over the cream followed by pinches of ancho chile.  Grate or shave a little of the remaining milk chocolate on top.

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