South Carolina was the place to be last summer when myself and a bunch of friends traveled over to the states on a J1 visa. While there, my keen interest in food and baking had me trying every tasty treat that my broke Irish behind could afford to sample. Although the dessert doesn't originate in South Carolina, my all time favourite had to be Mississippi Mud Pie. This traditional southern dessert with it's rich chocolaty filling and it's whipped cream topping will have you feeling guilty for a week after eating a slice but believe me, it's well worth it! I've baked the dessert on a couple of different occasions since I've been home, and, each time, the delicious smell of the pie in the oven brings me straight back to that sunny southern state.
You might have guessed that the dessert in question is in fact the infamous pie featured in The Help, but, you'll be extremely glad to know that unlike Mini's, my mud pie doesn't have a horrendous secret ingredient!
Recipe adapted from Love Food's gorgeous book 'Bake'.
FOR THE BASE
175g Plain Flour (sieved)
25g Cocoa Powder (sieved)
40g Light Muscovado Sugar
85g Butter (softened)
3 tbsp Cold Water
FOR THE FILLING
85g Dark Chocolate
85g Light Muscovado Sugar
2 eggs (lightly beaten)
100ml Whipping Cream
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
FOR THE TOP
250ml Whipping Cream
100g Dark Chocolate
1) Preheat your oven to 200C/ 400F/ Gas mark 6 and grease your round tart dish with melted butter
2) The water for the pastry works best when it's really cold so place a small glass of water into the freezer at the beginning
3) Sift the flour and cocoa powder into a large bowl and stir in the sugar
4) Add the butter, and, using your fingertips rub the butter into the mixture until it resembles small breadcrumbs
5) Add the tbsps of water until the mixture binds a dough
6) Roll the dough out onto a lightly floured surface - make sure that it's large enough to cover your pie dish
7) Prick the base multiple times with a fork, cover with greaseproof paper, and fill with baking beans. If you don't have baking beans, simply sit a small plate on top and bake in the oven for 10 minutes
8) After the 10 minutes have passed remove the base from the oven and reduce the temperature to 180C/ 350F/ Gas mark 4
9) For the filling, melt the chocolate and butter in a saucepan on a low heat
10) Whisk the sugar and eggs together until smooth and then stir into the chocolate mixture along with the cream and the vanilla extract
11) Pour the mixture over the base and bake for 20-25 minutes until firm
12) When ready, leave to cool while you whip the cream
13) When the tart is fully cool spread the cream over the filling. Then drizzle melted chocolate over the cream using a spoon or, if you want to be extra fancy, fill a plastic food bag with the chocolate, pierce it with a cocktail stick and squeeze the chocolate over the top.
Serve chilled and enjoy!