To give myself a little bit of credit there are some changes which I like. Such as improvements to my blog. I've said from the start that this blog is my little space to record and share with you all my adventures in baking but I've come to realise that it is also my way of learning computery based things. I'm absolutely terrible with computers. It's surprising that I can use the internet at all. I've struggled with the most basic things during setting this blog up and I still have so much to learn if I'm going to get anywhere near the level of so many of the gorgeous blogs I follow. However, I'm very slowly getting there even though it means that I have committed the cardinal sin of frequently changing bits and pieces. I promise to revisit my old post and make them consistent with the new ones as I learn new things My only hopes are that you will bear with me while I complete my journey. In the meantime let me tell you about a more scrumptiously interesting form that change and improvement have presented themselves in recently - this chocolate and ginger pecan pie!
The first time I made a pecan pie was a couple of years ago using a recipe from Baked and Delicios magazine, issue 14 or 15 I think. To say it was a disaster would be stretching it a bit but it did make me feel slightly hopeless at the time. It just would not set. I had it in the oven for about twice the recommended time before I gave up and serve this runny, sloppy concoction to my mother who I can only assume at it out of love for me. I'm sure it must have been my own fault - most likely I changed the recipe to cut out some of the sugar and syrup because these types of pies contain a lot of those two ingredients. Not that I'm arguing but I'm continually on a mission to obtain maximum taste and satisfaction with the minimum amount of those ingredients that the silly human body has deemed the enemy. Unfortunately I am only ever successful in obtaining the former because the latter would require me to eat about 4 pieces in one sitting. Somewhat counterproductive I'd say.
But who wouldn't want a quadruple helping of this little wonder? It is comprised of sticky, gooey chocolately heaven with a warm hug from the ginger, packed fully of pecans (which in my book make this good for you) all encased in a biscuity ginger pastry. My inspiration came from seeing that the Alphabakes challenge for this month was based around the letter G and so this is my entry for this. I know that ginger entries are going to dominate the challenge this month (the brainchild of Caroline at Caroline Makes and Ros at The More Than Occasional Baker, Ros being the host for this month) but this idea immediately came to mind and seeing as it gave me the chance to prove that I can make a pecan pie to satisfy my mum's love for pecans I had to try it. As an added bonus, the theme for this months Feel Good Food challenge set by Victoria at A Kick At The Pantry Door is ginger so I'm entering this there too.
I experimented with my idea for the recipe while dogsitting while my parents were in Wales so Mum couldn't see the results if it went terribly but thankfully it was a complte success and to top it off I got to eat the first slice slightly warm which I'm sure amplified to gingery goodness. Mum had barely got through the front door on her return and wanted to know where her slice was so it was lovely when it didn't disappoint her. It was my first time making pate sucree (I know, I've missed the accents off a couple of letter) and I think it really suits the indulgence of the filling so I do urge you to give it a go. I hope you enjoy it just as much. After reading another mega long post you deserve it!
Chocolate and Ginger Pecan Pie
A comforting chocolatey treat with the warmth of ginger and packed full of pecans. Goes great with a dollop of whipped cream or your favourite ice cream.
- 90g softened butter
- 90g soft dark brown sugar
- 1 medium egg
- 2 tsp ground ginger
- 180g plain flour
- 60g 70% cocoa solids chocolate
- 25g butter
- 115g dark soft brown sugar
- 125g golden syrup
- 10g stem ginger syrup
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 3 large eggs
- 1 piece stem ginger, grated
- 175g pecans
1. First make the pastry. Beat the butter and sugar together until creamy then beat in the egg, reserving a little for later. Sift in the flour and ginger and mix until combined. Bring the pastry dough together in a ball with your hands. 2. Lay a piece of baking paper on a surface and dust with flour. Pat the pastry ball down into a circle on the floured sheet and roll out until bigger than your tin with a dusted rolling pin. Chill the dough in the fridge for 20 mins or so.3. Set the oven to 190 C/170 C fan with a baking tray inside. Remove pastry from fridge and line your tin. Trim the edges leaving a 1cm excess around the edge. Prick the base with a fork and line with another piece of baking paper. Fill with ceramic beans and blind bake in the preheated oven (bake for 15 mins, remove beans and paper, bake for 5 mins, brush with the reserved egg then bake for a further minute). Remove from the oven and reduce the temperature to 180 C/160 C fan.4. Now make the filling. Melt the chocolate and 25g butter together in a bowl set over just simmering water, stir to mix and set aside to cool. 5. Mix together the remaining ingredients except the pecans then stir in the chocolate. Set aside 10 whole pecan halves, chop the rest and mix into the filling. Pour into the pastry case and decorate with the pecan halves. 6. Bake for 40-45 mins, adjusting depending on your oven. The filling will set and puff once done but will settle down as it cools. Remove from the oven and rest for 10 mins before removing from the tin onto a wire rack to cool completely.
- Pate sucree is a very soft pastry but don't be disheartened if you find it difficult to handle. Chilling the dough helps and if it still tears all over the place, mould it into your tin making sure the cracks are joined properly and it will be fine.
- This recipe makes enough for a 9" pie easily but I was using a 8" loose bottomed flan tin so had both pastry and filling leftover. I thought the pastry handled like soft biscuit dough so cut out rounds and baked those separately. The leftover filling can easily then be used to make mini pies. Place muffin cases in a muffin tray, press a pastry biscuit into the bottom and pour the filling mixture on top. Bake until the filling is set at the same temperature. These could be served as child sized portions or snaffle them away as cooks perks. I wont tell anyone.
P.S. Thank you to Jacqueline at Tinned Tomatoes for helping me with formtting recipes. Go have a peek at ther blog, it really is very good.