Bittersweet Chocolate Pudding Pie

October 7, 2010

Five years ago this month, I joined a preschool co-op with my older son Graham.  He was 11 months old at the time.  I had been told, by multiple friends, that co-op was the way to go.  Not so much for the children but for the community with other moms.  To all my friends who made this recommendation – thank you.  I now have lifelong friends because of the time we spent at that co-op.

We were extremely lucky to end up in a wonderful class.  Sometimes groups of people just gel and ours certainly did.  Most of us were new moms and we were all struggling through the same issues.  The group provided tremendous support and we actually really bonded through food.  The class met from 11am – 1pm once a week and we took turns bringing lunch.  I think the original intent was to provide food for the kids but it quickly morphed into a full blown lunch for the mommies as well.  (I wonder if I had anything to do with that…)

We were only in that co-op for two years but a small group of us still gets together on a regular basis.  We usually go out for dinner and sometimes we allow the husbands to come along with us.  Last week met up at someone’s house and the timing happened to coincide with our friend Kimrick’s birthday.  When I asked her what kind of dessert she wanted she said chocolate.  That’s my girl.

Because I had just made a cake, I opted to go the tart route this time.  This one features a chocolate cookie crust, a chocolate pudding middle, and a crème fraîche whipped top.  The only slightly negative thing I can say about his magical creation is that it isn’t all that easy to cut.  There are worse problems to have.  I’m a sucker for a chocolate cookie crust – even though it is nothing but chocolate wafers, sugar, and butter.  But the star here is the pudding.  As I was making it, I remembered the snack packs my mom used to put in my school lunch box.  I thought that chocolate pudding was the most delicious thing I had ever tasted.  I’m still a sucker for chocolate pudding especially with a topping as decadent as this one.

One Year Ago: Asian Coconut Noodle Soup

Bittersweet Chocolate Pudding Pie with Crème Fraîche Topping
Adapted from Bon Appétit
Serves 8-10

For some reason, those chocolate cookie wafers can be hard to find.  I have successfully used the Whole Foods brand of chocolate cookie grahams.

1 cup chocolate wafer cookie crumbs (about half of one 9-ounce package, finely ground in processor)
2 tbsp. sugar
5 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped

1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tbsp. cornstarch
¼ tsp. salt
1¾ cups whole milk, divided
¼ cup heavy whipping cream
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 tbsp. dark rum
1 tsp. vanilla extract

1 cup chilled crème fraîche
1 cup chilled heavy whipping cream
¼ cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Bittersweet chocolate curls or chocolate sprinkles (optional)

Position rack in center of oven; preheat to 350°F.  Blend cookie crumbs and sugar in processor.  Add melted  butter; process until crumbs are evenly moistened.  Press crumb mixture onto bottom and up sides (not rim) of 9-inch-diameter glass pie dish.  Bake until crust begins to set and no longer looks moist, pressing gently with back of fork if crust puss, about 12 minutes.  Remove crust from oven, then sprinkle chopped chocolate over bottom of crust.  Let stand until chocolate softens, 1 to 2 minutes.  Using offset spatula or small rubber spatula, spread chocolate over bottom and up sides of crust to cover.  Chill crust until chocolate sets, about 30 minutes.

Whisk sugar, cocoa, cornstarch, and salt to  blend in heavy medium saucepan.  Gradually add 1/3 cup milk, whisking until smooth paste forms.  Whisk in remaining milk, then ¼ cup cream.  Using flat-bottom wooden spoon or heatproof spatula, stir mixture constantly over medium heat, scraping bottom and sides of pan until pudding thickens and begins to bubble at edges, about 5 minutes.  Add chocolate; stir until mixture is smooth.  Remove from heat; stir in rum and vanilla.  Pour hot pudding into crust and spread evenly.  Cool 1 hour at room temperature.  Cover with plastic wrap; chill overnight.  (Can be made 2 days ahead.  Keep refrigerated.)

Using electric mixer, beat crème fraîche, whipping cream, sugar, and vanilla in medium bowl just until stiff peaks form and mixture is thick enough to spread (do not overbeat or mixture may curdle).  Spread topping decoratively over top of pie, swirling to create peaks, if desired.  (Can be made 6 hours head.  Cover with cake dome (DT: or foil) and refrigerate.)

Sprinkle chocolate shavings or sprinkles decoratively atop pie.


  1. Wow! Looks beautiful and amazingly delicious.

    Comment by Anna — October 7, 2010 @ 1:14 pm

  2. Oh my gracious! You are a baking inspiration.

    Comment by Angharad — October 7, 2010 @ 3:14 pm

  3. I miss you. I would like to eat chocolate pudding with you, too.

    I got together with the same group of women for 4 years when my kids were born, and when we moved out west, leaving them was almost as hard as leaving my relatives. The relationships formed through parenting are definitely tight, and genuinely long-lasting.

    Now can I have more pudding?

    Comment by Cheryl — October 7, 2010 @ 5:14 pm

  4. Preschool co-op…I’ve never heard of that before but they must exist here! I love the idea of it…just a way for moms (and their kids) to get together and commiserate, gossip, not speak in that high pitched tone of voice that’s reserved for babies and puppies :P

    My mom makes chocolate pudding pie for Christmas every year although she uses pudding from a box. I think I’m gonna have to tell her it’s getting an update this holiday. This sounds amazing.

    Comment by Joanne — October 7, 2010 @ 6:33 pm

  5. chocolate pudding pie. :::sigh::: that’s really all you have to write you know. that and the photos. i mean the rest just speaks for itself. :-)

    Comment by vanillasugar — October 7, 2010 @ 8:35 pm

  6. I might need to go make that chocolate pudding, like right now!

    Comment by Holly E — October 7, 2010 @ 10:13 pm

  7. I am also a sucker for chocolate pudding. Yum. Oh, and birthdays, and baby co-ops too. Your friend is lucky to have you!

    Comment by redmenace — October 7, 2010 @ 11:16 pm

  8. I am so honored to be included in that group of amazing women. And so lucky that I got to eat that pie! It was to die for. Disregard the vegan talk, I can never fully go that way and forgo this type of pleasure. I’ll just try to keep it to special occasions, and an evening with you and those lovely women definitely qualifies. Thanks for lovely post and the pie:)

    Comment by Mara — October 8, 2010 @ 2:29 am

  9. oh wow this looks delicious! i love chocolate pudding!

    Comment by LimeCake — October 8, 2010 @ 10:48 am

  10. The creme fraiche topping sounds fantastic with the chocolate filling. I’m always interested in good pudding recipes. Every one I try seems like it’s not quite right. This is going in the must try stack!

    Comment by lisaiscooking — October 8, 2010 @ 12:45 pm

  11. This looks absolutely stunning! I can almost taste the chocolate… I’ll have to give this recipe a try.

    Comment by Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction — October 8, 2010 @ 11:27 pm

  12. Come

    I’ll just need a spoon, thanks!

    Comment by tracy — October 9, 2010 @ 6:06 am

  13. I approve of the fact that there’s twice as much whipped topping as chocolate. ;)

    Comment by Ellen — October 9, 2010 @ 5:59 pm

  14. Ok, so I only made the chocolate pudding, not the whole pie, and I was working with what I had so I made some substitutions. Used plain unsweetened soy milk in place of the whole milk and cream, and Kahlua in place of the rum. And still, it was SO GOOD! Very creamy and chocolatey, and not too sweet. Perfect, IMO. I did find it to be just a little too thick after setting up in the refrigerator, so I whisked in a few more tablespoons of soy milk to get it to the consistency I was looking for. YUM!

    Comment by Holly E — October 9, 2010 @ 8:03 pm

  15. Mouthwatering!

    Comment by Cherine — October 10, 2010 @ 9:07 am

  16. […] For the full recipe and more photos, visit Dana Treat Yourself. Enjoy! […]

    Pingback by Recipe of the month: Bittersweet Chocolate Pudding Pie | Unik Apparel — October 12, 2010 @ 7:10 pm

  17. This looks really good! And I love how nice and thick the crust is, and that there’s chocolate in it!

    Comment by Ashley — November 3, 2010 @ 2:19 pm

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