With Valentine’s Day just a few weeks away, sweet treats, decadent chocolates, and dangerous indulgences are on our minds. And when tasked with whipping up a delicious and devilish Valentine’s treat, we knew that Libbie Summers — hostess with the mostess and author of Sweet and Viscous: Baking with Attitude — was the woman for the job. Keep reading for Libbie’s inspiration behind this sure-to-satisfy recipe…
I started making a version of this dessert long before I had a serious boyfriend or ever tasted a waxy chocolate from a showy heart shaped box. It was my decadent ode to St. Valentine’s Day – a wave of a pink flag so cupid wouldn’t pass me by. What started as an open face s’more by a skinny teenage girl on a babysitting budget turned into a rich gooey indulgent pie using chocolate only an adult could afford. I’ve shared the recipe in my book, Sweet and Vicious: Baking with Attitude, but I’ve only “shared” it with one boy – the one who gave me my first heart shaped box of waxy chocolates, who met me at the alter wearing a boater and the biggest smile I’d ever seen, and who still gives me goosebumps when I catch his eye across a crowded room.
photo by chia chong
prepared pie dough for a single crust pie
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
1 cup sugar
4 tablespoons good-quality cocoa powder
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla paste
4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 ounces good quality dark chocolate, melted and slightly cooled
For the Marshmallow Frosting:
8 large egg whites, at room temperature
2 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the dough to a 12- to 13-inch round, 1/8 inch thick. Transfer the dough to a 9-inch tart pan with removable bottom and trim the edges. Freeze the crust for 10 minutes, or until firm.
- Line the crust with enough foil to cover the bottom and come up the sides, and top the foil with dried beans or pennies to weigh down the dough. Bake for 20 minutes, or until the sides are set. Do not turn the oven off. Remove the foil and weights. Prick the bottom of the tart with the tines of a fork, return to the oven, and bake for another 15 minutes, or until the dough is light golden. Remove from the oven and let cool while preparing the filling.
- In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the butter and sugar together for about 3 minutes, until the mixture is light in color. Add the cocoa powder and continue to beat until incorporated. Add the eggs one at a time and beat just until each addition is incorporated. Add the vanilla paste and beat until combined. Add the flour and beat just until mixed in. Remove the bowl from the mixer and stir the chocolate in by hand. Spoon the chocolate mixture into the pie crust.
- Bake for 18 minutes (the filling will be jiggly in the center but firm around the edges). Let cool until all is firm. While cooling, preheat oven to broil and prepare Marshmallow Frosting.
- Fill a medium saucepan with 2-inches of water and place over medium-low heat. Set the bowl from a standing mixer over the simmering water, making sure the bottom of the bowl doesn’t come into contact with the water. If you’re not using a standing mixer, a heatproof stainless-steel bowl will work fine. Put the egg whites, sugar, and cream of tartar in the bowl and whisk constantly for 4 minutes, until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is warm.
- Transfer the bowl to the standing mixer fitted with the whisk attachment (or use a hand mixer) and whisk for 5 to 7 minutes, gradually increasing the speed until stiff, glossy peaks form. Add the vanilla extract and mix until just combined. Frosting should be used immediately.
- Top the pie with big dollops of the marshmallow frosting pulled to high peaks and place the pie under the broiler for 1 minute, or just until the tips start to brown. Serve immediately.