- I made chocolate pies using recipes from famous chefs Duff Goldman, Emeril Lagasse, and Alton Brown to see which one is the best.
- Brown’s was easy to make, but I wasn’t won over by its dairy-free flavour.
- I enjoyed Lagasse’s recipe, but it wasn’t the best of the bunch.
- My favourite pie was Goldman’s, even though it took the longest and I didn’t chill it enough.
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The beauty of chocolate pie is that it works year-round, from summer barbecues to holiday feasts.
Even celebrity chefs are fans of this classic dessert, with the likes of Duff Goldman, Emeril Lagasse, and Alton Brown putting their own twists on the bake.
I tested all three chefs’ chocolate-pie recipes to determine which one was worth adding to my dessert repertoire.
Here’s how they stacked up:
Goldman’s recipe had a lengthy list of ingredients, including several types of chocolate
Goldman’s signature chocolate pie required a lot of ingredients.
Thankfully the recipe called for a store-bought crust, which saved me some time. But the filling (a chocolate pudding from scratch) and the homemade whipped cream seemed like they’d take a lot of time to make.
I was excited to see that the topping includes a small mountain of white, milk, and bittersweet chocolate curls in addition to the whipped cream.
The process was long and involved constant whisking for over 20 minutes
I liked that I could save time with this recipe by not making a crust, but Goldman’s chocolate pie still ended up taking the longest to make.
The filling took about 30 minutes on the stove â€” 20 minutes of which I spent constantly whisking to help thicken the pudding and prevent it from overcooking on the double boiler.
It looked really thin at first, and I was worried I messed it up, but close to the 20-minute mark it really thickened up.
Once the filling was in the fridge chilling and the pie crust was baked and cooling, I melted bittersweet chocolate in the microwave to coat the bottom of the pie crust.
The recipe called for melting this over a double boiler, but it was faster and less messy to do it in the microwave. I made sure to keep a close eye on the chocolate, stopping it every 10 to 15 seconds to stir until it was melted, then brushed it generously across the bottom of the pie crust.
Depending on the crust, this can be tricky â€” mine was quite flaky and kept breaking into the chocolate.
I set the crust aside so the chocolate could harden and then got to work on the whipped cream, which called for mascarpone cheese, heavy cream, fresh vanilla seeds, and sugar.
It smelled really good while I was mixing it, but even after a long time at high speeds, I noticed the mascarpone didn’t fully incorporate into the cream. I think this made the topping slightly thinner than it should have been, but it still turned out pretty tasty.
This pie was gorgeous â€” until I cut into it
Goldman’s pie was by far the prettiest of the bunch, but it definitely didn’t hold its shape. As soon I cut into it, it fell apart into a goopy mess.
But it tasted great, and the chocolate was rich and sweet with a slight bitterness.
The chocolate coating on the bottom gave the crust a slight crunch â€” which, in addition to the crust’s flakiness and the crunchy chocolate curls on top, worked well to balance the texture of the very liquidy filling.
Although the pie didn’t hold together, it was delicious.
Lagasse’s recipe was fairly standard
This recipe also calls for a very simple homemade whipped cream.
There were a lot of steps, and my pie crust didn’t look quite right
I noticed that there were a lot of steps here.
I had to make a pudding on the stove, a homemade whipped cream to fold into the pudding, and a homemade crust of graham cracker and Oreo crumbles.
It took me about 10 minutes to cook the pudding on the stove then 30 minutes to chill it.
I used a small blender to make the crust, which didn’t do the best job at pulverizing the graham crackers and cookies.
This step would definitely be easier and faster with a good food processor.
On the recipe page, the photo of Lagasse’s pie has a uniform, dark-chocolate crust, but mine clearly showed the distinct graham-cracker and Oreo crumbs.
I worried it wouldn’t hold up as well because some of the crumbs were larger than they probably should have been. I also ended up with twice as many crumbs as I needed to fill one pie dish.
I baked it for 15 minutes as directed, and because of the excess crust, the edges ended up a bit overdone.
Once the crust cooled, I added the filling and let it chill in the fridge for a few hours.
This was a very rich chocolate pie with a perfectly crunchy crust
I had my doubts about the crust, but it turned out pretty well. Sure, it fell apart a little when I cut a slice, but the flavour was Oreo-forward â€” and I really love Oreos.
It was also crunchy without being too hard to cut into, which was a perfect contrast to the dense, chocolate filling.
The filling was very sweet and chocolaty with the slightest jiggle to it.
I added some of Lagasse’s whipped cream to the plate, and I thought it helped balance all of the chocolate.
Brown’s ‘Moo-Less’ chocolate pie lists tofu as the main ingredient
It also called for a homemade crust using chocolate wafers â€” which was confusing because the recipe photo makes it look like an Oreo crust. But I bought the chocolate wafer cookies as directed.
I whipped up this chocolate pie in no time
Brown’s recipe was by far the easiest to put together.
I used my larger blender to crush the wafers and mix the crumbs with sugar and melted butter, and I added three extra wafers because the crust definitely looked too wet.
My doubts about the wafer cookies increased at this point, but I just rolled with it.
I baked the crust for about 20 minutes and it did firm up, but the edges shrunk down some.
The filling was easy to throw together, too.
I melted chocolate chips, vanilla extract, and coffee liqueur over a double boiler, and then I blended the chocolate mixture with soft tofu and honey.
It came together beautifully and quickly and looked very smooth, creamy, and chocolaty.
Once the crust cooled, I added the filling and let it set in the fridge for a few hours.
It held together like a dream, but the flavour was a letdown
I was pleasantly surprised when I cut into the pie and it didn’t move at all. There was absolutely no jiggle, and the crust took some effort to cut into. Had I cut a larger slice that I could fit my spatula into, it wouldn’t have fallen apart at all.
When I went to take a bite, I realised how hard it was to cut into the crust with my spoon.
Unfortunately, when I took a bite, it really just tasted like chocolate tofu â€” which was incredibly unpleasant.
I went in for some crust to see how it fared, and although there was a more prominent chocolate flavour, it was still bland.
I’d love to try Goldman’s recipe again
After my first attempt at Goldman’s recipe, I learned that I needed to cook the filling a little more and let it chill longer. But the pie’s flavour was so good that I’m willing to try this recipe again.
Plus this pie really is a showstopper with all of the decorations on top.
That being said, in a pinch, I’d happily whip up Lagasse’s chocolate filling and put it in a store-bought chocolate crumb crust for a decadent dessert with less effort.
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