Diet tips and tricks — Don’t eat this chocolate cappuccino cream pie

I love cream pies and I love coffee and chocolate so when I saw this in the Wall Street Journal last weekend, I knew I’d found the most perfect pie…

F. Martin Ramin for The Wall Street Journal, Food Styling by Alainna Beddie
SLICE OF JOE | A foamy cup of cappuccino is the inspiration for this over-the-top chocolate-crust pie. A splash of dark rum takes the edge off the coffee-cream filling’s giddy caffeine buzz.

Kierin Baldwin’s Coffee-Cream Pie

Hands-On Time: 1 hour 15 minutes Total Time: 3½ hours Serves: 8 (makes one 9-inch pie)

For the crumb crust:

  • 12 Oreo sandwich cookies
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons cocoa nibs
  • 3 tablespoons ground coffee beans
  • ¼ teaspoon fleur de sel (or other medium-grained sea salt)
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • Nonstick oil spray
What To Do

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

2. Shatter Oreos in a food processor, using pulse button. Add other dry ingredients and pulse again, then add butter and pulse until combined.

3. Lightly coat a 9-inch pie plate with oil spray and pour crust mixture inside. Press mixture down to form an evenly thick, lightly compressed crust.

4. Bake until firm to the touch, 12-14 minutes.

For the coffee-cream filling:

  • 2 cups espresso beans
  • ½ cup plus ¼ teaspoon granulated sugar
  • ½ vanilla bean, split and scraped
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1 egg plus 1 yolk
  • 1 (3-teaspoon) package unflavored gelatin
  • 2 tablespoons cold water
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • ¼ teaspoon fleur de sel (or other medium-grained sea salt)
  • 2 tablespoons dark rum (or Frangelico)
  • 1¾ cups heavy cream
  • Cocoa nibs, for garnish
  • Orange zest, for garnish
What To Do

1. Using a food processor or coffee grinder, grind espresso beans into lentil-size pieces. Place grinds in a large bowl.

2. In another bowl, combine ¼ cup sugar with vanilla bean.

3. Place a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-high heat. After a few minutes, add a third of vanilla sugar and stir with a heatproof spatula. Allow to melt and just begin to brown. Repeat with remaining vanilla sugar until you’ve used all the sugar, which will begin to bubble and then smoke as it turns to caramel. Once it smokes, turn off heat. Slowly whisk in milk to dissolve caramel. (Be careful: Caramel can splatter and burn.)

4. Turn heat to medium-high and cook until caramel mixture is just shy of boiling, about 2 minutes. Immediately pour caramel mixture over coffee beans, submerging them. Stir, then let steep for 5 minutes.

5. After 5 minutes, pour mixture through a fine-mesh strainer. You should have about 2 cups coffee caramel milk.

6. Mix ¼ cup sugar with flour and cornstarch in small bowl.

7. Lightly whisk egg and yolk in a large bowl. Add sugar-flour-cornstarch mixture. Whisk until paste forms.

8. Mix 1½ teaspoons gelatin and cold water in small bowl.

9. Return infused milk to a saucepan set over medium-high heat and bring it to a heavy steam. Just as bubbles start to rise to the top, whisk in baking soda. It will bubble quite a lot. Continue to whisk until baking soda is incorporated. Slowly add infused milk to bowl with egg-and-starch mixture, then return it all to the saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and whisk continuously for 2 minutes. Add dissolved gelatin, butter and fleur de sel. Whisk to dissolve. Pass mixture through a fine-mesh strainer into a glass or metal bowl and press plastic wrap over surface of the mixture. Refrigerate until set, or overnight. Once set, beat until loose.

10. Mix remaining gelatin with rum in saucepan. Set over low heat until gelatin has dissolved, about 2 minutes.

11. Pour coffee cream into a mixing bowl. Add ¼ teaspoon sugar and a pinch of salt. Place bowl inside of another bowl filled with ice water.

12. Make whipped cream: Whisk heavy cream until it forms soft, billowy peaks.

13. Pour rum and gelatin into whipped cream. Quickly whisk to incorporate. Fold half of whipped cream into coffee-cream. Pour coffee-cream into chocolate shell and smooth down. Top with remaining whipped cream. Chill for at least 2 hours. Garnish with cocoa nibs and orange zest, if desired.

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