Monday, 16 April 2012

I'm back Baby! Peanut Butter and Chocolate Pie

It's been a while, hasn't it? You may be wondering where I've been, why I stopped writing my beloved blog, what happened to me. Or maybe you're not, but the answer is simple.

I went off food (cue gasps of horror from my fellow foodies).

I couldn't face the thought of cooking even to satisfy mine and my husbands basic need for nutrition, never mind for fun. I just didnt fancy anything to eat, and if I did eat, I generally felt a little bit sick. And then, when I managed to cook something worth writing about, I barely had the energy to log onto blogger nor the imagination to make it witty, entertaining or informative. My mind was completely elsewhere.

Now, all the mums out there probably have a light bulb pinging above t your heads as you realise what's going on here. Yes, you guessed it, in February I had a beautiful, beautiful Baby Boy (if I was the type to have smilies in my blog, I'd pop one in here!).

My baby boy, 7 weeks old
You may now be wondering why I didn't write about my pregnancy and how that affected my love for food and I'll be honest and say my innermost thoughts about my pregnancy were not something I wanted to share with people I didn't know. I wouldn't have minded sharing something basic and primitive; heck, my bump pictures went to everyone I knew, but that wouldn't have made nine months of blog posts. How I felt inside, my fears, my upas and down,s now that would have made some interesting posts, but it just didnt feel right. Iwas also in shock for the first eight months!! I was terrified about what was happening to me, to us. It all happened a little quickly and took me by surprise (strange really as I know all about the birds and the bees). Let me explain - last May, my husband and I thought 'maybe we should think think about starting a family'.... Baby Boy came along in February. You do that math. To say I was taken aback was an understatement and it took until I held my baby for the first time to realise what it meant to me. It meant the World then. I can't even put into words what it means to me now.

So, now you maybe wondering, given the enormity of bringing a child into the World, what on Earth made me decide to write my first post back in the world of Blogging about a Peanut Butter and Chocolate Pie (I'm wondering that that myself right now as I can't abide peanut butter. I digress). Not exactly Earth shattering stuff to anyone else but it is to me. Let me explain.

Having a baby puts a strain on every single relationship you have. Your parents, your friends, your boss, but most importantly and significantly, your partner. Whilst pregnant, I read article after article telling me to be prepared for the worst to hit us. Your relationship will change, they said. You will fall of of love (albeit temporarily), they advised. You wont have time for each other, they preached. On the first point, they were (unsurprisingly) quite right. It has changed, but for us, it's for the better. The decisions we make together as parents have given us confidence in each other, the way my husband is with our little boy fills me with awe, as does his complete and utter devotion to us. I love that he gives his time to us and looks after him without being asked, or even hinted at, so I can have some time back given the all consuming nature of having a newborn. Most recently, he took our baby boy whilst telling me I had to get back to my blog. He knew how much I missed it and he let me have that time for the newborn fog to clear and re-discover my love for food.  
My Boys

A big part of cooking for me is feeding those you love and for that reason, I chose to make something I knew he would adore, as a thank you for him just being him. A massive treat , even though it's not at the top of my wish list for a pudding. But one bite of this and I wonder what I don't like about it. I think it's just the thought of the peanut butter. I hate the cloying consistancy for a start, but this delicious pie takes away that particular consistency and leaves behind that crunchy texture and gloriously peanutty taste that I have to admit, I rather like. Add to that some of the best dark chocolate, double chocolate chip cookies and a mountain of cream, and what's not to love? Just don't think about the calories (pah, who cares about Baby Weight anyway?)

I wrote once that in a years time I wanted to change my life... I didn't for a second think it would change in this way but my God, am I pleased it has.

Peanut Butter and Chocolate Pie
(Adapted from the Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook).

  • 250g double chocolate chip cookies
  • 40g unsalted butter, melted
  • 3 tbsp cornflour
  • 160g caster suagr
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 500ml milk
  • 180g peanut butter
  • 120g dark chocolate
  • 250ml double cream
For the topping
  • 350ml double cream
  • 50g icing sugar
  • Grated dark chocolate to decorate

1. In a food processor, whizz the cookies to crumbs, before adding the butter and whizzing again to combine. Tip into a 20cm tin and push down into an even layer covering the base of the tine, with the back of a spoon. (A springform tin gives the neatest finish, but I couldn't find mine so used a loose bottom tin. Just expect the finished product to not have such defined layers until you cut into it). Chill for 30 minutes.

2. Whilst chilling, start the filling. Mix together the egg yolks and milk and tip into a saucepan containing the cornflour and caster sugar. Place over a low heat and bring slowly to the boil, stirring all the time. As it reaches boiling point it will thicken and look like wallpaper paste, which is exactly what you are looking for. Take off the heat and stir in the peanut butter.

3. Take half of the mixture and pour over the chocolate. Stir until the warm mixture has melted the chocolate and you have a chocolately/peanutty gloopy mass. Pour this on top of your biscuit base, smooth out and cover with cling film (push the cling film into the tin to rest of your topping. It wont stick, it will just stop a skin forming. Pop back in the fridge for another 40 minutes.

4. Cover the remaining peanut butter mixture with cling film as before and leave to cool. Once cool, whip the cream to soft peak consistency and fold into the remaining peanut mixture. Pour this on top of your chilled chocolate and pop back in the fridge for a further 50 minutes.

5. Finally, to make the topping, whip the cream together with the icing sugar, again to soft peak, and spread across the top of your pie and top with the grated chocolate.

Now, you can serve the pie straight away, but it will benefit for being in the fridge overnight. Besides, you wont fancy the pie straight away as you'll feel sick from all of the spoon licking you've just done. Don't try to tell me you didn't. I know you did.


  1. Congratulations and welcome back. Excellent news. That's a seriously indulgent pie but, then, why not? I confess that I don't care for peanut butter either but this might just convert me.

  2. Congratulations! I'm loving that your husband has the muslin tossed over his shoulder...a sure sign of parenthood!
    The pie looks great...I'm loving the Hummingbird bakery book at the moment.

  3. I can understand your feelings of temporary disillusion with food - I had a break to let my husband and extended family take over for a while at Christmas. I feel renewed now and ready to return to the kitchen. I think I will start with veggie recipes, as we've eaten lots of meat...sprout coleslaw anyone?!!