This is one Blogging Marathon challenge I was so waiting for since that day last month when Srivalli put up the list of themes – Cooking dishes inspired from Children’s Storybooks. Doesn’t it sound all fun and games from the word go?
I starting Googling the moment I decide to take up this theme. For, although I remember all top-secret Secret Seven meetings with their no-entry withour passwords and Famous Five holidays at Kirrin Island that were full of delights for little kids, I hardly remember any details about what really they actually ate. I have a vague memory of the Famous Five’s favourite drink being Ginger Ale, but online searches say it is actually Ginger Beer.
I even aked my nephew to bring whatever Famous Five book he had. Sadly, the one he got, Five Go Off in a Caravan, has Anne cook up eggs and bacon for the others in a fun caravan journey – me being a vegetarian, this wasn’t something I could put together in my kitchen. It doesn’t sound fun either!
While I was wracking my brains thus, it suddenly struck me I could look for inspiration at home! While I don’t posses any children’s storybooks anymore, I do have some wonderful board books that I read to my little boy. He’s all of eight months old now and prefers to chew the ends of the books to reading them with me, but he loves them alright!
His favourite book right now is one titled Remember your Manners. This may not be the perfect little book for a toddler, but has lovely big colourful illustrations and my guy just loves to point out to the different characters on each page when I do the same for him. The book is about Elly, the elephant, who has been taught by her mother to mind her table manners.
“Knifes and forks are tricky, but I won’t use my fingers, I’ve been practising,” she tells her friend Binky who’s come over for lunch, even as she spies on the peanut pie that is waiting to be served.
While Elly and Binky relish their peanut pie, here’s my version – a chocolate nut butter pie that I prepared for my nephews. I prepared these as single serve pies baked in the cupcake mould. I’m thinking I should probably try making these in the mini cupcake moulds the next time. My nephews loved them and pies were over in no time.
I referred to dozens of recipes online and decided on a no-bake version for the crust. I used up some hard overcooked chocolate cookies for the pie crust and mixed up some mixed nut butter and chocolate-hazelnut spread (similar to Nutella) to fill them up. But when I took it out of the refrigerator, I realised mine wouldn’t hold shape once I filled it up, so decide to bake it. You could use whatever biscuit or cookies that you have on hand or opt for a regular pie crust.
Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie
(For 6 cupcake-sized pies)
For the pie crust:
Powdered Chocolate Cookies/biscuits – 1 ½ cups (about 12 cookies powdered fine)
Butter – 2-3 tbsp
Coffee – 1 tsp (you could use instant coffee granules too)
Honey (can use sugar) – about 1 tbsp (to adjust sweetness)
For the Filling:
Mixed Nut Butter/Peanut Butter – ¼ cup
Chocolate-Hazelnut spread (or Nutella) – 2-3 tbsp
Demerara sugar (or white sugar) – 1 tbsp (optional)
Milk chocolate chips – 1 tbsp
Preparing the pie crust:
Take the cookie powder in a bowl and add coffee and honey
Add butter gradually and mix everything to form dough that holds together well
Divide into 6 balls. Each should be roughly the size of a rounded tablespoon
Line a muffin pan with cupcake liners
Place one dough ball in each cavity and pat to shape
Refrigerate for a couple or hours (or longer if you want)
Preheat oven to 180 deg C
Place muffin tray inside oven and bake for 12-15 minutes till the pie shells harden somewhat. They’ll harden as they cool plus bake again with the filling, so don’t over bake at this stage
Preparing the filling:
Mix all the ingredients for the filling while the pie shells are baking
Assembling the Chocolate Nut Butter Pies:
Spoon the filling into each of the pie shells all the way to the top
Bake @150 deg C for 5-10 minutes till the filling firms up somewhat
Take the tray out of the oven and let the pies cool in the tray itself
Refrigerate for a couple of hours till filling hardens to your liking
Serve cold or let the pies come down to room temperature if you prefer. They taste awesome either way!