Thursday, May 22, 2014

Marie-Grace's Chocolate Chess Pie

A tasty pie that's easy to make and suuuuper chocolatey!

Remember when I used to post about things that weren't desserts? Yeah, me too.

There's just something about trying out a new dessert recipe that's always caught my interest more than making something savory. I'd like to say that's because I've always been a more confident baker than chef, or that baking just comes more naturally to me, and both of those statements are true, but let's be honest: trying out new dessert recipes is fun because desserts are pretty universally delicious, and I definitely have a sweet tooth.

This one definitely embodies some of my favorite things in a recipe: it was easy to make, didn't require a lot of clean up and was super chocolatey! I'm sure a lot of you are wondering what on Earth a chess pie is - I know I was when I first found the recipe. All I can say right now is that you really should just click read more to find out, because I promise it's going to be something that at least a few of you might want to try out yourself!

Unlike classic desserts like chocolate chip cookies or red velvet cake, whose origin stories are pretty well documented and relatively easy to track down, the secret origins of chess pie are, well, a secret. What we do know is that the recipe came to America with early English settlers, and that the dish became very popular in the American south. It's definitely something Marie-Grace and C├ęcile would have enjoyed, and there are tons of different ways to make it.

So, why is it called chess pie? That's actually the biggest mystery. Some people suggest that it might be a muddled pronunciation of cheese, because the earliest recipes available are called cheeseless cheese cakes, while others suggest it comes from "chest", as the pies keep well enough in a pie chest rather than being refrigerated.

The recipe I used can be found here at the Cajun Grocer, and it's a bit less traditional in that it doesn't include flour or corn meal in the batter. Still, it's what caught my eye the most, and since I liked it so much, a more traditional pie is probably going to show up on here at some point. You start by melting down baking chocolate with condensed milk and butter, which mixes together into this beautiful thick goo.

Now, I had to double my recipe because I was making pie, not tarts, and my grocery store only had deep dish premade pie shells, so I had to mix four eggs with two and a half cups of sugar. After the chocolate mixture cools, it gets added to this and everything's mixed together with some vanilla extract. Pretty simple, right?

Since this is a pie, not a tart, we thought we'd need to cook it for longer than the recipe recommended, and it turned out we were right. After half an hour in the oven, the center of the pie was still completely liquid, so we left it in for about another twenty minutes, and our toothpick came out clean!

When we let it cool off, it looked like this:

The crust on top kind of collapsed on itself, but from what I can tell thanks to a Google Image search, this is more or less what a chess pie is supposed to look like.

So, how did it taste?

Uh, amazing.

It was incredibly chocolatey - maybe even somehow moreso than my lava cake! My taste testers compared the texture to a flour-less brownie or cake, and I have to agree with them. The crust on top gave it some nice texture in addition to the pie crust itself, although it was definitely gooey and pretty melt in your mouth regardless.

All in all, we had another winner. I've already got people asking me to make it again sometime!

'Til next time!


  1. Yum!!! I love chocolate and this looks delicious. I will need to give it a whirl. Thank you Marie Grace.

    1. It definitely was tasty, I've already got some requests to make it again!