It’s The Brown Velvet Pie! A creamy chocolate pie based off the cream cocktail, The Brown Velvet.
Brown Velvet Pie?
Yup! It’s name after a cocktail called the brown velvet that sort of sounds like a 70’s Blacksploitation movie doesn’t it?
The recipe is simple. 1 ounce heavy cream, 1 ounce triple sec, 1 ounce creme de cacao. Shake and strain into a glass and garnish with cinnamon. Kind of the perfect cocktail for a cold winter night.
Eating Grandma’s Creamy Chocolate Pie!
Um, yeah. So, I was thumbing through my Grandma Minnie’s recipes and came across this yellowed Brandy Alexander Pie recipe glued to an index card. It wasn’t until I thought my grandma was a genius to have made this recipe, only to find it ran in the New York Times in 1970.
You can read all about it right here.
Food52‘s Amanda Hesser wrote her own blurb about the pie:
In January 1970, The Times published a recipe for brandy Alexander pie. It was an unassuming confection: a graham-cracker crust filled with a wobbly, creamy mousse and enough alcohol to raise the hair on your neck and then make your neck wobbly too. Later that year, Craig Claiborne, then the food editor, declared it one of the paper’s three most-requested dessert recipes and ran it again. By rights, this should have been the recipe’s swan song.
But thanks to Dick Taeuber, a Maryland statistician, the pie lived on. Taeuber discovered that you could use a simple formula to make the pie in the flavor of almost any cocktail you wanted (3 eggs to 1 cup cream to 1/2 cup liquor). In 1975, Claiborne renamed it Dick Taeuber’s cordial pie and published it once more, this time with all 20 variations (see note).
Calling it a cordial pie doesn’t quite capture its punch or proof. Booze pie would be more fitting. It’s not the kind of thing you want to serve for a children’s birthday party.
Now hold on a sec. You see where it mentions the 20 variations? That’s where this pie really shines. It’s almost infinitely variable, as if it’s Negroni of cream pies. All you need is a half cup of a simple creamy cordial and a cookie crust. Check this out:
Cordial Pie Variations The Formula: cocktail; liquor (equal parts, 1/2 cup total, unless noted otherwise); crust; garnish 1. Brandy Alexander; Cognac, brown crème de cacao; graham cracker; chocolate curls 2. Chocolate mint; white crème de cacao, brown crème de cacao; chocolate cookie; chocolate curls 3. Grasshopper; white crème de menthe, green crème de menthe; chocolate cookie 4. Eggnog; rum; gingersnap; nutmeg 5. Banana mint; crème de banana, white crème de menthe; graham cracker 6. Pink squirrel; crème de almond, white crème de cacao; graham cracker 7. Brown velvet; triple sec, brown crème de cacao; chocolate cookie 8. Irish coffee; Irish whisky (use double strength coffee in place of water); graham cracker 9. Golden dream; Galliano, Cointreau (use 3/ 4 cup of orange juice in place of water, add 2 tablespoons grated orange peel); graham cracker; toasted coconut 10. Midnight cowboy; chocolate mint, brandy; chocolate cookie 11. Italian mousse; chocolate mint, vodka; chocolate cookie 12. Fifth Avenue; apricot brandy, brown crème de cacao; chocolate cookie 13. Raspberry Alexander; 3 ounces raspberry brandy, 1 ounce white crème de cacao; graham cracker 14. Blackberry Alexander; 3 ounces blackberry brandy, 1 ounce white crème de cacao; graham cracker 15. Banana chocolate cream; crème de banana, white crème de cacao; chocolate cookie 16. George Washington; chocolate mint, cherry brandy; chocolate cookie 17. Shady lady; coffee-flavored brandy, triple sec (use coffee in place of water); chocolate cookie 18. Cheri Suisse; cherry Suisse (cherry chocolate); chocolate cookie 19. Vandermint; Vandermint (chocolate mint); chocolate cookie 20. Sabra; Sabra (orange chocolate); chocolate cookie
21st Century Treats
So, like I mentioned in the Brandy Alexander Pie recipe, the method is a bit outdated so let’s bring this shizz into the modern era. By chocolate cookie, we’re going to assume they mean chocolate graham crackers, which is cool because chocolate graham crackers kick ass. It calls for a cup and a half of crumbs, but how do you know what that is in actual Graham crackers? Simply weigh it out with a kitchen scale. Spoiler alert: It’s 6 ounces.
Break them up by hand and dump them into a food processor and blitz until you have crumbs. Next, drizzle in melted butter and pulse until fully incorporated. Dump the mixture into a 9 inch pie pan and press firmly into the edges of the pan. Bake at 350°F for 10 minutes and allow the crust to cool completely.
Fill Er Up!
OK! Now we make the filling. Add half a cup of water to a medium saucepan and then sprinkle a packet of Knox gelatin on top. Add sugar, salt, and egg yolks to the pot and stir to blend. Place that pot over low heat cook until gelatin dissolves and the mixture begins to thicken (about 2-3 minutes). DO NOT LET IT BOIL because the egg yolks will harden and the mixture will become lumpy and unusable. Remove it from the heat, add triple sec and creme de cacao, and stir. Chill until the mixture starts to mound slightly when when nudged with a spoon (about 15 minutes).
Now it’s time to break out the stand mixer. A reader asked me if it was possible to do this with a hand mixer and it totally is but I’m going to write this post for a Kitchen Aid stand mixer. Add the egg whites to the mixing bowl and turn the mixer on to 6. Whip the egg whites until soft peaks start to form (about 3 minutes). Add the sugar and beat for about 1 minutes more, until stiff peaks form and hold their shape. Fold that into the mixture in the pot.
Clean your mixing bowl and the whisk. Add the cream to the bowl and turn the Kitchen Aid to 6. Whip until the cream has doubled in size (about 3 minutes). Then fold that into the mixture in the pot.
Last, pour the contents of the pot into your pie crust and smooth it out with a silicone spatula. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to overnight.
But Wait There’s More!
Yeah yeah, I know you you just want to eat pie, but we’re almost there. We’re making a brown velvet whipped cream topping! Get your stand mixer out one last time. Add 1 cup cream, 1 tablespoon creme de cacao, 1 tablespoon triple sec, and 1 tablespoon powdered sugar. Turn the Kitchen Aid to 6 and whip until doubled in size (about 3 minutes). Dump the whipped cream on the pie and smooth out with a spatula. Dust with cinnamon.
BAM! You just made yourself a boozy AF, Brown Velvet Creamy Chocolate Pie.
Brown Velvet Pie
- For the Pie
- 6 Ounces Chocolate Graham Crackers
- ⅓ Cup Melted Unsalted Butter
- 1 Envelope Unflavored Knox Gelatin
- ⅔ Cup Sugar Divided
- 1 Teaspoon Salt
- 3 Eggs Separated
- ¼ Cup Triple Sec
- ¼ Cup Creme De Cacao
- 1 Cup Heavy Cream
For The Topping
- 1 Cup Heavy Cream
- 1 Tablespoon Creme de Cacao
- 1 Tablespoon Triple Sec
- 1 Tablespoon Powdered Sugar
For The Pie
Preheat oven to 350°F. Break chocolate Graham Crackers into a food processor and blitz until you have crumbs. Slowly drizzle butter into food processor while pulsing, making sure butter is fully incorporated. Pour crumbs into a 9 inch pie pan, pressing firmly into pan to form a crust.
Pour 1/2 cup cold water in a medium saucepan. Add 1/3 cup sugar, salt, and egg yolks. Stir to blend. Heat over low heat and stir until the gelatin dissolves and the mixture thickens (about 2 minutes). DO NOT BOIL. Remove from heat.
Stir the triple sec and creme de cacao into the mixture. Chill until it starts to mound slightly when nudged with a spoon (about 15 minutes).
Using a whisk attachment on your stand mixer, beat the egg whites on medium high speed (6 on a Kitchen Aid) until stiff (about 3 minutes. Add the remaining 1/3 cup sugar and beat until peaks are firm (about 1 minute more). Fold the meringue into the mixture in the pot.
Whip the cream in the stand mixer with the whisk attachment on medium high until about doubled in volume. Fold into the mixture in the pot.
Turn mixture into the pie crust and chill until mixture firms (at least 2 hours and up to overnight).
For The Topping
Add cream, triple sec, creme de cacao, and powdered sugar to a stand mixer with the whisk attached. Beat on medium high (6 on a Kitchen Aid) and whip until doubled in volume (about 3 minutes).
Pour mixture onto the pie and spread with a spatula until covered.
Dust with cinnamon.