Layers of crumbly cookie crust, rich chocolate cake, and creamy pudding make this Mississippi mud pie from Matt Lewis's "Baked Explorations" cookbook the ultimate indulgence for chocolate lovers.
Source: The Martha Stewart Show, November 2010
Yield Makes one 9-inch round cake
For the Chocolate Cookie Crust
Nonstick cooking spray
16 ounces chocolate sandwich cookies such as Oreos (35 to 40 cookies), crushed
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
For the Flourless Chocolate Cake
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
6 ounces good-quality dark chocolate (60 to 70 percent), chopped
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
1/4 cup strong coffee, at room temperature
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
6 large eggs, separated, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
For the Chocolate Pudding
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup dark unsweetened good-quality cocoa powder
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 large egg yolks
2 1/2 cups whole milk
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3 ounces good-quality dark chocolate (60 to 70 percent)
For the Whipped Cream Topping
1 1/4 cups heavy cream
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
Make the Chocolate Cookie Crust: Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Lightly spray a 9-inch springform pan with nonstick cooking spray. Line pan with parchment paper and lightly spray parchment and sides of pan.
Place cookies in the bowl of a food processor; process to very fine crumbs. You should have about 3 1/2 cups. Transfer to a small bowl. Add melted butter and, using a spatula, stir until well combined.
Pour crumb mixture into prepared pan and press evenly with the back of a spoon into bottom and up sides, leaving about 1/2 inch between the top of the crust and top of the pan. Transfer to freezer until crust is set, about 10 minutes.
Transfer crust to oven and bake until dry to the touch, about 10 minutes. Transfer pan to a wire rack and let cool.
Make the Flourless Chocolate Cake: Increase oven temperature to 350 degrees.
Place butter and chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over (but not touching) simmering water to melt; stir to combine. Remove from heat. In a small bowl, whisk together espresso powder, coffee, salt, and vanilla; set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat egg yolks with 1/2 cup sugar until light and almost doubled in volume, about 5 minutes. Add melted chocolate mixture and beat until just combined. Scrape down sides and bottom of the bowl and mix on low speed for 5 seconds. Add coffee mixture and beat until just combined. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl and mix on low for 5 seconds.
In the clean bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat egg whites until foamy. Gradually increase speed to high and slowly add remaining 1/2 cup sugar, beating until soft peaks form.
Transfer 1 cup egg white mixture to chocolate mixture and, using a rubber spatula, gently fold to combine, about 30 seconds. Add remaining egg whites and continue gently folding until they are almost completely combined; do not overmix. Pour into cooled cookie crust and transfer to oven. Bake until cake is set but still jiggles slightly, 38 to 42 minutes. It may not appear completely cooked. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Cake will deflate in the center as it cools. Tightly wrap cooled cake with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 3 hours and up to overnight.
Make the Chocolate Pudding: In a medium saucepan, whisk together sugar, cocoa powder, cornstarch, and salt. Add egg yolks and whisk until combined. The mixture will look like a thick paste. Slowly pour in milk, whisking constantly.
Place saucepan over medium heat and bring mixture to a boil, whisking constantly to prevent it from burning on the bottom of the pan. Boil for 30 seconds and immediately transfer to a medium bowl. Add butter, vanilla, and chocolate; whisk until combined. Continue whisking until mixture is cooled slightly. Let stand at room temperature for 15 minutes. Press a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface of pudding to prevent a skin from forming. Transfer to refrigerator until chilled, at least 3 hours.
Stir pudding to loosen and pour on top of cake, making sure to stay within the cookie crust border. Using an offset spatula, spread pudding to form an even layer on top of the cake. Transfer to refrigerator for 30 minutes.
Prepare the Whipped Cream Topping: In the chilled bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a chilled whisk attachment, beat cream until soft peaks form, about 1 minute. Sprinkle sugar over cream and continue whisking until stiff peaks form. Spread whipped cream over chilled pudding layer, working all the way out to the sides. Unmold cake and serve immediately. The cake can also be kept, covered, refrigerated, for up to 2 days.