Create an intense chocolately cacao cream pie

Yankee Chef logoBy Jim Bailey

Basically, ‘cocoa’ and ‘cacao’ are the same thing — all right, they are the same thing. The word cacao is the original name for what the English speaking people call cocoa.

So why the difference? Simply because cocoa is a spelling mistake from many years ago that no one has ever bothered to fix! Regardless of what you call it, this pie is about as intense in cacao flavor as you possible can get. You are going to love it!

Intense cream pie.

Intense cream pie.

35 chocolate wafer cookies
5 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted and cooled slightly
4 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
2 1/2 cups milk
1 cup sugar
2 (3-ounce) bars 86 percent Ghirardelli Cacao bars, broken
2 tablespoon butter or margarine

Put the cookies in the bowl of a food processor or blender and pulse until crumbs are formed. This can also be accomplished by using a large resealable baggie as well. Place the cookies in the baggie, squeeze the air out and seal. Then use a rolling pin to smash them into crumbs.

Add the melted butter and continue pulsing until all crumbs have been moistened. Or mix the butter by hand in a large bowl if you used a baggie. Pour the moistened crumbs into a 9-inch pie pan and press them against the bottom and sides evenly. Set in refrigerator while continuing with recipe.

In a bowl, mix together cornstarch and cocoa powder. Whisk in 1/3 cup of milk until smooth. Whisk in the remainder of the milk and set aside. In a medium saucepan, add remainder of milk, sugar and cacao bars. Over medium heat, cook and stir with a whisk until the chocolate has melted. Remove pan from heat and whisk half cup into milk mixture.

Add this milk mixture into the saucepan and return to heat. Cook over medium-high heat while constantly stirring until it begins to scald and slightly bubble and thicken.

Stir in the butter until melted. Pour into prepared pie shell and refrigerate 30 minutes. Add film wrap onto the surface of pie and continue cooling an additional 3 to 4 hours, or until completely cooled.

Yankee Chef book coverSchiffer Books of Pennsylvania has released Jim Bailey’s book The Yankee Chef: Feel Good Food for Every Kitchen. It contains more than 550 traditional New England comfort-food recipes tweaked for today’s palates with hundreds of kitchen tips and food facts. The hardback book is 312 pages and contains 200 color images. Its ISBN is 978-0-7643-4191-5 and the cost is $34.99. The book can be ordered through Misty Valley Books, 802-875-3400.

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Filed Under: Community and Arts LifeThe Yankee Chef

About the Author: Jim Bailey is a third generation Yankee Chef, New England food historian and newspaper columnist. His first cookbook, simply titled The Yankee Chef, has been published. He welcomes all feedback, questions or comments at

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