Mississippi Mud PieServes: 6-8
Ingredients:250g rich sweet shortcrust pastry (ie made with 250g plain flour)
3 eggs, separated
4 tsp cornflour (cornstarch)
6 tbsp caster sugar
150g (5 oz) plain chocolate, chopped
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp powdered gelatine
3 tbsp water
2 tbsp dark rum
175ml (3/4 cup) double cream, whipped
a few chocolate curls, to garnish
Method:Begin by preparing the pastry according to the recipe. Cover with clingfilm (plastic wrap) and chill in the refrigerator for at least 20 minutes before use.
When chilled, roll the pastry out on a lightly-floured work surface and use to line a deep 23cm (9 in) flan tin. Prick the base of the pastry with a fork, line with baking parchment and baking beans then transfer to an oven pre-heated to 190ºC (375ºF, Gas Mark 5) and bake blind for 10 minutes. Remove the beans and baking parchment then return to the oven and bake for 8 minutes more, or until the pastry is crisp and golden brown. Set aside to cool in the tin.
For the custard filling, mix the egg yolks, cornflour and 2 tbsp of the sugar in a bowl. Heat the milk in a pan until almost boiling then take off the heat and whisk into the egg mixture. Pour this mixture back into the pan and cook, stirring constantly, over low heat until the custard has thickened and is smooth. Take off the heat and pour half the custard into a bowl.
Melt the chocolate in a heat-proof bowl either in a microwave or set over a pan of barely-simmering water. Add the vanilla extract and mix thoroughly then stir the chocolate into the custard in the bowl. Spread this mixture in the base of the pastry case then cover closely with clingfilm (plastic wrap) to prevent a skin from forming and transfer to the refrigerator to chill until set.
Sprinkle the gelatine over the water in a small bowl. Set aside until spongy then place over a pan of simmering water, stirring until the gelatine has dissolve. Now stir in the remaining custard and the rum.
Add the egg whites to a clean and dry bowl then whisk until stiff peaks form before beating in the remaining sugar. Quickly fold this mixture into the custard mix then spoon the mixture over the chocolate custard and cover completely.
Chill until set then remove from the tin. Spread cream over the top, decorate with chocolate curls and serve.