Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Triple Chocolate Pizza

Easter is coming up this weekend and for most people, that means indulging in the ultimate guilty pleasure - CHOCOLATE!! Sure you can buy lots of expensive little chocolate eggs, rabbits and all manner of holiday treats for your family, friends or yourself, but why not make something that will be a real show stopper for your Easter buffet or dessert? Something that any true chocoholic would practically drool over? How about a Triple Chocolate Pizza?

I found the original recipe years ago in a Company's Coming cookbook that featured recipes using chocolate. As usual, I've made a few minor adjustments to it, but it is truly a mouth watering dessert that is sure to satisfy any sweet tooth - especially the chocoholic kind! This dessert is quite rich in flavour, so a little goes a long way. You can easily cut this into 12 - 16 pieces.

I strongly recommend that you prepare ALL the ingredients before you start baking the crust, so that there are no delays between pastry, filling, or topping steps.

Chocolate Pastry
2 cups All-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups Granulated/white sugar
1/3 cup Cocoa powder
3/4 cup Butter or hard margarine, softened
2 Large eggs, fork beaten

Chocolate Filling
8 oz. Cream cheese, softened (light or regular)
3/4 cup Granulated/white sugar
1 Large egg
1/4 cup Cocoa powder
1 teaspoon Vanilla extract

1/3 cup Dark or Bittersweet chocolate chips
1/3 cup Semisweet chocolate chips
1/3 cup White chocolate chips
10-14 Maraschino cherries, rinsed, drained and quartered
1/4 cup Sliced almonds - toasted

Measure flour, sugar and cocoa into bowl. Add butter. Cut in until crumbly. Add eggs. Mix well. Press into 12 inch (30 cm) pizza pan that has been lined with parchment paper. I find it easiest to work with a small amount of the pastry at a time and create a small ridge around the outer edge of the pan, before filling the centre. Do not press the pastry in too firmly or it will be very hard when baked. Bake in 350°F (175°C) oven for 15 minutes.

While the pastry is baking, beat all 5 topping ingredients together until smooth. Spread over hot crust. Carefully, return to oven for 10 minutes.

Sprinkle chips onto the hot pizza, (I start with the dark, then milk, then white as it looks nicer when they are blended later) then very carefully return the pizza to warm oven for a minute or two. The pizza is quite heavy with all of the chocolate so make sure that you have a good grip on the pan before trying to move or lift it. Let stand on wire rack until soft - a minute or so. Draw the flat edge of a knife back and forth over top to smooth out most of the chips.

Place cherries and almond slices evenly around the pizza.

Cool completely. Cover lightly with plastic wrap and chill in fridge for two to three hours. Cut into 12-16 wedges using a very sharp knife or a pizza cutter.

- Instead of the chocolate chips, I usually use good quality baking chocolate that I have chopped fine.
- To toast the almond slices, place on a microwave safe plate and microwave on high for about 3 minutes - tossing every minute of so to avoid burning. Cool while preparing the rest of the pizza.
- It is tempting to cut while it is still warm or at room temperature, but it will be a much cleaner cut and less apt to break, if it is cut once it has chilled.

In the unlikely event of leftovers, the pieces can be wrapped individually in plastic wrap and frozen in a zippered freezer bag for up to 3 months



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