So here's the thing: I have whipping problems. You know when you have to whip something to a certain stage, like "to soft peaks", "to stiff peaks", or "to the ribbon stage"? It makes me crazy paranoid that I'm going to miss it, mess it up, or otherwise FAIL. I always feel like I need a huge poster in my kitchen with photos of each stage and possibly a video playing as well so I don't miss that crucial perfect moment.
So of course, I decided last minute to put together a 4th of July-themed post with a recipe that includes whipping, whipping, and more whipping. Fun. Thannnkkk gooooodness it was worth it.
This is called Red, White, and Blue Velvet Mississippi Mud Pie, but really it's a crazy combination of things. It's part pie (obvs) because it's got an Oreo cookie crust, and an awesomely good one at that. I "don't even like" Oreos, but apparently I like Oreo cookie crusts, not to mention Oreos in brownies. Then there's a flourless red velvet cake, because this is both a pie AND a cake, ladies and gents. It's got a little more chocolate than your typical red velvet, which is always a good thing in my book, and being that it's flourless, it's just overall more intense. The third layer of this glorious pie/cake is a blue velvet pudding - red velvet turned blue, with just a hint of chocolate and a bit of that red velvet tang. And finally - last but certainly not least - is that smooth, creamy, and totally luscious layer of cream cheese whipped cream. Red velvet is not red velvet without the cream cheese (in my eyes), and cream cheese whipped cream is seriously a stroke of genius.
And the other thing? This pie is probably the most patriotic dessert you can possibly make. We have...
1) Pie... Face it: We Americans love our pie
2) Red Velvet... Possibly southern, definitely an American classic
3) Oreos... America's Favorite Cookie, right?!
4) Mississippi Mud Pie... I need not explain ;)
5) Red, White, and Blue... very necessary.
Of course, for all you amazing non-American readers, you're still invited to this crazy Mississippi-Mud-Pie-Cake-making party, because you certainly shouldn't miss out. And since you don't HAVE to make the blue velvet pudding blue, this can be an all-year round, not so patriotic-themed dessert - a good thing indeedy. :)
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And... a Recipe Note: I'm not going to lie; you need to be a bit ambitious to make this dessert. Four layers means there are a number of steps involved, plus chilling, chilling, and more chilling. To make things easier: make the crust, cake, and pudding the day before you plan to serve the cake. Chill the cake and crust separately from the pudding overnight. Then, the day you're serving, layer the pudding on the cake, chill well and freeze for about an hour (as explained in the recipe), and finally make the whipped cream and spread it on top just before slicing and serving.
Red, White, and Blue Velvet Mississippi Mud Pie
This fun twist on Mississippi Mud Pie combines a chocolate cookie crust, flourless red velvet cake, blue velvet pudding, and cream cheese whipped cream into one gorgeous patriotic dessert!
- Yield: one 9 or 10-inch pie* 1x
- 1 pound oreo cookies (or other sandwich cookie)
- 2 ½ ounces (5 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted
Flourless Red Velvet Cake
- 2 ounces (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter
- 4 ½ ounces (¾ cup) semisweet chocolate baking chips or 4 ½ ounces semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon red food coloring (I used liquid food coloring for this)
- 1 teaspoon white distilled vinegar
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 6 large eggs, separated and at room temperature (separate when cold, then let come to room temp.)
- 5 ¼ ounces (¾ cup) granulated sugar, divided
Red Velvet Pudding
- 1 tablespoon good-quality unsweetened cocoa (I used non-dutched cocoa)
- 3 ½ ounces (½ cup) granulated sugar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 12 ¾ ounces (1 ½ cups) whole milk
- 4 large egg yolks
- 1 ⅛ ounces (¼ cup) corn starch
- 8 ½ ounces (1 cup) lowfat buttermilk
- 1 ½ ounces (3 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cut into cubes
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- blue gel food coloring
- pink or violet gel food coloring
Cream Cheese Whipped Cream
- 6 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
- 1 ¾ ounces (¼ cup) granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 12 ⅜ ounces (1 ½ cups) heavy (whipping) cream
- red food coloring (preferably liquid)
- blue food coloring (preferably gel)
- Grease the bottom of a 9" or 10” springform pan* (bottom should be lip-down) with cooking spray and line bottom with a parchment round. Grease parchment and sides of pan.
- Place oreo cookies in food processor fitted with steel blade attachment and process to very fine crumbs, stopping once to wipe down food processor if needed so no chunks are left. Transfer to a large bowl.
- Add melted butter to cookie crumbs and mix together well, until the cookie crumbs seem to be evenly moistened (they won’t really look that wet and it might seem like you need more butter, but you don't).
- Press crumb mixture into pan over bottom and up sides (I find it easiest to do this with your fingertips), stopping about ½” from top of pan. Try to maintain an even thickness, and be careful not to let the "corners" get too thick. Gently press down around the top circumference of the crust to make the top edges flat and compact. Place pan in freezer to set for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 300ºF.
- Bake crust in preheated oven for about 10 minutes. Crust should feel fairly dry to the touch but still might seem a bit sandy, which is fine. Transfer pan to a wire rack and let crust cool completely before adding cake layer.
Flourless Red Velvet Cake:
- Preheat oven to 350ºF. If your springform pan has a tendency to leak at all: line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place sheet in oven while preheating.
- Combine butter and chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave for 30 seconds. Stir, and if needed, microwave another 15 seconds, stirring until chocolate has melted completely and mixture is totally smooth. Set aside to cool.
- In a small bowl, whisk together food coloring, vinegar, vanilla, and salt.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment, beat egg yolks and ½ cup (3 ½ ounces) sugar together on medium-high to high speed until pale, fluffy, and almost doubled in volume (5 minutes), stopping once in the first minute or so to wipe down sides of bowl if needed. Switch to paddle attachment, add chocolate mixture, and mix in on medium-low speed until just combined, with majority of mixture being an even color. Stop and wipe down bowl and beater, then mix another 5 seconds to ensure everything is combined. Add food coloring mixture and mix in on medium-low until batter is again almost all one color. Stop, wipe down bowl and beater, and mix another 5 seconds to make sure everything is evenly combined. Transfer batter to a large bowl.
- Clean mixer bowl and beater well. Make sure both are completely clean and dry before whipping egg whites (or use an electric hand mixer and a separate bowl).
- Beat egg whites until foamy, starting on low speed and gradually increasing to medium-high or high. With mixer working, slowly pour in remaining ¼ cup (1 ¾ ounces) granulated sugar. Continue to beat eggs until soft peaks form (when you lift beaters, eggs hold shape for a moment but then weep back down).
- Transfer about 1 cup of egg whites to bowl with batter and fold in with a rubber spatula for about 30 seconds. Add the remaining egg whites and fold in just until almost combined, with barely a few streaks of uneven color left. Be sure to scrape across sides and bottom of bowl as you do this to get everything mixed in, and be careful not to overmix.
- Pour batter into cooled crust, being sure to keep within edges. Place in oven (on baking sheet, if using) and bake for 38-42 minutes, until top looks set but cake jiggles slightly. Cake may not appear fully cooked.** Transfer to wire rack to cool completely in pan (cake will sink in center as it cools), and then cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 3 hours, or overnight. Meanwhile, make pudding.
Blue Velvet Pudding
- Sift cocoa into a medium saucepan. Add sugar, salt, and milk and place over medium heat. Whisk until smooth and allow to heat up until steaming, whisking occasionally.
- Meanwhile, whisk the egg yolks with corn starch until combined in a thick mixture. Slowly pour in buttermilk, while whisking, until combined and smooth.
- Very slowly add warmed milk mixture to eggs while whisking rapidly to prevent eggs from cooking. Once all of the liquid has been added to the eggs, return to saucepan over medium-hight heat. Cook, stirring constantly while wiping bottom of pan with a heat-safe rubber spatula, for 5 minutes, reducing heat as needed to prevent boiling. DO NOT allow to boil. After 5 minutes, mixture should be thick.
- Remove from heat and continue to stir briefly, then strain through a fine mesh sieve into a medium size bowl. Add butter and vanilla and whisk in until smooth. Add blue food coloring and a touch of pink or violet, little by little, until you get the perfect shade of dark blue, whisking or stirring in with a rubber spatula. Whisk until mixture has cooled slightly. Place a layer of plastic wrap directly on top of surface of pudding and a second layer over bowl. Let sit at room temperature for 15 minutes, and then refrigerate for at least 3 hours.
- Once pudding and cake are well-chilled, remove plastic wrap from pudding and stir with a rubber spatula to loosen. Spread over cake in a smooth, flat layer using an offset spatula, being careful to stay within borders of crust. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate about 3 hours. Freeze for about one hour before adding whipped cream.
Cream Cheese Whipped Cream
- Chill stand mixer bowl and whisk attachment for 15 minutes in freezer.
- Place cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla inside chilled bowl and beat on medium speed just until smooth, stopping once or twice to wipe down bowl and whisk as needed. Decrease speed to low and slowly pour in cream. Once all of cream has been added, increase speed to medium and beat until soft peaks form. Finish beating by hand with a whisk just until cream holds a small peak, being careful not to overbeat.
- Remove pie from freezer and spread whipped cream over the top with an offset spatula, again staying within the borders of the crust. For firework design, place a drop of red food coloring in the center of the cake and use a toothpick to swirl outwards in a firework pattern. Dip in blue gel coloring and add blue swirls to firework.
- Remove sides of springform pan and slice and serve cake immediatley. Leftovers can be kept in refrigerator, covered, for up to two days.
*The original recipe calls for a 9" pan, but I used a 10" pan, which also worked out well.
**I baked my cake for 40 minutes, and while it did not necessarily seem jiggly when done, the top gave in to a gently touch.
This recipe is long! For tips on scheduling all the steps, see the note above the recipe.
Enjoy, and Happy 4th of July!! What are your plans for the big day?