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Growing up, my Dad's favorite pie was chocolate cream pie. While we'd make a rolled out pie crust and the whipped cream topping from scratch, the chocolate pudding was always from a box mix. He still loved it. No doubt because of him, a chocolate cream pie is one of my favorites , box mix or not).
Banana cream pie also happens to be a favorite of mine, and malted milk improves whatever it touches, so I had a sneaky feeling that a combination of all three—chocolate cream, banana cream, and malt—would be totally off the charts.
Everything about this pie is chocolate, and that starts with the chocolate cookie crust. A pressed-in crust of crushed chocolate cookie crumbs and melted butter is as chocolate as you can go, and it's a heck of a lot easier than a rolled out pie dough. Plus, a cookie crumb crust is successful whether you bake it or not (tender if un-baked, and a bit more sturdy after 15 minutes in the oven). I chose to bake mine, just to make sure I got neat slices from the pie. Be sure to line the pan with foil and pie weights or the crust will slip down the sides as it bakes (I learned that the hard way during the first round).
The chocolate pudding that I made to spoon over the sliced bananas is easy. No, it's not a boxed mix, but a favorite from-scratch recipe that's just as easy and way more rich and chocolaty. This pudding does double chocolate duty, including powdered cocoa as well as 4 ounces of chopped bittersweet chocolate. I took the opportunity to stir in two tablespoons of malt here, but I certainly wasn't finished with the malt just yet. I still needed a creamy whipped cream topping to top off the pie, and that meant a chocolate whipped cream. Milk chocolate and malt are a match made in heaven, so I melted another 4 ounces of chopped chocolate and malted milk powder into 2 full cups of heavy cream, chilled it, then whipped it up before spreading it over the luscious chocolate pudding. Milk chocolate adds a rich and satiny body to the cream—a malted milkshake-like cloud to top off the rich chocolate crust and deep dark pudding.
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About the Author: Yvonne Ruperti is a food writer, recipe developer, former bakery owner, and author of The Complete Idiot's Guide To Easy Artisan Bread. You can also watch her culinary stylings on the America's Test Kitchen television show. She presently lives in Singapore as a freelance writer for Time Out Singapore. Check out her blog: shophousecook.com . Follow Yvonne on Twitter.