But when you don't bake anything at all - nothing, nada, ziltch, then you know there's something wrong. You might have noticed that my blog posts over the past 6-12 months have been sporadic at best. Last year I was in a pretty bad place. After 6 months maternity leave I returned to work with the agreement that I would resume my old job. Two weeks after returning I was told that I was being put in new job - one that I had no experience with. And guess what? I hated it. I absolutely hated it. Not only was the role new to me, but it was also new to the company. To make matters worse, I got absolutely no support from my manager. Oooh boy she was evil! I could come up with a thousand expletives to describe her.
To make a long story short the following year was a living hell. No matter how much effort I put in, it was never good enough. I began to stop caring about my job, and I no longer had the urge to bake. I basically became a vegetable with no motivation to do anything. I was confused - I'd been trying so hard at something for so long, and without any support or recognition that last December after four and a half years with the company I decided to call it quits and take some time off.
I didn't feel much like baking or blogging during those few months. Instead, I took time to focus on myself and what I wanted to do. I also made full use of our LoveFilm membership and caught up on a ton of movies that had been on my 'must see list'. One of those movies was The Help. I won't get into explaining the whole story line because chances are you've already seen it, or read the book. If you haven't, then I suggest you do so because it really is a great movie. Good 'ol fashion Southern food features prominently in the film. There's everything from fried chicken and collard greens to the infamous scene stealing chocolate pie with it's oh so special "secret ingredient."
Although a lot has changed over the past year (new job (which I love), new house, new friends), two things have remained the same since that day I watched The Help. The first being how much I still despise my old boss, and the other is how much I'd still really like to try that chocolate pie - minus the "special ingredient" of course.
I'd been wanting to make this pie for months now, so a couple of weeks ago I forced myself back into the kitchen and made it. It was everything I thought it would be. Silky, chocolately and therapeutic, all in one single pie. I got great satisfaction from imagining a certain person stuffing her face full of a "secret ingredient" pie. And then I wiped the memories of her completely from my mind. I baked away my cares with this pie, and haven't looked back since.
So if I had one thing to suggest to people who have experienced a shitty time (pun intended!) in their life, it's to make this pie. It'll make you feel so much better.
Minnie's Chocolate Pie from The Help
1 Packaged pie dough crust - or feel free to make your own if you have time
1 1/2 Cups Sugar
4 Tbsp Cocoa powder
1/4 tsp salt
4 Tbsp Butter, melted
2 Large Eggs, beaten
3/4 Cup Evaporated Milk
1 1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
Whipped cream, for serving - optional.
1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF (180ºC). Roll out your prepared pie crust, and place into a 9-inch pie plate and trim/crimp the edges. Prick the base of the crust lightly with a fork. Line the crust with a piece of parchment paper and fill with pie weights or dried beans.
Bake the crust for 15 minutes or until set, then remove the weights and parchment paper and, and bake for another 5-10 minutes until the crust is dry but not browned.
2. In a medium bowl, combine the sugar, salt and cocoa powder together. Next, whisk in the butter, eggs, evaporated milk, vanilla and stir until smooth.
3. Pour the filling into the pie shell and bake for about 40 - 45 minutes, until the filling is set around the edges but still a little jiggly in the centre. *If necessary, cover the crust with strips of foil or a pie shield halfway though the baking to prevent the crust from burning.
4. Transfer the pie to a rack and cool completely before cutting. Serve with whipped cream.