A Southern Grace: feliz navidad

December 19, 2013

feliz navidad


I know that José Feliciano's song "Feliz Navidad" is on lots of people's List of Terrible and Annoying Christmas Carols, but I kinda like it. It's upbeat and fun in a genre that's often a little bit dreary and slow, you can't deny that.

What Christmas songs chap your hide? On the other hand, what songs do you love? I'm a fan of the classics (Nat King Cole, Johnny Mathis, Burl Ives, Bing Crosby, and Gene Autry know Noel) and a precious few newer ones, but that pop stuff can disappear into a black hole as far as I'm concerned. Though I can't pinpoint exactly why, I absolutely hate "The Christmas Shoes."

While I like the traditional carols, I don't mind a more modern dessert offering. If you're looking for something a little bit different to serve this year, consider this pie. It's essentially a chocolate cream pie (win!) but with the added bonus of some heat in the filling and some spice and extra chocolate in the topping.

This pie is creamy and rich, and the spices are subtle but complex. You'll notice the cinnamon first because it's probably one of the most aromatic ingredients in the world. The deep chocolate flavor will hit you next, and the cayenne brings up the rear, giving you a little kick at the end.

Go ahead and serve your gingerbread, yule logs, sugar cookies, and eggnog, but don't be afraid to try something new! Those classics will always be around next year.

Don't forget about my Christmas contest--plenty of time left to make your kabobs and send pictures my way!

Tarta de Crema de Chocolate
  • 1-1/3 cups chocolate wafer or cookie crumbs
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2-1/2 cups milk
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar, divided use
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 3 ounces fine-quality bittersweet chocolate
  • 1 ounce unsweetened chocolate
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup chilled heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder, sifted
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
To make the crust, stir together crumbs, butter, and sugar and press on bottom and up side of a 9-inch pie plate; bake until crisp, about 15 minutes, and cool on a rack.
To make the filling, heat the milk, cream, and 1/3 cup of sugar until a thin skin forms on top.
Meanwhile, viciously whisk together the remaining 1/3 cup sugar and egg yolks.
Add in the flour, cornstarch, salt, and cayenne pepper.
Temper in the very hot milk mixture, whisking well.
Bring to a boil over moderate heat, whisking, then reduce heat and simmer, stirring constantly with a spatula for 1 minute (filling will be thick).
Add the chocolates and let them melt into the mixture for a moment before blending it all together.
Force the filling through a strainer into a bowl, then whisk in the butter and vanilla.
Pour the filling into crust, cover the surface of the filling with wax paper and cool completely, about 4 hours.
To make the topping, beat cream with sugar, cocoa powder, and cinnamon in a bowl using an electric mixer until it just holds stiff peaks, then spoon on top of pie.


Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Ohhhh, that tarta looks incredibly tempting! What a fabulous dessert.



Gloria Baker said...

look delicious and festive!!
Happy merry Christmas Grace and Feliz Navidad!xx

vanillasugarblog said...

Mmmm chocolate cream pie.
I swear when I make cream pie I love to make a double crust. I love a high crust to cream ratio.

Pamela @ Brooklyn Farm Girl said...

Oh goodness, this pie looks incredibly delicious!

Big Rigs 'n Lil' Cookies said...

I had to go play the video for the Christmas Shoe Song, and let's just say I agree with all of your opinions on Christmas music!

Your pie looks amazing, and I must try it! I don't think the spices would be a hit at home, but I know my co-workers will love it! Merry Christmas!!

Anonymous said...

OMG! chocolate pie with spice and extra chocolate to top it off....this line seriously made us want to get making this pie now...sensational dessert....perfect for starting a deliciously new Christmas tradition,thanks for sharing :-)

Alicia Foodycat said...

Merry Christmas Grace! This looks like a lovely dessert. I don't mind innovation at Christmas, but this year I am on starters, not desserts.

Cheesy Pennies said...

I happen to be a fan of both Feliz Navidad and Mexican Chocolate Pie. So I'm a fan of this post. Happy Holidays, Grace!

Bianca @ Confessions of a Chocoholic said...

I would like any kind of chocolate cream pie :) As for Christmas music, I like anything by Dean Martin and of course - Mariah Carey!

I Wilkerson said...

I have tried a hint of hot pepper in chocolate bars--what a great idea to do it in a pie. I usually do a new pie recipe every Thanksgiving--perhaps it will be this one next year!

Caroline Taylor said...

This sounds so good!

Ally said...

Oh my! That looks so good!

I loooove Mexican chocolate. There's a chocolatier here in town that sells Mexican hot chocolate (like cocoa). Love getting a warm mug of that when the weather gets cold and going to see the Xmas lights in town.

Happy holidyas!

Pam said...

Oh my. I would LOVE a piece right now and it's only 10:30 am. Seriously drool worthy.

Angie's Recipes said...

whoa...look at the sinfully creamy texture! It looks divine!

Unknown said...

Have a wonderful Christmas. I continue to look forward to your delicious posts and even more so to trying them out! Feliz Navidad !

Joanne said...

Call me scrooge, but i pretty much hate most Christmas songs. Maybe it's just that they are played ad nauseum around the holidays that it's all too easy to get tired of them. Spiced up chocolate pie though...I could never get bored of.

Lisa-Marie said...

Oh My ACTUAL God, yum. Also, twinkly cake!

I love Carols and songs. The cheesier the better!

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

I have never heard of Christmas Shoes! Must check that out. That is after I drool all over pics of this pie! :P

Carolyn Jung said...

Mmm, chocolate pie is always right. And one with the warmth of cinnamon is extra irresistible.

Hungry Dog said...

Grace, this looks amazing! I have never made a cream pie but perhaps this should be my first...

Happy holidays!

Jeff @ Cheese-burger.net said...

This chocolate cream pie looks very delicious!

I personally like Jingle Bed Rock and All I Want For Christmas Is You.

lisa is cooking said...

I love Feliz Navidad! And, I've been loving Dean Martin Christmas music lately. And, I'd love to taste this pie. Merry Christmas!

SJerZGirl said...

Funny that Feliz Navidad just finished playing on Philly's country station and, as always, I was lip-syncing all the way through it as I checked out your recipes. Elvis's Blue Christmas is MY annoying song (as is the currently playing Santa Claus is coming to town by Bruce Springsteen - yes, I dissed both icons!) But, I love your blog!

Beth said...

I like Feliz Navidad, too. In fact I like almost every Christmas song - except "Simply Having a Wonderful Christmas time". (Now I've dissed an icon too.)
Hope you have a wonderful Christmas, Grace!

Nutmeg Nanny said...

Goodness, this looks addicting! I can't wait to get a taste of this beauty :)

Rosita Vargas said...

Delicioso ...Feliz Navidad Paz y Amor,abrazos.