Chocolate Haupia Pie with Toasted Coconut Crust

Updated: February 2, 2019

In a previous post I shared a recipe for chocolate haupia pie for a crowd. This weekend I was invited to a dinner and offered to bring dessert. Because my host always asks for this particular dessert, I decided to see what I could do to make it a little more elegant.

Unlike its larger sibling, I wanted to make everything from scratch and not use boxed pudding mix. If you Google the recipe you'll come up with a number of options for basically the same recipe. I used the one I found in Hawaii Magazine as my starting point.

The problem I had with that recipe is the ingredient listed as "7/8 cup chocolate (Dutch chocolate, or any chocolate with high cocoa butter content)." What did that mean? Did they mean Dutch process powdered cocoa? Did they mean a chocolate bar broken up to make 7/8 cup? And if so, how coarsely or finely should the chocolate be broken?

After looking at a few other recipes I decided on using 7 ounces of good quality chocolate (I used Valrhona dark bittersweet chocolate, 71% cacao).

The next thing I looked at was how to get more coconut flavor and texture into the pie. So I started looking for recipes that incorporated coconut into the crust. The challenge was all the results for paleo or vegan crust recipes. I wasn't looking for a recipe to satisfy a dietary restriction but for something that could enhance and elevate the pie. I finally found a recipe on Snapguide for a Toasted Coconut Pie Crust.

This is an interesting crust recipe. Not traditional as it starts with softened butter, there's no refrigeration, and there's no rolling out of the dough. It's somewhat similar to a graham cracker crust. Definitely my kind of pie crust. Despite the high butter content in the crust and my greasing the pan in advance, the crust stuck to the pan. Still, I'd make it again. It's really easy and tasty.

Finally, when assembling the pie I decided to take a cue from Ted's Bakery and piped on the whipped cream using a star tip. The pie would taste just as good if I'd just layered the cream on top but I wanted to be "fancy."

And there you have it, one of my favorite desserts, chocolate haupia pie.

Chocolate Haupia Pie

modified slightly from Hawaii Magazine

1 9-inch toasted coconut pie crust (recipe follows) or a pre-baked traditional crust
1 cup milk
1 can full-fat coconut milk (14 ounces)
1 tablespoon coconut extract (optional)
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
½ cup cornstarch
7 ounces good quality chocolate (I used Valhrona 71% cacao bittersweet chocolate)
1½ cups heavy cream
¼ cup sugar (I used half granulated, half coconut sugars)
Toasted coconut for garnish (optional)
Bittersweet chocolate shavings for garnish (optional)

To make the haupia:

In a medium saucepan, whisk together milk, coconut milk, coconut extract, and 1 cup sugar.

In a separate bowl, dissolve the cornstarch in water.

After bringing coconut milk mixture to a boil, reduce to simmer and slowly whisk in the cornstarch mixture. Continue stirring over low heat until thickened—about three minutes. Divide evenly into two bowls.

To make the chocolate pudding:

In another bowl, microwave chocolate until melted. (This takes about 2 minutes at 50% power in my microwave.)

Mix chocolate into one of the bowls of coconut pudding.

To assemble the pie:

Pour the chocolate pudding into the pie crust, spread and let sit (I put the pie in the refrigerator for 15 minutes). Note: if you are using the coconut pie crust it will sit flush with the top of the pie dish and therefore you will need only around two-thirds of the chocolate pudding. If you use the full amount you won't have room for the coconut pudding layer.

Pour the remaining bowl of coconut pudding on top of the chocolate pudding layer and spread smooth being careful not to mix the two layers. Again, if you are using the coconut pie crust you won't use the full amount of coconut pudding.

Refrigerate the pie for an hour or more.

Whip the heavy cream with ¼ cup of sugar until stiff. Layer or pipe the whipped cream on the pie surface. Garnish with chocolate shavings and toasted coconut.

Toasted Coconut Pie Crust

modified slightly from Snapguide

½ cup shredded, unsweetened coconut
½ cup butter, softened
¼ cup brown sugar
1 cup flour

Preheat oven to 400°F.

Cream together the butter and brown sugar. Add flour and coconut. Mix together with a pastry cutter or fork.

Press mixture evenly into a pie pan. Bake for 12 minutes or until golden brown.