John Barricelli and Me (and Choc Pie)

John Barricelli has been on Martha’s show many times and he’s also appeared in the magazines and is a host of Everyday Food. He’s one of her cast of characters. He kind of fascinates me because there’s something weird about him. Is he nervous around Martha? Uncomfortable? Annoyed? I don’t know what it is but I keep watching. He always seems so very confident about his baking and Martha always raves about his bakery cafe. He’s got a new cookbook out called The Sono Baking Company Cookbook, which I just got. So far I’m in love.

My first try from it was the chocolate cream pie. Now this is something I love, but never, never have. No one serves that anymore, but they should.

This pie was to die for. Major OMG moment. The crust is incredible. I know it sounds simple (graham cracker with chocolate) but it ends up having this fabulous nutty flavor and crunchy texture. And the filling. Well. It was stupendous. I put whipped cream on top of mine as instructed, but next time I wouldn’t bother. It doesn’t need it.


1 1/4 cup graham cracker crumbs

5 tbsp unsalted butter, melted

3 tbsp sugar

1/8 tsp salt

1  2/3 oz semisweet chocolate, coarsely grated on large holes of a grater (about 1/2 cup)


6 large egg yolks

3/4 cup sugar

1/3 cup cornstarch

3 cups milk

1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

4 oz semisweet chocolate, finely chopped

1/4 tsp salt

1 tbsp vanilla

4 tbsp unsalted butter

Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 9 inch pie pan.

To make the crust, mix the crumbs, melted butter, sugar and salt. Add the chocolate. Press into the pan. Chill for 30 min, then bake for 18-20 min.

To make the filling: whisk egg yolks, half the sugar, cornstarch, and 1/2 cup of milk.

In a saucepan, mix the rest of the sugar, the rest of the milk and the cocoa, chocolate and salt. Bring to a simmer, whisking. Gradually pour the milk mix into the egg mix, tempering it.

Pour the mixture through a strainer back into the saucepan then boil over medium heat, whisking constantly. Boil for 10 seconds, whisking, making sure it boils in the center of the pan, not just on the sides. It will thicken to a pudding like consistency.

Pour into a bowl and use a mixer for 2-3 minutes to cool it. Add vanilla. With the mixer running, add butter in small pieces, a little at a time. Pour it into the pie crust and chill for 2-3 hours.

If you want whipped cream on top, whisk 3/4 cup heavy cream with 2 tbsp powdered sugar until soft peaks form then spread on top of chilled pie.

Now for my notes! I goofed and dumped the cocoa into the eggs instead of the saucepan. I was not about to dump it out so I left it and everything turned out just fine.

I used a deep dish pie pan and I can’t imagine how you could use anything else since it was filled to the rim. Make sure you get that crust all the way up the sides. Next time, I think I am going to double the crust because I had trouble getting it to completely cover my pan.

I think it needs to chill longer than 2-3 hours. It wasn’t cold enough at that point in my opinion. Give it a good 5-6 hours.

This was fabulous. I’m going to try it with dark chocolate next time I think.

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17 Responses to John Barricelli and Me (and Choc Pie)

  1. sheryl says:

    Anything with the words “chocolate” and “cream” is too hard to resist. And with dark chocolate – my favorite – it’s healthy, too (right?) 🙂

  2. Merr says:

    Sounds like a winner to me!

  3. You had me at “graham cracker crust.”

  4. marthaandme says:

    Sigh. I know. And it’s got chocolate in the crust. Possibly the best crust I have ever eaten.

  5. Alene says:

    Sounds divine! I’m going to make it for my husband (not now though) cuz he’s a chocolate lover, esp. dark choc.

  6. Frugal Kiwi says:

    Wowza! Gotta put this one on my To Try List. I haven’t had chocolate cream pie since I lived in the Texas Hill Country.

  7. Yum yum yum yum. I’m coming to your house to eat this. If I make one of these, I’ll probably eat the ENTIRE thing…

  8. marthaandme says:

    Yes, that’s the problem with this. I need more people in this house who will eat chocolate. Mr. MarthaAndMe doesn’t like chocolate.

  9. marthaandme says:

    He will love you for it

  10. This is very dangerous. I love chocolate, pie…I’ve gotta make this.

  11. John says:

    pure indulgence. thank you for sharing the recipe!

  12. Chocolate pie – oh wow! American recipes are such fun, and I love all the pie recipes. I must give this a try. I’m always wondering if to buy the book but then I hesitate – should I put it on my Christmas list Brette?

  13. marthaandme says:

    Well, I’ve made three recipes from it so far. Two were really good and one was just awful. I have a list of maybe 2-3 more that I really want to make. There are a lot of things in it I would never do- like croissants. Too complicated for me. Would your library have it? That’s what I do when I am unsure. If you look at it on (it might not be on yet) you can look inside the book and see what it’s like.

  14. Stephanie - Wasabimon says:

    Oooh, I could make this without the crust, or perhaps use a nut-based raw crust that is gluten free. Yum!

  15. marthaandme says:

    A nut crust would be really good I think.

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