By Request

Betty Shimabukuro

Reader craves
restaurant’s toffee pie

Toffee is a hard candy made with butter and sugar, often paired with chocolate and nuts for a winning combination of softness, richness and crunch (think of a Health candy bar).

A Chocolate Coffee-Toffee Pie replicates the flavor, if not the texture, through a creamy filling of butter, sugar and melted chocolate, with coffee stirred in for good measure.

It was a favorite of Alohalani Boido when it was served at the Yum Yum Tree.

"The pie crust had finely ground bits of nuts and chocolate in it, and was crunchy," she recalls. "The filling was a cold choco/coffee cream, and there was a coffee-flavored swirled topping. Altogether, very rich."

Yum Yum Tree no longer serves this pie, but it is a classic and lots of recipes are available from that virtual recipe box, the Internet.

One warning: This crust can be very difficult to dig out of the pie pan, so grease very well. You could also simplify matters by substituting a standard graham cracker crust.

Or, dispense with a crust altogether -- the filling is so good it could be served alone as a mousse. But note that the filling contains two raw eggs. To limit the risk of salmonella, the pie should be kept well-chilled. Use care if serving the dish to anyone at particular risk (very young children, the elderly or those with compromised immune systems).

Chocolate Coffee-Toffee Pie

>> Crust:
1 cup flour
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
1/4 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
1 ounce (1 square) unsweetened chocolate, grated
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons water
3/4 cup finely chopped walnuts or pecans

>> Filling
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons powdered instant coffee
1 ounce (1 square) unsweetened chocolate, melted
2 eggs

>> Topping:
2 cups whipping cream
1/4 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons instant coffee or 2 tablespoons coffee liqueur (Kahlua, Tia Maria, etc.)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease a 9-inch pie pan very well.

To make crust: Combine flour, butter, brown sugar and chocolate using a pastry cutter or by hand. Add vanilla, water and nuts. Use hands to mix dough until it holds together in a ball. Add a few drops more water if necessary. Press dough into pie pan by hand. Prick all over with a fork. Bake 15 minutes. Cool.

To make filling: Beat butter on high speed until fluffy. Gradually beat in sugar. Beat in instant coffee and melted chocolate. Add 1 egg; beat on high speed 5 minutes. Add second egg and beat 5 more minutes. Spread filling in cooled pie shell. Cover and refrigerate several hours, until firm.

To make topping: Beat cream at high speed until peaks form. Stir in sugar and coffee and beat until stiff. Spread over chilled pie and refrigerate 1 hour before serving.

Nutritional information unavailable.

See the Columnists section for some past articles.

Send queries along with name and phone number to:
"By Request," Honolulu Star-Bulletin,
500 Ala Moana, No. 7-210, Honolulu 96813.
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Asterisk (*) after nutritional analyses in the
Body & Soul section indicates calculations by Joannie Dobbs of Exploring New Concepts,
a nutritional consulting firm.

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