Earn Valentine’s Day points with a homemade chocolate fudge pie

With Valentine's Day just around the corner, thoughts often turn to chocolate. Beautiful bonbons, heart-shaped boxes of chocolate, chocolate-covered cherries ... those are just a few of the chocolate yummies that come into our lives this time of year.

(READ MORE: Chattanooga chocolatiers can make your Valentine's Day a little sweeter)

Consider, though, a chocolate fudge pie for a change — a chocolatey confection that's sure to melt your chocoholic Valentine's heart.

One thing I particularly like about this fudge pie, one that I've been making for decades now, is that it calls for cocoa rather than a bar of chocolate. I always have cocoa in my pantry, but usually use up chocolate bars and only buy them when I need them for a recipe. Cocoa, on the other hand, will last for quite some time because most recipes don't use a lot of it, and the containers that you buy hold quite a bit. This recipe calls for just 1/3 cup of cocoa.

I wish I could remember what cookbook I found this in, but back in the early days of smartphones, I took a photo of the recipe and added it to my online scrapbook of recipes. I'm sure, however, it was one of those locally generated cookbooks from a church or community club, the kind that have recipes that are all tried-and-true. This one certainly is.

(READ MORE: Chattanooga-area bakeries staying busy with king cakes for Mardi Gras, love confections for Valentine's Day)

I've made this with a stand mixer, and before that, a hand mixer, and even a whisk. It's such a simple pie to make and one that will reward you with smiles all around. Top it with some freshly whipped cream, and you may even get a kiss. Happy Valentine's Day.

Chocolate Fudge Pie

3/4 cup unsalted butter

1 1/2 cups sugar

1/3 cup flour

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup cocoa

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

3 eggs

1 (9-inch) pie shell

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Melt the butter in a large microwavable bowl. Let cool for a few minutes, then add sugar, using a hand mixer or whisk to help dissolve the sugar. The mixture will appear grainy, but that's OK. It will smooth out when baking.

Add flour, salt, cocoa, vanilla extract and eggs to the sugar mixture, and beat or whisk until the batter is smooth. Pour the batter into the pie shell, and bake for 35-40 minutes or until the center is almost set. Remove pie from oven, and place on cooling rack. The top will have a bit of a crust and there may be a few cracks in it, which is fine and can be covered up with a dollop of sweet whipped cream.


The Fresh Market, 2288 Gunbarrel Road, is offering several Super Saturday deals to help football fans prepare for Sunday's big game. Among the markdowns are premium-choice whole beef tenderloin for $15 per pound (a savings of $5 per pound), jumbo cocktail shrimp for $10 (a savings of $7 per pound) and wild snow crab leg clusters for $8 per pound (a savings of $10 per pound). If guacamole is a must-have for your get-togethers, the house-made guac will be available for $8 a pound, or make your own with avocadoes priced at four for $5. Learn more at thefreshmarket.com.


 Newk's, 2380 Lifestyle Way at Hamilton Place, is celebrating its 20th birthday with a special Extra With Every Bite promotion through March 26.

The promotion features old-school menu items that have returned for a limited time, such as The Royal Sandwich featuring roast beef, turkey and ham. It's an ingenious combination of flavors that is kind of a marriage between an Italian and a club sandwich. It's absolutely divine, and one I've put near the top of my favorite sandwiches. Also on the special menu are The Debra Pizza, featuring pesto sauce and chicken, and the Chili Taco Salad, another winning combination of flavors that's topped with Newk's Beef Chili. Each item on this limited-time-only menu costs about $11.

In addition, the Newk's 20-Year Giveaway promotion will have six lucky Newk's Rewards members winning Newk's for a year. Each entrant must be a Newk's Rewards member and purchase one entree and one fountain drink by March 26. A random drawing has already determined the first two winners, and two more will be chosen on Feb. 29 and again on March 26. More details and official rules on newks.com/rewards where you can also sign up to be a Newk's Rewards member.

 Firebird's Wood-Fired Grill has introduced a new seasonal starter, five new seasonal entrees, one seasonal dessert and a cotton candy-based seasonal cocktail to the menu through Feb. 28.

Not only will you feast on amazing steaks and seafood, you can also enjoy:

› The Wedge Salad, a big slice of iceberg lettuce with applewood-smoked bacon, tomatoes, onion rings, candied bacon and bleu cheese dressing.

› Jumbo lump crab cakes with spring greens, black bean corn salsa, tomatoes, avocados, crisp tortillas and chipotle ranch chipotle ranch dressing (served at lunch only).

› The shaved roast beef grilled cheese served with creamy tomato soup (lunch only).

› Honey garlic glazed grilled salmon served with a seasonal grains pilaf and charred corn salsa.

› The fillet and grilled lobster served with yum-yum sauce and a side (dinner only).

› Seasonal grain salad and champagne butter sauce (dinner only).

› For dessert, bread pudding with caramel sauce, cinnamon crisps, spiced pecans and vanilla bean ice cream.

› Wash it all down with the Melt My Heart cocktail. It's a mixture of Grey Goose vodka with Tuaca liqueur and lemon juice poured over strawberry cotton candy.

Firebirds is in the Hamilton Place area at 2107 Gunbarrel Road.

Contact Anne Braly at abraly@timesfreepress.com or annebraly.com.

  photo  Anne Braly

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