Mocha Mystery


The mystery in this pie is the addition of chipotle powder, a spice made from ground smoked chipotle chiles. The chipotle powder pairs beautifully with chocolate and adds a slight, warm glow of heat. It’s not enough to say that the pie is “hot,” but the hint of smokiness combined with the chopped chocolate-covered espresso beans will make your guests wonder what the mystery ingredient is in this mocha pie. If you want to take the pie to the next level, see the Blue Ribbon Bonus that follows on how to make confectionery lace.



Cocoa Pastry Crust (this page), baked and cooled in a standard 9-inch pie plate 




Cream cheese, at room temperature2¼ 8-ounce packages18 ounces510 grams

Confectioners’ sugar¾ cup3 ounces85 grams

Sour cream, at room temperature3 tablespoons1.6 ounces45 grams

Coffee liqueur, such as Kahlúa2 tablespoons1.2 ounces34 grams

Vanilla extract1 teaspoon


Instant espresso powder2 teaspoons

Chipotle powder⅜ teaspoon

Semisweet chocolate, melted6 ounces170 grams

Chocolate-covered espresso beans, chopped½ cup3 ounces85 grams


Chocolate Ganache (this page), warm and pourable¾ recipe

MAKE THE MOCHA CHEESECAKE FILLING: Beat together the cream cheese and confectioners’ sugar with an electric mixer until smooth. Beat in the sour cream, coffee liqueur, vanilla, salt, espresso powder, chipotle powder, and melted chocolate until the mixture is creamy and uniform. 

Spread about 2 cups (11.5 ounces/325 grams) of the cheesecake mixture into the prepared pie crust. Sprinkle the chopped espresso beans over the filling and gently press them into the cheesecake layer to keep them in place. Smooth the remaining cheesecake mixture over the espresso beans. Refrigerate until cold, at least 1 hour and up to overnight. 

MAKE THE TOPPING: Spread the Chocolate Ganache over the top of the pie while still warm and pourable. Refrigerate until the ganache has set, about 2 hours before serving. (Store any leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. The chocolate-covered espresso beans will be less crunchy on the second day.) 

BLUE RIBBON BONUS: Confectionery Lace

The addition of white edible lace (see this page) adds a beautiful contrast to the dark chocolate glaze and crust. To make the edible lace, prepare confectionery lace mix (this page)according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Spread the prepared confectionery lace mix onto a silicone lace mat (this page) with a design at least 8½ inches square. Allow the mix to set according to the manufacturer’s instructions. When set, remove the decoration from the mat and use a clean pair of scissors to cut the lace to an 8½-inch circle. Keep the lace round covered in a sealed zippered storage bag to prevent it from drying out while preparing the pie. Place the lace round on top of the chocolate ganache topping immediately (but carefully!) after spreading it over the top of the pie.

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