This is an old Mid-South dessert that has been wildly popular with our family, friends, fellow parishioners, and crowds for generations. We have added rice grits for nuanced texture, dark chocolate, almond flavoring, and Bailey’s. Persistent consumption of this delight of a dessert will lead to a seismic shift in your girth.
INGREDIENTS FOR CRUST
1½ cups Delta Belle or Missimati Fragrant Rice Flour
1½ sticks butter, softened to room temperature
½ cup pecans, chopped
INGREDIENTS FOR CREAM CHEESE GRITS LAYER
16 ounces cream cheese, softened to room temperature
½ cup Mississippi Middlins Original Rice Grits
1 tbsp butter for cooking grits
1 ½ cup powdered confectioners sugar
½ cup homemade whipped cream (or store version)
1 tbsp almond extract
INGREDIENTS FOR PUDDING (can use boxed, homemade preferred)
5 ounces bitter dark chocolate
4 tbsp cocoa powder
4 tbsp Delta Belle or Missimati Fragrant Rice Flour
¼ tsp salt
3 cups sweet milk
½ cup heavy cream
½ cup sugar, granulated
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 egg yolks, soft beaten
2 tbsp butter
¼ cup Bailey’s Irish Cream (optional)
INGREDIENTS FOR TOPPING
2 ½ cups whipped topping
½ cup pecans, chopped, salted and toasted
1 ounce bitter dark chocolate, grated or chopped in very small pieces
The 4 layers are to be assimilated when they are cool, so this requires planning ahead.
CRUST. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Knead together rice flour and butter, then stir in pecans and blend well. Spread uniformly into bottom of 9 x 13 baking dish, lightly patting to firmness. Bake until light brown, about 20 minutes. Set aside to cool.
CREAM CHEESE GRITS LAYER. In medium saucepan, bring 1 cup water butter to boil. Add grits, cover, and cook for 10 minutes. Remove from heat, stir once, and set aside to cool. In medium mixing bowl, cut cream cheese, then blend in powdered confectioners sugar and blend until smooth. Blend in almond extract. Blend in rice grits until smooth then gently blend in whipped cream and set aside.
PUDDING. In small mixing bowl, whisk together cocoa powder, salt, and rice flour. Add cream, egg yolks, and vanilla and mix well. Meanwhile, in medium saucepan, bring sweet milk and butter to slow boil. Add sugar, stirring until dissolved. Take ½ cup of hot milk and slowly add to egg, cream, and cocoa mix, stirring quickly so that eggs don’t cook. Add this back into saucepan containing balance of hot milk, stirring quickly. Add the 5 ounces of dark bittersweet chocolate, stirring with a whisk until uniform dark color and thickened. If Bailey’s Irish Cream is preferred, add now, blend well, and set aside to cool.
ASSEMBLY. Into the 9 x 13 baking dish with containing cooled crust, uniformly spread the Cream Cheese Grits mix. Atop that, uniformly spread the Chocolate Pudding. Atop that, uniformly spread the whipped topping, then garnish with the grated dark chocolate, then the toasted pecans. Chill for at least 1 hour, and prepare for a fault-line at the refrigerator door.