Ten Desserts for the Budget-Conscious
Chocolate Pecan Pie from Smoke Berkeley
East Bay Express, March 28, 2012. By Luke Tsai.
There aren’t a ton of dessert options at Smoke Berkeley, the Texas-style barbecue joint that opened a few months ago on San Pablo Avenue. But Chef Tina Ferguson-Riffe won’t hesitate to tell you about the blue ribbons her pies have won at Texas state fairs, and once you taste her chocolate pecan pie ($3.50 a slice) you’ll understand why.
Smoke’s version is more like a slightly oozy fudge brownie — complete with the crackly top and chock full of pecans — than a typical pecan pie. It’s delicious, but definitely different.
According to Ferguson-Riffe, a traditional pecan pie is loaded with light and dark corn syrups — hers isn’t, which is why it doesn’t have the sticky, gooey consistency people associate with the dessert. She also ups the ante by using high-quality Callebaut dark chocolate, from Belgium.