• Heaven in a Pan

    Posted on May 29, 2012 by Victoria in Food We've Made, We Did It!.

    We were trying to come up with a good name for this recipe and someone suggested it looked like another recipe with a name I prefer not to say. After a lot of thought I thought Heaven in a Pan was a perfect name for this dessert.  My mom and I made up the recipe and I’ll warn you now (before you start calling me Paula Deen) that this is a special occasion recipe. Eating a lot of it will make you fat. Eating it everyday may give you diabetes. You’ve been warned. The good news is it’s very rich and you really can’t eat very much of it at once.

    A slice of Heaven in a Pan

    Here's a slice of Heaven in a Pan on a plate I inherited from my great mamaw.


    What you’re looking at there is a layer of pecan and graham cracker crust, a layer of dark chocolate ganache, a layer of cinnamon chocolate mousse, a layer of whipped cream, and a sprinkling of pecans. Yum.

    My mom and I made up this recipe. It is really forgiving. The only part that really matters is you have to have equal oz of dark chocolate and heavy whipping cream when you make the ganache.  The rest of it you can play with–even add your own style!

    Let’s start with the crust:

    • 1 cup chopped pecans
    • 1/2 cup butter, melted
    • 1/2 cup flour
    • 1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs
    1. Preheat oven to 350 F
    2. Take a bowl (you can mix in a mixer if you like) throw in all the ingredients and mix with a wooden spoon until it looks good. You can also use a food processor if you don’t mind cleaning it up it would also chop up your nuts really fine.
    3. Pat your crust down into the bottom of a 9×13 pan and bake it for a good 15 minutes or so.  After this you can turn off your oven because you’re done with it.
    Heaven in a Pan Crust

    Here's the crust after we baked it. We left our pecans large.


    Next comes the ganache. My mom usually does this part, but basically you’re going to need equal amount in oz of dark chocolate (she uses Ghiradelli chips) and heavy whipping cream (she uses Dean’s in the brown carton).  It’s really easy to make.  We use the Rose Levy Beranbaum method. Very fast.

    1. Chop up the chocolate chips with a food processor until it is very powdery and fine.
    2. Heat up the heavy whipping cream in a heavy pot until it just begins to boil.
    3. With the food processor running, pour the heavy whipping cream into the food processor and whirl it up for a few seconds.  Now your ganache is ready to use.  Ta Da!
    Ganache right after the mixing is finished

    Here's what your ganache looks like once you are done processing it.

    Pour half of your ganache into your pan.  Pour the other half into a bowl for later and put it in the fridge.


    Ganache in a pan

    Here is what it looks like after you've poured in the ganache.

    Put your pan in the fridge and now we’ll move on to the other layers.

    Whipped Cream

    • 1 qt ultra-pasteurized heavy whipping cream
    • sugar to taste
    1. Pour the heavy whipping cream into a large mixing bowl. For the next part you can whisk it by hand or with an electric mixer. I usually like to make it by hand using an old hand tool that my great mamaw gave us. It looks like this one.  But sometimes I use the big KitchenAid mixer.
    2. Whisk until it starts to thicken up and gets soft peaks.  Then add your sugar. It doesn’t take a lot of sugar so just add it a couple of tablespoons at a time until you think it tastes good.
    3. Continue to whisk it until it gets really really firm.  Your whipped cream grows in size and then shrinks in size as you keep whipping it. This makes a good strong whipped cream that will stand up to anything you throw at it.
    4. Set aside somewhere between 1/3 and 1/2 of the whipping cream for later use. We did less than 1/3 and it wasn’t enough.
    Whipped Cream

    Set aside a bit of the whipping cream for later use


    Cinnamon Chocolate Mousse Layer

    • Leftover ganache from earlier
    • 1/2-2/3 of the whipped cream from above
    • Saigon cinnamon to taste

    Put the ganache, whipped cream and cinnamon in a mixing bowl and mix it up until it looks like mousse. I use the KitchenAid for this one because it makes it quick.

    Chocolate mousse

    Mix it all together and out comes this!


    Take a big rubber spatula and pop this mousse on top of your ganache layer.

    Heaven in a Pan with Mousse on it

    Here's your dessert with the mousse on it.


    Hold on there.  We’re almost done. Don’t eat the screen yet!

    Now you’re going to add your whipped cream for the final layer. You can pipe or smear this on. We piped and it took more than we thought it would.

    Heaven in a Pan

    Heaven in a Pan!


    Finally you can sprinkle some pecans on top and if you want more flavor you can do my cinnamon trick that looks so pretty.  Sprinkle some cinnamon on top of the whipped cream and then blow lightly over it to spread.  It makes for a beautiful effect.  :)


    Enjoy my recipe.  I hope you try it. Best of luck to you.

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5 Responses so far.

  1. küchenmaschine getreidemühle says:

    I like this post, enjoyed this one thankyou for posting .

  2. Alicia Menlove says:

    This is fantastic and inspirational!

  3. Sammy Naidu says:

    I simply want to say I am newbie to weblog and truly savored this web blog. Probably I’m going to bookmark your site . You actually have awesome writings. Thanks for sharing your web-site.

  4. landon says:

    its called something different actually i make it

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