Thankful for Coolio. And Sweet Chocolate Potato Pie.

Here are the only two things I remember thinking after watching the movie Dangerous Minds: 1. I really wanted to be Michelle Pfeiffer’s student and 2. Gangster’s Paradise, the famed title track, made me want to be a rapper.

Alas, some 15 years later, I am still not a rapper. And I nearly forgot about Coolio (and to some degree, Michelle Pfeiffer) until stumbling upon him and his beaming smile on the (annoyingly) titled Rachel vs. Guy Celebrity Cook-Off on Food Network.

Coolio was featured making (or competing or whatever they do on this show…truth be told it is a little hard to watch and understand) Granny’s Old Fashioned Pudding Cake. The cake looked appetizing, but it was the Coolio vocab that had me hooked: “Seduce the batter”, “Make love with the lemon” and the like. Yup, I needed more Coolio in my life. Thankfully, he has a cookbook, Cooking with Coolio, to sate the hunger. Chapters are as you imagine: “It’s Hard Out Here for a Shrimp”, “Pasta like a Rasta” and many more. This is not Mastering the Art of French Cooking.

So, with Thanksgiving on the horizon and Coolio in my heart, I set out to make his Sweet Chocolate Potato Pie. I cranked up the Dangerous Minds soundtrack, turned on the oven and went about combining sweet potatoes and um….chocolate milk (Coolio’s a genius).

Truth be told, this pie is full of flavor, but it needs more chocolate. I would probably add about a half-cup of melted and cooled chocolate to the batter on the next go round. And I might recommend a chocolate flavor whipped cream topping (why not?). Regardless, I look forward to working through Coolio’s book. One can only hope that Michelle Pfeiffer is in the midst of publishing one soon.

Wishing you and yours a Happy Thanksgiving.

J-dawg, rapper

Sweet Chocolate Potato Pie

Recipe from Cooking with Coolio (with most of his verbiage intact)


1 – one pound sweet potato. unpeeled
1 stick unsalted butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup choc. milk
2 eggs
1 “dime” bag ground nutmeg (um, Tablespoon)
1 “dime” bag ground cinnamon (Tablespoon)
1 tsp. pure van. ext
1 9 ” pie crust, unbaked


1. Boil your sweet potato whole for 40-50 min, or until done. Dont undress its sexy sweetness – keep those skins on.
2. Preheat oven to 350 degree.
3. Run cold water over sweet potato. Seductively remove the skin.
4. Now, break apart the sweet potato into a bowl. Knead it slowly, gently, like you’re making love to this hot potato.
5. Add the butter and mix with hand mixer.
6. Stir in both sugars, choc milk, eggs, nutmeg, cinnamon, and vanilla extract. Beat on medium speed until the mixture is smooth.
7. Once you’ve beaten that mixture into submission, pour it into your unbaked pie crust.
8. Bake for 55- 60 minutes
9. Chill for 10 minutes