Oh yes we did! We improved French Silk Chocolate Pie - chocolate lovers rejoice!
Classic French Silk Pie has been a family favorite for as long as I can remember - the creamy, dreamy rich chocolate filling, topped with fresh whipped cream and dark chocolate curls - all sitting rather elegantly in a delicate buttery light crust. This is for my girls – all of you!
I first had this at Poppin' Fresh Pies - and later Baker's Square. Back in the day my sister and I would stop here after choir practice, and enjoy a cup of delicious creamy chicken soup, ALWAYS followed up with a slice of French Silk Pie. Good memories indeed!
The one thing that bothered me about this pie (and it certainly wasn't the calories - this is worth every one of them) was the raw eggs. Even using pasturized eggs or egg product didn't give me any sense of food safety.
And then there was this...a crazy method of cooking the sugar and eggs into a delicate syrup, slowly adding in chopped dark chocolate, and then beating until light and fluffy.
The butter is then added, a piece at a time, and it is whipped into a glossy sheen. Fresh whipping cream is added to dark cocoa powder and whipped into chocolate clouds, which is then folded into the chocolate silk filling. So rich, so light, so fluffy....it just melts on your tongue.
If you are in a hurry, you can always substitute a refrigerated pie crust. We have made this in both pie plates and tart pans - and you can also serve the French Silk Chocolate filling all by itself in individual glass parfait dishes as small individual desserts - garnish with some fresh whipped cream and your favorite sprinkles or chocolate curls.
Chocolate heaven! Hope that you enjoy as much as we do!
For the Pie Crust:
1¼ cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled, cut into ¼-inch slices
¼ cup solid vegetable shortening, chilled, cut into 2 pieces
2 tablespoons vodka, chilled
2 tablespoons ice water
For the Filling:
1-1/4 cups heavy cream
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
8 ounces bittersweet Ghirardelli) chocolate, finely chopped
3 large eggs
¾ cup granulated sugar
¼ cup light brown sugar (packed)
¼ tsp salt
2 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
8 tablespoons unsalted butter (room temperature)
For the Topping:
2-1/2 cups heavy cream
5 tablespoons granulated sugar
4 ounces bittersweet Ghirardelli) chocolate bar (curled with vegetable peeler or finely chopped)
HOW I MAKE THIS:
1. Make the Crust: Process ¾ cups flour, salt, and sugar together in food processor until combined, about 2 one-second pulses. Add butter and shortening and process for 10 seconds (dough will resemble cottage cheese curds with some very small pieces of butter remaining, but there should be no uncoated flour). Scrape down sides and bottom of bowl with a rubber spatula and redistribute dough evenly around processor blade. Add remaining ½ cup flour and pulse until mixture is evenly distributed around bowl and mass of dough has been broken up, 4 to 6 quick pulses. Empty mixture into medium bowl.
2. Sprinkle vodka and water over mixture. With rubber spatula, use folding motion to mix, pressing down on dough until dough is slightly tacky and sticks together. Flatten dough into 4-inch disk. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 45 minutes (or up to 2 days).
3. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. On a floured work surface, roll the dough into a 12-inch circle. Transfer the dough to a 9-inch pie plate and gently ease the dough into the pie plate. Leave any dough that overhangs the plate in place, wrap the dough-lined pie plate loosely in plastic wrap and refrigerate until the dough is firm, about 30 minutes.
4. Trim the overhang to ½-inch beyond the lip of the pie plate. Tuck the overhang under itself (the folded edge should be flush with the edge of the pie plate). Crimp the dough around the edges. Wrap the dough-lined pie plate loosely in the plastic and refrigerate until the dough is fully chilled and firm, about 15 minutes.
5. Line the chilled pie shell with a double layer of aluminum foil, being sure to cover the edges as well, and fill with pie weights. Bake until the pie dough looks dry and is pale in color, about 15 minutes. Remove the foil and the weights and continue to bake until the crust is a deep golden brown, 8 to 12 minutes longer. Transfer the pie plate to a wire rack and let the crust cool completely.
6. Make the Filling: Pour the heavy cream into a large mixing bowl and whip on medium-low speed until foamy, about 1 minute. Slowly add in cocoa powder and 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar. Increase the speed to medium-high and continue to whip until stiff peaks form, 2 to 4 minutes. Transfer the whipped cream to a small bowl and refrigerate.
7. In a large, heatproof bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar and water. Beat the mixture on medium speed until pale yellow and thick, about 5 minutes. Set the bowl over a medium saucepan filled ½-inch of barely simmering water over low heat, and warm the mixture, stirring occasionally, until it reaches 160 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer (about 7 minutes).
8. Remove the bowl from the heat and add finely chopped dark chocolate piece and vanilla and beat the mixture on medium speed until it is light and fluffy and cooled to room temperature (about 8 minutes).
9. Beat in the butter, a few pieces at a time, until well combined. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the whipped cream until no white streaks remain. Scrape the filling into the pie shell and gently smooth top. Cover with a tinfoil tent (sealing foil around the edges) and chill at least 3 hours or up to 24 hours.
10. Make the Topping: Before serving, in a mixing bowl whip 2-1/2 cups heavy cream until soft peaks form. Add in granulated sugar and whip until stiff peaks form. Spread over set pie and garnish with chocolate curls or finely chopped dark chocolate.
11. Leftovers should be stored in the refrigerator, covered, for up to 3 days - as if it would ever last that long!
YIELD: 8 Servings
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