PIE-A-DAY #41

This recipe comes to us from Roxana Jullapat, the Executive Pastry Chef at Ammo here in Los Angeles.

Chocolate Silk Pie is often confused with Chocolate Chiffon Pie – which is light and airy – or Chocolate Cream Pie – which is rich and pudding-like – but a true Chocolate Silk Pie stands in a category of its own. What makes it so unique is that its silky and smooth filling is intensely decadent without the addition of foamy ingredients such as whipped eggs whites or heavy cream. As a matter of fact, it is of upmost importance that as you combine all the ingredients you avoid incorporating too much air in the process. One of the coolest attributes of this pie is that, as with many chilled pies, it can be prepared up two weeks in advance and kept fresh by wrapping it tightly and storing it in the refrigerator – just be sure to let it come to temperature an hour or two before serving.

Keep reading for the recipe…

Chocolate Silk Pie

For the chocolate cookie crust:
4 ounces unsalted butter, cut into one-inch chunks
1 cup granulated sugar
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon kosher salt1 teaspoon vanilla extract1 extra large egg
6 tablespoons Dutch-processed cocoa powder
1 cup all purpose flour
1 tablespoon melted unsalted butter

For the chocolate silk filling:
5 ounces milk chocolate, cut into chunky pieces
3.5 ounces semisweet chocolate, cut into chunky pieces
2 extra large eggs
½ cup granulated sugar
3 ounces unsalted butter, at room temperature
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch of kosher salt

For the whipped cream topping:
1 ½ cups heavy cream
¼ cup crème fraîche or sour cream
2 tablespoons powdered sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
Cocoa powder for dusting (optional)

To make the crust:
Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and preheat the oven to 350° F.
In the electric mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter with the sugar at medium speed for about 3 minutes or until light and fluffy. Add the baking soda, salt and vanilla extract and mix until combined. Add the egg and mix further. Clean the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula.

Lastly add the cocoa powder and flour and mix at low speed until the dough looks like a uniform mass. The dough will be soft and sticky. Use a small ice cream scoop to portion the dough into small balls and place them directly on a cookie sheet about 2 inches apart from each other. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until the cookies have spread considerably and look dark and opaque on the surface.If they look shiny in the center, they will need to bake a few minutes longer. Let them cool completely and remove from the cookie sheet. You will probably need to bake the cookies in batches. Don’t worry too much if the cookies touch each other while baking or if they are not perfectly round because eventually they are going to become cookie crumbs.

When the cookies are completely cool, break them into pieces and pulse them in the food processor until finely ground. Put the cookie grounds in a bowl and drizzle them with the melted butter. Combine thoroughly with your hands until all the grounds feel evenly moistened. Sprinkle 1 ½ to 2 cups of these crumbs in a 9-inch pie tin, and use the bottom of a glass to press them into a crust, making sure that the crust evenly covers the entire bottom and sides of the tin (Save leftover cookie crumbs in an airtight container in the refrigerator or freezer to use later; they will keep for months).

Refrigerate for 20 minutes. Then bake for 7 to 10 minutes, or until the chocolate crumbs start to smell toasty. Remove from the oven and place on a cooling rack. Once the crust is completely cool you’re ready to make the filling.

To make the chocolate silk filling: Put the chocolate pieces in a heatproof bowl, set it over a pot of barely simmering water (making sure the bottom of the bowl doesn’t touch the water). Remove the bowl from the heat when all the chocolate pieces are melted and set aside to cool but don’t get rid of the pot. Put the eggs and sugar in another heatproof bowl and place it over the simmering water. Beat vigorously with a wire whisk to encourage the sugar to dissolve. Since the filling will not be baked, this step will make the eggs safe to eat. The mixture will be ready when all the sugar is dissolved and the eggs are lukewarm –rub a bit of the mixture in between your thumb and index finger, you shouldn’t be able to feel any sugar granules. Remove eggs from the heat.

In the electric mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter with the vanilla and salt for about a minute or until nice and soft. With the mixer running at medium speed, slowly add the egg mixture allowing it to combine thoroughly into the butter. With a rubber spatula, fold in the cooled chocolate with assertive strokes. Pour the filling into the crust and refrigerate for at least one hour. If you wish to save the pie for a later date (pie will keep for up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator), wrap tightly withplastic film.

To make the whipped cream topping:
Remove the pie from the refrigerator one or two hours before serving.

In the electric mixer, fitted with the wire whisk attachment, beat the cream, crèmefraîche, powdered sugar and vanilla extract on medium to high speed until it forms soft peaks. Spoon cream generously over the pie and decorate with a light dusting of cocoa powder if desired. Enjoy!

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