Orange-Chocolate Silk Pie

What do you traditionally think of when you hear silk pie?  Could it be light and airy or satiny in texture?  Yes, that would be what comes to mind for most of us, however, this silk pie is intensely decadent, rich, dark and chocolaty.  Its texture is very similar to this flourless Nutella Cake and is deceiving in its name.  If you are craving a dark and dense chocolate dessert, this pie is what you should make.

Chocolate pie is perfect with a boozy twist because chocolate and certain liqueurs make exceptional pairings.  Grand Marnier is a classic combination added to chocolate with its subtle hint of orange, however, you can substitute your preferred liqueur in its place.  Try Amaretto for a traditional pairing of almonds and chocolate or Framboise for another exquisite flavor combination of raspberries and dark chocolate .

Combine this decadent chocolate mixture with the whipped eggs

Grand Marnier is the perfect liqueur to marry with dark chocolate

This recipe, from The Art and Soul of Baking (Cindy Mushet), satisfies any chocolate craving you could have.  This pie has an intensity and richness that suggests a dessert by another name and is not a traditional silk pie.   The combination of a crispy chocolate cookie crust, filling that resembles a dense, dark chocolate truffle topped with slightly sweetened whipped cream makes for an unforgettable dessert.

Use a homemade chocolate cookie crust for the pie

The filling tastes just like a dark chocolate truffle when chilled

Slightly sweetened fresh whipped cream is the perfect accompaniment to the rich chocolate

Use a high-quality chocolate since the star of this pie is the dark, luscious chocolate filling.  I chose Scharffen Berger’s Bittersweet Dark Chocolate.  This pie requires some refrigeration prior to serving, so you should make it earlier in the day and enjoy it that evening with guests for dessert.  This will be one chocolate pie that they will not soon forget.  That is, of course, If you want to share. 😉

Let the slices sit at room temperature a few minutes before serving to bring out the intense flavor of the chocolate

Orange-Chocolate Silk Pie

I would suggest cutting the slices for serving while the pie is well refrigerated, but then let the slices warm a bit to room temperature. It brings out the intensity of the chocolate.

Ingredients:

For chocolate cookie crust:
1 1/2 cups (7 ounces) finely ground chocolate cookie crumbs
1 tablespoon (1/2 ounce) sugar
3/4 stick (6 ounces) unsalted butter, melted

For pie filling:
3 large eggs, at room temperature
6 tablespoons (3 ounces) sugar
3/4 stick butter (3 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1/3 cup (2 3/4 ounces) heavy whipping cream
10 ounces bittersweet chocolate (up to 70 percent cacao), finely chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract (or 1 to 2 tablespoons liqueur - I used 2 tablespoons Grand Marnier)

For pie topping:
1 1/4 cup (10 ounces) heavy whipping cream
1 1/2 tablespoons (3/4 ounce) sugar

Dark chocolate curls or additional cookie crumbs, for garnish (I used shaved dark chocolate)

Directions:

For chocolate cookie crust:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and position an oven rack in the center. Put the cookie crumbs and the sugar in a medium bowl and stir well with a spatula to blend. Add the melted butter and stir until crumbs are evenly moistened. Transfer the buttered crumbs to a 9-inch pie dish or pan. Use the heel of your hand or the bottom of a drinking glass to press teh crumbs from the center outward into an even layer across the bottom of the pan. Use your thumbs to press the crumbs up the side of the pan and level them at the rim.

2. Bake 8 to 10 minutes, until lightly colored and fragrant. Transfer to a rack to cool completely.

For filling:
1. Bring 2 inches of water to a low boil over medium-low heat in a medium saucepan. Place the eggs and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer and whisk by hand to blend. Place the bowl over simmering water (the bottom of the bowl must not touch the water) and whisk constantly to prevent the eggs from scrambling. Heat mixture until mixture reaches 160 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer and the eggs look light in color and texture. (*To check the temperature, remove the bowl from the heat so the mixture doesn’t overcook while you are waiting for the temperature to register. If the mixture has not yet reached 160 degrees F, wash the thermometer so any possible bacteria will not contaminate the eggs during your next check - dry it, and put the bowl back over the water and continue to whisk. This step can take anywhere from 5 to 10 minutes. The more often you check the temperature, the longer it takes, so be patient.) When the eggs reach 160 degrees F, remove the bowl from the saucepan and beat on high for 3 minutes. Keep the burner on.

2. While the eggs are beating, place the butter, cream, and chocolate in a medium bowl and set the bowl in a saucepan over the simmering water. Let sit for 1 minute, then gently stir with a silicone or rubber spatula until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth. Remove from the heat and wipe the bottom of the bowl dry. Add the chocolate mixture to the eggs, lower the speed to medium, and beat until there are no streaks of egg visible. Scrape down the bowl and beat in the vanilla extract (or liqueur). Remove the bowl from the mixer and scrape down the side and bottom of the bowl., making sure that any streaks of egg and blended into the chocolate. Scrape the filling into the prepared pie crust and smooth the top. Refrigerate until cold, about 30 minutes.

For topping:
1. In a clean mixer bowl, whip the cream and sugar into firm peaks. You may also use a hand mixer in a medium bowl. Use a silicone or rubber spatula to scrape the cream into the center of the pie, then use an offset spatula or back of a spoon to spread it all the way to the edge, making swirls as you go. For a more elegant version, pipe the cream over the filling, using a 1/2 inch star tip fitted into a pastry bag (but increase the cream to 1 3/4 cups and sugar to 2 tablespoons, as piping requires more cream). Sprinkle the top with chocolate curls or a dusting of extra cookie crumbs. Refrigerate for 30 minutes before serving.

To serve, cut slices with a thin, sharp knife, wiping with a moist hot towel between slices.

Recipe courtesy of The Art & Soul of Baking
Cindy Mushet