French. Silk. Chocolate. Pie. These are four of the sexiest words in the English language, and sexy is the best single word I can think of to describe this decadent, classic dessert. Perhaps it's the way that billows of whipped cream and flirtatious chocolate curls coyly reveal just a hint of the luscious chocolate filling that lies beneath. Or the smooth, unctuous chocolate filling that eases the fork down into a flaky all-butter crust.
It's all about the chocolate, so be sure to select the best one possible. For a filling that is airy like a mousse but also dense like a truffle, you'll want to use chocolate with a cacao content in the 58-71% range. Anything higher won't contain enough fat to achieve the silky, creamy texture, and using milk chocolate (lower percentages) would cause you to lose the rich chocolate flavor and color.
Be sure to select a chocolate in the 58-71% cacao range for optimal texture, flavor, and appearance.
The secret to this pie's rich and airy texture is that it contains a sabayon foamy mixture of eggs and sugar that have been whisked over a double boiler until it reaches 160 degrees Fahrenheit. Do not worry if you need to go slow or frequently remove the bowl from the top of the double boiler to whisk away from the heat. Just be sure to whisk continuously, protect your hands from the heat, and check the temperature frequently as you go.
To make this pie at home, first click over here for a tutorial and recipe for making a fantastic and easy flaky pie crust (you'll only need a single crust for this pie).
This recipe was cross-tested in 2022 and updated to make the following adjustments to the filling: use whole eggs, remove the water, add softened unsalted butter and espresso powder, and change how the filling is assembled.
1 cup (237ml) heavy cream, chilled
3 large eggs (about 5 1/4 ounces; 150g)
3/4 cup sugar (about 5 1/4 ounces; 150g)
8 ounces (225g) bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped (about 1 1/3 cups)
1 teaspoon instant espresso powder, such as Medaglia D’Oro
1/2 cup unsalted butter (4 ounces; 115g), softened
One single pie crust, blind baked in a pie plate and cooled
Freshly whipped cream, for serving
Chocolate shavings, optional
Whip heavy cream and set aside in the fridge.
Whisk eggs, sugar, and salt together in a medium heatproof bowl. Set the bowl over a pot of simmering water; cook, whisking constantly, until the temperature reaches 160ºF (71ºC). Whisk in chocolate and espresso powder until melted, smooth, and combined. Remove from heat; cool 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter on medium speed until smooth and creamy, 1 to 2 minutes, stopping to scrape sides of bowl. Gradually add chocolate mixture, beating until combined and stopping to scrape sides of bowl as needed.
Stir a third of whipped cream into chocolate mixture until combined to lighten. Fold in remaining whipped cream in two additions until combined and no white or dark streaks remain.
Pour mixture directly into the cooled, blind-baked pie shell. Spread into an even layer using a small offset spatula. Chill the pie in the fridge for at least 4 hours or preferably overnight. Top with additional whipped cream and chocolate shavings right before serving.
stand mixer, double broiler
Use a knife dipped in warm water and wiped dry for clean slicing; be sure to clean the knife between each incision.
|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Servings: 8 to 10|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 42g||53%|
|Saturated Fat 23g||116%|
|Total Carbohydrate 41g||15%|
|Dietary Fiber 5g||17%|
|Total Sugars 18g|
|Vitamin C 0mg||1%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|