This is one of my all-time favorite desserts. I think I just really love chocolate because my other favorite dessert is French Silk Pie, which is a fluffy chocolate pie very similar to this one that my mom used to make for holidays and was my birthday request almost every year growing up. I will get to that recipe on here one of these days but this one is amazing as well. It is for the chocolate lover. It is intense, creamy and decadent. Cookie crust, topping with a think almost pudding-like filling and then topped with a sweet, vanilla whipped topping and finely sprinkled with more cookie crumbs. This one never lasts long in my fridge… It is very dangerous for me to have around but I can’t help but make it at least a couple of times a year. Try it and you will see exactly what I mean!
The base of this pie is a home-made Oreo crust. I implore you to make your own and not buy a pre-made one because the difference is huge. The texture and flavor of a homemade one is leagues better and they are quite easy to make. I don’t even need a recipe when making one any more, they are just a very simple way to make a superior pie. The other great thing is that once you learn this technique, you can get really creative with making bases for your pies and cheesecakes. You can substitute any sandwich cookies you like. If you choose to use graham crackers or another cookie that isn’t very sweet instead, just be sure to add a couple tablespoons of sugar to the crumbs. Another note on this crust, I add a bit of espresso powder to it which accentuates the chocolate flavor. You won’t taste coffee at all; espresso powder just makes chocolate (especially dark chocolate) taste more chocolaty. Just don’t add more than called for unless you want a bit of coffee flavor.
The filling is a bit of a process to make, I will admit but none of it is difficult. Many chocolate silk pie or french silk pie recipes contain raw eggs which many people are opposed to, even though eggs these days must live up to quite rigorous health standards so there is really little to fear from them. But you don’t have to worry about that in this one since the eggs are cooked. The chocolate is then melted with butter and heavy cream and then the ingredients are combines to give a luxurious and silky filling that firms up upon chilling. The chocolate filling is never baked so the chocolate flavors will really shine through. This is the perfect dessert to showcase your favorite chocolate in. I normally use a 62% bittersweet dark chocolate for this (from Ghiradelli) which is amazing. Don’t use run-of-the-mill store brand chocolate chips if you can help it (unless those are your favorite for some reason) because the quality of the chocolate you use in this recipe will really make a difference. I think dark chocolate takes this to a whole other level (use up to 70% cocoa but not higher or the texture of your filling may be grainy. If you insist on using a higher % you may need to add a bit more cream as you melt the chocolate to achieve a perfectly smooth texture). Use milk chocolate or semi-sweet if you prefer though. Another note, when you have melted your chocolate over the double burner take care not to allow any steam or water to get in the bowl or you filling could seize up. You also want to make sure your chocolate isn’t super hot when you add it to your eggs or they could scramble. I usually heat mine just enough to melt but if yours gets too hot, simply let it cool for a few minutes before adding it to the eggs.
This recipe is based up “Chocolate Silk Pie” in one of my favorite cook books: The Art and Soul of Baking by Sur La Table. I know I’ve mentioned that book before as some of my other favorite recipes like Bittersweet Fudge Brownies come out of it! Check it out, it’s awesome! This is my favorite recipe out of it to date, however! 😀
Chocolate Sandwich Cookie Crust
- 24 chocolate sandwich cookies (Oreos or whatever brand you like)
- 6 tbsp. unsalted, melted butter
- Pinch of fine kosher or sea salt
- ¼ tsp. espresso powder (optional but it really brings out the chocolate flavor in the crust without actually adding any coffee flavor)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
- Pulse cookies in a food processor to make crumbs
- Add melted butter
- Add the salt and espresso powder (if using) and run until fully incorporated
- Dump into a greased spring-form pan or pie pan (depending on your recipe)
- Press evenly into the bottom and up the sides of your pan (half-way up if using a spring form pan, all the way to the edge for a pie pan) using your hand and/or a flat-bottomed glass
- Bake 5-8 minutes or until just set, it may not look quite down but take it out anyway as the crust will shrink up if you bake it too long. If the edges have shrunk down, press them back up gently after allowing the crust to cool for a few minutes (so you don’t burn yourself)
- Allow to cool while you prepare your filling
Chocolate Silk Pie
(from The Art and Soul of Baking by Sur la table)
Ingredients for the filling:
- 1 chocolate sandwich crust
- 3 large eggs
- 6 tbsp. (3 ounces) granulated white sugar
- ¾ stick (3 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
- 1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
- 10 ounces bittersweet chocolate (up to 70% cocoa), finely chopped
- 1 ½ tsp. pure vanilla extract
Ingredients for the topping:
- 1 ¼ cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 ½ tbsp. granulated white sugar
- Finely crushed Oreo crumbs (leftover from the crust- add one extra cookies when making the crumbs for the crust), optional
- Make the filling: Bring 2 inches of water to a low boil over medium-low heat in the medium saucepan
- Place the eggs and sugar in the bowl of the stand mixer and whisk by hand to blend
- Place the bowl over the simmering water (the bottom of the bowl must not touch the water) and whisk constantly to prevent the eggs from scrambling
- Heat until the mixture reaches 160°F on the 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 thermometer to register. If the mixture has not yet reached 160°F, wash the thermometer-so any possible bacteria will not contaminate the eggs during your next check-dry it, and then 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°F, remove the bowl from the saucepan (keep burner on) and beat on high speed with your stand mixer for 3 minutes.
- While the eggs are beating, place the butter, cream, and chocolate in a medium bowl and set the bowl in the saucepan over the simmering water.
- Let it sit for 1 minute, then gently stir with the silicone or rubber spatula until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth. Keep it over the simmer water if necessary to ensure that the chocolate is all fully melted but do not overheat it or allow any moisture to enter the bowl.
- 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.
- Remove the bowl from the mixer and scrape down the side and bottom of the bowl, making sure that any streaks of egg are blended into the chocolate.
- Scrape the filling into the prepared pie crust and smooth the top. Refrigerate until cold, about 30 minutes.
- Make the topping: In the cleaned mixer bowl, whip the cream and sugar into firm peaks. You may also use a hand mixer and a medium bowl.
- Use the silicone or rubber spatula to scrape the cream into the center of the pie, then use the 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 ½-inch star tip fitted into a pastry bag.
- Cover as much or as little of the pie with the filling as you like. I like to allow some chocolate to show through. Sprinkle the top with chocolate cookie crumbs if desired.
- Refrigerate for 30 minutes before serving.
- To serve, cut slices with a thin, sharp knife, wiping with a moist, hot towel between slices.
- The pie will keep, refrigerated, for up to 5 days, though the whipped cream topping may begin to break down after a day or two depending upon the fat content of the cream (a higher fat content stabilizes the cream). Store in an airtight container or cover loosely with plastic wrap so the cream won’t absorb odors from the refrigerator.