If you don’t like chocolate, stop reading right now. If you like “a little chocolate now and then,” go away. This recipe is for serious chocolate fiends only.
Imagine the darkest, richest truffle you’ve ever had. Now imagine taking more than a pound of the centers and pouring it into a pie shell. ‘Cause that’s about what this recipe is. This fall when it’s cooler, I’ll do my chocolate truffles and you’ll see how close the recipes are. Until then, trust me that this will be the most ridiculously rich chocolate pie you’ve ever tasted.
12 ounces bitter sweet or semi sweet chocolate
1-1/2 sticks butter
6 large egg whites
4 large egg yolks
3 tablespoons cocoa
1/3 cup sugar
pinch of salt
pinch cream of tartar
pre-baked pie crust
Before I get started, I wanted to mention this recipe was featured on the Lexiophiles 2009 International Recipe Advent Calendar. You can check that out for lots of other great holiday recipes.
Now on with the recipe …
Make a double boiler by bringing a half pan of water to a boil, turning the heat to low, and setting a large stainless bowl over it.
Even if you already have a double boiler, do it this way. You’ll be able to mix everything in this one bowl and save on clean-up.
Put the butter in the bowl, and once it’s melted add the chocolate, cocoa, sugar and salt.
Ingredient notes: I used half bittersweet and half semi-sweet chips, both Ghirardelli. You can find them in the baking section at some grocery stores. They’re the best domestic chocolate I’ve tried. (And I’m not saying that just because I’m a chocolate snob. Try them for yourself.)
And for the sugar, I decided to use raw instead of white. Just because I saw it in the cupboard and decided to give it a shot. More on this below.
While the chocolate melts, separate the eggs (see here for tips). If you’re thinking ahead, you’ll set aside the two extra yolks to make mayonnaise once you’re done with this. If you’re distracted, or just don’t feel like it, don’t feel bad about dumping them. Eggs are cheap. They’ll make more.
Start mixing the chocolate and butter together as soon as you see the chips start to melt.
If you’ve never melted chocolate before, you might want to separate the eggs first so you aren’t distracted. When the chocolate is completely melted, and the sugar and cocoa are incorporated, remove it from the heat and mix the yolks in one at a time.
Set the chocolate mixture aside and let it cool to room temperature. While it’s cooling, add the cream of tartar to the egg whites and beat until it forms stiff peaks.
For the first minute the egg whites will just foam up a little. Then all at once they’ll turn pure white and look like a whole different food.
Congratulations, you just made meringue. Add about a third of the meringue to the chocolate and mix it in. Then add the rest and fold it in gently.
Try not to deflate the eggs while folding. Once the meringue is completely incorporated, pour the mixture into a pre-baked pie crust.
Spread the chocolate evenly. If you’re fussy about this stuff (like I am), make sure the top looks nice.
Remember when I mentioned the raw sugar? You can see a little bit of a speckled texture on the surface. Because raw sugar isn’t ground as fine as refined white, it didn’t completely dissolve in the melted chocolate. Once it’s frozen, you’ll barely notice the difference. As it thaws you’ll notice a slight crispy granularity. Personally, I liked it, but if you’re expecting silky-smoothness you’d be better off using powdered sugar. I heard in a comment below that even refined white sugar still left a bit of graininess.
Freeze for at least two hours, four would be better. Cut with a very sharp knife, not a pie spatula. Serve with fresh whipped cream.
And that’s it.
Here I am making it on That’s Life with Robin Swoboda.
Want more like this? For more recipes like this, that you can hold right in your hands, and write on, take notes, tear pages out if you want (Gosh, you're tough on books, aren't you?) you might be interested in How To Cook Like Your Grandmother, 2nd edition, Illustrated. Or to learn your way around the kitchen, check out Starting From Scratch: The Owner's Manual for Your Kitchen.