Light and airy, this Chocolate Chiffon pie is delicious. The fluffy texture, lightened with whipped egg whites and whipped cream, is like a decadent mousse. This recipe uses a Chocolate Nut Crust flavored with cinnamon, or substitute a Graham Cracker Crust or Chocolate Crumb Crust if you prefer.
Chocolate Chiffon Pie
Chocolate Nut Crust:
1 cup Chocolate Cookie crumbs, finely ground (Use a cookie such as Nabisco Famous Chocolate Wafers, or the chocolate cookie portion of Oreo cookies)
½ cup walnuts or pecans, finely chopped
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted
6 squares (1 ounce each) semisweet chocolate
1 square (1 ounce) unsweetened baking chocolate
1 cup milk (preferably whole milk)
1 envelope unflavored gelatin
2/3 cup granulated sugar, divided
2 large eggs, separated
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1½ cups whipping (heavy) cream
¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
Chocolate Nut Crust:
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- In a medium mixing bowl, combine cookie crumbs, nuts, sugar, cinnamon, and melted butter. Stir until thoroughly mixed.
- Pour the chocolate crumb mixture into a 9 inch pie pan. Using the back of a large spoon or the flat bottom of a measuring cup or drinking glass, press the crumb mixture firmly and evenly across the bottom and against the sides of the pie pan.
- Bake 10 minutes. The edges may be just slightly browned, but you do not want the edges or crust to over-brown. Remove from oven. Cool completely on a wire cooling rack.
- Chop the semisweet chocolate and unsweetened chocolate into small pieces. Set aside.
- Place the milk in the top of a double boiler. Sprinkle the gelatin over the milk. Let stand for about 5 minutes to soften.
- Set the top of the double boiler over simmering water. Add 1/3 cup of the sugar, the chopped chocolate, and egg yolks. Cook, stirring frequently with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon until the chocolate is melted, and the mixture is slightly thickened and reaches 160 to 170 degrees on an instant-read thermometer or candy thermometer, about 12 to 15 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in the vanilla extract.
Tip: Create a double boiler by filling a saucepan with 2 inches of water and bringing it to a simmer. Place a stainless steel, ceramic, or glass bowl on top of the simmering water, the upper pan should not touch the water.
- In a medium mixing bowl, whip the cream with an electric mixer until soft peaks form. Place in the refrigerator until ready to use.
- In another medium mixing bowl and using clean beaters, beat the egg whites with an electric mixer on low speed until foamy. Add the cream of tartar, increase the mixer speed to high and beat until soft peaks form. Gradually beat in the remaining 1/3 cup sugar and continue beating until stiff peaks form. Set the whipped egg whites aside. The egg whites should be used within 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, chill the cooked chocolate mixture by placing the bowl in a larger bowl of ice water. Stir occasionally for the first 10 minutes, and then stir frequently as the mixture begins to cool and thicken, about 10 minutes longer. Remove bowl from the ice water.
- After the chocolate mixture has cooled and thickened, immediately stir a large spoonful of the egg whites into the chocolate to lighten the mixture, and then fold the remaining egg whites in.
- Fold in the whipped cream until well incorporated, but leaving a few streaks of chocolate.
- Pour the mixture into the prepared pie crust and refrigerate until set, at least 3 to 4 hours. Serve chilled. Refrigerate leftovers.
Makes 6 to 8 servings.
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