Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Chocolate Mousse Pie

In preparation for vacation, I have been powering through some Maida Heatter recipes, and we seem to be eating our fair share of yummy stuff. This week I've already made this pie and the last (sniff!) brownie on the rotation, and I have everything ready to go to make a soufflé. Apparently I've gone over the edge.
But let's talk about this pie. This one is kind of a first for me, since I almost never make the same thing twice. I have notes in my book that I have made this pie before, probably in college. Chocolate mousse pie was huge in the 80s. And Natalie made this pie for Thanksgiving dinner a couple of years ago, but we never got around to writing about it. So I felt, er, compelled to make this again, just so I could have pictures.
But since this is, after all, chocolate mousse pie, I decided that I should be reasonable and make just a half recipe. And the portions in that recipe seem so much more reasonable: 3 ounces of chocolate, 1 egg, half a cup of cream...OK, chocolate mousse is never reasonable. But it's good, especially with a crunchy crumb crust. And boozy whipped cream.

Let's just say that there were five of us (Julia's friend Alice, who has become a die-hard "Marie K. Hardy" (Maida Heatter) fan, was over) and that this reasonably sized pie disappeared in an unreasonably short span of time.

Here's the recipe. Make half a recipe or make the whole recipe, but make it. And remember to make it the day before you want to eat it!

Chocolate Mousse Pie

1-1/2 c. (6 oz.) chocolate wafer or Oreo crumbs
1 t. instant coffee powder
6 T. (3 oz.) melted butter

Heat the oven to 375. Line a 9-inch pie plate with aluminum foil. Mix together the cookie crumbs, coffee, and butter. Dump into the pie plate and use a measuring cup or your knuckles to press the crumbs on the bottom and part way up the sides of the pie plate. Bake for 10 minutes. Cool, then freeze for at least an hour until completely firm. Take the crust out by the foil, peel off the foil, and then return the crust to the pan. You can now store the crust in the refrigerator or freezer while you make the filling (or until you're ready to use it).

6 oz. good semisweet chocolate (it's the main flavor here--quality matters)
3 large eggs, 2 of which are separated (if you want to halve the recipe, I think one egg is enough--use a bit more cream to compensate if you like)
3 T. (1.5 oz.) dark rum
1 c. (8 oz.) cream

Break up the chocolate and melt it your favorite way--one minute in the microwave does it for me. Let cool a bit. In a large bowl, whisk together the one whole egg and the two egg yolks. In a medium bowl, beat the egg whites until they hold a firm shape. Now whisk the chocolate and the rum into the egg yolk mixture. Pour the beaten egg whites on top of that mixture (ideally to one side) but don't mix it yet. In the same bowl you beat the egg whites in, whip the cream, also until firm but not too stiff. Pour the whipped cream in next to the egg whites on top of the chocolate. Now carefully fold that all together. (This technique is not Maida-approved, but it worked well for me and saved me a lot of dishes.) Pour the mousse over the crust and let it chill overnight. When you're ready to eat some chocolate pie, you'll first want to whip some cream:

1-1/2 c. (12 oz.) whipping cream
3 T. (0.75 oz.) powdered sugar
2 T. (1 oz.) rum
1/2 t. vanilla
Grated or shaved chocolate

Pour the whipping cream, sugar, rum, and vanilla into a chilled bowl and whip it with chilled beaters until firm but not too stiff. Get the pie out of the refrigerator and top it with the cream. You can make it flat or swirly, however you'd like. Top with the shaved chocolate and serve. Enjoy the moment.

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