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Chocolate Cream Pie

This Chocolate Cream pie is surprisingly simple to prepare. A no-bake chocolate-wafer crust is filled with a creamy milk-chocolate panna cotta and topped with meringue.

  • Yield: Makes 1 eight-inch pie

Source: Martha Stewart Living, February 2002

Ingredients

  • 1 twelve-ounce box chocolate wafers
  • 7 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon unflavored gelatin
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 8 ounces milk chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 4 large egg whites

Directions

  1. Place the chocolate wafers in the bowl of a food processor, and pulse until finely ground. Transfer to a mixing bowl. Add melted butter, and stir until well combined. Press into an 8-inch springform pan, evenly coating the bottom and lower half of the sides. Cover pan with plastic wrap, and place in the refrigerator to chill for 30 minutes.

  2. Pour the milk in a small bowl. Sprinkle the gelatin over the milk, and let soften for 5 minutes. Place the cream and 2 tablespoons sugar in a small saucepan, and bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve sugar. Add gelatin mixture, and stir to combine. Remove from heat. Add chocolate and vanilla; cover, and let stand for 3 minutes. Stir until thoroughly combined.

  3. Pass mixture through a fine sieve into prepared cookie crust; leave behind any undissolved chocolate to prevent filling from becoming grainy. Return filled crust to refrigerator for 6 hours or overnight.

  4. Place the egg whites and remaining 3/4 cup sugar in the heat-proof bowl of an electric mixer, and place over a pan of barely simmering water. Stir constantly until the egg whites are warm to the touch and the sugar is completely dissolved, about 3 minutes. Attach the bowl to the mixer, and use the whisk attachment to beat egg whites, on medium, until soft peaks form, about 3 minutes. Raise speed to high, and beat until stiff and glossy but not dry, about 1 1/2 minutes.

  5. Remove pie from refrigerator. Using a rubber spatula, drop meringue on top, lifting to create tall peaks. Use a kitchen blowtorch to brown top of meringue peaks, or place under a broiler, watching carefully since it will brown very quickly.

  6. Chill the pie in the refrigerator, and serve cold.

Cook's Notes

For the smoothest, glossiest peaks, be careful not to overbeat the egg whites. The pie will keep in the refrigerator up to 2 days.

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