My sister, a confessed chocoholic, has an attitude about Thanksgiving: “Not enough chocolate!” My husband has similar attitudes about Thanksgiving: “All the Thanksgiving desserts stink.” Surprisingly, I tend to agree with both of them.
Don’t get me wrong: a good apple pie, warmed and cinnamon-y, with a pool of half-melted vanilla ice cream, can be scrumptious (especially my grandmother’s!). I can easily pass on pumpkin pie, but I know others who swear by it. Pecan pie is delicious, but in this age of omnipresent allergies, who ever actually makes it? And, of course, there is a New England staple – Indian Pudding – which has wonderful flavor but a texture I’ve never quite been able to embrace. Finally, there’s mincemeat pie. I don’t know about you, but a pie that has the word “meat” in it is just not a pie I’m lining up for after dinner.
So, this year, I asked my husband for a suggestion when planning the dessert. His suggestion: “Make chocolate mousse.” And so, a compromise: chocolate mousse pie. Now I’m sure some traditionalists will balk, and that is definitely their prerogative, but my guess is that they will be in the minority to those who will be thanking you for adding some chocolate to a dessert buffet laden with cinnamon and nutmeg (not that there’s anything wrong with that…!). Besides, if you really want to, you can add a little cinnamon, or nutmeg, to the crust (which, of course, is also chocolate). And if it still doesn’t feel right with the Thanksgiving feast, it certainly goes great with leftovers!
Chocolate Mousse Pie
(adapted from The Joy of Cooking)
- 1 1/2 cups fine crumbs made from chocolate wafer cookies
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 10-inch pie or springform pan with non-stick cooking spray. Mix together all ingredients until moistened,
then spread evenly in pan. Press the mixture over the bottom of the pan and about half-way up the sides. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, or until firm to the touch. Let cool thoroughly.
- 6 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 5 tablespoons coffee, divided
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 3 eggs, separated
- 1/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons sugar, divided
- 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1/2 cup cold heavy cream
Heat one inch of water in a large skillet over low to medium-low heat until bubbles form; monitor heat to keep water at this temperature. Combine chocolate, butter, 2 tablespoons coffee and vanilla in large heatproof bowl, and set the bowl in the water bath, stirring ingredients until chocolate is melted. Remove from the water and set aside.
In another heatproof bowl, whisk together 3 egg yolks, remaining coffee and 3 tablespoons sugar; heat the mixture until it is thick and somewhat puffy while whisking constantly. Remove from water bath and whisk into chocolate mixture. Let cool completely.
In a separate bowl, beat the 3 egg whites until foamy. Add cream of tartar and beat until soft peaks form; then add remaining sugar gradually and beat until stiff peaks form. Fold 1/4 of the egg white mixture into the
chocolate mixture, then gently fold in the remaining egg white mixture.
In another bowl, beat cream until soft peaks form and fold cream into chocolate mixture. Pour chocolate mixture into pie crust, and refrigerate at least four hours. If desired, top with fresh whipped cream and chocolate shavings.