two-tone chocolate cream pie

i was telling you the other day how i lured some friends over with a couple of pies. first was the fresh strawberry tart, so sweet and delicate and composed of 80% fruit. now i’d like to introduce you to the chocolate pie. all cream and chocolate and butter and fluff. i.e., awesome.

i drew from various sources for the components:

the crust is a classic cookie crumb…

here i am getting the crust to a nice packed-down goodness, with the help of the bottom of a measuring cup.

here i am getting the crust to a nice packed-down goodness, with the help of the bottom of a measuring cup.

the darker chocolate layer is your all-american pudding from the box…

and the top mousse layer is a tiny bit frou-frou fancy-pants.

the chocolate mousse recipe is a new favorite, in fact. if you can muster up some patience, the steps are simple enough:

you melt some good-quality bittersweet chocolate. (i used shards of a bittersweet “pound plus” bar from trader joe’s and found myself very happy with the results.)

beat a couple of eggs until they are nice and thick.

then join the two worlds together.

fold in some whipped cream, and you have this lovely swirl staring back at you. looking at it makes me just want to sigh a little.

i first tried the recipe in its originally intended form, as a dessert of chocolate mousse layered with a vanilla bean and mascarpone custard and served up in glass cups with a spoon. i almost died with pleasure eating the final product. the steps altogether can prove to be a bit fussy, though.

luckily the mousse recipe is easily isolated and adapted for other purposes. in addition to laying so luxuriously atop this pudding pie, i imagine it’d also be beautiful sandwiched between a couple layers of dense chocolate cake before getting cloaked in ganache. or perhaps it’d stand up to a healthy glug of kahlua before partnering up with a simple vanilla cheesecake base. oh, the possibilities do excite me.

but for today, there is this:

Two-Tone Chocolate Cream Pie

Chocolate Cookie Crust
~ 22 chocolate sandwich cookies, finely crushed
~ ¼ unsalted butter, melted
Chocolate pie filling, prepared according to the directions on a 4-serving size box of instant pudding mix
Chocolate mousse (taken from this recipe)

  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Prepare chocolate cookie crust: Mix crumbs and butter. Press mixture firmly against bottom and side of pie plate (9 x 1 ¼ inches), using the bottom of a ¼ measuring cup to pack crumbs down, if desired.
  3. Bake for about 10 minutes until firm. Allow to cool completely.
  4. Pour pie filling into crust. Lay plastic wrap directly onto pie filling, and chill in the refrigerator.
  5. Meanwhile, prepare the chocolate mousse. Spread on top of pie filling. Lay plastic wrap directly on top of mousse, and chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours. Serve with whipped cream, if desired.
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