This dark chocolate cream pie made with bittersweet and unsweetened chocolate was carefully concocted to rely on less sugar than the typical chocolate cream pie of our childhood. A more adult-friendly and spectacularly satisfying rendition of a classic.
Dark chocolate cream pie. It’s an adult riff on the classic milk chocolate cream pie of our childhoods. It still boasts a silken filling but with a more intense and complex chocolate presence. It still contains a buttery crumb crust although in place of the cloyingly sweet Oreo crust there’s one made from crumbled chocolate graham crackers. And it still contains an intensely chocolate presence, although in place of milk chocolate or semisweet chocolate there’s bittersweet and unsweetened chocolate for a particularly grown-up goodness. Originally published August 20, 2016.–Renee Schettler Rossi
How To Know The Best Chocolate To Use
The knowledgeable folks at America’s Test Kitchen, who are the creative geniuses behind this dark chocolate cream pie recipe, divulged their favorite chocolates to use in this recipe. The best bittersweet chocolate, they say, is Ghirardelli 60% Cacao Bittersweet Chocolate Premium Baking Bar. Be aware that if you use a different brand, it may contain different amounts of sugar and, hence, affect the overall taste of the pie. Their preferred brand of unsweetened chocolate is Hershey’s Unsweetened Baking Bar.
Dark Chocolate Cream Pie
- Quick Glance
- 30 M
- 2 H, 30 M
- Serves 8
- For the graham cracker crust
- 9 whole graham crackers, preferably chocolate, broken into 1-inch (2.5 cm) pieces
- 5 tablespoons (2 1/2 ounces or 71 grams) unsalted butter, cut into 5 pieces and softened (2 1/2 oz)
- For the dark chocolate cream pie filling
- 6 large egg yolks
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar or 3 tablespoons (37 grams) coconut sugar
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 2 1/2 cups half-and-half
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch (12 mm) pieces and chilled (3 oz)
- 6 ounces 6 ounces bittersweet chocolate (preferably 60%), chopped fine, plus more for garnish if desired
- 1 ounce unsweetened chocolate, chopped fine
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- For the whipped cream topping
- 1 tablespoon coconut sugar or granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
- Pinch salt
- Make the graham cracker crust
- 1. Adjust the oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 325°F (163°C).
- 2. Process the graham crackers in a food processor to fine, even crumbs, 30 to 60 seconds. Scatter butter over top and pulse until mixture resemble coarse sand, 15 to 20 pulses.
- 3. Sprinkle the mixture into a 9-inch (23 cm) pie plate. Using the bottom of measuring cup, press crumbs firmly into even layer on bottom and sides of pie plate. Bake until the crust is fragrant and set, 15 to 20 minutes, rotating the pie plate once halfway through baking. Let the crust cool to room temperature, which should take about 30 minutes.
- Make the dark chocolate cream pie filling
- 4. Whisk the egg yolks, sugar, and cornstarch in medium bowl until well combined. Bring the half-and-half and salt to a gentle simmer in medium saucepan over medium heat. Slowly whisk the warm 1/2 cup half-and-half mixture into the yolk mixture to temper it (this simply means you’re gradually adding the warm liquid to the eggs rather than dumping it in all at once, which ensures the eggs don’t curdle from the heat), and then slowly whisk the tempered yolk mixture into half-and-half mixture remaining in the pan. Return the pot to medium heat and cook, whisking constantly, until the mixture is thick and glossy, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the heat.
- 5. Whisk in the chilled butter, several pieces at a time, until completely incorporated. Then whisk in the bittersweet chocolate, unsweetened chocolate, and vanilla and keep whisking until the chocolate is melted, making sure to scrape the bottom and corners of the pan with rubber spatula.
- 6. Strain the pudding through a fine-mesh strainer into cooled pie crust. Place a sheet of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the pudding and refrigerate until firm, about 2 hours.
- Make the whipped topping
- 7. If using coconut sugar, grind it in a spice grinder until fine and powdery, about 1 minute. If using granulated sugar, do not grind it. Using a stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment, whip cream, sugar, vanilla, and salt on medium-low speed until foamy, about 1 minute. Increase the speed to high and whip until soft peaks form, 1 to 3 minutes.
- Assemble the pie
- 8. Spread whipped cream over the pie. If desired, sprinkle with some bittersweet chocolate shavings made by pulling a vegetable peeler along a bar of chocolate you’ve stashed in the fridge. Slice and serve.