Dark Chocolate Cream Pie

Intense and dark, this chocolate cream pie is sure to satisfy even the most, devout chocoholic around.  This deep flavor is created by using unsweeted cocoa powder and bittersweet chocolate.  To keep the whipped cream stable I place half a package of unflavored gelatin in with the mixture, adding the gelatin to half of the heavy whipping cream, heating it up in the microwave in a liquid measuring up to activate the gelatin, then letting it cool to room temperature and finally adding it to the remaining cold cream and whipping it in a chilled bowl.


1 1/2 cups flour
2 tbsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
8 tbsp. cold, unsalted butter - diced
2 tbsp water.

In a food processor, pulse together flour, sugar and salt until combined - then add diced butter and pulse until butter is in small, pea-sized pieces. Drizzle water over mixture and then pulse until mixture holds together. Form into a ball and place on a silpat, flatten into a round disc and then place a second silpat on top and using a french rolling pin, roll into a 12" circle and place into a 9" pie pan trimming edge and finishing/crimping to your desire. Use a form to prick holes in bottom and place in refrigerator to chill while you make filling.

After chilling for 15-20 minutes, line pie dish with foil and fill with dried beans - this is called blind baking, and bake in a 350 degree-preheated oven for 20 minutes, then remove foil and beans and place back into the oven for another 15-20 minutes until crust begins to lightly color.

3 cups half & half
2/3 cup sugar
3 tbsp. cornstarch
1/4 tsp. salt
4 large egg yolks
1/2 cup cocoa powder
8 oz. bittersweet chocolate
2 tbsp. unsalted butter
2 tsp. vanilla
2 cups heavy cream
1 tbsp. vanilla-bean paste
1/2 package unflavored gelatin (if desired)

In a large saucepan, place half & half, salt, cornstarch and eggs over medium heat and using a whisk, stir continually so the mixture does not burn, brining to a boil to thicken.  Once it begins to bubble, add chocolate and stir again with whisk to melt chocolate.  Once chocolate has melted, remove from heat and add butter and vanilla to combine.

Pour into pre-baked and cooled pie shell.  Cover with plastic wrap and place in refrigerator to chill, at least four (4) hours.

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