Recently, I’ve found myself whittling away hours on DIY blogs, like Young House Love and Apartment Therapy, and Apartment Therapy’s sister site: The Kitchn. While scrolling through posts and pictures of recipes, kitchen ideas, and adorable collections of lunch boxes, I asked Casey what type of cake he wanted for his birthday. (In years past, you’ll find his response here, here, and here).
I had paused to “Pin” a recipe at this point: French Silk Pie. Casey said, “Something like that.”
I’ll admit the idea didn’t sound terrible – it was why I’d paused to “pin” the recipe in the first place. By the by, French Silk Pie isn’t really French. In fact, someone enlighten about the difference between a chocolate cream pie and a French Silk Pie; they seem all-together similar.
While not a difficult recipe, I experienced a divine force continually telling me that making this recipe was not meant to be. First, on a grocery trip to purchase the eggs, butter, and other needed ingredients for the cake, I forgot the cream. On the next day (the day of the birthday!), I walked out of the second grocery store, (specifically taken to pick up the cream), loaded groceries in the car, looked at Casey and said, “We forgot the heavy cream. Damn your birthday cake.” Yes, those words came from me, the person who believes birthday cakes should be made especially for the celebrant.
So bless him, he went back in the store and picked up the cream for his own cake. Which was delicious. And decadent. And exactly what he wanted.
French Silk Pie, adapted from The Kitchn and Pioneer Woman
Please note that the recipe contains raw eggs, which are not recommended for consumption by children under three, the elderly, or those with compromised immune systems.
1 pre-baked tart shell (recipe here)
- 4 ounces of fantastic quality 60% or higher cocoa chocolate
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon expresso powder
- 1 cup cold heavy cream
- 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter at room temperature
- 1 cup sugar
- 3 large organic eggs
- Additional whipped cream to top the pie with, if desired
Melt the chocolate in the microwave for about 45 to 90 seconds, or until your able to whisk in the vanilla and espresso powder. Set aside and allow to cool.
Beat the heavy cream in a stand mixer with a whisk attachment or with a hand mixer with the whisk attachments until stiff peaks form. This will take about 2-4 minutes. Pay close attention, as I’d hate for you to whisk your cream into butter.
Carefully remove the whipped cream from the mixing bowl and play in another bowl. Cover and refrigerate.
In a clean bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter until creamy, about one minute. Add the sugar and beat until combined and fluffy, about 3-5 minutes. Add the chocolate and beat until incorporated. With the mixer still running, beat in one egg. Let the mixer run on medium (on my Kitchen Aid 6 or 7) for 3-5 minutes. The egg, butter, sugar chocolate mixture will start to become smooth. Add the second egg. Incorporate for 3-5 minutes. Add the final egg, beat for another three to five minutes until smooth. You’ll also notice that the mixture has started to take on volume at this time.
Fold the chilled whipped cream into the chocolate filling. Pour the filling in to the prepared tart shell and smooth with a spatula. Refrigerate for at least two hours, but preferably overnight (8 hours). The pie can be made in the morning and served in the evening as well.
Allow to sit at room temperature for 20 minutes before serving. Serve with additional whipped cream if desired.