This chocolate mousse pie is decadent without being too rich, with silky-smooth chocolate mousse, airy-soft whipped cream and butter-flaky phyllo dough pie crust. Yes, I said phyllo dough pie crust. Seriously, don’t you want to make it just so you can try the crust?! But that’s not all; this chocolate mousse will melt in your mouth, and the cream topping is so heavenly – your guests are going to want large pieces… and seconds.
For the chocolate mousse, I highly recommend using 85% chocolate. If you’re a dark chocolate hater, hear me out. I experimented with the recipe using 60% bittersweet chocolate and though still delicious, the overpowering thought was “This is one sweet chocolate pie”. In trial number two I substituted the 85% and it was perfect. Each distinct flavor of the pie came to the forefront rather than the taste of sugar being the prevalent sensation.
And let me talk about this crust. A Chocolate Mousse Pie with Phyllo Crust? This idea is what made me want to try the recipe in the first place and I’m glad I did. As you can imagine, the crust was crisp and flaky and buttery all at the same time. If you’ve never worked with phyllo before, don’t be intimidated. It’s not as delicate as you think, well actually it is, but this method for phyllo crust is quite forgiving. You do need to keep the unused sheets covered as you work, but if the sheets tear a little as you brush the butter on, it doesn’t matter. And when placing the sheets in the cake pan, messy is even better as you can see. Don’t feel rushed; I promise this is a fool-proof crust if you just relax and don’t worry about how it looks. Once you pour everything over the crust, you will know it’s going to work.
After your crust has baked to golden and cooled, a layer of melted chocolate gets spread over the crust and chilled to harden. And oh my, the crunchy chocolate layer is divine, adding to the complexity and impressiveness all over again. The chocolate mousse is easy to prepare; basically stir everything together and pour over the crust.
If you want to make this recipe ahead of time, feel free to do so. The crust is at its best on the day it is made, but it was still heavenly up to two days after assembling and the chocolate flavor gets better and deeper with time. If you are skeptical about using dark chocolate in the recipe, I give instructions in the printable version for using sweeter chocolate, but when I say the dark version is PERFECT, I’m not kidding.
Try this recipe and I bet it’ll become a huge hit at any gathering. If you’re making it for the holidays, you better make two because it just MIGHT outshine the pumpkin pie. At the very least, it will be the perfect pairing.
- 1 stick butter, melted, plus more for cake pan
- 10 sheets thawed frozen phyllo dough (each 17 by 12 inches)
- 2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
- ½ cup bittersweet chocolate (60%), melted
- 4 large egg yolks
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- ¼ teaspoon coarse salt
- 3½ ounces 85% dark chocolate, coarsely chopped (about ¾ cup) **
- 2 cups heavy cream, divided
- 2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- Chocolate shavings, for serving, optional
- Fresh raspberries were used for garnish only, optional
- **I used Lindt Excellence 85% cocoa smooth dark chocolate bar
- Crust: Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Butter a 9-by-2-inch cake pan (if you only have a 9-by-1.5-inch pan, as is the standard size, that will work fine too), then line with two 17-by-2-inch strips of parchment, forming an X in center and leaving a 2-inch overhang. Butter the parchment.
- Place 1 sheet of phyllo on a work surface (I used parchment paper) with the long side facing you; keep remaining phyllo covered with plastic wrap. Lightly brush entire surface with melted butter, then sprinkle some of the granulated sugar on right half of the phyllo. Fold the left half over to enclose sugar. Brush top lightly with more butter. Press the folded phyllo into the pan, buttered-side down, leaving a ½-inch overhang on one side; gather and crumple dough slightly as you go to make fit and create a ruffled edge. Repeat with remaining phyllo sheets, overlapping to completely cover bottom of pan and create a ½-inch overhang on all sides. Bake until golden, about 20 minutes. (Watch your crust the first couple minutes of baking. If the sides start to fold into the crust of sink down the side, just carefully pull them back up and over the lip of the pan.) After removing pie from the oven, if it has risen too high, place a bowl into the pan over the crust. The crust will crunch and flatten just a bit, don't worry if it stays puffy. Let cool 10 minutes. Cook's note: If using a dark, non-stick pan, lower oven temp to 340F degrees and baking time will be closer to 15 minutes.
- While the crust is baking, set a pot of water to heat on the stove, heat to a slow boil and maintain heat until time to make the filling.
- Brush melted chocolate over bottom of crust. the crust might break a bit as you do this, but no worries, just do what you can. Refrigerate while you complete the mousse.
- Filling: In a heat-proof bowl set over (not in) the pot of simmering water, whisk together the egg yolks, granulated sugar, and salt until sugar is dissolved. Whisk in 85% chocolate until melted. Remove from heat.
- Beat 1 cup of the cream until medium-stiff peaks form (do not add sugar or vanilla here). Whisk one-third of this cream into the chocolate mixture. Gently but thoroughly fold in remaining whipped cream. This may take a minute to fully incorporate, but don't worry, just keep stirring. Pour mixture into cooled crust, letting mousse get into folds, if there are any. Refrigerate at least 3 hours.
- When ready to serve, fill a large bowl or your sink with hot water (about 2-inches), place cake pan into water for about 10-15 seconds, then place pan on counter. Gently try to pull up on the parchment straps, if pie will not come up, place in hot water another 5-10 seconds. Pull pie out of pan and discard parchment strips. Place on serving plate.
- Beat remaining 1 cup cream with sugar and vanilla until soft peaks form. Dollop onto pie, sprinkle with chocolate shavings and serve. (To make the chocolate shavings, just use a sharp paring knife on a chocolate bar and scrape out pieces to place on the whipped cream.)
- Notes: If you're hesitant about using dark chocolate, substitute the 85% chocolate in the filling with 60% bittersweet chocolate.
Loosely adapted from Martha Stewart Living Magazine, November 2014.