French_chocolate_silk

By James and Catherine Hill

COST BREAKDOWN

Cost in full: butter $2, chocolate $4.50 on sale, eggs $1.50 sugar $3.00, vanilla and rum $1 pie crust store bought with 50% coupon $2.22 = $14

Cost per serving: $1.67 if you make your own crust. It will be tastier but the cost may vary from an additional $3-$8 depending on what you use as for the cookie crumb and for crouched nuts and the time of year.

For your shopping list, you will be spending about $21.90 to get all of what you will need. Good news is that you’ll have enough rum for a few drinks left over.

Note on cost estimates:

I’ve based my estimates on prices at my local urban supermarket in January 2016. Cost will change by region and type of store and with inflation. Please consider this when looking at my estimate and planning your shopping tip budget.

DIFFICULTY LEVEL

Is this going to be super hard? It is more at an intermediate level than easy.

KEEPING

Freezing: No, no, no… No!

Time: Keep this pie cold at all times and eat it within four days. Chocolate French silk pie keeps poorly. It is best day of and after.

SERVINGS

Serves: 12-16

TIME

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 35
Refrigeration time: 30 minutes

Total time to make: 1 hour, and 15 minutes
Cleanup: 10 minutes

SAFETY

Read the whole manual for your mixer. Wear an apron. Your clothes will thank you.

THE HARDWARE AND ACCOUTERMENTS

1 Stand or hand mixer

1 Rubber spatula

1 Small bowl

THE INGREDIENTS

1 ½ C white granulated sugar

1 Tsp. real vanilla extract

1 c salted butter (2 sticks) room temp!

4-5 oz. semisweet or what we like most is unsweetened baking chocolate bar

½ Tsp. water

½ Tsp. dark rum*

4 Large freshest AA eggs

1 Graham cracker, cookie and/or nut based crust (an 8, 9 or 10 inches crust is best). Or make you own

METRIC:

1 354ml white granulated sugar

1 5ml real vanilla extract

118ml butter (2 sticks) room temp!

4-5 oz. semisweet or what we like most is unsweetened baking chocolate bar

½ Tbl water

½ Tbl dark rum

4 eggs

1 digestive biscuit, cookie or nut based crust (an 8, 9 or 10 inches crust is best).

SUBSTITUTIONS*

For eggs: Some people can’t have raw eggs because of their immune system or because of pregnancy. If I were making anything containing raw eggs, for a picnic or other event for people who might have issues with raw eggs I would use pasteurized eggs. Do not ever think you know it’s safe for anyone besides yourself to consume raw eggs or meats. People sometimes don’t tell you everything. Like they might, keep a pregnancy secret the first few months and might therefore not tell you raw egg is off their diet. I think the best rule on food safety is better safe than sorry.

There are some disadvantages to using pasteurized eggs in certain recipes. First, do understand that the lift you normally get from a regular egg may take more time to achieve with pasteurized eggs. Also, they do cost more. But for me, the most important difference between pasteurized and unpasteurized eggs is the availability of these little guys. Sometimes a store might not have them. I recommend calling your nearest markets ahead of time to ask if they carry it before heading to the store. And do double-check the packaging before you buy. It will say pasteurized and the container should be yellow in color.

For the rum: If alcohol is a concern you can cook the alcohol out of the rum beforehand or omit it from this recipe. Start with ½ – 2/3 cup rum and cook on high in your smallest frying pan or saucepan for a few minutes until it boils for at least 30 seconds. Once it smells less boozy the alcohol is as cooked out as much as it will be.

THE STEP BY STEP

  1. Prepare crust. If you are using store bought crust prepare the packaging. Start by taking off labels and then genially using soap and light dribbling of warm running water the face of the plastic packaging so that you can flip the plastic over to form the pie lid. That is what it is meant to do. Dry it and place on top of crust and pinch the foil down in two or three spots to protect the cut while you prepare your filling. Be careful and take you time clearing it as the plastic is thin and tends to break easily.
  2. Cream butter and sugar together for 10-12 minutes on the second highest setting of a stand mixer. If I’m using a hand mixer I’ll star low get it going then move up to highest setting and then mix for 15 minutes. By hand, this can take a while. You would start with a spoon and work the surge in then move to a large heavy weight whisk. You would work in a heavy bowl too because you would need the bowl to be cool to the touch but not cold and the mixing can heat the butter up. If do it by hand temperature can be an issue. You may need to pop the mix into the refrigerator of a few minutes to keep the butter from melting. Do not get it too cold or your whisk will not be able to cream it into a fluffy mixture.
  3. Scrape the sides of the mixing bowl every 3 minutes. Do that by turning off the mixer pausing your timer and scrape using a soft spatula. Timers are good for time management but I go by what I see taste smell and hear when cooking to know when to proceed to the next step. I pay attention to the sound mostly at this point. I don’t want to hear or feel solid sugar granules scratching on the sides of the bowl when I am scraping the sides down. When the sugar granules are undetectable to the ear and the butter becomes lighter a color then I move on to the next step. Sometimes it takes way longer than 10-15 minutes to get to this stage, but it’s worth the weight. If you leave the sugar granules in there they will pop all the bubbles we are trying to form, and make the pie smaller, less fluffy and just not as impressive as it could be. I will say it again one more time. The creamed sugar should sound smooth and must look lighter in color before continuing.
  4. Melt chocolate in a microwave in a small bowl, or in a double boiler. The trick is to melt it little by little and stir so that the residual heat melts it. This way you will never burn the chocolate. For a microwave use 20-30 second bursts. To melt chocolate on a double boiler place chocolate on heat for a half min at a time then remove and stir. Here is a link about Double Boiler (Bain Marie)
  5. Add chocolate and vanilla and mix on high for 1 minute.
  6. Add the water to the egg in a 1 cup measure and mix until even in color throughout. Like you are making scrambled eggs.
  7. Drop in mixture and mix on the lowest setting to incorporate. As soon as the egg is mixed in, step on the gas and beat for 5 minutes at the next to highest setting on the mixer. On my KitchenAid stand mixer it is the setting 6-8.
  8. Stop mixer and scrape the sides and bottom genteelly. Then add the second egg and rum. As soon as the egg is mostly mixed in step on the gas again and beat for 5 minutes.
  9. Add the third egg. As soon as the egg is mostly mixed in, step on the gas again and beat for 5 minutes.
  10.  Add the fourth and last egg. As soon as the egg is mostly mixed in, step on the gas again and beat for 5 minutes.
  11. Pour finished pie filling into piecrust and gently smooth the pie’s top with rubber spatula.
  12. Refrigerate pie for 30 minutes or best give it a rest over night.

Serving suggestions: You will need: 1 serrated knife, 1 pint glass, 1 roll of kitchen paper or clean dark colored kitchen towel and 1 pie server. 1. Cut using hot knife warmed in a pint glass of water. Wipe knife with paper towels in-between cuts. 2. Cut straight across the middle. Next makes an x cut to form 6 pieces. Then cut those in half.

Add whipped cream or an edible flower to garnish and make it extra lovely!

Enjoy!

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