This is by far the silkiest, smooth pie I have ever eaten! I’m not even sure ‘silky’ goes far enough to describe the texture. Use the best chocolate you can afford, and I highly recommend making your own caramel–it was just so delicious that I can’t imagine not doing so!
The directions ensure that the eggs are safely cooked, so no worries there, and I think that cooking the egg mixture adds significantly to the smoothness of the texture. I’ve never had a French Silk pie so smooth.
Try not to make it more than 24 hours ahead of time.
1 (9 inch) pre-baked pie crust (bake it enough ahead of time that it has a chance to cool enough to fill)
1 1/4 cup caramel sauce (if you make it yourself, you can control the firmness, if you use pre-made, you should expect that it will be quite a bit runnier when you slice it.)
1 cup heavy cream
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
8 oz. 60% bittersweet chocolate
1/2 cup unsalted butter--softened
Pour caramel sauce into prepared, pre-baked pie shell. Place in refrigerator until chocolate filling is ready.
Whip the heavy cream to a firm peak and set aside.
In a medium stainless or glass heat-proof bowl, melt the bittersweet chocolate while set over a very low simmering pot of water. Stir it frequently to avoid hot spots. (this approximates a double boiler)
Set chocolate aside to cool to room temperature.
In a medium stainless or glass heat-proof bowl, whisk the eggs and sugar together well. Set over a small saucepan with an inch of simmering water in the bottom. Make sure the bottom of the bowl is a couple of inches above the simmering water. (this approximates a double boiler)
Whisk egg mixture continuously until it reaches a temperature of 160 degrees F. This will cook the eggs to a safe temperature. It should take 7-10 minutes for this to be reached. Be sure you are whisking the whole time.
Once eggs reach 160 degrees F., take off the heat and whisk until the temperature of the eggs comes down to about 90 degrees F.
Add the chocolate to the egg mixture and whisk well. If it doesn't seem to be incorporating very well, place it back over the simmering water and whisk until nice and smooth. It shouldn't need to get very hot to do this.
Add vanilla and set bowl aside to cool back down to 90 degrees F.
In a seperate mixing bowl, beat the softened butter until fluffy. Slowly add the cooled chocolate mixture to the whipped butter and mix at medium-high speed for 5-7 minutes until mixture is light and fluffy.
Carefully fold in the whipped cream until no white streaks remain.
Pour over caramel layer in pie shell.
Chill for at least three hours (6-12 is ideal) before garnishing with whipped cream and chocolate decoration. Serve immediately after garnishing.