French. Silk. Chocolate. Pie. These are four of the sexiest words in the English language, and sexy is the best single word I can think of to describe this decadent, classic dessert. Perhaps it's the way that billows of whipped cream and flirtatious chocolate curls coyly reveal just a hint of the luscious chocolate filling that lies beneath. Or the smooth, unctuous chocolate filling that eases the fork down into a flaky all-butter crust.
It's all about the chocolate, so be sure to select the best one possible. For a filling that is airy like a mousse but also dense like a truffle, you'll want to use chocolate with a cacao content in the 58-71% range. Anything higher won't contain enough fat to achieve the silky, creamy texture, and using milk chocolate (lower percentages) would cause you to lose the rich chocolate flavor and color.
The secret to this pie's rich and airy texture is that it contains sabayon; a foamy mixture of whipped egg yolks, water, and sugar, that have been whisked over a double boiler until it reaches 160 degrees Fahrenheit. If it's your first time making a sabayon, do not worry if you need to go slow or frequently remove the bowl from the top of the double boiler to whisk away from the heat. Just be sure to whisk continuously, protect your hands from the heat, and check the temperature frequently as you go.
To make this pie at home, first click over here for a tutorial and recipe for making a fantastic and easy flaky pie crust (you'll only need a single crust for this pie). Then, head over to my recipe for this French silk chocolate pie. Of all the different variations I've tried, this one yields the lightest texture and most pure chocolate flavor.