Chocolate Silk

This recipe comes from Emily Luchetti, a famous pastry chef from San Francisco who I originally discovered at Stars, the incredible restaurant in SF in the 80’s. She has written numerous cookbooks and this recipe comes from Stars Desserts. I used to have a bakery and made almost every recipe in the book. The chocolate silk pie was a regular at my bakery and once it was returned for being ‘too chocolatey”!. It is decadent and rich and serve only to those that love chocolate. A thin slice goes a long way! You can vary the nuts in the crust-I tried hazelnuts and pecans today although the recipe calls for walnuts and pecans. The recipe calls for a 9″ springform but I make it in a 10″ as it is such a rich dessert, it can take the extra room.
Chocolate silk
Crust
3 oz. walnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped
4 oz. pecans, toasted and coarsely chopped
1/2 c. firmly packed brown sugar
pinch of ground cinnamon
4 oz. sweet butter, melted
9 or 10″ springform pan, (lined with parchment if desired)
Mousse Cake
20 oz. bittersweet or extra bittersweet chocolate (I used 60% Ghirardelli)
1/2-3/4 c. sugar (I use 1/2 c. would use 3/4 if extra bittersweet)
6 large eggs
1/4 c. heavy cream
1/2 t. vanilla
Topping
1 c. heavy cream
2 T. sugar

Combine the walnuts and pecans with the brown sugar and cinnamon in a large bowl. Stir in the melted butter. Press into the bottom of the springform pan. Refrigerate for 1/2 hour, until firm.
Melt the chopped chocolate in the top of a double boiler over simmering water. While chocolate is melting, combine the butter and sugar in a mixer with the paddle attachment and cream on medium speed until light and fluffy. Switch to the whisk attachment and add the eggs 2 at a time, mixing well after each addition. Scrape the sides of the bowl increase to medium high speed for 2 minutes, until the egg mixture increases in volume. Whisk the melted chocolate until it has cooled slightly. It should be warm but not hot. Whisk the chocolate into the egg mixture on medium low speed. Scrape the sides and bottom of bowl until the chocolate is fully incorporated. Stir in the cream and vanilla. Spread into springform on top of crust and refrigerate until firm, 6 hours or overnight.
Cover with the topping (or serve on the side)
Whip cream and sugar in mixer on high speed until soft peaks form. Spread on top of cake. Unmold cake by running a hot dry knife around the inside edge of pan and release the latch from the springform. Slice cake with a hot dry knife, dipping in hot water in between slices and drying the knife off.

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