Pie is just one of those comforting desserts that warms your heart and soothes your soul. It doesn't matter if it's warm from the oven crumb topped apple pie or pucker up cool and tangy key lime pie eaten al fresco in the middle of Summer. Pie is just a comfort food, for me at least. So last month when we (The Cake Slice Bakers) were faced with the challenge to make a peanut butter and chocolate mousse "cake" I knew I'd be turning it into a pie. I use the term "cake" loosely, because there's not one part of this recipe that goes into the oven. You start with a cookie crust, layer in some fluffy peanut butter and chocolate mousse and glaze it with a healthy dose of deep, dark and rich ganache. Sounds good, right?
Peanut butter and chocolate go hand in hand. Most people love that combination, I've just never been a huge fan of it. I know you're all looking at me like I'm crazy, but it's true. I love peanut butter and I love chocolate, separately, on their own, not together. My brother LOVES it though so I made this pie for him. Lately we've all been dealing with some financial stuff. It seems everywhere I turn someone is. This economy is just rough and you do what you have to do to get by. If you're not struggling in some way, kudos to you! For my brother, he had to sell his beloved truck. He is a car "collector"- his favorites being old Cadillacs. He needed some cash flow and this truck needed to find a new home. He was kind down in the dumps about it so this pie was made for him. It was a "I'm sorry this economy sucks and you had to sell your truck, but I still love you" kind of pie. And sometimes we all need that.
In fact right now, I could use about a dozen of these kinds of pies. If you're in the same situation, consider this pie for you! There are several steps to make this pie and several dishes to wash! There's a bowl for the crust, one for the whipped cream, another two for the mousse layers and another for the glaze, plus a food processor a saucepan and any measuring tools and spatulas. But is it worth it? heck yes! It seems rather lengthy and involved but each step is fairly simple and straightforward. It just takes time and patience but in the end you'll be rewarded with a creamy and decadent pie sure to warm your heart even if you never turn the oven on.
Chocolate Peanut Butter Mousse Pie adapted from The Cake Book by Tish Boyle
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For The Chocolate Wafer Crust:
- 1 1/2 cups chocolate cookie crumbs (I used Oreos, with the filling scraped out)
- 5 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
For The Peanut Butter Mousse:
- 2.5 oz. cream cheese, softened
- 1 Tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
- 2/3 cup powdered sugar
- 1/3 cup creamy peanut butter
- 1/8 tsp. salt
- 1 1/4 cups heavy cream
For The Chocolate Mousse:
- 2.5 oz. bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
- 2 oz. milk chocolate, coarsely chopped
- 3 Tbsp whole milk
- 3 Tbsp granulated sugar
- 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
For The Chocolate Glaze:
- 3 oz. semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
- 1/3 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
To Make The Chocolate Crust: In a medium bowl, stir together the cookie crumbs and the melted butter. Stir until well combined. Pat the mixture into the bottom and up the sides of a 9-inch deep dish pie plate. Refrigerate the crust while you make the peanut butter mousse.
To Make The Peanut Butter Mousse: In a large bowl using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter at medium speed until creamy, about 1 minute. Add the powdered sugar and mix until well blended. Add the peanut butter and salt and mix until well blended, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Set bowl aside while whipping the cream.
In a large clean bowl, beat the heavy cream with an electric mixer at high speed until soft peaks form. Gently fold 1/2 cup of the whipped cream into the peanut butter mixture until almost blended. Fold in another 3/4 cup of the whipped cream until completely blended and no white streaks appear.
Scrape the peanut butter mousse into the prepared pie pan and spread it into an even layer. Refrigerate while you make the chocolate mousse. Cover the remaining whipped cream and refrigerate ready to use.
To Make The Chocolate Mousse: Place both chocolates in the bowl of a food processor and process until finely ground. Leave the chocolate in the food processor.
In a small saucepan, combine the milk and sugar and bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring frequently until the sugar dissolves. With the food processor running, pour the hot milk through the feed tube, and process until the chocolate is completely melted. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the vanilla extract, and process until well blended. Scrape the mixture into a medium bowl.
Using a rubber spatula, gently fold 1/4 of the reserved whipped cream into the mousse. Fold in the remaining cream until completely blended. Scrape the mousse onto the peanut butter mousse layer and smooth the top using an offset spatula. Refrigerate the pie while making the chocolate glaze.
To Make The Chocolate Glaze: Place finely chopped chocolate into a medium bowl.
In a small saucepan, bring the cream to a boil. Pour cream over the chocolate and let sit for a few minutes. Add the vanilla, then gently stir until the chocolate is completely melted and the glaze is smooth. Do not over mix or you'll incorporate air bubbles. Let the mixture cool at room temperature for 10 minutes before using.
Pour the cooled glaze over the chocolate mousse layer. Using a small metal spatula, spread the glaze evenly over the top of the pie. Sprinkle the top with peanuts if desired, for garnish, before the glaze sets.
Chill the pie for at least 2-3 hours before serving. Loosely cover pie and store any leftovers for up to 3 days in the refrigerator.