This is a definite for your holiday dessert spread. It is wickedly good, and the crust can be made up to a week in advance, as can the ganache. The crust must be wrapped in plastic wrap but does not require refrigeration. The ganache must be refrigerated. The chocolate pudding and the Chantilly crème can be made up to three days in advance and kept refrigerated. The night before or morning of your gathering just assemble everything (bring the ganache up to room temperature so you can spread it) then enjoy the applause. One less thing to do at the last minute.

Chocolate Cream Pie

Shared by Chef Maggie Scales, La Boulangerie
Serves 8 

Graham Cracker Crust

2 1/2 cups Graham cracker crumbs
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
9 tablespoons unsalted butter

  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF.
  2. Place the butter in a small saucepan and melt over medium heat. Alternatively, put in a microwave-safe container and melt in the microwave.
  3. Prepare a 9-inch pie mold by spraying it generously with pan-release spray.
  4. In a small bowl, combine all ingredients. With your hands, mix until all the ingredients are completely incorporated, and the crust can hold its shape.
  5. Dump the mixture into the prepared pie mold. Use your fingers or a straight-sided small juice glass to firmly push the crust into the bottom edge of the pie mold. Use the palm of your hand or the glass to push the crust into the bottom of the pan. Go around the bottom a few times to ensure that the crust is not loose and is firmly in place. Use your knuckles or the glass to firmly push the crust up the sides of the pan. Use your other hand to press down on the edge of the crust. This step is crucial to ensuring the crust does not crumble when removing it from the tin. Go around the sides as many times as needed until the crust feels firmly in place.
  6. Bake for 15 minutes.
  7. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. The crust can be wrapped in plastic wrap and stored at room temperature for up to a week. 

Chocolate Ganache

6 tablespoons heavy cream
1 1/2 teaspoons Trimoline (inverted sugar) (See NOTES)
5 3/4 ounces semisweet chocolate
1 1/2 teaspoons unsalted butter, softened

  1. In a small saucepot, combine the heavy cream and the Trimoline and whisk together over low heat.
  2. Combine the chocolate and butter together in a bowl.
  3. Once at a low boil, pour the heavy cream mixture over the chocolate and butter and whisk until thoroughly blended.  
  4. Store in an air-tight container in the refrigerator until ready to use, up to 1 week.
  5. To reheat, place in the microwave for 1minute intervals until liquified. Stir completely to re-emulsify the ganache. 

Chocolate Pudding

1 1/2 teaspoons unflavored powdered gelatin
1/4 cup cold water
5 egg yolks
3/4 cups granulated sugar
2 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 teaspoon salt
4 ounces semisweet chocolate

  1. Bloom gelatin in the cold water. Set aside.
  2. Whisk the egg yolks in a small bowl.
  3. Place the chocolate in a medium bowl. 
  4. In a small saucepot combine the sugar, heavy cream, and salt. Bring the mixture to a low boil.
  5. Whisking constantly, temper the eggs yolks by ladling some on the hot cream mixture into them. When half of the hot cream has been incorporated into the egg yolks pour the egg yolk mixture into the saucepot with the remainder of the cream. Cook, whisking constantly, until the mixture reaches 185ºF
  6. Whisk in the bloomed gelatin, blending thoroughly.
  7. Pour the hot custard over the chocolate.
  8. Use an immersion blender to thoroughly blend the mixture, ensuring the chocolate has fully melted.
  9. Place the bowl in an ice bath to cool then refrigerate overnight before using. Can be stored, refrigerated, for up to 4 days

Chantilly Crème

2 cups heavy cream
1/4 cup powdered sugar

Make the Chantilly Crème:

1. In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, combine the cream and the confectioner’s sugar. Mix on medium speed until medium peaks form. May be stored, refrigerated for up to 4 days.

Assemble the Pie

  1. Spread warmed ganache across the bottom of the graham crust. Allow to cool completely and harden, about 2 hours in the refrigerator.
  2. Top the ganache with the pudding. Allow to set for 2 hours in the refrigerator.
  3. Top the pudding with the Chantilly Crème, leaving a 1-inch border of pudding uncovered. 
  4. Top with chocolate shavings or mini chocolate chips.
  5. Store in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

NOTE: Light Corn Syrup may be substitute for the Trimoline.