Break Time

Looking back over my last posts (most of my posts, actually) I see a strong melancholy thread. It’s who I am, I can’t deny it. But today instead of indulging my depressing inner workings, I’ll write about my outer ones.

Wait…that doesn’t sound right.

Anyway, I’ll depart from routine and share a recipe with you…

For those of you who only know me in the cyber-world, you wouldn’t know that I cook and bake for a living. I own a small (minuscule) coffee/bake shop in my tiny town. I’m not a chef or gourmet. I have no formal training. I’m a humble, down-home cook of comfort foods…at least, to me they’re comfort foods. I use real, fresh ingredients, butter being my favorite. Living by the “all things in moderation” maxim, I don’t shy away from calorie-laden, high-fat foods. Cakes and bread are my specialties.

At home, when I have time, or when I’m stressed or bored or want to escape or relax, I bake. May sound weird to some of you, I know. But that’s how I deal with life, I make food.

So, this morning, with the time change, I was gifted an extra hour to my day and I spent it baking. Yea me.

French silk pie is one of my favorites. But I’ve only made it once at home–years ago–before my 600watt Kitchen Aid stand mixer–before all my baking experience–before the myriad of recipes available on the web–before gray hairs and failing vision–before I realized that you don’t HAVE to temper the eggs. I vaguely remember that the result of all my intensive labor was a tasty, but sadly average pie. Putting away hopes of a delicious homemade version, I’ve spent the last 15 years eating French Silk pie brought to me by my lovely mother from a Baker’s Square in Minneapolis.

Well, for whatever reason, the desperate need for French Silk pie overtook me yesterday and I determined to give it another try. I purchased all the necessary ingredients, did an extensive* recipe search and set out at 7 a.m. this morning to fulfill my deepest chocolate longings.

I mentioned earlier that cakes and bread were my speciality. Not pie crusts. I can make a nice double pie crust, but single crusts are another animal altogether. They shrink. A lot. So, the crust doesn’t look that great, but chocolate can cover a multitude of sins and the taste more than made up for the lack of beauty.

The recipe’s not hard, but if you don’t own a good stand mixer, don’t even attempt it–your arm will go limp, numb and feel like falling off halfway into the process. I’d also suggest that, unless you’re adept at pie crusts, you use a good store bought one. I’m a purist, and yet, next time, I might buy a crust.

After much research (*well actually–after I discounted all the recipes that used pudding, gelatin and/or cool whip {insert wretching sound and disgusted look on my face here}–only about 5 recipes remained) this is my combination of what looked like the best ingredients and methods combined. And just a little warning, I’m not always very exact…so I didn’t measure the vanilla or sugar with measuring utensils, I guesstimated.

French Silk Pie:

1 cup butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 tsp vanilla
2 oz unsweetened chocolate (melted and slightly cooled)
4 eggs
whipped cream for garnish

*Using the paddle, cream butter and sugar for a looooong time scraping the bowl often…by long time I mean ten+ minutes.

*While you’re waiting for the butter to cream and sugar to not be so grainy, separate the eggs and whip the egg whites to soft peaks (I used a little cream of tartar). Set aside.

*On stand mixer, switch to the whisk attachment and add vanilla and chocolate; continue whipping the butter & sugar.

*Add egg yolks one at a time and beat about 3 minutes after each egg is added.

*Finally, fold in the egg whites until all the streaks are gone.

*Pour into a prepared crust and refrigerate a few hours.

*Garnish with REAL whipping cream (please, I beg you not to ruin this pie by using cool whip or some other disgusting fake food–buy whipping cream, whip it with a few tablespoons powdered sugar–it won’t take that much extra time) and chocolate curls (vegetable peeler & a quality chocolate bar) ENJOY!!!!!


**eggs and butter must be room temperature–not softened in the microwave or warmed in hot water, but left out for several hours or overnight so they’re room temp.

**This is the part where I have to warn you about eating raw eggs. But honestly, if you’re not pregnant, under 5 or over 80 I believe you can safely eat this dessert. If you’re still scared–well what can I say–don’t make it.

**I looked for recipes with more chocolate, because, let’s face it, we all need more chocolate…but our family likes a more “milk chocolate” taste so 2 oz is perfect. If you like dark chocolate you could increase it to 3 oz but I wouldn’t go over that–it’ll throw off the consistency.

I hope you’ve enjoyed our little break from my oft’times tiring musings. Enjoy the recipe and let me know if you try it!


5 Replies to “Break Time”

  1. Haha … I like your part about raw eggs. 🙂

    A few times in the distant past, I've made French silk pie, and I have to agree with you – it is scrumptious. You may have inspired me to do it again sometime. 😉

  2. Okay this was a definate W.I.N. of a pie–hafta say that I wasn't sure when to add the lovingly melted, cooled and set aside chocolate, but I muddled through and it won rave reviews.
    thanks for this, and for being a friend, and for…well, you know…

  3. I'm glad you tried it & liked it! And, what can I say, I'm not very exact or good at recipes…you add the chocolate right before the eggs. But it turned out despite my forgetting to put it in! 🙂

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