No-bake Chocolate Mousse Pie

My oven is getting a well-deserved break this week, but that doesn’t mean no desserts! # 188: No-bake Chocolate Mousse Pie

How are you? Hoping you got to get outside at some point this weekend! Despite the crazy heat records in the East Bay and that lingering smoke haze… We managed to get ourselves out for a social distancing float on the Russian River and it was 100% worth the 6 AM wake-up.

Normally I would have at least two, if not three (because I’m nuts), time-intensive bakes lined up for a 3-day weekend. Instead, I’ve been studiously avoiding the oven and eating nectarines like it’s my job. Luckily this recipe can be whipped up (see what I did there hehe) without breaking a sweat. Plus, everyone needs a little chocolate to balance out their intake of stone fruit, right?

Ah, the classic graham cracker crust. Best friend to those whole bulk buy graham crackers for s’mores and then need a way to use them up when you can’t have a campfire. Most times I pop my crust in the oven to crisp it up and help it keep it’s shape, but the oven is off-limits today, remember? Just make sure you’re okay with a slightly crumbly serving situation. (No one will complain – they’re getting chocolate mousse pie.)

A food processor would make this go way faster, but it was honestly fun to crunch up all the crackers with a pestle. I actually had to google which one is the mortar, and which is the pestle.. If you already knew, bonus points to you! My mortar was way too small for the amount of crackers, so improvisation occurred.

Voila! This is also an excellent way to sneak in spices that you’re trying to use up. I added cinnamon here, but if you’re making a pumpkin mousse version in a month or two, through in some nutmeg, allspice and ginger! All you need is a base (cookies, graham crackers, etc.), a fat (melted butter, yum) and some sugar (if you aren’t using pre-sweetened cookies!).

Ladies and gentlemen, the star of the show.

But not just shaved dark chocolate, no no! Also a shocking amount of vanilla and a small mountain of cocoa powder for a more concentrated chocolate flavor. Go big or go home, folks.

Have to admit, I was a little worried about the chocolate seizing. The recipe called for adding water to the cocoa powder and vanilla to make it easier to mix in, but I’ve always considered water as the arch nemesis of melted chocolate. It’s hard to imagine, but melted chocolate is actually considered a “dry” ingredient despite the fact that it seems like a liquid. If you add water in, it usually clumps up the cocoa and sugar in the chocolate making a messy paste.

I know I should have just trusted the recipe but I decided to change up the order the ingredients to calm my nerves. I mixed the melted chocolate into the whipped cream first, then added the water/cocoa powder/vanilla mixture. Worked like a charm!

The pie dish I wanted to use is only 8″ and the recipe proportions are for a 9″ one. Hence, the adorable sidekick in a matching ramekin! I never let a recipe get in the way of using my teal dishes – priorities.

Make sure you leave enough whipped cream for the topping, and dig out your favorite chopped nuts for a pop of salt and color. Oh, hello pistachios!

Such a happy little whipped cream cloud.

Love leaving a little sneak peak around the edges of the cream!

Messy in the best kind of way.

Happy munching!

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