World, meet my birthday cake. As in, the cake I have eaten for my birthday for roughly 15-20 years now. It’s simple, it’s sinful, and it’s chock full of chocolate. All the years growing up when my Mom asked what I wanted my special birthday meal to be, it was almost always eggplant Parmesan and chocolate mousse pie. My Mom has always made a big deal out of birthdays, and of course showed her love for us through food. Even though I just turned 25 yesterday (yay, lower insurance rates!), we still made this pie as a standing tradition.
Does anyone else out there feel like they need a little bit of chocolate every day? Not a crazy amount, just a small piece after dinner every night? I’m like that. I get intense cravings for chocolate. My favorite desserts, therefore, are super chocolatey. This dessert is one of my all-time favorites!
I become a different kind of hangry when I don’t get my chocolate. A few years ago, Eric and I were vacationing in Asheville for the first time. I had heard of the French Broad Chocolate Lounge, but I had never been. Our first day exploring the city, I naturally had chocolate on the brain all day because I couldn’t wait to try it out. We had just finished a brewery tour and had been walking around in the heat. We were tired, and Eric really wanted to go back to the hotel and relax. I agreed, but he quickly noted something was wrong as I became quiet and grumpy on the walk back to the car. I don’t even remember what we argued about but we sat in the parking garage for 30 minutes and it was quite honestly my favorite argument ever because it ended with me emotionally crying out “BUT I JUST WANTED TO GO GET THE CHOCOLATE!” We tried to keep straight faces because we were in the middle of an argument, but we couldn’t help but bust out laughing. We quickly made up and ended up walking to the chocolate lounge, enjoying delicious liquid truffles, and entering a full-blown chocolate coma. I guess the moral of the story is: don’t mess with Alex when she doesn’t get her chocolate.
I have to admit that I never actually knew how she made the chocolate mousse pie until I made it with her this year. I was a little shocked at how insanely easy it is to make! It doesn’t even have egg whites, so it is technically not chocolate mousse, but it still maintains a light and airy texture. Normally, I would say that cake trumps pie every time. When the pie in question has a chocolate cookie wafer crust and the filling is loaded with chocolate… Well, I can make an exception.
Frozen Chocolate Mousse Pie
30 chocolate cookie wafers
6 Tablespoons butter, melted
12 oz semisweet chocolate chips
1 Tablespoon Creme de Cacao
2 cups plus one Tablespoon heavy whipping cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
3/4 cup mini semisweet chocolate chips
Dark chocolate, to curl for garnish (optional)
- Using a food processor, grind the wafer cookies until they form fine crumbs.
- In a medium bowl, combine the cookie crumbs and melted butter. Press the mixture into a 9-inch springform pan using your hands. Refrigerate the crust for around 30 minutes, or until firm. Set aside.
- Using a double boiler, melt the chocolate chips over low heat until smooth. Add in the vanilla extract, espresso powder, Creme de Cacao, and 1 Tablespoon of the heavy cream. Stir to combine and turn off the heat. Allow the chocolate mixture to cool slightly, about 5-10 minutes.
- In a large bowl, beat the remaining 2 cups heavy cream until soft peaks form. Gently fold in the cooled chocolate mixture using a rubber spatula. Stir in the mini chocolate chips.
- Empty the chocolate mousse into the cookie crust and spread evenly. Freeze the pie for at least 2 hours but up to 8. When you are ready to serve the pie, allow to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before eating. Garnish with dark chocolate curls, if desired.