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Decadent (Almost) No Bake Chocolate Cream Pie

This rich, creamy, decadent chocolate cream pie doesn't require any baking except for the crust. So look no further for the perfect Valentine's Day dessert.

Nothing says Valentine's Day like chocolate, and this decadent chocolate cream pie is not only super quick to make, it's soooooooo delicious. 

Rich and creamy and delicious, my Almost No Bake Chocolate Cream Pie doesn't require any baking other than the crust - and it doesn't call for any eggs - so it's a great option to make when your girls are on their winter hiatus.

Whether you surprise your special someone on Valentine's Day or their birthday, or decide to make this pie "just because", you'll love it!  It's super easy and comes together in no time, but it does need a few hours to set and chill, so be sure to plan for that. 

Dutch-Process Black Cocoa Powder

My recipe calls for Dutch-process black cocoa powder which is more smooth and mellow in flavor than regular cocoa powder. It's less bitter than regular cocoa and also is super dark in color. (As an aside, it's what's used to make Oreo cookies!)

You can sub in an equal amount of regular cocoa powder in this recipe if that's all you have. However, if you're a chocolate lover, I highly recommend picking up some Dutch-process cocoa. 

Pie Crust with Vodka

You can use any type of pie crust you want for this pie. You can buy a frozen or refrigerated crust or even use a graham cracker crust, or I guess if you're gluten-free you could even do some kind of nut crust - but it's super simple to whip up a homemade crust in your food processor. 

My secret to a flaky, tender crust is a cupful of vodka. Yup, vodka. It helps to inhibit the formation of gluten. And using chilled butter and vodka along with the ice water also helps your crust to be flaky. 

Since vodka won't freeze, it just makes sense to keep it in the freezer, so you always have it on hand chilled...so now you know.

Decadent (Almost) No Bake Chocolate Cream Pie

(scroll down for the printable recipe card)

For the Crust

1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt

1 stick unsalted butter, cubed and chilled

2 tablespoons ice water

1/4 cup chilled vodka

Measure the flour and salt into the bowl of a food processor, then add the butter. Pulse a few times to combine, then with the motor running, slowly pour in the water, then the vodka. 

Pulse just until the dough holds together when you pinch some between your fingers, maybe 30 seconds. You can add a few more drops of ice water if needed.

Form the dough into a disc and wrap it in parchment paper or plastic wrap and refrigerate it for at least 30 minutes, up to overnight.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Roll out the crust and fit into a 9" deep dish pie dish. Poke holes in the bottom with the tines of a fork and refrigerate for 20 minutes, then cover the crust with parchment and fill with dried beans, rice or pie weights

Bake for 18 minutes, then remove the parchment and weights, and bake for another 2 minutes or until the crust is cooked and lightly browned around the edges. Remove from the oven and cool completely.

While the crust is cooling, make the filling.

For the Filling

2 pints (4 cups) heavy whipping cream

1 3/4 cups confectioners sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste

8 ounce package of cream cheese, room temperature

1/2 cup Dutch-process black cocoa powder

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips

Chocolate bar for garnish

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the heavy cream on high for 1-2 minutes until it starts to get foamy and thicken, then on low speed add 1/2 cup of the confectioners sugar and the vanilla. 

Continue to whip until stiff peaks form, another 2 to 3 minutes. Scrape the whipped cream into a medium bowl and set aside (you can refrigerate it until you're ready to use it). You should have about 7 or 8 cups of whipped cream.

Fit the stand mixer with the paddle attachment and in the same bowl, beat the cream cheese, cocoa and remaining 1 1/4 cups of confectioners sugar until smooth. Melt the chocolate chips and butter until melted, then stir until smooth. 

Pour the melted chocolate into the bowl with the cream cheese mixture and mix until combined, then with the mixer on low speed, fold in half of the whipped cream until no streaks remain.

Spread the filling into the cooled crust, then use a rubber spatula to scoop the remaining whipped cream on top and make swirls. Refrigerate for at least an hour and up to overnight. Just before serving, use a microplane to grate some chocolate on top.  Refrigerate leftovers and eat within a few days.




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