Chocolate and meringue black-bottom pie
A gorgeous presentation, perfect for the holidays. Chocolate cookie crust, glorious velvet cream and topped with a mountain of caramelized meringue. Make this one for sure!
1 1/4 cups chocolate wafers, crushed
1/4 cup melted butter
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon unflavoured gelatin
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
8 ounces milk chocolate, finely chopped
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
4 large egg whites
For the crust, place chocolate wafers in food processor, and mix until finely ground. Transfer to mixing bowl, add melted butter; stir until well combined. Press firmly into 8-inch springform pan, evenly coating the bottom and lower half of the sides. Cover with plastic wrap, and chill in refrigerator for 30 minutes.
For filling pour milk into small bowl. Sprinkle gelatin over milk and let soften for 5 minutes. Place cream and 2 tablespoons sugar in small saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve sugar. Add gelatin mixture and stir to combine. Remove from heat. Add chocolate and vanilla, cover and let stand for 3 minutes. Whisk until thoroughly combined. Pass mixture through a fine sieve into prepared crust; this will ensure a smooth, even texture. Return filled crust to refrigerator for 6 hours or overnight.
For meringue, place egg whites and remaining sugar in the heat-proof bowl of an electric mixer, and place over a pan of warm water, stirring constantly, until the egg whites are warm to the touch and sugar is completely dissolved, about 3 minutes. Attach the bowl to the mixer and with the whisk attachment beat egg whites, on medium, until soft peaks form, about 3 minutes. Raise speed to high, and beat until stiff and glossy but not dry, about 1 1/2 minutes. (For the smoothest, glossiest peaks, be careful not to overbeat the egg whites.)
To finish, remove pie from refrigerator. Using a rubber spatula, drop meringue on top, lifting to create tall peaks. Place under broiler in oven and watch it carefully, as it will brown very quickly. Chill pie in the refrigerator, and serve chilled.