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      RECIPE TITLE "Cappuccino Truffle Mousse Pie" recipe from Debbie Fields' Great American Desserts Copyright © 1996 by Debra J. Fields and Reid/Land Productions

    yieldsMakes 12 servings time ---difficultymoderate

    The drama of Truffle Pie (page 196) lies in its intensely flavored chocolate filling. One day I was wondering how to lighten the filling but still keep the exquisite richness of that wonderful pie. I added whipped cream to the cappuccino-flavored top layer. Then I added a nutty crust and a white chocolate drizzle over all.

    This dessert is a showstopper, but it's easy to make. In fact, it has to be made in advance to allow the filling, a basic mousse preparation, to chill.

    Equipment Needed: * 9-inch tart pan with removable bottom * electric mixer

    2 cups skinned hazelnuts, toasted (See Tip: To Skin Hazelnuts, page 172)
    4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
    1/3 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
    1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
    2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces

    Mousse filling:
    2 large egg yolks, at room temperature
    1 1/3 cups heavy cream
    12 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
    1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
    2 tablespoons instant coffee crystals dissolved in 1 tablespoon hot water
    2/3 cup chilled heavy cream, beaten until stiff

    1 cup heavy cream, divided
    8 ounces white chocolate, chopped
    3 tablespoons powdered sugar


    1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

    Butter the tart pan and set aside.

    Make the crust:
    2. Combine the nuts, flour, brown sugar, nutmeg, and butter in a food processor and pulse until the nuts are finely ground and the butter is incorporated. Press the crust over the bottom and up the sides of the tart pan. Bake for 15 minutes, then set aside on a rack to cool.

    Make the filling:
    3. In the top of a double boiler set over barely simmering water, whisk together the egg yolks. Whisk in the cream and cook, stirring, until thickened, 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in the chopped chocolate and vanilla, and whisk until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth.

    4. Pour 2/3 of the warm chocolate filling into the prebaked crust, then refrigerate the pie for 1 hour.

    5. While the remaining chocolate filling is still warm, add the dissolved coffee mixture and whisk until smooth. Cover with plastic wrap and let cool on a wire rack for 30 minutes.

    6. Fold the whipped cream into the cooled cappuccino mixture until no white streaks remain. Spoon the filling over the chilled chocolate filling in the pie shell, spreading it evenly, and refrigerate the pie again for 4 hours.

    Make the garnish:
    7. In a ceramic or glass bowl covered with plastic wrap, heat 1/3 cup of the heavy cream with the white chocolate on High in a microwave oven for 30-second intervals, stirring after each interval, until smooth.

    8. Put the remaining 2/3 cup of cream and the powdered sugar in a chilled bowl and beat using the electric mixer until stiff peaks form.

    Assemble the pie:
    9. Garnish the top of the pie with dollops of the whipped cream, then drizzle the white chocolate cream decoratively over the cream and pie.

    Tip: Using a Squeeze Bottle with Chocolate Cream to Garnish

    Using a squeeze bottle is the easiest way to create a design with a melted chocolate garnish. Simply put warm chocolate cream in the bottle and squeeze gently over the surface of the dessert. If you have any leftover cream, store the bottle in the refrigerator. To reuse, simply heat the bottle in hot water until the cream pours again. Make everyday desserts special by drizzling chocolate cream prettily over a piece of bundt or pound cake or, easier still, a scoop or two of frozen yogurt.

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