French Silk Pie Bars (and a Surprise-Inside Cakes giveaway!)

by Julie Ruble on March 24, 2014 · 87 comments

French Silk Pie Bars
French Silk Pie Bars

French Silk Pie Bars



Recipe by: Willow Bird Baking adapted from Brown Eyed Baker
Yield: 9 bars

If you love French Silk pie, this is your kind of dessert! A buttery shortbread crust forms the base for creamy chocolate mousse and fluffy whipped cream. Use Pioneer Woman’s tutorial for making cute chocolate curls to boost the presentation!

Crust Ingredients:
1 cup (2 sticks) butter
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup icing sugar

Filling Ingredients:
1 cup heavy cream
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
3 eggs
¾ cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into ½-inch pieces

Topping Ingredients:
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 teaspoon gelatin
2 tablespoons cold water
4-5 tablespoons powdered sugar
chocolate curls (optional)

Directions:
Make shortbread crust: Preheat your oven to 350°F. Prepare an 8-inch square baking dish by lining it with parchment paper. Cut the butter into the flour and icing sugar and press into the baking dish (I used a food processor to cut the fat into the flour — about 6-10 pulses — and then the bottom of a glass to press the mixture into the pan). Bake 18-20 minutes or until light brown. Set on a wire rack.

Make the filling: Melt your chocolate by heating in 30-second intervals on half power, stirring between each. Once melted, set the chocolate aside as you complete the filling. In a chilled bowl, beat the heavy whipping cream to stiff peaks. Place it in a bowl in the fridge to chill until it’s needed. In the heatproof bowl of a stand mixer, beat together eggs, sugar, and water for 5 minutes until pale yellow and slightly thickened. Set the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water to form a sort of double boiler. Heat, whisking occasionally, until a candy thermometer reads 160 degrees F.

Put the bowl onto the stand mixer carefully and beat on medium speed until cooled to room temperature and thickened, about 8 minutes. While beating, add in the chocolate and vanilla. My chocolate almost seemed to stick to the bowl and get difficult here, but I just turned the mixer up for a few seconds and all was well. Beat in the room temperature butter a piece at a time, mixing between each. Fold in the whipped cream until no white streaks remain, and then pour the mixture over your cooled shortbread crust and smooth the top. Cover and chill the bars for at least 3 hours or overnight.

Make the topping: In a small bowl, sprinkle the gelatin over the 2 tablespoons cold water to soften for 2 minutes. Heat for 15 or so seconds in the microwave, whisking to dissolve the gelatin. Whip 1 cup heavy whipping cream to stiff peaks, adding the gelatin and powdered sugar halfway through. Chill in the fridge until set.

Want to see some of my own “surprise inside” cakes? I’ll be honest: I use a special pan to craft my heart-shaped creations. Amanda’s book will help you to be much more crafty!

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