Ridiculously sublime chocolate pie. Indulge. 

Pretty, isn't it?  Sinfully rich and delicious too.  But, here's the clincher, it's easy peasy to make ahead and have ready for dinner party day.  Aaaahhhhhh.....  A perfect dessert?  Mayhaps.

Some recipes in my collection I've made only once or twice, some a handful of times, some dozens of times, but likely (I lost count long ago) I've probably made this Chocolate Mousse Pie hundreds of times. But we have to go waaay back to explain..... 

'Twas the 1980s in the beautiful orchard city of Kelowna, when Forest Grump and I worked day in and day out at what still remains one of our favorite labours of love, Chianti's. Our little going concern of a mom-and-pop-made-from-scratch restaurant, had line-ups out the door most weekends and many regulars came craving yet another piece of Chocolate Mousse Pie.  We also served those crazy delicious, real-deal New York style baked cheesecakes in an ever changing variety of fresh fruit and carmely flavours.  But it was the mousse pie set the standard and became one of those things people kept coming back for. 

Still, years later, Chocolate Mousse Pie has become a requested family favorite for birthdays,Chocolate-mousse-slice  
anniversaries, Christmas parties and other special occasion gatherings.  Truth be known, I'm always quite thrilled when someone requests this dessert because it's best made the day ahead (yay!) and it really is pretty darn easy. (yay!)  And best of all it always, always delivers!!  Every velvety mouthful boasts decadent, gorgeously chocolate, creamy sweetness.  Some people even smile and close their eyes when savouring this particular dessert.  One of my favorite testimonials.

Give this one a try, it might just become one of those stand-by, special occasion desserts that you can feel so good about counting on. And aside from that, when you bring it out to serve, you get say, "Wipe that chocolatey smile on your face right now!"

"Giving chocolate to others is an intimate form of communication,
a sharing of deep, dark secrets. 
Milton Zelman

CHOCOLATE MOUSSE PIE - 12 to 16 servings

2 cups chocolate wafer crumbs
1/3 cup butter, melted

2 3/4 cups good quality semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 cups whipping cream
4 tablespoons icing sugar
4 egg whites, room temperature
2 eggs
4 egg yolks

1 1/2 cups whipping cream, sugar, vanilla
Chocolate dipped berries

For crust: Combine crumbs and butter in the bottom of a 9 or 10 inch springform pan.  With a soup spoon press crumbs on bottom and part way up sides of pan.  Refrigerate.

For filling: Melt chocolate, until completely smooth, in top of a double boiler over barely simmering water. Let cool.  Meanwhile whip 2 cups whipping cream with 4 tablespoons icing sugar until quite stiff.  Refrigerate.  Beat egg whites until stiff.  Set aside.  Get ready to give yourself a little bit of an upper body workout.  Add whole eggs to melted chocolate, stirring vigorously with a wooden spoon to completely incorporate.  Add egg yolks and mix until thoroughly blended.  Come on, stir! 

Now, stir or whisk a little of the beaten whites and whipped cream into the chocolate mixture to lighten.  Keep adding cream and whites in 2 or 3 more additions, whisking gently until completely incorporated.  Pour into prepared crust and chill at least 6 hours, or preferably overnight.

For topping: Whip 1 1/2 cups whipping cream with 2 tablespoons sugar and a teaspoon of vanilla until quite stiff.  Loosen crust on all sides using a sharp knife.  Remove outer ring of pan.  Place pie on serving plate.  Smooth a good layer of whipped cream over top of the mousse pie, then decorate edges with a piping bag, if desired.  Plop on some Callebaut chocolate covered strawberries and voila!