French Silk Chocolate Pie

The secret to this rich and chocolaty pie's silky and airy texture is that it contains sabayon, a foamy mixture of whipped egg yolks, water, and sugar.

Overhead view of Chocolate French Silk Pie with a slice removed

Serious Eats / Antonis Achilleos

French. Silk. Chocolate. Pie. These are four of the sexiest words in the English language, and sexy is the best single word I can think of to describe this decadent, classic dessert. Perhaps it's the way that billows of whipped cream and flirtatious chocolate curls coyly reveal just a hint of the luscious chocolate filling that lies beneath. Or the smooth, unctuous chocolate filling that eases the fork down into a flaky all-butter crust.

It's all about the chocolate, so be sure to select the best one possible. For a filling that is airy like a mousse but also dense like a truffle, you'll want to use chocolate with a cacao content in the 58-71% range. Anything higher won't contain enough fat to achieve the silky, creamy texture, and using milk chocolate (lower percentages) would cause you to lose the rich chocolate flavor and color.

Be sure to select a chocolate in the 58-71% cacao range for optimal texture, flavor, and appearance.

The secret to this pie's rich and airy texture is that it contains a sabayon foamy mixture of eggs and sugar that have been whisked over a double boiler until it reaches 160 degrees Fahrenheit. Do not worry if you need to go slow or frequently remove the bowl from the top of the double boiler to whisk away from the heat. Just be sure to whisk continuously, protect your hands from the heat, and check the temperature frequently as you go.

To make this pie at home, first click over here for a tutorial and recipe for making a fantastic and easy flaky pie crust (you'll only need a single crust for this pie).

July 2011

This recipe was cross-tested in 2022 and updated to make the following adjustments to the filling: use whole eggs, remove the water, add softened unsalted butter and espresso powder, and change how the filling is assembled.

Recipe Facts

Prep: 30 mins
Cook: 8 mins
Active: 30 mins
Chilling Time: 4 hrs
Total: 4 hrs 38 mins
Serves: 8 to 10 servings
Makes: 1 pie

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  • 1 cup (237ml) heavy cream, chilled

  • 3 large eggs (about 5 1/4 ounces; 150g)

  • 3/4 cup sugar (about 5 1/4 ounces; 150g)

  • Pinch salt

  • 8 ounces (225g) bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped (about 1 1/3 cups)

  • 1 teaspoon instant espresso powder, such as Medaglia D’Oro

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter (4 ounces; 115g), softened

  • One single pie crust, blind baked in a pie plate and cooled

  • Freshly whipped cream, for serving

  • Chocolate shavings, optional


  1. Whip heavy cream and set aside in the fridge.

    Overhead view of whipped cream in a stand mixer bowl

    Serious Eats / Antonis Achilleos 

  2. Whisk eggs,  sugar, and salt together in a medium heatproof bowl. Set the bowl over a pot of simmering water; cook, whisking constantly, until the temperature reaches 160ºF (71ºC). Whisk in chocolate and espresso powder until melted, smooth, and combined. Remove from heat; cool 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

    Four Image Collage of an overhead view of chocolate and expresso being melted in a double boiler set up

    Serious Eats / Antonis Achilleos 

  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter on medium speed until smooth and creamy, 1 to 2 minutes, stopping to scrape sides of bowl. Gradually add chocolate mixture, beating until combined and stopping to scrape sides of bowl as needed.

    Two image collage of chocolate mixture being added to a stand mixer

    Serious Eats / Antonis Achilleos 

  4. Stir a third of whipped cream into chocolate mixture until combined to lighten. Fold in remaining whipped cream in two additions until combined and no white or dark streaks remain.

    Folding more whipped cream into chocolate mixture

    Serious Eats / Antonis Achilleos 

  5. Pour mixture directly into the cooled, blind-baked pie shell. Spread into an even layer using a small offset spatula. Chill the pie in the fridge for at least 4 hours or preferably overnight. Top with additional whipped cream and chocolate shavings right before serving.

    Four image collage of chocolate mixture being poured into pie shell, and then whipped cream and chocolate shavings adde

    Serious Eats / Antonis Achilleos 

Special equipment

stand mixer, double broiler


Use a knife dipped in warm water and wiped dry for clean slicing; be sure to clean the knife between each incision.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
560 Calories
42g Fat
41g Carbs
7g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 8 to 10
Amount per serving
Calories 560
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 42g 53%
Saturated Fat 23g 116%
Cholesterol 79mg 26%
Sodium 178mg 8%
Total Carbohydrate 41g 15%
Dietary Fiber 5g 17%
Total Sugars 18g
Protein 7g
Vitamin C 0mg 1%
Calcium 63mg 5%
Iron 5mg 27%
Potassium 274mg 6%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)