Dark Chocolate Pie With Cocoa Nib Praline

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Another chocolate on steroids recipe that you will LOVE! Cocoa nibs (bits of roasted shelled cocoa beans) are available at specialty foods stores or chefshop.com.

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Yield: Makes 8 servings

Ingredients

Crust
10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
1 1/3 cups all purpose flour

Cocoa nib praline
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1 tablespoon (packed) golden brown sugar
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
1/4 cup cocoa nibs
1/4 cup pecans, chopped

Chocolate filling
2 1/4 cups whole milk, divided
6 large egg yolks
2/3 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
6 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder (such as Scharffen Berger or Valrhona)
4 teaspoons cornstarch
4 ounces bittersweet (not unsweetened) or semisweet chocolate, chopped
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups chilled whipping cream
3 tablespoons powdered sugar

Preparation

For crust:
1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter 9-inch-diameter glass pie dish.

2.Mix melted butter, sugar, and salt in medium bowl. Add flour and mix until well blended. Press dough onto bottom and up sides of prepared dish; crimp edges decoratively. Bake crust until golden brown and cooked through, about 18 minutes. Cool crust completely on rack. Maintain oven temperature.

For cocoa nib praline:
1. Line rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Whisk first 5 ingredients in medium bowl to blend. Stir in cocoa nibs and chopped pecans. Drop mixture by tablespoonfuls onto prepared sheet, spacing 1 inch apart. Bake until mixture spreads and is deep golden brown, about 18 minutes (mixture will flow together into 1 piece on baking sheet). Remove from oven; cool completely on sheet.

2. Break praline into irregular pieces or shards. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Store airtight in single layer at room temperature.)

For chocolate filling and topping:
1. Bring 2 cups milk to simmer in heavy medium saucepan; remove from heat. Whisk egg yolks, brown sugar, vanilla, and remaining 1/4 cup milk to blend in medium bowl; whisk in cocoa powder and cornstarch until smooth. Gradually whisk in hot milk mixture. Return mixture to saucepan. Whisk constantly over medium heat until mixture thickens and boils.

2. Remove from heat. Add chocolate and butter; whisk until melted and smooth. Pour filling into cooled pie crust. Refrigerate until filling is cold and set, about 4 hours. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and keep chilled.)

3. Using electric mixer, beat cream and powdered sugar until soft peaks form.

4. Cut pie into wedges. Serve with whipped cream and praline pieces.

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