Traditional Scottish Recipes
- Chocolate Velvet Cream Pie

This recipe is from Claire Macdonald who has written many cookery books and runs the cookery school at Kinloch Lodge. This pie has a base not of pastry but of crushed chocolate digestive biscuits (Graham crackers), mixed with melted butter. The filling contains cream cheese, and is smooth and silky in texture.

Ingredients (serves 6-8) for the base:
250g (9 oz) packet dark chocolate digestive biscuits (Graham crackers in North America).
75g (3 oz) butter, melted and cooled

Ingredients for the filling:
225g (8 oz or 2 US sticks) cream cheese
175g (6 oz or one cup scant) caster (fine granulated) sugar
5 ml (1 tsp.) vanilla essence
175g (6 oz) dark chocolate, melted
2 large egg yolks
300 ml (8 fluid ounces or one US cup) double cream
1 large egg white

To make the base, crush the biscuit to crumbs in a blender or food processor, or in a polythene bag with a rolling pin. Mix together the biscuit crumbs and the cooled melted butter, and press round the base and sides of a 20-22.5cm (8-9inch) flan dish. Bake in the oven pre-heated to 180'c (350'f/gas mark 4) for 15 minutes. Remove and leave to cool.

To make the filling, beat together the cream cheese and 100g (4 oz) of the caster sugar. Beat in the vanilla essence and the melted chocolate, and the egg yolk, one by one. Fold in the cream, whipped until it just holds its shape. Whisk the egg whites until they are stiff, then, still whisking, add the remaining caster sugar a spoonful at a time. Fold into the chocolate mixture. Pour the mixture in to the cooled baked pie crust. Chill in the fridge for several hours until set.

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