Easy + Decadent Hot Chocolate Pie

Meet your new favourite dessert: a hot chocolate pie that’s stupid-easy to prepare (and can be prepared in advance!), has the most luscious chocolate filling (that’s somewhere between a chocolate ganache and chocolate mousse) AND boasts a perfectly toasted Swiss meringue topping. Need I say more?

This post has been created in collaboration with Diamond of California. All opinions expressed in the post are my own… plus, there’s a whole lotta delicious chocolate pie – so read on. (For more information you can check out my Disclosure Policy.)

Overhead shot of two hot chocolate pies, topped with toasted Swiss meringue, and an unopened nut pie crust. Toasted marshmallows and cups of hot chocolate complete the scene.

Hi friend. Thanksgiving has passed, and the world is officially candy-cane-and-Christmas-tunes crazy. Isn’t it wonderful?

Truth be told, nothing much changes in my kitchen come Christmas time. There’s still (a whole lotta) cake and pie and cookies, only with a bit more spice and molasses thrown into the mix.

Today’s offering is comfort food and chocolate and toasted marshmallow meringue, all mixed together into a dessert that is truly easy to make, can be prepared in advance, and is drop-dead gorgeous and terribly impressive – all while requiring little to no effort. Oh, and it requires only 6 ingredients.

I know, this hot chocolate pie might sound too good to be true. But it’s 100% real and 1000% fabulous, thanks to the amazing Diamond of California walnut pie crusts.

Close-up of a piece of hot chocolate pie.

Listen, I’m usually all for completely-from-scratch, do-it-yourself baking… but come mid December, we’ll be crazy busy and desperate for a shortcut here and there. And when it comes to Diamond of California nut crusts, these shortcuts don’t sacrifice on flavour or texture.

I’m honestly a bit in love with these nut crusts (there’s walnut and pecan crusts to choose from, and I can’t pick a favourite for the life of me!) – they’re pleasantly crunchy, hold their shape well and have a wonderful nutty flavour, which goes well with both sweet and savoury dishes. (Check out this store locator to see the nearest store that carries the nut crusts!)

Case in point: this hot chocolate pie beauty.

Overhead shot of a hot chocolate pie, topped with toasted Swiss meringue. Toasted marshmallows and cups of hot chocolate complete the scene.

There are three components to this pie:

1. The walnut pie crust – which is delicious, ready to use as-is (both for no-bake and baked dishes) and cuts rather wonderfully, a huge bonus when it comes to any ready-made pie crust!

2. The chocolate filling – when it comes to texture, the filling is somewhere between a luscious ganache and a fluffy mousse. And it’s exactly as amazing and decadent as it sounds. It also contains only two ingredients and is 100% fail-proof.

3. The toasted marshmallow meringue topping – our beloved friend, Swiss meringue, makes another appearance! I love this meringue. Because it’s cooked in a controlled manner over a pot of simmering water before whipping, it’s extra stable and eliminates any concerns about uncooked egg whites. It’s super glossy, tastes like extra-fluffy marshmallows and can be toasted to perfection. Need I say more?

Now, all three components are amazing in their own right, but put them together… mind = blown.

Side view of a piece of hot chocolate pie being served.

Before we get to the bits and bobs of making this wonderful pie – if you like what you’re seeing, subscribe to my newsletter to keep up to date on the latest recipes and tips!

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How do you make world’s easiest chocolate pie filling?

In researching this recipe, I’ve had a look online at other chocolate pies… and while they all looked delicious, the number of ingredients for the filling was for the most part just mind-boggling.

If I’m going for a quick recipe with a ready-made pie crust… there’s no way I’m prepared to make a chocolate pudding and add gelatine and then whipped cream and then do those other 10 steps that will apparently lead me to chocolate pie perfection.

Here’s my hypothesis: you can reach chocolate pie filling heaven with only two ingredients.

Spoiler alert: you totally can.

Here’s how you make world’s easiest chocolate pie filling:

  1. Make chocolate ganache by pouring hot double/heavy cream over chopped dark chocolate (60%+ cocoa solids recommended) and stirring it all together until glossy and dangerous (in the best way ever). In a separate bowl, whip double/heavy cream until stiff peaks only just begin to form. Then, fold the whipped cream into slightly cooled ganache,
  2. until you get a smooth, fluffy, chocolatey dream. Resist the temptation to eat it all.
  3. Then, transfer the chocolate filling into the walnut pie crust and
  4. smooth out the top – have fun creating pretty pretty chocolate swirls.

Then, the filled chocolate pie goes into the fridge to chill for at least 4 hours.

4-step process of making the chocolate filling and transferring it into the nut pie crust.

What is Swiss meringue and how do you make it?

Swiss meringue is my favourite out of the three types of meringue (Italian, French and Swiss). Unlike the French meringue which is completely uncooked and is made by whipping together egg whites and sugar, or the Italian meringue which involves essentially cooking the egg whites with an extremely hot sugar syrup, Swiss meringue has all the benefits of the stable Italian meringue while being almost as easy to prepare as French meringue.

Because truth be told – if I can avoid using a syrup heated to a temperature of 240 ºF (115 ºC), you bet I will. At the same time, I do like my meringue cooked (I personally like to avoid eating raw eggs).

For me, Swiss meringue really is the best of both worlds. The fact that it has a texture reminiscent of super fluffy marshmallows doesn’t hurt either.

To make Swiss meringue:

  1. Heat egg whites, a pinch of cream of tartar and caster sugar over a pot of simmering water until all sugar has melted and the mixture reaches a temperature of 140 – 150 ºF (60 – 65 ºC). At this point, the egg whites are safe to eat.
  2. Remove the mixture from the heat and transfer to the bowl of a stand mixer with a whisk attachment, and
  3. whisk until greatly increased in volume and super super fluffy.

That’s it. Doesn’t get much easier than this.

Because we’ll be spooning the Swiss meringue onto the chilled chocolate pie, it’s important that you allow the meringue to cool completely, until it’s at room temperature.

Once the pie has had its minimum 4 hours chilling time and the meringue has cooled down, it’s decorating time! There’s no rules here – just have fun. I like to leave quite a wide edge uncovered, so you can see all the layers of this glorious hot chocolate pie: the delicious Diamonds of California nut crust, the luscious chocolate filling and the fluffy meringue.

I probably don’t need to tell you to go absolutely nuts with the meringue swirls and twirls, do I?

Of course, we mustn’t forget the part that takes this pie from amazing to OMGSOAWESOMEGIMME: toasting the marshmallow meringue topping. (Listen, I know a kitchen torch is everyone’s favourite toy… just be careful, mmkay?)

Overhead shot of a hot chocolate pie, topped with toasted Swiss meringue. A few pieces of the pie have been cut, one is on a white dessert plate. Toasted marshmallows and cups of hot chocolate complete the scene.

Can you prepare the hot chocolate pie a few days in advance?

You definitely can! In fact, this is one of the BEST parts about this pie: you can fill the pie crust with the chocolate filling up to 3 days in advance, and then make and toast the Swiss meringue right before serving.

If you’re really really in a rush, you could even assemble the whole hot chocolate pie (complete with toasted meringue topping) the day before – it keeps really well in the fridge, and the Swiss meringue will be just as fluffy the next day (just note that the toasted meringue “crust” might lose some of its gentle crispness).

How long does the hot chocolate pie keep?

Theoretically, the completely assembled hot chocolate pie keeps in the fridge for up to 3 – 4 days. As I mentioned above, the meringue texture will change slightly with time, with the meringue crust going softer and losing its crispness.

Now, in practice… this pie never survives to see the next day. It’s simply too delicious for its own good.

I mean, just look at it.

Overhead shot of two hot chocolate pies, topped with toasted Swiss meringue. Toasted marshmallows and cups of hot chocolate complete the scene.

If a picture says a thousands words, then this one screams deliciousness, comfort food and EAT ME!!! at the very top of its lungs. You better listen to it – and, as always, enjoy.

Side view of a piece of hot chocolate pie being served.

If you like what you’re seeing, subscribe to my newsletter to keep up to date on the latest recipes and tips!

WEEKLY NEWSLETTER

Easy + Decadent Hot Chocolate Pie

Meet your new favourite dessert: a hot chocolate pie that’s stupid-easy to prepare (and can be prepared in advance!), has the most luscious chocolate filling (that’s somewhere between a chocolate ganache and chocolate mousse) AND boasts a perfectly toasted Swiss meringue topping. Need I say more?

Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword chocolate pie, easy dessert recipe, hot chocolate pie, no bake pie recipe, Swiss meringue
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Chill Time 4 hours
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 8

Ingredients

  • 1 Diamond of California® Ready to Use Walnut Pie Crust, 7 1/2 inches or 19 cm in diameter (you can find it here!)

For chocolate filling:

  • 10 1/2 oz (300 g) dark chocolate, chopped (ideally around 60% cocoa solids)
  • 1 2/3 cups (400 mL) double/heavy cream, divided

For Swiss meringue topping:

  • 3 medium egg whites
  • 1/2 cup (100 g) caster/superfine sugar
  • 1/4 tsp cream of tartar

Instructions

For chocolate filling:

  1. Place the chopped dark chocolate into a heat-proof bowl.

  2. In a saucepan, heat 1 cup (240 mL) double/heavy cream over medium-high heat until it only just begins to boil.

  3. Pour the hot double/heavy cream over the chocolate. Allow to stand for 3 - 4 minutes, then stir until you get a glossy, smooth chocolate ganache. Let cool until warm.

  4. In a separate bowl, whip the remaining 2/3 cup (160 mL) double/heavy cream until stiff peaks only just begin to form.

  5. Once the chocolate ganache has cooled, gently fold the whipped cream into it until fully incorporated.

  6. Transfer the chocolate filling into the walnut pie crust and smooth out the top.

  7. Refrigerate the filled chocolate pie for at least 4 hours, or until the filling is completely set.

For Swiss meringue topping:

  1. Mix the egg whites, sugar and cream of tartar in a heat-proof bowl above a pot of simmering water.

  2. Heat the meringue mixture with constant stirring until it reaches 150 ºF (65 ºC) and the sugar has melted.

  3. Remove from heat and transfer the hot meringue mixture into a stand mixer with a whisk attachment (or use a hand mixer with the double beater attachment). Whisk the mixture for 5 - 7 minutes, until it reaches room temperature and forms stiff, glossy peaks.

  4. Make sure the meringue is completely cooled (to room temperature) before you top the pie with it, otherwise the chocolate filling can melt.

Assembling the hot chocolate pie:

  1. Spoon the cooled Swiss meringue on top of the chilled chocolate pie – I like to keep a wide edge free of the meringue, so you can see the chocolate filling underneath.

  2. Create swirls of meringue with an offset spatula or the back of a spoon.

  3. Toast the Swiss meringue topping with a kitchen torch.

  4. Enjoy!

Storage:

  1. The hot chocolate pie keeps in the fridge in a closed container for up to 3 – 4 days

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