- Written by Cynthia Presser
My Bonbon Pie was created around one very popular Brazilian chocolate candy named “Sonho de Valsa”. If either you are from or have been to Brazil, chances are that you know and love “Sonho de Valsa”.
This bonbon has a rich filling made of cashew cream, with a thin crunchy layer of wafer around it and another thin layer of silky milk chocolate covering it all. It is my favorite piece of candy and I used to always bring a few bags of “Sonho de Valsa” back with me when I visited home. Now, thanks to Amazon I can order online and always have it available – which can be seriously dangerous since I cannot resist but having one every day.
My Bonbon Pie is incredibly decadent! It has a crunchy crust on the bottom, topped with rich custard, pieces of “Sonho de Valsa”, smooth ganache and creamy whipped meringue. Each layer complement each other and, just like the chocolate candy “Sonho de Valsa”, I think it is so hard not to fall to the temptation: when I make this pie I have a slice every day! In fact, I had a large slice after lunch today. It was worth every single one of the calories!
- 1 ½ cups Graham Crackers crumbs (or 3 cups roughly crushed)
- 1 stick butter (8 tablespoons), at room temperature
- ½ cup unsalted cashews, roughly chopped
- ¼ cup dark brown sugar
- 1 can sweetened condensed milk
- 1 ½ cups whole milk
- 4 egg yolks, passed through a fine sieve
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 ½ cups heavy cream
- 1 ½ cups dark chocolate chips, or shaved dark chocolate – use a good brand, such as Guittard
- 1 cup chilled heavy cream
- 4 egg whites
- ½ cup sugar
- 12 bonbons “Sonho de Valsa”, roughly chopped (See Cook’s Notes)
Directions for Crust:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
To the bowl of a food processor, add Graham Crackers crumbs, butter, cashews and brown sugar. Process until combined; about 1 to 1 ½ minutes. If necessary, pulse a few times and scrape the pieces that accumulate towards the top of the bowl, pushing them into the dough to combine.
Press into the bottom of a 9-inch pie pan (I used a non-stick ring mold). Using a fork, punch tiny holes on the surface. Make sure you punch all the surface of the crust, so the little holes are fairly close to each other.
Transfer to the middle rack of the oven. Bake until golden brown, about 8 to 10 minutes. Remove and set aside to cool.
Directions for Custard:
While the crust is in the oven, combine sweetened condensed milk, whole milk, egg yolks and butter in a medium sauce pan over medium heat. Cook, stirring constantly, until the custard thickens; about 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat and transfer to a bowl. Set aside to cool.
Directions for Ganache:
Place heavy cream in a medium sauce pan set over medium heat. Once the heavy cream is warm, but not boiling, remove from heat and whisk in chocolate until combined. Set aside.
Directions for Topping:
Chill the beaters of your mixer for a few minutes in the freezer, then reattach to mixer. Place chilled heavy cream in the bowl of mixer and process on high speed until mixture thickens; 2 to 5 minutes depending on how powerful mixer is. Transfer to refrigerator.
Wash and dry the beaters and reattach to mixer. Place egg whites in a clean bowl. Beat on high speed, until soft peaks form; 3 to 5 minutes depending on how powerful mixer is. Reduce speed to medium and slowly add sugar to bowl, 1 tablespoon at a time. Beat an additional minute and remove from mixer.
Fold in heavy cream into egg whites gently until combined, being careful not to over mix. Transfer to refrigerator until ready to assemble.
Spread custard over crust. Refrigerate 15 minutes.
Sprinkle the chopped “Sonho de Valsa” candy over the custard. Save about ½ cup of the pieces for garnishing at the top.
Spread ganache over chopped chocolate candy, smoothing surface with the back of a spoon.
Top with the meringue and whipping cream mix, also soothing the surface with the back of a spoon.
Sprinkle the remaining chopped “Sonho de Valsa” candy over meringue.
Refrigerate for at least 24 hours (see Cook’s Notes).
If you used a ring mold, carefully run a knife around the ring before unmolding. Slice and serve chilled.
When chopping the chocolate, be careful not to chop it into pieces that are too small. Here is what I did: I cut each candy in half, then I ran the knife four times through each half; so each candy turned into 5 pieces. Not too small, but not too big either.
This pie is best when served very chilled. It is very important to refrigerate for at least 24 hours before serving. I prefer to chill it for 48 hours before unmolding and serving. If you end up not having 24 hours in advance before serving, place it in the freezer for 20 to 30 minutes then slice and serve.
Here is what "Sonho de Valsa" looks like when wrapped...
And this is what it looks like when split in half. Sometimes, I like to eat the outside layer of chocolate first, then eat the cashew cream in one big bite. Yum!
It is a good looking pie, isn't it?!
Just one more picture of this beauty...