Success Tastes Chocolatey

Tonight I made a special Valentine’s Day dinner for my husband, and I tried the chocolate cream pie again, bound and determined to get it right after the previous disaster. And it worked!

Turns out I hadn’t cooked it near long enough. The directions say to add the butter and chocolate last, and cook til the chocolate is melted. Well, at a quick glance, the chocolate looks melted almost immediately, but when you look closely, you see small individual pieces of chocolate not fully dissolved. My first chocolate cream pie came out too liquidy and never set because I took it off the heat at that stage. This time (on the advice of my husband, who kicks butt at cooking), I waited until the mixture had noticeably thickened. It seems to take forever, and then it’s a very sudden change, from a thin liquid to a soft pudding, just like that. I think that’s also the point where the chocolate fully melts. And, if you want to go by temperature, it happens right around 180 degrees.

The rest of the dinner was also yummy–lamb chops with an herb pan sauce (I used parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme, with a spiced wine as the liquid, and a bit of white wine vinegar), rosemary and olive oil roasted potatoes, and green beans with almonds.

Everything but the potatoes and the beans were straight out of The Joy of Cooking. If you like to cook, or want to like to cook, or just want to maybe attempt cooking, and don’t own this book, I can’t recommend it highly enough. The potatoes came from a Food Network recipe. The idea of doing lamb started there as well, but since I couldn’t find rack of lamb, only chops, I went with the Joy of Cooking sauteed lamb chops recipe.


3 thoughts on “Success Tastes Chocolatey

  1. Heidi says:

    I’ve made that JOC chocolate cream pie and it is DELICIOUS! Congratulations on the cooking success!

  2. SunflowerP says:

    I grew up with my mom’s Good Housekeeping cookbook (not sure of the edition, but it’s from sometime in the ’40s), and didn’t discover Joy until I was in my late 30s. Well, I knew about it, of course, but I assumed it covered much the same ground as GH. I was thrilled to discover that it actually went quite a bit farther into the whys.

    My latest culinary crush is Jeff Potter’s Cooking for Geeks, which is pretty much the book I’d been yearning for since even before I found out about Joy – the emphasis is on the principles behind how cooking works (chemistry and physics, but you don’t have to be a physics or chem geek to understand it, it’s pretty straightforward – about as technical as you talking about what happened to your pie filling at 180*), rather than on “just follow the recipe”.

    Lest too many links cause me to be dumped in a spam folder, I’ll just link to the blog of the same name.


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