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.