Saturday, April 17, 2010

Peddling My Talents

I can make a mean chocolate pie. It’s in a graham cracker crust and topped with an orange mousse. Unlike most chocolate pies you get, the filling is nothing like pudding. It’s a chocolate ganache that’s as thick as something the exact consistency of chocolate ganache. It also has a touch of Grand Marnier which gives it a nice hint of orangy-alcoholiness. I got it from a French desserts recipe book and everyone who has tried it has loved it. I can also make brownies, crepes, vegan peanut-butter fudge, madeleines, and chocolate eclairs. Not only can I make them, I actually like doing it. I especially like sharing them with other people because they usually like them and that makes me happy. So what does this have to do with Ecuador and learning Spanish? A means to an end, honey, a means to an end.

I decided that one way to raise money for my trip to Ecuador is to peddle my dessert making skills and start a sort of dessert of the month club. Each month or so I’ll offer a different dessert (for a reasonable price) and take orders from anyone who wants one. That way I can make a whole bunch of one thing at a time and not have to worry about whether or not people will actually buy what I make. Cuz I won’t make it unless they buy it, get it? Plus it has the extra added bonus of making me eat lots of leftovers and half-successful dessert attempts so that I’ll get big and fat in time for bathing suit season! Oh. Wait. That’s a bad part.

To go along with this part of my project, I thought it’d be nice to post my favorite recipes here on the blog. That way the people who aren’t close enough to take part in my dessert of the month club can still try out what I’m makin’! Plus, there’s the added bonus of undermining my plans by making these desserts available for cheaper by allowing people to make them themselves at home. Oh. Wait. That’s a bad part, too. Oh, well, too late now.

Chocolate Orange Ganache Pie (without the orange mousse because it’s too much of a pain to write it all out here; besides, the pie is just fine without it thankyouverymuch)

1 store-bought graham cracker pie crust (I don’t know how to make them and the store bought ones are great anyway, so why not?)

1 pound chocolate chips (can any recipe that starts with a pound of chocolate be bad?)

1 cup heavy cream (likewise for the cream)

2 tablespoons sugar

2 tablespoons unsalted butter (I’ve used salted butter with the result that No One Cares.)

2 tablespoons Grand Marnier (experiment with different flavorings, I suggest mint or raspberry)

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (did you know that when you add this stuff actually matters? I’ve always belonged to the ‘combine-all-ingredients-at-once’ school of cooking but it turns out that doesn’t always work)

So, basically you heat up the cream, sugar, and butter till the butter melts and the cream almost boils then you pour all that over the chocolate in a big bowl and let that sit for 30 seconds to soften the chocolate then you mix it all up and add the vanilla and Grand Marnier (or whatever) and then pour it in the pie crust and let it cool. And stuff. I can never get all the bits of chocolate melted with the cream mixture itself so you might want to let the bowl of chocolate warm up a touch in a warm oven or over some hot water or something but it really doesn’t matter because the extra bits of chips aren’t really noticeable in the final pie. Isn’t it funny how adding an ‘e’ after letters makes them sound different? Or possibly sound differently. I’m never sure about adverbs. I hope they’re easier in Spanish. Shows you how little Spanish grammar I know at this point. I’d better get back to studying.


1 comment:

  1. Since you didn't specify a brand, I am going to assume that you have no particularly loyalty and won't mind if I toss an opinion out here: the Ghirardhelli "double chocolate" or "60% cacao" chips are THE BEST CHOCOLATE CHIPS EVER (they changed the name and I can't remember which is the old name and which is the new). Cooks' Illustrated determined as much after a taste test of however many brands, and I was like, "Well duh. Coulda saved you some trouble there, Cooks' Illustrated."

    This pie with the orange mousse sounds good. I might have to order one.