Chocolate: Where Worlds Collide. As many of you know, I have two blogs, Mystery Fanfare and Dying for Chocolate. Several years ago I had two issues of the Mystery Readers Journal devoted to Culinary Crime. The authors who contributed essays also included a recipe. Several mystery writers include chocolate in their novels as a pivotal plot device, background, or just for fun. Many mystery authors post recipes from time to time on their websites, blogs and newsletters. That's the case for this entry.
Vicki Lane writes the Elizabeth Goodweather mystery series and is up for an Anthony award this year for In a Dark Season. Thanks to Kaye Barley who writes the wonderful Meanderings and Muses blog for alerting me to this recipe for Vicki Lane's Frozen Chocolate Pie. It's easy and delicious. Thanks, too, to Vicki Lane, of course.
Vicki Lane's Frozen Chocolate Pie
A wonderful, mostly do-ahead crowd pleaser
Pecan Crust (1 9-inch)
2 cups coarsely chopped pecans
1/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
3 tablespoons melted butter
2 teaspoons coffee liqueur (you can use rum if you don't have coffee liqueur around)
Stir ingredients together; press mixture firmly onto bottom and up side of a nine-inch pie pan. Bake at 350 for 10 to 12 minutes. Gently press sides of crust with back of a spoon; cool. Frozen
Chocolate Pie Filling
6 (1 ounce) semi-sweet chocolate squares (or break up a high end dark chocolate bar)
2 tablespoons strong coffee (or 1/2 teaspoon instant coffee)
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 cup coffee liqueur, divided (again, you can use rum instead)
1/2 cups whipping cream, divided (half will be used to top the pie)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Melt the chocolate squares with the coffee in a heavy saucepan over low heat, stirring occasionally. Gradually stir about one-fourth of the hot chocolate mixture into the beaten eggs; now add the egg-chocolate mixture back to the remaining chocolate, stirring constantly. Gradually stir in three tablespoons coffee liqueur (or rum) and cook, continuing to stir for a few minutes. Remove from heat and cool.
Beat 3/4 cup of whipping cream with the vanilla till soft peaks form. Fold into cooled chocolate mixture. Spoon into pecan crust. Cover and freeze. Thaw slightly before serving so it will be easier to cut.
Before serving, whip remaining 3/4 cup whipping cream with 1 tablespoon rum till stiff peaks form. Spread on top of pie and grate a bit of chocolate on it for decoration.
Vicki Lane writes about her series: "The Elizabeth Goodweather series is inspired by the beautiful rural mountain county in which I live -- its present and its past. We have lived here on our farm in North Carolina since 1975 and I wanted to tell some of the wonderful stories I've heard, as well as to record a way of life that is fast disappearing. What began as a lark has turned into something very real to me as I watch Elizabeth and those around her take on lives of their own." Read an interview with Vicki Lane on Cozy Library.