Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Chocolate. Because, Summer.

With the 4th of July come and gone now, us Americans have entered into that gray void-like time of the summer I call "The Restless Gap".  Vacations have been taken, all camps and the like are done, summer sports are done or close, sports or band practices for the new school year are just weeks away, and the fall plans are now being thought about (or worse, entered into Google Calendar).  There's not much to do, a lot of time to do it in, and the days and weeks stretch out...waiting to be squandered, or put to good use.

So, chocolate.

It's hot here.  Like, stupid Midwest hot.  And humid too.  I spent a whole ten minutes outside today, pulling out those clumps of weeds hat had grown in the cracks of my driveway. I come back inside, and I feel wet, dirty, and uncomfortable.

So, chocolate.

If you were to ask my husband his favorite pie, he'd say French Silk.  And while that is a great pie choice, French Silk is incredibly heavy and rich.  Kind of like the weather outside.  So, no French Silk. 

However, a nice, light, airy, Chocolate Chiffon would do nicely.

For the record, a French Silk is straight-up chocolate, butter, sugar, vanilla, and eggs.  A Chocolate Cream pie is the next step down in terms of heaviness: milk, sugar, egg yolks, cornstarch, sugar, butter, vanilla.  A Chiffon pie is the lightest of them all: chocolate, egg yolks, sugar, gelatin, and whipped egg whites.

And remember, it's hot...so light it is.  Besides, it's been quite awhile since I've done a chiffon pie.


When that day comes that I start actively looking for a new house, I will put "excellent natural lighting in the kitchen" at the top of my list.  Because it would make my photographs here look a little better.  Anyway.  I present the cast above: chocolate chips, egg yolks, sugar, gelatin, egg whites, more sugar.  Funny that these little quantities will increase here soon...


When beaten together, egg yolks and sugar become this thick, pale-colored ribbon of goodness.  Agitation can be a good thing (but please don't tell my children this).


Once upon a time, long ago, the concept of folding whipped egg whites into any kind of batter seemed daunting to me.  After all, it seemed so precise and delicate, which meant I would probably mess it up.  These days, though, it's a technique I'm no longer afraid of.  In this chiffon, I've tempered the eggs and chocolate, beaten in the softened gelatin, and above, I'm folding in those magnificently sugared egg whites.  That graham cracker pie crust I found in my pantry stands by, waiting to receive the airy chocolaty goodness.


And once I pour it in, it's off to the fridge to set up.  Later on tonight, I'll quick-whip up a topping and
be done with it.  There may be leftovers for breakfast tomorrow, there may not.

This, friends, is how you deal with the Restless Gap.



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