I was milling around the kitchen the other evening, having barely put away the last of the dinner dishes I started having intense cravings for something sweet (unfortunately this happens far too regularly). The play-off game for the World Series was on and something about curling up on the couch for a few hours without a snack just didn't seem right. Plus I think its bad luck for the team. Or at least that was a good enough reason for me to go throw something in the oven.
I had made a chocolate peanut butter chess pie for company the other day and while I liked parts of the pie, it was just too rich and not really my favorite thing I had ever made. My mind went back to the Pumpkin Pie & Crumble Cakes I made a few weeks ago; I decided a recipe experiment was in order. Nothing ventured, nothing gained, right?
Chocolate Pie with a Bite:
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1/2" pieces
6 ounces dark chocolate, finely chopped
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs
1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
Heat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a heat-proof bowl placed upon a pot of simmering water add the butter and chocolate, stir and let get completely melted. Take off the heat.
To the chocolate add the sugar, vanilla, salt, eggs and cayenne and whisk together until smooth.
Take eight clean 8-ounce heat-proof jelly jars and spray them with no-stick spray and place them on a baking sheet.
Divide the chocolate batter evenly amongst the jars. They will be about 1/3 full each. Set aside.
15 ounce can pumpkin puree
6 ounces evaporated milk
3/4 cup low-fat milk
2/3 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
Combine the pumpkin, evaporated milk, milk, sugar, eggs, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and salt in a large bowl and whisk until combined. I have mixing bowls with pouring edges which work great, much better than my old glass bowls.
Pour the pumpkin mixture evenly over the chocolate and bake for 35-45 minutes. I waited till I saw the tops of the pumpkin were set and not still wet and wobbly, or use a toothpick and see if it comes out clean. Let cool to room temperature.
After the pies cool, they will deflate a bit, leaving ample room for a little whip cream and leftover chocolate shavings.
These pies must have been good luck after all, the San Francisco Giants won that night and went on to win the World Series. Okay probably wasn't my pies, just their incredible teamwork, either way I like to think maybe I had some small part in it.
When I first started writing this blog 2 and 1/2 years ago the only thing I knew about photography was how to point my camera at the kids and tell them "say cheese". My first photographs on here pointed that out in glaringly obvious fashion. After a couple months I started noticing other bloggers and their photography styles. One in particular was Nancy - Spicie Foodie. I remember thinking to myself I hope I can photograph that well one day. I kept reading her and was happy to learn she willingly shared her equipment and tips with all of us. I eventually upgraded to a DSLR and well, took thousands of pictures. Yet I still felt like there were some technical things I didn't have down and some things that I had read that still didn't make sense.
I knew Nancy was working on an e-book for food photography and knew I had to read it. I'm glad I did, not only does she explain all the mysteries of lighting and go over camera angles and styling tips, she also does it with a multitude of photographs. Just seeing some of her photos made things click for me. I've learned over the years I'm a visual learner, seriously I could sit in a lecture and come out and not tell you one thing I've learned. If you want to enhance your food photography skills, go check out Yummy Pics Food Photography for Bloggers. Hopefully Nancy will approve of these pie photos I shot the other day; I used a few of her suggestions. I wrote this about Nancy because I was hoping it was the least I could do to thank her for all she has taught me.