In 2013, I had a breakthrough. I learned how to host a dinner party where I could participate in the action vs. stay in the kitchen the whole time. Whoa.
Granted, we purposely set up the new kitchen and dining room area as one space so conversation could still flow while I’m putting the finishing touches on the meal, but it hit me that no one is expecting (nor really wanting) fancy gourmet delicacies at our house. We go to restaurants for that! Instead, if I can provide a homey, comforting meal with maybe an ingredient or two of surprise, then I have done my job.
I’m assuming that once Eggroll is around, our average number of visits to restaurants per month will go down. I want to still be social, so dinner (lunch, breakfast, snack…) parties seem like they will be more frequent, right?
With all that said I hope to share at least one simple recipe per month in 2014 to help you with your own dinner parties and hopefully coax my friends to visit and keep me from going completely crazy at home by myself.
For January’s recipe, I’m actually going to start with an equation:
Back in December, I needed to prepare a couple desserts for holiday parties. This was in addition to the 1,400 other things I had going on, so I wanted something easy, but with a punch. I knew I found a winner when I stumbled upon this recipe from She Wears Many Hats.
I didn’t have the fancy Bailey’s she mentions, but I did have the basic stuff. I purchased the other ingredients and with about 6 minutes of work, dessert was done! You don’t get much easier than that.
Fast forward to New Year’s Eve, where again I was assigned (OK, I assigned myself…) desserts. I played around with the original recipe to create a Grand Marnier, white chocolate and graham cracker crust pie and a Frangelico, semi-sweet chocolate and chocolate cookie crust pie. Out of the three, I think I liked the white chocolate one the best, but I can’t wait to keep testing combinations. An ode to the grasshopper with a crème de menthe, dark chocolate chips and chocolate cookie crust is definitely on my horizon.
If you look close at the pictures, you’ll notice I struggled with getting my chocolate to melt properly. Do you have any secrets to easily temper chocolate? In the meantime, don’t fret if your pie isn’t perfectly smooth. It will still be darn tasty!
If you are worried about the alcohol content, don’t fret – you only use a teeny amount and a sliver of the rich pie will prove to be plenty. That said, if you’re really trying to abstain, try replacing the alcohol with a rich syrup like one cherry one from Quince & Apple.
Chocolate Liqueur Pie
|Prep time||10 minutes|
|Misc||Pre-preparable, Serve Cold|
|Website||She Wears Many Hats|
- 6oz chocolate chips
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 4 tablespoons liqueur
- 1 premade pie crust (graham cracker or chocolate cookie)
The world is your oyster (or chocolate pie!) when it comes to good combinations. Use your favorites, but here are some that have already proven successful in my kitchen:
- Dark chocolate chips, Bailey's Irish Cream, chocolate cookie crust
- White chocolate chips, Grand Marnier, graham cracker crust
- Semi-sweet chocolate chips, Frangelico, chocolate cookie crust
|Melt chocolate chips according to package directions. Use liqueur, a teaspoon at a time, should you need a liquid to smooth out the melted chocolate. Let cool slightly.|
|Whip cream and sugar until soft peaks start to form. Slowly drizzle in the rest of the liqueur.|
|Gently fold in chocolate into whipped cream. Spread mixture into pie crust. Garnish with sea salt, caramel drizzle, or any other appropriate topping.|
|Refrigerate for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight. Serve with extra fresh whipped cream should you have any extras to use up.|