Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Double Dog Dare

One of my favorite movies, A Christmas Story, has a scene on the playground in winter where an escalating series of dares leads to a boy touching his tongue to the metal flagpole. It stuck and the fire department had to come rescue him.

I'd never have fallen for that dare. I knew the outcome of sticking your tongue to cold metal because I'd already succumbed to a dare by one of my sisters to stick my tongue to the lid of a can of frozen orange juice concentrate. Yup, it sticks. I didn't need the fire department to rescue me, just a bit of warm water, but it was a wee bitty bit uncomfortable, all the same.

Since then, I've stayed away from dares. Dares are for suckers. Dares are for losers. Except when the challenge involves food. Not the "dare you to eat that" kind, but the "dare you to make that" variety.

Recently I was out with my lady friends for our monthly get together. This one was at a Tex-Mex type restaurant. One of my friends said we just had to try the chocolate chili pie. We all tried bites, savoring the flavors, rolling our eyes in enjoyment. Then my friend flung down the gauntlet, the double dog dare. "I bet you could make this." Ha, I will take that dare!

I changed the crust. We all agreed a regular pie crust didn't go well with the oozy chocolate. and I played around with a recipe for Mississippi Mud Pie, adding ancho chili. The result? Really good. I used a very dark chocolate so it's flavor is intensely chocolate. The amount of chili I used doesn't flavor it as much as add a bit of heat lingering on the tongue. When served warm or at room temperature it's oozy and gooey, but when you chill it it firms up to a more cheesecake-like texture. I recommend trying it both ways. With whipped cream. Maybe a couple of times, so you can nail down that elusive chili flavor.

Texissippi Mud Pie
adapted from The Great American Cookbook

Crumb crust:

4 oz chocolate wafer cookies, crushed
1/2 cup pecans, finely chopped
1 Tbsp light brown sugar
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
6 Tbsp butter, melted

Filling:

1 cup unsalted butter
6 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup corn syrup
1-1/2 tsp ancho chili powder
4 large eggs, beaten
1/2 cup pecans, finely chopped
whipped cream, for serving

1- Preheat the oven to 350 deg. F. Lightly grease an 8-inch springform pan. (You can use a 9-inch, but the pie will be thinner, and you'll need to decrease the cooking time.)

2- To make the filling, put the butter, chocolate, and corn syrup into a pan over low heat and stir until melted and blended. Let cool, then beat in the chili powder, eggs, and pecans.

3-While the chocolate mixture is cooling, put the chocolate wafers, pecans, sugar, and cinnamon into a food processor and process until fine crumbs form - do not overprocess to a powder. Add the melted butter and process again until moistened.

4- Tip the crumb mixture into the springform pan and press over the bottom and about 1-1/2 inches up the side of the pan. Cover the pan and chill until the filling is cooled.

5- Pour the filling into the chilled crumb crust and smooth the surface. Place the sprinform pan on a baking sheet and place that in the center of your pre-heated oven. Bake for 35 minutes, or until just set but still soft in the center. Let cool on a cooling rack. Serve at room temperature or chilled. Top with generous blobs of whipped cream, plain or lightly sweetened.


Note- If you prefer sweeter desserts, you can use semisweet instead of bittersweet chocolate. Just be sure it's a good quality chocolate, since it's the premier flavor of this dessert. Plus, if you love the heat, you can increase the amount of chili powder.

30 comments:

Anonymous said...

This is exactly the recipe I was looking for. I love the added heat of the chili -- subtle but elusive. Thanks for tinkering.

Chelsea said...

It looks delicious. I wonder if my fiancé would eat this. I have mentioned the combination of chilies and chocolate before and received looks of disgust. Maybe I should refrain from listing the ingredients.

Gigi said...

Wow, does this look good! Fudgy, gooey,chocolatey ...all the necessary requirements for double dog dare!

RecipeGirl said...

Ooooo- I love spicy chocolate desserts! Glad you took that dare!

Jerry said...

A cake with a kick! Oh it makes the Texan in me PROUD!

Gretchen Noelle said...

What a fun name! I love the idea of chocolate and chile together. Great job facing your dare!

tippyknit said...

David says: make it now!

Melinda said...

Ohhhh, nice! I think I would love that pie. I love chili and chocolate together.

LyB said...

I love a little cayenne in my hot chocolate, this sounds incredible! Now I have to find ancho chili powder, so that gives me an excuse to go to the fancy spice shop! :)

Kelly said...

Mmmm, looks delicious. I've been wanting to try a chili-chocolate dessert since my sister told me about chili brownies she'd tried recently. This sounds even better texture-wise!

Rose&Thorn said...

Well done on another perfect pie! Chilli and chocolate is my favourite combination, I buy it in slabs now, Lindt have brought it out as a new flavour.

Peabody said...

I just cannot get into this trend, though I know tons of people love it.

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

To die for!!! An awesome recipe! Scrumptious and delicious!

Cheers,

Rosa

gkbloodsugar said...

Absolutely perfect. Great looking gooey centre.

Joelen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Joelen said...

I've always been intrigued with the chocolate and chili combo. Thanks for posting this recipe... I just may have to try it out since I have so much chocolate waiting to be used. I've tagged you in a Meme Lynn... hope you can participate and pass it on. :) Keep up the great work on your blog! ~ Joelen http://joelens.blogspot.com/2008/02/midweek-meme.html

Brilynn said...

Delicious dares are always acceptable!

Patricia Scarpin said...

Well, there would be no one better to recreate something delicious! :)

Emskyrooney said...

Oh that sounds sooo good!!! Will have to try it! Just came across your blog and have been reading back through it. Thank you thank you for so many recipes with peanut butter and chocolate- that's my favorite combination and I try to eat some every day! I love everything I've read so far... Had to mention too that Baby Island was one of my favorite books as a kid- in fact, the last time I was home visiting I pulled it off the shelf and it was just as much fun to read! Somebody should make it into a movie! Thanks for sharing all the great recipes and stories!

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Ha ha you do tinker and play around with recipes!! Can't fool me anymore.
I'd love to live by your guidance: I recommend trying it both ways. With whipped cream. Maybe a couple of times, so you can nail down that elusive chili flavor. :)

VeggieGirl said...

haha, I too would never fall for that dare, in "A Christmas Story" - once again, I LOVE how you've tied a fun anecdote to your latest culinary masterpiece - that dessert looks HEAVENLY!! Lynn, how do you do it?! you're amazing!!

Nan said...

The gooey-ness is just too much! Your pie/cake looks amazing.

Cheryl said...

That could be the most gooey cake I have ever seen and it has chili in it?! Oh my send it my way.

Elizabeth said...

oh that just looks luscious!

Nora B. said...

Hi Lynn,

You were so quick to leave a comment about my french bread! I just posted it a minute ago. :-)

This mud pie sounds and looks like a success, you are very clever! Oh, I go through that "I bet you can make it" situation heaps of times with friends. It's nice that they think highly of my baking skills, but it's so much pressure to deliver!

Nora
p.s: what's baking babes?

sarah said...

Good job mom. I don't think I ate any of this one. Was it good?

Photography is looking nice. You are improving. I'm pleased to see your strong use of reflection and lighting in it. You should try for a little more variety in shots though.

Lets try and make cookie dough ice cream this week.

Sarah

aforkfulofspaghetti said...

Mmmmmmmmmmmmmm....

Oh, sorry - you wanted an intelligent comment? Er, no can do for this one, I'm afraid. Looks deeply, deeply tempting...

Nina's Kitchen (Nina Timm) said...

Chocolate - the darker and stickier the better, this looks fab.

cyndi & lee said...

My husband's favorite chocolate is "Red Fire" by Vosgues so this cake sounds like a sure fire hit. Now I don't know what to make first, the decadent Barefoot Contessa chocolate cake you posted about today or this amazing looking creature. And to think I've cut dessert from my diet during the week! I guess a little cheating wouldn't hurt...

katiez said...

Oh my...It has been far too long since I've had a proper Mississippi Mud Pie (I'm from Minnesota - that's what it's called). That looks properly decadent!
Happy belated Blogiversary!