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
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
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.