Showing posts with label chocolate. Show all posts
Showing posts with label chocolate. Show all posts

Friday, May 19, 2017

Mocha Cream Pie

Thinking of my mother, in honor of Mother’s Day just past, I turned to the recipes of hers that I remember best: pies. It must have been a labor of love, making these for her family, because she never liked desserts. But she did like chocolate.

I realized I had written about her chocolate cream pie for MLK several years ago, and we don’t usually repeat recipes here. So I decided to look for a new twist. In addition to chocolate, my mother loved coffee—regular, espresso, whatever. And thus the idea was born: mocha cream pie! My mother’s go-to cookbook was The Boston Cooking-School Cook Book, aka Fannie Farmer, but (gasp) they had only the chocolate version and an all-coffee version. So I improvised and married the two.

Crumb pie shell:

Note: the recipes called for chocolate wafer crumbs. I wandered up and down the fifty feet of the cookie/cracker aisle in my local market: no chocolate wafers. The best I could do was a box of chocolate animal crackers. They tasted good, but I felt a bit ghoulish crushing all those cute little animals!

1-1/2 cups chocolate cookie crumbs
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup melted butter

Roll the crumbs fine (or grind in a food processor). Add the sugar and the butter. 

Press smoothly into a 9" pie plate. Chill. (BTW, the Pyrex pie plate was my mother’s.) Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for about 15 minutes. Let cool.

Mocha Cream Filling:
2/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup flour
2 Tblsp Dutch cocoa (not Nestle’s)
pinch of salt
1 cup scalded whole milk
1 cup strong coffee (hot)
2 eggs

Mix the dry ingredients.

Scalded milk
All in (keep stirring!)
Add the milk-coffee mixture gradually to the dry ingredients, stirring. Cook for 15 minutes in a double boiler (yes, that was my mother’s too), stirring constantly until the mixture thickens. Beat the eggs lightly, then add to the mixture and cook for another 3 minutes.

Seriously dark!

Pour into the crust and chill until serving. Garnish with whipped cream if you like.

Another note: this filling really didn’t want to firm up. I confess, I cheated—I stuck it in the freezer. Take it out shortly before you want to serve it, then slice it with a sharp knife. That worked fine.

The result has a rich dark color and a luscious chocolate-coffee flavor.

The next book to appear will be A Late Frost, the 11th book in the Orchard Mysteries--but it won't come out until November. Recently I've been going over the proof copy, trying to eliminate all those pesky typos, and was struck by how often my characters drink coffee. According to Word, it comes up 77 times in the text. Problem is, Meg and Seth so busy solving crimes that they seldom get around to grocery shopping. Meg has decided she's going to make some cakes and cookies to keep in the freezer--if she ever has any spare time--so she'll have something to offer guests, along with the coffee, when they show up at the back door to swap details of ongoing investigations.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Little Chocolate Clouds from Coffeehouse Mystery author Cleo Coyle #Chocolate

With warmer weather finally making its appearance here in New York City, my craving for something chocolate needed to be tempered into something light.

Cleo Coyle has a partner in
crime-writing—her husband.
Learn about their books
by clicking here and here.

The result is this recipe for Little Chocolate Clouds, which I make every spring and throughout the summer. These simple chocolate meringues are easy to whip up and bake. They are bursting with chocolate flavor, yet they're very light and have the added bonus of protein, thanks to the egg whites.

My husband (and partner in crime-writing) loves these sweet, little morsels. He describes them as "little chocolate cotton candies," which perfectly captures their melt-in-your mouth appeal, especially after you soften their crunchy exteriors by dipping them into a cup of warm coffee or tea.

The only tricky technique in making this simple
recipe is whipping up the egg whites...

To watch a quick video tutorial on how to
whip egg whites properly, 
click on the little
white arrow in the window below.



If you don't see a video above, watch the
video on YouTube by
clicking here.

"I had some dreams, they were
in my coffee..." ~ Carly Simon

Little Chocolate Clouds

You can serve these little clouds as a light, after-dinner treat or eat them as a satisfying coffee break snack. You can even float one in a hot coffee or espresso. It will melt into the liquid, giving you a lovely hint of mocha in your cup...

To download a free PDF
of this recipe that you can
print, save, or share,

click here.

Click here for the
free recipe PDF.

Cleo Coyle's
Little Chocolate Clouds

Makes 24 to 30 cookies, depending on size


4 egg whites (room temperature)
¼ teaspoon cream of tartar (to stabilize the egg whites)
1 teaspoon vanilla
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
3 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa

Optional decorations: chocolate sprinkles, mini chocolate chips, shredded coconut, and chopped nuts


Step 1 – Before You Begin: First preheat the oven to 300° Fahrenheit. Some notes to help you get the best results here: Start with a mixing bowl that is glass, metal, or ceramic. The bowl must be free of grease for your egg whites to whip up properly. (Grease clings to plastic bowls, which is why you should not use plastic.) Also, for best results, your egg whites should be room temperature. I simply set my cold eggs in a bowl of warm tap water for 2 to 3 minutes before cracking.

Step 2 – Whip Egg Whites: Place egg whites, cream of tartar, vanilla, and salt into bowl. Using an electric mixer or handheld whisk, begin to whip the whites. When you see soft peaks begin to form (see "soft peaks" photo below), continue beating while slowly sprinkling in the sugar.

When the egg whites have become stiff and glossy (see "stiff and glossy" photo below), stop whipping. Sift the cocoa over the egg whites and gently fold into the mix. The whites will deflate a little, but that’s okay.

(Below) Egg Whites Beaten into "Soft Peaks"

(Below) Sugar Slowly Added and 
Egg Whites Beaten Until "Stiff and Glossy"

Sifting in the Unsweetened Cocoa

Folding in the Unsweetened Cocoa 

Step 3 – Form Little Chocolate Clouds: Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Make rustic little chocolate clouds by dropping batter by heaping teaspoons onto the paper. As a fun option and to create variety, try sprinkling some with finely chopped nuts, others with shredded coconut, chocolate sprinkles, or a few mini chocolate chips.

Step 4 – Bake in the preheated (300° F.) oven for about 25 to 35 minutes. Meringues should be dry and firm on the outside (not hard just firm) and still gooey in the center. Remove from oven and carefully slide the parchment paper off the hot pan and onto a rack to cool. 

Note: Warm meringues will stick to the parchment paper. But as they cool, they will harden. Then you can easily lift them free and…eat with joy!

Click here for the
free recipe PDF.

☕ ☕ ☕

Eat with joy! 

~ Cleo Coyle

New York Times bestselling author of
The Coffeehouse Mysteries 

Alice and Marc in Central Park. 
Together we write as Cleo Coyle. 

Learn more about us here.
Friend us on facebook here.
Follow us on twitter here.
Visit our online coffeehouse here.

☕ ☕ ☕



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Our new Coffeehouse Mystery

is now a bestselling hardcover! 

Top 10 Best Mysteries 
for Book Clubs 2017

A "Most Wanted"
Mystery Guild Selection

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This culinary mystery includes
more than 25 delicious recipes!
To get the Free Recipe Guide,


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The Coffeehouse Mysteries are bestselling
works of amateur sleuth fiction set in a landmark
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16 titles includes the added bonus of recipes. 


See mini plot summaries 
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