Shabbat dinner extravaganza

Appetizers:
Olives
Egg rolls
Salad

Main course:
Stir-fry (two, actually — one with tofu, one with chicken)
Brown rice
Mushrooms and leeks

Dessert:
Treacle tart, because of this guy (recipe follows)
Chocolate mousse pie (recipe follows)

Treacle Tart is a very British treat, and it’s Harry Potter’s favorite dessert. I looked at a bunch of recipes and came up with my own version. Every recipe online calls for Lyle’s Golden Syrup, which comes in a tin or a “squeezy.” I couldn’t find any here, unfortunately, so I improvised…

Treacle Tart

2 9-inch pie crusts (unbaked)
1 to 1 1/4 cup Lyle’s Golden Syrup
or, 1/2 cup maple syrup + 1/4 cup molasses + 1/2 cup amber agave nectar
2 to 2 1/2 cups unseasoned bread crumbs
finely grated rind of 1 lemon
juice of 1 lemon (plus another couple ounces or so of lemon juice)
pinch or two of ginger

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.

Gently warm syrup (or syrup mixture) slightly in a saucepan, but do not overheat or leave unattended. Should be warm but not hot.

Remove syrup from heat and stir in bread crumbs, lemon zest, lemon juice, and ginger. Mixture should be fairly stiff. Spread in pie crust.

If you’re feeling ambitious, roll out second pie crust on a lightly-floured surface. Cut into strips and arrange a lattice over the treacle tart.

Bake for 20 minutes; cool before serving.

Chocolate Mousse Pie (see notes at end of recipe)
(Recipe from the Jewish Reconstructionist Federation)

Sugar (for encrusting pie plate)
8 oz semi-sweet chocolate
1/4 c water
8 eggs, separated
1/2 Tbsp vanilla
2/3 c sugar

Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 9-inch pie plate and sprinkle well with sugar.

Heat chocolate with water in saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly until smooth (2-3 minutes). Stir in egg yolks and vanilla. Remove from heat.

Beat egg whites in large bowl until foamy. Gradually add sugar and beat until stiff peaks form (3-4 minutes).

Stir a small amount of egg whites into chocolate mixture to lighten it. Then gently fold the chocolate mixture into remaining egg whites, using a rubber spatula.

Pour four cups of the mousse into the prepared pie plate, and bake at 350 for 25 minutes. Chill the rest of the mousse.

Cool pie slightly, then chill for one hour. Baked mousse should cave in, creating a shell. Spoon the remaining (unbaked) mousse into the shell and chill at least three hours.

Note: Something went kind of wrong in this recipe. I used “All Whites” for the egg whites and Eggbeaters for the yolks, but I wasn’t thinking straight. For Eggbeaters, 1/4 cup = 1 egg, so 8 eggs is 2 cups. I figured that for yolks only, I should cut it in half, so I used 1 cup. But the All Whites are 3 T = 1 egg, so 8 eggs = 24 T = 1.5 cups. Therefore, 8 yolks should have been about 1/2 cup (2 cups minus 1.5 cups).

I could tell that the chocolate mixture was too runny and eggy. So I added half a bag (about a cup) of semisweet chocolate chips to it before proceeding.

Well, the pie part baked beautifully. It didn’t quite cave in the way it was supposed to (it certainly deflated, but it do so relatively uniformly). And the remaining mousse didn’t set. It stayed liquidy. And when I poured it on top of the pie, it filled it brim-full (I was smart enough to put the pie pan on top of a dinner plate). I chilled it for at least 4 hours, and it still never set. So it ended up being chocolate mousse soup atop chocolate mousse pie. It was incredibly yummy, and my friends were quite happy with it. It just needed to be scooped with a serving spoon, rather than cut with a pie server. At some point, I will try the recipe again with the proper proportions!

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