02 May 2013

what i'm good at: chocolate butter cream pie

In my job as a college advisor, I work with students on their resume. They have a difficult time bragging about any accomplishments or significant contributions. I have to encourage them over and over to set aside all the times we've told them to be humble and to make that college admission rep want to offer an acceptance. This prompt 'educate us on something you're good at' is no different for me.

After thinking for hours, wondering if there's anything I'm good at, I decided that there are a few things:

...I'm a great storyteller. I'm super expressive and know just how much hyperbole to use to make the story even better.

...I paint rooms well. I don't tape off. I have a steady hand. I can cut-in like a boss. And I don't let J paint anything in our house. (He hates that.)

...I can make bookshelves look really great. I have a gift.

...I make excellent filet mignon.

...I decorate cakes. My gift is piping. I love it and my cakes are super cute. My mom is co-owner of a bakery. I self-taught when I was in high school after watching our decorators for about two years. But I only decorate about two per year, so I'm super slow.

But I'm not sure I can educate you on how to do these things. If we made a trip to the bakery, I could give you some cake decorating pointers.

(Actually, I once attempted this, but I turned around and my friend was eating icing out of the icing bucket. Her lack of attentiveness was evident upon her completion of the cake she decorated for her boyfriend. Then she married him. And took a cake decorating class where the icing wasn't as tasty. We're still friends. She still loves icing.)

I can help you paint your house or stage your bookshelves.

I can have you over for steak where I'll, no doubt, tell you a story.

But I can't tell you how to do these things.

One thing I can tell you, though, is that I make a really good chocolate butter cream pie. Actually, it's my mother-in-law's recipe, but I'm claiming it. I love it so much that when J didn't request she make it for his birthday dinner this year, I requested one for the celebration we had at home. Then I asked for a copy of the recipe to make for Pi(e) Day. Y'all. It is so easy. And even more delicious.

I have to tell you that you can't be wigged out by eating raw eggs. Just buy fresh eggs, preferably from a local farm. (They treat their chickens so much better so there's less likely to be nasty germs like at a factory farm.) If you ate this at my house, I wouldn't even tell you there are raw eggs.(Unless you are preggers. Then you need to be informed so that you can make a decision.)

Although my mom is the queen of making pie crust and has taught me well, I don't like making pie crust. It's so finicky and messy. I feel fine using a frozen crust.

You'll need a few hours to chill the pie. It can even chill overnight.

Allow the chocolate to cool completely. Otherwise, you'll end up with scrambled eggs in your pie.

2 ounces unsweetened chocolate
3/4 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 eggs
1-9" pie shell, baked
Whipped cream

Melt chocolate in a double boiler, stirring regularly. (Or if you don't have a double boiler, set a big bowl on top of a small pot of boiling water.) In a mixer, cream butter. Add sugar, cooled chocolate, vanilla and salt. Beat until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time and mix. Once all eggs are added, beat for 3-4 minutes until mixture is smooth and thick. Pour into baked pie shell. Chill at least 4 hours. To serve, top with sweetened whipped cream.

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