Thursday, June 28, 2012

Coffee "S'mores" Pie

I think I've mentioned before that SP and his friends from college gather every so often to play games. Sure, they sometimes play Clue or Boggle, but there are also what I consider 'strange' games. Actually, I no longer think of them as strange since I've been living with a whole closet full of the games for four years now, but back when we first moved in together, I was astounded not only at the number of games, but the titles. I think when SP showed me, I raised my eyebrows and shook my head.

Anyway, I call these gatherings 'Geek Game Night.'
Chilling in the refrigerator
It had been quite some time since SP had been at a Geek Game Night gathering. Last Saturday, we ended up hosting one. It was a last minute decision and involved much debate about where in the house to play the games. The sunroom isn't air conditioned, the dining room doesn't have good lighting for board games (so says SP), and the basement is in mid-remodel mode plus the cats lived down there and a couple of his friends are allergic to cats. Even though the cats have been gone for 1.5+ years, the lingering cat hair and dander in the carpet & furniture will bother people allergic to cats. Fortunately, it was not a super warm night, so we set up some tables & folding chairs in the sunroom.

Dinner was easy: we ordered pizza (sausage & green pepper) from Pizza Milano. We brewed lots of iced tea and his friends brought soda. As for snacks... we decided to make some Rice Krispies Treats since we had some of the cereal and a bag of marshmallows to use. But then, I remembered a recipe from the most recent issue of Bon Appetit (July 2012). Coffee S'mores Pie. Rich. Decadent. The kind of dessert that the two of us would not be able to finish on our own. But with friends helping...
 So in addition to Rice Krispies Treats, we made Coffee S'mores Pie.

The crust: a blend of graham crackers, Nutella, chocolate, sugar, cream, & butter.
The pie: ground coffee, chocolate, butter, & cream.
The topping: meringue (egg whites and sugar)

It's easy to make. A no bake pie, but a bit time consuming since the crust needs to chill for an hour before adding the filling. The coffee has to steep in the cream for 5 minutes. And the egg whites need to be whipped for a while. but using a stand mixer makes this easy.
Sadly, our meringue quickly deflated and became runny. Sunday evening, we scraped off the meringue and for the rest of the pie, we topped it with whipped cream.The crust is delicious - just 2 tablespoons of Nutella really adds a nice flavor to a chocolate graham crust. The filling is delicious, but dense and rich. lots of coffee and chocolate flavor. This is not a 'big slice' kind of pie but a 'little slice' kind of pie because it's so rich - one friend said it was like eating a truffle. The meringue looked great right after we made it, topped the pie, and browned it with the creme brulee torch, but it quickly fell and became runny, so it was yucky. Edible, but not delicious, light, & airy. Disappointing.

I briefly thought about putting marshmallows on top and browning them with a creme brulee torch instead of meringue to give a more s'mores feeling, but I am glad I quickly dismissed that idea because marshmallows on top would make this way too sweet. I really like it with the whipped cream on top and I think that if we make this in the future, I'd skip the meringue in favor of whipped cream.

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