Saturday, July 18, 2015

Chocolate Chiffon Dessert

I don’t advocate sugar for people, since it has been shown to contribute to undesirable diseases, but for those who want some sweet dessert, here is an old fashioned sugar delivery product that I changed from pie to crustless dessert. I found it as pie filling in two of my very old and much loved cookbooks from Better Homes and Gardens, issued in 1946 as deluxe edition, and in 1953 with “New” added to the title. The title has been “new” with subsequent editions for more than another half century.

They called it Chocolate Chiffon Pie. Over time the recipe disappeared from recent editions of the cookbook. I don’t find it in the 12th or 15th edition, which are in my collection. Other chiffon pies also absented themselves from the newer books. I raised my children on pumpkin chiffon pie for holidays, and that is gone too. Alas for today’s eaters. It is very good.

Chiffon pie ingredients are puffed up with egg white and held together with unflavored gelatin.  The pie is easy to make and requires no baking except for the crust, although it requires a few hours of refrigeration. While I make very good pie crust, I thought it would be easy to skip the pastry and put the filling into a dish and later serve it with a spatula or spoon and top it with whipped cream (or skip the whipped cream). It requires no exotic ingredients unless one thinks unflavored gelatin is exotic, and no strange or expensive equipment. We are not Martha Stewart in this instance.

The two old cookbooks give the recipe the same except for the number of eggs (three or four). I present it with some modification but essentially as I found it. The dessert is very easy to make and tastes good.

Chocolate Chiffon Dessert

2 ounces unsweetened chocolate in pieces
½ cup boiling water.
                Melt the chocolate in the boiling water.
1 envelope (1 tablespoon) unflavored gelatin
¼ cup cold water
                Soften the gelatin in the cold water and stir until the gelatin dissolves.
                Add the softened gelatin to the melted chocolate mixture.
3 egg yolks
½ cup sugar
                Beat the egg yolks light with the sugar. Add to the chocolate mixture.
¼ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
                Add salt and vanilla. Let it cool.
3 egg whites at room temperature
½ cup sugar
                Beat the egg whites until stiff and beat the remaining ½ cup sugar into them.
                Fold the egg whites into the chocolate mixture.
                Pour it all into a bowl. I used a rectangular glass baking dish.
                Refrigerate it until it is firm, about three hours.
                Spread it with optional whipped cream if desired.

To make this into pie, pour it into a baked pie crust and chill as above.

Modified from:
Better Homes and Gardens Cook Book, deluxe edition, Meredith Publishing Co., 1946, chapter O, p. 7;
Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book, (title page missing due to overuse), 1953, p. 315.