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Tasting Georgia Freedman’s ‘There’s Always Room for Chocolate’

Santa Barbara Native Pens Dessert Recipe Book for The Chocolate Room in Brooklyn


This holiday season, there is a new cookbook on the shelves: There’s Always Room for Chocolate, written by Naomi Josepher, Jon Payson, and Georgia Freedman, a Santa Barbara native. The recipes hail from Josepher and Payson’s hip Brooklyn café, The Chocolate Room, and the book is packed with rich, decadent desserts and includes that dreamy character we know as chocolate.

Beware: This book is impossible to read quietly on your own. After staring at the Spiced Molten Cake photo for a good 10 minutes before coming back to reality — and don’t even get me started on the Chocolate Stout Float or the Black-Bottom Butterscotch Custard — I was quickly accosted by my two young boys, who jumped on my lap and started flipping pages to decide what we’d bake first. I’d suggest the Chocolate Pecan Pie, which would be a perfect addition to your Thanksgiving and holiday meals.

See the recipe at independent.com/recipes orTK independent.com/pie.

Georgia Freedman will sign copies of There’s Always Room for Chocolate at Chaucer’s Books (3321 State St.; chaucersbooks.com) on Wednesday, November 30, at 7 p.m. See tinyurl.com/tarfc.

Chocolate Pecan Pie

Makes one 10-inch pie.

Ingredients

Crust

1¼ cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon granulated sugar

½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cold, cut into small pieces

¼ cup ice water

Filling

2½ ounces dark chocolate (preferably 60 percent cacao), coarsely chopped

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

½ cup granulated sugar

¾ cup light corn syrup

2 extra-large eggs

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

¼ teaspoon salt

1½ cups pecan halves

Directions

Make the Crust

In a food processor, combine the flour, salt, sugar, and butter and process for about 10 seconds, until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Drizzle in the ice water 1 tablespoon at a time, pulsing the processor a couple of times after each addition. Stop when most of the dough comes together into a single clump. Turn the dough out onto a clean work surface and knead it two or three times so that it all comes together. Shape it into a flat disk, wrap it in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least one hour.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough into a 12-inch circle. Fit the circle of dough into a 10-inch pie pan and tuck the overhanging dough under to fit snugly along the top edge of the pie pan. Pinch the edge of the crust to create a wavy pattern. Cover the crust with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 20 minutes.

Make the Filling

Melt the chocolate and butter together in the top of a double boiler, stirring to keep the chocolate from burning, or microwave them together in 30-second intervals, stirring after each interval, until they become liquid. Whisk the butter and chocolate briskly until combined, then set aside to cool a little.

In a small saucepan, heat the sugar and corn syrup over medium heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Bring the syrup to a boil, then immediately turn off the heat to keep the mixture from bubbling over. Set the syrup aside to cool a little.

Put the eggs in a large bowl and beat with a whisk until smooth. Add the chocolate mixture and whisk to combine; while whisking, drizzle in the sugar syrup, then add the vanilla and salt. Fold in the pecan halves with a wooden spoon.

Assemble and Bake the Pie

Preheat the oven to 350ºF.

Pour the filling into the chilled pie shell (it will not fill the pie shell). Place the pie plate on a sheet pan to catch any filling that bubbles over. Bake the pie for one hour, until the crust is golden, the filling doesn’t wobble much when you shake the pan, and the edges of the filling have a bubbling, crisp texture. Allow the pie to cool thoroughly before serving.



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