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Mystery Pie


Who could say?

Probably. 101 Cookbook’s Bittersweet Chocolate Tart received rave reviews at the party we took it to. You could hear the clink of forks dropped in amazement as people took their first bites. They probably weren’t just being polite. Right? After all, you can’t lie during Earth Hour. The Killer Pandas come after ya. But neither M nor I will ever know for sure.

A hint of mystery surrounded this recipe from the start: the dark chocolate procured from the ANU Food Co-op had limited identifying details. All I can tell you is that it’s 70% cocoa, darkly tasty and comes in huge chunks. M used one of our more fine-tuned kitchen appliances to set the wheels of this mystery in process:


And things got increasingly mysterious from there. Also delicious. Here’s the dark chocolate, smashed into slightly smaller chunks:

Chunky, yet enigmatic.

Here’s the pre-baked piecrust (a basic sweetcrust pastry, with white cake flour instead of wholemeal, just to add another twist):

The pie crust of mystery...

Here’s the thick, rich, chocolate filling (just chocolate, cream and eggs):


How can such a simple recipe lead to such mystery? Pour the rich, mysterious chocolate filling into the pre-cooked (and yet strangely mysterious) pie crust, bake for twenty minutes or so to thicken and set, then let it cool before you serve it. We carefully transported it to the Earth Hour party and left it to chill in the fridge while we enjoyed the candlelit ambiance. Later, after much wine and many snacks, a bit of a sing-song and some wikkid drumming, the desserts were circulated. All were a bit cream-heavy for lactose-averse I (including, alas, M’s pie), and M decided to sample the tiramisu first — but in the end, never got to try the pie. And so it is Mystery Pie.

To this day, nobody living in our house knows what the pie tasted like. Its rapid disappearance and some significant heavy breathing and gasps from pie-eating corners of the party all attest to it being something sublime. Some say it tastes like a dark and complex Rachmaninoff élégiaque; others say it is rich and daring like a Pynchon novella. Others claim it tastes kinda chocolatey. It is exciting to preserve the mystery: I will only try it after being blindfolded and driven to an undisclosed location. (Which will add some novelty to the week.) In fact, from now on, I’d like all my meals to be mysterious. I will only eat lunches that have been delivered to my desk while I’m not looking, along with a vaguely threatening note.  All breakfasts must be delivered in some sort of sinister puzzle box that I must solve before I can receive nourishment. And dinner will be served while a crowd of white-robed figures murmurs in the front yard. That should spice things up a bit.

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