Monday, November 24, 2008
Last Saturday Tucson was the course for a huge road bike race - El Tour de Tucson. I think some 8,500 people rode in it, half of them riding the full distance of 108 miles. Insane, I know! Some of my best friends were in the race and had a great time though. I was feeling out of shape and under-trained and didn't want to pay the huge registration fee just to do a mediocre race so instead I decided to do Bike Patrol and help people with more enthusiasm and better training than me perform as best as they can. Over the course of a week I attended three classes, got my bike in a pretty good shape by changing the break pads, lubricating the chain, and managed to coral a respectable pile of useful things to bring along - tire wrenches, patched tubes, WD40, tyvek, chain lube, patch kit, allen wrenches, CO2 cartridges, a medical kit, a few bags of sugar gels and some power bars, duct tape,.. The list goes on. I think I was better prepared than most Bike Patrols out there. All in all, I rode ~55 miles, changed 2.3 tires, removed half a dozen bottles off the road, cheered on for a couple of hundred people, and helped 2 people who were sitting on the side of the road. And had a great day in the sun!
In the evening after the race a friend who rode the whole distance had a BBQ and served an amazing chocolate mousse pie for everyone who needed to catch up on some calories. Turns out the pie is one of the signature desserts of a great restaurant in town - Terra Cotta. Here is the recipe from their website. This pie is insanely delicious - rich but fluffy, chocolatey but not too sweet. I recommend using high quality chocolate, but not too high is cocoa content.
Chocolate Mousse Pie
1 1/2 packages (9 ounces each) Nabisco Famous Chocolate Wafers (to yield 3 cups crumbs)
4 oz unsalted butter, melted
1 lb bittersweet chocolate
4 C cream
2/3 C powdered sugar
2 whole eggs
4 eggs, separated
shaved chocolate curls for garnish
Lightly oil the sides of a 10-inch springform pan. Grind the cookies to crumbs in a food processor or blender. Mix with the melted butter and press into the bottom and up the sides of the pan. Chill.
Melt the chocolate in a double boiler over hot but not boiling water. Meanwhile whip 2 cups of the cream with ½ cup powdered sugar. When the chocolate is melted, remove from the heat and add the two whole eggs and four yolks. Mix very well. Fold in the whipped cream.
Beat the egg whites and fold them into the chocolate mixture. Pour into the chilled crust. Chill overnight or at least 6 hours.
Whip the remaining cream and sugar and spread about half the whipped cream on top of the pie. Un-mold the pie and pipe the remaining cream around the edge with a pastry bag and a star tip. Scatter a layer of chocolate curls evenly over the middle.