It’s a new year. It’s time to shove 2020 out the window and welcome a fresh start. The following handful of posts are a series, written a lifetime ago, that track my journey from a painful breakup with a man I adored, to the shock of discovering the truth behind his mask, to glimpsing the depths of his depravity, and finally acknowledging my own error in blindly trusting him. This tale ended long ago, but only now am I ready to disclose it – and perhaps help others who find themselves in a similar situation. Thank you to those who shared evidence and convinced me to tell my story.
“You dodged a bullet,” they said.
Lying flat on my back in the dirt, my affection, my commitment, my trust slowly oozing from the crater in my gut, I dodged nothing. He smiled, looked me in the eye even, as he pulled the trigger.
I could have dodged a bullet – in the early days, when I was left questioning. I could have walked away then, unharmed and unscathed by knowing him. I didn’t. I faced him, unprotected, unafraid – and unarmed.
The bullet has done its damage, and I convalesce, waiting for the disbelief, sadness and, now, humiliation to abate. “Don’t poke the wound; let it heal,” I remind myself, yet the damage, both tangible and intangible, festers from new injuries inflicted in succession, even now:
Things I don’t want to know;
Things I must know.
His aim was true, precise, heartless. I am gun-shy now; gun-terrified and flinching. I didn’t dodge a bullet, but I will survive this one. I’m done being his victim.
This isn’t your kid’s rocky road. I developed this pie because I wasn’t sure what to do with the remainder of my oh-so-tasty, soft and fluffy homemade marshmallows. I highly suggest making your own marshmallows for this recipe, if you have the time. The chocolate mousse isn’t overly sweet and, if you replace the 5 tablespoons of water with strong coffee, this becomes a very adult pie, indeed.
Rocky Road Pie
A chocolate-almond crumb crust with a rich chocolate mousse dotted with marshmallows turns rocky road into an adult dessert.
- 40 chocolate wafer cookies
- ¼ cup toasted sliced almonds
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ cup (one stick) unsalted butter, melted CHOCOLATE MOUSSE
- 6 oz. semisweet chocolate, chopped
- 3 Tablespoons unsalted butter
- 5 Tablespoons water, divided
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- 3 large eggs, separated
- ¼ cup plus 3 Tablespoons sugar, divided
- ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
- ½ cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 ½ cups mini-size marshmallows (I used homemade) TOPPING
- Mini-size marshmallows
- Toasted sliced almonds
- Chocolate shavings
- Preheat oven to 350⁰. In a food processor, pulses chocolate wafers, roasted almonds and salt into crumbs. Add butter and process until clumps form. Press crust along the bottom and up the sides of a pie plate. Bake for 10-12 minutes until set and fragrant. If crust puffs up, push back down with the bottom of a glass.
- Combine chocolate, butter and 2 Tablespoons water in a heat proof bowl and melt over a simmering pot of 1-2″ of water. Set aside.
- In another heat proof bowl over simmering water, combine egg yolks, remaining 3 Tablespoons water, and 3 Tablespoons sugar. Whisk constantly until thick, 7-9 minutes, remove from heat, and whisk into melted chocolate. Cool to room temperature.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk egg whites until foamy. Add cream of tartar and beat until soft peaks form. Gradually add sugar, one tablespoon at a time, increase speed to high and beat until stiff peaks form. Gently fold ¼ of egg whites into chocolate mixture to lighten, then gently fold in the remaining egg whites.
- In the bowl of the stand mixer, whip heavy whipping cream until soft peaks form. Fold whipped cream into the chocolate mixture. Add marshmallows and fill cooled pie crust with chocolate mousse. Decorate with marshmallows, toasted almonds, and chocolate shavings. Chill at least three hours before cutting.