Chocolate Praline Pie

1/2 cup butter
2/3 cup packed light brown sugar
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
2 eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
9 inch pastry shell, baked and cooled
Rum Nut Topping
Pecan halves (optional)

In small mixer bowl beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Blend in cocoa, add eggs, one at a time, beating an high speed 3 minutes after each addition. Stir in vanilla. Spoon mixture into crust, Chill until set, 3 to 4 hours. Spread prepared Rum Nut Topping over chocolate filling. Chill at least one hour. Garnish with pecan halves, if desired. Cover and refrigerate any remaining pie immediately.

Makes 6 to 8 servings.

Rum Nut Topping:
1/2 tsp unflavored gelatin
1 tbs cold water
1 tbs boiling water
1 cup chilled whipping cream
2 tbs confectioners sugar
2 tsp white rum or
1/4 tsp rum extract
1/3 cup finely chopped toasted

In custard cup sprinkle gelatin over cold water; let stand 1 minute to soften, Add boiling water; stir until gelatin is completely dissolved. In small mixer bowl combine whipping cream and confectioners sugar; beat to blend. Slowly blend in gelatin mixture. Beat until stiff; fold in rum and nuts.

Makes about 2 cups topping.

*To prepare pecans: Heat over to 350F. Spread 1/3 cup pecans in single layer in shallow baking pan. Bake, stirring occasionally, 6 to 8 minutes. Cool. Finely chop in bowl of food processor or in blender.

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Cajun Country -- New Iberia, Louisiana