Melt chocolate over low heat on stove. Add warmed coffee, stirring carefully until chocolate is glossy. Add beaten egg yolks, stirring carefully until chocolate is glossy. Remove chocolate from heat, and stir in brandy until chocolate is glossy. Let mixture stand until tepid.
Whip egg whites to a glossy peak.
Whip heavy cream to peaks and add sugar.
By this time, the chocolate should be tepid to the touch. Using a very large bowl, fold all three mixtures together. Using a wide rubber spatula, turn the mixtures over and over carefully until blended. Chill for four hours.
Spoon mousse into the centers of the meringues.
1 cup butter at room temperature
1 cup ground almonds
2 cups powdered (confectioner’s) sugar
Blend with hands until very well mixed. Shape into plump pillows and place on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake in a 350-degree oven for ten minutes. While warm, sprinkle with confectioner’s sugar and add a small slice of maraschino cherry to the top. Let cool. Cookies will be crisp and chewy.
MEG’S MINT CHUTNEY
1 cup red wine vinegar
6 firm pears, peeled and sliced
1/2 cup raisins
1 cup sugar
Handful of green peppercorns
2 tablespoons cardamom
1 handful chopped fresh mint
Boil the vinegar and sugar. Reduce heat to medium. Add the pears. Add the peppercorns, raisins, and cardamom. Cook until thickened, about twenty minutes. Stir in the mint leaves. Let cool. Refrigerate for at least twenty-four hours to let the mint infuse the chutney.
is the author of fourteen previous novels in the Hemlock Falls Mystery series. She is at work on the third mystery novel in her new series, The Casebooks of Dr. McKenzie. She is the senior editor of three well-received mystery anthologies, including the musical mystery collection
A Merry Band of Murderers.
As Mary Stanton, she is the author of eleven books for middle-grade readers and two well-regarded fantasy novels for adults. She will debut an exciting new classic fantasy in 2008, currently titled
The Beaufort Files
Claudia divides her time between a small home in West Palm Beach, Florida, and a goat farm in upstate New York. She can be reached through her website,claudiabishop.com