Thursday, December 31, 2009

The Cavalier Cook - Numero Dos

2009 is ending. Officially. And so is this marathon. I will post one last recipe tomorrow however. Provided it turns out the way I think it should! To put it midly, I am taking what in polite company may be called, a risk.

Let me not prolong this year waxing eloquent a few thousand words more; I am now going to get straight to the point.

One word. Chocolate. Enough said

Orange truffles and what else does a meal need now?

This recipe and most of its execution are courtesy my wonderful friend Mridula who wields her tools with the precision of the scientist that she is. And a very good one on both counts. Be warned, what comes ahead is not for the faint-hearted. We will throw chocolate, butter, cream and caution to the wind. Recipes like these bring back fond memories of Pune's Vohuman Cafe. The perpetually curmudgeonly owner used to sit at the entrance, Zarathustra above, cash register below and to the left, a big, overflowing pot of yellow butter. The cheese omelettes oozed with well, cheese and butter; the sandwiches likewise. Long bike rides later, my friends and I would troop into the cafe in the wee hours, nearly always hung over and starving to boot. Butter always did the trick.

For Vohuman's fare, you will need:
(a) One Enfield
(b) A copy of "Riding bikes for dummies"
(c) Vodka
(d) One mountain
(e) One city from the 1990s
(f) A strong constitution

For 30 truffles you will need:
(a) 1/2 a cup bitter-sweet chocolate
(b) 1/2 a cup semi-sweet chocolate
According to Mridula, the better the chocolate, the better your results; Ghirardelli trumps Nestle and everything else more expensive than get the drift
(c) 2 tablespoons butter
(d) 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
(e) 1 tablespoon orange zest
(f) 2 tablespoons of your liqueur of choice; we used Grand Marnier
(g) Candied orange peel; you should find these at most specialty grocers -- if not, feel free to use any candied fruit or not. This really doesn't make much difference to the taste which comes from orange zest

* Heat chocolate in a double boiler

* Simultaneously, start warming the cream. When it's warm, add butter and mix thoroughly
* Stir the chocolate till it forms a smooth paste

* Add orange zest to the cream
* Mix all these together
* Cool for a few hours and refrigerate for about 5-6 hours
* Form truffles in shapes of your choice; incorporate pieces of the candied peel. Forming these tiny sinful delights can be a tricky process and might necessitate to and fros from the refrigerator.
* Keep the truffles refrigerated
* Swallow whole and no, you aren't dreaming. They really are that good.

Thinking about: A year gone by; but of course. And time or the experience of it. I am reading up on time for a dissertation chapter and there is some wonderful academic writing on temporality or how is it that people inhabit, live and understand time. So today, I give you something that I think says so much about time.

And the days are not full enough

And the days are not full enough
And the nights are not full enough
And life slips by like a field mouse
Not shaking the grass

Ezra Pound

Listening to: The Decemberists

Have a wonderful new year everybody and I will see you all in 2010!!!