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Friday, April 10, 2009

*i smell truffle.

The reasons I keep temporarily abandoning this forum are twofold:

1. lack of exposure to the out of doors during daylight hours (which I am obsessed with for photographic reasons)

and

2. work-related stupor (see #1).

But last night I was faced with the prospect of a fourth day of cold pizza—recession trumps food safety!—and I was itchin' to get in the kitchen.

Another baffling day of no appetite left me not really craving anything for dinner. I just wanted to do something intricate and impressive and tiny and fun and frivolous and ... pretty. Yesterday wasn't a particularly pretty day, so I was determined to finish it off with a nightcap of loveliness.

So I dug into my expanding cookbook collection and discovered these.


truffle huddle.


Those would be salted caramel truffles making their move on lemon-thyme truffles. I moonlight for an overseas company, and this recipe came from something I'd recently worked on for them. I don't enjoy sweets, as a rule, and we all know I CAN'T BAKE, but there's something about truffles that is soothing.

Chocolate melts into glistening ribbons without a lot of effort. No fancy chopping or careful stacking—just stir. Want to use the time to self-reflect? Go ahead. Want to turn your brain off and absent-mindedly contemplate the repercussions of having spent three straight days with Elton John booming "I Guess That's Why They Call It the Blues" into your frontal lobe? Be my guest.

I was trepidatious about the lemon-thyme variety (Herbs in my chocolate? Fer serious? ) but then I decided it wasn't all that different from using lavender, which I hear is quite gourmet. Cadbury, eat your heart out.


flecks of thyme.


Yeah, that was taken at work. Pretty lighting on the job site, eh? In a world where "pretty lighting" means "retinal failure."

It was tasty—elegantly lemony, as opposed to getting socked in the face. Remember those pictures of you at 11 months, sucking on a lemon because your parents thought it was HILARIOUS? This was not like that. And the thyme was just lurking in the background, rounding things out without being cheeky. White "chocolate" will never be my first choice, but I would definitely make these again.

I mean, just look at that zesty little mohawk.


zesty mohawk.


And the chocolate truffles (dark in the center, in milky jackets) mark a success—caramel triumph! The last time I made truffles, I came up with a texture that was more along the lines of chewing broken glass. (Sorry, Suze!) This came out smooth and velvety, almost as though I had patience.

But I'm pretty sure it's the salt that elevates them to cult status.


salt spatter.


Check out those beads of sweat. Ah, Alabama in the springtime. Where the clouds are threatening, the air is yellow, and the humidity hovers around 600%. Sweet home, indeed.


yin yang.


To the weekend! Wherein I further cultivate my denial for this thing they call "tax day."

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I am a work in progress. I perpetually need a hair cut. I'm totally devoted to my remarkable nieces and nephew. I am an elementary home cook and a magazine worker bee. (Please criticize my syntax and spelling in the comments.) I think my dog is hilarious. I like chicken and spicy things. I have difficulty being a grown-up. Left to my own devices, I will eat enormous amounts of cheese snacks of all kinds.

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