Archive | February, 2016

labor of love

24 Feb

  
There are five parts to this behemoth of a torte: Cocoa nib meringue, chocolate cake, homemade blood orange marmalade, mascarpone cream filling and bittersweet chocolate glaze. Whoa. And it takes a lot of advance timing n stuff.

One must make marmalade, grind cocoa nibs, whip egg whites and cream…

I made it for me.

I know Bon Appetit printed this recipe in a February issue so that I might make it to feed my lover.

But I have none. 

I could have made and shared with friends, my class, my improv group…but I did not. I made it. Ate two slices. Sliced the rest and froze for future delights. Because I am occasionally selfish when I make really delicious stuff.

And I like having ready-made treats waiting for me. 

I also think the cream filling will be way good slightly frozen.

The recipe is long. I made it exactly as printed and I don’t feel like re-typing what you could easily get with a click so go here.

Treat yourself. You are worth the time and work. Believe.

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GARAGISTE!

17 Feb

This is me waiting, desperately for the decant. Let me at it.

  
At long last I got my delivery. The wicked awesome Jon Rimmerman of the Garagiste goes about and finds wines like this biodynamic oner, and then emails wine lovahs (only if it is lovah with an “ah” not an “er”) with deals. JK re: “ahs”. Pretty sure anyone who signs up gets emailed. Sometimes wine you’re ordering is not even in the bottle yet. But Garagiste has tasted and knows what goodness is to come. There are DANG good deals. And the newsletter musings make amazing reading 1-2 times a day. Provided you are a wine lovah. Lover.

To my (initial) chagrin, they don’t send you your wine until A) you have at least 12 bottles that you’ve ordered, aka a full crate o’ wine amassed, (which takes time since sometimes the wine you order has not even been put in a bottle yet, much less made its way to Washington) and B) shipping conditions from Washington to wherever you are happen to be perfect. And finally I had both 12 wines and the weather was right and I got my first selection.

And much as you want to dive in this box o’ bottles, a maddening letter is placed atop your selection admonishing, downright ADMONISHING you to not drink for another couple of weeks because these babies have been jostling about during shipping the last day or so and they need to rest their tired souls. Let your wine rest. Or else! And you figure you’ve been patient enough so far, so may as well be patient just a wee bit longer.

And to make the waiting even more excruciating Garagiste says to most enjoy this particular bottle  it may need 30-60 minutes of decant time post pouring. BUT they say to sip along the way and so sip I friggin did. 

Ohhhhh shit and the official website for this wine says after all that initial waiting just for a sip or two, to cork the bottle and taste again and again over the next few journées (like, aujourd’hui, aujourd’hui, aujourd’hui and also demain and maaaaaaybe the day after but who the fuck are we kidding) to see how the wine develops and improves. So more bloody waiting. As in, don’t polish off the bottle in a night.

Oh right what we are drinking:

2011 Nicolas Joly Savennières “Les Vieux Clos”

Biodynamic.

From one of my favorite places to source vin. The Loire Valley. Savennières. Doy.

The grape is Chenin Blanc, m’dears.

The bottle itself advised “vigorous decanting”. I poured this golden elixir from some great heights observing the neck for sediment in some great lights. As one must to decant. With vigor.

Garagiste advised that Joly follows the tradition of German Riesling houses and over-fills, so not to be alarmed by damp cork. Good. Because that cork was funky. It looked kinda gross.

So many warnings. So many admonishments. By the time I got to sipping I was terrified. I sniffed long and hard at first. I got nettles, peaches and PINEAPPLE. I love pineapple. And an element of resin. In a way I assumed would be sweet.

It is not sweet! Happily surprisingly. It is full-bodied without being syrupy. Full without being thick. Dry without being bony.

A kumquat may be cooling his heels in there. Kumquats are welcome to cool whatever body part they want in my wine, incidentally. Fuck those who take the rind and discard the rest, I will take it all. Ahem.

There is underlying honey but the first hit says “pine tree” followed by pineapple. The back of your tongue says allspice. That’s happy. The finish burns out with all those elements, swirling about in your mouth. Then you are good to go.

It stands out to me that this wine starts as a jumble of tastes but by ten seconds post-swallow those jumbles knit together.

The Impressionist painting of wines. If Monet made wine, this would be it.

These are my “first fifteen minutes notes”. I’ll revise in about a half hour.

The decanting should be more…vigorized?

Okay time has passed, time for more notes. Post channeling-Courtney Love-circa-1993-ish. And documenting via selfies. Ugh me.

MORE spice has developed. The spices don’t fade, they get stronger by the minute.
The allspice gathers the most momentum, along with some orange zest. It gets sweeter but is that the temperature playing a part?

I dunno. I liked this wine five and a half times better than I thought I would.

I like it a lot.

Or else I wouldn’t share it, kittens.

24 hours later:

OH SHIT! 24 hours n that shit gets cray. The allspice increases tenfold. The acid mellows. The color still looks like unhealthy piss but so does a good juice or so so I will let it pass.. Heck.

Less resin (althpoug it is still there) and more honey. This time the allspice is IN THE FOREFRONT, IT IS. RESIN IS STILL THERE HARDCORE OH SHIT IS THAT MY CAPS LOCK ON? my bad

And now it is two nights past popping:
There is an emerging grassy minerality. The spices say “less allspice, more pepper”. Maybe even an arugula leaf or so. The resin is an afterthought, a smooth finish.

Three nights:
I’m down to the dregs. It is significantly sweeter. The honey is expressing itself more than resin. Think pineapple with allspice but it has been drizzled with honey. I think 1-2 days in was the prime, which does not surprise me.

So buy and if you are curious, eke it out. Otherwise go wild big spender. Buy several. Drink that mother down in a night or so. Then do it again.

Cocktail TED talk

9 Feb

    
Hey dudes! No recipe or recommendations today because…I have been prepping all week to see just how much basic cocktail knowledge I can give in 8-10 minutes Wednesday night. The show will also feature talks about everything ranging from Horse Psychology to The Black Panther Party to Iceland.More info: https://ucbtheatre.com/show/5392

Come play!

it is chocolate month!

3 Feb

  
Holy heck Valentines came early for me:

  
Such is the joy of food writing. And it really is my pleasure to report on these Godiva treats because they are beautiful and excellent.

I had a nice selection of the standard truffles plus a bonus Valentine’s flight of more exotic flavors. There was the white chocolate passion fruit that I started into immediately. I was surprised just how…passion fruit-y the filling was. Surprised in a a good way.

Then I moved on to the aztec spice and realized there was not a chocolate I was not into. Downtown LA should be floating in hipsters coated in chocolate covered cherries right now if I were any influence.

Let me move to the rest Limited Edition Valentine’s Day Truffles. The full selection includes Aztec Spice, Chocolate Lava Cake, Strawberry Crème Tarte, Dark Chocolate Soufflé, Milk Chocolate Mousse and White Chocolate Passion Fruit.
Strawberry Creme Tarte was delightful. A rich strawberry gel of sorts in a pink chocolate case. The filling was multi-layered: there ewas the strawberry part as well as a sweet cream. Having the extra cream part helped. I shouldn’t use the word but…num, or nom? One of those cloying terms for deliciousness.
The aztec spice I could eat all day. Just a dark chocolate quality shell and a spicy, creamy interior. Excellent.
Chcolate lava cake, dark chocolate soufflé and the and milk chocolate mouse I was a bit confused on. Like, confused about which was which. Each had layers of varying chocolate on top of each other. and while I do no know which was which I would gobble first, GOBBLE I SAY! Gobble them all.

Giving Godiva my official Valentine’s Day chocolate endorsement.
Not that I won’t eat other chocolate should it find it’s way into my mouth. But the truffle flight truly is a delight.