Saturday, October 15, 2005
chocolate waffles, redux
what's amazing is that these come out rather like brownies -- well, more like brownies than waffles. go to town with the chocolate syrup, berries, and powdered sugar. whatever you do, don't overcook them, or they get nasty, like, well, like the ugly edges of scorched brownies. . .
1-1/2 c. flour (sifted or not, your choice)
9 tablespoons dark cocoa (I used king arthur's double dark)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 c. sugar (or 1/2 c. splenda baking mix, batter volume will be slightly reduced)
1/2 c. canola oil or mix of oil and melted butter (all melted butter will increase chance of scorching, all bad, avoid!)
1 teaspoon saf yeast
2 cups milk
1 teaspoon really good madagascar bourbon vanilla (i used eurovanille)
pop the eggs into your stand mixer and beat well. slowly stir in milk. mix all the dry ingredients, and add to the liquid in thirds, stirring well after each addition.
at the end, add oil/butter and vanilla. stir lightly. the batter may have small lumps; that's ok.
let rise for 45-60 mins., until the batter is bubbly. pre-heat the belgian waffle iron for 3 mins. on each side over medium heat.
pour 1 to 1-1/4 cups batter into your jumbo american waffle iron. cook on first side 45 seconds.
flip iron, cook second side for 3 mins. or until steam stops rising from the iron's sides. don't overcook or edges will scorch.
serve hot with thick chocolate syrup, etc. i used the lake champlain tanzanian chocolate sauce, myself.
this recipe will make about 4 american size waffles. you will want to eat 2, but they are very rich. each one is like a quarter pan of brownies.
i urge you to show more restraint than i could, alas. . .mr. right, initially skeptical of the idea that all things are improved by judicious use of immense amounts of chocolate, pronounced them "very good. no, excellent."
10 minutes later he decided: fantastic. you've been warned!
Friday, October 14, 2005
bks in nyc & the huehue
"although he can appear fierce, even forbidding, he has an impish, ready laugh and a quick wit that befits a man who can still perform a full backbend and stand on his head unsupported by a wall for more than an hour."
this nyt article on renowned yoga teacher bks iyengar's recent nyc appearance is charming.
here's a little excerpt from his latest book, light on life.
the US$70 a seat ticket price was high, and still the whole tour sold out right away. . . .however, you still can catch a glimpse of him at his book signing tomorrow.
the lines at the borders on columbus circle will be long, i'm sure, so get there much earlier than the official 5pm start time, i'd say, and bring your utmost yogic patience.
the intense rain might dampen (hah!) the insanity, but believe me, if i could, i'd go, just to see him once in person!
it is still raining cats & dogs, spoons & forks, what have you, here in nyc -- this endless week of rain -- so i began this morning with don schoenholt's gillies guatemalan huehuetenango shb euro-prep in the vac pot.
got your scaa flavor wheel? of course, the vac pot highlights brightness, so i'd say this was a sweet, crispy-snappy brew.
it had a fair body -- remember the vac pot tends to attenuate body/mouthfeel -- and a great toasted malt, slightly spicy feel. it's a just a cheerful, floral, standard-city + roast coffee, pleasant to start a rainy day with.
yeah: it's like having a nice, uplifting conversation at the breakfast table. but it's an interior chat, between you and the huehue. . .
most people will love it with a tablespoon of light cream and a little raw sugar to emphasize its candy-vanilla quality. clean, balanced, lovely, i just highly recommend this coffee!
Thursday, October 13, 2005
here at bccy, we really shouldn't be discussing noodles. they are made with flour, but they ain't bread of any type.
so forgive my fascination with this story, wherein archeologists uncover a 4,000-year-old bowl of lo mein noodles in china.
the part that catches my attention is that these lo mein noodles are said to be made of millet. this seems odd to me: how is it possible to make lo mein of millet?
lo mein noodles are hand-stretched from lumps of dough until they become quite fine, almost hair-like. in shanghai, i'm told, you can see street vendors making noodles this way with stunning ease and rapidity.
i understand this, since lo mein nowadays are wheat noodles. that is, they have gluten, and so will stretch.
but millet has little if any appreciable gluten, which is why it's a favorite of those with gluten allergies. how is it possible to make stretched noodles of millet?
i'm betting it's more likely that these antique noodles were made by forcing a millet dough through a sieve or basket. . .(on the asian noodle front, i myself love nama cha soba. . .)
this aside, the weather here is completely miserable, worse than seattle. i just started the morning with some of don schoenholt's gillies brand new guatemalan antigua. he also kindly included a huehuetenango.
i'll make this up in the vac pot tomorrow morning and talk more about its regal crispness then. . .
thinking of guatemalan coffees always puts in mind of oren's fantastic coban. . .that coban! i honestly have to say i have never had a fraijanes.
and of course, speaking of coban, dougie's famous home-roasted blend is totally on-topic!
Wednesday, October 12, 2005
can the mermaid
long-time readers know that the japanese love a coca-cola ready-to-drink "coffee" product called georgia. it's sold in a lot of vending machines there, and also in india.
the mermaid has decided to enter this market too with a product called "discoveries." my my my.
this is the kind of stuff that just makes me, as a real coffee lover, wanna weep. hot, really hot, tears. . .
Tuesday, October 11, 2005
coffee & the kgb?
this has to be the strangest tale involving coffee i've ever heard. a kgb spy pretends to be a coffee expert so as to destabilize latin america? bizarre if true.
anyway, when i have time i'm going to hook up all the blogs i read to the newish google reader. what i love about it is of course it's portable, and i can read my stuff from anywhere at all. . .
i know it's fashionable to be down on google these days, but i still kinda find them fascinating in the way apple is fascinating.
how does steve jobs know exactly what i want anyway? he and i couldn't be more different it seems -- and yet somehow he mysteriously reads my mind. . .
if i were smart i'd run away and tell google all the things skirt 'net users need that no one is making for us. . .like the insta-synching family calendar, so that myself, my husband, my children, my dog, my grandma etc. etc. can enter our appointments on whatever device we like, send that to google, have google compile all that, and feed it back to all of us on whatever device auto-magically.
it should know where we live zip-and-postal-code-wise so it can also compile the major school and/or government holidays on that too. yes i mean feed, so that we can all subscribe to any/all the compiled calendars we are want/are allowed to, and so it will update in near-real time.
this is probably the killer soccer-mom app, actually. . .
Monday, October 10, 2005
could we create a coffee choir?
the whole coffee vortex thing in this article is pretty cool, but i like the "singing cup" a bit better.
could we use the explanation provided to create a series of tuned coffee cups and play them?
oh, and why does 20/20 hate coffee?
"have you ever ordered a decaf coffee, and received a regular coffee ? or one with more caffeine than you expected ? and had an adverse reaction? if this describes you and you would like to share your story on '20/20,' we'd like to hear from you!"
lawd luv a green-eye duck! what is these people's problem?
after the april nonsense, you'd know they seem to have some strange bias. but is stossel et. al. really going to do a huge exposé because some mermaid monkey gave someone on his staff the wrong order or something?
i keep forgetting: how many people died from "adverse reactions" to coffee this year -- um, zero? we're not talking vioxx here you know!
it's important to remember the very few deaths attributed to caffeine are usually those of students who o.d. on pills. because really, who would drink 1-1/2 gallons of espresso at a single sitting?
is it actually possible to brew that much espresso fast enough to drink it in the time to make yourself sick? i mean, by the time you made that much espresso, most of it would be cold and undrinkable, no?
and if they did, wouldn't they deserve a darwin award? oh how the mind wanders. . .
in a completely unrelated strain of thought, i'm really becoming fond of the japanese milbon hair line. recently i had the 4-part salon conditioning treatment, which i really recommend for people with highlighted hair.
the take-home tubes are easy to use and seem to offer a cumulative effect. what's great is that unlike many deep conditioners, it leaves your hair weightless, fluffy, soft.
i also like the crede er deep conditioner for home use, too.
Sunday, October 09, 2005
apple crumble object
so mr. right returned from a work-related dinner to say that the only decent thing he'd had was an old-timey peach cobbler. i had no idea he liked cobbler; cobbler i can do!
oh yeah! this being an apple season now and not a peach one, i immediately imagined myself running out the farmers' market to pick up a nice mixture of heirloom cooking apples, some calvados, a few currants, french butter, ground almonds. . . .making my ultra-decadent all-cream bourbon vanilla ice cream for the top. . .
but no. all rejected.
cobbler/crumble/crisp things should be "simple," i was told. what, i replied indignantly, could be simpler than upstate heirloom apples and french butter?
so in the end i settled for 3 rome apples and 2 golden delicious from the local market. i insisted on the french butter, however, and used whole wheat flour for the crumble topping.
i also snuck in some bourbon vanilla powder! oh yeah, and i finally found a decent use for that splenda baking sugar mix stuff i had left over from last brownie experiment. . .
in the end i nearly wept when tasting the rome apples, which seemed so woody and tasteless to me raw. and the recipe was idiot-simple:
3 rome apples, 2 golden delicious, peeled, cut into 16ths and chunked coarsely
1/3 cup dark brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup splenda baking mix
2 teaspoons bourbon vanilla powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon flour (to soak up some of the juices, optional but suggested; or use a little cornstarch)
1 cup whole wheat flour
8 tablespoons french butter, well-chilled and cubed
1/2 cup splenda baking mix
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
pre-heat the oven to 350 and dig out your 8x8 brownie pan or 9-in. pie plate. spray it with baker's joy.
in your pan or pie plate, toss to mix apples, brown sugar, vanilla powder, splenda mix, cinnamon, flour. in a bowl, mix whole wheat flour, butter, splenda, cinnamon, baking soda.
with your fingers work this whole wheat mixture until the butter falls into to corn-flake size pieces, or if you like it sandier, into coarse cornmeal size bits. spread this thickly on top of apples.
bake for 45-55 minutes until apples are tender. serve hot with the best vanilla ice cream you can get your hands on.
alas, i report that this was a fantastic success. it didn't taste too bad, really.
but! imagine what the calvados/currant/heirloom apple extravaganza could have been! i could have served it with vanilla-almond-clove ice cream!
as long as mr. right was happy. . .that's what's important yes? cooking is like writing, to paraphrase gertrude stein: we do it for ourselves and other people.
today it was more for the "other. . ." i'll get the fancy version next time. . .