Saturday, September 13, 2008

Comfort In A Spoon

There really is something incredibly comforting about baking. Maybe it's the knowledge that there is something yummy is in the making, or perhaps whipping eggs and beating butter and sugar together somehow gives some kind of odd, sadistic satisfaction--though I have no idea how that is at all comforting and I doubt that this is the source of any comfort. Perhaps the comfort is all in eating.
Either way, after spending the morning slowly reading my way through Ignatius' letters to various churches--which, by the way, has been very interesting--I knew, just as Pooh often does, that I needed something sweet and deliciously rich to beckon me to hurry with my reading.

 (Well, Pooh just eats his honey. I would eat my honey, too, but I really do enjoy honey with toast, and there is no toast in this house. :( )

In between paragraphs, I pondered what sort of pudding would deliver top-class comfort on a reading-filled, rather gloomy day as today. Then I found this website with a recipe for vanilla pot de creme and crumbly chocolate shortbread. This sounded suitable--creamy, vanilla custard accented with the dark tones and crumbly texture of the shortbread.  

The pot de cremes were surprisingly easy to assemble, and after baking, I set them in the fridge to cool. They had plenty of time to chill, since I promised to abstain from eating them until the majority of today's text had been read. 

Some hours later and some chapters later, I made the chocolate biscuits to go along with the custards.

And here is where I make my confession: I was going to try to finish all of the assigned letters for Ignatius, but I gave into temptation at three chapters left and went downstairs to indulge in the sweet pleasure of dessert. I fear I do not regret this, since I probably would not have finished those three chapters until eleven or so this evening, and I never like to eat right before bed.

The custard was quite divine, if I can dare say that without being too heretical? When baked in the waterbath, it had formed a bit of a thicker crust of cream on the very top, which cracked slightly as I dove in with my spoon. It was very reminiscent of creme brulee, sans the crispy sugar topping, of course, and a tinsy bit less extravagant since I had used half cream and 
half whole milk. The biscuits were wonderful with the custard, as well. Crumbly, buttery dark chocolate biscuits with the cool creaminess of the custard.
This was pudding well worth every minute spent away from my reading, and it definitely delivered much comfort in each spoonful. :)

(Sorry for the poor quality of the photo! My camera was missing so I used the camera built-in my laptop. Cameras in computers? What will they think of next? Built in showers? That might come in handy while on the road.....)

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Have your fungi...and eat a few, too?

While browsing wedding cake ideas*hides behind couch* Martha, I came across her series of Woodland Wedding Cakes and was very much intrigued. A mushroom laden wedding cake? Having an odd fear of those real-deal, spongy, watching-you-in-the-forest-mushrooms, I couldn't quite decide what to think of the cake. However, after a bit of thought, I finally decided that it must be a Hobbit wedding cake, and is therefore not so very disturbing! (Although something makes me think that Hobbits would put real mushrooms on their cake instead of meringue mushrooms, and it probably wouldn't be a white-frosted cake. Perhaps more like this?).

While Martha Stewart seems to have some conspiracy (along with Starbucks) for taking over the world, I have to admit that her website and magazines are very helpful when it comes to ideas, recipes, random house-keeping tips and tid-bits. Plus, the photography is amazing! Her wedding cake ideas are phenomenal, too. Of course, there are some not-so-great cakes out there, too. (The kind that make Martha Stewartians shrivel up and die [of laughter]. ...Not that I'm promoting the death of Martha-Stewartians, since I, er, myself might be one of them. Eep!) Heh, most of my cakes end up looking like this. (Please browse this site with caution, since some of the cakes are a bit on the scandalous side. :-( )

Anyways, it's time for synopsizing!

Have a good weekend!