Yep, monsoon’s still here. No more about that.
It is more than a serious problem when you’re still learning how to cook and are allergic to following recipes, at the same time. Its still manageable when either of the above is true. But when both are obvious and you happen to be adamant not to change any of it, its bound to get downright dangerous…..and hopeless.
But no, I’m not adamant or anything. I’m more than willing to actually follow one of the recipes out of one of the many brilliant cookbooks I have. I’m just plain lazy. Every time I start with one, some tiny voice inside me wrecks havoc till I tweak the recipe in some way or the other. And I would rather learn the hard way. The really hard way. Doing what I do is hazhardous. You could end up with burnt pots, singed palms, cut-up fingertips, dish towels on fire and sometimes food without seasoning in it. There have also been times when I’ve had to feel my way through thick smoke just to get to the stove-top.
I’ve heard Aditya declare (for about the millionth time) how he follows a cookbook recipe word for word the first time, and then experiment with it in his own sweet time and come up with something new and different.
Liar. They’re always the same and never any different.
I once fed cold macaroni tossed with tomatoes and cloves of garlic, all raw, uncooked, mashed up together in a sad brass mortar and pestle. It was horrible. And that’s an understatement. The mortar and pestle led a brassy taste to the tomatoes and along with the strong garlicky twang, not to mention the undercooked pasta that stuck to your teeth, the outcome was so puke-worthy that I was banned from my friends’ kitchens for the next four months. They begged me to learn how to cook knowing what a champion-eater and mess-creator I have been all my life.
At the time, I was using this blog as a showcase for my graphical endeavors and writing about college. Everything changed when I called up my Mother and asked her to guide me through a simple meal of eggplant curry with cut-up sausages! Then came okra and brown rice. That’s right…I couldn’t boil rice to save my life. My mother was too kind to guide me through basics.
Out came the digital camera, out oozed some fatty brainwaves, 18 months later and I’m still struggling to be moderately good at whipping up a decent meal.
This weekend I tried to relive last year’s Diwali truffle-happiness. Recovering from a relapse of typhoid can punch quite a lot of air out of you. But the truffles were worth the effort — they always are. Three sorts, not much work, a whole lot of mess and gastronomical divinity in the end. I don’t know why I keep putting myself down as a cook….these truffles rocked, you know.
Dark Chocolate Truffles
What you need:
- 1 and half cups dark chocolate (70%), chopped into approximately equal sized peices
- 3 tablespoons of sugar (optional…I like my truffles to be distinctly bitter so I didn’t add any)
- 1 cup double cream
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper for the Chili Truffles
- 20ml espresso shot, for the Coffee Truffles
- 20ml dark (or white) rum, for the Coconut and Rum Truffles
- 1 cup dessicated coconut
- Cocoa powder for coating
- Divide the chopped chocolate equally into three glass bowls.
- Heat the cream till its almost about to boil. At this point, you can add in the sugar, if necessary, and stir to dissolve it in the cream. Take it off the heat and pour equal amounts into each bowl carrying the chocolate.
- Let the mixtures stand for 60 seconds, before gently stirring them(from center towards the edge) till all the chocolate has melted.
- Add the cayenne pepper to the first mixture and stir in gently. Add the espresso to the second and rum to the third and gently stir. Cover each bowl with cling film and chill in the freezer for about a couple of hours or till the ganache has set.
- Set each bowl in an ice-bath(so the ganache doesn’t melt) turn by turn. Use a spoon or a scooper to scoop out the chocolate and roll into truffle balls. I spread cocoa powder and rolled the chili truffles in them to coat. The rum truffles were rolled in dessicated coconut.
- Don’t forget to eat ‘em!