this week: olives for breakfast and superbly ruined eggs

All this time that I’ve been supposedly taking it easy in the heat, the truth is I’ve actually been holding out on you.

I have been eating. And eating quite a lot. By day I’m a glorified blue-print maker, design researcher, building material hunter and client pacifier. By night I’m too exhausted to even butter my own toast or air out my wet shoes. Or stow away my duvet, which is overdue. I have so far ended up with messed up eggs on toast, really wet shoes and a very dry throat courtesy of mild snoring habits.

For now, I’ll leave you with a few photographs from the last two days.

Oh, and I’ve also discovered that bowls of olives with spicy mayo make perfectly fantastic breakfasts. Honest.

Advertisements

lately

For some people pleasure means sleeping in on Sundays, a trip to Alton Towers with the family, fluffy yorkie puds, chocolate ganache, shopping at Westfield, or a tall glass of something with Pimm’s at the beach. For me however, pleasure means watching old reruns of Frasier, nibbling on baking chocolate, the only kind currently lurking in my cupboard, and eating Jus-like-Crab — frozen fritters that need to be deep-fried; inexplicably fake and fishy and yet addictive in a twisted sort of way. Taking a trashy-food-eating break is good for the soul. And the tummy. Trust me. Meanwhile:

– We’re still reeling from a weekend of beef stew and pear salad.

– I have been using my lunch hours at work combing the city for 6V batts to use with my father’s old Yashica Electro 35. It’s high-time someone started experimenting with it.

– I’m planning a birthday-for-Meghna-cum-Oscar night with family friends. I think this calls for my spice-roasted chicken.

– Can’t stop thinking of this buttercream….will have to make some of this very soon before my head explodes.

– I have sneaked out a couple of over-ripe bananas from the funny-looking basket from which we hang our bunches. They’re pleasantly spotted with black and now resting in the freezer waiting for me to get started on some banana bread — something I’ve always wanted to make, and yet have always failed due to my brother’s slavish devotion to the fruit. He can effortlessly inhale a dozen bananas in two days flat, even before I can get my hands on a single one.

– I also don’t think Ghost Rider: Spirit of Whatever is worth a watch. Seriously.

looking for confidence

I should probably rename the post title to “Chocolate cake for unemployed singles”.

I get compulsive and impulsive and all sorts of other ‘-ulsives’ when I’m bored or disappointed. And most of the time the solution to all that, involves food. If you need evidence, you need only to look at my ever-increasingly wobbly backside.

And boring has been happening a lot lately. Since I left my last job, I’ve had a whole week’s worth of free-time on my hands. And guess what. I’ve been going around town visiting all the specialty food shops I can find – an activity which had only been dream until last week. Usually, my daily routine includes a visit to Waitrose on my way home from office and a tour of the Selfridges Food Hall on the weekends. Don’t you dare look down on me because I visit “food halls”….Selfridges has an Italian  porchetta collection to die for.

But I digress. I’m not here to talk about porchetta, I’m here to talk about the 300gm-bar of Valhrona 70% that I bought from the chocolate section. It features in my Gâteau Au Chocolat. Now it has been ages since I’ve baked. Not since, I packed up my kitchen and left for a three-month tour of India. So when one of my housemates left a wire whisk on the kitchen counter, the temptation was too much to resist. However, I realized that I’d almost lost the confidence to bake. It’s not really like riding a bicycle…or a bicyclist *wink*. I’ve lost the patience to measure the ingredients, the strength to whisk the whites, the rules to remember while melting chocolate and I’ve forgotten to not be afraid of folding egg whites into batter. Whisked egg whites can smell fear.

And that’s why the the cake turned out flatter than normal, and downright soggy than lusciously moist. It was like the cake was ratting me out to be a novice baker!

The chocolate however, did not disappoint. The only irony is, the recipe comes from Green & Black’s.

Claudia Roden’s Gâteau Au Chocolat
 from Ultimate Chocolate Collection

250gm dark chocolate (70% at least, please)
100gm unslated butter, plus extra for greasing
6 large eggs, separated
75gm caster sugar
100gms ground almonds
Flour for dusting

Pre-heat the oven to 180 deg C. Grease a baking tin and dust lightly with flour to prep it. Melt chocolate and butter on a double-boiler (or microwave) and cool for a couple of minutes. Meanwhile beat the egg yolks with sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and almond flour to the chocolate mixture and mix well. Beat the egg whites till stiff and fold the mass into the chocolate mixture, gently but with confidence! Pour into the tin and bake for 20-30 minutes (depending on how your oven heats up) or till a skewer inserted in the middle comes out slightly greasy. The cake does not rise much and the middle should still be a little under-baked when you take it out to cool. Cool. Cut up in slices and serve with lightly whipped cream, berries, or nothing at all.