Monday, 1 March 2010

A reminder - Cook the Books

Don't forget everyone, you have until Friday, March 26th, to get on board this round of Cook the Books. We're reading Like Water for Chocolate and cooking dishes inspired by it.

Now, I have decided what I am going to cook. I think. I am pretty sure. But I have noticed that some of the spicy flavours in the book are already sneaking into my cooking! To go with Delia's chilli, I was planning to make some cornbread. But when I opened the cupboard I discovered that we were out of polenta. So I did an audit of the pantry and fridge and then hit Google, coming up with this excellent recipe for a savoury spicy pumpkin bread. I used some of my frozen whey supply instead of milk, but otherwise followed the recipe. It was very successful! Moist, pumpkin-y and with a definite kick. It was also wonderful toasted under the grill and served with cheese for an easy lunch.

I also had most of a tub of cream in the fridge, plus quite a lot of chocolate in the pantry. Several people had given us beautiful artisan dark chocolate for Christmas, but sadly most of it had bloomed. Perfect for cooking, not so good for eating straight. I decided to make a half quantity of Jamie Oliver's chocolate pots, and spice them up a bit. Instead of the brandy, I used half a tablespoon each of good rum, vanilla extract and maple syrup (the extra bitter dark chocolate I was using was a bit much) and added a small amount of cayenne pepper and cinnamon - just enough to give a subtle warmth, not a flavour.

It was pretty cold in my kitchen, so I allowed them to set slowly at room temperature, and garnished the top of each with a tablespoon of cream, so it had a smooth, white surface. It made 2 ramekins-worth, but each ramekin served 2 people generously. It is very, very rich! If I were making it to serve to people I am not married to, I'd make it in shot glasses.

13 comments:

Debinhawaii said...

Thanks for posting a CTB reminder. ;-) Your spiced up dishes all look delicious--the chili, pumpkin bread and especially those chocolate pots--Yum! You are all geared up to cook a wonderful dish.

Natashya KitchenPuppies said...

I was just starting to wonder when the CTB was due - thanks!
Loving the spiced up dishes you are doing.. has anyone claimed that second pot yet? ;-)

Foodycat said...

Deb - you are welcome! The more the merrier.

Natashya - I finished the second one last night, sorry!

A Year on the Grill said...

will read them all carefully, but I must wait til next week... Too much going on right now, but I still love the idea!

kat said...

Oh I want to dive into that chocolate pot

Foodycat said...

Dave - if I were in the Virgin Islands, I'd probably have better things to do, too!

Kat - as an occasional indulgence I can totally recommend it.

Laura @ Hungry and Frozen said...

The chocolate pots sound amazing! love your additions to the mix. It's funny even when people say something is really rich and they could only eat a tiny portion, I always think I could eat the whole lot. Guess I'll just have to try making this and be proven right or wrong...

Laurie said...

Wow, this post is a walk down memory lane for me. Your exquisite dishes are inspiring me to reread "Like Water for Chocolate."

The first time I read it, I snuck downstairs to our kid's den and stayed up all night reading. I had never read anything like it - ever.

That seems like so long ago. That den became a bedroom for a daughter who is now grown and living in Charleston and is now our son's bedroom.

And you're making cheese! Love that! I had the same problem with photos and never posted about my attempts.

HH said...

Oh that all sounds wonderful FC! I might give CTB a go if I get time, it sounds like a good read/inspiring!

Foodycat said...

Laura - you'll have to try it and see! It was like eating about 6 Lindor balls!

Laurie - that is a trip down memory lane!

HH - it'll be a good procrastination tool.

Taste of Beirut said...

A lot of exciting things happening! I decided to focus on Lebanese cuisine so I am not sure it would be a good idea to cook Mexican things (even though I love Mexican cuisine!)
That chocolate dessert sounds sinful but wonderful

Chef Aimee said...

One of my favorite books...Laura Esquival is a wonderful author. Her descriptions in this book are among the best. Read Malinche if you can!

The pumpkin spice bread sounds so wonderful to eat and taste!

Foodycat said...

ToB - you could add a little rosewater and cardamom instead of the chilli and cinnamon and say it is Middle Eastern

Aimee - I remember loving it the last time, but I'm not so sure this time around!

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