Treats come in many shapes, forms and sizes. For her a treat could be the finest leather high heeled shoes, in red; all eyes are on her as she sways down the street. For him, his treat is a brand new part to the sleek Porsche 550 Spyder; he puts the pieces together like a jigsaw puzzle with his own hands. For the writer probably a simple stack of paper: his writer’s block subsides as he begins to fill the blank pages with new ideas.
Treats: we all need and depend on them.
We depend on them because they evoke the simplest of feelings in us so pure yet so essential like a soothing elixir permeating our bodies and minds. Treats make us happy; they give us satisfaction and help us feel secure.
One summer day as the sun shone high in a cloudless blue sky, I’d taken the day off, as I sometimes do in the middle of the week, to enjoy the luxury of being home alone while everyone else was at work. It was the way I liked to cosset myself on occasions. Tom was researching in Dubai at the time and Soeren was at school. After spending the entire morning writing, I decided to do a few chores around the house before Soeren returned home. Taking the overflowing trash out was first on my list.
Barefooted, I stepped out of the main door on the warm concrete path and walked around the corner to the trashcan, I heard the door shut gently behind me. I was lost in thoughts and my mind was deep in the article, mentally editing what I had written earlier. Back at the door, for a millisecond I looked puzzled, until it dawned on me; the door was shut and the key was hanging in the keyhole - on the other side!
I felt rather foolish - I am the one who usually teases my friends about such situations and I could not believe this was happening to me. There I was on a lovely spring day standing looking rather silly, without shoes in a well-worn T-shirt and shorts. What should be done in this situation? Usually I would have called Tom - and howled and cursed down the phone. However, as he was in Dubai and my mobile phone was in my handbag inside, there was going to be no howling today. At least I could curse to my heart’s content.
The mind began racing. I walked up to my neighbor’s house on the right and rang the doorbell. No answer. I rang again but still no one opened the door. I walked to the neighbor’s house on the left and rang the doorbell. And got no answer. Shoulders slumped, I walked back up the path to the street and looked left and right. Besides for my black Golf, there was not a single car parked in any of the driveways of our entire street.
More cursing followed. “That’s what you get for treating yourself to a day off when everyone else is at work!” I had no choice but to wait. Finally, I heard a car and as it came up the street, pulling up in the driveway opposite our house, I probably scared my old neighbor as I emerged in front of her waving my arms. I told her my story, apologizing for the way I was dressed and asked if I could call the locksmith. She laughed and asked me into her home and as I dialed the number of the locksmith, she disappeared into the kitchen.
Reappearing with a tray of cooling iced tea and some teacakes she winked at me and said,
“You look like you need a treat!”
These treats are the perfect delicacy for all occasions. The decadent chocolate will comfort and the sticky Morello cherry preserve with a splash of cognac will clear up the discombobulated mind. Believe me, you will smiling as you bite into the soft moist and rich pastry.
Morello Cherry Chocolate and Cognac Teacakes
Printable version of recipe here
300g dark chocolate (70% cocoa), chopped
200g butter, cubed
4 egg yolks
110g muscavado sugar
75g all purpose flour, sifted
100g Fortnum and Mason’s Morello Cherry and Cognac preserve
alternatively use 100g cherry preserve with 2 tablespoons cognac
70g ground cinnamon
150g granulated sugar
- Preheat oven to 180 degrees C. Lightly butter mini kugelhopf forms with some butter.
- In a saucepan melt chocolate and butter over a medium high heat until smooth.
- Combine eggs, egg yolks and sugar in a bowl until well incorporated and fluffy.
- Whisk together flour and chocolate mixture then pour over the eggs and sugar. Whisk gently until you have a thick, smooth and creamy mixture.
- Spoon some of the mixture into the kugelhopf form, filling only halfway, then add a few teaspoons of the preserve. Finally top off with the remaining batter.
- Bake in the oven for 20 to 22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cakes comes out clean.
- In a small box mix together the cinnamon and sugar. As soon as the cakes come out of the oven let them cool slightly then roll them in the cinnamon sugar to coat them.
These teacakes offer rich and mature flavors. I love the dark chocolate as it adds an intense and beautiful strong flavor, while the Morello cherry provides the perfect fruity kick. That cognac brings the aromas together making these the perfect treat to indulge into .
From Plate to Page
There’s a lot happening over at the From Plate to Page blog and plenty to update. We’re featuring the sensational Prop Stylist and Creative Director Robin Zachary from New York this week. She shares her secrets and allows us a peek into her Prop Closet. We’re extremely excited to have her as our guest.
WAIT! That’s not all! We shared the news a few weeks ago that we’ve partnered with the very magnificent Bord Bia – Irish Food Board who are our principle sponsors. This allows us to provide our participants an extremely exclusive hands-on workshop. This week we have a huge surprise for all our Irish readers. Together with the Irish Food Blogger Association and Cooks Academy, we are holding a fantastic competition that you cannot afford to miss.
The prize? Two lucky winners get to attend the From Plate to Page residential workshop in Weimar from 20-23 May and participate in the many writing, styling, cooking and photography workshops that will take place over the weekend. The prize includes flights, airport transfers, accommodation and meals.
Want to know how you can enter? Just follow this link over to the IFBA competition announcement page for all the details.
We’re going to be having a lot of fun this month as Sarah takes us through all shades of pink and wants us to Think Pink. Head on over to the announcement page for all the details and how you can join us for this quirky party.
The deadline is March 30th. Hope to see you there!
Hope you all have a wonderful week ahead and a relaxing weekend. I’ll be back next week with a very different Italian classic.
More chocolate treats from WFLH:
|Chocolate Pavlova with Chocolate Mascarpone Mousse||Rich Chocolate Banana Breads with Pistachios, Pink Praline and Au Naturel||Chocolate and Raspberry Crème Caramel|
All photographs and written content on What's For Lunch, Honey? © 2006-2011 Meeta Khurana Wolff unless otherwise indicated. | All rights reserved | Please Ask First