He left for the Philippines on Sunday morning. The apartment got so quiet, except for Glen Hansard whispering about The Cost. I had pastries and tea for breakfast, and then spent the rest of the day with feet tucked under a woollen blanket. By sun down, I had to send a message to J telling her I couldn’t make it to DeVine; that I was suffering from Sundayitis and couldn’t get out of my pj’s. “You bitch!” she replied, before confessing that she secretly wanted to be doing the same.
Dinner tonight was a compilation of leftovers. Rice, the odd end of broccoli, tuna and some lethal pea eggplant pickle I got for cheap at an asian grocery store in Burwood. It’s actually sickeningly garlickly, and everytime I unscrew the lid and that pungent scent explodes into the air, I forget why I still own the bottle. But then you mix the crunchy little eggplants into the rice and suddenly it tastes so good! When he is away, I
rarely never cook. Once when he was in Singapore for a week, I had tuna salad for dinner every evening. To alleviate the boredom (which has actually never happened because I love tuna, but just in case..) I alternated with salmon.
While he’s gone, he has unintentionally taken our TV reception away with him. You might recall my mentioning that he bought a large TV recently. Not too long after it’s delivery, I came home to a living room strewn with the guts of an equally new computer. Turns out, the old computer (our MythTV box) couldn’t handle the new TV, so now we have a new computer to accompany it. Unfortunately, it still needs tweaking. So yesterday evening, I was getting no signal on this big ass TV, and only had videos to watch. What I ended up watching was a pretty funny episode of the Simpsons (which I haven’t seen in ages). Homer tries and fails to build Bart a robot so he pretends to be a robot instead, and ends up having to battle real robots equipped with chainsaws and guns.
I’ve decided I can do without TV for the time being. M and I both agree that TV rules too much of our respective evenings, even though it’s a great way to relax. Instead, I might start making inroads into Susanna Clarke’s book. Meanwhile, I also need to return to Adriano Zumbo to do more ‘research’ and during a bout of baking, I discovered my ultimate chocolate cookie. It’s moist, chewy and oh-so chocolatey. The next step is to increase the percentage cocoa in the chocolate from 64% to 99% and test if it produces bliss or bleurgh.
Tartine’s Deluxe Double Chocolate Cookie :
225g bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped (I used Valrhona Manjari 64%, and will next try it with Kennedy & Wilson 99%)
155g plain flour
50g cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
115g unsalted butter, at room temperature (I used Girgar)
2 large eggs
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
75ml (1/3 cup) whole milk
Preheat the oven to 175’C.
Melt chocolate in a bowl over a bain-marie, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat and let cool.
Stir together the flour, cocoa powder and baking powder in a bowl. Set aside. Using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium-high speed until creamy. Slowly add the sugar and mix until the mixture is completely smooth and soft. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition until incorporated before adding the next egg. Beat in the salt and vanilla, and then add the melted chocolate and beat until incorporated. Add the milk and beat until combined. Finally, add the flour mixture and beat on low speed until incorporated.
Drop the dough by heaping tablespoonfuls onto the prepared baking sheet, spacing them about 1 inch apart. Bake the cookies until they are just barely firm on top when lightly touched but are still very soft underneath, about 7 minutes (I was greedy, so mine took a couple of minutes longer to cook as they were extra large). They will get firmer as they cool. Transfer the cookies to a wire rack and let cool. They will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for several days.
(Cookie snapshots to come. In the meantime, I took a papparazzi-loadful of photos of my breakfast….)