Month: June 2015

Fish Tales


06-22-2015 Fish Tales - Thai Style MusselsBeloved Food Lovers,

As a weekly practice I write down all of the good things that happen to me throughout the week.  This past Monday I was especially excited about a dinner date.  I spent the weekend contemplating what to make.  First, I thought I would make one of my favorite French dishes, Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic but then decided that would be too heavy for a hot summer night.  It was hard to know what to make because this is a person that I am just getting to know and I haven’t discovered his “favorites”.  I love to spoil people with their “favorites”.  Then, out of no where, the idea popped in my head to make mussels.  Last summer a fellow food blogger and colleague of mine posted a recipe for “Thai-Style Spicy Mussels“, as I recalled, it sounded and looked fabulous but I never got around to testing his recipe, so I headed over to Gotham Home Table to refresh my memory.  I took a chance that the guy liked seafood and went to town creating one of my famous seduction suppers.  Everything came together nicely, the ingredients for the broth inspired wonders, I pulled together a beautiful tablescape based on the coconut milk, ginger, pineapple chunks, hot peppers, lime zest and cilantro infusion. 06-22-2015 Fish Tales - Thai Style Mussels - Close up

Earth tones and a beautiful orchid, symbolic of the vanilla orchids that grow wild in Thailand brightened up the table.  I placed a wonderfully rich homemade vanilla cake right in the center, between the setting for two and it looked divine.  Just as I buttered the bread before putting it in the oven, I received a text message, “May have to take a rain check baby girl.  Give me a call momma.”  All I could do was laugh.  Really.  There I was all dolled up, with a yellow flower in my hair and an amazing dinner that I spent two days planning and had just about completed.  Of course, I did not immediately reply to him nor call him.  I took a shot of the cognac instead, yes, Hennessy, it was to be used for the special drink that I had planned for the evening, named “What the Hell??”, and appropriately so.  “What the Hell??” is a concoction of ginger root beer, a splash of apple juice, cognac and lime slices.  I proceeded setting my table and toasted my bread.  I couldn’t let this upset ruin the good thing I had going on.  The sounds of Lhasa Del Sela in the background were as soothing as they were sexy and I wanted to stay in that groove.  After I made up my mind not to express any disappointment, I called.  No answer.  I left No message.  I proceeded.

06-22-2015 Fish Tales - What the HellAs I settled into dinner, I looked at the empty place setting beside me and said, “There must be a VIP reservation for you” and allowed my feelings to flow from my mind to my hand and on a piece of paper in my journal.  I didn’t much feel like dessert, feeling a little too gingerly after drinking for two.  I laid my game down and slept like a baby.  Yes, even a culinary seductress will get stood up.  But like ol’ boy said, “everything happens for a reason” and it’s all good.  Duly noted. 06-22-2015 Fish Tales - Diary

Sensuously yours,

Honey L’Amour

P.S. Do not let this deter you from trying the Spicy Thai-Style Mussels, they are better than good!!! …And I did get a follow-up text message and call.  More on that later.

 

06-22-2015 Fish Tales - Dinner Table

RECIPES

♥ Love is always the first ingredient in amorous cooking ♥

THAI-STYLE SPICY MUSSELS

From the Gotham Home Table kitchen comes this slightly modified sweet and spicy twist on a classic recipe for this delicious Thai-style broth to steam (or flex) your mussels

1 (8-ounce) coconut cream (Gotham’s kitchen calls for coconut milk)

1 (8-ounce) can pineapple chunks, with juice

1 shallot, diced

2 jalapeño peppers, diced (Gotham’s kitchen calls for serrano peppers)

 1 inch piece ginger root, diced

2 pounds mussels, de-bearded

Fresh cilantro, garnishing

**See Gotham Home Table for cooking instructions.

WHAT THE HELL??

6 ounces ginger root beer

1 ounce apple juice

2 ounces cognac (Hennessy)

 

Lover’s Take the Cake


“NeuroLoveology: The Power to Mindful Love & Sex”

Chapter Review

06-07-2015 Lovers Devils Food Cake - side layersThe basic ingredients for a chocolate cake are the ingredients of love according to Dr. Ava Cadell.  In her book “NeuroLoveology: The Power to Mindful Love & Sex”, she describes these ingredients in terms of values and qualities that we exude in truly loving and longlasting relationships.  Chocolate, the key ingredient in a chocolate cake is likened to respect in her recipe of love.  A relationship can never have too much respect, so in my quest to find the perfect cake to demonstrate this amorous cooking lesson, I couldn’t resist the temptation of Devil’s Food Cake.  Devil’s Food Cake has twice as much chocolate as the basic chocolate cake.  The paradox that this heavenly dessert is named after such a malicious character is as intriguing as the recipe analogy.   Both are designed to lead us to the enjoyment of our deepest earthly pleasures.  Indeed the love doctor knows that chocolate has been revered throughout the ages for its power to arouse passion.  For many years the cacao bean was placed in high regard and only royalty and the servants of God (the priesthood) could partake in this euphoric producing stimulant.  However, it caused such an elevated state that it was condemned as a witch’s brew.  It committed the crime of exciting lust and corrupting the morals of the day.  It was eventually banned from the church and made so expensive that only the wealthy could enjoy its extravagance.  These days we’ve learned to outwit the devil and use his tricks for good.  Eggs are the next basic ingredient in the recipe.  Eggs are the binding agent in cake and like good communication in a relationship, they keep everything together.  Again, Devil’s Food Cake out numbers basic chocolate cake in yet another pertinent relationship ingredient.  In fact, the entire recipe for Devil’s Food Cake is more abundant compared to that of basic chocolate cake.  Butter, as smooth as it is, represents trust.  Sugar is very important too, it’s the friendship element of our recipe.  And then there is passion found in flour.  It builds the structure of our romantic relationships just like the 4-layers of our sinfully delicious cake.

Be thankful for what you are about to receive, it is decadent, just like a luscious relationship ought to be.

Sensuously yours,

Honey L’Amour

AMOROUS COOKING

The love doctor’s analogy is the perfect focus while preparing Lover’s Devil Food Cake, burn a pink lover’s candle and listen to your lover’s rock playlist. Maxwell’s “Chocolate Legs” whips things up nicely in Café L’Amour.06-7-2015 Lovers Devil Food Cake - lovers candle

RECIPES

 = love stimulant ♥♥ = sexual desire stimulant

INGREDIENTS OF LOVE (Dr. Ava Cadell)

CHOCOLATE ♥♥ = RESPECT

EGGS                   = COMMUNICATION

FLOUR                  = PASSION

BUTTER               = TRUST

SUGAR               = FRIENDSHIP

LOVER’S DEVIL FOOD CAKE

BATTER FROSTING
2 1/3 cups flour, sifted 8 ounces high-quality milk chocolate, chopped ♥♥ (more respect)
1 cup high-fat cocoa powder, sifted (22%-24%, Callebaut recommended – natural fat makes chocolate cakes extra rich and moist) ♥♥ (respect) 8 ounces semi-sweet chocolate (do not exceed 60%), chopped ♥♥ (like Aretha Franklin said, RESPECT, you can’t get enough)
1 ½ teaspoons baking soda 1 ½ tablespoons light corn syrup
1 teaspoon kosher salt 1 ½ cups heavy cream
¼ teaspoon baking powder 2 sticks unsalted butter, chilled and chopped
2 teaspoons instant espresso powder ♥♥
1 cup hot coffee ♥♥ Deco: Wilton tips 18 (letters) and 21 (borders)
1 cup buttermilk Heart-shaped red hot candies;
2 ½ cups sugar ♥ (friendship) 2, 6×2” heart-shaped cake pans (torted, 4-layer)
2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
4 large eggs, room temperature ♥ (communication)
1 large egg yolk, room temperature ♥ (communication)
4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate (do not exceed 70%), melted, cooled slightly ♥♥ (more respect)
Baking spray with flour
DIRECTIONSPre-heat oven to 350 degrees F; coat cake pans with baker’s cooking spray

  1. Sift flour, cocoa powder, salt, baking soda, baking powder in a medium bowl; set aside
  2. In a medium bowl, dissolve espresso powder in hot coffee  and whisk in buttermilk; set aside
  3. In a large bowl, beat butter until soft
  4. Slowly add the sugar and cream until the butter and sugar are pale yellow and fluffy
  5. Crack eggs into a separate bowl and add to batter one at a time
  6. Beat in egg yolk and vanilla on high until doubled in volume, about 3 minutes
  7. Beginning and ending with the flour mixture, beat in 3 additions, alternating with the coffee mixture in 2 additions. Stop mixing as soon as the ingredients come together.
  8. Drizzle in chocolate and fold into mix until just blended.
  9. Transfer to prepared cake pan(s), fill cavity about ¾ full
  10. Bake cake(s) until an inserted toothpick comes out clean
  11. Invert cake(s) onto cooling rack.  Cool completely before frosting, at least an hour

FROSTING

  1. Combine both chocolates and corn syrup in a medium bowl
  2. Bring cream just to a boil in a saucepan, chocolate melts at the temperature of a kiss, so just warm to the touch will do
  3. Pour over chocolate and stir until chocolate is melted and smooth
  4. Using an electric mixer, beat for 5-6 minutes, until cool
  5. Add butter a few pieces at a time; beat until incorporated between additions
  6. Continue to beat mixture until thick and lightened in color (5 minutes in a stand mixer and up to 15 minutes with a handheld mixer; chill the bowl used for this)

CAKE DECO

  1. Tort cakes, coat with frosting in layers. Coat entire cake
  2. Dark brown gel color: tint chocolate buttercream (medium consistency) for letters and borders
  3. Letters: Trace letters in cake with a toothpick before outlining with the wavy line technique using Wilton Tip 18
  4. Borders: Wilton Tip 21 makes a shell border, icing should be a medium consistency

 REFERENCE:

Neuroloveology: The Power of Mindful Love & Sex by Dr. Ava Cadell

06-07-2015 Lovers Devils Food Cake - with spatula