Sunday, October 10, 2010

French Toasts and a Chocolate Terrine

One of my closest friends Milos came to visit me six months after saying he would. I was excited to see him not only because he’s great fun, but also for the fact that he makes me laugh so hard sometimes--I mean most times--I can’t help but lose control of my bodily fluids (pee, snot, tears).

Prior to his arrival, we had briefly planned not so much what to do, yet rather, what to eat. I suggested French toast since I haven’t had it in a while. And I bet Milos has a syrupy blood running through his veins, he brought over maple syrup and a loaf of soft bread just to grant my request.

On Saturday morning, the slices of bread went for a quick swim in the milky egg batter and sizzled in a pan with some butter. When a golden color slowly appeared on each side, I sprinkled sugar on top and popped them into the oven to broil. Moments later, cinnamon french toast emerged with a carmelized layer of sugar. We settled around my ‘dinner table’ aka as the mahjong table and poured maple syrup over our pieces of toast. Within minutes our plates were empty, glistening with the remains of melted butter and syrup and our bellies full.

One of the reasons why Milos and I get along so well is our insatiable appetite for sweets. It all started when we first met at a mutual friend’s chocolate fondue party. He was mesmerized by my black lace gloves, I was busy stabbing marshmallows and bathing each one into the glossy stream of chocolate. Since then, we ogled at the rainbow array of pastries at bakeries together; we tried new restaurants in Old Montreal and shared lusty desserts. I’ve witnessed him polish off two coconut white chocolate blondies at Juliette et Chocolat and lick the plate clean (on my direction of course). And we’ve made cakes, pancakes, and crepes on several saccharine occasions.

Since I’ve moved to Toronto, I’ve missed sharing food with Milos. So after our French toast project, we flipped through a dessert cookbook and settled on the chocolate terrine. We got started: Milos was in charge of melting the chocolate, I whipped the egg whites. Everything was going smoothly; we played French jazz music in hopes of wooing the terrine. Milos did his moonwalk. I laughed and judged.

The terrine was almost ready to be baked when I skimmed through the ingredient list and realized our blunder. We had forgotten to add the expresso in the first step with the chocolate. I blamed Milos, he frowned and dodged my whisk jab.

We tried to amend our error, only to see the mixture hardening when we added the coffee. Uh oh. We ventured forward and folded the egg whites with our chocolately sticky mass. It didn’t look too promising—it was as though someone had tinkled with Willy Wonka’s chocolate river and emptied a gallon of white foam. We scraped the batter into the pans, and hoped for the best.

When the oven timer went off, the terrine went into the fridge to chill and we kissed it goodnight. The following morning it was our pre-breakfast snack. We hovered over our concoction. It was perfect and hours later still smelled good.

We sliced a piece, Milos purred, “It’s sooo good!” Indeed it was. It had a silky smooth texture like chocolate truffles. But in each nibble, there was a pleasant surprise: the chocolate bits that refused to melt. I suppose mistakes aren’t so bad after all.

There are more food adventures, and I’ll fill you in soon with the chocolate terrine recipe.
Recipe here!

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