“Love is just a word until someone comes along and gives it meaning.”
My whole life I was adamant that I would marry my first boyfriend. This certainty caused some jibbing from my relatives, but I stood firm and stuck to my guns.
When I graduated school at eighteen and started University, my father allowed me to start dating. For around the first six months of 2004 I didn't meet anyone I was interested in. Eventually, as most of my girfriends started getting boyfriends I decided to go on a few group dates, even though I didn't feel like any of the boys in question were 'right for me'. As you can imagine, after a couple of first dates, I had not wanted to have any second dates.
Eventually and unexpectedly, I got an online message from a boy, we exchanged email addresses' and spoke over MSN for a week. We got along well, had the same morals and plans for our futures and we both found each other attractive (thanks webcam) - but this was all online. After one week, we both decided that there wasn't a point continuing the online friendship, as nether of us were interested in just-being-friends - so we arranged our first date. As my father is very traditional, the boy in question had to come to my house to meet my father before taking me out for lunch. Luckily, he was fine with it and our date went well. And it was on this date that I finally wanted to go on a second date. And a third. And a fourth - you get the picture. Almost 6years later we are still together (married), still happy and still chatting to each other on MSN/Google Talk - sometimes when we are sitting on the same couch, on our respective laptops.
As you know, Valentine's Day is coming up. It's not something we really celebrate any more and on this particular one we are just having dinner with my father and his partner. But I thought I would dedicate this fondant to my darling husband who makes my life sweeter every day - and the ice cream to myself, for being a kick-ass wife :).
P.S. I ate the last one while you were at work, sorry :)
I chose to make David Lebovitz's Salted butter caramel ice cream rather than the one included in the Gourmet Traveller recipe.
For the fondant:
prep time: 1hr & 30mins.
cooking time: 18mins (almost 3x longer than the time stated in the recipe).
total: 1hr & 48mins.
taste: 5/5. Restaurant worthy.
When hubby tried this he exclaimed 'It's almost as good as Chef Terry's - I couldn't have asked for a better compliment. I have made quite a few fondants before but nothing has measured up to this lil beauty. Now, how shall I even try to describe it's deliciousness with my inadequate words...
First off all you have the lovely, crackled crust that yields ever so willingly beneath the spoon's eager edge. Its chewy crispness gives way to moist, spongy cake which alone is divine, before finally, that impressive lava flows into your mouth with its chocolate sensuality and peanut butter delight. This dessert is now my 2nd favourite ALL TIME chocolate dessert - Triple Chocolate Praline Tart came close to losing it's crown.
Upon reading another blogger's trial of this dish I made a few changes.
- I increased the peanut butter by 20g. I chose to use smooth peanut butter, but I would recommend crunchy as I think that those tiny chips of peanuts would only add to the experience with their crunchy texture.
- I increased the chocolate by 50g.
- I left out 1 cup of whipped egg whites.
- I cooked this for 18mins.
would I make it again: Yes.
For the ice cream:
prep time: 30mins (to chilling stage).
cooking time: 10hours (includes all chilling)
total: 10 hours & 30mins.
taste: 4.5/5. All hail the Ice-Cream Queen!
Hands down this is the best ice cream I have made, and probably the best I have tasted. I was sneaking spoonfuls of this baby while it was STILL CHURNING - that was the extent of my willing to wait for it, and the real kicker - I don't even like ice-cream much.
As A so kindly commented, 'I wish C (me) was my wife, I will turn gay for you if you cook like this for me'.
This ice cream so soft, and whisper light that you will think your taste buds have been touched by heaven. The flavour is incredible, so much depth, so much character yet so polite. The caramel is divine and the quaint nuttiness paired with the subtle saltiness is inspired. This ice cream is worth the price of David Lebovitz's book alone (and yes, I have the book).
Should I have been brave enough to let the caramel darken further - Yes, it would improve on the already awesome flavour. I didn't add the praline, but I can guess it would also improve it.
I was glad that I finally found something worthy of my imported French Salted Butter - definitely use the good stuff in this.
I was rushed on time so it only got 6 hours in the fridge before heading to the ice cream machine, and due to the hot weather it took twice as long to be ready, before only making a short pit stop back to the freezer for 30mins - so it tend begin to melt as soon as the scoop touched it, but no one really cared. It is a soft ice cream, but that's what I prefer.
would I make it again: Yes.
recipe: salted butter caramel ice-cream