Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Great minds think alike...

For instance,...food bloggers. Just a 'for instance', mind you. Late one night I got a craving for something sweet and refreshing and thought about red grapefruit, ice cold, sprinkled with sugar, of course. "Ice cold....ice....fruit...SORBET!" In fact, what a cool recipe for this blog. Of all sorbet recipes I'd seen, there were none for grapefruit. Excited by this, I stayed awake for a few more hours to draft out some comments and figure out how I could present it so that, even if you don't eat grapefruit, you would see pictures of this recipe and REALLY...WANT IT. ... Oh, you KNOW you want it...
And so I turn in, thinking all is well on the blog front, and I am free to sleep and dream sweet dreams. And then, come morning ... you know the drill,.. ya get out of bed feeling all quacky and everything seems ducky. You sit down to your computer with that first blush cup of hot tea, or that earthy coffee smell that whispers "Daddy" and wafts around you like a corduroy hug and fills the room with a cigar-green feeling with the jazz sax in the background, and... never mind. Some coffees can be excellent, that's all.... You jump online and do the daily rounds to see what other bloggers are doing. We all become blog sluts, hopping around for a new favorite. A seedy side of life, it is. But any blogger worth his or her weight HAS TO do this.... Anywhoozle, I go to one of my favorite blogs and..WTF...THERE IT IS. Grapefruit sorbet in all its splendor, looking me in the eye, getting up in my face,... and Daddy's sax turns into a kazoo.
Oh but, this isn't the first time that this blogger beat me to a great idea. Grrrr.
No time to lollygag with cold, hard facts cuz' I'm on a mission. Twenty more blogs reveal in repetition and I get to thinking these women are winos who party together and pass around copies of the same recipe to post the next day after they have had a good laugh of it. How many recipes can there be for chocolate cupcakes? I counted at least 50 in one day. (That must have been some party!) And I have seen hundreds more for carrot cake with cream cheese frosting. The macaron craze seems to have petered out a bit. I guess the home bakers grew some nads and said,"I'm mad as hell. And I'm not baking this crap anymore!!"

As they say, when life deals you a lemon, just add vodka. They Who Say can get away with it. But there is an upside to all of this. Each of us owns our own piece of Blogdom, far away and separate from our professional worlds, usually. We come together on a wavelength sitting at our computers, working the levers and handles and the bells and whistles like Oz Wizard in a digital haze of smoke and mirrors. It's like a carnival, but with more cheese. If I could make the food dance, it wouldn't be long before the men in the white coats and U.N. badges come haul me away. But not for the reasons you are thinking.
Wavelengths are quite real and some of us go swimming in them. Floating about in a sea of cupcakes isn't an unpleasant thing, after all. And so I think that I am shooting clever to the moon when it puckers down into a pink one and off I go like a fart in a high wind. What else happens when your bubble bursts? With all of the recipe possibilities an alumni chef has to choose from, why the very one I'm about to post? Gotta be brainwaves, and one or both of us has a strong receiver. In ways we do seem to think alike. Poor man.
And so, this posting berths a wide turn with Triple Chocolate Biscotti. And if he beats me to the punch again, I will learn how to cry in French.

(Pink Elephants Coffee Cafe)

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter,softened
1 cup sugar
4 medium eggs
2 tsp. vanilla

1 Tbsp. espresso
1 Tbsp. baking powder
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder, sifted

1/2 cup very dark chocolate chips
1/2 cup milk chocolate chips
1/2 cup premier white chocolate chips
3/4 cup dried cherries, cut in half
1 cup blanched almonds, coarsely chopped

1. Place racks on lower and upper thirds of oven and preheat to 350F.
2. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper; on undersides of one paper, measure and mark out two rectangles, 2" x 10" or 3" x 9". Do one rectangle on second sheet, or line a biscotti pan with the paper. (I used both to show you the difference in sizes.)

3. Into medium bowl, measure out chocolate chips, halved dried cherries, and chopped blanched almonds. Toss with fingers to mix up and set aside.

4. In large bowl, measure out flour, baking powder, sifted cocoa and espresso. Whisk together to mix well. Set aside.

5. In bowl of stand mixer, cream butter and sugar, scraping down sides. Add eggs, one at a time and mix thoroughly after each one. Add vanilla and mix in well.
6. In four increments, add flour mixture, and scrape down sides to be sure to mix thoroughly.
7. Remove from mixer. Stir in chocolate chips, nuts and cherries mixture making sure all is evenly distributed.
8. Form dough onto parchment, following guidelines underneath. Dough will be very sticky, so work quickly. To estimate how much dough per log you will need, divide into three portions.

9. Bake the logs 15-16 min. If using a biscotti pan, bake it for 20-25 min., as the dough will
be thicker in the middle. The logs should not be soft or gooey, and they shouldn't be dry.

10. Remove from oven and let cool 10-15 min. Doing one log at a time, place on cutting board and with a serrated knife and one deft stroke, slice on the diagonal into 1" slices. (You don't want to saw back and forth, as that would tear up the biscotti.) Place the slices, cut side down back onto the parchment-lined sheets. If you used a biscotti pan also, line a third sheet with parchment and place pieces onto it, cut side down.
11. Return to oven and bake an additional 15 min., being careful not to burn the biscotti.
12. Remove from oven and let cool completely.
note: I store mine in a one gallon glass jar with a screw-on lid. These should keep well for up to 7 days,... if they last that long.