Wednesday, August 03, 2011

you make me better

It's only been a month and a half, but I'm really starting to question whether I will get out of residency with my humanity in tact. I will have to think about that some more and expand upon it in another post. But for now, I'll just say that I am always angry- angry at the residency program and how it is set up, angry at the government and politicians and how they are creating a system that is going down the tubes, and finally, yes, it's true, angry at certain patients. And I haven't even done anything truly taxing yet in residency, so I have legitimate reason to be worried if I am already feeling that way.

Anyway, in other news, guess what I did? I made a horrible, tasteless, bland-as-cardboard, disappointing birthday cake recently. I got away with it for two reasons. 1) It looked like this:

Points for presentations, folks, apparently. You can google zebra cake if you want to find a recipe, but I warn you- this cake is so sadly tasteless. Nothing that visually remarkable should be such a letdown. I am currently contemplating how to adjust this cake such that the taste matches the aesthetic. However, there was another reason you are viewing a half-eaten cake and that is 2) homemade chocolate ganache.

I don't feel strongly about all that many things these days, but I feel strongly about chocolate ganache. For example, I think it is a crime to try to make frosting out of cocoa, butter and powdered sugar. You can try whatever ratio and method you want, but you are never going to get a very chocolaty frosting with those ingredients. Object if you like, but I contend there is only one acceptable frosting in this world, and it is chocolate ganache. Beautiful, tasty, glossy (if you add just a dab of that notorious rascal corn syrup to it), and most important- bursting with chocolate flavor. If you don't make chocolate ganache frosting, I guess my only question is- why do you hate chocolate?

Though I made a batch of chocolate ganache to disguise the disappointing zebra cake, I had a solid jarful leftover. Want to know another lovely thing about chocolate ganache? It can serve many purposes. I spiked it with a minimal amount of chocolate liquor, and stored it in the fridge, and now I have a homemade fudge sauce. I served it with some strawberry ice cream (from the last post) to the broseph and he may have lost his mind.

In other news relevant to things about which I feel strongly, I am trying to watch Mad Men again. But I think I am never going to get into that show. I doubt I'll ever find it fascinating to watch a show celebrate an era during which I would not have been permitted to inhabit even a semblance of the life I currently lead. Blerg to that.


Mrs. Westlake said...

Presumably you've seen this?

brimful said...

Thanks! Yeah, I have seen it, and it is impressive-looking. I just don't know if I can get behind that much food coloring! I want to experiment with something fruity... too many experiments, too little time. ;)

Mrs. Westlake said...

There's also this via Martha Stewart (I know, I know):

Seems a bit more tasteful than the other one. I bet if you did various different fruit batters the colors would be different. I'd definitely sample. ;)

pied piper said...

I've been feeling similarly about Mad Men. The historical dimensions of the plot and setting are vaguely interesting, but I feel essentially zero connection to or interest in any of the characters.

Oh, and I like the lemons to lemonade moral of your story: always be ready to make chocolate ganache in case life gives you a bland and tasteless cake, and you may end up being amply rewarded for many subsequent days.