Hidden under snow, the landscape quiets and slumbers; deserving of the rest it's been allotted. Without the distraction of greenery, slightly dimmed and deathly hollowed in response to the sun's absence, the night palette is limited to a harmonious and complimentary pair of colors.
Black and gold.
In a perfect ratio.
Without the black, the distant lights would be blinding (not to mention hardly conducive to the sleeping habits of modern man!) and distracting. Night time would cease to be a time of relaxation and reflection and instead add to the hours of daylight. Wonderful and necessary hours, but hours that can needlessly guide your head down complexly coiled paths.
It's only natural for a mind to wind, after all.
But we find solace as we drift through the night because, glimmer by glimmer, those perfect golden sparks in the distance instill us with hope. The sun is gone for now, but only long enough to miss it. Long enough to make you appreciate it. Long enough to make you realize that even in the darkest nights, there is light.
If keep your head up, I promise you won't miss it.
Mocha Pots De Creme via Tyler Florence
I found this recipe in Florence's book, Real Kitchen, however, the recipe in the book doesn't call for chocolate and is titled "Espresso Pots De Creme." The photo that accompanied the recipe does not resemble mine in color and I think that the chocolate was left out on accident. While these are great, I would definitely include the chocolate!
1 1/2 c (355 ml) heavy cream
1/4 tsp vanilla
1/8 c whole black coffee beans
3 egg yolks
1/4 c (50 g) sugar
1 1/2 Tbls brewed espresso coffee, cold
1 oz (28 g) semisweet chocolate, melted and cooled
Preheat the oven to 325F (160C).
Bring the heavy cream, vanilla and coffee beans to a brief simmer in a small saucepan. Be careful not to boil or it will overflow. Remove from heat and strain to remove the beans.
Meanwhile, whisk together the egg yolks and the sugar in a medium-sized bowl until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is lemon-colored, about 3 minutes. Temper the yolks by gradually whisking the hot cream into the yolk and sugar mixture. Go slowly, and don't stop whisking or the mixture may curdle! Stir in the brewed coffee and melted chocolate.
Pour the egg-cream mixture into 3 (8-ounce) ramekins and place them in a large, shallow baking pan with 1/2-inch of warm water. Bake the ramekins in the water bath for about 35 minutes. The center will still jiggle slightly when they're done. Remove the pan from the oven and let the ramekins cool in the water for 10 minutes, then pop them in the refrigerator to chill for at least 2 hours.
Pistachio Biscotti via Tyler Florence
I love these cookies, and this recipe is so simple!
3/4 c (92 g) pistachios, shelled
1/4 c (59 g) unsalted butter, room temp
1 whole egg + 1 egg yolk
1/2 c (100 g) sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 3/4 c (219 g) flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
Preheat the oven to 350F (175C).
Lay the pistachios on a cookie sheet in a single layer. Bake for 10 minutes or until the nuts are lightly toasted. Remove from the oven.
In an electric mixer, beat the butter until light and fluffy. With the mixer running, gradually add the egg and egg yolk, sugar, and vanilla; mix until creamed. Add the flour, baking powder, and salt. Mix the dough until nearly smooth, then add the pistachios, mixing just until the dough comes together well.
Put the dough on a lightly floured surface and form into a log, about 12 inches long by 1-inch high. Place on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake for 35 minutes or until the bottoms are lightly brown. Let cool 5 minutes, then place on a cutting board. Slice each log on a diagonal into 12 1-inch thick pieces. Put the cookies back on the cookie sheet and bake 5 minutes. Turn the cookies over and bake the other side for another 5 minutes. Store cookies in an airtight container.