Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Dessert Girl

I never used to be a dessert girl. I don't have a sweet tooth. I'll order an appetizer and forgo dessert. I hate it when Thai curries are sweet, when salad dressings are sweet, when barbecue sauce is sweet - as barbecue sauce tends to be. I prefer a spicy bloody Mary to a syrupy daiquiri and a salted yogurt lassi to a mango one. I love it when you can taste the salt in chocolate chip cookies, a cheese plate makes the perfect end to a meal, I like bacon in my ice cream for pete's sake.
No, I definitely don't have a sweet tooth.
But the funny thing about dessert is that once you start eating it, you can't stop. Oh, I don't mean in one sitting, that would be disgusting but have no long term effects. I mean, night after night you will begin craving dessert. You'll scoop Nutella out of the jar with a spoon for the hazelnut sugar rush. You'll concoct odd combinations of puff pastry, chocolate chips, and frozen peaches. You'll make a microwave brownie.
I didn't eat dessert every night growing up. This is because I tend not to like Indian desserts (too sweet) but the only things lying around the house were Indian ice cream or barfi. I was rarely hungry for dessert. Everything changed after living with Kristen in Chicago. She was always talking about dessert. She's been known to scoop frosting out of the container and eat it with graham crackers, a far more ridiculous dessert than a spoonful of Nutella. Her boyfriend calls "eating ice cream" one of her hobbies. Kristen wanted dessert all the time, and she made quite a few good ones. I got recipes like chocolate espresso cookies, ginger ice cream, and football shaped mini carrot cakes from her. I also got my dessert craving from her, because now I always feel like a sweet treat after a meal.
So where does this lead except to a story about making dessert? Last weekend, Katy (another fan of dessert, specifically cookies) and I took a chocolate cooking class at The Chopping Block in Chicago. We made chocolate souffles, chocolate espresso pudding parfaits, and devil's food cake with buttercream frosting. Of the three, I was most excited about and most gratified by the souffles. I never made a souffle before, I was unsure how difficult it was. Turned out to be easy. You can find a chocolate souffle recipe anywhere so I won't type it out for you. Here are the basics: Separate your eggs properly. You can even buy an egg separator, which is basically a plastic spoon with a space to let the white drip out while the yolk stays put. Beat the yolks with sugar, vanilla, and melted chocolate. Whip your whites to stiff peaks, then fold into the chocolate mixture. Pour into ramekins and bake for 10 minutes or until just set. That's it. Instead of having to concoct strange things with leftovers, you can be sophisticated and make chocolate souffles. So maybe I am a dessert girl now, although I still like bacon in my ice cream. But that's a story for another day.


  1. I have been trying to avoid dessert as of late, and now i read your post and am craving again! I guess you're getting me back for all the unnecessary calories i've imposed on our friends!mmmmm....chocolate...

  2. I've had the same influence on Ryan. He never cared for desserts until he met me. Truth be told - ice cream is really my weakness!