Posts Tagged ‘tgrwt’


Tuesday, May 15th, 2007

Having just checked back in at Khymos’ site – I realize that I missed the boat for TGRWT #1 by somehow having thought that the deadline was tomorrow when it was actually May 1st. Anyhow – I’m going to have to go for it as a late entry!


The idea of tuna steaks was a little crazy, and it tasted crazier. I thought of creating a mocha sauce for a tuna steak based on a meal I’d had at a very eccentric restaurant some time ago in Cape Town. However – although it was palatable, it had far more of a novelty effect than anything else.

However, last night, with some advice from my mother, I think I managed to crack the formula. My mother reminded chocolate-dipped-strawberry.jpgme that garlic, like onion, became sweet when it was roasted. My mistake with the Garlic, Chocolate and Coffee sauce was that I didn’t roast the garlic first.

So based on a recipe for chocolate covered strawberries on my resource for any recipe,, I set to work on the TGWRT #1 challenge.

The amazing thing about this recipe is how quick it is. Roasting the garlic takes around 15 minutes, and while its roasting the sauce can be made just as easily.

I grated 80% cocoa Green and Blacks into a double boiler along with 2 spoons of shortening. Once the chocolate had melted I added a teaspoon of roast Kenyan coffee beans into the mixture; and then proceeded to take each clove of garlic, skewered on a cocktail stick, and dip them into the mixture and setting it down on plate. All in all I had ten dipped cloves, which I put in the fridge.

In an effort to do a double duty we had the mocha-cloves as an after dinner sweet, together with the General Billy’s Syrah Grenache. The entire General Billy’s concept is great, but as this blog tries to stay faithful to small, country specific producers, it can’t win by ultimate pick for WBW.

However, the Gaullist undergrowth aromas and red berry flavours were a perfect accomplice to the mocha-dipped cloves. Altogic9cloves-l.jpgether, although late, the #1 challenge has been great fun, and really challenged my limited culinary faculties. The opportunity to combine it with Wine Blogger Wednesday has also been great. I wonder if Khymos could help us finding chemically related pairings.

Who would’ve thought that a Languedoc Syrah/Grenache and a skewered clove of roasted garlic dipped in coffee and chocolate sauce would be such fine companions – bring on the White Chocolate and Caviar challenge, I think it’d go really well with Sancerre Rose.

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Next: Combine Coffee, Chocolate, and Garlic…

Wednesday, May 2nd, 2007

I’ve just come back from my local wine merchant in search of mid priced great quality Languedoc-Roussillon for the not too daunting gauntlet of the May 16th Wine Blogger Wednesday, hosted this month by Weingolb. Though I have much hope for being able to choose and review a good Languedoc-Roussillon, what’s really getting me is the Is My Blog Burning advertised challenge for Khymos’ ‘They Go Really Well Together’ challenge of preparing a recipe which includes coffee, chocolate and garlic as ingredients, and I’ve spent a lot of time deliberating over the potential combinations.

A few years ago I thought chilli-chocolate cake was nuts, which is relatively passé considering Khymos’ madcap ‘molecular gastronomy‘ which finds unlikely partners in Snails and Beetroot; Banana and Parsley; Liver and Jasmine and my personal favourite, white chocolate and caviar. Is My Blog Burning perhaps offered the first medium to get bloggers to work independently on the same project, and thus is a true blog tapas, a celebration of finding unity in multiplicity.

Make a DishFor the task at hand, I feel at risk of being like Thomas Edison, saying he actually discovered 600 ways not to make a light-bulb, in my quest. The ingredients of coffee, chocolate and garlic represent a task a little less fatal than the famed chefs who cut blowfish perfectly so it is delicious and not deadly, because a ruined recipe of garlic, chocolate and coffee would not leave one the consolation prize of licking the bowl!

My approach is going to be to make take a tuna steak and pan sear it in garlic butter and serve it on a plate with wedges, and then to make a chocolate sauce with a bit of coffee in it, and pour the sauce over the tuna steak and potato wedges. Does that sound insane or what! Now the trick is to find the wine to go with that – any suggestions?

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Subtle Nuance of …

Thursday, March 29th, 2007

The other day my wife and I were going through her old things and we found a ‘Scratch and Sniff Guide to New York’. There’s a picture of a delicatessen in the Village and when you scratch and sniff you smell pickles. There’s be a picture of a duck hanging up to dry in China Town and it smell like spicy teriyaki. And then there were garbage bags on Manhattan side walks that smelled like Manhattan Sidewalks and garbage,, and Pizzareas in Little Italy that smell of garlic and cheese. It struck me as amazing that these smells had been in tact for 10 years on the scratch and sniff pad; but also of what a wonderful idea it is to put together a book of the smells of a place. Smell is such an underused faculty, and its only really in wine, that we get a real chance to develop it. Also, its proven that smell is the the strongest psychological trigger we have, and can often bring things we haven’t thought about in years. So if you want to remember your past – start drinking wine every day!

Much to my interest I found something online called the Aroma Dictionary. It’s a scratch and sniff guide to the different smells of wine, which is a really great idea. However, a Scratch and Sniff guide to New York makes sense, because you can’t take certain smells with you. But the aromas and scents and nuances to a wine’s bouquet and flavour profile are all around us. Click here to watch Episode #148 of Wine Library TV, and you’ll see what I mean. V takes people through the entire range of flavour profiles one can identify in wine from items that can be picked up in a grocery store and tasted and smelled at your own convenience. I’ve done something similar with a tasting circle I used to be in, and it really helped my understand certain descriptions or profiles that I hadn’t quite grasped. For instance, when people say New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc smells like Pink Grape Fruit, they’re not kidding. At times it can be uncanny. The carnivore in me bays for blood and a Dionysian debauched side screams for sweat and dirt, and thus its always with pleasure when I get gamey profiles, or compost and mushroom, or sweaty saddles in a wine. For these profiles in particular, I always turn to Cote du Rhone, Rioja or Shiraz from Paarl in South Africa.

Wine is a sensory thing. There’s no way around it. If you want to have a more eloquent olfactory vocabulary then you need to experience as many smells as possible, and what better place than a Whole Foods, and if you’re not quite into smelling things out in public, then start with your spice rack. Smell Cumin, Anisette, Cinnamon, Nutmeg, White Pepper, Black Pepper. Smell eucalyptus, cedar wood, cigar boxes and try as much as possible to get close to a forest to experience those northern Rhone and Medoc characteristics of ‘pine needles’, wet forest floors, pine sap, barnyard, earth, compost and wild mushroom. And whatever you have to do to smell band-aid, meat, sweaty saddles or gym socks is entirely up to you!

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