Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Summer Savarins

My camera broke. Actually, I broke it. I carelessly put a water bottle in my purse along with everything else important (social security card) and it leaked all over everything, thus no camera, which is sad because I promised myself to take my camera to class more just last week for the express purpose of blogging. But it's also sad because time is a goon. My roommate moved last week and a few days later this fellow I've been seeing and liking quite a bit also moved. Pictures are one way of freezing a moment. I've been feeling a bit nostalgic lately, just letting the summer and previous few years steep in my mind. 

But thinking about things too much inevitably leads to personal existential crises, mostly in the form of "what the hell am I doing with my life?!" So I freaked out about that for a few days, wondering why everyone was always leaving and I've always staying, I suddenly wanted to be the one leaving. Moving can be such a great adventure, but I have two thoughts on the subject, 1.) it's scary and never as much fun in reality as it is in my mind and 2.) you can have adventures anytime, anywhere, anyhow if you're up for it. Not that I blame anyone for moving. Sometimes it's just right; it's just what you've got to do (in addition to being new and exciting). 

But doesn't it feel like people are always on the move these days? Not a few months go by without saying a hard goodbye or meeting someone brand new to the area. I should be more open to moving because if I frankly think about what I'm "doing with my life" it probably isn't living in Omaha forever and ever amen, but it does make me happy right now. I adore my friends. Adore them. And work, it's good. Really good most days. It's not forever, but gosh, it fits snugly right now. And school, I get to make mocha pots de creme that slide onto the spoon and down the hatch so smoothly. And these yeasted savarins soaked in orange syrup with apricot-orange mousse and creme anglaise -- so good and just the epitome of summer with fresh apricots and bright oranges. I get to spend all this time learning about ingredients and techniques and perfecting recipes. It's so good, it's all so good. Even when people I care about pass through too soon (it's always too soon). 

A couple days ago, I settled into life again, knowing that the things I'm worried about (i.e. my ability to pay for loans and be employed for real at some point) will work out whether I worry or not. For the time being, I am happy making savarins and hopefully new friends. 

1 1/3 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 teaspoon yeast
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 cup warm water
3 ounces butter, melted
1/2 cup raisins, soaked and drained (optional)
1 teaspoon citrus zest

Combine flour, salt, eggs, yeast, sugar and water in a mixer and mix for eight minutes on medium. Scrape down the sides. Add the melted butter and mix another five to eight minutes until the dough is sticky but thick enough to pull away from the sides of the bowl. Transfer to bowl and let ferment until about doubled. Transfer to greased molds and let double again. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes until golden brown. Saturate in a simple syrup mix of half water and half sugar (and flavorings of citrus or liqueur, etc.). Can be filled with pastry cream or mousse or lemon curd.

Fruit Mousse: (easiest thing ever!)
12 ounces fruit puree
3 ounces sugar
1 ounce brandy or liqueur (or water or juice)
.25 ounces gelatin (softened according to package instructions) (optional)
8 ounces heavy cream

Puree the fruit and send through a sieve. Stir in and dissolve the sugar and liqueur. Whip the cream to medium peaks. Fold into the puree and refrigerate. Serve quickly if not using gelatin.

No comments: