I don't know anyone who is on an even keel All The Time. I mean, even the most serene folks have a day every now and then when they must feel a little less-than-serene. High energy performers aren't always necessarily on their A Game--sometimes they give us a B+ performance because they have a cold. Or a fever.
Anyway, life is just like that sometimes. It's true for blogs and bloggers, too. Some days, I'll sit down and pour out Wit and Wisdom that leaves me feeling rather Pleased with myself. Other days, not so much. And sometimes, something I write captures folks, and other times, not so much. Sometimes posts that I write on autopilot end up being Big Sellers, so to speak. And occasionally, my Triumphs-in-my-own-mind don't grab folks. Go figure. It happens.
You're probably either wondering what this has to do with pastries or just wanting me to get on with it, already. Your wish is my Command.
I was just sitting here thinking about hot and cold, and these are the things I thought:
- My favorite days are the ones where the sun is warm and the wind is cool.
- Sometimes, as long as your feet are warm, it's okay to be cold.
- Swimming pools in summer are popular for a reason.
- Hot tubs in the winter have a certain appeal.
Yes, the above is a pretty good Snapshot of they way my brain works. I share these free associations with you for a reason, though. Here's my rule: eventually, all free association ends up with food.
So, once my brain produced those four hot/cold associations, it naturally turned its Mad Self towards food. There are plenty of desserts that use hot and cold together to great affect. Take the 'Smore. There's not much better than hot-toasty-melty marshmallows smashed together with cool-but-melting chocolate and room temp (or cold, if you're camping in the winter) graham crackers. And there's always the classic crème brûlée. That's the literal hot and cold--temperature.
And these days, everyone knows the figurative hot and cold trick of adding a bit of cayenne or other spicy Item to a brownie recipe. It was cutting edge just a few years ago, and it hasn't been completely played out because it hasn't been completely explored.
Not that I want to hasten a great trend's Demise, but let's see if we can't maybe be a little bit more creative with the idea. Hot and cold. Cold and hot. There must be some way to meld the Literal with the Figurative, throw in some whimsical and always keep in mind the flavor profile.
First up, the Literal, as filtered through My Brain
- ice cream/sorbet
- puddings and custards
- gelatin-set Items
- semifreddo/frozen mousse
- hot fudge sauce (or similar)
- straight-from-the-oven anything
- hit-with-a-torch anything
And Now, the Figurative (ditto, Brain-wise)
- yogurt (tangy)
- horchata (cinnamon/rice/almond/lime)
- Sichuan pepper
- hot peppers
- alcohol (high proof liquor, brandy, port, etc)
- alliums (onions and their friends)
Okay, so there are my lists. So, guess what? Now, I'm turning it over to you. Here's where the challenge comes in. Come up with a dessert that juxtaposes, either literally or figuratively, hot and cold. Tell me about your idea in the comments, or go crazy and post about it at your own place. If you do post about it, just link to your post in the comments section here. I'll post a round up, including my entry, on December 1. November is a pretty busy month, Culinarily Speaking, so we've got three whole weeks to come up with something Amazing!
And that's about it for now. Have a spectacular day, and I'll see you again soon. Now I'm off to sit in the warm sun and feel the cool breeze for a bit!