Sunday, January 21, 2018

Something unusual: A Culinary Experiment

Today I'm going to share something unusual. It is a culinary experiment I performed today.

See, I keep special treats around for celebrating when I finish something exceptional, such as finishing a draft/publishing a book or completing a video game. Yesterday, not only did I finish a game but I also completed all its sidequests (there were basically two in the whole game, but all is all. It was Xenosaga Episode I for those interested). So I opened a packet of Lindt 90% cacao . It is a significantly different experience than the 76% percent with almonds that I ate previously; intense chocolate flavor. I think it would be better used as a caffeine replacement than a treat.
Then I remembered how Lindt's website talked about how a 100% cacao bar is suited only as a baking chocolate and I decided to go that route.

The recipe I planned is cacao bars (distinct from chocolate bars),  maca powder, and cheerios mixed together. I'm expecting it to be this clumpy finger-food thing. It is something like this one recipe that my Mom makes around Christmas time, which she calls "Kibbles and Bits", but that has white chocolate and other stuff. I'm going simpler for my first try. This is what happened.

Cleaning all of that up took as long as mixing everything up. I put the end result in the freezer. Then I moved to my favorite part of this sort of recipe; licking the mixing bowl. There was a faint taste of maca. I think it's because I only added two teaspoons of boiled maca to the thirteen or so squares of cacao. Perhaps I'll add more next time, or add cinnamon instead of or in addition to it.
What does this have to do with writing? I think that food preparation adds a sense of reality to any scene or culture. How they eat, what they eat, the things they do to food before they eat it; all these things inform the reader about them and influence their actions and the world around them. However, I don't do much in the way of food preparation myself. Usually, it's just adding spices to my oatmeal. So this was fun. Hopefully, it will also be tasty.
Edit: It wasn't. The water I used to boil the maca was added to the chocolate sauce with the maca. So when I mixed it with the cheerios, it made the cheerios soggy. This produced an unappealing texture.  In retrospect, that should have been obvious. Also, the maca taste was missing. I threw it all out.  
Brian Wilkerson is a freelance book reviewer, writing advice blogger and independent novelist. He studied at the University of Minnesota and came away with bachelor degrees in English Literature and History (Classical Mediterranean Period concentration).

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