Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Fast days and rich desserts

Last month, the BBC Horizon pressed the case for intermittent fasting, a 5:2 regimen in which two 600 calorie days are inserted into an otherwise normal week.   The host claims that he lost weight and improved his  blood chemistry (glucose, cholesterol, and IGF-1) in 5 weeks.  I’ve been following the recommendation for two weeks now, setting food aside on Monday and Thursdays: it’s not too difficult if I’m busy and there doesn’t seem to be a rebound to overeat other days.  We’ll see…

I still watch the occasional cooking show (just not on Monday or Thursday), following BBC’s Masterchef in it’s latest rounds.  The Skills Tests have been particularly good: John Torode cooks a basic dish then sets the contestants loose to try to duplicate it.  They look dead easy, and the Crepes Suzette, in particular, sucked me in.

He stirred up a basic batter of flour, milk, egg, and butter, thin and runny compared to pancakes.  Grated orange and lemon mixed with a syrup of butter, sugar, and orange juice formed the sauce.  A bit of brandy to flame on top, and it was done in 10 minutes.


I whipped up the batter and put the sauce on to simmer: it filled the ten minutes allotted, but that was fine.  I got my olive oil simmering and spooned in a few tablespoons of batter.  It hissed and mounded: a 1” by 4” pancake.  Dump it out, try again: cooler oil, faster spooning, and a lot of turning to cat the bottom of the pan quickly, a bit like making an omelet.  With a couple more, I had a nice thin layer that cooked to a lovely brown.

Turning it over was another matter. A fork tore the crepe; tongs folded it over.  I experimented with flipping and found that it was easier than it looked: lateral motion along with a deft scoop lofted the crepe enough to catch it, turned, as it fell back.

The syrup took longer to cook than expected, so wasn’t quite thick enough, and the heated brandy needs to be flamed before pouring rather than poured, then lit. 


But it was a credible effort and tasted really good.  Another try and I’ll add it to my repetoire alongside the chocolate fondant. A crepe pan, coating the bottom, might make a difference, and a chocolate topping with powdered sugar, preferred in Poland (NaleĊ›niki), makes a nice alternative.

The difference is that they serve it for breakfast. Preferably not on Monday and Thursday.

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