Friends are essential to an enjoyable life and every now and then, you may come across one that ends up being your very best friend in the world. Conversely, you may also come across ones that you befriend only for a very short while before realising that they weren't quite right for you. I used to have a very strange friend. Our friendship didn't last for very long and it was during the start of High School so it was a tumultuous time at best but she was one of those friends that delighted in laughing at you, not with you.
One time, we went to the movies. We picked her up from her Double Bay residence. I wondered what her place was like as she was always proclaiming that she would become an interior decorator and that her apartment was faaabulous, but before I could get out of the car and ring her doorbell she bounded down the front stairs. We bought snacks before settling in at the cinema. I bought a bag of Twisties-we were only allowed chips at parties so these were my first item of choice. I don't even remember the movie but when we came out we went shopping for a while before she turned to me and pointed at me and laughed hysterically.
"I didn't tell you but you have a bright orange ring of cheese around your mouth!!!" she said pointing at me in the middle of the street and laughing bent over.
I tried to scrub it off as quickly as possible but that only made her laugh harder. "You look SO stupid! You're such a dork! Loser!" she said wiping away tears and still pointing at me.
Flushed and embarrassed, I quickly decided that this was not the friendship for me and we never hung out again. To me, friends tell each other when there is spinach in the teeth.
This nama chocolate may come with a warning. It's moreish so you may find yourself with a ring of cocoa around your mouth. What is nama chocolate? Well it's a Japanese phenomenon. I was first introduced to it by an NQN reader Anne-Maree who was so smitten by it that she gave me some from her Japan travels to taste. It's a soft chocolate with a high pure cream content so that it needs to be refrigerated.
It is sold under the brand _Royce _and name simply means "raw" or "fresh" which in this case is the cream. Served as small cocoa dusted rectangles, you take one of their little plastic picks to pick up a soft square where it melts in your mouth. As a bonus, it is also very easy to make. And those learned cooks may look at the ingredients and surmise that it is like a soft ganache and you would be right.
I found the recipe on Nami's gorgeous blog a while back and thought that I'd save it for Valentines Day. Then I bought some Amedei Chuao chocolate from Tania who works at the wholesaler Lario. For those unfamiliar with Amedei Chuao, it is one of the most expensive chocolates on the market and is a smooth, dark chocolate without a hint of bitterness. Use the best quality chocolate you can find or indeed, your favourite chocolate.
By the way, I did see this friend again. She was taking tickets on a public transport system. "Is that you B?" I asked her. "Yes" she answered tightly crossing her arms defensively, I guess perhaps waiting for me to say something. I didn't, I mean decades had passed, although it made me think that I guess life doesn't always turn out how you want it!
So tell me Dear Reader, do you tell friends when they have spinach in their teeth? And what's your favourite chocolate?
Recipe adapted from Just One Cookbook
400g best quality chocolate
250ml fresh cream
1 tablespoon honey
liqueur of your choice (optional)
cocoa for sifting
Step 1 - Line a square tin (about 8x8 inches) with baking parchment.
Step 2 - Chop the chocolate into pieces to make it easier to melt and place in a large bowl along with the butter and honey. Heat the cream until almost boiling and then pour over the chocolate mixture, stirring to combine. Add the liqueur if you are using it. Pour into the prepared tin and allow to set in the fridge.
Step 3 - Cut into squares with a hot knife - this is to prevent the chocolate from splintering when you cut it. Run knife under hot water and dry on a tea towel before each cut. Dust in cacoa powder and store in the fridge.