May 08, 2006

4 Reasons Why I Will Never Be a Brain Surgeon, Nuclear Physicist, Professional Dancer or Pastry Chef

Inspired by my attempt to make Roasted Dates with Coconut Sorbet and Candied Coconut from Last Course

1. I don't like following directions. Yes, Fleming said to strain the sorbet base before putting it in the ice cream maker. Yes, I started to do so. Halfway through, I turned to the partner and said, "I like texture." "So do I," he said. The coconut shavings went back into the base which made a slightly chewy sorbet. Note to self- Strain the sorbet.

2. I do not have the proper tools. Use a mandoline to slice the coconut thinly. I am, sadly, not currently in possession of a mandoline. Will the big holes on the cheese grater work? No, they will not. My candied coconut was more like chunks of slightly raggedy coconut lightly dusted with sugar. Not the texture or garnish I was going for.

3. I am not exacting enough. Four tablespoons of butter? Well, this knob I've got here has got to be at least two and half. That's okay, right? For sticky, slightly burnt caramel, yes, For reducing the sherry/date juices to a lovely sauce, no. Unless you too want to spend a good deal of time scrubbing a sticky sauce pot.

4. I am not patient. Chill the sorbet base until cold, three hours or overnight. It's been two hours, is it cold yet? Ish. Great, let's pop it in the ice cream maker. Churn for thirty minutes, or, if you're me, twenty-five. Then don't chill it in the freezer for an hour because you want your fancy dessert now. Serve it up with the room temperature dates and the still hot, not-supposed-to-be-caramel caramel and you end up with coconut soup with chewy bits. Yum.

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