Monday, August 9, 2010

Coffee and Whiskey and Vampires, Oh My


Believe it or not, sometimes my patience runs out. Wait, what? Because that last post of mine was such a portrait of said patience. Tonight was one of those nights. We ran out of coffee a couple of days ago, and unfortunately it's not one of those situations that can be rectified by going to the store. Argentine coffee, the kind you buy in stores to brew at home, is, um, gross.  Sour, acidic, I'm not sure where they get it from or how they process it, but it's frankly pretty awful. You can sometimes find imported coffee but it's not at all what I could consider reasonably priced. Because we're elitist jerks around here with international connections (but little actual money), we always try to get someone to bring us back coffee from Colombia. But our stash ran out. And there's no international delivery in sight. And Felipe is in the middle of finals and was a bit desperate for coffee, so tonight around 11 we went out to look for some. We needed to find a place that accepted cards because we're both short on cash and the ATM charges you an arm and a leg if your account isn't Argentine. It's almost embarrassing to admit, but we ended up at McDonald's, and it's telling that I actually sometimes choose to go there for coffee because I prefer it to other coffee here. In cafes you can find espresso of varying quality, but it's not cheap and it's a bit of a toss up what you're going to find yourself drinking. I can say without a doubt that I've gone more to McDonald's in the two years I've lived in Argentine than I've gone my whole life in the U.S. I know, I'm a terrible person and a terrible ex-pat. Moving on.

As thrilled as I am that Argentina approved gay marriage last week, and that Prop 8 was overturned this week in California, before going out I completely depressed myself by watching the Prop 8 pro and con ads on youtube. My goodness we like using fear tactics for political manipulation.  Did you know that the gays want to prevent adoption agencies from operating?  Because what they want is to steal all your children and, after molesting them, drink their blood and make coats out of their hides. We need to protect our families from these Cruella Devil vampire menaces to society (haven't you noticed the majority of the vampires in True Blood are gay? Therefore all gays are vampires, duh.)  In some ways I'm shocked that Argentina (where abortion is illegal and the Catholic church exerts a powerful political presence) approved gay marriage before the U.S., but in some ways I'm not that surprised. I forgot that universal rights like health care are only for the commie socialists, like the Argentineans.

Anyway, the lack of coffee and the overabundance of bigotry put me in a foul mood which ended in a long-winded rant also known as preaching to the choir. We need a coffee refill around here. I should also maybe limit my youtube-viewing to stupid pet tricks and auto-tune covers. But also, we need a coffee refill because last week I made a new friend called chocolate-whiskey cake. It is awesome, perfectly awesome, but it really wants to be eaten with coffee. For breakfast. Ok, I'm not actually kidding. As far as I'm concerned it's a perfect breakfast cake because it's not too sweet, and if you make it in a loaf pan it seems much more legit for breakfast. The whiskey's definitely noticeable but not overpowering, though if you're not a big booze in desserts person it might be better to leave it for the evening. Wow, I kind of sound like an alcoholic, which is a huge stretch for someone who has been know to get a hangover from a glass of wine with dinner the night before. I do like to use alcohol as a flavoring a lot though, both in baked stuff and in cooking. And apparently now for breakfast too. That's what we did all last week, and as soon as we get some coffee around here, we're doing it again.


Chocolate-Whiskey Cake
     adapted from Melissa Clark

8 oz. (1 c. or 2 sticks or 227 g.) butter, room temperature (save the wrappers to grease the pans)
1 c. hot double-strength coffee (or 1/4 c. instant espresso powder mixed with 1 c. boiling water)
2 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
1 c. bourbon or other whiskey, plus more for sprinkling
1/2 tsp. sea salt
2 c. sugar
3 eggs
2 c. all-purpose flour, more for dusting pan
5 oz. (142g.) unsweetened chocolate 
1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. baking soda
Confectioners' sugar, for garnish (opt.)

Preheat oven to 325ºF. In the microwave or a double boiler over simmering water, melt chocolate. Let cool.
Add the cocoa powder to the hot coffee, mix until it dissolves. Add whiskey and salt. Leave to cool.
Stick the butter in a large mixing bowl.  Use the butter wrappers to grease two 9 in. x 5 in. loaf pans, then flour them lightly, knocking any excess flour out.  Using electric beaters, or a wooden spoon and your own elbow grease, beat the butter in the bowl until fluffy. Add sugar and beat until well combined. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, beating well between each addition. Beat in the vanilla extract, baking soda and melted chocolate, scraping down the sides of the bowl periodically.
Beating slowly, add in a third of the whiskey mixture. When liquid is absorbed, beat in 1 c. of the flour. Repeat additions, ending with whiskey mixture. Scrape batter into prepared pan and smooth top. Bake until a toothpick or knife inserted into center of cake comes out clean, 55 min.-1 hr.  
Transfer cake to a rack. Unmold after 15 minutes and sprinkle warm cake with more whiskey. Let cool before serving, garnished with confectioners' sugar if you like.

No comments:

Post a Comment