Saturday, August 06, 2005

What would Wonka call it?

When I was a child, I went to a summer wedding reception. Most kids hate these things. With nerves not dulled by years, worries and the attenuation of age, kids always tend to absorb anything, in the situation, which engages their senses.

The scene was permeated with nostalgic wedding music, blended with the stumbling murmur of adult conversation and muted laughter. There was a steady background chorus of beer tab pops and the wind chime twinkle of ice, spinning in clear amber and dark milky drinks. Red straws marked the landscape in places where the sharp fumes of scotch, bourbon and brandy were blooming out. This was a tiered landscape of slate wall tops, wire framed chairs, and the smoky, bubbly surface of patio table glass.

With summer leather skin, glistening in the tropical reek of Coppertone marinade, the adults would approach with arms outstretched. They pinched your cheeks with bony fingers that had twisted lemon and lime wedges and juggled powdered wedding pastries. They would bend down and kiss you with bright waxy lipstick, venting dragon's breath laced with garlic, stale cigarettes and the ubiquitous cocktail.

In this purgatory of childhood boredom, I encountered a dessert, I have never been able to name.

It looked like brownies at first. And, please, no jokes about those special brownies we have all heard of. These did not belong to a category frowned on by the Federal government. In fact, this dessert only resembled brownies from a distance.

This wonder started life as hard baked sponge. This must have been dessicated in a slow heat, purging all moisture, leaving a dark tan mummified crisp. The rigid template, which would be humble and unremarkable by itself, was then draped in a cascade of warm chocolate. The fluid permeated the entire crisp bubbled lattice. The confection was then entombed by a chocolate caramel cloak. This was cooled to a chewy membrane, which to the casual eye, only
hinted the nature of the texture beneath.

In this deceptive attire, the hard sponge was transformed. When you bit into it, it would yield like honeycomb swollen with honey. The nerves of your mouth would instantly retreat in the bittersweet liquor of rich chocolate, sugar, butterfat and flavors. The astringent aroma would rush up your sinuses, begging tears to form. Once enticed, your mouth would race back from the pucker and bath itself in the flavor and texture of the dessert. Everywhere your tongue probed the morsel, it would collapse, releasing the pores filled with chocolate glory.

This was the kind of experience to widen a child's eyes. It stifled all the distracting intrusions of the adults. The next time you see a child at a wedding party, transfixed on a dessert, licking fingers in silence, ask them if they liked it. And please, give their mother the recipe.

13 comments:

The Conservative UAW Guy said...

Dude,
You are a total dessert tease.
I'm going to think about that all day!

You owe it to your readers to find that recipe.

NOW!

Insolublog said...

I'm wondering if mensab could scare it up. It's right down her alley.

Uber said...

I think the recipe you seek would be for caramel brownies (though maybe mensa could scare up another recipe if I'm wrong...maybe a better recipe even if I'm not lol) but I do have a recipe for yummy caramel brownies if ya want it. Kinda long, don't want to post it in comments unless ya say so. ;)

Insolublog said...

Post it PJ Maximum! I will backtrack it and everybody will bask in your culinary genius.

Peakah said...

Very well done brah, loved the prose. (The mental sugar orgasm I had was pretty yummy too.)

Curious as to what culled this memory to surface? I'm being frequented by these memories myself now that my wife is on a no sugar or carb diet...

I'm dyin ovah heeeereee...

Insolublog said...

A recent summer party event, exhumed enough of the hidden relations which make all of our marvelous brains work. The people, the smells and the sounds all were conspirators to the memory.

Dr. Phat Tony said...

I'll have to inject my insulin after reading this.

Insolublog said...

When I say that, I'm usually not kidding.

a4g said...

Why is it always the things we cannot have that are the sweetest?

If your mother had the recipe, it would be just another dessert. Now it is one of those magical memories that heightens sensation and deepens life. The sated man is logy on his gluttony; the hungry one burns with passion.

Insolublog said...

So true a4g.

I would add the forbidden fruit is the one most often sought.
How many times do we pursue things in life, only to realize it was the pursuit that gave us the most satisfaction?

There must be a caveat however. Someone had to have that recipe and the baking acumen to create it. I would not want other children denied that experience.

Uber said...

14 oz Caramels
⅓ c Evaporated milk
8 oz German sweet chocolate
6 tb Butter
4 ea Eggs
1 c Sugar
1 c Flour (sifted)
1 ts Baking powder
½ ts Salt
2 ts Vanilla
6 oz Chocolate chips


1. Preheat oven to 350. Grease and flour 9 x 13 baking pan. Combine caramels and evaporated milk in top of double boiler over low heat. Cover and simmer until caramels are melted, stirring occasionally. Set aside (keeping warm). 2. Combine German sweet chocolate and butter in 2 quart saucepan. Place over low heat (stirring occasionally) until melted. Remove from heat. Cool to room temperature. 3. Beat eggs until foamy using electric mixer (high speed). Gradually add sugar, beating until mixture is thick and lemon colored. 4. Sift together flour, baking powder and salt. Add to egg mixture mixing well. Blend in cooled chocolate mixture and vanilla. 5. Spread half of mixture into prepared baking pan. Bake for 6 minutes. Remove from oven and spread caramel mixture carefully over baked layer. Sprinkle with chocolate chips. 6. Spread batter by spoonfuls over the caramel layer. 7. Bake for 20 minutes. Cool in pan on rack. Refridgerate before cutting into bars or squares.

Tip- *Very* difficult to cut if not chilled first!

Uber said...

Geez, after reading the comments I'm thinkin maybe I should have just let that one remain a mystery. No idea men loved chocolate in the same...uh...way, we women do. No idea. lol

Insolublog said...

Too late now Uber. You have opened Pandora's box! Thanks for the recipe. I'm not sure it is the same species, but it looks delicious nonetheless.