|That IS me, holding the flashlight - it's not a floating flashlight.|
Friday was a holiday, that wonderful day off between Thanksgiving and Christmas. I decided it was a good opportunity to have my family over for dinner so I could try one of the many recipes I've been sighing over recently. Coffee + Chocolate Braised Short Ribs, with Smashed Fingerling Potatoes + Truffle Oil, and a Hazelnut Torte. YUM! (from one of my favourite cookbooks The British Columbia Seasonal Cookbook)
Everything was going rather swimmingly - I had prepped and chopped in advance, the cake was baked, and the house was spotless! I was sitting on the couch counting down the minutes before I could start searing my short ribs, when the lights flickered once! They stayed on, and I breathed a sigh of relief. They flickered twice, and a third time, and then - darkness. Well, it was still the afternoon, but it certainly wasn't bright outside. "But I have to start my short ribs in 10 minutes! They need to be in the oven braising for 2 hours!" I decided to wait a little bit longer, but it was in vain.
I was comforted slightly when I remembered that my clever dad had put in a gas stove when he built our suite - at least I could start the stove top stuff. Unfortunately, do to daylight savings and a gloomy day, it got dark FAST. I wasn't even finished searing my short ribs when Dave had to dig up the flashlight for me. That worked just fine, I am a fan of mise en place (more on that another day) so all I had to do was throw everything in the pot at the right time.
The cake, however, was going to be a problem. The middle layers consist of whipped ganache. Whipped. Well, here goes nothing! My dad brought up a gas lantern, and Dave and I took turns whipping the ganache by hand, in the dark. Stopping now and then not just to shake our arms out but to hold the bowl up to the light to see if anything was happening! (I feel I should mention here that the cake was frosted on the outside with pure Nutella. It was basically a Hedgehog cake!)
In the end, the lights went back on 1 hour before dinner, and everything turned out fine - but there was certainly some suspense involved! Needless to say I realized how very fortunate we are in North America to have something as simple as electricity whenever we want it.
Now for the bad news - we were so excited about the lights going on, and so content with each others' company that I forgot to take pictures of the finished product! Everything was fantastic, and I can guarantee I'll be making that one again!