Sunday, October 21, 2007


Today I made Cassata, because tonight I am going out to a friend's for dinner.

The friend is Emma, my ex-flatmate, and she was going to cook some food for another friend named Anke. Anke's Mutti is German. Anyway, Anke is living in barracks, which means she eats at the mess or she eats out so the offer of a home cooked meal was too good to resist.

Being a social butterfly, Emma didn't want to have dinner for two, and I was the next person to be invited. I was pencilled in for a movie/dinner/drinks with another friend on the weekend, so we arranged for the meal to be on Sunday night. I had caught the sight of a lovely looking dessert in my illustrated copy of the Edmond's Cookbook and thought this would be the perfect opportunity to try it out. "I'll bring dessert" I stated proudly.

The next time I saw Emma, I learned our good friend Macchi and her husband Mike were coming too, and they were bringing the cheese board. Emma was in more of a dilemma now - Macchi is pregnant and Emma had to ask lots of questions to find out what foods Macchi will eat. During the course of the day I discovered that Anke (who is supposed to be bringing the DVD's) hadn't replied to Emma's text messages. It will be a surprise to find out tonight if Anke will make it after all. By the way, I don't care what Macchi can eat. She'll either eat it or not. Tough luck if not.

Anyway, I started out by tidying the bench and putting all the ingredients across the front in the order that I would need them, wiping the bench perfectly clean and having a neat stack of implements nearby.

Then I took a litre of chocolate ice cream and mixed it up with half a teaspoon of vanilla essence before smoothing it out to line the bowl. It was still pretty soft so I put it in the freezer and made a mental note to try again when it was a little bit firmer.

Next I had to turn 300ml of runny cream into stiff whipped cream. I don't have a whip, or an egg beater so I decided to pour half out of the bottle and shake it like a Polaroid picture,then repeat the process with the second half. After a while I realised that dancing round the lounge to Bowie's Jean Genie was not conducive to detecting when the cream was suitably stiff in time, and I discovered I had made - not whipped cream - but butter. Mmmm.
It was off to the dairy and $2 later I had 300 more millilitres of cream. This time Bowie was paused and I listened carefully to make sure I didn't over do it. And this time I was successful. Bowie was permitted to move on to his next song - Sorrow.

Now it was time to chop! up 1/2 cup of dark chocolate, 1/2 cup of toasted almonds (replaced with silvered almonds) and 1 cup of glace fruit. Well no one likes plastic cherries, so I replaced that cup with half a cup of white macadamia chocolate, and half a cup of walnuts.

Then these all were folded into the cream - along with 2 Tablespoons of icing sugar. About this point I realised that while this batch of cream was not butter, it probably was a little too mixed. Never mind - it can't be helped now!

Now I take the ice cream out of the freezer, touch up the shape, and put the cream into the hollow. Yum. Edmond's said I should cover with foil and freeze again, but there is no foil left in the house because my flatmates did not buy any on the last shop. My fault for not going I suppose. Anyway, I just put it in the freezer without the foil. What're they gonna do, huh?

And this is what it is supposed to look like! But I won't find out how good mine is, or if it tastes nice until tonight. Maybe - if you're lucky - I'll let you know!


Shrink Wrapped Scream said...

Are you deliberately trying to foil my diet? Darn, I'm off to raid the fridge.. I can resist anything but temptation. You can come to dinner at my house, anytime! (grin)

lorenzothellama said...

Let's hope none of the recipients are diabetics!
An egg-whisk, an egg-whisk, my kingdom for an egg-whist.

Went to see Henry V last night (not that the quote comes from there) and the Royal Exchange theatre. Brilliant stage sets but found the whole play just too confusing. All the cast were dressed the same except for the king, and he had a little gold coronet thing jammed on his head.


Raelha said...

Mmm, I'm drooling - I've just come back form a long walk and could do with that to replenish the calories! You can come to dinner at mine any day - as long as you bring Plumpy too.

lorenzothellama said...

Let's all meet up at Raelha's for cassata. You bring Plumpy and I'll bring Scaredy.

Ju's little sister said...

now THAT sounds like a plan!!

lorenzothellama said...

Right. We have a date in the spring! Perhaps we can coincide with Kiwi when she is doing her Compostello march.

Thanks for offering to guard my blogsite. Make sure that wicked Martin behaves himself!

Love Lorenzo.

Martin Stickland said...

Woe! That looks cool!

(I know, bad pun!)

Life is sweet! I can just sit back and watch you and lorenzybum taking care of my blog ... thanks!

It's like a ladies coffee morning over at my comments page! Tee Hee.

Have a good meal!!

Maalie said...

That looks nearly as nice as beer damper! Simon will be getting beer damper for his Christmas breakfast.


Raelha said...

Sounds good to me. You don't have a spare cat lying around do you? In don't want one of my girls to be left out. Or maybe there's enough of Plumpy for two of them.

Ju's little sister said...

I would say there is plenty of Plumpy, and Plumpy has plenty of love!

simon said...

Well I think I need several 80k rides now just looking at it!

Ju's little sister said...

I know what you mean, I still managed to pass my fitness test a week after eating it ;-)s

Maalie said...

Bye bye Ju's Little Sister! I'm off to Patagonia to see the Southern Cross, see you in a couple of weeks :-)


Martin Stickland said...

Hey where is the new post Ice Queen who makeuth the Icecream.

Ate it all your self did you and now you have an icky tummy? That will teach you.

Todays word is:


Ju's little sister said...

is that so?

TCA said...

Cassata - isn't that sieved tomatoes?

Looks very '70s - not my kind of dessert, maybe it's a girl thing?

By the way what is a 'social butterfly' - I alway thought that three was a crowd.


Ju's little sister said...

A social butterfly is some one who happily flits from person to person all night long, never staying with one group of people at a party for too long, but almost always remaining till the end.
They need lots of people around to keep them interested...

Martin Stickland said...

Have a sooper dooper week, drink lots, eat lots, drink more and remember to wear a vest to keep out the cold.

lorenzothellama said...

Hi jus. Been at the gin again as soon as I was home. The Lama wasn't on the island. He was safely esconsed at Samye Ling on the mainland. I'll try and sort out my pictures tomorrow, regardless of the fact that Mags says I should do it when I'm pissed!

Martin Stickland said...

Oyyyyyyyyyyeeeeeeeeee!!! Talk about me not being there, where are you? still eating the icecream I suppose?

I hope you are okay and may a thousand pregnant camels grace your garden in the morning.


lorenzothellama said...

I think the expression Martin is:

May the fleas of a thousand camels nest in your armpits.

Martin Stickland said...

Okay my little Zealand friend I will let you off this time!

lorenzothellama said...

Just noted you are an Aries too!

Martin Stickland said...

I know...I know...I seem to have messed up my blog layout but it looks like there is no going back now!

How bloody big was your ice cream pudding but you have not posted for a while you naughty little ragger muffin? so you must have spent all this time eating it.

Kiwi Nomad 2006 said...

Ha I laughed at you turning the cream into butter. Have done this with a class by putting the cream in a glass jar then passing it around the circle of kids while they all give it a few shakes. Amazing how little time it takes really!
You will have to bring the pudding to France if you want to join me in spring Lorenzo.. then do a bit of walking to walk it off!
I booked my ticket last week... arrive in Paris April 8th and will start walking about 13th-14th. Am grossly unfit at present and am just heading off out to the Gorge now for some more uphill climbing to get me fitter. April seems awfully close when you are unfit and a bit anaemic!