Friday, October 5, 2007

Drink of the Week:Proust Edition

because I am the preeminent Proust scholar in America.
Anyway I saw that I think next weekend is Homecoming Weekend at Duke and people were excited about seeing each other again and at tailgate and so I got desperately nostalgic, desperate because I had no ideas for a cocktail for "drink of the week", and nostalgic because of boredom. Being nostalgic made my mind turn to a remembrance of things past or À la recherche du temps perdu (In Search of Lost Time) and from their to the idea of if Proust mentioned a cocktail recipe or if, in the subsequent decades, in elite literary dives a drink had been inspired by him and enjoyed by the intelligentsia
I didn't find anything that well known or popular but I did find an article by Alison Hallet reviewing the portland restaurant teno1 where her friend had "the Proust." Simply amazing- i love google sometimes.
Here are the ingredients- it being a drink prepared by a bar, i don't have the ratios but experimentation with drinks is the best form of alchemy (and if you know what the official recipe is, if you would send me an email I would love you forever :)
The Proust

But of course when you think of Marcel, as you obviously do, only one food comes to mind- the madeleine:
She sent for one of those squat, plump little cakes called "petites madeleines," which look as though they had been moulded in the fluted valve of a scallop shell. And soon, mechanically, dispirited after a dreary day with the prospect of a depressing morrow, I raised to my lips a spoonful of the tea in which I had soaked a morsel of the cake. No sooner had the warm liquid mixed with the crumbs touched my palate than a shudder ran through me and I stopped, intent upon the extraordinary thing that was happening to me. An exquisite pleasure had invaded my senses, something isolated, detached, with no suggestion of its origin. And at once the vicissitudes of life had become indifferent to me, its disasters innocuous, its brevity illusory - this new sensation having had on me the effect which love has of filling me with a precious essence; or rather this essence was not in me it was me. I had ceased now to feel mediocre, contingent, mortal. Whence could it have come to me, this all-powerful joy? I sensed that it was connected with the taste of the tea and the cake, but that it infinitely transcended those savours, could, no, indeed, be of the same nature. Whence did it come? What did it mean? How could I seize and apprehend it?

so here's a recipe for madeleine cookies as well. I wouldn't recommend dipping it in the Proust-tea probably works much better

Madeleine Cookie Recipe

8 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
Pinch of salt
3 large eggs, at room temperature
2/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

  1. In a small heavy saucepan, heat the butter over medium heat just until very light golden brown and fragrant, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool until tepid.
  2. In a small bowl, using a wire whisk, stir together the flour, baking powder and salt until well blended.
  3. In bowl of electric mixer, beat the eggs and sugar at medium-high speed until the mixture has tripled in volume and forms a thick ribbon when the beaters are lifted. Lower the speed to medium and beat in the vanilla.
  4. Using a large rubber spatula, fold the flour mixture into the beaten eggs in three additions. Fold in the cooled melted butter in three additions, then fold in the chocolate chips. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes, until slightly firm.
  5. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 375 degrees.
  6. Generously butter two, l2-mold Madeleine pans with 3-inch long depressions (available at Williams-Sonoma or other kitchen specialty stores). Using a pastry brush, paint the Madeline cups with a light coating of the browned butter and flour mixture, wiping any pools that form in the bottom of the molds; set aside (refrigerate in warm weather). Could spray pans with Bakers Joy instead.
  7. Drop a generous tablespoonful of the batter into the center of each prepared mold, leaving the batter mounded in the center. (This will result in the typical "humped" appearance of the Madeleine.)
  8. Bake the Madeleine for l2 to l5 minutes, until the edges are golden brown and the centers spring back when lightly touched. Batter will spread out to fill the cups, and will gradually swell up into a hump in the middle.
  9. They are done when lightly browned around the edges, and when they begin to shrink very slightly from the molds. Remove the pans from the oven and rap each pan sharply against a countertop to release the Madeleine. Transfer the Madeleines, smooth sides up, to wire racks to cool.
  10. When serving dust with confectioners sugar.
all you need for a great weekend-cookies and cognac.

Sphere: Related Content

No comments: