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--Ruth Reichl, Editor-in-Chief of Gourmet Magazine, June 8 2008, comment on "Chocolate Velvet Ice Cream".

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Spicy Beef and Red Bean Chili and Babas au Rhum

You want to know just how spicy Spicy Beef and Red Bean Chili is? My first sentence after the first bite was, "Woo, this is going to burn on the other end!"

OK, that's vulgar I know, especially when you're discussing dinner but there's a reason why specialty hot sauces have crazy names like "Ass In The Tub" "Ass Reaper" and "Baboon Ass Gone Rabid". It's also possible they were all named by 14 year old boys, but not likely.

So if you, gentle reader, have never eaten anything that gave you pause about tomorrow's toileting experience, shame on you! You need to live a little more daringly.

And Spicy Beef and Red Bean Chili as a marvelous way to do it. This is a superb chili recipe--rich and complex. I have to note that if you try the epicurious link, take out the pork shoulder and add 1 oz of bittersweet chocolate with the beans at the end--otherwise it's the exact same recipe. And you must use the garnishes--all of them. I've never squeezed lime on chili, but I will do it forevermore.

Will you end up with your ass in tub? Only time will tell.


Babas au Rhum was a baking first for me. These are essentially little rum cakes, but the dough is like a loose sweet brioche dough and has to rise twice like all breads. Then they are soaked in a sugar syrup jacked up with a lot of dark rum, and brushed with an apricot glaze that has even more rum. Not boozy enough for you? The whipped cream topping has rum in it too.

Family members at the S. household could accurately predict that Dr. S. LOVED this dessert.

These are called "babas" because supposedly the first time the cakes were made (long ago in some eastern European country) they had been baked in a mold that looked like Ali Baba's hat.

We are supposed to use these too, but really, how many baking dishes can a cupboard hold? I used a cake mold that looked more like this:

These are all technicalities. You could make these in muffin tins if you were so inclined.

If you try this recipe, make this modification--simmer your sugar syrup a little longer than 10 minutes--try 15, until you actually get a syrup. I was worried that mine was too watery. It was, but that's where the bread structure vs. cake structure of the dessert comes to the rescue.

Also--it says this is only good the day you soak the cakes--that's baloney. I served them the next day to great effect--M. asked for the recipe, even.


Anonymous said...

Me thinks that is called "Ring Sting"...the proverbial toilet issue after a spicy meal.

No pain, no gain. The sting is well worth it in my book! Thank you for the suggestion.

Anonymous said...

We laughed out loud. One of us looks forward to your beef chili; the other is a vegetarian and looks forward to the Babas au Rhum!