October 03, 2004

Gourmet Survivor: Missonary Veal Challenge

Meet Matt P.

Matt hates many, many foods. The list of comestibles he has claimed to hate include:

• Anything spicy
• Chinese food
• Cooked vegetables
• Coffee
• Spinach quiche
• “Weird stuff”
• Wild rice
• Rum

The list could go on and on and on. How to pick from such a vast array of dislikes? I’ve been foiled from many a stupendous-looking recipe for, say, honeycake, because of the coffee thing. Matt admits the smell of coffee is enjoyable, but he can’t take the flavor. Not even lightened and sweetened? Nope. Not even coffee ice cream? Nope. The guy is a total wet blanket to bring to Starbucks, let me tell you.

The goal was to get him to eat the Hated Food in a format he might accept – or even enjoy! Like everyone-who-isn't-me, the top of the list of foods he likes includes. Of course. Chocolate. Sigh. And so, I found… my recipe: Chocolate cake. With coffee.

Miscellaneous cooking steps happened. There was melting, mixing, pan buttering, blah blah blah.

Now, because I’m a mean, mean girl, I did two things differently in this recipe. First, because I still had rum left over from a a previous Gourmet Survivor challenge, I substituted that for the bourbon. And because I’m spiteful and also have a bridesmaid’s dress to fit into in another few weeks, I substituted the sugar with… Splenda. Neither of these substitutions had a noticeable impact on the final dessert.

The cake came out beautifully. Its glossy surface was cracked and fissured like volcanic rock. I regret following the recipe with wax paper at the bottom of the pan, because the baking-side-up surface was so perfect all on its own. The cake was very rich and dark, the coffee just a subtle undertone.

So… I powdered it with confectioner’s sugar, sliced up some moist, fudgy goodness, and adorned it with fresh strawberry and whipped cream.

And… Matt ate it. The whole thing! Without complaining! And when he was done, he went down onto one knee and proposed marriage to me all over again. Notice this fabulous look of intense pleasure and gratitude!

OK, that might be an exaggeration.

Really, he continued playing Madden until deep into the night, with nary a word on the quality or desirability of the cake. But I will leave you, my gentle readers, with this tidbit of conversation, gleaned toward the end of the evening:

Me: So who can we give the rest of the cake away to?

Him, with alarm: Why do we have to give away the cake?!@$?%!

Mission accomplished, my friends. Mission accomplished.

Posted by andrea at October 3, 2004 08:01 PM

Is it possible to have a third kind of twin? Not identical, not fraternal, but 3 years apart with the exact same taste buds or lack thereof.

Posted by: Aunt Sue on October 4, 2004 08:15 PM

Email me asap...we need to discuss something before you vote!!!!

Posted by: harry on October 5, 2004 03:30 PM

Sue, you are clearly describing the little-known "comestible twin." Nobody understands how or why this tragedy can happen to a family... but I'm sure if you search the Internet, you could find a support group!

Posted by: Andrea on October 10, 2004 09:28 PM
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