Blog Party #19 - A Digression From Diet

Today seems like it’s going to be one of those days: it will either make or break the diet. If I can stay strong and stay off the Super Noodles at lunchtime and leave the unopened Green and Blacks chocolate in the bread bin alone, I might just be able to survive until 5 O’Clock without junk food. After then, we have another fishy experiment on the books: Sea Bream cooked in what can only loosely be referred to as Provencal Style. This roughly translates to fish with tomatoes and some other stuff.
In the meantime though, feast your eyes on these tiny beauties, made before we banished cakes and cookies (only temporarily mind, they’re in a box in the basement and can be let out without a moments notice) to the ‘bad’ corner.
An event that I have enjoyed but never taken part in is held by Stephanie of Dispensing Happiness. Every month or so she holds a Blog Party which is themed in various ways. The one interjoining link between all of her parties though is the word ‘Bitesize’. It’s a word I enjoy. Bitesize means you can eat more than jumbo size because they’re much, much smaller. Bitesize also means that things that aren’t attractive normal size, are rendered ‘cute’ by the diminutiveness.
I draw the line at Bitesize Fish and Chip portions (seen at trendy cocktail parties in the late 90s). As Brilynn at Jumbo Empanadas might say ‘Go Big or Go Home.’
I remember the first party I went to as a very small child, maybe 3 or 4, held by my Aunt. I have no recollection of who was there or what the celebration was. All that sticks in my mind is being offered, on a silver platter, some tiny little biscuits with what I thought was segmented blackberries (those segments, I found out some two decades later are charmingly referred to as ‘drooplets’) on some cream. Actually, this was my first taste of caviar with sour cream. I can’t remember if I enjoyed the expensive hors d’ouevre or not but it certainly didn’t put me off caviar although I wouldn’t get to try the black stuff again for 25 years!
But, enough reminiscing. The theme for this months Blog Party is - quite fittingly what with it being Winter and all - Comfort Food. And I got to thinking about comfort food and what makes me cosy. Parties aren’t generally conducive to that Comfort feeling. After all, you’re supposed to have fun, sing too loudly and probably get too drunk. Food isn’t high on the agenda. If you’re English you will remember (or still attend) events where cocktail sausages, sausage rolls, cheese and pineapple on sticks, twiglets and prawn vol au vents are served. The snooty 80s and minimalist 90s did nothing to eradicate this. If you’re over a certain age, you will still be disappointed if you’re not served miniscule prawns in a ketchup and mayo sauce stuffed in a dry puff pastry case.
The first food that came to mind when I thought of comfort was Deep Fried Risotto Balls. I have never made them but I love risotto. It envelopes you in a fluffy blanket of creamy goodness. Frying them only makes this blanket of Italian joy even more covetous.
As you can see, I had a last minute change of heart. When you want comfort – instant comfort – you want chocolate. You don’t want to make Risotto. You want instant gratification. If it has booze involved then even better. Mini Malted Chocolate and Banana Cupcakes with a Baileys Shot decorated with a Malteser garnish seems perfect.
The recipe for the cupcakes was adapted from a Nigella Lawson recipe, taken from Feast. The original recipe makes a full size cake, iced with a delicious malty topping and decorated with maltesers. I have made this cook before and I can vouch for its malted goodness. I halved this recipe and added some mashed banana to the cake batter lest it should be a little too dry. I baked them for about 10 minutes, left them to cool and then decorated them with a sticky, smeary blob of Fluff and a solitary Malteser. They are one mouthful of comfort.
The shot is even easier. Pour the Baileys into a shot glass. Decorate with Maltesers and drink (and eat). Feel instantly better.

P.S. Have a wonderful Valentines Day (and if you're like us and don't celebrate Valentines Day, just have a great day!).

13 comments:

Kate said...

We don't celebrate the holiday because we would rather celebrate our marriage every day! Like it should be! VD is for amateurs!

Brilynn said...

I love the malted ball garnish! All garnishes should be that good!

Ulrike said...

We don't celebrate this day, because of my birthday in 5 day.
Your dish looks great! And especially for you I translated my recipe from yesterday.

Joyce said...

Small is only in the eyes of the beholder. The smaller size offsets any guilt from eating more than one! Nice posting.

Katie said...

Those are a hoot!
I agree - nothing comforts like chocolate - unless it's more chocolate...

Kathryn said...

Ooooh!!! I want some of those. They are sooooooo cute. I love them!!!

Kathryn x

Saffron said...

Sometimes you just need Trasgression! I didn't celebrate Valentine's DAy, but it's a nice thing think of the people you love and give them a special wish!
This cupcake is gorgeous!
Baci

Patricia Scarpin said...

Freya,

The day I cheat on my diet - and that day is pretty close, I can tell - I'm gonna do it your style - with something great like this! ;)

Gemma said...

Oh yum - they look delicious. I so desperately want some of those cups as well but I keep putting off buying them for some unknown reason. I am attempting my sugar high friday dish tomorrow so keep your fingers crossed!

s'kat said...

Screw the cookies, I'm following your lead next year, lol!

wheresmymind said...

Damn those look so good!

Kristen said...

Those look fantastic!

tigerfish said...

Look so maltilicious!
Nice to meet you at Blog Party :D