... in which I kill time by the hour ...

Jul 9, 2011

Food Pronz: Chocolate Balls

Total ball pronz failz
Um, yeah, OK, the title clearly isn't perverted and has no double meanings whatsoever and I so was not trying to insinuate anything when I just made it up on the spot. No way. Abso-freaking-lutely. Of course not. Yep. (=_=)' *sigh* #FailSpontaneity.

So, my cousin Nutti made these chocolate balls, which were heavenly apparently, for a Uni barbeque which I didn't attend. I was determined not to miss out on the chocolatey goodness, so I ditched everything yesterday and got around to dragging the recipe from Nutti and making it myself.

And let me tell you, it tastes DIVINE. I had some lingering doubts while making it, because there were moments when it seemed like it might be too chocolatey - yeah, as WTF as that sounds, such a thing is possible, yanno - but in the end, it tasted wonderful and perfect and gooey and just yum. So I thought I'd share the recipe. =)

I don't measure the ingredients in grams, but rather with utensils, so my apologies if anyone attempting this finds that inconvenient.

Chocolate Cake

1 large mug of butter
1 1/2 mugs of powdered sugar
1 1/2 mugs of flour 
5 tbsp of Cocoa powder
1 tsp of Baking Powder
6 eggs

Whisk the eggs, butter and sugar in a bowl until the mixture is light and frothy with no lumps. Dissolve the cocoa powder in some water (about half a glass) and add to the mixture. Whisk and then add the flour and baking powder. Add some water while whisking: best results when the batter is neither too viscous nor too liquid.
Heat the oven at 250 degrees for seven minutes. Grease a pan with oil or butter and pour in the cake batter. Bake at 220 degrees for fifteen minutes. (Stick a toothpick in afterwards; if it's not dry when pulled out, bake the cake for another five minutes)
Take out the cake and leave it to cool. Meanwhile, let's work on the cream and dip.

Cream (credits: Nutti. Dunno where she got it from)

1 tbsp of Cocoa powder
1/3 of a container of Crumpy spread (Alternatives: Pasta Nussa or Nutella)
4-5 large spoonfuls of Vanilla ice cream (or just dump in 1/3 of a medium container)

Dissolve the cocoa powder in a little water (it must not be too liquid nor too viscous). Add the Crumpy and vanilla ice cream and mix it all together. If it still tastes a little bitter, add a small tsp of powdered milk and mix.

Chocolate Dip 
Just mix 4 tbsp of Cocoa powder with one small container of condensed sweetener (that's gerikiru to you, Dhivehin). This is the moment when I first thought it'd be too chocolatey, but it works ^^

Next is the heartbreaking part. Take that beautiful chocolate cake you baked and totally destroy it. Squish it with your hands and fingers and crumble it all up (T_T). Pour in the cream and knead it well, until the crumbled cake becomes gooey and moist. Then roll it into balls of your desired size - my gosh, brain, do I need to bleach you - and pour the chocolate dip over them with a large spoon. (It's called a dip, but it's really quite sticky, so not that easy to dip in the chocolate balls. It's easier to just pour it over them).

And voila! Chocolatey gooeyness to fill your whole day with chocolatey bliss. xD Enjoy! 

Jul 4, 2011

Ramblings on an Ongoing Crisis

It's horrible, not knowing what you're going to do with your life. 

Since I was around 9, whenever anyone asked me, 'What's your ambition?', I always answered, 'To be an author'. There was no hesitation, no uncertainty, no hint of a creeping doubt back then. It's what I love; writing. I wanted to be a writer when I grew up.

The ambition clung on even when it was time to pick my subject stream when I entered secondary (high) school. I always knew I'd never choose the Business stream - the last thing I ever want, even now, is a desk job. I chose Science instead (for the knowledge) and Literature in English as the optional subject, because I assumed it'd help to expand my horizons with regards to writing. True, it did. But then, I was faced with reality.

My English is decent, insha Allah, but I suck on an epic scale when it comes to writing in Dhivehi (my native tongue). And here, for Maldivian writers, it's Dhivehi books that sell for them. Reality slap number one.

The book publishing system here, with all due respect, fails. For writers, that is. Here, you sell the copyright to some agency for a sum and that's all you're getting. A thousand people might buy your book, but the writer doesn't get a single penny from the gross. It all goes to the shops and the publisher. Reality slap number two.

My family is not rich. And due to certain circumstances, I'm the one whose gotta earn enough to support my parents when the day comes. I can't make that kind of money by writing. I considered doing photography 'cause I love it, but again, it's not a profession that gets you far in Maldives. Fashion photography, maybe, but I goggle nature, not skinny models in skimpy clothes. Reality slap number three.

When it was finally time to start my Degree, I decided on teaching because people and kids I've tutored tell me I'm good at it and I find it pretty satisfying (and it pays pretty well). University is hard - and can be irritating if you land with a lecturer that makes you wanna bang your head on the table - but overall, I really do love it. But it's overwhelming for me sometimes when I consider the future. If I officially attend a school as a teacher, it's bye-bye-free-time (and I'm someone that really values personal time. Why else would I procrastinate so much?) Second option is to just become a home tutor; that might bag me some free time, but would I make as much money that way? The thought is worrying.

Perhaps worst of all is that, somewhere deep inside, I want so much just to WRITE, with a little photography thrown in. People have told me I could write on the side while teaching, but lately, I've come to realise that most of my original fictions feature concepts ... not really that acceptable to Maldivian society. Sure, there are open-minded people, but even I myself find what I write weird sometimes. And, this is sad, but the majority of my people have a thing where they don't like new stuff. They stick with the old - which is why our film industry sucks for me; they do the same old storyline, retold in a cheesier, cornier way, because that's "what the masses connect with" - and brush aside new, alien ideas. And ... I just don't know ...

I'm still set on teaching, but it hurts when those moments come when I feel all uncertain and insecure and become afraid that I might regret the choices I've made. But I need to take reality into account and the path that is guaranteed, because due to my family situation right now, I can't afford the luxury of "trying something new" or "take a leap of faith" and do what I wanna do. I have my family I need to support and I don't ever want to let my parents down. They'd tell me to do what I want, but I know all too well that that wouldn't yield any satisfactory results, financial and realistic-wise. Not here, anyway.

I can deal with it. I can cling onto writing by immersing myself in fanfiction when I can, but it still feels horrible, wanting to walk down different paths at the same time. And lately I've been getting afraid that, due to these different wants and uncertainties, I might not find any path at all to walk on. That I might fail my family in the end. And that's just terrifying ...