I have been a single lady for a while now and having been in a situation where:
a.) most of my friends are married and their partner’s friends are also paired up.
b.) I am not comfortable going to a bar or a pub to meet someone.
c.) no way am I going to look at work.
So what is a woman to do nowadays? Well, like most of the single, computer literates, I signed up on an online dating service.
What can I say about online dating? Well it’s a lot like ( from what I can remember ) going to the local meet-market ( read: bar/pub ) and seeing what talents are about. I remember going to a CBD bar with girlfriends ( before we got ground down ) to watch the action – being a city bar, you have the gangs of brokers clustered around the bar draining their boutique beers like there was no tomorrow, the IT techs lining the walls looking uncomfortable holding lemon-lime-&-bitters or a coke, the executive types with their bottles of wine in the cooler bucket lording over their gaggle of young ladies on the sofas, and the groups of women in their short skirts cruising like a school of barracuda trying to catch the eye of one of the brokers or the execs. Needless to say we usually have a very entertaining night just people watching and always go home alone after. Anyway I digressed…
Online dating – well, it’s a lot like that city bar, except no one seems to be too concerned about being on their best behaviour in cyberspace. There are a lot of profiles that seem too good to be true which usually is. There is also a feel of a supermarket about the whole thing where one need not settle for the first flavour one sees, not when there are many more shiny, sparkly choices to look at. I can only take so many rejections or rudeness from nameless strangers before I come to the conclusion that cutting off my own head, and bouncing it off a wall like Steve McQueen did with the ball in the Great Escape, is probably more fun. Oh well, good thing I actually don’t mind my own company.
Over the years I have also had a number of girlfriends going through the same experience and weepy moments have ensued from those encounters for the ladies involved. I have found one common panacea: Chocolate. ( Well, and alcohol, but my liver doesn’t appreciate it these days )
Chocolate is a fabulous, magical substance. It makes people, from the very young to the very old, happy when they eat it. It can be in the form of a truffle, a hot drink, a small cake exquisitely decorated in fondant and topped with a candied violet, or just a bar of Cadbury’s Dairy Milk. I use to visit a little chocolate shop in the Pitt St Mall once in a while for their Belgium chocolate truffles when I was feeling down. I didn’t have to get much from there, just 3-4 pieces. It could be dark chocolate hearts with a lemon fondant filling, a little white cornet filled with coffee cream, or a milk chocolate with a marzipan filled cherry. I slowly eat them over a couple of days, savouring each and enjoying every moment, feeling better about life and the world with each bite.
When I first started to bake, I would look up every single chocolate cake recipe I could find and imagine making a black forest torte or a massive 7 layer coconut chocolate cake with rich chocolate ganache between the layers. At one stage I got quite obsessed with making choux pastry, so eclairs and cream puffs drenched with a sauce of chocolate melted in hot cream regularly appeared. These days, I prefer something a little less labour intensive. It could be a chocolate mousse for one( or two if you are nice to me ), a chocolate cheesecake muffin or a Mars Bar slice or even a lovely little chocolate Bliss Ball.
I’d like to imagine that one day I will be that crazy old woman who wears all leather trailing a long Dr Who ( ala Tom Baker ) scarf eating chocolate mousse made for one. Awesome. 🙂
Elizabeth David’s Chocolate Mousse
This is a very easy chocolate mousse and very rich – I used the Black and Green dark chocolate with orange spice and it came out really dense.
30 gms good quality chocolate melted
1/2 teaspoon sugar ( optional )
Separate the egg, and stir the yolk into the melted chocolate.
Whip the egg white along with the sugar, if using, until stiff and glossy.
With a metal spoon, add a little of the egg white into the chocolate mix and stir until mixed through. Gently fold the rest of the egg white into the chocolate, using a figure 8 folding motion so not to deflate the whites.
When thoroughly mixed( don’t worry too much if there are small specks of white ), pour into small ramekins and chill in the fridge until set.
Serve with a dollop of whipped cream and strawberries if desired.
Chocolate Bliss Balls
I went through something like 10 vegan/raw food sites and ended up putting together a few recipes I found, tweaking as I went. Most of the sites were American and they tend to like their sweets a lot sweeter than I like it. So feel free to add Stevia, honey, maple syrup or any sweetening of your choice. I find that the dates are usually more than sweet enough. Sometimes I like adding dried blueberries, sour cherries or cranberry by rolling the truffle mix around a piece of fruit. Makes a nice little surprise in the middle. Dried mango, pineapple or kiwi would be lovely too.
1 cup raw nuts of choice ( I like a mix of almonds and cashews, but walnuts, pistachios, pecans or macadamias are also lovely! )
1/4 cup desiccated coconut
6-8 fresh dates
2 tablespoons raw cocoa or any unsweetened cocoa powder
Optional – melted coconut oil
extra desiccated coconut or cocoa powder for coating
Put the nuts, coconut, dates and cocoa into a processor bowl and blend. If the mix is too crumbly, add a tablespoon or two of the coconut oil, however if the dates are moist you probably won’t need the oil.
Then roll tablespoons of the mix into balls and coat in the extra coconut or cocoa. Place in fridge to firm up and then serve.
Store in the fridge.