It was so quiet.
The world is asleep but me. Having a moment of solitude and quietness is all the reason for staying awake. The flooring in my new place is no longer made of wood; it’s pieces of tiles with the engraving of wood grains. When I wake up in the morning and my feet touch the floor, a sensation of cold and hard sent through. So, I bought a mat that is of the size of a small writing desk. It’s in muted yellow with a brown hue, and reminds me of a paddy field under sunset, the hair of le petit prince and the CD cover of《Parachutes》. The shade is warm and goes well with the deep greyish blue armchair by the window – a quiet palette. I put the mat by my bed. When I get off from bed, I can touch the softness of the world, for a fleeting second.
Ambling down to the kitchen, I want to drink something. I pour myself half a glass of water and drink it off. It doesn’t feel right for the moment. A few spots of light dotted across the dark night beyond the kitchen window. I stand by the stove and help myself with a bit of whiskey, using that empty water glass. The aroma of fruit, vanilla and oak lingers in the mouth, while leaving a trail of burning sensation in the throat after the liquid glides down. How relieving. I couldn’t help but giving a deep exhale. Staring into the dark outside, I’m not really looking at anything, yet, the dark night sends me on a journey drifting in the universe, letting the unknown gravitational force draw out my memory and thoughts. Fallen into the abyss between consciousness and subconsciousness, I sit on the countertop talking to you, who is standing right in front of me, over matters of spatial time and relativity, why would Johnny Walker need to collect souls of cats, what is it about when the screws in Naoko’s head come loose and pop off, how could synchronicity bring us closer, and, I tell you I would like to go to a place not found, go deep into the woods and never return.
The void of darkness takes all of my trackless thoughts without a word, becoming a tune of frequency in the universe. It stays in spacetime and turns into its perpetuity.
I want to eat something sweet.
After checking out the fridge and cabinet, I take a block of butter, chop up the long-forgotten, expired dark chocolate bar, and melt them over a double-boiler. I grind a handful of deep-roast coffee beans and add it to the mix of sugar-free cocoa powder and flour. After whacking up some eggs and brown sugar into the colour of my mat in bedroom, I pour the chocolate and butter mixture into it. Feel like something is missing. I grind a pod of cardamom into the chocolate batter, grab the bottle of whiskey and give a generous drizzle in the mixture. Almost there. I mix everything well and pop it into a preheated oven. I stand by the oven and watch over the chocolate brownie. Chocolate Brownie – sweet and dear, sounds like someone’s name. The aroma from baking reminds of me the hand-rolling tobacco that my friend smokes. It’s caramelly, fruity and chocolaty. I always wonder how it tastes like. At this moment, I feel I need a cigarette between my index and middle finger. I tried to pick it up, but I just couldn’t learn to smoke. What does adulthood actually taste like?
Thank you, solitude in the dark.
無糖可可粉 ½ 杯
小豆蔻莢 5個或小豆蔻粉1/2 茶匙 （若不喜歡香料可省去這材料）
- 在一個5吋 x 8吋的焗盤上舖上牛油紙。焗爐預熱至180°C。
Whiskey Dark Chocolate Brownie
Unsalted butter 150g
Semi-sweet chocolate 200g
Vanilla essence 2 teaspoon
Whiskey ½ cup
Sea salt ½ teaspoon
Pink Himalayan salt To your liking
Medium egg 3 pieces
Brown sugar 1 cup
Sugar-free cocoa powder ½ cup
Espresso coffee powder ¼ cup
All-purpose flour ¾ cup
Cardamom pods 5 or ½ teaspoon of cardamom powder (skip it if you do not like the spice)
- Line a 5” x 8” tray with parchment paper. Preheat oven to 180°C.
- Cut the butter and chocolate into pieces, put them into a metal bowl, and place it over a simmering pot of water. Keep stirring till all melted and combined. Set aside.
- Whisk the eggs and sugar until it turns fluffy. Add salt, vanilla essence.
- In 2 batches, mix the chocolate and butter and mixture into the egg mixture. Add whiskey and gently mix well.
- Remove the cardamom pods and grind the seeds until you get ½ teaspoon of the spice.
- Mix the flours, cocoa powder, coffee powder and cardamom powder in a bowl.
- Fold in the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients in 3 batches.
- Pour the batter into the tray. Gently even out the surface. Bake for 20 minutes.
- Let cool, cut it into pieces, and shave some pink Himalayan salt over it.
- Optional: Add a scoop of macadamia nuts ice cream, a sprinkle of toasted macadamia nuts and top off with a drizzle of whiskey over a piece of warm brownie.
It’s raining outside, crisp and bleak. Three chubby sparrows took shelter on my balcony and I gave them the baguette bits left on my breakfast plate but they flew away. I stayed in, played Damien Rice on vinyl and made apple crumble. Repeat.