⟨ Food ⟩

An Ode to the Night, Into the Abyss of Nothingness

Whiskey Dark Chocolate Brownie

Words & photography / Jo

就這麼安靜。

全世界睡着了,就我一個人未眠。撐着清醒的腦袋,不過但求一刻獨自的空間與寧靜。自搬家以後,新居不再是木地板,而是一片片的木紋磚塊。早上起床,腳丫踏在地磚,好冷,也硬。後來買了一張小書桌大小的地氈,暗黃色的,帶啡褐色調,讓我想起日落下的麥穗田野、小王子的頭髮和《Parachutes》的唱片封套,是溫暖的顏色,與放在窗前的深灰藍色小沙發也很配,都是很安靜的色調。地氈放在床沿,從此醒來時可以腳踏在軟綿世界,縱使只是一刻。

走到廚房,想喝點甚麼。倒了半杯水,喝光,不對調。窗外黑夜映着幾點光,我挨着爐邊,給自己在剛才的水杯裡倒了點威士忌,水果、雲尼拿和橡木的香氣在口腔裡縈繞,滑下喉嚨後,留了一道炙熱的痕。好舒心,不禁深深呼出一口氣。深夜,是屬於一個人的。眼光落在窗外的黑,其實沒有在看甚麼,黑夜卻帶我在宇宙飄浮,回憶和思緒在不明的引力下一下子傾瀉流注。我在清醒與潛意識之間夾縫,坐在流理枱上與站着的你討論時空與相對論、談談為甚麼Johnny Walker要收集貓的靈魂、直子腦袋裡的螺絲嘠拉嘠拉的飛脫了是怎樣一回事、共時性如何把彼此拉近,然後,我告訴你我想去不存在的國度,在森林裡生活,不再回來。

黑夜虛空,接納我沒軌跡的思緒,也沒有評論甚麼。一切都不過成為宇宙裡的頻率,留在時空,成為永遠。

我想吃點甜。

打開雪櫃和廚櫃看看有甚麼後,我拿了牛油、砌碎被遺忘的過期黑朱古力,隔水溶掉。磨了把深焙咖啡豆,混在加了無糖可可粉的麵粉裡。雞蛋和黃糖發打成像我床邊那地氈的顏色,加入朱古力溶液混和。好像少了點甚麼。磨了些小荳蔻在在朱古力漿裡,再澆一圈手邊的威士忌,這樣差不多了。把一切混合好,放到預熱好的焗爐。我站在焗爐旁,守候朱古力布朗尼。朱古力布朗尼,唸起來像某人的名字,甜蜜又親䁥。烘焙的香氣讓我想起朋友的捲煙,那焦糖、水果和可可的煙絲味,令我很好奇是甚麼味道。此時覺得自己兩指間少了根煙。我嘗試過學抽煙,學不會。成年人的味道到底是怎樣呢。

謝謝,黑夜的孤寂。

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.

威士忌黑朱古力布朗尼

材料:
無鹽牛油 150克
黑朱古力 200克
雲尼拿香油 2茶匙
威士忌 半杯
海鹽 半茶匙
喜馬拉雅山粉紅岩鹽 適量
中型雞蛋 3隻
原黃糖 1杯
無糖可可粉 ½ 杯
意式咖啡粉 ¼杯
中筋麵粉 ¾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)

步驟:

  1. 在一個5吋 x 8吋的焗盤上舖上牛油紙。焗爐預熱至180°C。
  2. 牛油及朱古力切件,放入金屬大碗裡。大碗放在微微沸騰的水上,攪拌直至牛油和朱古力溶化並混和。備用。
  3. 發打雞蛋和糖至柔軟的蛋漿。加入海鹽和雲尼拿香油。
  4. 朱古力牛油溶液分兩次混入蛋漿,輕輕拌勻。
  5. 小豆蔻去莢取籽,磨成粉狀,約半茶匙分量。
  6. 在大碗裡拌勻麵粉、可可粉、咖啡粉和小豆蔻粉。
  7. 麵粉混合物分三次輕輕拌入朱古力漿。
  8. 麵糊倒入焗盤裡,稍稍抹平,焗20分鐘。
  9. 放涼後切件,刨上粉紅岩鹽。
  10. 隨心:給溫暖的布朗尼配上夏威夷果仁雪糕、烤過的夏威夷果仁碎和澆一點威士忌。

Whiskey Dark Chocolate Brownie

Ingredients:
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)

Steps:

    1. Line a 5” x 8” tray with parchment paper. Preheat oven to 180°C. 
    2. 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. 
    3. Whisk the eggs and sugar until it turns fluffy. Add salt, vanilla essence. 
    4. In 2 batches, mix the chocolate and butter and mixture into the egg mixture. Add whiskey and gently mix well. 
    5. Remove the cardamom pods and grind the seeds until you get ½ teaspoon of the spice.
    6. Mix the flours, cocoa powder, coffee powder and cardamom powder in a bowl. 
    7. Fold in the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients in 3 batches. 
    8. Pour the batter into the tray. Gently even out the surface. Bake for 20 minutes. 
    9. Let cool, cut it into pieces, and shave some pink Himalayan salt over it. 
    10. 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. 

Jo Liu

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.

Instagram: foodialoguehk