Monday, November 11, 2013

Another World

This past weekend, I, a regular middle-class girl next door, went to another world.

I went to one of the most high end stores in Montreal... and I have never felt so out of place. I am very happy for everyone who appreciates and likes the "high end" scene but it's not for me.

The out-of-place feeling started when I was parking. My (very fabulous) sister works at the store and suggested I leave my car at the valet. I drove in and saw a few cars that may cost more than my house. I rolled up the window of my Toyota (yes, you read correctly. I have to manually roll my window up and down. I'm practically a cave person), stepped out of the car, gave my keys to the guy joking about the contrast between my car and the others he sees and ran inside. I ended up in a beautiful section where they had a stunning and festive display of chocolates, cookies, teas, coffee and giant books about fashion. They were all surrounded by glistening Christmas ornaments and some were meticulously tied with colorful ribbon. Perfect gift ideas.

My inner foodie and inner Martha Stewart were so excited at the site of all the different treats and decoration. However, I could not get in touch with my inner fashionista. I approached everything with such joy but my excitement quickly turned to confusion (and a bit of frustration) at the sight of the price tags.

I knew that the store was expensive but I can't wrap my head around an $11,000 coat, a $1000 hat or even a $100 (small) box of cookies. Are these cookies made out of unicorn magic and rainbows? It does not make ANY sense to me and even if I had all the money in the world, I would feel so guilty spending that much money on STUFF.

The cherry on top of my experience there was when a sales' girl approached me, politely showed a few items, saw me look at a price tag and abruptly walked away by saying "I have to go" and approached a woman who looked like she did not mind spending $3000 on a vest.

Of course, it's none of my business how people spend their money and I congratulate whoever can afford to shop at that store on all their cash (and I really wish I had that flexibility as well). That store sometimes just reminds me of all the beautiful things I can't afford. But, as beautiful as everything there is, I will stick to being grateful for what I have. 

Although my wallet wasn't satisfied, my taste buds were very satisfied with the rich and dense chocolate tart they had at their café. 

Here's my version of one.

Rich Chocolate-Honey Tart
(adapted by Giada's)

Ingredients

- 1/4 cup unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces, at room temperature, plus extra for coating the pan
- 10 graham crackers
- 3/4 cup heavy cream
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1 1/2 cups (12oz) semisweet chocolate chips

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350F.

2. Butter the bottom and sides of a 9-inch springform pan.

3. Place the graham crackers in a food processor and process until the mixture forms fine crumbs. Add the butter and pulse until incorporated. Press the crumb mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan. Bake for 12 minutes then cool to room temperature.

4. In a small saucepan, whisk the cream and honey together over low heat until the honey has dissolved. Increase the heat to medium and bring the mixture to just below a boil. Place the chocolate chips in a medium bowl. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and stir until the mixture is smooth. Pour the chocolate filling over the prepared crust. Refrigerate for at least 5 hours or preferably overnight.

5. Loosen the tart from the sides of the pan by running a thin metal spatula around the edge. Unmold the tart and transfer to a serving plate. Cut into wedges and serve.

                               





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