16 May 2006

Chocolate Art

No, we aren’t really talking about cuisine or fine dining or any of the culinary arts.

But I will pass along a recipe that I include among those arts and it’s yummy and it’s relevant to my art idea today. It’s at the end of the post.

So one afternoon, I made a chocolate desert and let my daughter have one of the mixing bowls. This is one of those childhood indulgences that I thought she ought to have access to, but she soon found a different use for the chocolate.

And she isn’t alone. Lots of artists have worked with chocolate, which is a phenomenon I can’t fully explain. Among them are Janine Antoni who made this piece called Chocolate Gnaw in 1992

and Vic Muniz who I wrote about back in January for his sugar art. He’s also done marvelous things with chocolate syrup. Here’s an example from 1999

Antoni’s huge hunk of gnawed-away chocolate deserves more attention than this, and I guess Muniz’s work could also use some more explication. But I'd rather have some chocolate. If you'd like to join me, here’s the recipe that became the medium of my daughter’s creativity.

Inspirational Chocolate Dessert *
4oz. semisweet chocolate
½ cup heavy cream
3 egg yolks
5 egg whites
3 tbsp granulated sugar

Line a jelly roll pan with foil, butter it, and turn the oven on to 425 F.

Roughly chop the chocolate and melt it together with the cream in a small-ish sauce pan, stirring constantly.
Remove from heat and add the egg yolks one at a time, combining thoroughly after each one.
Return the pan to low heat for a few minutes, stirring all the while to cook the yolks.

Beat the whites with a handheld mixer for a few minutes until they are fluffy but not firm. Add the sugar, and continue beating until stiff peaks form.

Fold the chocolate and beaten egg whites together.
Spread evenly in the jelly roll pan, and bake for about 20 minutes.

Remove from oven. Cover with a tea towel, and invert on a table or countertop. Place the pan to the side, and gently loosen the foil from the cake.

Allow to cool completely.
Cut away any crust that may have formed a the edges of the cake.
Spread with something ridiculously tasty, like peanut butter cream frosting (equal volumes peanut butter and real whipped cream, blended with enough confectioners’ sugar to give it the consistency and taste of frosting).
Roll it up and serve.

*yes, I named it all by my onesie.


Matthew said...

Personally, I favor "roll of deliciousness", but the inventor gets the rights.

katperkins said...

wow, sounds amazingly delicious. no wonder Stella wanted to preserve it in some way for posterity. I will have to try that recipe when I'm feeling decadent and don't want to restrain myself. I think that might be soon. Is Antoni's work just huge hunks of chocolate that's been hacked into?

Anonymous said...

Yum, yum, yum..... Grandpa Dan

Josh said...

yay!!! Mary Ann, I didn't know you had resumed posting. I assume you have finished your thesis, in which case, congratulations. I have some catching up to do.

Mary Ann said...

Antoni's Chocolate Gnaw is a huge hunk of chocolate that she has gnawed away. The other block you see in the image is a fat hunk of lard. She has done other things with lard, chocolate, soap, and other comparatively maliable things.

The Chocolate Gnaw works on a few interesting levels. First, its gently ridiculing minimalist sculptors (particularly donald judd). She's eroded their concept. It also gently laughs at modernism's addiction to the artist's expressive gesture. Furthermore, it embraces abject materials. Lard isn't noble. Chocolate isn't special. They are consumables, garbage. They aren't even really that durrable. Sculpture's other mediums (marble, iron, bronze, granite, etc.) generally are the opposite of chocolate and lard.

katperkins said...

Hmmmm. I really thought that white chunk was white chocolate, I never would have guessed it was lard. I really like those sculptures.