Maybe even imagine Jane writing one of her stories sitting on a couch like this and penning these words....
During her lifetime, Austen's novels brought her little personal fame. Like many women writers, she chose to publish anonymously and it was only among members of the aristocracy that her authorship was an open secret. While Austen received some accolades for her works while still alive, with her first three novels garnering critical attention and increasing financial reward, it was not until after her death that her brother Henry revealed to the public that she was an author.
She is considered one of the greatest writers in English history, both by academics and the general public. There has been a seemingly endless stream of TV adaptations, films, books, and events devoted to the English novelist. One reason, of course, is that Austen is a great writer. She is a gifted stylist—concise, witty, ironic—and a master of the miniature. A realist, she is also ironic, funny, and wise. But Austen’s popularity can’t be chalked up to style alone. Her writings have universal themes and she is skilled at capturing the habits and customs of the times from the female point of view.
The recipe comes from Andrew Knowlton, editor of Bon Appetit magazine February 2013. I made espresso coffee by adding 1 tsp. espresso powder to 1/4 cup boiling water.
- ¾ cup chilled heavy cream
- 5 large egg at room temperature, separate whites from yolks
- 1/4 cup strong coffee or espresso at room temperature
- dash of salt
- 3 tsp. sugar
- 6 oz. of semi-sweet chocolate squares, chopped plus 2 squares of bittersweet chocolate (61-72% cacao)
- 4 large egg whites
- 1/8 tsp. creme of tartar
- 2 TB. Kahlua or Amaretto
- Beat 3/4 cup whip cream and refrigerate.
- Beat egg whites in a bowl with creme of tartar and 1 tsp. sugar-beat until firm peaks form, set aside.
- Combine egg yolks, coffee or espresso, salt and 2 tsp. sugar in a metal bowl. Whisk and set bowl in a larger pan of simmering water.
- Whisk constantly until mixture is lighter in color and has doubled in volume about 5-6 minutes.
- Remove bowl from water, stir in chopped chocolate pieces and whisk till blended.
- Add in Kahlua or Amaretto, blend well.
- Gently fold egg whites into whipped whip cream.
- Fold egg whites/whip cream mixtures into chocolate mixture.
- Top with crushed almonds or toasted coconut.
- Refrigerate until serving.