It has been awhile. I actually started getting crazy hours at work, so I was pretty well occupied! But now it's slowing down and I've got things to do!
So I've mentioned before the Game of Thrones costume party that I'm hosting (in less than a week!). But the party is not just going to be about the costumes. Martin is meticulous in his descriptions of food throughout the series, so the costume party is also a dinner party.
One of the desserts we have planned is Tyroshi honeyfingers. Tyrosh is one of the Nine Free Cities in A Song of Ice and Fire, and the exile princess Daenerys Targaryen spent time there during her childhood while running from the Usurper, Robert Baratheon.
I found the recipe on this fantastic blog, Inn at the Crossroads, which recreates the meals and foods described by Martin in great detail in the books. The recipe for the Tyroshi honeyfingers is here.
I used the modern recipe as opposed to the Roman one. Gotta love Roma, but they just didn't look as appetizing. So anyway, I started with the modern syrup. The ingredients were:
"Combine all ingredients in a saucepan and gradually boil until it thickens slightly." I ended up having not enough honey, and I couldn't find cardamom seeds at the grocery store. This proved to be a mortal error. The honey was overwhelmed by the water, and my guess (hope) is that the cardamom seeds are some kind of thickening agent. I don't know how thick the syrup was supposed to get, but it remained thinner than pure honey. It was also really, really sweet; too sweet for me. I think that was the clove. So for the purposes of the party, I will either let someone who has more experience with syrups and sauces make it, or we'll stick with plain old honey.
The batter was easier.
Minus the part where the measurements were not in what's on my measuring cups, haha. Google fixed that, though. Instructions: "Combine dry ingredients in a bowl, then add wet ingredients. Cover with clingfilm and allow to rise for two hours."
I ended up watching the HP7.1 during those two hours, but that movie is longer than two hours, and I ran out of time before I had to go see HP7.2. I had to put the batter in the fridge overnight. It didn't hurt it, but I had to add two tablespoons of flour to soak up the yeast juice that continued to ooze.
Anyway, this morning I was ready to fry.
I got a big frying pan and poured 1" of vegetable oil in, as per the instructions. The cooks from IatCR recommended using a bag to pipe lines of batter in the oil to achieve a finger-like shape, so I'd bought a cheapie cake icing bag at Giant. The batter, however, is much runnier than icing tends to be, and it was determined to come out both ends. I ended up losing a lot of batter to the sink. Instead, I decided to use a regular old Ziploc bag, as per my childhood cake decorating. This was not entirely successful, though--the bag I had was a special Ziploc bag whose bottom expands to that it can be sat upright. Nice for storage, less nice for cutting a corner off for piping. I kept it pretty narrow by squeezing it as I piped, but I still ended up with honeythumbs instead of honeyfingers.
Next time, I'll just use a regular four-corner sandwich bag. Anyway. "Place the oil on high heat until hot, then turn heat back to medium." On my stove, after turning it down to medium, I turned it back up to medium-hot. My first two fingers burned because the oil was so hot, but when it got down to medium they took a long time to turn golden-brown. Somewhere in between worked nicely.
I dumped the syrup because I couldn't stomach it, and since I was out of honey, I dusted mine with powdered sugar and at them like carnival funnel cakes. They were delicious! You can even throw some maple syrup on them. The taste is reminiscent of a crisp Belgian waffle. And the nice thing is that even though they're fried, they're fried in oil, not fat, so it's not as...fattening.