Why must we always play fair? Sometimes you want to overtake, maybe even eliminate, the competition. Life is a battle, and someone has to win, so it may as well be you. Rivalry can push us to discover our potential, or it can steer us down some destructive paths. Recipe for these financiers below the story! I like them plain, but maybe you like them jazzed up. Care to be rivals? Let’s bake!!
Butter Makes It Better
William felt himself to be quite bougie when it came to watching movies. While his girlfriend, Margot, went to those small boxy cinemas and watched films, he knew the real deal was at the AMC Empire Multiplex.
Twenty-five screens. Reclining seats with tray tables and cup holders. Coca-Cola freestyle. Dolby surround sound. Truly, heaven on earth.
Third Thursdays of every month was girl’s-night-out for Margot. While she was out, probably at a wine bar, he’d pick a movie to enjoy by himself. The more thrilling, the better. Kicking his feet up with a large tub of popcorn (extra butter!), he’d get lost in the action. Two hours of perfect entertainment, unless someone was texting on their phone, laughing too loud, or letting their kid cry. He punished these violators by glaring at them. Nice long stares, usually at the back of their heads. Having already been pulled out of the movie moment, he’d shift and check back in the violator’s direction every so often, just to make sure they had shaped up. More often than not, they continued their bad behavior, and he’d get home and give the same report to Margot while she rolled her eyes:
“The movie would have been better had certain people stayed home and waited for the DVD release.”
This Thursday movie night, William had arrived late to the theater. He had been having a bad day (or possibly a bad year). Hopefully Thor would hammer out his stress.
The previews were winding down as he cradled his popcorn and walked up the stadium steps in search of an empty seat. It was packed. In that beat before the feature begins, when it all goes dark and quiet, were the sounds of slurps and the crinkle of candy wrappers.. He found a recliner, five seats in on the back row, and shimmied past four sets of knees. Because no one was behind him, he took his time to remove his jacket, fold it neatly, kick off his shoes, and organize himself. Like magic, as soon as he settled in, the movie started. He felt himself relax a little.
This good feeling didn’t last long. Within the first twenty minutes, the woman on his left grabbed a handful of popcorn from his tub. He had nestled the tub in the space between his left thigh and the armrest. He couldn’t believe the gall she had, and gave her his scowl, reserved for the worst perpetrators of movie etiquette cluelessness. The popcorn thief was actually quite cute. She smiled at him and seemed to silently be giggling. If he didn’t have Margot, and if he wasn’t so appalled, she was the kind of girl he would want to date. As it was, she was stealing from him, so tough luck for her.
He didn’t want to create a scene. The number one rule when watching a movie is to not talk. Silently, he moved the tub of popcorn to his lap and hugged it with both arms. A few minutes later, her hand reached in again, even digging around to get a better grip on the airy puffs. Her eyes were glued to the screen, and she didn’t look at him as she crammed the popcorn in her mouth, a few pieces falling into her lap. Did she think she could get away with this just because she was cute? Is this how she picked up men? He figured he could share, but she should at least be appreciative. She could’ve given him that silent giggly smile again, not just take and eat like a cow. This was unacceptable.
William shoveled popcorn in his mouth faster. No way would some woman steal his popcorn and enjoy more of it than he. The woman looked a little agitated now, and reached all the way across for her next handful. This time she leaned over, locking eyes with him as she gave a few chews before turning back to the screen. He had to squish back into his seat to avoid her buttery breath.
Her hand found the popcorn whenever she wanted it, wherever he put it. Handful by handful, they went at it. By the second half of the movie, he and the woman were fighting fist to fist. Her fist trying to edge the tub closer to her side, and his fist keeping the tub rooted to his lap.
The popcorn was almost done, and the movie was almost over. He had lost track of the plot and what exactly Thor was supposed to be fighting for, but it didn’t matter because he was winning the popcorn war. He had eaten much more than her.
To make a point that he had won the feud, he decided to gift her the last handful and placed the nearly empty cardboard tub on her tray table. He even gave her his best victory smile. In response, she got up and left before the credits could roll, dragging a complaining mini-version of her along, probably her little sister. Finally, with his opponent gone, he truly relaxed. A short post-credits bonus scene gave an unexpected thrill as he reveled in the knowledge that the woman had missed out.
It was only after the lights came on and he reached down for his belongings that he saw a big round oil stain on his jacket. Underneath it was a large full tub of popcorn, with extra butter.
Eat Your Emotions: Rivalry - FinanciersPrint This
- 225 g (2 sticks or 16 Tbsp) unsalted butter
- 8 egg whites
- 290 g (2.5 cups ) powdered sugar
- 100 g (3/4 cup + 1 scant Tbsp) all purpose flour
- 100 g (1 cup) almond flour
tips for success:
- make the batter one day before baking. resting it overnight is best.
- use a stainless steel pot or an enameled pot that is light colored. this will help you see the butter brown
- sift all the dry ingredients together.
- you can use a cupcake pan, or pretty individual shaped molds.
- brown the butter. in a small stainless steel pot, melt the butter on medium heat and bring to a simmer. the water will cook off and then the milk solids will start to brown. it may foam and splatter, so it is good to have a pot with high sides. stir with a heat proof spatula or wooden spoon. you will see little brown flecks appear and it will start to smell fragrant and nutty. transfer to a bowl to stop the cooking process. set aside to cool
- whisk the egg whites. just until frothy and the color is more white than yellow
- add dry ingredients. all the dry ingredients should be sifted together. you can add it in all at once. whisk it in until completely combined.
- pour in butter. while whisking, slowly stream in the butter.
- rest batter. cover the batter with plastic wrap, making sure the film is touching the surface of the batter. Chill at least 4 hours or overnight.
- butter your molds.
- preheat oven to 400 F
- fill molds (about halfway in a cupcake pan, or closer to the rim in smaller molds) and bake in oven about 12 minutes. they will be golden on the edges and dry on the tops.
- cool for 15 minutes then remove from molds. cool completely on wire racks.
- optional: dust with powdered sugar and decorate with cream and slivered almonds.