Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Chocolate Souffle

My first attempt at fiction ... I welcome feedback .

Slowly, she moved to the dark kitchen and stood aimlessly thinking what she wanted to do. Her mind was preoccupied. She searched her busy mind for the purpose. She moved her hands on the cool kitchen top which had been wiped clean. She reached for the light switch at the end of the kitchen counter. There was abundant natural sunlight inside the house. All the rooms of the house had big windows, so the house didn't need electric lights in the morning. But it was the opposite in the kitchen, the lone dark spot of the house. Once her eyes adjusted to yellowish light, it fell on the butter at the corner of the stove. Yes! She had wanted to bake a cake.

She scooped four tablespoons of butter into microwave bowl. She added 3/4th cup of semi sweet chocolate with butter. She put this into the microwave to melt and set 40 seconds on timer. They both had not been talking since yesterday. In-spite of this, he had bought all the ingredients for cake. He knew she couldn't bake cake alone. She needed help to crack open the egg. Besides, they had always baked cakes together. The microwave beep brought her back into action. He was roaming outside in the living room as if he was waiting for an invitation to come in to join her. And she needed him. "Would you crack these eggs for me?". He quickly washed his hands and joined her in the kitchen. He wiped his hands using the towel on his shoulders. A towel on his shoulder was something that she found very cute about him.

He separated 4 egg whites from egg yolks. He set on the electric mixer to whisk egg whites. They spoke nothing else, still holding onto their silence. She added 2/3rd cup caster sugar and a spoon of vanilla essence to the egg yolks. She whisked it for a couple of minutes until sugar is well blended with eggs. To this she added chocolate and butter mixture.

They had always baked cakes together. He would eagerly sit in front of oven and watch how the cake raises and browns on the top. She set the oven temperature to 220c and switched it on to preheat. He stood by and watched her delicately fold the egg white into the chocolate mixture. Using a large spatula she cut a path down the middle of the mixture with the edge of the spatula. She then gently turned half of the mixture over to the other half. She continued folding this way without stirring so as to retain the air that is in the beaten whites.

She drifted off again, to yesterday's incident. Something he did irked her very much that she had snapped at him. In retrospect it had been for a very silly reason, but she was not yet ready to talk for the fear that she might say something rude to him. During a fight he always fell silent, he never spoke rudely. But she always spoke her mind even when she was angry. That made matters worse and she had learned over years to hold back when angry. She didn't want it to turn into an ugly war of words. Its better to be silent and sleep over it for a couple of days. 

"I think its done" he said. He was right. The egg white meringue was thoroughly folded into chocolate batter. Together they scooped the batter into muffin molds. He slid the muffin mold into hot oven and stood watching in front of the oven, like he always does. He watched as the souffle raised. They both were comfortable with the silence. She got busy cleaning up the kitchen top, putting away dishes to wash. The smell of chocolate baking in the oven filled the kitchen. It was nostalgic. He began washing up the dishes. Both were lost in the noise - of buzzing oven, of clanking dishes, of running tap water and of their own thoughts.

They let souffle bake for 10-12 minutes till the top settled and browned a bit. Once out, they both dug in while souffle was still hot. He commented on how each souffle has turned out and she commented on what could be better next time. Together they ate their favourite dessert in the same cup. The fight was all forgotten, at-least, till there was chocolate in the cup.

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