The dessert is some sort of chocolate concoction which I have yet to try, but the presentation involves the pastry chef sticking a cinnamon stick in the dessert, lighting it on fire, and then blowing it out, so that a hazy, super-fragrant cinnamon smoke hovers over the plate.
The reaction to this cinnamon incense is invariably one of delight, and it reminded me of how much we all seem to enjoy any food item which includes the use of flame.
BBQs are a prime example as are campfires: what pleasure we derive from building a massive fire and then throwing large hunks of food on it. And I think anyone who has ever tasted a steak or chicken breast, even a simple hamburger, hot dog or ear of corn, that has been cooked over an open flame will agree that everything cooked this way just tastes delicious.
S'mores are also always a great crowd-pleaser; who doesn't have memories involving those delicious, sticky melting marshmallows, or remember with a certain delight the moment at which your marshmallow suddenly caught fire?
How about Bananas Foster or Cherries Jubilee served tableside? People take pictures of cherries and bananas that have suddenly gone up in flame with oooohs and aaahhhs coming from every surrounding table.
And let's not forget about birthday candles: staring down at the cake while the candles shine up in our faces; trying to blow them all out at once. What about those candles that refuse to blow out? Sure, now we find them kind of annoying, but when they first came out, the squeals of surprise and joy all around the table...candles that won't blow out!!! Burning on my cake!!! Hooray!!!!
Good, clean, firey fun.
Since we have such fun lighting our food on fire, how about our beverages?
There is a whole catalogue of flaming drinks recipes out there, and I thought to celebrate St. Patrick's Day, we might share some of these toasty treats with each other.
I found the following recipes on drinknation.com
A note on flaming drinks: be careful!!! Don't let the drink burn too long; close any open bottles of alcohol before lighting the drink; don't add alcohol to the glass once the drink is on fire; never, never drink the drink while it is on fire, blow it out first!!!
1/2 ounce Irish Cream
1 tsp. 151 proof rum
Layer Kahlua, then Bailey's, then rum in a glass. Ignite. After a few seconds blow out flame and drink with a straw.
1/4 ounce Bailey's
1/2 ounce Butterscotch Schnapps
1/4 ounce Drambuie
2 pinches ground cinnamon
In a shot glass, layer first Bailey's followed by the schnapps and Drambuie. Ignite the Drambuie layer and while the flame is still burning, sprinkle the cinnamon into it. Apparently the cinnamon creates sparks! Blow out flame and enjoy.
1/4 ounce Amaretto
1/4 ounce Bailey's
1/4 ounce Kahlua
1/4 ounce coffee liqueur
splash of 151 proof rum
Mix all of the ingredients except the rum and pour in a shot glass. Top with rum and set alight. Blow out and drink.
Let me know if you try any of these, or if you have a favorite favorite flaming cocktail recipe of your own!