This is not your normal “adventures in cooking” post. Because this is the special Topin Wagglegammon edition of Adventures in Cooking! And for Topin Wagglegammon, we need something extra special, extra nifty, extra… ridiculous. We need… penguins.
You see, my friend Eric has an ice cube mold in the shape of a penguin, probably 6 inches high. And he has maple syrup. Thinking this over, he decided that these held all the makings of a special form of tire à l’erable. “What if,” thought Eric, “we could do tire à l’érable on ice penguins!”
Once the idea was born, it had to be seen to completion. The first attempt to heat the maple syrup (in a glass bowl double-boiler) failed, because I hadn’t thought to mention that double-boilers must use low heat, not high. Once we’d set aside the imploded glass bowl, we promptly started heating more maple syrup, because Eric is one of those wonderful people who plan for contingencies. A recipe told us we needed to heat it to 115 C. We got it to about 98 C when it started boiling, and then came a long, long waiting period as the water boiled off and the syrup got incrementally hotter.
At last, we could wait not longer. We brought out the hot maple syrup. We brought out the ice penguins. We poured the one on top of the other.
Now, tire is usually made over crushed ice, so that the syrup doesn’t fall off the ice before it hardens, as it might do off, say, the curved body of an ice penguin. But we are persistent! We are stubborn! We are undeterred by the laws of physics! And we continued in the face of all evidence!
Pouring maple syrup over ice penguins in such a way that it sticks long enough to harden is not a skill I think I’ll use often, but it is a skill I now possess. And I’m assured there are pictures of maple-covered (and slowly melting) ice penguins as proof. Until then, I’ll leave you with the visual image, which is probably much better than any picture I could think to post. And I’ll write again after my hands have stopped vibrating from the sugar high.