Ending the evening with decadence; Sims 4 meals complete
The Sims 4 has been letting people live out their fantasy lives in the Sims world for about two years now. The big advancement at the time was the emotional state playing a larger role in the game.
New traits played up on those emotions, and while many critics felt the release was limited in scope, Electronic Arts has attempted to add new features through game patches and expansion and game packs.
One such game pack is Dine Out, appealing to one of the base emotions everyone has – hunger. Not only can Sims go out on a dinner date, but entrepreneurial players can even open up their own restaurants.
The game designers looked toward molecular gastronomy to create fanciful and outlandish dishes for the Sims to enjoy or create. Molecular cuisine uses scientific methods to create meals by incorporating high tech equipment and the deconstruction of food elements into new and creative presentations.
The game pack includes 20 such dishes, broken down into appetizers, main courses and desserts. There are vegetarian options for those who wish to go that route.
As I scanned this list and the corresponding pictures, I was struck by how fanciful the name of the dishes had become and the flourish with which they were served. Could I, with no high-tech gadgets or chemical compounds, create something that could rival such delicacies?
The challenge was issued.
We’ve enjoyed some appetizers and a delicious main course. What better way to top it off than with a fabulous dessert that can be shared by your Sims couple?
The Sims 4 Dine Out pack had three desserts on their list of dishes. Two of them involved chocolate and the third was a vertical berry cake that looked good, but had me confused about its composition.
Let me state up front that desserts are not my forte. I like to tinker with my dishes as they come together. Doing that with a cake or pie is just asking for trouble.
Instead, I decided on the crystallized coco blocks and the vanilla sea shells and chocolate caviar.
The coco block looked exactly like that – squares of delicate and crunchy chocolate. Not having any liquid nitrogen in the house (I really must remedy that), I decided on using an egg white matrix to make chocolate meringues, a light and airy confection.
While the ingredients are few and the assembly relatively easy, it does take more than four hours to completion. The inside of the dessert must dry out to achieve the stability for the egg white matrix.
· 3 egg whites
· ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
· ¾ cup superfine sugar
· 1 teaspoon vanilla
· 4 tablespoons of Dutch process cocoa
Put it together:
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees. In a large bowl, let the egg whites come to room temperature, then beat them with an electric mixer (about medium speed) until they get bubbly. While the mixer is still running, sprinkle in the cream of tartar and add the sugar 1 tablespoon at a time.
Whip it up until it nearly resembles whipped cream. Reduce the mixer speed and add the vanilla and cocoa until everything comes together.
Use a spatula or large spoon to gently move the mixture into a pastry bag or Ziploc bag with the tip cut off. Attach a star tip decorating tip and pipe the mixture onto a baking sheet covered with parchment paper.
Give them a little room in case some decide to spread, but they should hold their shape pretty well. Bake those in the oven for two hours (!), then turn off the heat, leaving the sheet in the oven for another two hours (!).
Do not open the oven. Do not peek inside the oven. Keep the heat trapped inside so it can do a thorough job of giving the cookies their stability.
As Alton Brown has said many times, “Your patience will be rewarded.”
For the vanilla sea shells and chocolate caviar, I did not take those titles literally and decided to use a very thin vanilla cookie as the shell, whipped cream as the sea foam, and chocolate covered coffee beans as the caviar.
Place a generous dollop of whipped cream on the plate. Take the cookie, known, as a pizzelle, an almost waffle-like cookie, and break it into thirds. Stand those up around the edge of the whipped cream.
Inside the “shell,” place several of the chocolate covered coffee beans, the caviar, on the whipped cream. It is that simple.
Both desserts can be shared and sampled between the Sims diners. It makes a nice way to end the evening out at the new restaurants available in the game pack.
Their presentations of all the food are meant to excite the eyes and entice the nose. Hopefully, my dishes will appeal to their pallet and their stomach.