So I joined a yoga class. I mostly decided to do this because of my running. Runners tend to work the same muscles and tendons over and over until one day a mutinous subset decide they’re going on strike. It could be the foot, or the knee, or the hamstring; or, more likely, muscles and tendons and fascia you’ve never heard of before. Whatever the case may be, it usually involves days or possibly weeks of being sidelined. Runners do not like to be sidelined. They fret. They mope. They make themselves a nuisance to the easy-going, bright-eyed, happy-go-lucky types who come into their orbit.
Yoga works muscles that I haven’t used since 1978. It forces me into very silly poses. On the first day, everything about me screamed “Novice!” to the class. Ten minutes in, the instructor gently reminded “everyone” to remove their socks and I noticed that I was the only one who still had them on. In downward dog, which we must have done 20 times, my loose shirt billowed up toward my head, exposing far more of my “core” than I would have liked. But the poses stretch and strengthen and improve balance. So I go.
I think about balance a lot, mostly as it relates to work/family. And the “tree pose” (which in my case should be renamed “falling-tree” pose) forces me to work on balance, too. In baking, I tend to forget, especially when it comes to an ingredient I adore, like chocolate. Chocolate is good. More chocolate is even better.
This chocolate-crunched caramel tart recipe made more ganache than I could fit into the tart. What did I do? Well, I flooded the tart up to its tippy top, filling every available inch with chocolate ganache. And I’m struggling to say this, because it goes against my basic nature, but I think it was too… much… chocolate.
There, I said it. The amazingly delicious caramel and the addictive honey-roasted peanuts were fairly drowned by the deep layer of chocolate ganache, and the tart wasn’t well-balanced. It’s my own fault. I’m sure other wise and thoughtful Tuesdays with Dorie bakers froze their extra chocolate ganache for another use or whipped up a second gorgeous dessert on the spot. Not me. Apres moi, le deluge. So, if you make this lovely tart, by all means make the full batch of ganache, but set some aside for another worthy purpose, like eating it straight from a spoon. You’ll have a perfectly balanced tart (without the sweat-stained mats and pretzel poses).