Important instructions

Ormstown, 25 March

Put away your duct tape. No use for that here.

The two-cheek kiss

Common to Greek and Montréal culture (and dozens more, I'm sure), the two cheek kiss can be a little confusing for some (it was to me). Like the ever-useful “bonjour” and “salut”, means “hello” or “goodbye”. Fine for both in one meeting, really. This is a social kiss and is approved for all audiences. You can, in civilized places, kiss someone else’s significant other in front of them without aggrieving anyone.

Typically, one participant will offer a cheek. The other participant smiles, clasps them somehow, kisses that one. That participant moves back (your shoulders should move, your waist and feet should stay put), somewhere between faces not touching and fleeting eye contact, then plant a peck squarely on the other.

The participants in a two-cheek kiss are different, but equal. They probably were without the kiss, too! One person (usually the initiator) will wind up kissing the air, whereas the other person actually kisses cheek. This is OK. Try, with a really understanding friend sometime, a simultaneous, reciprocal cheek kiss. Good luck. Now try rolling from I-kiss-your-cheek to you-kiss-my-cheek. Realize that your article-writing servant is not the one to perform surgery or even pin things to you, but also that it’s simpler to have two cheeks of one person get kissed.

The flour-free chocolate cake

Properly called a torte according to some.

Preheat oven to 425°F; have a buttered and lightly floured springform pan at the ready.
Combine in double boiler:
½ pound butter
8 oz. unsweetened baking chocolate
Pour into a good-sized mixing bowl and mix in:
8 egg yolks
1¼ cups white sugar
Mix until homogeneous. Mix some more to be sure.
Make sure the oven is fully preheated by now. Wait until it is if it isn't quite: delay = fallen or dried-out cake = failure! Beat until they form slightly floppy peaks when beater is removed:
5 egg whites
Save the other three whites for that healthy yolk-free omelette you'll be craving... or see if the cat will eat them. From now until popping the cake in the oven, work fairly quickly or your leavening agent goes flat.
Beat into the chocolate mixture:
half the egg whites
Fold gently into the chocolate mixture:
remaining egg whites
Pour two thirds of the resulting batter into the prepared pan, bake 60-75 minutes (until a knife inserted in the centre comes out clean). The rest of the batter (henceforth referred to as icing) is bound for the fridge. Before the fridge, though, you might consider adding:
1 tablespoon instant coffee (which you shall not use ever to actually make coffee)
1-2 tablespoons liqueur of some sort (almond, orange and coffee liqueurs work well)
When the cake comes out and is done, cool briefly in the pan, pop off the pan (a sharp knife can help here), cool completely on a wire rack.
Apply icing (aka rest of batter) followed by a dusting of:
1 tablespoon cocoa (Dutch if you must, but the darker, richer French stuff is better)
1 tablespoon icing sugar
Serves 8-12, even if some of them take seconds. Serve with good vanilla ice cream and strong black coffee.