Chocolate makes everything better, even mono

When you’re 26-years-old, there are certain  things you anticipate. Working long hours because you’re still the young one at your office. Or, going to happy hour on Friday night with your friends to celebrate the end of the work week.

You do not expect to get mononucleosis.

Yep, that’s right, I have mono. I didn’t get it as a high school or college student, but for some reason, I have it now. I actually started laughing when the doctor’s office called to tell me.

So, Friday, I went to the store and gathered some essentials. Soup, tea, bananas, ice cream (it’s pretty much the only thing that makes my throat feel ok right now) and made myself comfy on the couch. I rented The Deathly Hallows, part 1, on iTunes and dove into Jane Eyre (book club pick for the month).

But this afternoon, after watching the Godfather the whole way through for the first time, I snapped. I couldn’t sit or lie down anymore, even though I can normally sit for hours reading. I had to do something. I haven’t had the extreme tiredness a lot of people get, but the doctor’s office basically just told me to sleep and drink fluids.

So, I drank plenty of water and made mini chocolate souffles for the first time in my life. Is this not normal behavior?

I found the recipe in my copy of “Lunch in Paris,” a funny read about an American woman’s life after she falls in love with a man from France and decides to relocate to the City of Light. I highly recommend it.

Ingredients: Butter and sugar to coat the molds, 7 1/4 oz bittersweet chocolate, 2 tbsp espresso, 5 eggs, separated, 1/2 cup sugar, 1 tbsp flour (omit if you are making mini souffles, which I was), pinch of salt.


Directions: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and lightly butter and sugar 6 ramekins (I only had four, so I had to do this in parts). Melt the chocolate with the coffee and let cool. (Also, I recommend melting chocolate in a pot, not in the microwave. I may have accidentally burned some plastic ware before.) Separate the eggs — whites into a large mixing bowl, yolks into a medium mixing bowl.

Whisk together the yolks and 1/2 cup sugar until the mixture is a light lemon yellow.

Pour the melted chocolate into the egg yolks and whisk to combine, so it will be quite thick. In large bowl, beat egg whites with pink of salt until they hold a stiff peak. ( I didn’t really know what that meant, so I just beat them for a while with the whisk)

Gently fold a third of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture to lighten it. Then add the chocolate mixture back into the remaining egg whites, folding gently to combine.

Pour the batter into the ramekins and bake for about 14 minutes. They should be jiggly, but not raw on top.

*Tip from author Elizabeth Bard: If you wait until they are stiff and springy on top, they will be overcooked underneath.

Serve With: I had peppermint ice cream on hand, so clearly this was going to be eaten a la mode.

How Was It: Chocolate makes everything better, even mono.

You’re supposed to eat them right out of the oven, but as I did not plan to eat a whole chocolate cake today, I will be eating the rest cold. 🙂

Now, back to the couch and Jane Eyre.


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