brown butter sponge. cider. ice cream.
Perhaps you recognize the format (three supporting ingredients. all lower case. all followed by a period.) and know that this week’s Sexy Feast is about to feature Spur Gastropub. The dish is an “Apples & Caramel” dessert, and like just about all of Spur’s dishes, it’s got a lot going on.
Truth is, at Spur, I generally have to ask the server several times to explain the dishes, as they rapidly rattle off ingredients and techniques that make it sound like there’s a chemistry lab in back instead of a kitchen. (If I caught it all, this dish has brown butter sponge cake, caramel apple ice cream, compressed apples, Normandy cider gelee, freeze-dried caramel, caramel sauce, and little sprigs of sorrel.) The menu listings look simple. But the flavors are complex, the visual presentations stunning, and the overall outcome stellar. Apples & Caramel is no different.
So what does Spur’s Apples & Caramel teach us about sex?
It’s all about temperature and technique.
Chefs Brian McCracken and Dana Tough play with all kinds of elements in their cooking, including temperature. Temperature variations affects texture–a sensual part of both food and sex.
One of the secrets to success of Apples & Caramel is that the sponge cake is cooked fast (blasts in the microwave, if you want to know), which prevents it from falling.
The coolness of the ice cream offsets the warmth of the cake, resulting in balance and pleasure.
For your sexual pleasure, temperature is important. Get your room right. No need to be shivering or sweating–unless that’s coming from sheer delight. Similarly, get your body temperature right. Cold hands can give your partner cold feet about going further.
To make matters more erotic, consider temperature in your sex play. For example, some salivate over the thought of a hot, dripping candle, while others want that drip to come from a cold ice cube.
Specific to oral sex, there’s the technique of alternating sips from cups of hot tea and ice water between licking, nibbling, and sucking your partner’s genitals. Or the “curiously strong” sensation that results from putting cool crème de menthe or Altoids in your warm mouth while pleasing your partner.
Pay attention to temperature and technique, as McCracken and Tough do in their cooking. By doing so, you’ll learn that, like Spur:
sex. is. delicious.
First published in Seattle Weekly’s Voracious on March 10, 2011.