I’ve got an appetite for radio and not just in the metaphorical sense. My appetite is literal. In the same vein as the overused joke of “having a face for radio,” apparently I’ve got the stomach for it too. Since arriving at WHQR, I’ve been filled with constant indulges in local culture and news, but there’s a big part of the piece that doesn’t carry through to the airwaves.
On any given day, WHQR has food ready to go for public events, ranging from gallery receptions and piano recitals to live concerts and community socials. I open the fridge most days to find it full of Prosecco and wine that would make the most tasteful college fraternity drool. Perpetual surroundings of food must be the basis upon which WHQR has developed its culinary skills.
Some of your favorite hosts have abilities far beyond the microphone. To a self-proclaimed foodie like myself, walking into the kitchen is like Christmas morning where a giant loaf of homemade braided raisin bread poised for the taking and the statement of “don’t ask questions, just take the knife” is well understood in context. Other days a beckoning chocolate aroma leads you on a trail through the station to a flourless chocolate torte with salted caramel and white chocolate drizzle. Staff birthday parties benefit far more than the individual being celebrated (thanks for being born, y’all). I may claim three or four birthdays this year.
If you think I couldn’t possibly indulge any more, then you’re unaware of my determination when it comes to food. As a Wilmington newbie, I’ve been introduced to the list of underwriters who support the station for all local culture needs. I started knocking out visiting these local businesses on behalf of the station (read: for my own personal benefit). I’ve already been shot down for a rope swing out of Station Manager Cleve Callison’s window aimed at Port City Java to make this support even easier. Though I still think there’d be a great story on “Front Street Tarzan” and a subsequent “Front Street Tarzan Heals in New Hanover Hospital.”
For now, I’ll leave you with the recipe for our latest birthday celebration cake, made by our own Rachel Lewis Hilburn. Fair warning: if you make it, I may find you before you get a chance to eat it. Happy
Rachel Lewis Hilburn's Flourless Chocolate Torte (with Salted Caramel & White Chocolate Drizzle) via Ina Garten from her book, Make It Ahead.
- 1 pound plus 3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, such as Lindt, broken into chunks
- 10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into pieces, at room temperature
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon instant coffee granules
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 4 extra-large eggs, at room temperature, separated
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- Rachel's own additions: white chocolate chips, 1/4 cup heavy cream & salted caramel sauce
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
- Grease an 8-inch springform pan and line the bottom with parchment paper
- Place the one pound of chocolate in a large heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water and stir occasionally until the chocolate is melted. Off the heat, immediately stir in the butter, flour, sugar, coffee granules and salt with a rubber spatula. Whisk in the egg yolks until smooth.
- Place the egg whites in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and beat until they form soft peaks. Scrape the egg whites into the chocolate mixture and fold them in very carefully with a rubber spatula, just until combined. Scrape the mixture into the prepared pan, smooth the top and bake for 15 minutes exactly. (Be sure your oven temperature is accurate!)
- Turn the oven off and leave the cake in the oven, leaving the door slightly ajar. Allow the cake to cool in the oven for 1 hour. The cake will sink in the middle.
- Carefully release the sides of the pan and slide the cake onto a flat serving plate or cake stand. Place the 3 ounces of chocolate and the heavy cream in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water and heat just until the chocolate melts, stirring occasionally. Add a drop of cream if the mixture is too thick to pour. Pour the chocolate onto the sunken part of the cake, leaving the edge unfrosted.
- Melt white chocolate chips, stir in heavy cream. Drizzle over cake. Drizzle salted caramel goo over that...
- Make sure cake is at room temperature for serving.
- Then adopt a puppy from a shelter.