Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: DELICIOUS (02/04/16)
- TITLE: The Curse of the Forbidden Fruit Flan
By Christine Dunn
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ADD TO MY FAVORITES
Triple Chocolate Cheesecake
Mango and Passionfruit Meringue
I scour the tables in front of me, my mouth watering and wonder where to begin.
“You can try any of my cakes and desserts,” Maria indicates. “Just don’t touch the one under the silver cloche.”
I glance over to a table in the middle of the marquee, empty apart from one large shiny lid concealing some delightful dish.
“How did you pull all this together?” I ask. “It’s incredible!”
“Well, it’s my passion,” shrugs Maria. “I made it all for your pleasure!” With that she waves and disappears back into her pristine kitchen.
“What’s that?” I ask my husband, as he boorishly digs his spoon into a large bowl.
“Warm chocolate mousse cake,” Adam replies. “Try some. It’s divine!”
Try some I do, along with a few other of the sweet extravagances on offer. Adam goes left to try some maple and pecan biscuits, while I am drawn to the scent of a strawberry tart in the other
I look up as I cut a slice. A thin woman with slicked back hair and a snakeskin print dress is standing at the middle table. “Have you tried this one?”
My mouth gapes open as she pulls the silver cloche from its concealed plate.
“Oh no – I can’t –“
The woman cackles loudly. “Maria said you can’t have any of it. Right? Strikes me as being a bit selfish. Who does she think she is? She just knows if you eat it, you’ll want her secret recipe and then you will be a wise and wonderful cook like her.” The snakeskin lady beckons me closer. “I mean, look at it. Who wouldn’t want to try something so delectable? And anyway, how’s she ever going to know?”
For the first time I allow myself to look at the forbidden dessert. It is a shiny, glazed flan with a selection of garden fruits – apples, apricots, blueberries and raspberries. I lick my lips, then quickly shake my head. Before I can say anything more, a plate is thrust into my hand with a pastry fork. It is a very tiny sliver. So tiny, one mightn’t even notice it was missing. The first taste of that mix of fruity flan and creamy custard melts in my mouth. This is the nicest dessert yet.
“Adam!” I catch my husband’s eye at the other side of the tent. “You have to have a piece of this!”
Adam bites his lip as he realises what he is about to eat. Miss Snakeskin hands him a slice. “But Evie, didn’t Maria say….” He studies the beautiful creation on his plate.
While Adam enjoys his flan, I help myself to another slice, joined by my sleeked accomplice in her printed dress. We laugh at the pleasant sensation on our tongues. Then the merriment stops. I look at the plate and realise that the entire flan has gone!
“Ladies and Gentlemen,” a booming voice announces over the speaker, “please put your hands together for Maria Macher, as she now unveils her piece de résistance, her surprise dessert!”
Snake lady seems to have vanished. “Quick, hide!” I whisper to Adam pulling him under the table. I can see Maria’s spotless shoes from under the tablecloth as she gives a brief and humble speech about the joy that fills her heart each time she creates a new recipe. The selection of sweet treats churn around in my tummy.
“The dessert I am about to reveal is to be auctioned today.” Maria declares. “The proceeds will go towards the building of Kigale Orphanage.”
I feel really sick now. I hear the clink of the metal cloche. Gasps. Silence. My stomach grumbles with the decibels of concorde taking off. The tablecloth is whisked off the table.
“Could someone tell me what’s going on? Maria gently asks.
I have never felt so guilty.
“It - it was her!” Adam points his shaking, sticky finger at me.
I frantically search the crowd until I spy the snaky server. “No! It was her!”
The crowd gasps again. “Isn’t that Sylvia, Maria’s old assistant who got jealous of her?” someone comments.
“I just wanted to make you all happy,” Maria compassionately explains. “I trusted you but you have disappointed me. I'm going to have to ask you to leave.”
Before I can even apologise, two burly bodyguards approach us.
“Mike and Gabriel, please make sure they don’t return.”
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