This morning I decided to teach N how to make something different for dessert. She usually makes either kheer or halwa. Rice kheer, vermicelli kheer, this kheer that kheer. We were all fed up of kheer. So I thought I'd teach her a chocolate souffle. We got all the ingredients together and then proceeded to put them together. I think it was as much of a breathtaking experience for her as it was for me when I saw 'Breathless' for the first time.
First of all Jean Paul Belmondo, and then those jump cuts! There we were, as students, trying to piece shots together, in continuity exercises , to make some order out of the disorder of life and then Godard turns it all on its head and us with it.This had the effect of making some film students think they had no need for the tried and tested forms of the cinematic language. They gave up, then and there, the effort of making sense; with the result that some never ever did. Jump cuts are now part of history, like morphing , and are used all the time in even the most ordinary films. They has become part of the language. You don't think twice if the hero is present in one scene one minute and in an entirely different one the next.Viewers are visually sophisticated enough to fill in the blanks of the story, to figure out why our hero has moved and even perhaps how he has moved from one to the other.They don't question the lack of continuity in space or even of time in cinema anymore.The visual world has expanded and grown so rapidly and with it our perceptions and understanding of it.
But that first time, even though it was a good two decades after the film had been made (so starved were we of new visual material in this part of the world) , -we were winded when we left the dark old Prabhat theatre and walked into the bright sunshine , all silent with astonishment after being exposed to such a fresh talent as Godard's. I will never forget it.
N must have felt the same with the chocolate souffle she made. I explained to her, as best as I could the meaning of souffle...and found she got it immediately when I acted it out. Like the yoga pranayam "sheetali.To fill with (cool) air.
Unfortunately she gave the whole mixture a jolly good stir, while it was setting, in what she thought was a a smart way to prevent the gelatine from gradually falling to the bottom, and when I returned it was absolutely 'A Bout de Souffle'.
Oh well. We will try again tomorrow.
PS: And heeeeeere's the recipe:
Chocolate Souffle Attempt 2.
1 tbsp sugar 4 tbsp water 2 eggs
3 tbs cocoa
2 tbsp butter
200 gms sweetened condensed / evaporated milk
3/4 tbsp plain gelatine
2 tbsp warm water
Heat water and add sugar. Mix till combined. Seperate the yolk from the white of the eggs. Beat the yolks and then add the sugar syrup.Now add the condensed milk to the egg yolk mixture and stir well. In a double boiler melt the butter and add the cocoa powder. Mix well. Do not let the cocoa burn. (You can also use 75 gms of dark chocolate instead.)Add to the egg yolk and milk. Stir well. Melt the gelatine in two tablespoons of warm water and add to the mixture. Last of all beat the egg whites and gently fold into the whole. Set in fridge. Do not stir.