Can I just say I ABSOLUTELY love Medieval Times!! No seriously, just ask the husband. It is one of my favorite places to go outside of my kitchen. I literally have been there over ten times (half with him) and love it more every time I go. From the clothing to the food and the sport, every aspect of this time period interest me.
Yes I know I am an adult, but I don’t care who judges me!!!!
That being said, I went a little bit selfish and convinced The Group to have the next meeting at Medieval Times and as such, we needed to read something of that time frame to make a connection of sorts so the meeting spot is justified.
Makes sense right?
After doing some research and browsing a bit through all the titles available, we settled on Michael Crichton’s Timeline. Now I know some of us are a little late to the party as we didn’t realize that this book was released in the early 90’s, but best way to put it is better late than never.
I seriously think this has become one of my favorite books now. I couldn’t put it down and went cover to cover through it, practically turning back to page one the minute I finished. I loved the characters, the plot, every aspect of the book possible. Seriously….every aspect of the book lol.
Quick breakdown to get all of you whom haven’t read or heard about it interested and wanting to pick it up immediately…..
In the world (must be read in Mr. Movie voice) of pseudoscience, the subject of time travel is no longer just a mere thought or blueprint on a drawing board. It is a reality, one that allows people to take a peek into the past and experience the actual situation rather than relying on interpretations that may or may not be accurate.
In a world (again Mr. Movie voice…) created by Crichton, you can confirm theories, disprove myths, and obtain absolute information on the past. In Timeline, Crichton combines science (quantum technology) and medieval history to mold a heart-stopping adventure that doesn’t stop until the pages run out. A group of historians are given the opportunity to literally enter life in fourteenth-century feudal France to help rescue their mentor whom has become trapped at the site of their current research project.
Picture 1357 during the 100 years war between France and England when war, famine, and pure unbridled savagery ravaged the land in quest for glory, land, and riches. Best way to describe it is the team facing one danger after another as they try to uncover his whereabouts in hopes of rescuing him before the limited time window is up, trapping them forever in the past.
Professor Johnston’s little band of rather frightened, but intrepid archaeologists focus o
n their quest for knowledge which inevitably goes from bad to worst. Fighting their way through blood-thirsty knights and battle-hungry war lords intent on killing anyone that may appear to be loyal to the opposition, the team uses their skill sets and knowledge of the land and customs to survive their way across the site that they had been working to restore.
Prior to their travel, the team had been working to rebuild the site with the funding of the corporation ITC, which ultimately divulges that they have been working on the concept of time travel. ITC (aka a mad billionaire genius that controls it, Robert Doniger) is concerned mainly with making a good profit, (business is business naturally) rather than their safety and uses them to go back in time to cover up their previous failures and rescue the professor. (WHOOPS!!!)
With the use of camouflages and technologies that enable them to blend in, they are met with a variety of obstacles including sieges, secret passages in castles, endless conflicts, and cut- throat bandits hiding in the deep forest ready to slaughter.
All-in-all, this story is an adventure from start to finish. Anyone who loves a good adventure plot set to a backdrop of science and intrigue will be immersed into a tale of medieval magnificence that has each chapter leaving you eager to turn the page.
Sounds good huh?
That being said, I had to have an amazing dessert to pair with this book because, as I will reiterate and continue to encourage a second time, this book is now one of my favorites. I couldn’t very well just make chocolate chip cookies to go along with it for book club now could I???
Soooooooo I surfed through the recipe binder where I stock up ideas to try for the future and voila! I found one that deemed itself worthy…
May I present my Lords and Ladies………Twix Tarts!
Okay so the title is a little underwhelming, but the taste is anything but. Shortbread crust with Dulce de Leche and Chocolate Ganache on top….I think I heard your stomach rumbling there.
Fair warning, Tarts need to be served slightly cold. This helps keep the structure intact as well as benefits your palate as the chocolate can become too strong if you let it warm up. The colder the better in my opinion or have smaller serving sizes. I first made this in a
11in tart pan for the book club and then went back and made a second one for my employee appreciation week, along with a Fruity Pebbles Cheesecake, in a regular 9in springform pan. The 9in pan had a thicker crust (obviously) from the smaller diameter, but I ultimately liked it more as it cut the over power effects of the chocolate due to more crust/dulce in each bite. Either way, everyone’s mouths were too full to say anything bad….just my observations, but hey…what can I say. I’m my own worst critic 😉
Prep Time: 1hr 30min
1 can (14 oz) dulce de leche*
1 cup dark chocolate
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
2 1/2 cups chopped twix bars***
- 1 package of shortbread cookies (I used Kebler Sandies)
- 2/3 cups melted butter (unsalted or salted is fine)
- To prepare the crust, add cookies to a food processor and process until crushed. Add melted butter and pulse until well combined. Mixture should resemble wet sand. Alternatively you can add the cookies to a large zip lock bag and crush using a rolling pin.
- Add the crushed cookie mixture to a tart shell 30cm and use the back of a spoon to press down on the bottom and sides making sure it’s spread out evenly. Chill for 1 hour.
- Microwave Dulce de Leche for about 30 second and mix until smooth. Add to tart shell and refrigerate.
- To prepare ganache, start by adding dark chocolate to a large microwave safe bowl along with cream and microwave for 20 seconds at a time, mixing each time until smooth. Add to prepared shell followed by all the chopped Twix bars. Chill for 1 hour before serving.
* To cut the strong chocolate taste, you can add 1 1/2- 2 cans of dulce then top with chocolate so its not as strong. First tart I did, I followed the recipe, second had more dulce and tasted better as it was super sweet and too much to eat
** This is a rough estimate as it all depends on how much twix bars you’d like to put on top for garnishing. I left bigger chunks but you can cut them as small or as large as you’d like to top the tart with.
Recipe adapted from Tastemade
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