Aha! This is a good one when you’ve got a lot of time to spend. Today was left for basic errands. Unfortunately, I have a way of breezing through all those things, which makes my busy day end quite quickly. The good part is that I never get tired of making my desserts (even if they’re not needed) and that is something which I love to put on all my attention and care.
My cousins usually dine at my grandma’s on Wednesdays, so I always grasp the opportunity to practice my pastry. Just as long as I stay away from lemon, they are easy to satisfy (my Aunt hates lemon, and will identify it no matter how minimal the quantity). Cheesecakes are awesome for these occasions, and fairly simple to make. I guess what I like most about them is their versatility. You can add anything you want, and change the crust if you have a notion of what is possible or not. There are some disadvantages though, when it comes to this type of cake. It’s heavy, and that is not a very appreciated factor nowadays. I know white chocolate seems too sweet to add to a Cheesecake, but that’s only if you sweeten the batter too much! You just have to bend the rules a notch!
This comes in handy when you have too many egg whites in your fridge. Most people don’t even keep them. I just don’t like to throw away something that can be used, so I store them in a tupperware. They’re great to make meringue and the treat I made today: Angel Food Cake!
It’s really one of those lazy Sundays that you just sit around and stare at everything. I’m in a pretty good mood to go partying, but it’s Sunday, and everyone’s at home doing the same as me. Why don’t people ever think of hanging out together on this day? Because it’s Sunday, and that’s an argument not easily overruled. So I just got in the kitchen and opened my fridge, just to see if there were any left-overs that I could use for my experiences. I found a small ball of flan pastry that wasn’t necessary yesterday, and an airtight container full of egg whites (at least eight).
I rolled out the flan pastry again, and turned it as if it were puff pastry. I kneaded it with confectioner’s sugar and let my creativeness open. What came out? A cookie assortment: Honey/cinnamon and nutmeg, cocoa, coffee, and lemon glacé with sesame seeds and fresh ginger. We ate most before I remembered to take a picture, but two of the coffee cookies resisted and they will be decorating the Angel Food Cake.
As for the cake, I made the classic, simple and basic. My sister isn’t very fond of fruit flavorings or anything too out there, so I just added vanilla extract to give it a nice essence. In the end, I just dusted it lightly with cocoa powder and confectioner’s sugar. Since the mixture was a little too much than expected, I made mini bundt cakes as well as a classic tube pan one. The recipe is same old, same old though! My father seemed to like it alot, and that’s a really good thing considering his preferences for more savoury treats.
Hey ya mates, seems all I’ve posted lately is chocolate, chocolate and more chocolate. Thank goodness the recipes aren’t alike!
So, big dinner, a bunch of kids and a lot of things to prepare. If you’ve read Trippin’ with the Buddies, let me tell you now that this surpassed six people (and almost no chairs!). We’re talking about ten people or so, and as we’re only two hosts (me and my father), it’s important that we keep everything extremely organized since the beginning of the day. I think desserts should always be made before anything else. Unless it’s something that has to be served directly from the oven of course. As for our main-dish, some fabulous moules mariniére (or my father’s version of it, that I believe to be as good or even better than the original) with french fries. I wasn’t too optimistic about moules because of their peculiar texture, but I found out quite quickly that it’s something I really enjoy! Don’t worry, next time I invite my buddies that’s exactly what I’m going to make, and it will be posted!
Since we had children present, and I was somewhat apprehensive regarding the Chocolate Tart’s intensity, I thought it would be a great idea to include gelatin, something I consider to be side-dessert. I used the instant powder that you get in the supermarket and I have to admit that I like it, and so do children (and that’s exactly the point). To make it just a little more sophisticated, I added a mix of whole raspberries and blackberries. It gives fresh polish, and it doesn’t make it quite as boring as it inevitably is. I’m only going to write the recipe for the Chocolate Tart and it’s garnish, the Créme Anglaise. Unfortunately, I forgot to photograph the custard…but it’s probable that most people know what it looks like.
Simple baked Chocolate Tart (Jamie Oliver’s The Naked Chef)
1x25cm/10 inch flan or tart shell, baked blind*
140g butter, unsalted
150g best-quality chocolate (Valrhona, Lindt or Callebaut preferably)
8 tablespoons cocoa powder, sifted
small pinch of salt
200g caster sugar
3 tablespoons golden syrup (I think this is optional, really)
3 medium heaped tablespoons sour cream or créme fraiche
Place the butter, chocolate, cocoa powder ans salt in a bowl over a pan of simmering water and allow to melt slowly, stirring occasionally until well mixed in. In a separate bowl beat the eggs and sugar together until light and well creamed, and then add the golden syrup and sour cream/créme fraiche. Stir your chocolate mixture into this mixture, scraping all the chocolate out with a spatula. Once you’ve mixed it well, pour it into the pastry shell. Place into a preheated oven for 40-45 minutes at 150ºC (300ºF). During cooking a beautiful crust will form on top.
Carefully remove the tart from the oven and allow to cool on a rack at least 45 minutes, during which time the skin will crack and the filling will shrink slightly.