Tuesday, 2 February 2010
Doors . . .
There are many different kinds of doors. Some look very welcoming and inviting and yet others look seemingly repellant, and most unwelcoming.
There are the friendly cottage doors, which have a cosy homely air. Doors which have tangled roses climbing around the entryway, clinging as if they love to linger there.
Door of churches have a hallowed look . . . doors which have had countless worshippers pass through their way to sing their songs of praise and to say their prayers.
There are prison doors through with men pass, bereft of hope . . . no longer free. Hospital doors that stand open, with mercy and humanity.
And then there is the door to our hearts. May anyone who enters ever fail to find a swift response of sympathy, a warm welcome, a kind word or two and . . . love for all therein.
Just a quick one this morning as I am running very late. I slept in! I must have been very tired to do that! I thought I would share one of the desserts that I made for work at the weekend with you this morning. It looks pretty fancy but is not all that hard to make. It does take time over several days to execute but is delicious. The pictures are not the greatest. The light was very poor and I didn't have a lot of time to faff with them. Trust me when I say it was totally delicious! All the guests enjoyed it immensely!
Serves 10 to 12
A delicious frozen lemon dessert with a glorious crown of meringue on top. Perfect for the special occasions in your life.
48 lady fingers
(These should be the soft variety, or you can make your own)
1 tsp lemon zest
5 large eggs, seperated
1 1/4 cups sugar
3/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 cups heavy cream
3/8 tsp cream of tartar
1/4 cup powdered sugar
Take one 9 by 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 inch loose bottom or springform pan. Coat lightly with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.
Take about 23 ladyfingers and cut a small amount off of one rounded end to create a flat bottom. Use these to arrange in a ring all the way around the inside of the prepared pan, with the attractive side touching the pan and the rough side inside. Line the bottom of the pan with the remaining ladyfingers, placing them pretty side down and cutting or tearing small pieces to fit into any gaps. Cover tightly with cling film and then place in the freezer.
Place a fine mesh strainer over a large bowl containing the lemon zest. Set aside.
In the top of a double boiler, and over simmering water, whisk together the 5 egg yolks, 2 of the eggs whites, the sugar and the lemon juice,.(Place the remainder of the egg whites into the fridge until later.) Cook, whisking constantly for about 15 minutes, or until the mixture thickens enough to pool slightly on it's surface before disappearing into the mixture. An instant read thermometer should read 180*F/82*C.
Immediately scrape the mixture into the strainer over the bowl. Press all of it through with a rubber spatula. Stir to incorporate the lemon zest completely. Cover with cling film and allow to cool completely to the touch. This should take about 1 hour at room temperature. Stir often.
Place the cream into a chilled bowl. Whip, starting on low speed, gradually raising the speed to medium high, just until it thickens and begins to mound slightly when dropped from a spoon. It will continue to thicken while mixing it with the lemon filling, so do be careful NOT to overwhip it, or it will end up looking granular.
Using a whisk, stir about 1 cup of the whipped cream into the lemon mixture. Scrape in the remainder and fold it in gently and thorougly until uniform in colour. Remove the pan from the frezer. Scrape this mixture into the prepared pan, smoothing the top. Cover tightly with more cling film and freeze for at least 5 hours, or up to 5 days.
Pre-heat the broiler on your oven. Whisk the egg whites that you have saved until foamy. Add the cream of tartar and slowly add the icing sugar (sifted) until stiff peaks form when the beater is raised slowly. Using a small spatula spread this mixture evenly over the top of the frozen torte, right to the edges. Swirl the top fo make it look attracive.
Place on a baking sheet and put under the broiler for about 1 minute, until golden brown. Remove from the broiler. Wrap the pan in aluminium foil, allowing it to extend several inches over the top to protect the meringue and then place back in the freezer for the minimum of one hour or up to one week.
When ready to serve, remove the freezer and gently push out if you are using a loose bottom cake tin, or remove the band if you are using a springform pan. Place on a pretty plate. Let stand at room temperature for one hour before serving. Cut into thin slices with a sharp serrated knife to serve.
Over on The English Kitchen today . . . Roasted Cod with Pancetta and Artichoke Pesto. Delicious!