“Thoughts disentangle themselves when they pass through the lips and fingertips.” – Dawson Trotman
Without a particular game plan in mind, Two-Bit Tart has molded itself into a mash-up of half personal essay (aka Musings) and half food blog. It has taken me an exceptionally long time to arrive here, but this blog is now unmistakably my own with its singular, quirky, yet clear direction. This began as a personal essay blog, morphed into a food blog, and has finally, after almost 13 years, unapologetically matured into a blending of both. My challenge with the personal essay section is that it’s an intense delving into the recesses of my most intimate thoughts and feelings. Nothing is off limits from examination, holding these bits of my life up to the light for anyone to see. While I feel reasonably comfortable splaying myself in front of you, many of my stories involve others, as most personal stories do. Today, I’m experiencing a smattering of remorse and hesitation in exposing others’ secrets without permission, desiring to keep their story, tightly intertwined with mine, a compact between us. I am passionately steadfast and loyal to those who reciprocate, even those long dead. I’ve been working on a piece the last five days that I would describe as raw, honest, authentic. 1817 words with all the beastly details. How, I wonder, can I speak my truth while protecting others’ privacy? I have no wish to cause pain or embarrassment to those around me; just a desire to share my story. I’ve been reading Joan Dideon lately – The White Album. She deftly manages that delicate dance between stark, personal exposure and others’ privacy. I’m no Joan Dideon, but I’m taking mental notes. What is off-limits? Who is off-limits? Living family members? Current friends? Current lovers? How terrible that someone would eschew me for fear their secrets are exposed. Who becomes fair game? Strangers and mere acquaintances? One-date wonders? Dead boyfriends? Those who have injured me by accident? On purpose? I strive to behave better than my enemies and have a clear moral compass – but in my quest for self-discovery, have I forgotten that, if only for a post or two? I’ve decided not to share the piece I’ve been fervently writing. I’m pleased with it – my own missteps and failings exposed and acknowledged. Hours of work that will never come to fruition, but it’s the correct decision, this time. It’s my truth, but tugs too many others too far into the light, regardless of their own culpability. Today, I am setting down rules – otherwise, I will too easily cross the line.
These cassetelle are baked rather than fried and are best eaten warm, when the chocolate is melty, the ricotta velvety and the pastry crisp and tender. I pop them in a oven for a few minutes to heat them through before enjoying with a steaming cup of coffee.
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- ½ cup sugar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 stick (½ cup) unsalted butter, very cold
- 1 large egg plus 1 yolk
- 1 cup full-fat ricotta, drained overnight
- ¼ cup powdered sugar, plus more for dusting
- ¼ cup mini chocolate chips
- ¼ cup candied orange peel, finely chopped (or 1 teaspoon grated orange zest)
- In the bowl of food processor, combine flour, sugar and salt. Add very cold butter and pulse until butter is well dispersed. Add egg and yolk and pulse until dough begins to clump together. Scrape dough onto a large piece of plastic wrap and press together to form a disk. Wrap plastic wrap around dough and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine drained ricotta, powdered sugar, chocolate chips and candied peel. Refrigerate until ready to use.
- Cut dough in half, keeping one half refrigerated and roll out the other half to about ⅛” – ⅙” thick between two pieces of parchment or waxed paper. Cut out twelve 3” rounds. Dollop a generous teaspoon of ricotta mixture on one side of each round, fold other side of dough over, making a half-moon shape, being careful to enclose the filling completely. Seal edges with the tines of a fork. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet and refrigerate for 20 minutes.
- Repeat the process with the remaining ½ dough. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350⁰ F.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes until cassetelle are golden along the edges and underneath. Cool slightly and dust with powdered sugar. Enjoy the same day and refrigerate any remaining cassetelle (due to the ricotta filling). If refrigerated, reheat in the oven a few minutes before enjoying.