2017 has reached its end, bestowing on me the obligatory occasion to count blessings and recall the preceding year. One of the (numerous) difficulties I grapple with as a food blogger is that once I’ve finalized a recipe and posted it, I forget about it…forever…even when its success merits remaking. So, as 2017 dwindles to its last few days, I’m looking back on the past twelve months and summoning up the best dishes from this year’s posts – the ones I ought to remember so I can make them again, soon – and often. Here are my top 10, in no particular order:
Today, Spring said “hello” through sunshine, orange blossom-scented breezes and a Mexican couple dressed in their Sunday best peddling Jesus’s resurrection door-to-door. My neighbor says it’s going to rain again tomorrow. Could Mother Nature truly be that fickle?
These British biscuits are a favorite of mine, but usually I succumb to the packaged variety, called Lu Pim’s in the States. It’s a textural thing – the crack of dark chocolate giving way to a gelatin layer atop a sliver of cake.
– 1 pkg. gelatin (1/4 oz.)
– ½ cup fresh orange juice
– zest of 1 orange
– ¼ cup sugar Cake Layer
– 2 large eggs
– ¼ cup sugar
– ¼ cup flour, sifted Chocolate Layer
– 4 oz. bittersweet chocolate (at least 70% cocoa)
Combine gelatin with a bit of orange juice to soften. Meanwhile, heat remaining juice, zest and sugar on a saucepan until sugar has completely dissolved. Remove from heat, add softened gelatin and stir until gelatin is dissolved. Briefly return to heat, if necessary. Pour into a 8” square pan, cover and refrigerate until firm, about one hour. Cut gelatin in 1-1 ¼ inch circles using a small cutter.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 24-cup mini muffin tin with baking spray. On top of a double-boiler, beat eggs and sugar together until pale and fluffy using a hand-held mixer, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat, gently fold in flour with a rubber spatula. Fill each muffin cup with a teaspoon dollop of batter, filling each cup no more than 1/3 full. Bake for 8-10 minutes until edges are golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pan and then gentle remove cakes.
Break chocolate into small pieces and heat in a microwave in 15-second bursts, stirring occasionally until ¾ melted. Remove from microwave and continue stirring until fully melted. set chocolate aside for 5 minutes to cool and stiffen slightly (this is the lazy girl’s way to temper chocolate).
Place a round of orange gelatin atop each cake round. Dollop each gelatin round with chocolate and gently nudge the chocolate to the edge, fully covering the gelatin. It’s okay if the cake edges aren’t completely covered. Set aside until chocolate is fully set. Store covered for up to two days.