My life in Birmingham is nothing but a series of first. Fall. Winter. Friday nights. Weekends. Dinner with friends. Neighborhood. All a first. Living a long distance relationship with my husband. Definitely a first. Having one puppy at home as my companion. How we have come to rely on each other, the old pup and me. Another first. Which is quite nice knowing that at 16 years-old, he is giving me some precious last moments together.
The first time I turn my favorite sponge cake recipe into Lemon Cakelets With Vanilla Bean Cream. The first time I add deep rich and robust olive oil (from the family batch) to Bittersweet Chocolate Pots de Creme.
And guess what...there will definitely be seconds...
Lemon Cakelets With Vanilla Bean Cream:
Makes About 12 filled Cakelets:
2/3 cup Jeanne's all purpose gluten free flour mix or all purpose flour
3 tablespoons cornstarch
zest of a lemon
1/4 cup sugar
4 egg whites
Preheat oven to 350F and position a rack in the middle.
Sift together the flour mix or all purpose flour, cornstarch, lemon zest and sugar together.
In a stand mixer fitter with the wire whisk attachment, beat the egg whites until soft peaks.
Add the flour mix to the egg white and fold gently with a large spoon.
Spoon the batter, a couple of rounded tablespoons at a tie onto a greased baking sheet. Bake for about 10 minutes, until the cakelets are golden and puffed up.
Let cool completely before filling with the whipped cream
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoon sugar
1/2 vanilla bean
In a large bowl, whip the heavy cream and sugar until soft peaks. Cut the half vanilla bean in half lengthwise and scrape the seeds out with the back of a pairing knife. Add the seeds to the cream mixture and continue to whip until firmer peaks form.
Fill the cakelets with a couple of tablespoons of the vanilla cream and refrigerate until ready to eat.
Olive Oil and Bittersweet Chocolate Pots de Creme:
6 large egg yolks
1/4 cup (60ml) honey
1/2 cup (125ml) whole milk
1 cup (250ml) heavy cream
6 oz (180gr) bittersweet chocolate
1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
Garnish: chopped pistachios & extra virgin olive oil
Place 6 to 8 ramekins into a roasting pan and set aside. Preheat oven to 350F and position a rack in the center.
In a large bowl, whisk the egg yolks with the honey for 2-3 minutes.
In the meantime, bring the milk and cream to a simmer in a large saucepan set over medium high heat. Remove from the heat and add the chocolate to the mixture. Slowly whisk until the chocolate is completely melted. (return over low heat if it needs a bit more heat to dissolve). Slowly pour the chocolate mixture over the egg yolks and honey, whisking constantly until both mixtures come together. Add the olive oil and stir briefly.
Divide the chocolate batter evenly among the ramekins. Pour hot water into the roasting pan so that it reaches halfway up the sides of the dishes. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until the cream appears just set. Remove from the heat and let cool to room temperature. Refrigerate at least 2 hours before eating.
Garnish with chopped pistachios and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.