Well, we played Santa this afternoon and got all of our goodie baskets delivered to the neighbors and family members. Looks like nothing is going to last until Christmas but that is ok. To make the holiday spirit last a little longer I also included an ornament in each and some clementine marmelade I made yesterday.
We are all packed (I think…!) and ready to go. Last things on the agenda are to tidy up the house tomorrow, rsvp Stephanie’s Blog Party and get my fish to the neighbors, the dog is already at my in-laws and the house is so empty without him! But let’s go back to the blog before I start feeling weird again!
I was able to include the meringue kisses in the gift baskets because I made one of my favorite pastries over the weekend and had leftover egg whites, and since I hate to waste but love to bake, well there it was!
I first had a gateau Basque when my parents and I took a road trip in the Basque region a long long time ago and we stopped in a small village and looking through the window of the local bakery I saw this little cake calling my name. The one I had was filled with pastry cream and sour cherries and I found out since then that there are many different interpretations if this dessert, with or without cream or cherry filling. Finding this out I think I bought one in every town we visited!
I did not have any particular reason for making this cake except that the baking stars aligned themselves and the signs all pointed me in its direction. Have you ever had that happen to you? I was getting coffee at the German bakery next to the gym (I know, evil combination) when I looked at their half price table: day old bread, muffins, and jams. Among the loot I found a jar of sour cherry jam and I love the stuff so in my basket it went! That same afternoon I was reading one of my favorite new French blogs, Blanc d’Oeuf , when I started reading about Stanislas' interpretation of Gateau Basque with cherry jam….. and the rest is history… the cakes also because they are all gone…already!
Mini Gateaux Basque, adapted from Blanc d’Oeuf:
300 g flour
2 tsp. baking powder
3 egg yolks
150 g powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 pinch salt
200 g butter
sour cherry jam, for the filling
Note: I made the batter by hand with a whisk and a spatula, but feel free to use a mixer.
In microwave, melt the butter and set aside. In a large bowl, combine and whisk together the egg, egg yolks, powdered sugar, the vanilla, salt. Add the butter and give it another whirl.
Add the flour and baking powder and fold into the egg/butter mixture with a spatula or whisk.Park in the fridge for an hour.
Preheat oven to 350. Grease a standard size muffin pan.
Place 3 Tb. of the batter in each muffin cavity and with your fingers or the back of a spoon, push the batter up on the sides of each cavity a little. Put 1 Tb, sour cherry jam in each, cover with 3 more Tb of the batter over the jam. To make sure the top would seal over the jam while baking I scooped out the amount I needed and flatten it out between my palms before laying it out on top of the jam. The 2 batters will meld together while baking and encase the jam without any spillovers.Bake for 15 – 20 minutes or until golden brown.
Feel free to make these with just jam or just pastry cream or both, which is I have to admit my favorite way.
Now, here is another food and blog related post: I received my Blogging By Mail package monday afternoon and my secret Santa spoiled me rotten! Shaula from Tsuredzuregusa and her family are organic and flexitarian oriented folks so my package included tons of goodies B. and I favor also.
– large container of dried cranberries
– long organic protein bar with hemp and dried cranberries, and some chocolate on top
– Numi flowering tea ( I had been wanting these for so long), you put the dry flower in boiling flower and it blossoms while the tea steeps.
– Good Earth original tea
-bag of hickory smoked soy nuts
– big box of O’Cocos chocolate and cinnmaon chips (individually packaged for portion control)
– bag of Dr. Kracker Pumkpin seeds and cheddar flatbreads
– bag of Almondina, thin almond cookies
– bag of sweet potato and beet chips which we devoured while discovering the inside of the package
Thank you again Shaula! and to think that your husband’s family lives in Charleston is pretty amazing! or Stephanie knew what she was doing….and that would not surprise me a bit!
Allright …because I can’t resist showing you my big furry love:
That was yesterday while I was trying to put aside the clothes and shoes to be packed….and he would not let me near my slippers and running shoes…. the two pairs that absolutely define who I am these days!
He was trying to add his favorite toy to the pile as a "if my toy is on your toys then my toy wins"…one of his favorite games, along with "if it falls on the floor it is mine" and "if you touch my leash you have to take me out"!