Sunday, December 21, 2008

The hangover for the baking love-times.

I don't like Christmas. In fact, I don't do Christmas. The only times I have done anything is when I have an Orphan's Christmas, and there is nothing Christmassy about it.

In fact, we're having another one this year.

However, I understand that even though I don't like Christmas, doesn't mean that other people don't do it, dig it, feel it, believe it...whatever. So, this year, I decided to make little packs for the people I actually give a shit about and would benefit from knowing that I am not just a sour bitch with an unfortunate last name for this time of year.
I am not the Grinch.
I am yellow, not green.

Last year, I made jams, dulce de leche such and gave them to a few people. However, this year, there appear to be no jars, and I refuse to hike it to Richmond to get those IKEA jars. Nope, not happening, nada.

It's a good thing that baking lends itself to hangovers, and today, I have been particularly hung over, after exiting a party at six thirty this morning. So, after a power nap and some coffee, I baked all afternoon.

Yeah, I'm awesome.

Rhubarb Friands
makes 16 large boys

2/3 a bunch of Rhubarb
lemon juice

1 1/3 cup of almond meal
2 cups sifted icing sugar
2/3 cup of plain flour
8 egg whites
150g melted butter
16 pieces rhubarb, cut in 2 inch lengths

Preheat the oven to 180.
Put the rhubarb, cut in 1cm lengths, a sprinkle of sugar, some lemon juice and water over a high heat and cook. Set aside.
Mix together the almond meal, sugar and flour in a bowl. Stir in the egg whites and then the butter and add the cooked rhubarb. Spoon into a friand pan, place the 2 inch lengths on top, and cook for 25 minutes.

Fig, Polenta and ricotta cakes
makes 12
fresh and dried figs, diced
1 cup medium-grain polenta or yellow cornmeal
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup ricotta
1/3 cup tepid water
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup honey
Grated zest of 1 lemon
115g unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2 large eggs

Preheat the oven to 160.
mix the flour, polenta, baking powder and salt together in a bowl.
In another bowl, beat the ricotta and water till smooth, add the sugar,honey and zest and beat. Add the butter, followed by the eggs one at a time. Stir in the flour mixture.
In a 12-hole muffin tray, grease and fill with the batter till it is a third of the way up. Scatter the figs over all of them and top up with the rest of the batter. Bake for 20 minutes or till it tests done in the middle rack of the oven.

Almond and Strawberry tarts
Makes 12

4 egg whites
150g caster sugar
70g plain flour
65g almond meal
190g unsalted butter, melted and cooled
vanilla bean, seeds
strawberries, halved.

Stir together the egg whites, sugar, flour, almond meal, butter and vanilla till smooth. Sit in the fridge overnight.

The next day, preheat the oven to 160 degrees and grease a 12-hole muffin tray. Fill 1/2 way with the mixture and put half a strawberry on the top of each tart. Bake at the top rack for 20 minutes. It is ready when the tops are golden and spring back.

Check it, I even went to the trouble of wrapping it in cellophane and in my mindless organisation, wrote what they are and who it is for on a label and stuck it on each of them.

And with those 12 yolks...icecream.

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