terça-feira, 20 de janeiro de 2009
Party favorites: toucinho do céu
It is the end of one year and the beginning of another new year is the time of a long party season around here. Besides the traditional Christmas and New Year's parties we have three children birthday parties, one in the beginning of December and the other two in the first ten days of January. The year 2009 began with a nice family gathering on Friday January 2nd and a big party, for the entire school class on January 10th. It is a big piece of work since the children around here are very interested in every detail and keep high expectations. Maybe all children are just the same. The menu of the last party of the season was totally decided according to the interests and tastes of the birthday girl, but I have managed to include two extra desserts of my interest.
It all started with some left overs of the chocolate ganache I had made to fill the chocolate thumb print. I was asked to make chocolate thumb print cookies and with the extra ganache I made some very good chocolate truffles. I rolled the truffles on cocoa powder and they were so good that I made decided to make an extra batch so we could serve truffles to our guests since the initial batch was not enough.
Financiers have become a classic around here since the children love them as much as I do. Whenever we have guests or a party we got to serve some financiers. It is the first cake the kids ask for. They are so beautiful and normally I bake them in tartelette tins and they look so attractive. I have published recipes of financiers here so I won't give any recipe here today. In this party I made four different types of almond financiers: plain vanilla, with strawberries, with raspberries and with slices banana. The banana ones were the favorite and the first type to be completely finished. I didn't have any chance of taking pictures of them.
(Chocolate thumbprint cookie)
These chocolate thumbprint cookies were a huge success in our Christmas season. The children loved it so much that I had to bake it twice to keep my plan of offering some dozens of them to my in laws. They all loved it too. The kids and their parents at the party loved these cookies too, specially the smaller kids who didn't enjoy dark truffles or the chocolate mousse. I baked a double batch so I still had some left the next day. My plan was to give some of them away as party treats but I completely ran out of boxes and cellophane bags and I did not have a single chance to produce packages to give the cookies away. So, here they were and remained...
Chocolate was the main ingredient of the party. We had chocolate cake, chocolate mousse, chocolate truffles and chocolate thumbprint cookies. Besides the chocolate we had eggs and almond desserts. I used 24 egg whites to make the financiers and the 24 yolks were used to make toucinho do céu, a Portuguese dessert which is one of my favorites. Toucinho do céu makes the perfect pair with financiers.
Toucinho do Céu
12 egg yolks
2 1/2 (300g) cup blanched and grounded almonds
100 g butter at room temperature
1 cup water
2 cups (220g) sugar
1 tablespoon Disaronno or Amaretto liquor or almond essence
Confectioners sugar to drizzle on top
Butter a round or square baking pan, line with parchment paper and butter the paper. Sift yolks and put aside. In a medium pan over medium heat melt sugar and water and let it boil for 3 to 5 minutes until very shine and transparent. Remove from hear and add the almonds and the butter and mix well and fast with a spoon. Add the yolks and the liquor and take it back to heat mixing well, non stop, until the mixture starts to boil and come out from the bottom of the pan. Transfer mixture to prepared baking pan and bake at 180C/350F for 30 minutos. Let it cool, cut in squares and drizzle some confectioners sugar over the cakes.
Makes 15 to 18 squares
Toucinho do céu and Financiers make the perfect pair. Very similar and different at the same time. One is made of yolks, sugar and almonds and the other one is made of egg whites, sugar and almonds. Financiers are made of a butter 'caramel' (beurre noisette) while 'toucinho do céu' are made of sugar caramel. None are very sweet and both have very distinctive flavors from the essences and nuts. Wonderful at any occasion. One is more dense and the other one more airy. Just the perfect pair