I’m one of those people who tends to cook or bake when under stress or trying to make decisions, and it seems like the more that is on the mind, the fancier or more complicated I tend to get with the recipes. Well, I’ve had a lot on my mind lately, and my husband’s birthday is coming up [this is the closest weekend to it I’ll have off], so I ended up going a little fancier than normal with dinner. The funny thing is that I did it to showcase the cake [torte] I made, but then I forgot to take a picture of it, but here’s the main dinner:
Basically, it’s bacon-wrapped filet, which I cooked by roasting a little garlic and onion in a pan with olive oil, then added a bit of butter and tarragon to saute the filets in, sprinkled them with a touch of seasoned black pepper and grey sea salt when done, and they were ready to go. The pears were poached and served sprinkled with walnuts and drizzled with a reduction of honey in apple cider over chopped walnuts and pecans, then topped with strips of proscuitto and slices of shaved gouda. Add some fresh baked French bread drizzled with oilve oil & herbs, and a glass of Pinot Noir, and there’s a restuarant-style meal that only took about 10 minutes longer than I’d spend on every day family fare.
Desesert was my take on a sachertorte, which did take a while to fix but, like I said earlier, baking is one of my ways of relaxing and allowing myself to think and de-stress. In mine, I substitute white chocolate for dark for the icing/glaze, and use rasperry jam with a touch of mint in the filling, rather than apricot, but I am giving the original recipe I go from, in case anyone is interested in the real thing. [Notes and numbers in brackets are my “close enough” translations of the measurements – I use grams because I tend to bake by weight rather than measurement]:
- 225 g [2 bars] dark chocolate[for baking]
- 1.5 dl [5 oz] almonds
- 225 g [2 sticks]butter
- 3 dl [300g or 10 oz] sugar
- 6 egg yolks
- 1.5 dl [150g] white flour
- 1.5 tsp baking powder
- 6 egg whites
Icing and filling
- 200 g [1 used 2 bars again, 225g, of white chocolate instead of dark] dark chocolate
- 1/2 Tbs cooking oil [I used canola, but prefer liquified coconut oil for sweets]
- Apricot jam [I used raspberry Pollander all fruit, plus fresh mint leaves]
- Set oven to 175C [350 degrees F].
- Melt chocolate.
- Blanch, peel and grind almonds. Mix with the flour and baking powder.
- Blend sugar and butter until white and fluffy.
- Add egg yolks, one at a time, to butter-sugar mixture.
- Stir in melted chocolate.
- Stir in almond mixture.
- Whip egg whites to hard foam and fold in.
- Pour batter into baking pan lined with baking paper.
- Bake for 30-45 minutes.
- Let cool. Split in two and spread apricot jam in between.
- Melt chocolate and spread over cake. Let cool.
- Serve cold with whipped cream [freshly whipped heavy cream is awesome].