Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Baking with Rachel

Tonight is Passover, and though I am not a very observant Jew anymore, I do tend to enjoy any holiday that revolves around eating and getting drunk (there are 4 glasses of wine specified in the Passover ritual). I got invited to a big dinner party at Samantha's and last night we had an epic shopping trip at one of the coolest grocery stores I have ever been to, Fairway Supermarket in Red Hook. I didn't bring my camera and we were too frantically trying to find everything on her list but you should go sometime.

Anyway, I did tend to hate Passover growing up because its a lot of sitting around reading from the special book (the Haggadah) for hours before you actually get to eat, and all the food gets cold. BUT it was the one time in the year that my mom would make this amazing dessert which I whipped up (literally) for the first time today without a recipe and mostly from memory. It is probably one of my favorite desserts ever, seriously try making this ASAP. Kosher for Passover for all my heebs!

You will need:
6 eggs
sugar (regular and confectioners)
cream of tartar
heavy whipping cream
big ol' bar of chocolate (I prefer dark)
strawberries

equipment:
Standing mixer or a hand mixer (I only have a hand mixer it works fine)
cake tins or a baking sheet
parchment paper
spatula

So first you are going to separate the egg yolks from the whites. Use the egg yokes for an omelette sometime (Rachael Ray says you can freeze them!) and put the whites in a mixing bowl. Add a pinch of cream of tartar, or salt if you don't have. Whip them with the mixer until they are kind of a foamy, frothy texture. Then you're gonna add a cup and a half of regular sugar, little by little. Keep mixing and in the end you should get a creamy texture that will keep shape when you move it around. I forgot to take a picture at this point, oops. Oh, I also added a little vanilla at the end, makes everything better always.

Trace a large circle (I just traced the bottom of my cake tin) on your parchment paper to make a lining for your cake tin, or your baking sheet, and leave it on there. With a spatula spoon some of the egg white mixture onto the paper and smooth it down flat-ish. Make sure you like the shape as it will tend to bake in this shape. Put it into a pre-heated 325 degree oven for 20 minutes. Reduce heat after 20 minutes to 275 and then let it bake another 20-30 mins or so. It should look crispy and brown-ish and will be chewy on the inside. I was able to make 3 meringues out of the 6 egg whites that I whipped up. Here is what they look like:

P1000279.JPG

Let them cool, my mom tended to let them cool overnight but you don't have to. Be gentle with them as they may crack.

While my meringues were baking, I whipped up my heavy whipping cream with about a half cup of confectioners sugar. I don't like super sweet whipped cream but you can add more to taste. Don't eat all your whipped cream before you finish the dessert! Also, you can cut up your strawberries now. The ones I got were not that sweet, wish I had remembered to get them when I was at Fairway.

Once your meringues are cooled off enough you can start to melt down your chocolate in a saucepan. Use super low heat you don't want your chocolate to burn! You can add a bit of water or milk to make it smoother but don't use too much. Once its melted (keep the heat on throughout this part) you can start to build the layers of your dessert. I find its easiest to go: meringue, chocolate, whipped cream, strawberries. You should also wait a minute to put on whipped cream after you put on the chocolate because if its too hot your whipped cream will melt a little as mine did. Try not to eat all your melted chocolate while you are making this!

P1000281.JPG

P1000282.JPG

P1000283.JPG


The finished result is a little messy, which is fine because its really hard to cut this thing and will end up basically as a big strawberry/chocolate/whipped cream/meringue-y mess but that's ok because you are about to experience what heaven tastes like. It took all my willpower to not eat this before I brought it over to Sam's house. I did, however, get to lick my saucepan and whipped cream bowl clean.

P1000284.JPG

1 comment:

sailorette said...

I can eat it! wahhhhh, next visit we must make one and eat the whole thing at once xxx