Happy Holidays, you lovely people, I hope y’all had an awesome Christmas! Around here was all about tons of tasty food and a brand new AWESOME japanese chef’s knife that my uncle got me as a Secret Santa gift. Speaking of food, the following recipe is actually a take on the dessert I made for this year’s dinner, which was a little vanilla and orange pie with a cherry whiskey jam on top. It was very delicious, but it didn’t turn out quite the way I wanted it to, the filling was way too loose and there wasn’t enough pastry to hold it in, so it turned out really thin and I had to freeze it before serving, otherwise the filling would just go everywhere (talk about improvising..). It wasn’t a problem at all, though, in fact, from the two pies I made, there were only three pieces left, which I think is a good sign.
I don’t know about other places, except for Italy, but here in Brazil we know Christmas arrived when dozens of panettone boxes hit the shelves of the supermarkets and bakeries across the country. Oh boy, do I love the holidays…
If you are not familiar with Panettone, it’s basically a sweet, enriched bread, with crystallized fruit throughout. It has its own distinct flavour, due to the panettone essence, and the texture varies from country to country, I believe. The italian – and original – version tends to be drier and less sweet than the brazilian one, which is quite soft and buttery, both delicious, nonetheless. We also have the habit to switch the crystallized fruit for chocolate chips, dearly called Chocottone (I know, creative), or even make a blend of dried fruit and chocolate.
So, here’s an important lesson to carry through life: photographing soufflés is emotionally painful. Don’t do it. Like, ever. You don’t need that kind of stress in your life, trust me. Since this recipe was my own creation, I decided to test it twice. And everything that had to go wrong, did. First time, the soufflé got a really good height, and it was looking beautiful, however, after 25 minutes in the oven, it was still raw inside, so I opted for cutting down the amount of both egg yolks and whites, as well as the amount of pistachios and milk. As I tested it for the second time, the first batch was looking gooorgeous, and I thought to myself “oh my gosh, this might actually work!”. And then I opened the oven. Turned out that the soufflés raised so much, that the tops got stuck in the oven broiler, and as I pulled the baking sheet out, the whole thing collapsed in half. I think you can imagine my face expression… and my silent inside crying. I had enough batter to make 2 more portions, but since I only have 2 ramekins, I have to bake things in batches, and the waiting made the leftover batter lose a bit of its air. I took the second batch out of the oven, and got 1 minute of glorious height, which is not enough time to take good shots. But definitely enough time to burn myself twice, I can tell you that.
Oh-my-sweet-Jesus test week is over (everybody raise your hands)! I still got plenty more of paper work to do, though… (what was that, like, a second of happiness?) So what do I do when I have to study but don’t want to?
I eat chocolate.
I’m pretty sure it’s not just me, but cooking is such a motive for procrastination, I’m not even ashamed to admit it. I spent, probably, about 1 hour reading an article that only had 9 pages. That’s how much I didn’t want to read it. So, I made these little chocolatey beauties, and tried to convince myself that I had nothing more important to do (didn’t work).
I have been obsessed with almond milk, lately, the taste is just so much better than regular milk, which is why I used it for this recipe. Of course that, if you want to use cow’s milk, or any other plant milk, feel free, the almond extract will still give you plenty of almond flavor. This custard is smooth, creamy and very easy to make, takes a while to set, though, I’m not gonna lie, but you can always make it the night or a few hours before serving.