My husbands' family celebrates Christmas on January 6 and my husband roasts a pig for us every year. I make plenty of side dishes but the party isn't complete without a couple of decadent desserts.
Part of the pig gets shredded to make Tamales. I made 5 dozen and they were demolished that night. My daughter was a little peeved about that so I made another 2 dozen the next day so she could take some with her when she leaves to go back up to school.
I tried glamming him up by adding an apple to his mouth for you, come on it does make him a little bit cuter.
I made this chocoflan recipe I saw on Food Network. It sounded great, it was pretty simple to make but taste wise it was a letdown. I've had chocolate y flan cakes many times from the Mexican bakery and I think I'm just jaded by those. Everyone grabbed a slice of the cake, but I saw a lot of it left on plates.
I also made a Meyer Lemon - Mascarpone Trifle that disappeared without a trace.
The trifle has a couple of components, but you can make them in stages and assemble the trifle the night before you need it. Slip on that sequined mini-dress and stilettos and pull that gorgeous creation from the fridge like the rock star hostess that you are, or wear your sweat pants and slippers, who am I to judge.
I have this small Meyer lemon tree I brought with me from my old house, it sat in the front yard for 6 years and barely got leaves let alone lemons. I didn't want to give up hope that one day this tree would come back and produce fruit. A few weeks ago I was rushing by the tree on my way to the mailbox, looked down and saw a bunch of lemons, I couldn't believe my eyes. See there really is hope after all.
Luscious Lemon Cake
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
1/4 cup lemon juice - I used Meyer lemons, but feel free to substitute
1 cup low fat buttermilk (or 1 cup low fat milk + 1 teaspoon white vinegar)
Combine oil, butter, flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, lemon zest, sugar, whole eggs, egg yolks, lemon juice and buttermilk in bowl of a mixer and mix until combined.
Pour the batter into 2 - 8" round cake pans that are buttered and floured or sprayed with no-stick spray and lined with parchment. I decided to use 8" inch pans because that size fit well inside my trifle bowl, if you have a larger bowl you can use a larger pan, just bake a little less time.
Bake in a 350 degree F oven for 25-30 minutes until a toothpick is inserted and comes out clean. Set aside.
Meyer Lemon Curd
3 large eggs
3 large egg yolks
1 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup freshly squeezed Meyer lemon juice
4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
Place the eggs, egg yolks, and sugar into the top of the double boiler and whisk until blended. Add the lemon juice and mix well. Reduce the heat until the water is at a gentle boil. Whisk the mixture constantly for seven minutes until the mixture is very thick. Don't let the curd boil.
Immediately strain the curd through a fine sieve set over a medium bowl. Use a spatula to push the curd through and discard any bits. Add the cold butter to the curd and whisk until melted. Press a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the curd. Once completely cooled store in the fridge until needed.
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 pound mascarpone cheese
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon Meyer lemon zest
Place the whipping cream in the bowl of a mixer or use a hand mixer to whip the cream until stiff peaks form. Set aside.
In another bowl add the mascarpone cheese, sugar and lemon zest, mix till combined. Fold the whip cream into the cheese mixture.
To assemble the trifle:
1) Remove the lemon cakes from their pans and slice each cake in half. Use a long serrated knife and make a cut half way down from the top of the cake, rotating the cake as you cut. I placed the cakes on a baking sheet, so I could move them easier to the bowl. Don't worry if they break because you are layering them anyways. You will have 4 layers when you are finished.
2) Place one of the cake layers on the bottom of the bowl.
3) Divide the curd into four portions visually. Spread a fourth of the lemon curd on top of the cake layer.
4) Divide the mascarpone cream into four portions visually. Spread a fourth of the mascarpone cream on top of the curd and make sure you push it to the edges.
5) Add another layer of cake and top it with another layer of curd and then follow with the mascarpone cream. Repeat.
6) For the top layer I put the remaining mascarpone cream into a piping bag with a 1M tip and piped the top, and then I put a small amount of the curd into a piping bag and piped small dots on top of the cream to resemble flowers.
I served the trifle with a raspberry-lime coulis on the side, just to add another tongue tickling facet to this trifle.
Whoa - wait a minute there lady, you said there was 3 desserts. There were 3 desserts indeed and the third one came out so spectacularly I'm keeping the recipe to myself for a while. I will give you a hint though; it gives new meaning to putting the lime in the coconut.
As much as I enjoy making this Christmas, I sure am glad when it's over and I'm able to put away all the decorations and clear out all the calorie laden treats. At least for a couple of weeks anyways, come Valentine's Day - all bets are off.