Saturday, February 17, 2007

Turn Disasters into Triumphs

Apricot Slices:
8 oz flour
4 oz caster sugar
pinch of salt
5 oz butter or margarine
1 egg, separated
6 oz cake crumbs
1 1/2 oz ground almonds
1 oz sugar
2 tblsp apricot jam
few of almond essence
Sieve the flour, sugar and salt and rub in the fat. Mix to a soft dough with the yolk of the egg and a little water. Roll into an oblong and put onto a baking sheet.
Mix together the cake crumbs, gr. almonds, sugar and white of an egg, then mix in the jam and essence. Spread over the base and bake in a moderate oven for 20 mins until browned on top. Cut into slices while still hot.
Tip: As this is normally made with plain cake crumbs, then you may wish to use a different jam and essence if using chocolate crumbs. Perhaps strawberry jam and vanilla essence, or even orange marmalade? Worth experimenting. In this case 'moderate oven' is around 180C, 375F. gas 5 -6. Old recipes can be very vague about temperatures. Metric weights were never given.

Chocolate Rum Truffles:
4 oz (100g) plain chocolate
1 tblsp. dark rum
1 oz (25g) unsalted butter
1 egg yolk
4 oz (100g) ground almonds
4 oz (100g) cake crumbs
2 oz (50g) chocolate vermicelli*
Melt the chocolate in a bowl standing over hot (not boiling) water. Stir in the rum then beat in the butter and egg yolk. Remove from heat and stir in the ground almonds and cake crumbs to make a smooth firm paste. Divide into 24 small pieces and shape each into a ball. Roll into the vermicelli and when completely covered, put into sweet cases.
* You could coat with cocoa or chocolate flakes if you prefer.
Keep in the fridge for up to a week. These should freeze.
Variation: Only just thought of this, but it should work. Use the above as a filling between two thin layers of (cooked) plain sponge or even cooked (maybe puff) pastry. Or even layers of meringue (my mind is working overtime now). Cut into slices and serve as a dessert - with cream OF COURSE !

A final thought. chocolate crumbs might work with or without the biscuit crumbs when making the uncooked chocolate refrigerator cakes. So never throw away something you have made that seems to have gone wrong. It can often turn out to be the perfect ingredient for another dish. Some lateral thinking can often solve a kitchen puzzle.