Post Christmas goodies and a piece of lemon cake

December 28th, 2012 § 1 comment

Be merry!
So, we’ve made it past Christmas and the world is still turning around.
I hope you had a grand time.

We surely did: We rushed, we cooked, we dressed up, we quarelled, we ate, we laughed, we drank, we cried, we dansed, we hugged, we played…

It was a merry Christmas.

Thanks petit Tom and dutchie, and mom and bro, and Aukje, and Anna and lolo and baby Mo. Thanks for making Christmas so special!

There are still a couple of gifts under my tree:

A made to measure recipe for Brid and Petra who won Mykitchendiaries winter giveaway.

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A tasty (and free) ebook ‘Thuismaken’ put together by Irene and Iana (with my recipe for sweet and sour wok sauce :-)) for the Dutch speakers in the mood for homemade treats

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And a piece of Christmas cake for you all… A hazelnut genoise stuffed with ‘beldi’ lemon cream.

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Beldi lemons are my favorite lemons. They are tiny, chubby and yet so intensely and delicately fragrant. A bit like the little friend of bergamot. I suspect they might be closely related to Meyer lemons.

Beldi means ‘ from the farm’ in Moroccan dialect. My mom brought me a few back with her. I couldn’t resist giving them a little place on our Xmas table. The nutty sweetness of hazelnuts were a perfect match to the delicate ‘earl grey’ like aroma of the Beldi lemon cream. For a winter feel, a crunchy bite and a little bit of white and gold glam, I decorated the log with icing sugar, pearled sugar and caramelized hazelnuts.

Lemon beldi and Hazelnut Christmas log
Buche de Noel au citron beldi et aux noisettes

serves 8
prep: 20 + 20 + 10 + 10 min. bake: 12 min @ 200 °C cook. 25 min
Rest 12 to 24 hrs.

Ingredients:
For the hazelnut genoise:
. 4 egg yokes
. 5 egg whites
. 125 g finely ground hazelnuts (i used peeled hazelnuts)
. 125 g sugar
. Pinch salt
. zest of 1/2 ‘beldi’ lemon

For the ‘Beldi’ lemon cream:
. 2 beldi (juice and zest) lemons*
. 2 oranges (juice)
. 3 small (organic) eggs + 1 egg yoke
. 140 g sugar
. Pinch salt
. 120 g butter
. 1/2 vanilla pod

To dress:
. 2 Ts Demerara sugar
. 12 cl infused earl grey tea
. 1/2 lemon (juice and zest)
. whole hazelnuts caramelized in 2 Ts sugar and a knob of butter
. icing sugar
. pearled sugar**

1 . Prepare the hazelnut genoise:
. Preheat the oven at 200 °C. Prepare a baking tray covered with a sheet of baking paper.
. Beat the eggs and sugar with an electric mixer until thick an pale. Reserve
. Beat the egg whites with an electric mixer until firm.
. Fold the eggs whites gently into the egg yoke/sugar mixture using a spatula.
. Fold the almond meal and lemon zest gently into the egg mixture using a spatula until incorporated.
. Spread the batter on the baking tray in a large rectangle like shape with a thickness of about 1 cm.
. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until slightly golden. Do not overbake or the edges will be hard and breakable.
. Remove from the oven. Cut of the edges with a sharp knife to obtain a rectangle cake layer.
. Slide the layer cake on its baking sheet on a grid and leave to cool completely covered with a slightly moist tea towel to prevent it from drying out.

Tip: The hazelnut genoise should be prepared just before rolling the cake so that it stays moist. To make rolling easier: turn the layer cake upside down and roll the cake in a moist tea towel when it’s just out of the oven. leave to cool completely before assembling the cake.

2. Prepare the lemon cream
. In a medium sized pan, mix together juice, sugar, eggs, zests, salt and vanilla.
. Set the pan on medium heat, and stir for 5 minutes.
. Lower the heat and continue stirring until the mixture thickens and coat the back of a spoon for about 15 to 20 min.
. Remove from the heat, add the diced cold butter and whisk until incorporated.
. Leave to cool and keep covered and refregirated until further use.

Tip: you can prepare the lemon cream in advance, up to a couple of days ahead.

3. Assemble the cake
. Bring the Demerara sugar, tea, lemon juice and zest to a boil. Leave to boil for 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and leave to cool completely.
. On a clean, flat working surface, place the cooled cake layer flat, golden side underneath.
. Use a brush to moisten the layer cake with the earl grey syrup.
. Spread 2/3rds of the lemon cream evenly on the cake layer.
. Roll the cake layer thightly and most of all very delicately along it’s shorter side to form a log.
. Cut out the ends with a sharp knife.
. Place the cake, seam down on a serving dish.
. Cover well with plastic foil and keep to rest in the fridge for at least 12 hrs.

4. Finishing touch (1 to 2 hours before service)
. Spread the rest of the lemon cream evenly on the log.
. Use the tips of fork to draw a wood pattern on the log.
. Decorate with icing sugar, pearled sugar and caramelized hazelnuts.
. Reserve in the refrigerator until service.

Bon appétit!

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* I guess beldi lemons won’t be the easiest to find if not in Morocco. Meyer lemons or fragrant organic lemons will do a great job too. You could add a couple of drops of bergamot essence as well, if you’d like.
** Not quite sure if it’s called like that in english but couldn’t find a better term. In French it is ‘sucre perle’. It is used for chouquettes.

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