A dessert worth every ounce of energy used.
I have to admit that whenever I volunteer to cook in Pelusa Molina’s cooking class, I tend to choose recipes which seem relatively easy or at least not require a crazy amount of ingredients. This was precisely why I volunteered to make dessert – a cream made of oranges and mandarin oranges – because it sounded easy and quick.
I couldn’t have been further from the truth. Well it wasn’t difficult, but it definitely took quite some time, and a fair bit of energy on my part. More than anything, it was whipping the cream to get the right consistency that made me wonder what on earth I volunteered for, as my muscles screamed in agony while I whipped the cream in front of the entire class, my fatigue shown all over my face. (You may be wondering why I didn’t just use an electric beater instead of going through the agony, but according to Pelusa Molina, with an electric beater, you may end up whipping the cream too much and it will spoil. When you whip the cream manually, the fact that you get tired after a while ensures that the cream never passes its optimal point.)
When I finally finished whipping the cream, I sank into my seat in complete exhaustion and relief that the ordeal was over, and then tasted the dessert.
Exquisite. Fresh. Soft. Exotic. Ah, ok, it was completely worth all the exercise after all (Thank God!)
CREMA A LAS NARANJAS Y MANDARINAS (Serves 4)
1) 1 large mandarin orange
2) 4 oranges
3) 250ml white wine
4) 100g of white sugar
5) 3 egg yolks
6) 10g of dehydrated gelatin (jell-o)
7) 500g of milk cream
8) 1 small fistful of almonds
1) Using a potato peeler, peel the skin of 2 oranges (making sure you only peel off the orange part – the white part is bitter)
2) In a pot, pour the wine, orange juice from the 2 oranges in step 1 and the mandarin orange, half the squeezed mandarin orange, and the orange rind from step 1
3) Heat the pot from step 2 over medium fire, until the mixture starts to boil, then remove from fire
4) In a mixing bowl, beat the egg yolks and sugar together until smooth, then heat over low heat (but make sure it does not get burnt or bubble), then remove from fire and cool
5) Hydrate the gelatin with ¼ cup of room temperature water, then heat the gelatin mixture in the microwave until gelatin dissolves
6) Whip the milk cream until it is semi-mounted (it should still be thick but still liquid)
7) Add gelatin mixture, and wine mixture from step 3 to the egg yolk mixture in step 4, and then add in 2/3 of the semi-whipped cream from step 6
8) Mix well until homogenous & pour into cups, then cool in refridgerator
9) In a bowl of hot, just-boiled water, let the almonds rest for a few minutes, and then peel off the almond skins
10) Chop almonds into small pieces and toast slightly in oven
11) With the remaining semi-mounted cream, continue whipping until it becomes fully whipped cream that does not fall when you lift the beater
The dessert in all its citric glory.