sábado, 25 de dezembro de 2010

Tonka bean pudding with last summer's best strawberries...



I wish December had 40 days because it seems that it will always be too short for all the things I have to do, deliver, send and prepare. I don't mean I am a Christmas or New year's celebrator-obsessive. No, not at all. Of course I walk around a lot to find the perfect gifts for the kids, they do deserve them but I am quite good at paying attention and finding what they need before they know. I wish December could come with some extra days just because it is a regularly busy month for the other sectors of life too and there are always a lot of stuff going on for me in December.

Besides, both our kids have their birthdays between beginning and end of December, so you guess, we have two birthday parties + holidays to sort out. We make birthdays our priorities as Per and I would rather ignore the holidays if it was not for the kids, honestly. It is amazing to have work free days, sure, to be at home doing nothing or maybe travel somewhere, but we totally ignore the big fuzz of traditions.



It would have been great to pack bags and leave Trondheim for a while, until the green come back and all this ice is gone. It's been extremely cold, the coldest winter in 150 years, too many degrees below zero "everysingleday" since October. Can you swallow it? And when life seems to be smiling at you with opportunities the weather outside reminds us of how bad life in the Northern part of the planet can be. Really, it is beautiful, it is calm, it is peaceful, it is silent, all of those are some how addicting but it is hell of a cold, or cold as hell as hell for me is definitely a very cold place.

To balance the traditional overdose of Moroccan and Spanish clementines and Brazilian melons we feasted on the most delicious strawberries we picked during summer. The strawberries were ripe and sweet and we filled our freezers with them and we picked them ourselves in the most fantastic strawberry farm around here, in our neighborhood, five minutes from our home. Last summer we eat strawberries until we were tired and we kept some 10kgs of the best strawberries, perfectly ripe for these sad December days.

The thawed strawberries release the most amazing and dense red juice, more like a sauce, one can get, and it is all natural. You don't need to cook or add anything if you have good quality strawberries. Just serve the totally thawed strawberries on their juice with cakes, pudding, yogurts and mousses and be happy. We love our ex-frozen strawberries more than ever... and they are so sweet. Add some sugar if you don't have sweet strawberries, it is December after all...



Tonka bean pudding with Thawed strawberries

1 liter milk
2 dl sugar
1 tonka bean a.k.a. Dipteryx odorata
6 eggs
300 grams of thawed strawberries with their juice

How:

Warm oven to 180C/350F and boil 1 liter of water. Butter six to eight ramekins or any other type of glass or porcelain pots oven proof and set aside. In a heavy bottom saucepan over low heat cook milk and tonka bean until the infusion boils. Set aside and let it stand for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, in a large bowl and using a fouet whisk eggs and sugar until well blended and slightly increased volume. Transfer milk heat again and warm milk once more, when it boils remove from heat and discard the bean. Gradually and slowly start adding the milk infusion to the egg mixture and using a fouet whisk while you drop the milk, you have to keep transferring the milk and whisking, vigorously, until all the milk is transferred. Drain the mixture, remove some of the scum and divided the mixture into the prepared pots/ramekins. Set pots in a sheet cake pan and fill with boiled water up to 1/3 of the bottom of the pot.

Bake the pots for 25 to 30 minutes in bain marie (double bath). Remove from oven and let cool completely in the water bath, remove from watered pan and refrigerate. Serve cold with some spoonfuls of thawed strawberries on their juice.
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