2008 is going to be a good year! That's what my dad promised me when I visited my parents in October.
It's not like 2007 was bad year, but it certainly will not go down as one of the best in my life. There were a lot of ups and downs and when 2007 bid farewell, there was not much of a love loss on my side. Yes, in a way I was glad it was over.
Counting down the last few seconds, I secretly wished that my dad's words would be heard from that higher force somewhere up there.
I lost my grandma in 2007 and that really put me down for several weeks. It jolted me out of my dreams and ideas I always have floating around in my head. It made me face the cold hard truth. And it was not one I liked. She never got a chance to meet Soeren and I carried that guilt around for ages. I still have it!
I had a hard time dealing with the loss and it made me change many things in my life. I decided to quit my job, to give my head time to think of what I want in life. The last few months have been good for me.
I feel a new positive energy getting stronger in me and that negative energy seems to be loosing the fight.
It also really does seem like 2008 will be a good year. There are signs at least.
Like in the second week of this month a friend, D. and I went to the movies to see the premiere of P.S. I Love You. The movie was showing at a CineLady special - targeted for ladies of course. So, we got glasses of free champagne and little snacks before the movie started and there was a raffle draw. I was just saying to D. that I never win anything, as in the very same second my seat number was called out!
I was baffled for a split second and the entire movie theater seemed to be waiting. I checked my seat number again and then timidly put my hand up. I did win - nothing big but still a sign. I won two free tickets to the next CineLady. And that is where my second sign came in. At least I believe it to be a sign.
I love Jane Austen. She is my heroine in many ways. I love her writing style, her characters and the way her stories take an unexpected turn. I have read all of her books, some even two or three times and so when the tickets I won was to go see the premiere of The Jane Austen Book Club, I just wondered if someone was trying to tell me a secret message.
Then there was the great fact that Liz Craine from Culinate contacted me and was interested in featuring me and my blog. I was stumped. This week Culinate is featuring What's For Lunch, Honey? You can read the article here. I am rather chuffed about it, especially since one of my pictures is also featured on their home page. I join a few other great bloggers, like Ilva and Pille, who have been featured in the past.
OK I know I could go on through this whole year looking for signs, but I am thinking positively because there have been other things that are showing me things will be good this year. Things that are have not matured yet for me to tell you. But I will in due time. But for now, I just wanted to let you know - my dad never breaks his promises.
This tart also does not break any promises. It's simply seductive in every way. There is rich and sweet chocolate and tangy cranberries infused with a slight hint of ginger, and with the creamy and smooth mascarpone, it promises to be addicting!
The tart is based on a recipe from Epicurious.com with a few slight modifications on my side. Hope you enjoy it!
This month I want you to be caring, loving and comforting to yourself. I want you to make your favorite Comfort Foods and bring it along to my mingle. Look forward to seeing all there! Deadline is February 4th.
Eating fresh? Well share your fresh winter produce with us in the seasonal event Eat Fresh. Hope you join the fun!
Printable version of recipe here
120 ml cranberry juice - divided use
1 teaspoon unflavored gelatin
340 g fresh or frozen cranberries
150 g sugar
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon lemon peel - finely grated
1 teaspoon fresh ginger - peeled and grated
Pinch of salt
4 tablespoons candied ginger - finely chopped
200-250 g chocolate cookies - finely ground in processor (I used simple butter chocolate cookies)
150 g plain milk chocolate - melted (I melted a Milka candy bar in the microwave)
50 g sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
90 g unsalted butter, melted
250 g mascarpone cheese
65 g powdered sugar
120 ml chilled whipping cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For cranberry topping
Pour half of the cranberry juice into a small bowl and sprinkle gelatin over it. Let stand until softened, about 15 minutes.
Combine the rest of the cranberry juice, cranberries, sugar, lemon juice and peel, ginger and salt in medium saucepan. Bring the mixture to a rolling boil, stirring until the sugar dissolves.
Reduce heat to medium and simmer until cranberries become tender. Do not let them pop and make sure the remain plump, about 5 minutes. Strain into bowl and set the cranberries aside.
Add the gelatin mixture to the hot juice in bowl, stirring until gelatin dissolves. Stir the cranberries back into juice. Chill until cranberry mixture is cold and slightly thickened. This will take at least at least 8 hours or leave overnight. This mixture can be made 2 days ahead. Cover and chill.
Stir chopped candied ginger into cranberry mixture.
Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 200 degrees C. Combine chocolate cookie crumbs, sugar, and salt in medium bowl. Add 5 tablespoons melted butter and stir until crumbs feel moist when pressed together with fingertips, adding remaining 1 tablespoon melted butter if mixture is dry. Pour the melted chocolate into the crumbs mixture and stir to coat.
Press crumb mixture firmly onto bottom and up sides of tart pan. Bake chocolate crust for approx. 10 minutes until beginning to set and slightly crisp, pressing with spoon if crust puffs during baking. Transfer tart pan to rack and cool crust completely before filling. Place in the refrigerator for a few hours to allow the chocolate to set.
For mascarpone filling
Using electric mixer, beat all ingredients except ginger in medium bowl just until thick enough to spread. Do not over beat or mixture may curdle. Spread filling in cooled crust. Cover and chill overnight
Spoon cranberry mixture evenly over mascarpone filling. Chill at least 2 hours and up to 6 hours. Cut tart into wedges and serve cold, drizzled with chocolate sauce.
Sensational in every way. Crispy, chocolaty crust with a soft creamy cheese filling and the icing on the cake, literally, is the tart cranberry topping with a delicate flavor of ginger. This dessert really promises you everything you craved for. I promise ;-)
More promising desserts on WFLH:
Cantuccini Plum Cheesecake
Bostini Cream Pie
Panna Cotta with Blackberry Sauce
Chocolate Caramel Tart
Banana Brioche Pudding with Bailey's Caramel Cream
This is for this month's Sugar High Friday being hosted over at CandyRecapper with the interesting theme of Candy. My Milka chocolate bar in the crust helped make the crust crispier and chocolaty.
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