Saturday, March 6, 2010

You are my biggest what if - Chocolate Ricotta Turnovers

I should probably keep this blog free of personal stuff, keep it professional and talk only about food but two weeks ago I turned 26... and it got me thinking. This always happens to me on my birthday when the weight of years past start adding up. I think and think and most of the time I end up summing all my what if.

Lately I've been feeling like something is not going the way it's supposed to be, or it should be, in my life. I'm 26 already, the big 30 is just around the corner, I'm not even close to getting married or putting up a family and comments such as "you know, you're not getting any younger" are starting to become a little too frequent for my own liking and honestly it's starting to affect me in ways it shouldn't. I know things happen when they're supposed to but what if it's too late? Maybe I'm the problem... maybe I should stop believing in fairy tales, in Prince Charming and just grow up already! But then again, I don't wanna feel like I'm settling... I may not be the best catch in the world but I think I still deserve better than settling.

And in all this thinking I've realized that I've always given to guys I fell for more than what they probably deserved... And got nothing but heartache in return. Heck I almost bought a real panda bear for one of them (well, sponsored one... kinda like you do with stars) and I flew across the world for another one... and this last one will always be my biggest what if. What if I had been more like this? What if I had done this instead of that? What if I had told him those three little words when I felt them? What if I had never met him at all? Four years have past and he's still keeping me tied to him in a way of another.

So, you are my biggest what if but I've grown tired of not knowing where I stand with you. Our time has come and gone and now I've decided that I'll stop wondering what could have been if I'd done things differently with you because, in the end, I know that I've done the best I could.

But this doesn't change the fact that I'm 26, turning 30, and I'm just lost...

Yes, that is melted chocolate oozing out of it!!

You're probably thinking "enough with the rambling and lets get to the recipe already!!"

I am terribly sorry, I will *try* to never ever let this happen ever again, my apologies. Sooo lets move on to the good stuff, shall we.

My cousin E is the only one I really feel understands me because I think we're at the same point in our lives, and so I know I can tell her everything. And although it was my birthday, these turnovers were a gift to her, to thank her for being the sister I've never had (although my brother is AWESOME). The recipe is from The Golden Book of Chocolate and I got it as a gift this Christmas. As we were looking through it together that day, she stopped on these turnovers' recipe and demanded that I made them for her. So here they are!! And E, thank you for being the best confident I could have ever asked for. (Needless to say, she loved them... but what's not to love about them, there just Heaven in a turnover!!).

Chocolate Ricotta Turnovers
Yields 12 turnovers

12 oz (350 gr) frozen puff pastry, thawed
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/4 (50 gr) demerara sugar

For the filling
1 cup (250 gr) ricotta cheese, drained
1/3 cup (85 gr) granulated sugar
2 large egg yolks
1 tbsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp all-purpose flour
1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1/3 cup (75 gr) raisins (I omitted - not fond of raisins)
2 oz (60 gr) semisweet chocolate, chopped (I felt lazy and didn't feel like chopping so I dumped a whole bunch of chocolate chips in the bowl)

Preheat the oven to 400F (200C) and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Prepare the filling: Process the ricotta in a food processor for a few seconds until smooth. Transfer to a bowl and mix in the sugar, egg yolks and vanilla. In a separate bowl combine the flour and the cocoa and fold into the mixture. Stir in the raisins and chocolate. Cover and chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

Place the pastry on a lightly floured work surface. Dust the top with flour and roll out into a 20x15 inch (38x50 cm) rectangle about 1/4 inch (5mm) thick. Trim the edges to straighten and spoon 2 tablespoons of the filling onto the center of each pastry square.

Brush the beaten egg around the edges of the each square and fold one corner diagonally over to meet the opposite corner, forming a triangle. Press down on the seams, joining the 2 layers. Place the turnovers on the prepared baking sheets 1 inch (2.5cm) apart. Refrigerate 15 minutes, brush each turnover top with the remaining egg and sprinkle with demerare sugar. Bake until golden brown, 25-30 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool.

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