I’m not much of a citrus person;– my closest lemon preference would probably be in the form of a rectangular thin crackly crackers sandwiching a sweet lemon cream of sorts in the bottom of an old-school assorted Khong Guan biscuit tin, which on hindsight may actually just contain artificial lemon essence to begin with. And I’m certainly aware of, but do not partake in the dichotomy between the pro and anti-lemon/citrus camps, since I’ve never actually tasted anything strictly lemon, well beyond my cowardly grating of lemon zest into my strawberry muffins (aside: I’ve added lemon to anything strawberry ever since the discover that lemon + strawberry is perfect). But of all the lemon desserts that taunt me out there, nothing quite intrigues me as the luscious spread known to have even won the hearts of some of my non-citrus fan friends.
I do know, however, that I’m very much a dessert person, and having something sweet seemed the perfect pairing and balance for something tart. Unfortunately not everyone is a self-proclaimed chocoholic like myself, so as much as the sound of chocolate fudge was ringing incessantly in my ear, I decided to opt for a more popular choice of smooth golden brown indulgence, with a little touch (or taste if you prefer) of adult, so to speak.
So when the mister and I headed down to Farhan’s lovely home last weekend, I knew exactly what to bring along for the hostess. Of course I was going out on a limb there, since firstly, I was defying the unspoken rule of sticking to tried-and-tested recipes when bringing a gift, and secondly, I wasn’t quite sure how she took to citrus and caramel. But I reckoned if the spreads didn’t work out, I still had time to make amends with some oven magic. And since the hostess loves her weekend breakfasts, and never fails to dish out great desserts, perhaps it wouldn’t hurt to have a little lemon curd to go with her toast, and a drizzle of dark chocolate caramel sauce over her ice-cream.
Thanks for having us over, Farhan, H, and Hana!
(adapted from here)
1 cup sugar
1 cup lemon juice
zest of 3 lemons
1⁄2 cup butter
- In a double boiler, mix the eggs together, then pour in the lemon juice, zest and sugar. Whisk until the mixture becomes pale in colour.
- Continue whisking until the mixture begins to thicken (enough to coat the back of a spoon), then remove from the heat and continue stirring until there are no lumps.
- Add in the butter and mix in until it melts, and is fully incorporated.
- Cool the curd slightly, and transfer to a sterile jar. It will keep refrigerated for about 3 weeks.
Dark Chocolate Caramel Sauce
(adapted from here)
1 cup sugar
85 grams butter
1⁄2 cup thickened cream
3 ounces bittersweet / dark chocolate, chopped
- In a deep 2-quart saucepan, heat the sugar under moderate high heat.
- As the sugar begins to melt, stir vigorously with a whisk or wooden spoon. As soon as the sugar comes to a boil, stop stirring. You can swirl the pan a bit if you want.
- As soon as all of the sugar crystals have melted (the liquid sugar should be dark amber in color), immediately add the butter to the pan. Whisk until the butter has melted.
- Once the butter has melted, take the pan off the heat. Count to three, then slowly add the cream to the pan and continue to whisk to incorporate. ( Note than when you add the butter and the cream, the mixture will foam up considerably, so be careful!) Whisk until caramel sauce is smooth.
- Add the finely chopped chocolate and stir until it is melted and incorporated.
- Cool the sauce slightly, then transfer to a sterile jar. It will keep refrigerated for about 3 weeks. Warm before serving.