Sunday, August 19, 2012

Orange cream bars - a layered treat with some layered music on the side

Orange cream bars / Barrinhas de laranja

I love layers. Layered cakes, layered performances, layered music... That is one of the reasons why I love most of Silverchair’s songs so much, especially the ones in "Diorama": they have so many different layers, so many different details that one can really feel that there was real effort put into those melodies – as their audience, I feel spoiled and lucky being treated that way. One of my favorite songs is “Across the Night” – how can one not love a song that starts with the sound of a harpsichord, followed by a big band feel? And then, in the end, there is a complete change in music, it’s like getting two different songs in one (which reminds me of the amazing “Layla”) – sublime doesn’t being to describe it.

With those talented boys and their layered music in mind, I bring you some delicious layered bars, which might seem like a lot of work but it’s not: it’s just a bit time consuming (I’ll admit that), since you need to make the layers separately and they need to cool/firm up in between; I used that time for a little TV treat since I hadn’t started reading this book by then.

Orange cream bars
from the always delicious The Good Cookie

Crust:
1 ¼ cups (175g) all-purpose flour
2/3 cup (94g) confectioners' sugar, sifted if too lumpy
pinch of salt
10 tablespoons (140g) unsalted butter, cut into 1cm (½in) cubes

Orange curd filling:
2 eggs
4 egg yolks
¾ cup (150g) granulated sugar
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
½ cup (120ml) freshly squeezed orange juice
2 tablespoons finely grated orange zest
pinch of salt
½ cup (113g/1 stick) unsalted butter, softened

Topping:
¾ cup (180ml) sour cream*
¼ cup (60ml) heavy cream
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 180°C/350°F. Line a 23cm (9in) square baking pan with foil leaving an overhang in two opposite sides. Butter the foil.
Crust: place flour, sugar and salt in the bowl of a food processor and process until blended. Scatter the pieces of butter over the mixture and pulse 6-8 times, until mixture resembles coarse meal. Process until the mixture forms large clumps and holds together when pinched between two fingers, 15-20 seconds (I had to add 1 teaspoon ice water to the pastry to get the right consistency).
Scrape the dough into the prepared pan and pat into an even layer. Using a fork, prick the dough all over. Bake for 30-35 minutes, until golden brown around the edges. Remove from oven to cooling rack and allow to cool completely.
Curd: set a fine-mesh sieve over a medium bowl and set aside. In a medium saucepan, whisk together the eggs, yolks and sugar until blended. Stir in the citrus juices, orange zest, salt, and butter and cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until the mixture thickens, 7-8 minutes (do not let the mixture boil, or it will curdle). Immediately strain the mixture through the sieve, pressing it through with a rubber spatula.
Transfer ¼ cup of the curd to a medium bowl, cover and refrigerate. Scrape the remaining warm curd onto the cooled crust and spread it into an even layer. Place the pan in the refrigerator for 30 minutes, or until the curd is cool and firm.
Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F. Whisk the sour cream, heavy cream, sugar, and vanilla into the reserved orange curd. Gently spread the mixture over the cooled orange curd layer.
Bake the bars 10 minutes, just until the topping is set**. Place the pan on a wire rack and cool completely, then chill in refrigerate for at least 2 hours (or up to a day).
Using a thin sharp knife, cut the bars into 16 squares, wiping the blade clean after each cut (I wiped the blade clean 3 times, tops). Serve chilled.
The bars can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator up to 5 days.

* homemade sour cream: to make 1 cup of sour cream, mix 1 cup (240ml) heavy cream with 2-3 teaspoons lemon juice in a bowl. Whisk until it starts to thicken. Cover with plastic wrap and leave at room temperature for 1 hour or until thicker (I usually leave mine on the counter overnight – except on very warm nights – and it turns out thick and silky in the following morning; refrigerate for a creamier texture)

** my bars were in the oven for 25 minutes (!!) and the topping did not firm up – I removed if from the oven and it ended up firming in the refrigerator, but not enough to hold its shape once the bars got sliced

Makes 16 – I made the exact recipe above using a 20cm (8in) square pan

6 comments:

deb said...

I adore citrus desserts! What a delectable creamy treat, perfect for a decadent afternoon snack with tea.

Zoe said...

Hi Patrica,

These bars look wonderful!

Nice to learn from you too that I can make my own sour cream by leaving the cream and lemon juice mixture on the counter overnight and refrigerate later a creamy texture. Thanks for this fantastic tip!

Zoe

Laura (Tutti Dolci) said...

Pretty bars, I can never resist a layered treat!

RecipeGirl said...

Oh Dear- these look delicious. My favorite flavor!

Tandy said...

these sound delicious!

Laura Dembowski said...

Those look fabulous and sound so unique. I love a layered dessert like that with different textures and flavors

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