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International Desserts for the Winter Olympics: Peru Cristo Morado Cake

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As the eyes of the world turn to the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics and we witness some of the finest athletes in the world compete in their chosen sport, there is no need to be watching on an empty stomach! As the world gathers in Sochi, Russia, we bring the world together in the kitchen and celebrate international diversity with some classic world famous desserts!

It may be known as the land of the Inca's but in the culinary world, Peru is one of the shining jewels in the crown known as international cuisine. This simply unbelievable cake is a national treasure in Peru.

I should point out here that I do present this cake differently than they do in Peru. In Peru this cake is presented as a square, with each piece of dough formed into a log. For presentation purposes, I made the pieces of dough into balls and constructed them to look like a glazed Christmas tree, as this cake is a holiday tradition for many people.

What you have here are wonderfully rich little globes of pastry glazed with a citrus (in this case orange) syrup and then piled high and finished off with an orange/brown sugar drenching of pure sweet splendor.

Ingredients needed to make Cristo Morado Cake (makes 1 cake):

  • 4 cups flour
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ½ cup shortening, chilled
  • ½ cup butter, chilled and diced
  • 6 egg yolks, beaten
  • ½ cup anisette liqueur
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 2 Tbs. lemon juice
  • 1 ½ cups brown sugar
  • ½ cup sugar

Steps:

  1. In a large bowl whisk the flour and the salt. Add the shortening and butter and using a pastry blender or your fingertips, cut the shortening and butter into the flour until it resembles a coarse meal.
  2. In a small bowl whisk together the egg yolks and liqueur. Stir this into the flour mixture to form a dough.
  3. Place the dough on a floured surface and divide into 30 pieces. Roll each piece into a golf ball sized ball, making sure each is about same size for the proper construction of the cake.
  4. Pre-heat the oven to 350. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  5. Place the pastries onto the prepared baking sheets.
  6. Place in oven and bake 45 minutes or until golden in color.
  7. In a medium saucepan over low heat whisk together the orange juice, lemon juice and sugar and cook, without stirring, 1 hour (should be at 260 on a candy thermometer).
  8. Remove the pastries from the oven and let cool on a rack.
  9. Place the pastries on a plate in a pyramid style (on top of each other). After the first layer spoon some of the syrup over the pastries and follow this step with each subsequent layer and then spoon the remaining syrup over the completed cake.
  10. Late the cake sit at room temperature for 2 hours before serving

The internationally bestselling cookbook from Chef Larry Edwards, "Edwardian Cooking: 80 Recipes Inspired by Downton Abbey's Elegant Meals," is now in it's third printing and available worldwide in both hard cover and e-book versions. The paperback version will be released March 4, 2014.

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