So these cherry and orange cheesecakes are ABSOLUTELY irresistible! Trust me, I’d know after the number of those I have eaten. I served them with extra whipped cream and cherries on top and then the term “food porn” truly came to life. Nothing much to add here, just go try making these and you will see for yourself.
CHERRY AND ORANGE MINI CHEESECAKES (Makes 6)
90g digestive biscuits
45g butter, melted
grated peel of 1 orange
a few drops of orange extract
3 tablespoons double cream
About 200g cherries
- In a medium bowl crush the biscuits and pour in melted butter. Mix together until all crumbs are coated with butter. Divide this between the jars and press into the bottom. Then cut cherries in half, remove the pit. Arrange the cherry halves on top of the biscuit base really tight to cover it all.
- Separately, mix mascarpone, orange peel and extract, sugar and double cream and beat this with mixer for about 2-3 minutes until all combined. Spoon this on top of cherries.
If you are looking for something that will put the seasonal fruit in a spotlight, I don’t think there is anything better suited for this than an upside-down cake. This classical cake that becomes a centre piece of any meal, proved to be a perfect use for cute little apricots that I found at my local greengrocer.
APRICOT UPSIDE-DOWN CAKE
1 teaspoon baking powder
a pinch of salt
60ml cold water
10 small apricots
- Preheat oven to 180C and grease a 23 cm cake pan.
- Mix flour with baking powder and salt. Separately, beat 125g of butter and 150g of sugar into a light and fluffy cream. Add eggs one at a time, mixing after each addition. Gradually fold in the flour.
- Pour the remaining sugar and water into a saucepan. Stir over a medium heat until the syrup caramelises and becomes golden brown in colour. Then pour into previously prepared cake pan. Melt the remaining butter and pour it over the caramel.
- Cover the bottom of the pan with apricot halves and pour the batter over them.
- Bake for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean. Cool the cake in the pan 10 minutes and then turn out onto a plate.
Meringues is one of my favourite things to bake. The work is totally not proportional to the results achieved. All you have to do is spend 5 minutes beating the egg whites, then pipe those into whatever shapes come into your mind and let the oven do the rest. What comes out then is this delicate crunchy dessert with beautifully soft and chewy centre. It already is a perfect dessert itself.
Though you can go further down the epic yumminess road and spice it up with some food flavourings, add colour, cover it in chocolate then roll it in sprinkles, sandwich it together with some cream or make it one of the layers of the cake. I could go on and on, and on… And I actually am, as I have tried all of those options, so this time I wanted to try something new and these meringue nests with chocolate mousse filling and raspberries is the result.
MERINGUE NESTS WITH CHOCOLATE MOUSSE AND RASPBERRIES (Makes 8)
4 egg whites
110g dark chocolate + 50g for decorating, melted
2 egg yolks
2 tablespoons sugar
250ml double cream
- Preheat oven to 100C. Line a baking tray with baking paper.
- In a large bowl beat egg whites until soft peaks form. With mixer still on start adding sugar one teaspoon at a time. Beat to firm peaks. Spoon this mixture into a piping bag and pipe 8 discs measuring about 8-9cm in diameter. Then pipe only outline circles on the top, thus forming a small nest. Repeat one more time to increase the height of the sides. Bake the meringues for 1h 45min and then turn the oven off and keep them there for another hour. Do not open the oven before the cooling time is over.
- In the meantime prepare the chocolate mousse. In a small saucepan combine egg yolks, 1 tablespoon of sugar and 60ml of cream. Heat this mixture on a medium fire until it coats the back of the spoon. Do not let it boil. Then remove from the heat and slowly fold in melted chocolate.
- Separately, beat the rest of the cream with 1 tablespoon of sugar into soft peaks. Gradually fold in egg and chocolate mixture. Cover the mousse and place in the fridge until the meringues are ready.
- Once the meringues are cooked and cooled, spoon about 3-4 teaspoons of mousse into each nest and cover with fresh raspberries. Decorate with melted chocolate.
What a busy month April turned out to be. In the best sense though. It started with a family weekend out in the mountains and continued to be a family focus month with my parent visit in mid April. Apart from a couple of stressful exam related moments in between, it has been great to me.
With me being out and about, you might have noticed a lack of posts on the blog. This doesn’t mean I haven’t been baking, it’s just that I haven’t managed to document it that well. The skill of taking pictures and writing up the recipes in a hurry is definitely something I should still work on.
When my parents came to Barcelona couple of weeks ago I asked them to bring some quark cheese as it is something I really miss here (yes, I’m talking about it again, I’m a bit obsessed with quark and cottage cheese). Half of it has been destined to turn into these fluffy quark pancakes, which for sure is one of the best things you can turn quark into.
FLUFFY QUARK PANCAKES (Makes about 7 big pancakes)
180g quark cheese
5-7 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
a few drops of vanilla extract
- Add quark, eggs and sugar to a large bowl and mix well until the ingredients are combined.
- Separately mix together flour and baking powder. Gradually start adding flour and milk to the egg mix alternating between two, i.e. add 1/3 part of flour, mix, add 1/3 of milk, mix. Continue until all incorporated. Add a few drops of vanilla and stir it in.
- Add a bit of oil to a pan and heat it up over a medium fire. Scoop two tablespoons of mixture and pour in the pan. Let the pancake cook about 2 minutes on each side before turning it.
- Serve pancakes with honey and fresh fruit for ultimate yumminess.