Category Archives: Desserts

Mars Bar Cheesecake!

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Base 

200g digestive buscuits
 70g melted butter 

Filling 

500g cream cheese (Philadelphia, Kiri etc)
1/3 Cup sugar 
2 eggs 
1 tablespoon cocoa powder 
300g (about 1.5 cups) sour cream  
100g Good quality dark chocolate melted
150g Mars bar (about 3 bars) melted

Topping:

60g white chocolate
40ml single or double cream
1 sliced Mars Bar

Method

Brush a 23cm round springform tin with melted butter/oil and line the base and sides with baking paper.

Place biscuits into a food bag and bash with a rolling pin until they firm a fairly fine crumb. This can also be done in a food processor.

Mix together the biscuit crumbs and butter, press firmly into the base of the tin and refrigerate while preparing the filling.

Pre-heat the oven to 180C

Beat the cream cheese and sugar with electric beaters until smooth and creamy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the cocoa and sour cream until smooth. Beat in the cooled (make sure its cool otherwise the eggs will cook) melted dark chocolate and Mars. Pour over the base. Smooth surface and bake for 45 minutes. The cheesecake may not be fully set, but will firm up.

Refrigerate, overnight if possible, until cold.

Remove the cheesecake from the tin and place on serving plate.

Melt the white chocolate and cream together in the microwave for about 30 seconds and then mix until it’s all melted and creamy. Allow to cool a little before pouring over the top of the cake.

Decorate with Mars slices.

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Lentil soup

Basmala

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Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, grated
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree
  • 3 tbsp fresh, chopped coriander
  • 100g orange lentil
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp ground cummin
  • 1.5 litres water

Saut the onion until soft and then add the garlic and cook for a further minute or two. Add the remaining ingredients and bring to boil then simmer for about 45 minutes.

I like to blend the soup quickly for a smoother consistency.

Chocolate Sundaes

Basmala

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After a full day of fasting I find I can really get a huge chocolate craving. Need that sugar rush and some oh-so-creamy chocolate. My eldest daughter loves the chocolate sundaes that you can buy in the yogurt aisle of the supermarket and I was craving something rich so I decided to try making my own.

I decided on a layer of chocolate fudge brownie, some raspberries, whipped cream, chocolate mousse and chocolate sauce.

For the chocolate fudge brownie I used my wholemeal brownie recipe with half wholemeal flour and half white.

Chocolate mousse

2 medium eggs
60g chocolate (at least 70% cocoa)
2 tsp sugar (or to taste)

Break the chocolate into pieces and microwave gently until melted.

Whisk the egg whites into soft peaks, add the sugar, and whisk briefly.

Mix the egg yolks quickly into the melted chocolate and then whisk in a third of the egg white. Fold the rest very gently into the mixture until just combined.

Refrigerate until the brownie in the glasses has cooled sufficiently so as not to melt the mousse.

Chocolate sauce

80g dark chocolate
80ml cream

Melt chocolate and cream together and stir until smooth and well combined. Make sure that it cools before drizzling over the cream at the final stage. It doesn’t matter if it’s still warm when you drizzle it over the raspberries and brownie though.

Cream

Whip 1 x 200ml tub of whipping cream

Assembly

Place 1 square of brownie in to each glass (6 glasses)

Add a few frozen raspberries on top of the brownie and a spoonful of the chocolate sauce.

Add a dollop of whipped cream then even divide the chocolate mousse between the 6 glasses. Top with the remaining whipped cream and a drizzle of the chocolate sauce.

Refrigerate for 3-4 hours.

Verdict:  The dessert was absolutely beautiful. All of the kids gave it the thumbs up. The raspberries were wonderful combined with the rich chocolate and mousse was heavenly. Te only thing I would do differently would be to use something else apart from chocolate brownie as this did make it a bit heavy towards the bottom of the glass. The brownie soaked up juices from the raspberries and the sauce and became a little stodgy. I think crumbled digestive at the bottom would make a lighter base.

Ramadan Day 4

Basmala

Felt rather tired today but personally I find keeping busy in the kitchen helps the time to pass quicker so I am happy to stay there making a few things.

Today there was Algerian shorba again, vegetarian as it was last time but this time with tiny Orzo pasta (or Tli-tli as the Algerians call it) instead of burghul or vermicelli. There were some leftovers as well as mini pizzas that came out soft as little pillows, vegetable samosas as I made a double batch yesterday and cheese and potato Borek. A tip for the potato borek that I picked up from my dear sister-in-law is to use instant potato! Yes… the powdered stuff in boxes – remember the adverts for Smash in the 1970’s or early 1980’s??! “For mash get Smash!” So, I used about 120g of Tesco instant potato and about 550ml of boiling water, stirred well with a wooden spoon and then added a knob of butter and about 150g grated cheddar. I used this to fill the spring roll pastry and folded into logs. I slightly over-cooked them as you can see in the photo. 🙄

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Dessert was Eve’s pudding but made with strawberries and raspberries instead of apples – this was served with rich chocolate ganache. It didn’t turn out quite as planned because I took a shortcut and used a supermarket cake packet mixture which was a bit too runny for this recipe. It was very tasty though with the tart, tanginess of the raspberries and the soft, sweetness of the cake. I didn’t think it really needed the rich chocolate sauce but my 15 yr old and 13 yr old daughters disagreed. Nice to have pleased someone!

Ramadan day 3 – Cheesy Chicken Roll Ups

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Another day, another fast and alhamdu lillah everyone got through the day in one piece! It was a bit of a cooking fest today – I made chicken noodle soup, vegetable samosas and cheese and garlic stuffed chicken breast slices and also cooked up some shop bought tortelloni. In addition of course, there was leftover couscous salad and tuna rolls.

The chicken rolls are very simple and require only a few ingredients.

Ingredients

  • 2 large chicken breasts, thinly sliced
  • 75g medium strength Cheddar cheese
  • 1 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • breadcrumbs
The chicken breasts I used made 9 slices, the remaining bits of chicken I used for the chicken noodle soup.
Mix the cheese and garlic together and then divide between the chicken slices and roll. Dip in the egg and then the breadcrumbs and then hallow fry in a little oil until lightly golden. Bake in the oven at 190C until golden and cooked through (about 25-30 mins).

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A bit later in the day I had a sudden urge to try making a chocolate sundae, all from scratch. Needless to say, it was a hit. Recipe to follow another day but it consisted of chocolate fudge brownie, raspberries, homemade chocolate mousse, homemade chocolate sauce and whipped cream. Chocolate heaven!

I have to add that making brownies AND mousse when fasting is torturous as you can’t lick the bowl out afterwards! 😯

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Tofu Chocolate mousse

Basmala

I had a carton of tofu in the fridge and wasn’t sure what to do with it until I stumbled upon this recipe.

It’s a fantastically simple chocolate mousse dessert with minimal ingredients and tastes amazingly rich. You’d never believe that it contains tofu and NO eggs or cream.  If you love rich chocolate desserts, this really is a ‘must try’ even if you are not vegan. The other big bonus is that it contains no raw eggs.

Technically it does not set to a mousse-like consistency but the consistency is very pleasant and thick; just the way a cold chocolate dessert should be.

You need:

  • 1x 12 ounce package of silken tofu (I used ‘firm’)
  • 10 oz milk or dark chocolate (check that it is dairy free if you are making it for someone who is vegan)
  • 3 tsbp maple syrup (I used 2tbsp as I used milk chocolate which was sweet enough)
  • 1tsp vanilla essence (optional)

Melt the chocolate in a double boiler or the microwave.

Blend tofu (preferably at room temperature) in food processor, blender, or with hand mixer until just smooth.

Scrape the melted chocolate into the food processor with the tofu and continue blending, add maple syrup and vanilla and process until creamy.

Pour into individual serving glasses or one large bowl and refrigerate until set.

I finished mine off with a grating of white chocolate but it would be gorgeous with something like chocolate curls or fresh raspberries, strawberries or mandarin segments.

Crostata Con La Crema

Basmala

The 2010 November Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Simona of briciole. She chose to challenge Daring Bakers’ to make pasta frolla for a crostata. She used her own experience as a source, as well as information from Pellegrino Artusi’s Science in the Kitchen and the Art of Eating Well.

Download the pdf of the recipes here.

Ingredients for the Crostata:

  • 1/2 c. minus 1 tablespoon [105 ml, 100 g, 3 ½ oz] superfine/caster sugar  or a scant 3/4 cup [180ml, 90g, 3 oz] of powdered sugar
  • 1 and 3/4 cup [420 ml, 235 g, 8 1/4 oz.] unbleached all-purpose flour
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1 stick [8 tablespoons / 4 oz. / 115 g] cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • grated zest of half a lemon (you could also use vanilla sugar as an option)
  • 1 large egg and 1 large egg yolk, lightly beaten in a small bowl

Making pasta frolla by hand:

  1. Whisk together sugar, flour and salt in a bowl.
  2. Rub or cut the butter into the flour until the mixture has the consistency of coarse crumbs. You can do this in the bowl or on your work surface, using your fingertips or an implement of choice.
  3. Make a well in the center of the mounded flour and butter mixture and pour the beaten eggs into it (reserve about a teaspoon of the egg mixture for glazing purposes later on – place in the refrigerator, covered, until ready to use).
  4. Add the lemon zest to your flour/butter/egg mixture.
  5. Use a fork to incorporate the liquid into the solid ingredients, and then use your fingertips.
  6. Knead lightly just until the dough comes together into a ball.
  7. Shape the dough into a flat disk and wrap in plastic wrap. Place the dough in the refrigerator and chill for at least two hours. You can refrigerate the dough overnight.

Making pasta frolla with a food processor:

  1. Put sugar, flour, salt, and lemon zest in the food processor and pulse a few times to mix.
  2. Add butter and pulse a few times, until the mixture has the consistency of coarse meal.
  3. Empty food processor’s bowl onto your work surface
  4. See step 3 above and continue as explained in the following steps (minus the lemon zest, which you have already added).

For the tart filling I chose to make a lemon custard much like the filling for a Tarte au Citron but you can let your imagination run away and use almost anything as the filling. I loved the texture of the crostata and will definitely use this recipe again for tart making.

For some very useful tips on the pastry making, look here.