Cheesecake and poppy seed tartlets

lemon cheesecake tartlets © dan and tuesday

lemon cheesecake tartlets © dan and tuesday

Last weekend, I saw a recipe which I couldn’t resist: tartlet cheesecake and you make your own pastry from scratch! It’s a recipe that calls for lemon and poppy seeds which are lovely together. I love a really tart lemon poppy seed loaf!

This lemon cheesecake tartlet is really, really good! The cheesecake just melts in your mouth and the pastry is soft with a hint of lemon tartness mixed with the poppy seeds. It is a Yotam Ottolenghi recipe published in The Guardian Weekend last week. For the non-UK blog visitors, it’s a magazine which comes out every Saturday with The Guardian newspaper.

It’s very easy to make but it takes awhile for the tarts to be ready.

poppy seeds © kirsten loza

poppy seeds © dan and tuesday

For the poppy seed pastry you need:

  • 170 g plain flour plus extra
  • 50 g icing sugar
  • 90 g cold butter, diced
  • 1/2 tbsp grated lemon zest
  • 1 tbsp poppy seed
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1 free-range egg yolk
  • about 1 tbsp cold water

For the cheesecake you need:

  • 200 g cream cheese (I used extra light Philadelphia cream cheese, perhaps it would set better if I used the full-fat version? I’ll let you know next time!)
  • 60g caster sugar
  • 2 small free-range eggs
  • 90 g sour cream
  • 2 small lemons for 50 ml lemon juice and 1 tbsp zest
  • butter for brushing the tins
  • icing sugar to sprinkle

Tools

  • mixing bowls
  • lemon juicer and zester
  • shallow muffin tins or tartlet tins or silicone bakeware
  • rolling pin
  • food processor
  • hand whisk
  • baking beans

What to do:

  1. Make the pastry by putting the flour, sugar, butter, zest, poppy seed, and salt in a food processor and let it mix for a bit. Then mix the egg yolk and just enough water so that it’s all together.

    pastry dough © kirsten loza

    pastry dough © dan and tuesday

  2. Take the pastry out, wrap in a cling wrap and put it in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  3. Pre-heat oven to 160˚C. Grease the baking tin or silicone bakeware with butter.
  4. Flour your work space and roll out the pastry  until it’s about 1/2 cm thick.
  5. Cut circles- the recipe says 8 but I manage to get a dozen out of my pastry. Line the tin with pastry circles. The put it back on the fridge for 20 minutes.

    cutting circles © dan and tuesday

    cutting circles © dan and tuesday

  6. Line each pastry case with baking parchment and fill it with baking beans. Bake for 15 minutes until golden. Take out of the oven, remove the beans out and let the pastry cool down. Lower the oven temperature to 150˚C.

    baking beans © dan and tuesday

    baking beans © dan and tuesday

  7. Now to make the cheesecake – whisk the cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Add the sour cream,  lemon juice and zest.
  8. Fill the pastry cases with cream cheese to the top and bake for 15 minutes until it has set.

    lemon cheesecake tartlet © dan and tuesday

    lemon cheesecake tartlet © dan and tuesday

  9. Leave to cool then chill for about an hour before removing from the tin.
  10. Dust with icing sugar before serving, if you like.

    Very, very delicious cheesecake tartlet © dan and tuesday

    Very, very delicious cheesecake tartlet © dan and tuesday

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Dark chocolate biscotti

Nespresso cappuccino with dark chocolate biscotti © dan&tuesday

Nespresso cappuccino with dark chocolate biscotti © dan&tuesday

I have been wanting to do some baking but in the summer, I don’t really crave a lot of heavy cake-based kind of desserts. Eating fresh fruits beats any kind of fancy dessert in the summer. My favourite summer dessert is probably Eton Mess.

Still, I fancy getting the oven working to make me something lovely that does not need to be eaten in a couple of days. This biscotti should last a week if you store it well.

I have adapted this from the Hamlyn Cookery Book which is a fantastic book for beginning cooks (like myself).

You will need:

  • 150 g of dark chocolate, chopped (I only have chocolate chips in my cupboard so I used those)
  • 25 g of unsalted butter (Also run out so I used a slightly salted one)
  • 225 g self-raising flour
  • 2 free-range eggs
  • 50 g light muscovado sugar (Didn’t have any so I used light brown caster sugar)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 100 g almond nuts, chopped or sliced (original recipe called for pecan nuts)
  • icing sugar, for dusting

Tools

  • baking sheet, greased or lined with baking paper
  • Pre-heated oven at 190˚C
  • mixing bowls

What to do

  1. Melt 200g of the chopped dark chocolate with the butter.

    melting chocolate © dan&tuesday

    melting chocolate © dan&tuesday

  2. Sift self-raising flour to a mixing bowl and then add eggs, sugar, nuts, vanilla extract, and the melted chocolate and butter mixture.

    mix everything © dan & tuesday

    mix everything © dan & tuesday

  3. Add the rest of the chopped chocolate until you have a dough.

    make it into a dough © dan & tuesday

    make it into a dough © dan & tuesday

  4. Dust the work surface with flour, transfer the dough, and cut it in half.
  5. Form two logs of about 10 inches long (really depends on how big the baking sheet is!), flatten to about 2 cm thick (a little less than an inch). Transfer to the baking tray and then bake for 18-20 mins.

    cut into two logs © dan & tuesday

    cut into two logs © dan & tuesday

  6. Remove from the oven and then reduce the heat of the oven to 160˚C.
  7. Leave the biscotti to cool for 20 mins before cutting it with a bread knife (serrated) into 2 cm thick slices. In my first try, it keeps crumbling so I lost a few biscotti 😦 So I started cutting them a bit thicker.

    Leave to cool © dan & tuesday

    Leave to cool © dan & tuesday

  8. Place the cut biscotti back into the baking tray with a little space in between them and then cook for another 15 mins.
  9. Transfer to a wire rack and then dust with icing sugar.

    Dust with icing powder © dan & tuesday

    Dust with icing powder © dan & tuesday

  10. Best served with coffee.

PS. I still love my Nespresso machine. It’s one of the best things I bought for our kitchen.

PPS. I am really liking the new flickr look, I find that inserting images is easier and does not involve going back and forth pages for me.

PPPS. I re-discovered smitten kitchen and Deb shares a chocolate hazelnut biscotti which I’ll try next time.

Strawberries

Fresh strawberries in June

Fresh strawberries in June

Strawberries, from now on, will always remind me of British summers. But you know they also have always ALWAYS evoke memories of family trips to Baguio City. For my brothers and me, Baguio is like another country. It’s a city in the mountain AND it’s cold(-er than the rest of the Philippines) AND pine trees grow!

We never go home from Baguio without at least a punnet of fresh strawberrries, and several jars of strawberry jam from Good Shepherd. Strawberry jam on hot pan de sal is absolutely divine.

The Baguio of today is no longer the same as the one I remember as a child. I visited more than 5 years ago. It is so much busier and the air no longer smells of pine trees. But the strawberries! Oh, they are still there. As sweet as I remember them 🙂

Chopped strawberries

Chopped strawberries

This evening I made Eton Mess for a dear colleague who is leaving for Switzerland. I thought it is a fitting dessert to remind her of the UK. Plus it is the easiest dessert to put together, unless you want to make your own meringue.

More chopped strawberries

More chopped strawberries

I didn’t and instead bought meringue nests from M&S. Listen, even Delia cheats! Strawberries are in season so best to choose home-grown strawberries.

Chop the strawberries – it doesn’t have to be evenly chopped. In fact, I learned a new word today: macerate. Yes, macerate your strawberries. Put them in a bowl or any container and sprinkle a little sugar, then put them away.

You also need some whipping cream. Sandy suggested mixing the cream with yoghurt – an idea I loved because I can never find enough excuse to use Greek yoghurt.

To assemble: break the meringue into a bowl, add the cream and then strawberries. That’s it!

For a little jazzy (and probably a proper one), you can make a strawberry purée to drizzle on your Eton Mess. Or spice it up with some sherry.

Dan and I only had a little bowl each

Dan and I only had a little bowl each

Rhubarb crumble

Making rhubarb crumble © dan&tuesday

Making rhubarb crumble © dan&tuesday

Last Friday, Gill from work brought about 2 k of rhubarb! I took half not really knowing what to do with them. I’ve never seen them in the Philippines and I’ve only tried them since living in in the UK. Still, I’ve always wanted to try making my own crumble and getting a bunch of rhubarb from Gill is my perfect excuse.

Next step is trawling my cookbooks for the easiest rhubarb recipe. Nigella Lawson’s How to be a Domestic Goddess suggests a few things you can do with your rhubarb:

  • make a brown sauce (!!)
  • rhubarb cornmeal cake
  • rhubarb grunt
  • rhubarb schnapps (!)
  • rhubarb tart
  • variation of Victoria sponge
  • rhubarb-crumble kuchen

She did say you can’t have too many rhubarb recipes in a cookbook.

NL’s rhubarb crumble looks more complicated so I decided to go for the ever reliable Delia. This recipe from her book Delia’s Vegetarian Collection calls for ginger to be mixed with the rhubarb and almonds on your crumble. It’s is gorgeous!

Making the crumble © dan&tuesday

Making the crumble © dan&tuesday

You need:

  • about 900g of rhubarb, wash then trim the ends and cut in 1inch sections
  • 1 tsp grated fresh ginger
  • 110g golden caster sugar (get fairtrade if you can)
  • 110g raw whole almonds (with skin)
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 100g cold butter, cut in small cubes
  • 175 g sifted self-raising flour
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 110g demerra sugar
  • something to serve it with: I prefer vanilla ice-cream. I’m not a big fan of custard or cream

Tools

  • food processor
  • pre-heated oven at 200˚C
  • mixing bowl
  • baking dish about 9in wide, 2in deep

What to do:

  1. Mix the rhubarb with sugar and ginger and put it on the baking dish. Make sure the rhubard is well-covered with sugar. Set it aside and work on the crumble.
  2. Put the butter, ground ginger, ground cinnamon, flour, and sugar in the food processor. Blast it until it looks like a crumble. Add the almonds and do a quick pulse so that the almond is broken down into small chunks. And it’s done!
  3. Before putting the crumble on top of the sugared rhubarb. make sure that there are no big gaps in the baking dish. Just spread the crumble and over the rhubarb. Press it down and then run a fork lightly on the surface.

    Rhubarb crumble © dan&tuesday

    Rhubarb crumble © dan&tuesday

  4. Cook for 35-40 mins (40 mins on my oven!) and then leave it to stand for about 15 mins before serving.
  5. Best served warm with vanilla ice-cream. Or if you are not me, maybe you would like custard or pouring cream.

Dark chocolate peanut butter cookies

Dark chocolate peanut butter cookies © dan&tuesday

Dark chocolate peanut butter cookies © dan & tuesday

So far I’ve done 3 recipes from the hummingbird bakery cookbook. The Pecan pie, that was first, and then this wonderful peanut butter cookies, second. The third one was the lemon loaf but that will be another post.

If, like me, you enjoy a super chunky peanut butter and dark chocolate, then this is a little piece of heaven on earth! It was even more delish after a day or two as the cookies become a bit chewy.

You need:

  • 225g unsalted butter at room temp
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 200g light brown sugar
  • 2 free-range eggs
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 240g chunky peanut butter
  • 340g plain flour
  • 2 1/2 tsp bicarbonate soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 75g chopped dark chocolate
Cookie dough © dan & tuesday

Cookie dough © dan & tuesday

Tools:

  • baking trays x 4 lined with greaseproof paper
  • freestanding or handheld mixer
  • mixing bowls
  • rubber spatula
  • Pre-heated oven at 170˚C

What to do:

  1. Dan tries to help © dan & tuesday

    Dan tries to help © dan & tuesday

    Use the mixer to cream butter, caster sugar and light brown sugar until it’s light and fluffy.

  2. Add the eggs one at a time. Make sure that the ingredients are mixed well by scraping the side of the bowl using the rubber spatula.
  3. In low speed, beat in the vanilla extract and peanut butter.
  4. Add the flour, bicarbonate soda, and salt. Mix until you have a smooth dough. Then add the dark chocolate and mix well. Taking a break from writing his awesome blog, Dan wants to help!
  5. Put about 6 cookie dough on each baking tray. Space them apart as they will spread when they are baking.
  6. Bake until the cookies are golden brown which is about 10 mins.
  7. Cool the cookies onto a cooling wire rack.
Cooling the peanut butter cookies © dan & tuesday

Cooling the peanut butter cookies © dan & tuesday

Pecan pie

I met Monette when we were in first grade (age 7) in school. Then we became neighbours in 1985. She recently moved to London to study and work, and after 8 months, she found her way on a megabus to visit me in Cardiff. Yay!

So, a special treat was in store for this wonderful visit. Drinks on Friday night with friends from work, Saturday brunch on my balcony and home-made dinner, and Sunday kedgeree brunch (from previous post) and trip to the beach.

I wanted to try a new dessert from one of the cookbooks I got for my birthday– I got 2 cookbooks from Dan and 2 from my brother and his wife. More on the other cookbooks in the next posts. For this pecan pie, I used a recipe from the hummingbird bakery cookbook.

It was a decision between pecan or key lime pie. Pecan won.

basic pie dough on tuesys hand © dan and tuesy

basic pie dough on tuesy's hand © dan and tuesy

You need:

  • Basic pie crust dough – the recipe I used will be for another post, here are some recipes
  • 100g chopped pecan nuts, leave some whole ones to put on top
  • 3 eggs
  • 60g unsalted butter
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 250ml golden syrup – if you can find dark corn syrup, use that instead
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract

Tools

  • 23-cm pie dish
  • rolling pin
  • preheated oven at 170˚C

What to do:

  1. Dust a clean work surface in your kitchen with flour. Roll out the dough using the rolling pin. Line the pie dish with the dough and then trim the edges.
  2. In a large saucepan, put the sugar, corn syrup and salt. Bring to boil on medium heat then remove from the heat. Allow it to cool a little but don’t let it cool down completely or it will be very thick!
  3. In a bowl, whisk eggs until they are mixed. Pour the warm syrup into the eggs and stir quickly.
  4. Add butter and vanilla extract to the mixture until the butter has melted and evenly distributed.
  5. Put the chopped pecan nuts into the crust then pour the mixture on top of it. Put the remaining pecan nuts on top of the mixture, close to the edge.
  6. Bake for about 50-60 minutes or until it is a caramel colour.
  7. Serve warm with vanilla ice-cream!

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Cappuccino cheesecake

cappuccino cheesecake © tuesday

cappuccino cheesecake © tuesday

With my oven’s thermostat fixed,  I’m so excited to try a new dessert. Something I haven’t done before. My first stop is the Divine: Heavenly Chocolate recipes book. It has wonderful recipes with beautiful images. This is the second recipe I’ve used from the book. The first one was the rich, dark chocolate cup cake.

The cheesecake turned out really well. It has a perfect texture and the coffee taste really works well with its creaminess.

Oh, I should remind you that this is best prepared the day before. Now how to make this gorgeous dessert…

You need:

biscuits © tuesy

biscuits © tuesday

For the base of the cheesecake

  • 1 bar of dark chocolate or Divine coffee chocolate (100g)
  • 50 g unsalted butter, diced
  • 200g Hob Nobs or digestive biscuits

crushing biscuits © tuesday

crushing biscuits © tuesday

For the cheesecake

  • 500g cream cheese (I used Philadelphia)
  • 125g light muscovado sugar
  • 50g caster sugar
  • 2 tsp instant coffee dissolved in 1tbsp of hot water
  • 1 tbsp Kahlua (optional)
  • 2 large free range eggs

Dusting: cocoa powder

Tools:

  • 23cm spring based cake tin, greased, put on a baking tray
  • Oven pre-heat at 160˚C

What to do:

  1. melting chocolate © tuesday

    melting chocolate © tuesday

    Break the chocolate into small pieces, put in a heat-proof bowl with the diced unsalted butter. Melt together. If you have not done this before, you can read here.

  2. Crush the biscuits. I put them in a ziplock bag and then used a rolling pin.
  3. Once the chocolate with butter is melted, remove from heat and then add the crushed biscuit. Mix very well then tip the mixture into the cake tin. Press the mixture into the base of of the tin and halfway up the side. Chill.
  4. cheesecake mixture © tuesday

    cheesecake mixture © tuesday

    For the cheesecake, put all the filling ingredients in a food processor and run it until the mixture is smooth. Pour the filling on top of the cheesecake base.

  5. Bake for about 40 minutes until it has set then turn off the heat and leave the cheesecake and let it cool in the oven.
  6. Cover and let it chill overnight.

    © tuesday

    © tuesday

  7. A good trick in removing the cheesecake from a spring-based tin is by putting it on top of a tinned beans (or tomatoes) and then unclip to let the sides drop.
  8. Dust the cappuccino cheesecake heavily with cocoa.
  9. This can be stored but must eat within 4 days.
removing cheesecake from cake tin © tuesday

removing cheesecake from cake tin © tuesday

The photos I took for this recipe are also part of my project in the Intro to Photography class I am currently taking. The homework is take images that shows depth of field. If you have some time, please please please visit my flickr site by clicking here.

If you want to see the cappuccino cheesecake collection, you can click here. Or to see in a jazzy slideshow, click here.

Thanks! xx

Dark chocolate mousse

This was our noche buena dessert which is quite rich but wonderful and smooth like ice-cream. No ‘finish product’  pictures…

© kloza

dark chocolate mousse mix © kloza

You need:

For the mousse

  • 3 free-range eggs
  • 100 g caster sugar
  • 300g dark chococolate, break into small pieces
  • 125 unsalted butter
  • 500ml double cream or any whipping cream
  • cocoa powder (optional)

For the Baileys cream to go on top of the mousse – OPTIONAL

  • 200g mascaporne cheese
  • 75ml Baileys cream (I ran out of Baileys so I used Welsh cream)
  • 30g caster sugar

Tools

  • electric (hand) mixer
  • mixing bowls
  • heatproof bowl
  • serving bowls or ramekins

What to do:

  1. Whisk the eggs in a bowl using a hand mixer, gradually adding sugar. Whisk until lighty and airy. This takes from about 8 to 10 mins.

    beating the eggs © kloza

    beating the eggs © kloza

  2. Melt the dark chocolate pieces in a heatproof bowl and put it over a pan of steaming (not boiling) hot water. If you haven’t done this before, I wrote a bit about doing this when I made this rich dark chocolate cupcake. Btw, use a wooden spoon!

    melting chocolate © kloza

    melting chocolate © kloza

  3. Add the chocolate mix to the egg mix (not the other way around!) gradually while running the mixer on medium speed. Whisk until it firms up a bit- the “loose ribbob stage” which means when the whisk is lifted, the mix is creating clear lines in the surface before it disappears
  4. Semi-whip the double cream then gently fold into the chocolate mixture.

    dark chocolate mousse mix © kloza

    dark chocolate mousse mix © kloza

  5. The original recipe suggests serving into bowls but when I do this next time, I will serve them on ramekins instead. It means more to go around!
  6. Chill for at least an hour before serving.
  7. Serve with the Baileys cream on top (recipe below) or with fruit or on its own.

OPTIONAL Baileys cream – can be made in advanced or just before serving

  1. Whisk the mascaporne cheese, Baileys cream and sugar. Stop whisking when it reach a soft peak consistency.
  2. Put a dollop on top of the mousse and dust with cocoa powder.

I found this recipe from The Guardian magazine.

View photos here.

Rich dark chocolate cup cake

This recipe is from my favourite dessert cookbook called Divine and it uses a lot of the Divine chocolates which some of you might know is a fairly traded chocolate.

In doing this recipe, I was trying out 3 things:

  1. my fan-assisted oven – I think the thermostat is not working properly and it emits too much heat. The first batch turned ok, a bit over-cooked around the edges but nice and soft inside. The second batch was quite burnt on the outside.
  2. cake & biscuit set – a gift from Tonet and Dino
  3. magimix 3200 compact food processor – I was deciding between a kitchenaid stand mixer or this food processor and decided to get the food processor this time and then think about getting the stand mixer another time. I want to learn how to make fabulous cakes and I read that a stand mixer is really good for making cake. For this recipe, I used the food processor to mix the cake and, you know, it’s not bad!

Now on to the recipe!

Melt 2 x 100g bars of Divine dark chocolate by breaking it relatively equal pieces. Put in a heatproof bowl and set it over steaming water (not boiling!). Be careful not to get any water in the chocolate. When the chocolate is melted, remove the bowl from the heat and let it cool.

Put 200g of very soft unsalted butter and 200g caster sugar in a bowl of your food processor or stand mixer if you have one – lucky you! Mix until light and creamy.

You will need 4 large free range eggs (at room temperature is best). Beat in the eggs one at a time. Beat well after each egg.

Stir in the 100ml sour cream on low speed then mix the 200g self-raising flour. Lastly, mix the melted chocolate gently until it’s all mixed up well and the mixture is smooth and looks really yummy!

Now you can make them into cup cakes by spooning them in muffin cases or you can make it into a chocolate loaf using a loaf tin (greased and base-lined).

Cook at 180˚C (or much less if you have fan-assisted oven) for 20-25 mins or until firm.

Optional topping or “icing“: melt 1 x 100g bar of Divine dark chocolate and when it’s all melted stir in the 1 tbsp golden syrup and 25g unsalted butter.

Did you like it Dan? 🙂
It was delicious. And much tastier for having been so beautifully photographed…