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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Spiced choco chip muffin

Spiced choco chip muffin © dan and  tuesday

Spiced choco chip muffin © dan and tuesday

This muffin recipe puts a twist on the regular choco chip muffin by adding spices. I used a spice I found in the Sunday Riverside market in Cardiff. It’s called Victorian cake spice. I’m not really sure what’s in it – if you know, feel free to enlighten us! But it smells of Christmas, of cinnamon and nutmeg!

Victorian cake spice © dan and tueday

Victorian cake spice © dan and tueday

I’ve made this a few times now – to share at work, to give us a present for Kielo, and, now, for our friends Helen and Phil.

You need:

  • 100 g softened unsalted butter
  • 100 g caster sugar
  • 100 g dark muscovado sugar
  • 5 tbsp milk
  • 150 ml sour cream
  • 2 free-range eggs
  • 250 g plain flour
  • 1 tsp mixed spice
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 200 g dark chocolate chips

dark chocolate chips © dan and tuesday

dark chocolate chips © dan and tuesday

Tools

  • 12-cup muffin tray, lined with muffin cases
  • mixing bowls
  • handheld mixer
  • pre-heated oven at 190˚C

What to do:

  1. Mix butter and sugars in a bowl and mix well.
  2. Beat in eggs.
  3. Add milk and cream and mix until everything is thoroughly mixed.
  4. In another bowl, sift flour, spice, bicarbonate of soda, and cocoa powder.
  5. Mix the wet and dry mixture very well. I just use a spoon at this stage and not the handmixer.

    making muffins © dan and tuesday

    making muffins © dan and tuesday

  6. Add the chocolate chips. Mix well, agin with a spoon.
  7. Spoon mixture on the muffin cases.
  8. Bake for about 28 – 30 mins then take out from the oven and let it  cool in the tray for about 10 mins. Transfer to a wire rack to cool properly.
spiced choco chip muffin © dan and tuesday

spiced choco chip muffin © dan and tuesday

Maybe this is more of a Christmas muffin… but so far no one has objected to a little taste of Christmas in the summer.

Spanish manchego and courgette muffins

Spanish manchego muffins © dan and tuesday

Spanish manchego muffins © dan and tuesday

This evening I am channelling my friend and colleague, Sandy, who is the best muffin baker I know. I’ve decided to make a savoury muffin after Sandy made Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s courgette and pine nut muffins for my bbq birthday party last month.

I am using a recipe from a Marks and Spencer “magical muffins” cookbook (only £5!). This is the first muffin recipe I am using from the book. It’s a good muffins cookbook which contains sweet, savoury, and healthy muffins, and muffins for special occasions.

Most of the ingredients for this recipe are stock items in my pantry. The only things I needed were fresh flat-leaf parsley, courgette, and Spanish manchego cheese. The trickiest bit is having a shredded courgette but I have my trusty magimix food processor for that.

shredded courgettes © dan and tuesday

shredded courgettes © dan and tuesday

You need:

  • 150 50 ml vegetable oil
  • 280 grams plain flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp granulated/caster sugar
  • 2 medium free-range eggs
  • 175 ml milk
  • 400 g shredded courgettes
  • 30 grams grated Spanish manchego cheese
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Tools:

  • grater for cheese and courgette
  • food processor (optional)
  • 12-cup muffin tray oiled or line with muffin cases
  • muffin cases (optional)
  • Pre-heated oven at 200˚C
  • mixing bowls
  • beater (optional)
oiling the muffin tray © dan and tuesday

oiling the muffin tray © dan and tuesday

What to do:

  1. Sift flour, baking powder, and salt into a big bowl. Add the sugar and mix well.

    sifting flour © dan and tuesday

    sifting flour © dan and tuesday

  2. In another bowl, beat the eggs lightly with a fork or a beater. Stir in milk and the vegetable oil and mix well.

    beating the eggs © dan and tuesday

    beating the eggs © dan and tuesday

  3. Add egg mixture to the flour mixture and gently stir to mix well.
  4. Add the courgettes. Lightly stir.
  5. Add the manchego. Lightly stir.
  6. Add parsley. Lightly stir.
  7. Really, don’t over-stir. It’s fine if it’s a bit lumpy.
  8. Divide evenly in the muffin tray filling it at least 2/3 full.
  9. Cook in the oven for about 25 mins until it’s golden. You can test if the muffins are already cooked by sticking in a toothpick and if it comes clean then it’s cooked.
  10. Remove from the oven leave it on the tray for a bit and then transfer on a wire rack to cook properly. Eat it right away (most awesome idea) or you can freeze it for about a month. I like mine with a bit of butter but Dan prefers it without.
lovely savoury muffins © dan and tuesday

lovely savoury muffins © dan and tuesday

What I want to try next time with this recipe

  • use different fresh herb like oregano, rosemary or basil
  • use less oil
  • use young spinach with the cheese
  • oh, and use more cheese!
  • Manchego cheese is a bit mild for me so I might try a strong cheese like smoked applewood or even parmesan next time.

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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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.