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.
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.
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!
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.
Add egg mixture to the flour mixture and gently stir to mix well.
Add the courgettes. Lightly stir.
Add the manchego. Lightly stir.
Add parsley. Lightly stir.
Really, don’t over-stir. It’s fine if it’s a bit lumpy.
Divide evenly in the muffin tray filling it at least 2/3 full.
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.
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.
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.
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 bakerycookbook.
It was a decision between pecan or key lime pie. Pecan won.
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
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
23-cm pie dish
preheated oven at 170˚C
What to do:
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.
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!
In a bowl, whisk eggs until they are mixed. Pour the warm syrup into the eggs and stir quickly.
Add butter and vanilla extract to the mixture until the butter has melted and evenly distributed.
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.
Bake for about 50-60 minutes or until it is a caramel colour.
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!
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
Semi-whip the double cream then gently fold into the chocolate mixture.