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.