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dessert

Mascarpone Lime Curd Walnut Oat Tart“There is nothing in this world more motivating than cheese.”

Mascarpone Lime Curd Walnut Oat Tart. It was a tart that was meant to happen. For two reasons. One I had made a batch of cookies earlier and in my carelessness had forgotten to record the weight of clarified butter. Yes, clarified butter, my new favourite pantry ingredient. The second reason was of course that there was a cheese contest running on Better Butter, a website I love contributing to. Oh, and a third reason – WE ♥ CHEESE AT HOME!!

Lime Curd, Homemade, ThermomixSo I decided to get to work essentially to remake the cookie dough for the biscuit base. It’s not a lot to do actually because the biscuit base is a two step procedure, basically from the jar of one food processor into the bowl of the stand mixer. Loads to be thankful for. The Hamilton Beach Blender/Chopper is going strong and is great to have on my shelf. Tropical Mango Cooler Then of course there is the work-a-holic kitchen helper. Now I wonder what I did for all these years? It’s an absolute boon to have the KitchenAid Stand Mixer on my counter. From whipping a sponge, to churning out butter, to kneading bread dough to a one step cookie dough, that’s all  I use. What do I love most? That it keeps my hands free, and that the quality of the gadget is fab. Did I mention cold pressed juices? ♥♥♥. You can find my recipe for the Tropical Mango Cooler on the Kitchen Aid Blog.Lime Curd, Homemade, ThermomixTalk about my love for kitchen appliances. Last but not the least the Thermomix. Makes to coolest and most delicious lime curd. In goes everything and out comes lime curd! No standing, no stirring, nothing. You just need to turn the buzzer off once it’s ready, and transfer the lime curd into clean jars! I made a batch a couple of days ago, and that happily found its way into the Mascarpone Lime Curd Walnut Oat Tart.lies 1000Our lime tree has been quite productive of late and has amazed us with a full crop of limes. Beautiful organic, thin skinned, no seed beauties. There’s nothing like home grown produce, the joy unparalleled. While we had a constant flow of lemonade through summer, I always enjoy making lime curd. Lime Curd, Homemade, ThermomixI don’t enjoy the taste on its own because for me it’s a little too ‘eggy’ {not for some friends who happily eat it out of the jar}. Yet add some to whipped cream, an frosting/filling or buttercream and the taste comes alive. Beautiful, citrusy, zingy, clean, fresh, summery is how this tart turned out to be topped with mascarpone lime curd! Mascarpone Lime Curd Walnut Oat TartI had made a batch of walnut, lime rosemary,walnut shortbread this past winter, so I knew that lime and walnuts pair quite well. While the initial plan for the tart was chocolate, the Better Butter contest changed that a bit. I had mascarpone cheese in the fridge, so the easiest filling turned out to be this! Of course it helped that I had made the lime curd two days ago and it was well chilled.Dark Chocolate Walnut Oat TartAnd because the process was so simple, because the Mascarpone Lime Curd Walnut Oat Tart was so good, and because walnuts and oats are good for you, also because the tart turned out to be so popular, I made another one. Actually a half batch, and this time gave it a dark chocolate filling as per original plan. Addictive good stuff!  So for a 7″ tart shell I made a ganache with 150g 70% dark couverture chocolate, 85g single cream and 15ml full fat milk. Warmed the chocolate with the cream in the microwave, agitated it, added a splash of milk, agitated it a bit more {with a balloon whisk}. Once it chilled in the fridge for 30 minutes turned it into the baked shell, and let it set. Took about 2 hours and we had tart!

Mascarpone Lime Curd Walnut Oat Tart
Print Recipe
Beautiful, citrusy, zingy, clean, fresh,summery is how this tart turned out to be topped with mascarpone lime curd! A healthy biscuit base makes the Mascarpone Lime Curd Walnut Oat Tart even better. You can make cookies with the same dough, as also use different fillings to top the tart.
Servings Prep Time
2 7" tarts 1 hour
Cook Time
20 minutes
Servings Prep Time
2 7" tarts 1 hour
Cook Time
20 minutes
Mascarpone Lime Curd Walnut Oat Tart
Print Recipe
Beautiful, citrusy, zingy, clean, fresh,summery is how this tart turned out to be topped with mascarpone lime curd! A healthy biscuit base makes the Mascarpone Lime Curd Walnut Oat Tart even better. You can make cookies with the same dough, as also use different fillings to top the tart.
Servings Prep Time
2 7" tarts 1 hour
Cook Time
20 minutes
Servings Prep Time
2 7" tarts 1 hour
Cook Time
20 minutes
Instructions
Oat Walnut Cookie Base
  1. Preheat the oven to 180C.
  2. Place oats, walnut halves, brown sugar and baking soda in jar of chopper. Blend in short bursts until you get a uniform brown sugar like consistency, just until it feels like moist breadcrumbs. Don't overwork or the walnuts will release their oil.
  3. Transfer to bowl of stand mixer, flat mixer attachment, add the clarified butter/ghee and mix at speed 4 until it comes together like cookie dough.
  4. Line the base of the tart tins with parchment paper. Divide the cookie dough between the two. Work up t the edges, and then flatten the base.
  5. Bake in a preheated oven for 20 minutes, then cool completely on cookie rack.
Mascarpone Lime Curd Topping
  1. Whisk the mascarpone with a balloon whisk until light and smooth. Whisk in the lemon curd. Don't over mix else the topping will lose volume. Pipe into the pie shell
  2. Using a microplane zester, grate over some lime zest. Garnish with fresh mint leaves. Chill until ready to serve.
Thermomix Lime Curd
  1. Place sugar into TM bowl, mill for 15 seconds on speed 10.
  2. Add zest, mill for 20 seconds on speed 10.
  3. Scrape down jug, add butter, eggs and lime juice. Cook for 20 minutes at 90°C on speed 2, without measuring cup.
  4. Insert measuring cup and mix for 25 seconds at speed 6. Pour into 2 hot washed jam jars with twist-off lids and close immediately. Cool completely before storing in the fridge.
  5. Note: You can use the same measurements to make a stove top version. Cooking times might differ.
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Dark Chocolate Layered Cake with Almond Meringue Topping “Anything is good if it’s made of chocolate.”
Jo Brand

Moist, dark and absolutely delicious are words enough to describe this Dark Chocolate Layered Cake with Almond Meringue Topping. The base is a simple chocolate genoise sponge, layered with a low fat whipped cream. The top is a brown sugar meringue topped with slivered almonds, quite optional if you are torn for time, but it does add a lovely touch to the final look. The secret to the moist cake and whipping up low fat cream is melted, cooled clarified butter/ghee. This is my new favourite sponge recipe and my new favourite light buttercream.Eggs and chocolateIt’s been a busy last few months and I stare at a hungry blog. We’ve had a great food styling workshop just recently, packed to the gills, on one of the hottest days of the season. It was a LOT of work and planning, but it was all so worth it. The venue {Lodi – The Garden Restaurant, New Delhi}, the folk who attended, the food we ate and shot, was all great fun. A great learning experience too.Food Styling Workshop, The Lodi, New DelhiThen of course there is obsessive everyday shooting, something that keeps me so engrossed, I often lose track of time. Some work for others, some for myself, yet all a learning process. Add to that Sunday Stills where I join Simi as she shoots stills. Pitcher #sundaystillsAmaltasThe Masala Dabba with Dolphia has fallen prey to procrastination but I will get back there soon since spices is what I enjoy shooting a lot! Gundu Chilies from Karaikudi

Masala Dabba, spices

The Masala Dabba #2Getting back to baking and this wonderful cake, here’s something I recently discovered. I often find a lot of folk these days baking out of a box and frosting the cake with ready made cream,  ingredients loaded with preservatives, enhancers, emulsifiers and what not. Read the label and you’ll figure out. Baking  or cooking ‘from scratch’ conjures up images of cooking with fresh ingredients and lovingly preparing meals. Boxed meals emphasize just the convenience. Add a few ingredients and then you’re done. Making a cake from scratch gives you control over the quality of the ingredients, also allowing for a bit more creativity. Wholewheat Dark Chocolate Fudgy Cupcakes with Buttercream Frosting 3 1000 1Creativity and experimenting go hand in hand. The revelation that I could use clarified butter / ghee instead of normal butter has made life really simple for me. The recipes need to be adapted a little here and there, but the huge plus is that clarified butter stays good on the shelf for long. You don’t need to melt and cool in summer as it doesn’t set hard at warm temperatures. The convenience of use is indescribable in weather like we have here these days at 45C! That’s how I got the low fat 20%  cream to whip up so I could pipe it.  Wholewheat Dark Chocolate Fudgy Cupcakes with Buttercream Frosting 2 1000 1Worked each time but once when it was really really hot and humid. Whip chilled low fat cream to medium soft peaks at a high speed. Then drizzle in about a teaspoon of cool melted clarified butter / ghee for every 100ml of cream and continue to whip at high speed, you will notice the cream gradually firming up and holding shape. This is because you’re putting the fat back into low fat cream. I have also seen this works better with the ‘Go’ brand of fresh cream as compared to ‘Amul’ {in India}. Do let me know if it works for you!Dark Chocolate Layered Cake with Almond Meringue Topping Well everyone can’t ‘do it from scratch’, and even though additives etc are often considered part of the package when it comes to boxed meals, it really doesn’t have to be. Interestingly enough, at least one company thought that way. San Francisco-based food tech company Hampton Creek offers a new take on shelf-ready foods, striving to take out additives and other unnatural ingredients from common, off-the-shelf goods. For eg, their premade cookie dough doesn’t contain common additives, is an eggless dough mix that is also dairy-free. Baking from a box or a premade mix can be as mouth-watering as a meal made from scratch; guess you need to know what to look for.

Until then, here’s my Dark Chocolate Layered Cake with Almond Meringue Topping Cake!

Dark Chocolate Layered Cake with Almond Meringue Topping
Print Recipe
Moist, dark and absolutely delicious are words enough to describe this Dark Chocolate Layered Cake with Almond Meringue Topping. The base is a simple chocolate genoise sponge, layered with a low fat whipped cream. The top is a brown sugar meringue topped with slivered almonds, quite optional if you are torn for time, but it does add a lovely touch to the final look. The secret to the moist cake and whipping up the cream is melted, cooled clarified butter/ghee. This is my new favourite sponge recipe.
Servings Prep Time
8 people 20 minutes
Cook Time
40 minutes
Servings Prep Time
8 people 20 minutes
Cook Time
40 minutes
Dark Chocolate Layered Cake with Almond Meringue Topping
Print Recipe
Moist, dark and absolutely delicious are words enough to describe this Dark Chocolate Layered Cake with Almond Meringue Topping. The base is a simple chocolate genoise sponge, layered with a low fat whipped cream. The top is a brown sugar meringue topped with slivered almonds, quite optional if you are torn for time, but it does add a lovely touch to the final look. The secret to the moist cake and whipping up the cream is melted, cooled clarified butter/ghee. This is my new favourite sponge recipe.
Servings Prep Time
8 people 20 minutes
Cook Time
40 minutes
Servings Prep Time
8 people 20 minutes
Cook Time
40 minutes
Ingredients
Chocolate Genoise Sponge 1
Meringue topping
Servings: people
Instructions
Chocolate Genoise Sponge 1
  1. Preheat oven to 180C. Line the sides and bottom of 2 8" spring-form round tin with parchment. {I have just 1 tin and an oven that fits only 1 cake at a time. I kept the parchment ready while the first sponge baked}
  2. Place 4 eggs and 1 egg yolk in the bowl of the stand mixer with 125g brown sugar and vanilla extract. Whisk on high speed until light, very mousse like and tripled in volume, about 8-10 minutes.
  3. Sift the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt 2 times. Reserve.
  4. Place cooled clarified butter in a medium sized bowl. reserve.
  5. Once the eggs are whisked and mousse like, sift over 1/3 of the flour/cocoa mix and gently stir in in figure 8 moves so that the beaten air doesn't escape. Repeat 2 more times.
  6. Take about a cup of this batter and fold into bowl with melted ghee to loosed the mixture. Now turn this batter back into main batter and gently mix through taking care not to release the beaten air.
  7. Turn into prepared tin and bake for approximately 40 minutes, untl a pick inserted comes out clean.
Chocolate Genoise Sponge 2
  1. Repeat as above, turn into prepared tin and top with brown sugar meringue spreading gently and uniformly with an offset spatula. Scatter slivered almonds over and bake for approximately 40 minutes, until a pick inserted comes out clean.
Brown sugar meringue
  1. Whisk the egg whites with brown sugar on high speed to stiff peaks, about 5 minutes.
Frosting and filling
  1. Place chilled cream, icing sugar, clarified butter in bowl of stand mixer. Whisk at highest speed for 7-9 minutes until stiff peaks form. Adjust sweetness if required.
Assemble
  1. Gently cut each cake into two horizontal layers. They will be very moist and delicate.
  2. Place one layer on the cake platter, top with about 1 cup of whipped cream, spread evenly. Repeat with remaining 3 layers. Frost the sides of the cake with remaining frosting, maybe pipe a border around.
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Triple Cheese 'Moozberry' Cheesecake ... Mooz Formaggio, local artisan cheese at its best“Dessert without cheese is like a beauty with only one eye”
Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin

Triple Cheese Moozberry Cheesecake must be one of the best cheesecakes I have made. Ever. And I have made many over the years, almost all with homemade quark, and they’ve all been special. Yet this one turned out to be even better. It baked up perfectly, has a mix of 3 soft cheeses in it, and the most delicious topping of balsamic cherries infused with rosemary and vanilla. If it wasn’t good enough, I topped it with green almonds which are also in season these days. You can imagine, well almost, how wonderful this might have been.Cherries

Green almonds

Triple Cheese 'Moozberry' Cheesecake And of course  I need to explain why it’s called a Triple Cheese Moozberry Cheesecake. Well the guys from Mooz Formaggio were nice enough to send me a huge lot of their cheese range to sample.  Their range has been developed and designed by a fourth generation Italian cheesemaker. Delightfully enough, the Mooz folk are manufacturing all their cheese here locally and it matches up to admirably to imported cheese available.Mooz CheeseFor those who do know me, dairy is my weakness, and fresh cheese even more. For those who don’t know me, well now you do!! Fresh cheese has long held me fascinated. That it is not processed, that is has a million uses other than just eating out of a bowl or tub, that it is healthy as well as healthier than imported/processed cheese are huge pluses for me. I’ve explored and made fresh cheese – mascarpone, ricotta, quark, cottage cheese for really long, and in turn done several desserts with them.Cherries & green almondsSavoury stuff too, but what I really do enjoy is desserts using unripened f soft cheese. When I make quark myself, I just chuck it into a concoction, play around a little and then bake. When Mooz showed up, it was a new level of luxury. Imagine, I didn’t have to make my own cheese, so the mind went into overdrive. The plan was for a mascarpone galette with cherries. A nice batch of cherries recently pitted and frozen seemed just right for a wholegrain galette.Triple Cheese 'Moozberry' Cheesecake The mind is a strange place when creative ideas get buzzing. Just looking at the little tubs suddenly got me thinking further, and I knew it had to be a cheesecake. Time to experiment. I grabbed the ricotta, quark and cream cheese and turned the oven on. The recipe is simple, an experiment on a quark cheesecake I make often. This time I added zest of a Bitter Citron Lemon that Sanjeeta mailed me from Chennai, and also zest from a lime from the garden. They say lime zest cuts out any eggy aromas from a cake, and ‘they’ weren’t wrong!Triple Cheese 'Moozberry' Cheesecake Must admit to a million butterflies in my tummy as the cheesecake baked. I had my fingers crossed on this one. How I wished it would turn out well. It baked up beautifully, water bath and all, the tin size worked just perfect too, no cracks on top, didn’t sink like a crater. I was thrilled. An overnight rest in the fridge and I was up early next morning to do a topping, cherries of course. I infused them with some fresh rosemary, a few sprigs that have turned into a plant ex Switzerland, some bitter citron zest from down south, and some aged balsamic and brown sugar.

Cherries and rosemaryDarned delicious if I may say so myself, and fabulous pairing with cheesecake. The cheesecake itself darned delicious too, and got a standing ovation. You should must try making it. To cut the calories, or maybe extra work, or both, you can even go crust-less. Maybe bake mini cheesecakes.

Triple Cheese 'Moozberry' Cheesecake The entire line from Mooz is really really good, including the sour cream. So many varieties, such great flavour. You are literally spoilt for choice as far as sour cream goes. Lemon, peri peri, jalapeno, chipotle {one of our favourites}, yes they have them all. I did a quick smoked chicken farelle with the chipotle sour cream, flavoured with loads of garlic, with fresh lime and rosemary from the garden. Turned out great. Even crumbed chicken with sour cream is yum!! And nachos of course!!Mooz Pasta Also really good  are the Chili Toasty and Plain Toasty, generous stringy cheese slices for grilled sandwiches. Quite addictive and great quality, your grilled toast might never be the same again. The Chili Toasty especially has a great chili flavour and kick. The only cheese that disappointed was the mozzarella which had a slight bitter aftertaste. Not sure why that happened as all the cheese was perfectly stored and from the same batch.Triple Cheese 'Moozberry' Cheesecake

 

Baking | Triple Cheese 'Moozberry' Cheesecake... local artisan cheese at its best!
Print Recipe
Triple Cheese Moozberry Cheesecake must be one of the best cheesecakes I have made. It baked up perfectly, has a mix of 3 soft cheeses in it, and the most delicious topping of balsamic cherries infused with rosemary and vanilla. If it wasn't good enough, I topped it with green almonds which are also in season these days. The best thing is that this uses locally produced artisan cheese from Mooz.
Servings Prep Time
6-8 people 15 minutes
Cook Time
1 hour
Servings Prep Time
6-8 people 15 minutes
Cook Time
1 hour
Baking | Triple Cheese 'Moozberry' Cheesecake... local artisan cheese at its best!
Print Recipe
Triple Cheese Moozberry Cheesecake must be one of the best cheesecakes I have made. It baked up perfectly, has a mix of 3 soft cheeses in it, and the most delicious topping of balsamic cherries infused with rosemary and vanilla. If it wasn't good enough, I topped it with green almonds which are also in season these days. The best thing is that this uses locally produced artisan cheese from Mooz.
Servings Prep Time
6-8 people 15 minutes
Cook Time
1 hour
Servings Prep Time
6-8 people 15 minutes
Cook Time
1 hour
Ingredients
Crust
Balsamic Rosemary Infused Cherries
Servings: people
Instructions
Crust
  1. Preheat the oven to 200C. Line the base of an 8″ loose bottomed tin with parchment, and lightly grease sides..
  2. Run the biscuits, chilled butter and whole almonds in food processor until ground and a moist crumb forms. {Thermomix: Speed 8, 10 seconds, repeat once}
  3. Turn into the baking tin and press the crumbs into the base, building up the sides a bit if desired. Chill while you preheat the oven, and make the filling.
Filling
  1. Place the quark, ricotta, cream cheese, egg yolks, cornflour, 40g sugar,vanilla, cream and lime zest if using into the bowl of your food processor and run on medium speed till smooth. {Thermomix: Speed 6, 10 seconds}
  2. Beat the whites with the remaining 90g sugar to firm peaks. Gently fold this through the quark cheese mixture and pour over the biscuit base.
  3. Bake at 200C for 15 minutes, and then at 180C for about 45 minutes until firm.
  4. Allow to cool completely in oven, leaving the door ajar.
  5. Cover well and chill before serving, preferably overnight. Serve topped with Balsamic Rosemary Infused Cherries.
Balsamic Rosemary Infused Cherries
  1. Place all ingredients in heavy bottom non reactive pan and simmer gently for 5-7 minutes, until cherries soften. Taste and adjust sweetness if required.
  2. Remove cherries to a bowl, and reduce syrup in pan until nice an thick. Strain over reserved cherries, discarding the vanilla bean and rosemary. Chill completely before topping cheesecake.
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