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holiday baking

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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Wholegrain Oatmeal Cinnamon Chocolate Chip Cookies “Empty?! You took all the cookies!”
“They were crying to get out of the jar. Cookies get claustrophobia too, you know!”
Charles M. Schulz

Wholegrain Oatmeal Cinnamon Chocolate Chip Cookies. These are cookies that spell “P U R E  C O M F O R T”. Cookies are often the best bites to happiness, the shortest route to instant gratification. Even better if you bake them at home. These were just that and more. Some afternoons, I want need to just steal into the kitchen and bake myself into oblivion. There are a few hits and misses on days like these.Curry tree blossomsDid I tell you that summer is practically here? Yes we’re on the border where spring meets summer. That means a few days of precious mulberries, curry tree blossoms, lime tree blossoms, kumquats too. Tomatoes that will hopefully ripen to a sun kissed red, then we look at notoriously high temperatures of 45C and above.

Spring

MulberriesMulberriesWith the summer heat increasing, and the mercury literally rising by a degree everyday, summer baking needs to be minimal, quick and very fuss free. These cookies were surprisingly all this and more. They turned out darned delicious too. Inspired and adapted from a popular cookie by Deb @ Smitten Kitchen, I made mine wholegrain.

Wholegrain Oatmeal Cinnamon Chocolate Chip Cookies Wholegrain Oatmeal Cinnamon Chocolate Chip Cookies 4My obsession with the #makehalfyourgrainswhole often works well. With cookies, it’s a near 100% pass rate. I’ve really never understood why brownies or cookies should use refined flour since they taste really great with wholegrain. I recently made wholewheat shortbread too, a recipe I still have to share. That was another winner.Wholegrain Oatmeal Cinnamon Chocolate Chip Cookies These are as simple as can be. Stir a dry mix, whip the wet mix, stir gently to mix the two and you’ve got great tasting cookie dough. If the eggs are pasteurised, you could eat the dough by itself!! It tastes that good! I know because I had a little helper who was stealing away bits of dough!

Wholegrain Oatmeal Cinnamon Chocolate Chip CookiesSo here we go. Get the stand mixer going, and in 2 minutes you have cookie dough. I love the big handy bowl of the KitchenAid. Best design ever. If cookies are comfort food, the KitchenAid is equally comforting, magical too!

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Wholegrain Oatmeal Cinnamon Chocolate Chip Cookies
Print Recipe
Wholegrain Oatmeal Cinnamon Chocolate Chip Cookies that come together in a matter of minutes, fuss free and absolutely delicious. That they are 100% wholegrain makes them a winner. Swap the chocolate chips for raisins, maybe add some walnuts, or make them coffee chocolate chip cookies. Either way, these will disappear before you know it! This is pure comfort food.
Servings Prep Time
20-24 cookies 5 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
15-20 minutes 5 minutes
Servings Prep Time
20-24 cookies 5 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
15-20 minutes 5 minutes
Wholegrain Oatmeal Cinnamon Chocolate Chip Cookies
Print Recipe
Wholegrain Oatmeal Cinnamon Chocolate Chip Cookies that come together in a matter of minutes, fuss free and absolutely delicious. That they are 100% wholegrain makes them a winner. Swap the chocolate chips for raisins, maybe add some walnuts, or make them coffee chocolate chip cookies. Either way, these will disappear before you know it! This is pure comfort food.
Servings Prep Time
20-24 cookies 5 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
15-20 minutes 5 minutes
Servings Prep Time
20-24 cookies 5 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
15-20 minutes 5 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: cookies
Instructions
  1. Place all the dry ingredients in a large bowl and stir to mix.
  2. Place all the wet mix ingredients in bowl of KitchenAid Stand Mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, and process for 2 minutes on speed 3.
  3. Add the dry mix and stir with paddle attachment on slowest speed for 30 seconds.
  4. Let the mixture stand/rest while you preheat the oven to 180C {15-20 minutes}
  5. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment.
  6. Place scoops of cookie dough on the parchment, 2 inches apart,12 on each sheet. Flatten gently with the tines of a fork. {Sprinkle over a few more chocolate chips if you are feeling particularly indulgent}
  7. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until the edges are done, light golden brown, and the centre is still a little soft. {Bake further 5 minutes if you like crisp cookies}.
  8. Remove tray from oven, allow to stand for 5 minutes, then cool the cookies completely on the rack.
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Dark Chocolate Wholewheat & Walnut Cupcakes “That is one good thing about this world
…there are always sure to be more springs.”
L.M. Montgomery

Dark Chocolate Wholewheat & Walnut Cupcakes, indulgent little treats for days when you want something to go from simple to simply delicious in a matter of minutes. These wholegrain cupcakes are just that and more. Easy to stir together with almost staple pantry ingredients, they are light, moist and full of chocolaty flavour. Have them as they are ‘naked’ if that’s your call, else spruce them up with a sinful dark chocolate ganache, some sprinkles if you like, and voila! You have magic {if I may say so myself}. That these are wholewheat, use jaggery as a sweetener and top of the milk cream or ‘malai’ make them worth the try!!

Dark Chocolate Wholewheat & Walnut Cupcakes These cupcakes are inspired by the very sweet Shikha of Cocoka, a friend for life, one I met at my very first food styling workshop with Darter. She’s been difficult to shake off, and has attended each one of the other workshops, the sweetheart that she is. So she baked these absolutely delicious cupcakes in these absolute stunning liners, with the most delicious ganache on top for our last food styling workshop at Lodi.Darter Food Styling Workshop, The Lodi, New Delhi

Food Styling Workshop Lodi 3

Food Styling Workshop Lodi She also gifted me some of those beautiful Spring like cupcake wrappers when I waxed eloquent about them. Non stop! I couldn’t believe how pretty they were. So here I was, armed with the prettiest ever cupcake wrappers and a need to bake that very day. Maybe something chocolate, possibly brownie cupcakes. With Spring here, the weather brilliant, these cases were all I wanted to use.

Dark Chocolate Wholewheat & Walnut Cupcakes Setting off to make home made butter in the KitchenAid Stand Mixer, which is a BREEZE by the way, I stole some cream just because. Just because I suddenly remembered this top of the milk cream {malai} cake, Dark Chocolate & Walnut Wholewheat Cake I had made a while ago, falling prey to a similar feeling then. So here you are, cupcakes adapted from that cake, cupcakes that came out really YUM. Wrappers like these must be the reason because they inspire you to excel!Dark Chocolate Wholewheat & Walnut Cupcakes Honestly, good aesthetics give me a spring in my step, a reason to enjoy what I do a little more. What I didn’t manage very well was the piping as I haven’t piped ganache onto cupcakes in eons. Guess that’s what I will be practicing next, in my dreams immediately if not on cupcakes. Shikha received several SOS calls and now I am a little better educated. Her tips – let the ganache rest a bit, then whisk it again before piping. Notes taken for next time! Oh and by the way, Shikha @ Cocoka has the most fun baking classes in Delhi. You can read more about that at NDTV Food.

Dark Chocolate Wholewheat & Walnut Cupcakes
Recipe Type: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Author: Deeba Rajpal
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 6 cupcakes
These Dark Chocolate Wholewheat & Walnut Cupcakes are easy to stir together with almost staple pantry ingredients, they are light, moist and full of chocolaty flavour. Have them as they are ‘naked’ if that’s your call, else spruce them up with a sinful dark chocolate ganache, some sprinkles if you like, and voila! You have magic {if I may say so myself}. That these are wholewheat, use jaggery as a sweetener and top of the milk cream or ‘malai’ make them worth the try!!
Ingredients
  • Cupcakes
  • Wet Mix
  • 85ml top of the milk cream {malai}
  • 75g jaggery
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • Dry Mix
  • 85g wholewheat flour
  • 30g Cocoa
  • Pinch salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp baking soda
  • 50g walnuts, chopped
  • 50g butterscotch chips, optional
  • 75ml buttermilk
  • Ganache
  • 225g 52% dark couverture chocolate, chopped
  • 100ml low fat cream
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 180C. Place 6 cupcake wrappers on a baking tray {or line a 6 mold muffin tray}
  2. Place dry mix ingredients in a bowl, and stir well to mix
  3. Place the wet mix ingredients in bowl of stand mixer, and whisk at speed 4 for 2-3 minutes. Mixture might look slightly curdled but that’s OK.
  4. Gently fold in 1/3 of dry mix, followed by half buttermilk. Repeat ending with dry mix.
  5. Spoon into cupcake/muffin cases, 3/4 full. Bake for 35 minutes, until tester comes out moist with a few crumbs hanging. Cool on racks.
  6. Serve warm or at room temperature if sans frosting. If you are frosting them, cool completely before piping the ganache on.
  7. Ganache
  8. Place chopped chocolate and cream in a heatproof bowl and run at high in the microwave for 1 minute. Stir until smooth, then leave it to rest to cool and thicken. Whisk again before piping.
  9. Pipe onto cupcakes with a star nozzle.
Serving size: 6-8

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Also find me on The Rabid Baker, The Times of India