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strawberry

White Chocolate Cheesecake with balsamic strawberry topping“All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt.”
Charles M. Schulz

White Chocolate Cheesecake with balsamic  strawberry topping, music to this bakers ears. I’m not one for cheesy baking on V Day; possibly the last one who’ll bake for the day. Yet, I am a sucker for good recipes that catch my eye, and this one certainly did. A white chocolate cheesecake with ingredients as many as the fingers on my hand would tempt any baker or cheesecake lover. It certainly tempted me!

White Chocolate Cheesecake with balsamic strawberry toppingThe minute I saw BetterButters fun video, part of their V Day series, to get men into the kitchen to bake something simple for their loved ones, they had me in the loop. If the first frame lists 5 simple ingredients, 4 of which are already there, then what’s to stop this rabid baker? Not much!! All it took was a trip to the local grocery store, grab some cream cheese, also some thyme that happened to be there, and I was set. I always have strawberries at home since they are so much in season these days.

Thyme, food styling, food photographyIt’s a simple recipe, S I M P L E. Make sure you see the video twice. First to enjoy the ease, and next, if you are like me, to jot down the steps. Else grab someone a willing soul, asking them to play the video as you go along. One thing I always do is follow the main recipe as is the first time. This was super fun, and I am going to bake this again soon. You know the other thing what I loved about the recipe? The natural quintessential cheesecake sink in the centre that holds the delicious filling.

White Chocolate Cheesecake with balsamic strawberry topping A few things I might change. Maybe make the white chocolate cheesecake with quark the next time around. I am not a huge fan of Britannia Cream Cheese as the slight saltiness creeps through and takes away somewhat the joy and beauty of white chocolate. Talking about white chocolate, make sure you use good quality white chocolate. With as little as 5 ingredients in the cheesecake, each one counts in the end.

White Chocolate Cheesecake with balsamic strawberry topping This is a great great recipe for beginners, for bakers, for cheesecake lovers and especially for people like me who need a springboard for creativity. I have already begun dreaming of what else I can do with this. For now, enjoy it as it is, a beautiful White Chocolate Cheesecake with balsamic  strawberry topping. You could even do a light jelly topping that BetterButter did, but try this recipe you must! You can download the BetterButter app here – https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=in.betterbutter.android

Recipe: White Chocolate Cheesecake your picture

Summary: White Chocolate Cheesecake with balsamic strawberry topping  is a great  recipe for beginners, for bakers, for cheesecake lovers and especially for people like me who need a springboard for creativity. You could even do a light jelly topping that Better Butter did, but try this recipe you must! Makes a 7″ cheesecake

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Ingredients:

  • White Chocolate Cheesecake
  • 200g white chocolate, melted {I used white baking chocolate}
  • 200g Cream Cheese {Britannia}
  • 4 egg, separated
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 vanilla bean, scraped
  • 1/2 tsp strawberry extract
  • Topping
  • 150g strawberries, quartered
  • 40g brown sugar
  • 1-2 tbsp water
  • 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 vanilla bean shell
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • Garnish
  • Fresh strawberries, thyme

Method:

  1. White Chocolate Cheesecake
  2. Preheat the oven to 180C. Line a 7″ dessert ring or a loose bottomed baking tin.
  3. Place egg whites with a pinch of salt in the bowl of a stand mixer and whisk until stiff peaks form
  4. In the meantime, place the melted white chocolate, egg yolks and cream cheese in a large bowl and whisk until smooth. Add vanilla and strawberry extract and whisk again.
  5. Add 1-2 tbsp of the beaten whites to loosen the mixture, then gently fold the rest in. I turned the chocolate mix into the bowl of the KitchenAid stand mixer as it is a large very convenient bowl to mix in.
  6. Transfer batter to prepared tin and bake for 15 minutes. Reduce temperature to 150C and bake for a further15 minutes. Fina;y reduce the temperature to 120C and bake for another 15-20 minutes.
  7. Allow to cool completely in tin, then chill for a few hours or overnight. Gently demold and place on serving platter.
  8. Top with strawberry topping, and scatter fresh thyme over.
  9. Topping
  10. Place all ingredients in a heavy bottom non-reactive saucepan. Simmer gently until thick and jam like. Taste and adjust sweetness if required. Cool. {Can be made a day or so in advance}

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Chocolate Berry Wine Fallen Gateau, Big Banyan Wines“Cake is happiness! If you know the way of the cake, you know the way of happiness! If you have a cake in front of you, you should not look any further for joy!”
C. JoyBell C

Chocolate Berry Wine Fallen Gateau … because when a smooth, indulgent dessert wine arrives, you have to do something special with it. These were thoughts that ran through my head when the well packaged bottles of Bellissima and Rosa Rossa arrived from Big Banyan.With Christmas around the corner, my flavours and colours were pretty much sorted out. I knew what I wanted to bake. Chocolate Berry Wine Fallen Gateau, Big Banyan WinesIt was going to be a flourless fallen gateau, it was definitely going to have dessert wine, and the top would have strawberries. Well it all kind of fell into place. I had bought a ton of strawberries a few days ago and planned to make a preserve. Then along came dessert wine. Why not a strawberry wine jam? With winter here, spices are part and parcel of almost everything I do, so I settled for a spicy Strawberry Wine Jam. Chocolate Berry Wine Fallen GateauIt came out deliciously wicked. It’s great on toast and in lindzer cookies, fabulous to make dark chooclate truffles with, and makes for a much appreciated holiday gift as well. Strawberry jam is the easiest to make. You basically just cook it down to a nice chunky consistency, discard the whole spices, and bottle the jam. Dollop it over waffles, ice cream, onto parfaits, over breakfast oats … you will love it!

Spiced Strawberry Wine Jam Jam done. That was so easy. Strawberry Wine Jam Big Banyan WinesWhen the jar of wine jam says time for cake, it’s time to bake!! This is one of the simplest gateaus you can bake. Don’t get misled by the long list of ingredients. It comes together really fast and is a fuss free, chocolaty, fudgy gluten free cake. The ingredients should all be good quality because that’s what makes the cake special. Dessert wine and spiced strawberry wine jam added oodles of oomph to it. Subtle undertones of sweet strawberry and a hint of wine make this special. It’s called a fallen gateau because it rises quite normally while baking, then collapses most dramatically.

Chocolate Berry Wine Fallen Gateau, Big Banyan WinesI love the crater the so called collapse causes because that becomes ‘ground‘ for filling. An ugly duckling, rustic cake, moorish to boot, gets a snazzy dressing up. Christmas is here so it’s red, white and green. Chocolate pairs really beautifully with wine and fruit, so this was going to be a winning combination. The almond cream added further indulgence. Then came the ruby red, bursting with flavour, spicy strawberry wine jam topping that was literally the icing on the cake.

Chocolate Berry Wine Fallen Gateau, Big Banyan WinesDid I forget to mention the chewy meringue top studded with pistachios? Yes, you can taste that as well as you savour every rich bite of this chocolaty wine goodness. It might seem tempting to skip the step, but I urge you not to. It’s small things like this that add to the final delight. We loved every little detail of this cake so much, I am going to bake it again soon. This is my new favourite cake that was created all thanks to some fabulous wine from Big Banyan.Chocolate Berry Wine Fallen GateauI have to give the wine full marks. I’d heard the buzz about the wine here and there, and it more than lived up to my our expectations. I might not be a connoisseur, but yes, can tell a good wine. The dessert wine glowed a beautiful gold, while the Rosé  blushed a beautiful cherry pink. I am quite partial to sweet dessert wines. The Bellissima was my first love with sensual smooth hints of apricot, pears, walnuts and raisins; so exotic in my opinion. Like liquid gold.Chocolate Berry Wine Fallen Gateau, Big Banyan WinesThe Rosé got the better halves vote. With the acidity just right, whiffs of freshness and smooth flavour, this wine was good! I couldn’t stop clicking the wine. It added great festive cheer to my food and frame. As I have learnt, if the ingredients are good, you love the process, and then turn out amazing goodness. This is just what happened.Chocolate Berry Wine Fallen Gateau, Big Banyan Wines

Do serve some wine with the Chocolate Berry Wine Fallen Gateau. It completes the experience!

Recipe: Chocolate Berry Wine Fallen Gateau
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A deeply indulgent, satisfying flourless {read glutenfree} dark chocolate cake that celebrates the best of the holiday season. Sweetened with dessert wine and strawberry wine jam, festival baking doesn’t get better than this Chocolate Berry Wine Fallen Gateau with a strawberry wine jam topping. A cake for Christmas! Serves 8-10

Prep Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 45 minutes {plus cooling time}
Ingredients:

  • Strawberry Wine Jam
  • 400g strawberries, diced
  • 100ml Big Banyan Dessert Wine
  • 75-100g brown sugar
    Juice of 1 lime
  • 2 star anise
  • 1 stick cinnamon
  • 4-5 cloves
  • Chocolate Berry Wine Fallen Gateau
  • 250g dark couverture chocolate
  • 100ml Dessert wine
  • 35g strawberry wine jam
  • 3egg yolks
  • 3 egg whites
  • Pinch cream of tartar
  • 175g brown sugar {100+75g divided}
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 50g almond meal
  • 25g pistachios, blanched, peeled
  • Strawberry Wine Jam Topping
  • 100g cream, chilled
  • 25g icing sugar
  • 3-4 drops almond extract
  • 100gm strawberries, quartered
  • 25g brown sugar
  • 2 tsp strawberry wine jam

Method:

  1. Strawberry Wine Jam
  2. Place all ingredients in a heavy bottom sauce pan, and simmer gently for about 30 minutes until the strawberries are soft and the consistency is a little thick and jam like. {It will thicken a little more as it cools}
  3. Cool, discard the whole spices and transfer to a jar.
  4. Chocolate Berry Wine Fallen Gateau
  5. Preheat oven to 180C. Line the base and sides of a tall 7″ round spring form baking tin with parchment paper.
  6. Place chocolate in a heatproof bowl and microwave for 1 minute on high, until the chocolate has almost melted {else melt over a double boiler} Stir until smooth, and then stir in the dessert wine and strawberry jam.
  7. Beat egg whites with 75g brown sugar and cream of tartar to stiff peaks.
  8. Place egg yolks with remaining 100g brown sugar and vanilla extract and whisk to mix. Whisk n the melted chocolate-berry mix. Fold in the almond meal.
  9. Reserve 1/2 cup of the beaten egg whites for topping if desired.
  10. Add 2-3 tbsp of the beaten egg whites to the chocolate mixture and fold in gently. Add the remaining beaten egg whites in two lots, gently folding into the batter so that the air is not released.
  11. With an offset spatula, spread the reserved beaten egg white mixture over the top of the cake. Sprinkle over the pistachios.
  12. Bake at 180C for approximately an hour, until done. The cake will fall as it cools.
  13. Cool in tin until cooled completely, then gently peel off parchment and transfer to serving platter. {I cooled it in the fridge overnight as I find the flavours mature really well. Take out of fridge half an hour before serving}
  14. Top with whipped almond cream, and strawberry wine jam topping {Recipe follows}
  15. Almond whipped cream
  16. Whip the cream with icing sugar and almond extract until medium peaks form. Fill the fallen gateau cavity with it.
  17. Strawberry Wine Jam Topping
  18. Place quartered strawberries in a heavy bottom pan with brown sugar. Simmer for 2-3 minutes until the strawberries just begin to soften. Add the wine jam and stir well until the topping is nice and glossy, a minute. Cool and chill. {Can be made a day ahead}
  19. Note: Is a great on parfaits, ice cream, fresh waffles etc too

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Strawberry Kiwi Fruit SaladIt’s the time of the year where your palette changes as the season changes. Springs given way to summer, and thankfully it’s been kind of mild so far. The flavours are shifting gear from hearty earthy soups to salads and smoothies galore.

Summer foods, healthyGrilled is in … sandwiches & barbeque. With it comes breads – wholegrain, chewy, deep, delicious. Yes the yeast in action gives rise to some fine French fougasse and foccacias and no one is complaining. Healthy food in Delhi is in, and it’s fun to see the change in food trends.summer coolersThe past two years have seen a shift in gears towards light food in Delhi. Though the number of  stand alone salad bars in Delhi are still limited, most coffee shops and restaurants have a live salad counter which throw up the most amazing of fresh and cooked salads all day long. Nirulas Pot Pourri was possibly the first ‘salad bar in Delhi’, one that brings back old memories of the 1980’s. Stone Fruit SaladWe would hang out on the ground floor in Connaught Place, having ‘escaped’ from school, sinking our teeth into 21 Love and Jamoca Almond Fudge. the Hot Chocolate Fudge was slightly steeper, so that was for special days, toasted cashews on top and the works! We’d climb upstairs sometimes to treat ourselves to the occasional grilled sandwich, passing by the salad bar, but never stopping for any! The precious pennies were saved to buy real food in our eyes, not pineapples and Russian salad!!

Healthy food makeoverHow times change when you grow up. How food on the table changes too! It’s actually a combination of an internet explosion, social media, interest in food, spending time in the kitchen, reading cookbooks and blogs non stop that lead to awakening. One constantly questions ‘what is on the plate’? And it’s a great way for youngsters to learn too!Fruit salad The son will not eat a meal without salad, he begins every morning with a fruit salad … it’s the best thing in the world he declares! What’s the fuss all about you might wonder. Nothing at all. It’s the Strawberry Kiwi Fruit Salad that I’ve been making for years. This is a simple, refreshing, make ahead or make instantly glass of joy.

SaladsStrawberries and kiwi are two very vitamin rich fruit, though can try experimenting with maybe melons and kiwi, or mango and strawberries, maybe litchi and melon… whatever is in season and forms part of your local produce. Throw in a bunch of fresh herbs from the garden, sit back and refresh yourself this summer!

[print_this]Recipe: Strawberry Kiwi Fruit Salad
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Summary: Strawberry Kiwi Fruit Salad is a simple, refreshing, make ahead or make instantly glass of joy. Strawberries and kiwi are two very vitamin rich fruit. Throw in a bunch of fresh herbs from the garden, sit back and refresh yourself this summer! Serves 2

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Ingredients:

  • 12 strawberries, hulled, diced
  • 2 ripe kiwi, peeled, diced
  • 2tsp raw sugar {boora} or honey
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Fresh basil or mint

Method:

  1. Place fruit in serving glasses or a glass bowl.
  2. Sprinkle over sugar / honey, squeeze over the lime juice and gently toss to mix.
  3. Spoon into serving glasses or bowls. garnish with fresh herbs.
  4. Chill until ready to serve.

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