Tag

dessert

“But don’t forget, in the meantime, that this is the season for strawberries. Yes.”
Clarice Lispector

Baked White Chocolate Cheesecake with Mascarpone & Strawberries might well be my best cheesecake to date. Smooth, rich, indulgent, satisfying and quite impressive for something made so simple. It’s inspired of course by the Dark Chocolate Cheesecake which is an absolute winner recipe by Ruchira.I had to bake dessert the other day, another late decision, another fast track recipe. I wanted something different this time, something lighter, something more Spring. This was experimental, and we waited with baited breath while it was cut. One bite … and I knew it was a winner.It’s not always easy to throw in this and that, hoping things will work out. Sometimes stuff like this works, sometimes it’s a total disaster. This time around it was surprisingly a 100% success. There was nothing I’d change about this Baked White Chocolate Cheesecake with Mascarpone & Strawberries recipe, and I’m glad I took notes as I threw things in.As I mentioned earlier,  I was really short on time. I first put the white chocolate into the Thermomix and blitzed it into a fine powder, then just added the remaining ingredients and stirred everything together. Ideally, like most cheesecake recipes with chocolate, you need to first melt and cool the chocolate before adding it to the batter. Well, this worked fine for me, so I think that’s yet another chocolate cheesecake shortcut  will turn too often. If you have a sturdy food processor, then it takes less than a minute to grind chocolate really fine. Do try it this way too someday!This Baked White Chocolate Cheesecake is the easiest as the base doesn’t need to be baked separately. Leaves you a ton of time to figure out how to top it. Maybe too much time because I went a little indulgent. Well, to be honest, it was a special occasion bake, so some luxurious vanilla bean spiked mascarpone was much in place.
Then of course the strawberries. So much you can do with them! This season in North India has seen an EXCELLENT strawberry crop, possibly the best ever. I’ve used them in just about everything, and they’re still falling off carts in the city. A quick jam like reduction, some balsamic, some vanilla, a dash of lime juice and sugar of course yielded a beautiful topping for the Baked White Chocolate Cheesecake.

Baked White Chocolate Cheesecake with Mascarpone &; Strawberries
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Baked White Chocolate Cheesecake with Mascarpone & Strawberries might well be my best cheesecake to date. Smooth, rich, indulgent, satisfying and quite impressive for something made so simple. A quick jam like reduction, some balsamic, some vanilla, a dash of lime juice and sugar of course yielded a beautiful topping for the cheesecake.
Servings Prep Time
8-12 people 15 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
1 hour 8 hours
Servings Prep Time
8-12 people 15 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
1 hour 8 hours
Baked White Chocolate Cheesecake with Mascarpone &; Strawberries
Yum
Print Recipe
Baked White Chocolate Cheesecake with Mascarpone & Strawberries might well be my best cheesecake to date. Smooth, rich, indulgent, satisfying and quite impressive for something made so simple. A quick jam like reduction, some balsamic, some vanilla, a dash of lime juice and sugar of course yielded a beautiful topping for the cheesecake.
Servings Prep Time
8-12 people 15 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
1 hour 8 hours
Servings Prep Time
8-12 people 15 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
1 hour 8 hours
Ingredients
Vanilla Mascarpone Cream
Servings: people
Instructions
Biscuit base
  1. Whiz the biscuits and jaggery in food processor until you get a fine meal. Add butter, whiz again to mix. Press into 7-8" loose bottom tin. Chill in the freezer while you get the filling ready, and the oven preheats.
White Chocolate Filling
  1. Preheat oven to 160C.
  2. Place all ingredients in bowl of food processor, and blend well to mix, 1-2 minutes on medium speed.
  3. Pour into crust, and bake for an hour.
  4. Cool completely in the oven, then chill covered in the fridge, preferably overnight.
Vanilla Mascarpone Cream
  1. Place all ingredients in a large bowl an whisk until just mixed and smooth. Don't overmix. Spread over chilled cheesecake.
Strawberry Rosemary Topping
  1. Place all ingredients except lime juice in a non reactive sauce pan. Simmer over low heat until it becomes jam like and reaches the desired consistency. Taste and adjust sweetness. Discard rosemary. Add lime juice if desired. Cool completely {Can be made a day ahead}. Top the Vanilla Mascarpone Cream with this.
  2. Garnish with freshly sliced strawberries and fresh rosemary sprigs.
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“If it’s not 100 per cent pure maple syrup, it can’t be called ‘pure maple syrup.”
Nancy Greene

Dark Chocolate Wholegrain Cupcakes with Maple Syrup Cream Cheese Frosting. It’s been forever since I baked cupcakes or muffins. I bake cakes and cookies more often I guess, possibly, lazy me. Yet when Spring comes and summer is round the corner, the first thing I reach out for are these gorgeous cupcake liners a sweet friend sent me. This time I also had on hand a 100% pure maple syrup from Canada.Both the liners and the syrup inspired me to ‘cupcake’ so here we go. These cupcakes are a 100% wholegrain which is what I mostly bake with now.  I also almost always use natural sweeteners and this time I decided to use a pure maple syrup from Canada in the cupcakes. The flavours are subtle but the health benefits quite significant.Maple Syrup an excellent source of manganese and riboflavin {B2}, and a good source of magnesium and a source of calcium, potassium, sodium, copper and zinc. It offers a healthier alternative to regular sweeteners and sugar. You can easily replace white or brown sugar with an equivalent volume of maple syrup. Just reduce the quantity of liquid in the recipe accordingly {for each cup of maple syrup substituted, reduce liquid by a ¼ cup}. An alternative like maple syrup is a great addition to adding flavour and nutrition to food.It has an addictive earthy robust flavour. One sip, then another … and soon the little bottle is empty. That delicious!! Also it’s ideal for vegans. I did a version of granola with the 100% pure maple syrup and virgin coconut oil. Mmmmm! Do tell me if you’d like the recipe.

While using maple syrup is extremely easy in your morning pre-workout or post workout smoothie, I thought I’d try it in baking as well. I used it very easily in this granola I made but before that tried it in cupcakes. The cupcakes are a great on the go healthy snack, a tiffin box filler, and a great addition to the kids birthday party. That they are a 100% wholegrain and use natural sweeteners  cannot be emphasized enough.I am currently working around a #makehalfyourgrainswhole theme. You can too. Before you cook,bake or make something, look at the list of ingredients and see how you can make it better. Make each ingredient count for itself. If it says empty calories, try and work out a better alternative.For instance, for the frosting for these cupcakes I reached out for the bottle of maple syrup to see if it would work. Yes it did! Just simple cream cheese with maple syrup offered a creamy delicious earthy cupcake frosting. It’s simple changes like this that will lead you to a healthier lifestyle. Take a step at a time…

Dark Chocolate Wholegrain Cupcakes with Maple Syrup Cream Cheese Frosting
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These Dark Chocolate Wholegrain Cupcakes with Maple Syrup Cream Cheese Frosting are moist, chocolaty, and oh-so-satisfying. The frosting uses 100% Pure Maple Syrup from Canada.
Servings Prep Time
6-8 muffins 5 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Servings Prep Time
6-8 muffins 5 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Dark Chocolate Wholegrain Cupcakes with Maple Syrup Cream Cheese Frosting
Yum
Print Recipe
These Dark Chocolate Wholegrain Cupcakes with Maple Syrup Cream Cheese Frosting are moist, chocolaty, and oh-so-satisfying. The frosting uses 100% Pure Maple Syrup from Canada.
Servings Prep Time
6-8 muffins 5 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Servings Prep Time
6-8 muffins 5 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: muffins
Instructions
Wholewheat dark chocolate muffins
  1. Preheat oven to 180C
  2. Place all ingredients for dry mix in a large bowl and stir well to mix. Reserve.
  3. Place all the wet mix ingredients EXCEPT buttermilk in bowl of stand mixer. Whisk for 2-3 minutes on medium high speed.
  4. Add the dry ingredients alternatively with the buttermilk in 3 lots. Stir until mixed. Don't overmix.
  5. Turn into 6-8 cupcake liners. Bake for 18-20 minutes until done.
  6. Eat as is, warm or at room temperature. Cool completely if you wish to frost them.
Maple cream cheese frosting
  1. Place cream cheese and maple syrup in a large bowl
  2. Whisk with an electric hand beater until smooth. Transfer to piping bag fitted with a star nozzle. Pipe over cupcakes.
  3. Sprinkle over maple flakes if desired.
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Thandai Indian Rice Kheermy version of serving up Thandai in an Indian rice pudding, or kheer as locally called. Flavoured delicately, this indulgent rice pudding hits all the right notes. Sweetened gently with jaggery, the flavours of almond, cardamom and saffron just shine. The texture of broken simmered rice is what adds body to this delectable kheer or pudding.The underlying inspiration comes from Dolphia who inspired, coerced and pushed me to shoot saffron. That’s one of the reasons this kheer came to be. The other reason of course was that the better half has bitterly complained over the last few days that I haven’t made a kheer in years!  As much as I love stirring a good kheer, for some reason it hadn’t happened yet…

Then yet another trip into Old Delhi, some Kashmir saffron bought to please Dolphia and the hub {in no particular order of course} meant that the kheer was simmering away gently quite soon. The recipe of course inspired by the season, all the Thandai kind of stuff I make at this time of the year. Thandai is a spice and nut blend, with ingredients that include almonds, melon seeds, fennel seeds, poppy seeds, green cardamom, saffron, rose petals, sometimes whole pepper too. It is popularly served up as a milk cooler, often with a local bhaang or intoxicant, on Holi. There are a million versions, every household laying claim to their recipe. Mine changes all the time!

Sometimes, a theme helps me find direction, and this time around the prettiness of the colours got to me. Spring is like that, and so is every visit into the heart of Old Delhi!

First I did a Saffron Almond Chia Thandai for  Olive Tree Trading and that really set the mood. So much colourful prettiness and so much inspiration. That’s just how this time of the year is. I’ve dried loads of organic rose petals, so you’ll see me using those a lot.And so to cut a loooong story short, I finally made the Thandai Indian Rice Kheer. And it came out finger licking good. It’s a quick one, one I figured out as I went along. It’s the first time I’ve ground almonds with rice {an earlier version had the Thandai nut mix}. 
For some reason, I loved this simpler version. Here it is, the Thandai Indian Rice Kheer.

Thandai Indian Rice Kheer
Yum
Print Recipe
Flavoured gently, this indulgent Thandai Indian Rice Kheer hits all the right notes. Sweetened gently with jaggery, the flavours of almond, cardamom and saffron just shine. The texture of broken simmered rice is what adds body to this delectable kheer or pudding.
Servings Prep Time
8-10 people 5 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
30 minutes 5-8 hours
Servings Prep Time
8-10 people 5 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
30 minutes 5-8 hours
Thandai Indian Rice Kheer
Yum
Print Recipe
Flavoured gently, this indulgent Thandai Indian Rice Kheer hits all the right notes. Sweetened gently with jaggery, the flavours of almond, cardamom and saffron just shine. The texture of broken simmered rice is what adds body to this delectable kheer or pudding.
Servings Prep Time
8-10 people 5 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
30 minutes 5-8 hours
Servings Prep Time
8-10 people 5 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
30 minutes 5-8 hours
Ingredients
Servings: people
Instructions
  1. Dry grind rice and almonds to a coarse breadcrumb like texture in a coffee grinder.​ You can add the cardamom seeds here if you like.​Stir the above into cold milk with the jaggery, cardamom seeds and cream if using.
  2. Put over low heat and cook for about 25-30 minutes, STIRRING OFTEN, until the rice is cooked and the kheer thick.
  3. Taste and adjust sweetness if required. Take off heat and add a generous pinch of saffron. Stir well.
  4. The kheer will continue to thicken as it cools. You might need to add a little milk as the absorption quality of rice differs. Once it gets to room temperature, ladle into earthenware bowls, individual serving bowls etc to set. Garnish with saffron strands, almond slivers, pistachio bits, rose petals etc.
  5. Serve chilled.
  6. Note: Rinse, drain and d​ry the rice overnight, else dry in microwave for 1 minute.
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