Mulberry Lime Cooler for times like these when the season changes, when spring meets summer. With a very short and ‘finger staining good’ mulberry season in progress, life is good. This is the best time of the year, yet this time it’s unseasonably warm for April. With temperatures already threatening to touch 40C in North India, mulberries are literally raining off trees. How better to use these foraged beauties than in a refreshing summer cooler!I have loads of mulberries in the fridge. This fruit is very perishable. There’s going to be just about 2-3 weeks of mulberry joy, and then alas, wait for next year. I’m constantly thinking of things to do with this precious fruit, other than cramming them into my mouth of course!That’s how we spent our childhood. Climbing up trees in the heat of summer, foraging fruit, coming home with our hands and clothes mulberry coloured and happy. Now I want to use the fruit in more fun ways. The simplest I thought was a variation on the lemonade or our native Nimbu Paani. There was that bottle of 100% pure maple syrup from Canada that was calling my name.With summer here, it’s best to hydrate the body with loads of seasonal refreshing things. It’s fun to make coolers with fruit in season, so that’s where I begun. This Mulberry Lime Cooler is as simple as that. Basic ingredients – freshly foraged mulberries, lime juice, maple syrup and fresh mint.Mulberries are filled with nutrients that are important for our body, including iron, riboflavin, vitamin C, vitamin K, potassium, phosphorous, and calcium, as well as a significant amount of dietary fiber and a variety of beneficial organic compounds. Paired with pure maple syrup, this Mulberry Lime Cooler is certain to refresh you. Takes a few tablespoons of maple syrup to add a soothing natural sweetness. Maple syrup is a healthier alternative to regular sweeteners and sugar, and is known to be an antioxidant, has anti inflammatory properties, and is a rich source of nutrients.I don’t like to cook down berries unless required because they lose their Vitamic C. So I thought it would be best to muddle them with a little maple syrup. Love the deep colour berries released. No more to the simple summer cooler. Muddle well, strain by pushing through as much juice as you can collect. Then add a generous glug of maple syrup to sweeten. Also lime juice, a few whole mulberries and mint leaves to the pitcher. Chill well before serving, else pour over ice. It’s refreshing!There is so much more you can do with maple syrup. I made this Breakfast Berry Smoothie Bowl using a batch of gluten free granola I made last week with the maple syrup. Mulberries here too! This is just the simple kind of goodness that you can treat yourself to. Use fruit in season to get maximum benefit!So many possibilities, so much fun. Am thinking of no bake energy bites next. Best to keep things quick and easy through summer!
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.