Chocolate baked ricotta

The second of my attempts at cheese making was fresh ricotta. Just like mascarpone before it, ricotta is dead simple to get right. The only question is what to do with it once you've made it. Baking it makes for a delicious dessert or very special afternoon tea. Adding cinnamon and vanilla to the mix gives the chocolate flavour greater depth. For a mocha version, substitute instant coffee for the cinnamon.

Chocolate baked ricotta

2 cups fresh ricotta
1/4 cup pure cream
1/4 cup Greek yoghurt
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 tbsp cocoa
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
1/2 cup caster sugar

Method

Preheat oven to 180 Celsius. Lightly grease a loaf pan. Combine all ingredients and mix until smooth. Pour into prepared pan and bake until set - around 1 to 1 1/4 hours. Allow to cool, then refrigerate until ready to serve. Serve with whipped cream and dusted with extra cocoa. 

Citrus mascarpone pots

Mascarpone has to be the easiest of cheeses to make at home. Granted, it takes a bit longer than heading to the supermarket to pick up a carton, but it certainly works out cheaper to whip up a batch overnight. If you happen to give it a shot, then these little dessert pots will put your mascarpone to good use. 


Citrus mascarpone pots

300g mascarpone
1 cup caster sugar
Finely grated rind of 2 lemons
1/3 cup lime juice
6 eggs, lightly beaten

Method

Preheat the oven to 160 Celsius. Lightly grease 8 small ramekins or custard pots. 
Whisk together the mascarpone, sugar, and lemon juice. Add the lime juice and eggs and beat until smooth. Pour into ramekins and bake until set - around 30 - 35 minutes. Allow to cool before serving with whipped cream or extra mascarpone. 
Note that baking the pots gives a texture similar to flan. For a smoother, more custard-like texture, place the ramekins in to a baking tray half-filled with hot water before baking. 

Very berry citrus slice


Very berry citrus slice

Makes 24 squares

Biscuit base

150g butter, melted
1/3 cup caster sugar
1/3 cup shredded coconut
2/3 cup rolled oats
1 1/3 cup flour

Topping

4 eggs
zest of one orange
1 cup caster sugar
1/3 cup cornflour
2/3 cup fruit juice
1 cup mixed berries

Method

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Line a slice pan with baking paper, leaving overhang along the long edges.

Stir the sugar and coconut in to the melted butter. Add the oats, then the flour, stirring until the mixture creates a soft dough. Press into the prepared pan and cook for 15 to 20 minutes until the base has browned.

Meanwhile, mix the eggs, zest, sugar and cornflour until smooth. Stir through the juice and add the berries. Pour over the base and bake for a further 15 minutes or until just set.

Allow to cool completely in the pan. Dust with icing sugar before serving. 

Not quite angel food cake


I recently had need of twelve egg yolks, which left me with quite the dilemma. What on earth do you do with twelve egg whites when meringue isn't an option? I'm not much of an omelette fan, and just wasn't in the mood for macaroons. After a little searching of the interwebs, two things stood out. First of all, meringue is pretty much the number one suggestion when it comes to cooking with egg whites, and secondly, angel food cake uses a lot of egg whites while simultaneously being one of those things that can either go very right or very, very wrong. 

Armed with the knowledge that my cake could end up tasting like sweet polystyrene, I set out to give it a shot. I used gluten-free flour, because I have loads of it after making the chocolate cupcakes last week. If you want to use regular flour, substitute 2 tablespoons of cornflour for part of your flour. I also used a bundt pan instead of an angel food cake tin, as realistically, 12 spare egg whites is not a situation I normally find myself in. Plus the cake tin cupboard is already bursting at the seams! Hence the "not quite".



The verdict? I think it would be much improved by serving it with whipped cream instead of the vanilla glaze I added. The kidlets would disagree, they devoured it in an afternoon.

Angel-food cake

12 egg whites
1 cup smart sugar
1 cup gluten-free flour
1 tsp cream of tartar
2 tsp vanilla bean paste
1/2 tsp lemon extract

Method

Preheat the oven to 180 Celsius. Beat the eggs until they reach soft peak stage. Gradually add the sugar, beating until it is fully dissolved. Add the vanilla bean paste and lemon extract. Sift the flour and add around a third to the egg mixture. Fold through carefully, making sure not to lose too much volume. Add the remaining flour in batches, folding through the egg mix. Place in a tube tin or bundt pan, and cook until the cake springs back when touched, around 50 minutes. If the cake browns too quickly, reduce the temperature to 160 degrees. Allow the cake to cool completely in the pan before turning out and serving. 



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