Baked Cheesecake with White Chocolate and a Cherry Topping

Baked Cheese­cake with White Chocol­ate and a Cherry Topping




This cheese­cake is great to serve at the end of a din­ner party as it looks impress­ive and taste amaz­ing. The com­bin­a­tion of cher­ries and white chocol­ate always works well together and makes this cheese­cake a little more spe­cial. How­ever, I made this cheese­cake when cher­ries were in sea­son and only got a chance to post the pics now. So if you have a prob­lem get­ting g hold of some cher­ries, use another berry for the top­ping – straw­ber­ries or black ber­ries will work a treat too! And, look just as fab!



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Who knew Beets could taste this good

Beet­root and Orange Ice-cream



After hav­ing leftover beet­root puree from mak­ing pasta and won­der­ing what to do with it, I stumbled across this ice-cream recipe on the Saveur web­site. It’s a Jeni Brit­ton Bauer recipe and it is abso­lutely to die for. I have slightly adap­ted the recipe to suit my own taste and what I think works bet­ter based on pre­vi­ously making. 



The great, or rather inter­est­ing, aspect to this ice-cream and what makes it dif­fer from oth­ers, is that it does not use eggs. Her basic ice-cream base is one that uses full-cream cream cheese or mas­capone which has a high fat con­tent and gluc­ose syrup which is often used in foods to soften tex­ture, add volume, and to help pre­vent crys­tal­lisa­tion of sugars.



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Homemade Pretzels, New York Style

Homemade Pret­zels, New York Style



There is noth­ing quite like a homemade pret­zel straight from the oven: the warm, soft, chewy bread with a glossy deep brown exter­ior and lumps of rock salt is a delight in the mouth.



Look­ing back, I remem­ber eat­ing a real New Yorken pret­zel for the first time. I was eight at the time, it was a freez­ing day in New York city and we passed a pret­zel vend­our. Firstly, I was astoun­ded by the size of them (*note: at the time, I thought pret­zels came in plastic pack­ets, were small and crunchy and gen­er­ally [not exclus­ively] served at adult parties and were, in my opin­ion, fan­cier than crisps). Secondly, I was delighted that they served them warm! Being South African, I was not accus­tomed to the harsh New York winter wind – hel­luva icy! So, eat­ing some­thing warm was a treat on its own, how­ever eat­ing some­thing as deli­cious as a pret­zel, whole other ballgame. The tex­ture, the bits of salt and even the shape all make it a per­fect snack (espe­cially for an eight-year old who had been miss­ing out her whole life).



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Spinach and Ricotta Rotolo

Spin­ach and Ricotta Rotolo



This is a won­der­ful dish to make for a din­ner party. It has everything you want: a wow factor, great authen­tic Italian fla­vour, and can be made in advanced. I love mak­ing homemade pasta and filled pas­tas and have many a time made over 50 ravi­olis for Christ­mas or other spe­cial occa­sions – and let me tell you that is freakin’ time-consuming (both in prep and cooking).



This is why I love mak­ing Rotolo, it’s quite sim­ilar to any filled pasta in fla­vour, how­ever where it dif­fers is in its pre­par­a­tion time. To make pasta dough is not too time-consuming espe­cially when made in a food pro­cessor, and to make a spin­ach and ricotta filling is also rather basic. How­ever when the two are com­bined it is in no way basic in taste!


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Beetroot Pasta, the colour of ‘M’ in CMYK

 Beet­root Pasta, the col­our of ‘M’ in CMYK

LOVE the col­our of this pasta. The deep magenta hue is mes­mer­ising and in a way unbe­liev­able that it’s edible. It’s the col­our that rep­res­ents the “M” in CMYK and in that sense seems com­pletely ined­ible or only some­thing that would be edible in the future – when we’re all liv­ing in a computer-generated world where food has to be one of the col­ours rep­res­en­ted in CMYK (oth­er­wise it would not be recognised).

At the same time, I can­not help but think of Alfred Hitch­cock when I eat this pasta. I remem­ber read­ing a fab­ulous story about him and his “blue” parties – a col­our that is also rep­res­en­ted in CMYK in the form of the “C” for Cyan. At these parties he would only serve blue food, from the Mar­tinis to the mash pota­toes, and I have ever since wanted to do the same – it’s crazy, yet bril­liant! How­ever, it ‘s also believed that his guest got sick after­words – many believ­ing that the idea of eat­ing blue food has a physiolo­gical effect that is hard to stom­ach ( excuse the pun, hehehehehe…). So per­haps I should rather throw a Magenta party and serve everything inspired by beet­roots from the Mar­tinis to the pasta.

I also love this pasta because it is so vibrant and, when served on a matte black plate, looks super mod­ern – mak­ing a won­der­ful state­ment at the table. Remem­ber to avoid over­cook­ing it, the more you cook it the quicker it loses its col­our and goes stogy. If you cook it imme­di­ately from fresh, it can take less than 2 minutes to cook. For best res­ults, leave it to dry overnight and then it will retain more of its col­our and take about 3–5 minutes to cook. I like to serve it with a blue cheese sauce sprinkled with, roas­ted, chopped wal­nuts and crispy bacon or pancetta.

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