I think baked cheesecakes might be my super-power. (Making them and eating them). I never really have any problems with them and they always turn out well, slightly soft and rich and creamy, the way a baked cheesecake should be. This one is no exception […]
As a non-meat eater I would be chuffed to bits to be presented with these for my Christmas dinner, or for any dinner for that matter! The pastry is gorgeously crisp and flaky against the creamy filling and tender sweet squash. The flavours are spot on too, squash, sage and nutmeg is such a classic combination.
Obviously if you’re pushed for time (there’s never enough of it at Christmas) you can use ready-made pastry. These will keep for a day or two in the fridge and re-heat beautifully too so feel free to make them ahead of time if you need to.
40g toasted hazelnuts (ground finely)
200g plain flour
pinch of seasalt
splash of very cold water
450g (ish) butternut squash
1 1/2 tsp dried sage
pinch of grated nutmeg
salt and pepper to taste
Rub together the ground hazelnuts, butter, salt and flour, using your fingertips or a food processor, until it looks like fine breadcrumbs. Use a little of the cold water to brind everything together but don’t let the dough get sticky. Wrap the dough in clingfilm and put it in the fridge to chill for 30 minutes.
Pre-heat the oven to 230°c and line a large baking sheet with baking parchment.
Combine the ricotta, sage, parmesan, nutmeg and salt and pepper, mixing well and set it aside. Slice the ‘neck’ of the squash (don’t bother to peel it) so that the slices are only a couple of millimeters thick. Use a cookie cutter to cut the squash into pretty shapes, this should be pretty easy if your squash is thin enough.
Once the dough has chilled and relaxed roll it out on a very lightly floured surface so that it is just a few millimeters thick. Cut four circles out of the dough (a breakfast bowl makes a good template) re-rolling the dough as necessary.
Put the discs of pastry on the prepared baking sheet. Add a dollop of the ricotta mixture to the centre of each and spread it a little. Arrange the squash slices on top, so that they overlap. Fold over the edges of the pastry, crimping and gathering as necessary. I like to brush the edges with a little beaten egg so that the pastry is lovely and golden once the galettes are baked. Dot the top of each one with a tiny bit of butter and sprinkle on a bit of black pepper.
Bake them for 15 minutes, then lower the oven temperature to 190°c and bake for a further 20 minutes.
I haven’t baked cupcakes in forever. I’m not sure if it’s because they went out of style a little bit or because I’m a pretty greedy person and I’d rather bake one big cake that can be cut into generous slices!
These aren’t as sweet and sickly as some cupcakes can be, thanks to the rich and creamy mascarpone frosting and the tangy lemon curd filling.
90g butter, softened
375g plain flour
3 tsp baking powder
3 tbsp of elderflower cordial
4 tbsp milk
filling & frosting
2-3 tbsp lemon curd
150g butter, softened
150g icing sugar
1 tbsp elderflower cordial
lemon and lime zest to decorate
Pre-heat your oven to 190°c and line a cupcake tin with 12 wrappers.
Sift together the flour and baking powder then combine this with the sugar before beating in the butter until the mixture looks like damp sand.
In a separate bowl or jug mix together the milk and eggs. Slowly mix this into the dry ingredients a third at a time until you have a smooth, fairly liquid batter. Stir in the elderflower cordial.
Divide the batter evenly between the cupcake cases and bake for 20 minutes, give or take, until the cakes have risen and are nicely browned. Leave to cool on a wire rack.
Once the cakes are completely cool cut a small section out of the top of each one. If you have an apple corer this will do the job quickly and easily. Fill the resulting hole with a little lemon curd and replace the little sponge cap.
To make the frosting beat together the butter and icing sugar before adding in the mascarpone and the elderflower cordial. Pipe or spread the frosting on top of the cakes, being careful to cover the little sponge lids and then sprinkle each one with a little lemon and lime zest.
When you get really good ingredients it’s worth using them in a recipe that really shows off their full potential. That’s how I feel about these beautiful heirloom tomatoes anyway. So often the fruits you find in supermarkets are insipid and disappointing but if you […]
Isn’t it funny how certain foods can transport you back to the time and place where you first had them? I’m sure these american biscuits will always remind me of our road trips through the Great Smoky Mountains in our little red MX5.
Whilst biscuits look like your average cheese scone they’re really not. They have a softer, lighter texture and are a little more crumbly. If you’ve never tried them then you really should.
Feel free to adjust the jalapeno in these to suit your own tastes, and it’s totally up to you if you de-seed them or not!
makes about 18
300g plain flour
4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
60g very cold butter
100g strong cheddar (grated)
1 plump jalapeno (finely chopped)
Pre-heat your oven to 220°c and brush a baking tin with a little melted butter, it doesn’t really matter what shape it is but it helps for it to have quite deep sides because it will support the biscuits as they rise.
Sift together the flour and raising agents into a large mixing bowl and then mix through the salt and sugar. Cut the butter into small pieces and lightly rub it through the flour. It doesn’t have to be too uniform. Mix through the grated cheese (keeping a little in reserve) and the chopped jalapeno.
Combine the cream and buttermilk and add it to the dry mixture, a bit at a time as you may not need all of it and bring it together to form a soft dough. Don’t over mix the dough or you’ll get tough biscuits. I use a fork to mix it so that my hands don’t warm up the mixture either.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and pat it out to about 1/2″ thick. Fold it in half and then pat it out again. Fold it one more time and pat it out again so that it’s 1/2″ thick. Stamp out 2″ rounds using a pastry cutter. It’s very important that you don’t twist the cutter though. Put the biscuits in the buttered cake tin, it’s okay for them to touch. Brush the tops with a little extra butter milk, sprinkle on the reserved cheese and bake for 15-20 minutes. Once they are all puffed up and golden you can let them cool a touch before devouring them whilst they’re still a bit warm.
I’ve taken the delicious salad that Rach from our little community shared on here last summer as the flavour inspiration for these. I bloomin’ love beetroot and dill, alone or together, they put me in veggie heaven. These little vegetable patties are so delicious, crisp […]