Chocolate cheesecake with strawberry panna cotta

I made this cheesecake for my daughter’s birthday instead of traditional birthday cake. Chocolate and strawberry flavours chosen by her are popular combo but still very successful and tasty. The texture of this cheesecake is subtle, creamy and light. The chocolate taste is intensive but not overpowering and perfectly harmonizes with strawberry panna cotta. Fresh strawberries on the top complement nicely the whole dessert. Enjoy!

 

You should make this cheesecake a day before because it must spend the night in the fridge to become proper structure.

round spring pan 8 inch

 

 Base:

  • 170 g tea biscuits
  • ¼ cup butter, melted

Cheesecake:

  • 500 g cream cheese
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 125 g dark chocolate

Panna cotta:

  • ½ cup milk
  • ½ cup whipping cream
  • 5 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 tablespoon freeze-dried strawberries (powder)
  • 2.5 teaspoons gelatine

 

Make the base: process biscuits in the food processor until very fine (sand texture). Add melted butter and mix until well incorporated. Line the bottom of a spring pan with parchment paper. Spoon the mixture evenly pressing lightly with a spoon. Let it cool in the fridge.

Make cheesecake: heat the cream until boiling. Remove from the heat, add chocolate broken into pieces and set aside for 5 minutes. Then mix until smooth. Cool slightly.

In a bowl of a stand mixer beat remaining ingredients until smooth mixture form. Add chocolate cream, mix shortly. Cheesecake will be baked in water bath (bain-marie) so wrap the spring pan filled with biscuit base  in two pieces of aluminium foil and place in a bigger pan filled with hot water to the half-way of spring pan sides. Pour the cheese mixture over the biscuit base. Place both pans together in hot oven (325°F) and bake for 1 hour. The cheesecake have to be set on its whole surface, if is not bake it longer. Once is baked remove from bigger water pan, waste the aluminium foil and place cheesecake in pan to the fridge for overnight.

When the cheesecake is in the oven make panna cotta: place gelatine in a small bowl and cover with cold water. Set aside for 5 minutes to bloom. Heat milk with cream in a saucepan until hot. Remove from the heat, add strawberry powder and sugar and mix until dissolved. Heat gelatine gently in a double boiler or microwave until dissolves, not boil. Stir liquid gelatine in prepared mixture. Pour the mixture into silicon mould shaped of your choice (I made spiral circle and few small butterflies) and place to the fridge for overnight. Before removing from mould freeze for 30 minutes in freezer.

Next day remove cheesecake from the pan and place on a cake stand. Remove frozen panna cotta from the mould and place on the top of cheesecake. Decorate with fresh strawberries. Store in fridge.

 

 

 Category: Cheesecakes.

Tags: chocolate, strawberry.

Glutenfree pistachio rose financiers

Financiers are small French cookies usually baked in rectangular or oval shape. Crucial for the dough is browned butter and using only egg whites without yolks. The cookies are soft, slightly crunchy outside and slightly chewy inside. The flavour is of choice, classic are vanilla almond but we may want to experiment. I choose pistachios as nut base and combined them with rose because this is a really good pair. Cookies are incredible tasty. Enjoy!

 

24 cookies (but it depends on moulds size)

 

 Ingredients:

  • ½ cup + 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons coconut syrup (or other plant syrup)
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 1 ½ cup finely ground pistachios
  • ¼ cup buckwheat flour
  • pinch of salt
  • 3 egg whites (from large eggs)
  • 1 teaspoon rose extract

Icing:

  • ½ cup icing sugar
  • 1 tablespoon dried rose petals
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 2 tablespoon pistachio crumbles

 

 

 

Grease moulds (I recommend steel) with butter, place on the baking sheet and put into the freezer.

Preheat oven to 400°F.

Melt butter in a saucepan and cook for further 10 minutes until changes the colour to brown and starts to smell ‘nutty’. Remove from the heat, stir in coconut syrup and set aside to cool slightly.

In a bowl combine sugar, pistachios, salt and flour. Add egg whites and rose extract, mix with a spoon. Slowly add butter with syrup and mix until combined.

Fill moulds to the ¾ capacity. Place with baking sheet to the oven, reduce the temperature to 375°F and bake for 15 minutes (until tooth pick inserted into center comes out clean). Remove from the oven, unmould and cool on a wire rack.

Make icing: grind rose petals to powder. Combine the powder with icing sugar, stir in water and mix until smooth, thick but still liquid mixture. Pour over the top of each cookie and sprinkle with pistachio crumbles.

 

 

Category: Cookies.

Tags: glutenfree, pistachio, rose.

Spinach pistachio sweet rolls

Another version of bicolour sweet rolls. Spring and green. The dough is coloured with spinach and the filling made of pistachios. The spinach flavour is very subtle, slightly detectable (for some people maybe not at all) and the dough looks interesting. The pistachio filling is intensive and tasty. Summarising they are yummy, soft, pistachio sweet rolls. Enjoy!

 

12 buns

 

 Dough:

  • 3 cups flour
  • pinch of salt
  • 3 teaspoons dried yeast
  • ¾  cup lukewarm milk
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ¼  cup minus 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons freeze-dried spinach (powder)

Filling:

  • 100 g pistachios
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 2-3 tablespoons icing sugar

 

Make dough: in a medium bowl mix together yeast, half of milk and 1 tablespoon sugar. Let stand for 15 until frothy. Add butter to the rest of milk in the saucepan and heat gently until butter melted but the mixture could not be hot. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, combine flour, remaining sugar and salt. Add yeast mixture, egg, vanilla extract and milk with butter. Mix on medium speed until dough is smooth (8-10 minutes) and pulls away from the sides of the bowl. If dough does not pull away from the bowl, add more flour, 1 tablespoon at a time. If the mixture remains too dry and crumbly, add lukewarm water, 1 tablespoon at a time. Once the dough is ready divide it into half. Add spinach powder to one half and kneed by hand until incorporated. Place both dough in oiled bowls, cover and let stand in a warm place for 1-1.5 hours until doubled in size.

Make filling: process pistachios until pistachio butter. Add sugar and coconut oil, mix until incorporated. If the mixture is too stiff add more oil.

Place dough on a floured surface and roll out each one into a 16 x 8 inch rectangular. Spread the filling evenly onto the white dough and cover with the green dough. Spread the filling over green dough. Cut prepared two layers dough into 12 strips 8 inch long each. Roll each strip shaping a snail. Cover two baking sheets with parchment paper. Place six rolls on each tray arranged them as a circle when each bun touches two other buns by sides (see pictures). Let stand in a warm place for 30 minutes to rest and double in size while preheating oven to 350°F. You can also place trays in the fridge for overnight and bake buns the next in the morning. Remove them from the fridge 15 minutes before baking.

Bake for 20-25 minutes until the dough is not more sticky and sounds hollow by taping the base. You may cover the top with aluminium foil after first 10 minutes to save bright colours. Serve warm or cooled.

 

 

Category: Yeast cakes.

Tags: pistachio, spinach, yeast.

Cocoa and coffee canneles

Canneles come from French patisserie and they stem from Bordeaux region. They are small treat shaped as grooved cylinders. They have crunchy caramelized skin outsider and soft custard like inside. The core ingredient is rum, dark the best. Preparing of the dough is not complicated but we have to remember that it needs incubate time 24-36 hours. Second important thing is special mould. I use steel pan and I recommend that kind of pan. On the market are available silicon moulds but firstly the silicon smell goes on the cake and second cookies do not form the classic crunchy skin outside. The taste of this treat is great and they are really worth to be baked. Enjoy!

 

12 canneles

 

 Ingredients:

  • 2 x ¼ cup sugar
  • 2 x ¼ cup flour
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tablespoon instant coffee (powder)
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
  • 1 ½ cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla paste
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 tablespoons dark rum

 

 

 

Place milk, butter and vanilla in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Remove from the heat and cool slightly. In a bowl bet egg and egg yolk, add salt, warm milk with butter and rum and mix until combined. Divide mixture into half. Gradually add to each part sugar and flour mixing to avoid clumps. Add coffee to one batch and cocoa to the second. Mix. Cover both bowls and place to the fridge for 24 to 36 hours.

Grease the metal pan with melted butter (every cylinder on all surfaces) and place to the freezer. If you have separated cylinders place them all on a baking tray.

After pre-scripted time fill cylinders with the dough to ¾ capacity. Place to the oven heated to 425°F. Rotate pan after 10 minutes. After the next 10 minutes rotate pan again and lower the temperature to 400°F. Bake for the further 20 minutes rotating the pan last time in half time. When time is over do not check cookies with a skewer and remove pan from the oven. Leave for 5 minutes in the pan then unmould and cool on a wire rack.

 

 

Category: Cookies.

Tags: cocoa, coffee, rum.

Lemon almond bundtcake

This is easy and very tasty cake perfect for everyday coffee rest or for occasions. Preparing is not time consuming and the effect is excellent. Two flavours: lemon and almond interface in harmonious way and are detectable in every bit. Thanks to almond flour and almond liqueur the cake is soft, fluffy and moist, stays fresh for few days. I forestall your doubts – alcohol evaporates in temperature 170°F so after baking remains the taste only and we may easily serve this cake to children. I added to the cake a layer of lemon curd only because I had leftovers from another baking, you may omit it but I recommend it to add – perfectly emphasises the taste and the level of delight. Enjoy!

 

10 cups budtcake pan

 

 Ingredients:

  • 1 cup butter, melted
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons lemon zest
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • ½ cup milk
  • 3 eggs
  • ½  cup almond liqueur (I used Baileys Almande 13% alc.)
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup ground almonds (almond flour)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼  teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons lemon curd (optional)

Icing:

  • ½ cup icing sugar
  • 3-4 tablespoons almond milk or cow milk with 1 teaspoon almond extract

 

 

 

Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease the pan and dust it with flour.

In a bowl stir together melted butter, lemon zest sugar and both extracts. In a separated small bowl slightly beat eggs with a fork. Add eggs, milk and almond liqueur to the butter mixture and stir (or mix with electric mixer) until combined. Add flour, ground almonds, baking powder and salt and mix until incorporated. Spoon the 2/3 of cake mixture to the prepared pan. Pour the lemon curd over it avoiding touching the sides of the pan. Spoon the rest of the cake mixture on the top. Bake for 1 hour (until the tooth pick inserted into the center comes out clean). Leave in the pan until cooled then remove from the pan.

Make icing: beat icing sugar with milk of choice until smooth and thick but still liquid icing. Pour the icing over the top of the cake.

 

 

 

 

Category: Tea- and bundtcakes.

Tags: almonds, lemon.