Pomegranate #3 – Delicate White Chocolate Cheesecake

I am a lover of cheesecake – any kind – fluffy, light, a bit of crunch, lovely to look at….

This one does not disappoint, with the ricotta and white chocolate combination being spot on – the addition of the pomegranate creates a really beautiful asset to any table top!

Adapted from a BBC Good Food Recipe

White Chocolate and Ricotta Cheesecake

75g melted butter
75g amaretti biscuits
200g digestive biscuits
 
200g white chocolate – melted
5 leaves gelatine
6tbsp milk
500g ricotta
300ml double cream
50g icing sugar
2 large eggs – separated
 
Handful pomegranate seeds
White chocolate stars
 
  • Heat oven to 200C
  • Melt the butter
  • Crush both types of biscuit finely (bag and rolling pin!) and stir into the butter
  • Press the combination firmly into a greased tin – mine was 25cm in diametre
  • Place in oven and bake blind for 6 minutes – let cool on wire rack
  • Soak gelatine in a few tbsp cold water
  • Melt chocolate and milk over a pot of simmering water – stir together
  • Squeeze gelatine and add to chocolate mixture – stir to combine
  • In a large bowl, beat egg yolks, ricotta, cream and sugar together
  • In a separate bowl beat the egg whites until stiff
  • Combine the chocolate with the ricotta mixture – then gently fold in the egg whites
  • Pour this batter onto the cooled biscuit base in the tin
  • Cover with cling film and leave cold – overnight if you can
  • When ready to serve, remove gently from tin and scatter generously with chocolate stars and pomegranate seeds

Rye #3 – Quinoa, rye and seed quiche pastry

This third rye recipe I have used for years and come back to again and again. It is really easy, looks beautiful, tastes great, is healthy and can be used for many different occasions – buffet lunch, breakfast, brunch or an easy dinner when served with a side salad.

Prepare the pastry the night before and leave in a cold oven with a tea towel over it until needed. This will make it stay crisp as well as reduce stress levels if you are making them for a special occasion. Simply pop the filling in 45 minutes before you want to eat and stick it in the oven.

Everyone in our house has their own favourite filling so I often make two or three. They taste great cold the next day and you can also pop it into the lunch box if you fancy.

Filled with rye (read benefits here) and seeds as well as, depending on your choice of filling,  fresh vegetables, cheese, eggs or bacon, it is hard not to ENJOY!

Quiche Pastry – makes 1 quiche

110g plain flour
55g rye flour
Handful of quinoa
1 tbsp of both sunflower and pumpkin seeds
1/2 tsp salt
4 tbsp olive oil
Cold water to combine pastry
 
  • Preheat oven to 200C and grease and line pastry tin.
  • In a bowl combine flour, seeds, salt and quinoa. Slowly add olive oil and water and knead by hand until all ingredients form a dough ball that is not sticky.
  • Lightly flour your working surface and roll out dough with rolling pin. Transfer into pastry tin, it does not matter if this happens in smaller pieces that you mold together in the tin, ensuring that the dough not only covers the base but also goes half way up the sides – this to ensure your filling does not overspill. Save a small piece of the pastry for “mending” holes – see below!
  • Prick with a fork and pre-bake (empty) for 15 minutes (should be light brown).

  • When out of the oven you may notice that the pastry has contracted slightly in places – mend the holes with a bit of the raw pastry if this is the case – to ensure no holes.

Egg/cream topping mixture

This mixture goes on top of the various types of quiches – depending on filling. If you do not eat eggs, or want to avoid the calories from eggs and cream – I suggest making the spinach quiche as you can omit the topping for this one and simply sprinkle with some cheese. The spinach is moist enough on its own.

4 eggs and 200ml double cream (for egg/bacon, leek/bacon and tomato/onion quiche)
2 eggs and 4 tbsp double cream (for spinach quiche)
Grated cheddar cheese
 
  • Simply beat the eggs and cream together with a fork in a bowl

Filling Ingredients

Egg and Bacon quiche – great for breakfast or brunch

200g pack bacon lardons
200ml creme fraiche
Pinch ground nutmeg
 
  • Pre-heat oven to 200C
  • Fry bacon in a pan until brown
  • Put on paper towel to dry off excess oil
  • Add bacon and creme fraiche to egg/ double creme mixture (as above)
  • Season with nutmeg
  • Pour the filling into the pastry in the tin and sprinkle cheese on top
  • Bake in pre-heated oven for 40-45 minutes

Egg and Bacon

Simply egg is also good 

Spinach, feta and sun dried tomatoes quiche – great lunch or dinner

500 g of chopped, frozen spinach
20 sun dried tomatoes – or more if you like
Feta cheese to taste
Salt, nutmeg
 
  • Thaw spinach in a bowl
  • When defrosted add chopped sun dried tomatoes and feta cheese broken into pieces (quantity depends on your personal preference)
  • Season with salt and nutmeg
  • Put filling into the pastry in the tin
  • Pour over egg/cream filling and sprinkle cheese on top – or simply sprinkle with cheese and avoid the egg and cream all together.
  • Bake for 35 minutes if you added the egg/cream but only for 20 if you did not.

You can omit sun dried tomatoes and add pine nuts as I did here 

Onion and tomato quiche – brunch, lunch or dinner

1 tablespoon olive oil
3 onions – sliced thinly
3-4 ripe tomatoes
 
  • Gently fry sliced onion in a little olive oil until soft
  • Spread onto pre-baked pastry base
  • Pour over egg/cream filling
  • Slice tomatoes thinly and layer on top of the egg/cream mixture
  • Sprinkle cheese on top
  • Bake in the oven for 40-45 minutes

Leek and bacon quiche – lunch or dinner

1 tablespoon olive oil
3 leeks – sliced
200g pack of bacon lardons
 
  • Cut the leek length wise, not all the way through – enough to open it slightly. Rinse it under cold water to ensure you get any dirt out. Leek is often full of soil!
  • Slice the leek thinly and gently fry it in a little olive oil until soft but not brown
  • Spread onto pre-baked pastry base
  • Fry bacon in a pan until brown
  • Put on paper towel to dry off excess oil
  • Sprinkle the bacon lardons over the leek
  • Pour over egg/cream filling
  • Sprinkle cheese on top
  • Bake in the oven for 40-45 minutes

This one was eaten too fast to get a picture!! The leek goes ever so soft and slightly sweet…beautiful!

Bites of Gold

Every now and again something so tasty comes along that it stays with you – it creates memories and tradition! This recipe is one of those “somethings”.

Imagine this – it is the 24th of December and the snow is a thick, white blanket outside. Candles are lit, the house is warm and the smell of turkey roasting is making its way to your nostrils. Having just returned from Church, it is dark outside, and excitement is building. A glass of champagne is served while your nutty aunt does her crazy laugh in the background, the salmon toast goes round the room…And then – out come the little Christmas Tree trays with THE bites of gold on them…. The tastiest little cheese bites you will ever have, I promise! And you know it is Christmas Eve.

They are home-made by Oldefar – great-grandfather – who at 86 still makes them like no one else can. We all fight (politely of course!) to ensure we get our share – the children are learning fast and even my 1-year-old was at them last year! They partner Champagne perfectly, they are light, they crunch, they melt…little puffs of magic! Christmas would not be right without them…tradition is tradition!

Emmenthal Bites

200g flour
200g grated emmenthal
200g butter – softened
1 egg yolk – the egg white is saved for brushing the biscuits prior to baking them
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp paprika
 
  • Combine all the ingredients
  • Leave in the fridge for an hour
  • Roll out rather thinly – they puff up in the oven
  • Cut to your desired shape – small is great as it makes them really delicate
  • Lay on baking sheet and brush with egg white
  • Bake in oven for 10 minutes at 175C
  • Let cool completely on wire rack before storing air tightly – will keep for a week (probably more but mine never lasted that long!)