June 05, 2012

Jo Cohen's Tall Cheese Cake

8 digestive biscuits
10 ginger biscuits
4 oz butter
Teaspoon cinnamon powder
Crush the biscuits to a powder, mix in cinnamon and rub butter into mixture using your fingers
Heat oven to 200 or to 375 (depending on the temperature of your oven).

2lbs cooking cheese (Philadelphia light)
12oz castor sugar
2 x small soured cream (or half fat crème fraiche)
6 eggs
2 x handful sultanas
Mix all of the above together (apart from the sultanas) and blend until a smooth, thick liquid.

2 x Whipping cream
Strawberries hulled and halved

Grease a spring baking tin (with a removable base) along the bottom and around the edges.
Tip the biscuit mixture into the baking tin, packing tightly and flatten using the back of a spoon.
Add the sultanas to the cheese mixture and stir well – this is done at the end so they don’t sink to the bottom.
Using a ladle or a spoon, very gently pour over the biscuit base.
Take care not to pour too aggressively in order not to unsettle the biscuit base
Place in a preheated oven and bake on hot for 45 minutes.
(My oven goes up to 250 and I bake it on 200. If yours’ goes to 400 then bake on 375).
Avoid opening the oven door during baking otherwise the centre of the cake might sink.
After 45 minutes the cake should be slightly golden at the edges and appear liquid in the middle (wobbles when shaken).
Remove from oven to cool and cover with a tea towel so that it doesn’t cool too fast and sink in the middle.
Once cooled, refrigerate and when cold and set (3- hours), remove from baking tin, placing on a plate.
Decorate with whipped cream and strawberries or other fruit.

Posted by reisel at 03:56 PM

May 29, 2012

Butternut and Chickpea Salad with Tahini Dressing

Adapted from Casa Moro via Jacob and the Aussie Crew

Yield: 4 servings

For salad:
1 medium butternut squash or pumpkin (about 2 to 2 1/2 pounds), peeled, seeded, and cut into 2cm pieces
1 medium garlic clove, minced or pressed
1/2 teaspoons ground allspice (I skip this)
2 tablespoons olive oil
One can chickpeas, drained and rinsed (1 1/2 cups)
1/4 of a medium red onion, finely chopped
1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh parsley

For tahini dressing:
1 medium garlic clove, finely minced with a pinch of salt
1/4 cup lemon juice
3 tablespoons well-stirred tahini
2 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more to taste

Preheat the oven to 200°C.

In a large bowl, combine the butternut squash, garlic, allspice, olive oil, and a few pinches of salt. Toss the squash pieces until evenly coated. Roast them on a baking sheet for 30+ minutes, or until soft. Remove from the oven and cool.

Meanwhile, make the tahini dressing: In a small bowl, whisk together the garlic and lemon juice. Add the tahini, and whisk to blend. Add the water and olive oil, whisk well, and taste for seasoning. The sauce should have plenty of nutty tahini flavor, but also a little kick of lemon. You will probably need to add more water to thin it out.

To assemble the salad, combine the squash, chickpeas, onion, and cilantro or parsley in a mixing bowl. Either add the tahini dressing to taste, and toss carefully, or you could serve the salad with the dressing on the side. Serve immediately.

Do ahead: This salad, lightly dressed, keeps beautifully in the fridge, that you should hold a little of the dressing on the side and that it can be reheated in the microwave. Works well on a couscous base.

Posted by reisel at 07:33 PM