Ricotta and cherry cheesecake

 This cheesecake is perfect on a summer evening with a large scoop of good quality vanilla ice cream on the side. It’s delicious and light, not to mention very easy to make. You can add different types of berries if you can’t get cherries and it will be just as delicious. It’s also great for entertaining as it can be made well in advance.

Ingredients

200g good quality ricotta

200g sour cream

200g fresh cherries, deseeded & roughly chopped plus extra to garnish

175g caster sugar

3 large eggs

Zest of 1 lemon

1 vanilla pod

150g digestive biscuits

70g butter

1 tbsp, icing sugar

Method

Preheat the oven to 180 degreesC. Place all the digestives into a sandwich/freezer bag and bash with a rolling pin until you have fine crumbs. In a pan, melt the butter and add the biscuits ( if too dry add more butter ) then press into a 9 inch cake tin to form the base. In a food processor mix together all the ingredients apart from the cherries until smooth. Pour the mixture into the cake tin and then add the cherries. Place in the oven and bake for 40-50 minutes until golden and very slightly wobbly. Place tin foil over the cheesecake and leave to cool. Remove from tin, place on a serving plate and garnish with cherries and a sprinkle of icing sugar. Enjoy!

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Super quick peach & limoncello tarts

This was just a very quick, last minute dessert. Yes I know it’s cheating using pre made pastry but sometimes you don’t have time to do everything yourself and still want a nice dessert to enjoy at the end of a meal or as a treat through the day.

Makes enough for 4-5 small tart cases

Ingredients

1 packet of sweet shortcrust pastry ( savoury would be ok too )
1 egg plus 2 egg yolks
300ml milk
3 tbsp of sugar
2 tbsp flour or cornstarch
1/2 vanilla pod, scraped
2 tbsp limoncello
Zest of 1 small lemon
1 or 2 tinned peaches

Method

Preheat your oven to 200 degreesC. Scald the milk in a saucepan. In a separate bowl mix the egg, yolks, sugar and flour until smooth. Add a little hot milk, whisking constantly then add the egg mixture into the remaining milk. Whisk constantly on a medium heat until it thickens ( around 5 minutes ). Take off he heat, add limoncello, vanilla and zest. Mix and place in a separate bowl or container to cool placing cling film directly onto the surface to avoid a skin forming.

Roll your pastry out to about 1cm thick ( if your using ready rolled, fold it in half and roll it out again as it will be too thin ). Cut the pastry to size to fit into your tart cases, leaving a little hanging over the edges and crimp the sides into the mould. Prick the bases with a fork and place baking parchment in each case followed by baking beans.

Bake the tarts in the oven for around 10-15 minutes and leave to cool. Add your cooled pastry cream mixture into the cases and top with little pieces of peach. Chill until ready to serve.

 

  

White chocolate, candied orange and amaretto trees.

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Well it’s officially December ( so no one can moan at me for talking about Christmas anymore ) and I have to apologise for our lack of posts recently, but December will be jam packed with lovely little recipes. This is my most absolute favourite time of the year. My apartment is filled with Christmas fragrance so every time I get a whiff or walk in the door I get a whoosh of happiness. Little glass bowls of chocolate coins and reindeers are dotted around, the fruit bowl is filled with clementines, the banister is wrapped in garlands and little red berry fairy lights and I am armed with mince meat, Christmas pudding, spices and indulgent liqueurs ( Baileys being my number one ) to make beautifully decorated and simply devine treats all dusted in glitter of course!

These little trees are so fun to make and are perfect with a cup of tea or a little shot of amaretto to sip in the evening when your all wrapped up and cosy. You can of course choose any shape you prefer and you always change the candied orange to cranberries, dried apricot or anything that takes your fancy.

Ingredients

225g butter, softened
140g caster sugar
1 egg yolk
2 tbsp amaretto liqueur + a little one to sip whilst baking
280g plain flour
Pinch of salt
100g white chocolate chips
50g candied orange bits

Method

Place the butter and sugar in a bowl and beat together until light and fluffy, then beat in the egg yolk and amaretto. Sift the flour and salt into the mixture and add the chocolate and orange and combine. Shape into a ball and cut in half and shape into two separate balls. Cover in cling film and place in the fridge for 30-60 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 190 degreesC and line a baking tray with baking parchment. Roll each ball out separately between two sheets of baking parchment and cut out the trees with your cookie cutter. Place on the baking tray and bake for 12 minutes or until golden. Let them cool for 5 minutes before placing on a wire rack to cool completely. Decorate as desired. I mixed 3 tbsp of icing sugar with a little amaretto and drizzled with a teaspoon over the cookies then added edible glitter. Enjoy and Merry Christmas!