Friday, 8 January 2010

Strawberry Cheesecake

A couple of weeks ago we had a party for my grand daughter's second birthday. As I had lots of cooking to do for the party, so, the things that I made had to be put together fairly quickly and this cake, may look complicated but it is really easy to make.

Many of you may well have seen a cake similar to this one in patissierie shops. They are called fraisiers. The filling is usually a butter cream but this one has my trusty cream cheese filling which whips up in a trice and tastes divine.

First you will need to make the sponge. Get together:
2 eggs
80g castor sugar
70g self raising flour
A few drops of vanilla extract.

To make the sponge:

Preheat oven to 165C/fan, 185C, 350-375F. Line 2 X 8 inch sponge tins
Seive the flour.
Whisk the eggs and then whisk in sugar. This is best done over a pan of simmering water to give the eggs plenty of volume. When the mixture leaves a trail it is ready.
Fold in flour and divide between the 2 tins., or if you don't have 2 tins, in one deep tin and when the cake is cooked and cool slice it in half.
Remember that you don't want a deep cake as it will only hold the filling which is the star of the show.

To make the filling:

Put all of the ingresients in a bowl and whisk until light and fluffy. It's that easy!

You will also need a large punnet of strawberries and some raspberried for the middle. These can be frozen.

To assemble:
Put one round of cake at the bottom of the spring sided tin and sprinkle with the kirtsch. put a little of the cheese mixture in the tin and then line the outside of the tin with the strawberries. Make sure that they are all about the same size. If they aren't trim to size. You should have the cut side of the strawberries outermost. Fill the space in the middle with the cheese mixture, the raspberries and press the remaining cake on top. Sprinkle with yet more liquere and put in the fridge to firm up. This should not take more than an hour.
Sprinkle with icing sugar and serve.

Buon appetito.

Almond Croissants

Don't you just love almond croissants? They are the prize of the flavoured croissants as far as I am concerned and as far as my husband is as well. So it's a good thing to know that they can be reproduced easily and far more cheaply than those in the supermarket. However, you will need to rely on the supermarket for the basic butter croissants that are used here. I haven't gone the whole hog and made the croissants myself.

I don't know if you are aware of it but almond croissants were originalt produced by French bakers to use up stale croissant that they didn't want to dump. Someone had the bright idea of filling them with a frangipain mixture and the almond croissant was born and thank God for that is all that I can say.

These almond croissants are really easy to make and this recipe will make the filling and the topping for 6.

6 stale croissants... buy the reduced croissnts that the supermarket sells off. They are perfect for this and so cheap.

1 egg
70g of ground almonds
70g butter
70g caster sugar
a few drops of bitter almond essence
flaked almonds for the topping.

All you need to do is mix all of the filling ingredients, except the flaked almonds, together until you have a smooth paste.
Slice the croissants in half horizontally and fill with the croissant mixture. Be sure to keep some back to spread on top of the croissants and then sprinkle with flaked almonds as shown in the picture above.
Cook in a medium oven about 180 degrees C for about 10 to 15 mins. watch them as you don't want te mixture on top to over cook. The filling should still be a bit soft. It will continue to cook for a few minutes even when taken out of the oven. See the picture below.
Now, if you can resist and I do recommend that you do, leave them alone for about 10 minutes. This will allow the filling to finish cooking and the croissants to cool down to an acceptable temperature. They are not good if they burn your mouth.