Saturday, 15 January 2011

HFW's Fish Fight

Having watched Hugh's Fish Fight programme on television the other evening I was so saddened by the damage and waste that I've signed up to the fish fight; as fellow food bloggers why not have a look at the issues and sign up to put pressure on the EU to stop these wasteful practices...

Friday, 7 January 2011

Cook Book Clearance

It's the new year and a tradition time for clearing cupboards and cleaning at Holly Grove.  During this process I came to the conclusion that I just don't have enough space for my ever expanding cook book collection; but what to do about it?

Well, I could sort through and take the less well used books to the local charity shop or I could pass them on to family and friends.  So with my mind set on reducing the library I spent a few hours going through the titles and the result was...I can't bear to part with any of them!  But as a salve to my conscience I'm going to give one book away to a reader of my blog. 

To be in with a chance to receive my copy of Second Helpings of Roast Chicken by Simon Hopkinson (in very good condition) all you have to do is add a comment to this post and/or become a follower of Holly Grove Kitchen blog, please provide your email address in the comment and I'll contact the lucky recipient for their address details.  

I'll select the winner at random on 31st January - unfortunately I have to restrict this giveaway to UK readers (postage costs and all that!).

Monday, 3 January 2011

First Post of 2011

I was wondering what my first post of 2011 might be: sweet or savoury?  Perhaps it's the winter weather making me long for summer days or just that I had some Holly Grove raspberries from our July harvest lingering in the freezer and some mascarpone cheese in the fridge, a remnant of Christmas plans, that made me consider a cheesecake.  The cheesecake recipe I usually follow is a no-bake version but this one is baked in the oven for an hour - which is where it is as I write this post.

It took about an hour to prepare for the oven and I've had to substitute a few ingredients, so I'm a bit nervous of the outcome - which I'll add to this post later.  In the meantime here's the recipe annotated with my substitutions in italics...

ready for the oven

Raspberry and White Chocolate Cheesecake
For the base
50g unsalted butter
225g ginger nut biscuits (225g digestives with 1tsp ground ginger)
50g chopped walnuts 

For the filling
275g mascarpone cheese
175g fromage frais (140g creme fraiche with 35g Greek yoghurt)
2 eggs, beaten
3 tbsp caster sugar
250g white chocolate, broken into squares
225g raspberries (frozen from July's harvest)

For the topping
115g mascarpone cheese
75g fromage frais (75g Greek yoghurt)
white chocolate curls and raspberries to decorate (white chocolate drops and raspberries)

Heat the oven to 150C. Melt the butter in a large saucepan then mix in the crushed biscuits and nuts. Press into the base of a 9" spring form cake tin.

To make the filling beat the mascarpone and fromage frais (or substitutes) together in a bowl.  Then beat in the eggs and the caster sugar.  Meanwhile melt the white chocolate in a bowl over a pan of gently simmering water.  Stir the melted chocolate and the raspberries into the cheese mixture.  Pour on top of the biscuits base and place the cheesecake in the oven for 1 hour or until just set.  Switch off the oven but leave the cheesecake in the oven until cold and completely set.

Release the cheesecake from the tin and place on a serving plate.  Make the topping by mixing the mascarpone and fromage frais in a bowl, then spread over the cheesecake and decorate with chocolate curls and raspberries.

Here's the update on the finished item...

Above is the cheesecake as it came out of the cold oven.  I decided to forego the topping (this time) and just add a few raspberries - the very last of the HG harvest until July - and a dusting of icing sugar.  

The base of this cheesecake was lovely and crumbly, but needs a bit more ginger next time.  It is a soft set cheesecake, probably due to changing the fromage frais for the creme fraiche and yoghurt, and quite sweet, I think I'll reduce the caster sugar to 2tbsp when I next make it.  It turned out to be a lovely light dessert, less rich than I anticipated (a good thing) and very delicious.
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