Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Blue Berries!!!

This is one of my all time favourite deserts to make. If made properly a bite will melt in your mouth. The Ingredients are not the easiest to come by but are required to obtain the perfect cheeses cake. Also keep in mind that this is all about timing.

Cheesecake is believed to have originated in ancient Greece. History has the first recorded mention of cheesecake, as being served to the athletes during the first Olympic Games held in 776 B.C. However, cheese making can be traced back as far as 2,000 B.C., anthropologists have found cheese molds dating back to that period. The Romans spread cheesecake from Greece to across Europe. Centuries later cheesecake appeared in America, the recipes brought over by immigrants. In 1872, cream cheese was invented by American dairymen, who were trying to recreate the French cheese, Neufchâtel. James L. Kraft invented pasteurized cheese in 1912, and that lead to the development of pasteurized Philadelphia cream cheese, the most popular cheese used for making cheesecake today.

Prep Time: 30min
Coming together: 10min
Setting Time: As long as it takes (around 2 - 3 hours)

There is no easy way around this. For starters you need a cheese cake ring (stainless steel ring that can be placed on the serving dish itself. Follow the steps to make the biscuit base and prep it on the serving dish (please refer to "Bake Cheese Cake"). Then place preped dish and ring in fridge.

1 bag of ice
500g of Cream Cheese
120g of Sugar
4 eggs (separated)
250ml Whipped cream (stiff peaks)
30ml milk
200g Blue berries (frozen is better) If using fresh you will have to cook it a little in a bit of water and sugar.
Either one you use make sure is blended (the idea of pieces are great but
remember they will sink to the bottom because they will be heavy.
(Available @ Colpity Market in SL)
2-4 Gelatine leaves (or reg gelatine) The amount of gelatine leaves used will depend on how fast u want the
cheese cake to set, and temp in the country. It is better to use this since
you will not find the cake being too rubbery.
(Available @Colpity Market in SL)
n.b. the more gelatine you use the more rubbery the cheese cake will be
and this is not a good thing.

Prep

1. Beat the cream cheese and keep.
2. Beat the egg yolks and sugar until light and fluffy then beat in the cream cheese a little at a time until the mixture is smooth. Then added in the blue berry pure (can use a very good blue berry jam as long it is not too sweet)

NOW GET READY - EVERYTHING WILL HAVE TO COME TOGETHER VERY FAST!!!

3. Put gelatine leaves in water to soften them then squeeze them and put in warm milk to dissolve. Once dissolved strain mixture.
4. Mix the strained gelatine mixture in to the cheese cake and egg mixture.
5. Put mixture in a stainless steel bowl, put ice and a bit of water in a glass bowl. Put the stainless steel bowl on the ice. This will bring the mixture close to the setting point. While waiting run a spatula around the edges of the mixture so the edges of the mixture will set at the same rate as the centre (since the edges touching the bowl will set faster)
n.b. Setting point is when the mixture is just about to set if it goes over the setting point then you will see lumps in the mixture and it will not be smooth.
6. Beat the cream till stiff. Beat the egg whites till stiff. (this should ideally be done while doing step 5)
7. When it reaches the setting point fold in the beaten cream and the egg whites to the main mixture alternatively (be careful when folding you don't want the egg whites or the beaten cream to collapse)
8. Quickly transfer to already preped ring and put in fridge to set. DO NOT FREEZE!

* When serving all you have to do is run a warm tea towel around the outside of the cheese cake ring and slowly slid the ring out.

Bake Cheese Cake?

Ok this is by popular demand and my own recipe for baked cheese cake. Once you get the basics right you can make variations of this lovely dish and be an expert at it with absolutely no hassle.
Firstly think ahead a cheese cake is a cheese cake and should primarily consist of what? well cheese. Ideal cheese to use for a baked cheese cake is Mascarpone but Philadelphia Cream Cheese would do fine. The end result will also depend a lot on the quality of the chocolate used (ideal would be 80% coco Belgium Chocolate)

Prep time: 10min
Baking time: 40min
Temp: 180c

120 g of Sugar
1 block of cream cheese (250g)
2 regular bars of good chocolate (400g) Chopped
4 eggs
250 g of digestive biscuits (or local Mari) crushed
50g of melted butter

The base
1. Get your hands on a flip bottom baking tin (once baked you will be able to push the bottom of the tin up to take out the cheese cake)
2. Mix the crushed biscuits with the butter. If a chocolate base is required mix in some melted chocolate as well (simply met in a glass bowl over hot water)
3. Press the mixture to bottom of the baking tin using the side of a rolling pin which is flat.

Easy Peasy Method
1. Squash the cream cheese using a folk on a plate and soften it up.
2. Put eggs in a mixing bowl with sugar and beat until soft and fluffy.
3. Add the cream cheese in while beating a little at a time or the mixture will curdle.
4. Add the Chocolate the same way while beating.
5. Pour the mixture in to the preped tin.
6. Bake @ 180c in a preheated oven for 40min.
7. Take out and leave to cool.

Second Method
1. Same as above.
2. Separate the white and the yolks of the eggs. Beat the yolks with the sugar.
3. Same as above.
4. Same as above.
5. Beet the egg white until stiff. Then fold gently in to the mixture.
6. Pour the mixture in to the preped tin.
7. Bake @ 180c in a preheated oven for 40min.
8. Take out and leave to cool.

Friday, September 08, 2006

3 is Company

This vanilla Bavaroise is served with a selection of 3 red fruits and a Strawberry Coulé. The soft texture of the Bavaroise, freshness of the berries and the crunchiness Cigarette Russe is brought together with the sweetness of the Strawberry Coulé to form quite a dish.

The secret to making a good Bavaroise is making sure you fold the whipped cream, the egg whites and the mousse at the correct setting point. The key is preparation and timing. Only whip the egg whites in the last minute or they will collapse. Do not let the mousse mixture over-set before folding and it should be just before setting point when pouring in to molds. That is before it gets lumpy. If this happens put the mixture over hot water in a bain-marie just for a moment to get it back.

Bavarian cream or Bavaroise as better known is a cold dessert of egg custard stiffened with gelatine, mixed with whipped cream and sometimes with fruit purée or other flavours, then set in molds or used as a filling for cakes and pastries.

No one is sure about the origin of Bavarian cream, but during the late 17th and early 18th centuries many French chefs worked at the court of the Wittelsbach Princes, a German family that ruled Bavaria from the 12th century to 1918. The famous French chef Marie-Antoine Carême (1783-1833) gives recipes for it in the early 18th century. There are many variations, flavored with chocolate, lemon, kirsch, etc.

So the most likely origin is that the French chefs working for the Bavarian rulers learned something either the same or very similar while working in Bavaria, and when they returned to France continued to make it, and called it Crème Bavaroise which means Bavarian Cream.

The Duke's Steak

Well known as Beef Wellington, this tenderloin of beef in puff pastry was originally created to honour the Duke of Wellington. The Duke is said to have requested that this beef dish be served at any dinner that he might be hosting.

Things to keep in mind when making this dish are that the meat must be under cooked slightly because once in the pastry it will cook further. This particular version of it was made using a pastry cutter. And don’t forget to season the Duxelles well.

The French after Napoleon's defeat, simply called the it, Filet de Boeuf en Cro-te. Beef Wellington is a combination of seared filet of beef tenderloin done in either a large cut or in individual servings. The beef is seared, then topped with either Foie Gras, a Duxelles which is a mince of mushrooms blended with additional flavorings created by the 17th-century French chef François Pierre La Varenne or both, wrapped in puff pastry and finished in the oven. As with Chateaubriand, the noble Wellington is accompanied by one or two sauces, which are Bearnaise, Colbert, Madeira, Perigourdine or Chateaubriand.