Light lemon curd cheesecake

Behold, cheesecake lovers, this one is an amazing version of my favourite baked cheesecake: A light (ish), lemony and onctuous cheesecake with fresh berries.

This light lemon cheesecake was for my baby’s 1st birthday! Yes yes, we’ve come a long way and I can hardly believe it..Ok, I have to confess that he didn’t like it but we surely did.

I have combined 3 recipes in one: Nigella Nilsen’s ultimate NY cheesecake, then from Epicurious’ Lemon curd marbled cheesecake and finally back to the BBC goodfood with Luscious lemon cheesecake. I’ve read most of the constructive comments along with the recipes (I usually do that, I never read the recipe only).

So here is my version, with a few calories less than the usual lemon curd cheesecake. I used philadelphia light but Ricotta, St Moret, Jebli (in Morocco) or Mascarpone can also be used.

To have a good cheesecake, you need to give it some quality time and a bit of attention..This cheesecake has been baked in a bain-marie, left to cool in the oven, then left to “mature” in the fridge for 12 hours, then taken 30 min out of the fridge before serving to have seriously onctuous slice, which is the idea.

Ingredients
For 10 ”/20 cm deep springform pan
Prep: 7 min- baking 50 min -Cooling time and rest: min 6 hours

Cheesecake crust

  • 9 Light digestive biscuits, finely crushed
  • 30 g of butter, melted and cooled

Cheesecake batter

  • 600g of philadelphia light, at room temperature
  • 2 large eggs and 2 egg yolks, at room temperature
  • 2/3 cup of creme fraiche (half fat) or fromage frais
  • 2/3 cup of sugar
  • Zest of 1 to 2 lemons
  • 2 tbps of lemon juice
  • 1 leveled tbsp of corn starch
  • 1 tsp of vanilla bean paste (or equivalent)

Filling and topping

  • 1/2 jar of homemade butterless lemon curd (it will make a difference)
  • Fresh berries: raspberries, blueberries, strawberries (if juicy and really in season)
  • Icing sugar or nappage (glazing) but it’s optional


Preparation

Preheat the oven at 150 degrees C. Line up the bottom of a 10”/20 cm deep springform pan with a parchment paper and cover the outside of pan/tin with strong foil so that it covers the bottom and sides in one large piece, and then do the same again to double the layer and put it into a roasting dish. This is to make sure that the water from bain-marie/water-bath does not get to the cheesecake.

In a food processor, reduce the biscuits to a powder and add the butter. Whizz it up so the two mix.

Bake for 7 min and set aside.

Cheesecake batter

In a large bowl, put the cheese first, whisk. Add the sugar and whisk to combine, add the eggs one by one while whisking. Add the rest of the ingredients and combine.

Do not incorporate air to this batter, you just need to whisk to combine ingredients and that’s about it.

Assembling the cheesecake

Pour about the 3rd of the batter on the crust. Drop spoons of lemon curd and swirl with the tip of a knife. Avoid touching crust with knife to prevent crumbs getting into filling.

Pour the rest of the batter and place in a bigger and relatively deep baking pan then pour hot water from a boiled kettle into a larger roasting tin/pan around the cheesecake. It should come about halfway up.

Bake cheesecake for 10 min at 150 degrees C then BRING DOWN the heat to 100 degrees C.

The cheesecake is baked when the edges are set but the center trembles when pan is gently shaken. It took me 50 min. The center of the cheesecake will continue to set as it cools.

Once baked, knock off the oven and leave the cheesecake to cool in the oven for about 30 min. Then loosen the top edges of the cake with a bladed knife. Leave in the oven to cool gently for another 2 hrs.

Once the cheesecake is completely cool, transfer to a fridge to chill, uncovered (or loosely covered), at least 4 hours. Remove side of springform pan before serving.

Decorate with fresh berries (or a layer of lemon curd).

 

Version Française de la recette
 

Ingrédients
Pour un moule à charnière profond de 10 ” / 20 cm de diamètre
Préparation: 7 min – cuisson 50 min/ temps de repos-refroidissement : min 6 heures

Cheesecake croûte

  • 9 biscuits digestifs légers, finement broyés
  • 30 g de beurre fondu et refroidi

Appareil cheesecake 

  • 600g de fromage philadelphia light, à température ambiante
  • 2 gros œufs +2 jaunes, à température ambiante
  • 2/3 tasse de crème fraîche légère ou fromage frais
  • 2/3 tasse de sucre fin
  • Zeste de 1 à 2 citrons
  • 2 cs de jus de citron
  • 1 cs rase d’amidon de maïs
  • 1 cc de vanille (gousse, ou en pâte ou extrait)

Garniture

  • 1/2 pot de lemon curd sans beurre fait-maison
  • Baies fraîches/fruits rouges : framboises, bleuets , fraises (si elles sont en saison)
  • Sucre glace ou nappage, mais c’est optionnel


Préparation

Préchauffez le four à 150 ° C. Couvrez le fond d’un moule à charnière de profondeur 10 ” / 20 cm avec un papier sulfurisé et couvrir l’extérieur du moule avec du papier aluminium de sorte qu’il recouvre le fond et les côtés. Donnez une deuxième couche d’aluminium et placer dans un large moule à rôtir. Il s’agit de faire en sorte que l’eau du bain-marie ne pénètre pas le moule.

Avec un robot culinaire, réduise\ les biscuits en poudre et ajoutez le beurre fondu. Pulsez pour mélanger. Enfournez pendant 7 min et mettez de côté.

L’appareil cheesecake 

Dans un grand bol, mettez le fromage en premier, fouettez légèrement. Ajoutez le sucre et fouettez. Ajoutez les œufs un par un en fouettant. Ajoutez le reste des ingrédients et mélangez.

Il est important de noter qu’il ne faut pas incorporer de l’air à cet appareil, il vous suffit de fouetter avec un fouet manuel pour mélanger les ingrédients et c’est tout.

Montage du gâteau cheesecake

Couvrez la base du cheesecake avec le 1/3 de l’appareil cheesecake. Ensuite, déposez des cuillères à soupe de crème de citron et passez la pointe d’un couteau à  travers cette dernière afin de créer l’effet “swirl” . 

Évitez de toucher la croûte avec le couteau pour éviter que les miettes n’affectent l’appareil cheesecake.

Versez le reste de l’appareil et placez le moule à cheesecake dans un moule plus grand et relativement profond.

Versez de l’eau chaude dans la cavité du plat/plaque/moule profond afin de cuire le cheesecake dans un bain-marie. L’eau devrait être à mi-hauteur. Il vaudrait mieux placer le grand plat de cuisson dans le four et ajouter de l’eau chaude pour arriver à cette moitié.

Enfournez le cheesecake à 150 degrés C pendant 10 min ensuite BAISSEZ la température à 100 degrés C. Le cheesecake est cuit quand il aura prix des bords mais assez relativement tremblotant du centre. 

La cuisson peut prendre jusqu’à 50 min. Le centre du gâteau au fromage va prendre à son tour lors du refroidissement.

Une fois cuit, éteignez le four et laissez le cheesecake dedansPassée 1h, sortez-le et passez la lame du couteau au niveau des bords pour les décoller. Remettez le cheesecake dans le four pour qu’il finisse de refroidir. Cela prendra 2 heures +/-.

Une fois le gâteau est complètement refroidi , transférez-le dans un réfrigérateur, laissez de préférence à découvert (ou légèrement couvert mais sans toucher le haut du gâteau et avec quelques ouvertures pour éviter la condensation ).

Le cheesecake doit rester au réfrigérateur pendant au moins 4 heures. Retirer le moule avant de servir.

Décorez avec des fruits frais (ou une couche de crème au citron ) .


Mini tigrés financiers with chocolate filling: cute indulging almond petits-fours

For those who don’t know it, Morocco has been colonised by France from 1912 to 1956, about the same time, a side was taken by the Spanish. Obviously this had left a fingerprint in our baking. Some recipes are just as Moroccan as it can get while being from a French/European backgroud..

We all grew up indulging in  sablés à la confiture in all shapes and forms, cake au yaourt, croissants and Danishes, millefeuilles, brioches (although we have our old traditional Krachel and Mona)….

In the new modern Moroccan baking, many recipes find their origin from the other side of the Mediterranean sea.

I used a mini-Kugelhopf silicone mold and a mini round-shaped silicone mold

The financiers (friands) are one of them, this particular recipe I’ll be posting today is called “les Tigrés”, in reference to Tiger due to the chocolate dots in them (They’re more like dalmatians to me).

Tigrés make posh petits-fours: they’re usually an instant hit. The bonus is that they’re dead simple to make because it’s a case of stirring all ingredients and that’s it, no fancy gadget needed but you do need a special silicone mold for this. The reason is that we need a sort of hole to fill in a ganache or a jam.

I’ve already posted a recipe for financiers with matcha tea over here and today I’ll be using the same base (in order not to confuse the crowd). So today, we will be tweaking it a bit and finishing it differently.

Ingredients
Makes 24 mini financiers
Prep: 15 min – Baking 15 min

  • 50g all-purpose flour
  • 150g icing sugar/powdered sugar
  • 100 g almond powder (pre-roasted in the oven for 10 min and cooled)
  • 4 tbsps chocolate vermicelli
  • 1 tsp of vanilla extract or a vanilla pod
  • A good pinch of salt
  • 140g de melted butter (to a brown-hazelnut colour for a better taste)
  • 90g egg whites at room temperature (3 eggs approx)

Filling

 

  • 1/4 cup of chocolate ganache (to make a ganache check here)

 

 

Or

 

  • Apricot jam

 

 

 

A standard round-shaped silicone mold perfect for the purpose, I do grease it with butter for optimal results
Preparation
Roast the almond meal/powder on a pan until slightly coloured and until it’s start smelling “almond”. You can do this step in the oven over 160 degrees C for about 10 min or just by using a frying pan and placing it over medium heat. This option needs constant stirring while the oven option only needs a couple of times.
In the meantime, melt the butter until it stops bubbling and it turns brown hazelnut. Pass through a sieve and set aside.
This is a chocolate version with inperfections because I didn’t pipe the batter into the molds
Mix all solids except the vermicelli and stir in the egg whites. Combine with a hand whisk (no need to overwork it).
Add the cooled butter and stir until homogeneous. Add the chocolate vermicelli and stir.
 
Pipe (don’t spread) the batter in the cavities to 3/4 (ideally). Level the top in case you decided to fill them.
 
Different finishing, with white chocolate.
 
Preheat the oven at 170/180 degrees C. Bake for 15 min. They shouldn’t become too brownish, actually they need to stay slightly pale…
 
 

These financiers/tigres are freezer friendly. You just need to let them thaw for 30 min before serving them (don’t you like this blog because of all these freezer-friendly goodies I keep posting?)..

 
Version Française de la recette
 
Ingrédients
Pour 24 mini Financiers
Préparation: 15 min – Cuisson 15 min
 
  • 50 g de farine tout usage
  • 150 g de sucre glace / en poudre
  • 100 g de poudre d’amandes ( passée au four pendant 10 minutes et refroidie )
  • 4 cuillères à soupe de chocolat vermicelle
  • 1 c.à.c d’extrait de vanille ou 1 gousse de vanille
  • Une bonne pincée de sel
  • 140 g de beurre fondu ( à une couleur brun – noisette pour un meilleur goût )
  • 90 g de blancs d’œufs à température ambiante ( environ 3 œufs )
 
Garniture
  • 1/4 tasse de ganache au chocolat ( recette ici) OU/ET
  • confiture d’abricot
 
Préparation
 
Beurrer les moules de silicone pour un résultat 100% réussi.
 
Passer les amandes en poudre dans une poêle ou au four pendant 10 min à 160 degrés C en remuant 2 fois et ce jusqu’à ce que la poudre soit légèrement coloré. En général, sentir “l’amande” veut dire que c’est pret. Laisser refroidir avant utilisation.
 
En même temps , faire fondre le beurre jusqu’à ce qu’il ce qu’il devienne couleur noisette. Passer au tamis et réserver.
 
 
Mélanger farine, poudre d’amandes, sucre, sel et remuer. Incorporer les blancs d’œufs et remuer. Ajouter le beurre fondu vers la fin . Mélanger avec un fouet à la main juste pour amalgamer le tout (pas besoin de trop travailler). Incorporer le vermicelle de chocolat.
 
Utiliser une poche à douille pour transférer l’appareil à financiers dans les moules. Vous aurez besoin de remplir les cavités à 2/3 de la capacité (idéalement ) . 
 
Préchauffer le four à 170/180 degrés C. Enfourner pour maximum 15 min, ils ne doivent pas prendre trop de couleur.
 
 
Ces financiers / tigrés peuvent être réservés au congélateur. Il faudra les sortir 30 min avant de les servir.

A platter of Viennese whirls

Indulging Viennese whirls and more

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While the spritz and the whirls are pretty much available accross the world under different names and different shapes, the Viennese whirls are a big deal here in the UK.

They’re just amazing. Here is why:

Reason N 1: there is a spritz dough involved, so there is butter, healthy or not, but makes things taste good (ask the French)..

Reason N 2: it has jam in between,

Reason N 3: it has cream (not my thing unless it’s a fine layer, which just brings all these textures together heavenly.

Reason N 4: you can dip half of these sandwiched biscuits in chocolate.

Each reason I presented above is a world of texture and the Viennese whirls put them all together in one bite, a pure indulgence.

I followed the Hairy Biker’s recipe to make them and with a bit of frustration in the beginning and a trick learned on the way, I think that the recipe is a keeper.

Ingredients
Makes minimum 35 biscuits
Prep: 15 min + 15 min / Baking: 12-13 min

For the biscuits

  • 250g very soft butter
  • 50g icing sugar
  • A pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp of vanilla extract (I used the beans)
  • 50g of cornflour
  • 250g of flour

For the filling

  • Raspberry jam
  • 100g soft butter
  • 200g icing sugar
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

 

Preparation

Before you get started, I would like to share with you a couple of things you need to know so this biscuit making experience does not turn into a nightmare especially if your wrist is not so strong..

1. You need a good robust piping bag and not those soft plastic ones because you will be handling a sort of soft dough and not a batter.

2. If you are making these when it’s cold, you might want to “massage the dough” inside the piping back or just place the bowl with the dough inside on the top of a bain-marie (just to soften it). This way, your piping experience will be “happier”.

The rosettes

Preheat the oven to 180 C. Line 2 baking sheets with baking paper.

In a food processor, blend all ingredients until you get a smooth dough. Use the spatula to scrap the corner and process again.

Fill a medium-size piping bag to 2/3, fitted with a large star nozzle unless you want to make small ones.

Pipe rosettes of the dough and keep space between each one.

Bake for 13 min or until pale golden brown and firm to the touch.

Cool on a baking sheet for a couple of minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool before filling them.

The buttercream

Beat the sifted icingsugar, the soft butter and the vanilla beans/extract until combined and set aside.

Assembly

Spoon a little bit of jam into the bottom/flat side of one rosette. Pipe the buttercream and assemble with another rosette to make the sandwiched Viennese whirl.

You could dip half of the biscuits in melted chocolate and let to set or just dust them with icing sugar before serving but I left them plain.

Use the same dough to make these if you want an simpler biscuit..

I brushed the bottom part of some biscuits with dark chocolate from the bottom side and then I added chocolate vermicelli.

The Viennese whirls keep up to a week but unfilled, you might get more days..


A stack of EARL Gray shortbreads

Earl Grey and lemon shortbreads, very very addictive and eggless

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I think this blog has more sweet recipes than anything else, and I still have plenty of recipes which I didn’t have time to post.
No matter how many biscuit recipes you have one more is always a good thing.
Consider the sablés dough, which is a shortbread variety, well, there is an infinite number of ideas to present it. However, most of the time, it requires cookie cutters or cookie press.

 

 

But the way how these shortbreads are made is just as easy as it can get as you will see later on..Oh and they get better the next day; It just seems that the tea leaves infuses better.

I added lemon zest because earl grey and lemon are one of those combinations which just seem to work.

 

So, mix, roll, freeze, cut, bake…how easy is that?

 

Ingredients
Recipe adapted from here
Makes + 24 shortbreads
Prep: 5 min/ Rest: 30 hour/ Baking: 13 min
  • 240g of flour
  • 20g of ground almonds (almond flour, optional)
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 200 g of butter
  • 100 g fine sugar (original recipe calls for 150g)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla beans
  • 2 tbps of loose Earl Grey tea leaves
  • Zest of 1/2 lemon (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp of salt
  • 3 tbps of fine semolina (not the superfine one) for rolling
Preparation

In a food processor, blend the flour with the tea leaves until you see black little spots looking like vanilla beans.

Add the other ingredients except the semolina and give a few pulses until they’re all combined or almost there.

Give the last mix with the palm of your hand against the worktop just to make sure that everything is really combined.

Divide the dough into 2 and place each part on a sheet of plastic wrap/cling film and roll into a log about 2 to 3 cm in diameter. Set them aside while you sprinkle the semolina over the plastic wrap. Roll them again over it.

Wrap and freeze for 30 min or until firm.

Preheat the oven between 170 and 180 C.

Slice the log into 4 mm to 6 mm thick discs. Place on baking sheets covered with baking paper, with a space between the disks.

Bake for 12 min approx until the edges are brown.

Once out of the oven, wait 5 min before you fiddle with the biscuits. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
These biscuits are just amazing eaten the next day with a cup of tea…

The biscuits keep well for 1 week. The dough freezes well for months.

The biscuits can also be dusted with icing sugar before serving them.

Note:  using ground almond in the dough and then rolling it in semolina give an extra crunch..but it’s totally optional..

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