Tag Archives: christmas

Orange and Ginger Cheesecake

This is a perfect Christmas dessert or simply an after dinner treat!  I created this cheesecake as a festive dessert, and I have to say, it really worked! It is beautifully sweet, creamy and tangy all at the same time. The ginger gives it an extra fiery kick too.

I have used the basic cheesecake recipe before many times. I made it up in the summer as a way to use an abundance of fresh strawberries from my parents’ garden. I cooked them with a pinch of sugar and made a delicious jam to top the cake. It went down very well at the pot luck dinner I went to so I have made it again many times with different toppings and flavourings.

Orange and Ginger Cheesecake

Takes: Around 2 hours
Serves: 8

Ingredients:
110g ginger biscuits, crushed
80g plain digestive biscuits, crushed
75g butter, melted
100g full fat soft cream cheese
250g mascarpone cheese
100ml double cream
2 tsp vanilla essence
4 tbsp icing sugar
5 satsumas or clementines, peeled and sliced

For the glaze:
Zest of 2 oranges
Juice of 1 orange
5 tbsp ginger preserve*

*As part of the glaze, I used a ginger preserve from Sainsbury’s.

1. Mix the biscuit and butter and press into the bottom of your dish. Chill in the fridge for around 30 minutes or until the butter has hardened.

2. In a small pan, heat all the glaze ingredients until simmering. Stir continuously and add water/sugar if necessary. (Continue to simmer until it has significantly reduced and feels like a sticky jam.)

3. Mix the mascarpone, cream cheese and vanilla essence in a bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk the double cream with the icing sugar until it has the stiffness of whipped cream. Gently, add it to the cheese mixture.

4. When the biscuit base has chilled, you can put the cheese on top. Put it back in the fridge for another half an hour.

5. By now the glaze should have the correct sticky thickness. Turn off the heat and allow it to cool for a few minutes. Do not let it go cold.

6. Place the satsuma slices in a neat decorative way on the cheesecake. Start with the large slices around the outside and end with the smaller slices on the inside. Brush the satsumas with the glaze, and use the remaining to glaze the visible parts of the cheese. Do it quickly and gently so as not to cook the cheese or press it out of shape.

7. Chill the whole cheesecake for at least 2 hours. I recommend making it a day before you want to eat it!

Take the cheesecake out the fridge 30 minutes before serving so as the soften the base enough to slice.

Enjoy! I really am very proud of this as it tasted so delicious and looked so festive!

Purple Brussel Sprouts

Food Club this week was Christmukka (Christmas and Hanukkah) themed. We had some delicious foods, including mulled cider, potato latkes, mince pies, my sister’s delicious christmas tree brownies, and spinach and artichoke dip (from Elly of VCBT).

Amongst other things, I made brussel sprouts. Is this your idea of food hell? Well, I know they are not the most popular vegetable for a lot of people, but they are traditionally eaten at Christmas and personally I like them! The problem is that too many people boil them until they are soft and smell like farts. Yes I said farts.

Brussel sprouts are so much better paired with garlic (I’m Indian-Italian; every meal starts with garlic!)

Purple sprouts seem to be relatively newly available.  The first mention I can find of them being available to us in the UK is from November 2010. When I saw them in Tesco I have to admit I was a bit excited! They are beautifully rich in a reddish-purple colour.

I boiled them for a few minutes until they were just starting to soften and then fried them in butter, olive oil and plenty of garlic. They lose some colour when boiling and the water turns purple!

My first impression when eating them was that they were slightly sweeter and less ‘cabbagey’ than normal sprouts. They were really quite tasty and everyone at food club thought so too!

My conclusion is that they are really tasty and worth a try; excitingly new and full of colour! However don’t give up on the regular green sprouts; we don’t want to make them redundant!