Poppyseed Cheesecake



100 g bulghur
1 tablespoon clear honey
25 g butter


4 tablespoons double cream
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
100 g ground black poppyseeds
250 g thick honey
1 tablespoon brandy
5 eggs, separated
750 g Mizithra, Ricotta, or low-fat soft cheese
50 g flour


100 g ground black poppyseeds
2 tablespoons brown sugar
50 g butter
1 tablespoon brandy
1 tablespoon cornstarch


  1. Line the base of a 23-cm springform or loose-bottomed tin with greaseproof paper, and grease the sides.
  2. Rinse the bulghur in water, squeezing it to remove excess moisture. Put it into a saucepan with the rest of the ingredients. Add 4 tablespoons water and bring to a boil, stirring until all the liquid has been absorbed.
  3. Spread the mixture evenly over the base of the tin and allow to cool while you make the filling.
  4. Put the double cream, cinnamon, poppyseeds and honey into a saucepan. Bring to the boil, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens.
  5. Add the brandy and remove from the heat. Allow to cool.
  6. When it is cold, beat in the egg yolks, flour and cheese. Whisk the egg whites until stiff, then fold them into the mixture. Turn the mixture into the tin and bake it in a preheated moderate oven (180°C/350°F) for 45 minutes.
  7. Increase the heat to hot oven (220°C/425°F), and bake for 10 minutes or until the cake is firm in the centre.
  8. Remove the cake from the oven and let it cool at room temperature while you prepare the topping.
  9. Combine the topping ingredients and stir them over a low heat until the butter melts and the mixture thickens.
  10. Pour mixture over the cake, then return the cake to the oven and bake for 10 minutes.
  11. Remove from oven, cool and chill before serving.

Makes 10 to 12 servings.

Source: Cheesecakes


Italian-style Lasagne with Bolognese and Spinach


12 No-boil dried lasagne noodles
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

Bolognese Sauce

1/4 cup olive oil
3 ounces sliced pancetta, finely chopped
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 large carrot, finely chopped
1 celery rib, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
2 pounds ground beef chuck (not lean)
1-1/2 cups dry white wine
1-1/2 cups whole milk
1/4 cup tomato paste
1-1/2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon black pepper

Ricotta Filling

2 (10-ounce) packages frozen chopped spinach, thawed
2 (15-ounce) containers whole-milk ricotta
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
3/4 cup whole milk


  1. To make sauce, heat oil in a 12- to 14-inch heavy skillet over medium heat until it shimmers. Cook pancetta, onion, carrot, celery, and garlic, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are golden and softened, 12 to 15 minutes.
  2. Add beef and cook, stirring occasionally and breaking up any lumps, until meat is no longer pink, 6 to 10 minutes.
  3. Stir in wine, milk, tomato paste, thyme, salt, and pepper. Simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until most of liquid has evaporated but sauce is still moist, about 1 hour.
  4. To make the ricotta filling, put spinach in a kitchen towel (not terry cloth) and twist to squeeze out as much moisture as possible.
  5. Whisk together ricotta, eggs, Parmesan, nutmeg, salt, and pepper. Transfer 1-1/2 cups ricotta mixture to another bowl and whisk in 1/4 cup milk; set aside.
  6. Whisk spinach into remaining filling with remaining 1/2 cup milk.
  7. Preheat oven to 375°F, with rack in middle.
  8. Soak noodles in a bowl of very warm water until pliable but not softened, 3 to 5 minutes. Place on a kitchen towel (it’s not necessary to pat them dry).
  9. Spread 1-1/2 cups Bolognese sauce in a 13-by 9-inch baking pan (3-inch deep) and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon Parmesan. Cover with 3 noodles, leaving space in between. Spread half of spinach filling on top, then 1 cup Bolognese sauce, and top with 1 tablespoon Parmesan and 3 noodles; repeat. Top with remaining Bolognese sauce, 1 tablespoon Parmesan, and remaining 3 noodles.
  10. Pour reserved ricotta mixture over top and sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup Parmesan.
  11. Cover pan tightly with parchment paper and foil (or just buttered foil) and bake 50 minutes.
  12. Remove foil and bake until top is browned in spots, about 15 minutes more.
  13. Let stand for 15 to 30 minutes before cutting.

Cooks’ Notes:

  1. The Bolognese sauce can be made 2 days ahead and chilled (covered once cool).
  2. The lasagne can be made 1 day ahead and chilled. Reheat in a 350°F oven, loosely covered with foil.

Makes 8 servings.

Source: Gourmet Italian

Spanish Tapa with Puff Pastry, Cheese and Sun-dried Tomato


2-1/2 oz sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained, oil reserved, and finely chopped
1 zucchini, thinly sliced
1 garlic clove, crushed
9 oz puff pastry, thawed if frozen
5-1/2 oz soft goat cheese
salt and pepper


  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F/220°C. Dampen a large cookie sheet.
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon of the reserved oil from the tomatoes in a large skillet, then add the zucchini slices and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 8-10 minutes, or until golden brown on both sides.
  3. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Remove from the heat and let cool while you prepare the pastry bases.
  4. Thinly roll out the pastry on a lightly floured counter. Using a plain, 3-1/2-inch cutter, cut out 12 rounds, re-rolling the trimmings as necessary.
  5. Transfer the circles to the prepared cookie sheet and prick 3-4 times with the tines of a fork.
  6. Divide the zucchini mixture equally between the pastry circles, add the tomatoes, leaving a 1/2-inch border around the edge, and top each tart with a spoonful of goat cheese. Drizzle over 1 tablespoon of the remaining oil from the tomatoes and season to taste with salt and pepper.
  7. Bake the tarts in the preheated oven for 10-15 minutes, or until golden brown and well risen. Serve warm.

Makes 12 tarts.

Source: Tapas

Vegetarian Onion Soup with Whole-grain Barley


6 cups water
1 cup uncooked hulled barley
2 tablespoons canola oil
1-1/2 pounds yellow onions, peeled and vertically sliced
1 pound sweet onions, peeled and vertically sliced
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1/4 cup dry sherry
6 cups unsalted vegetable stock
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 thyme sprigs
1 bay leaf
1-1/2 tablespoons thyme leaves
3 ounces French bread baguette, cut into 18 thin slices
3 ounces cave-aged Gruyere cheese, shredded (about 3/4 cup)
2 ounces part-skim mozzarella cheese, shredded (about 1/2 cup)


  1. Bring 6 cups water and barley to a boil in a large saucepan. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 1 hour or until done. Drain.
  2. While barley cooks, heat a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add oil to pan and swirl to coat. Add onions and cook 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
  3. Add 1/4 teaspoon salt and garlic. Reduce heat to medium-low, and cook 45 minutes or until onions are caramelized and very tender, stirring occasionally.
  4. Increase heat to medium-high. Add sherry and cook 2 minutes or until liquid almost evaporates.
  5. Stir in stock, pepper, thyme sprigs, and bay leaf. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 30 minutes.
  6. Discard thyme sprigs and bay leaf. Stir in barley, thyme leaves, and 1/2 teaspoon salt.
  7. Preheat broiler.
  8. Arrange bread in a single layer on a baking sheet. Broil 30 seconds on each side or until toasted.
  9. Ladle 1-1/3 cups soup into each of 6 ovenproof bowls. Arrange 3 toast pieces in each bowl and divide cheeses over toasts.
  10. Place bowls on baking sheet. Broil 2 minutes or until cheese melts and begins to brown.

Makes 6 servings.

Source: Everyday Whole Grains

Japanese-style Cheesecake with Cream Cheese


50 g unsalted butter
80 g cream cheese
20 g powder cheese
80 g fine granulated sugar
2 egg yolks
1 tsp lemon rind
juice of 1/2 lemon
30 g wine marinated raisin
2 egg whites
100 g all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder


  1. Combine flour with baking powder. Set aside.
  2. Melt cream cheese over a double boiler.
  3. In a bowl, whisk butter until creamy. Mix in 2/3 of the sugar. Add powder cheese, cream cheese and egg yolks. Mix well.
  4. Add lemon juice, lemon rind and raisin to the mixture and mix well.
  5. In a separate bowl, make the meringue by whisking the egg whites with the remaining sugar until soft peak forms.
  6. Take 1/2 of the meringue and fold into the butter cheese mixture. Fold in the flour mixture and then the remaining meringue.
  7. Grease the sides and bottom of a loaf pan and sprinkle flour. Pour the batter into the pan.
  8. Bake the cake in a 170ºC preheated oven for about 30 minutes.

Source: Cakes and Breads