Poached Plum Ricotta Cheesecake

Ingredients

1 cup gingerbread cookie crumbs
3 tbsp melted butter
475 g ricotta cheese
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup sugar
3 eggs, separated
2 tbsp flour
2 tsp lemon zest

Poached Plums

4 cloves
1 tsp whole black peppercorns
1 cinnamon stick
1 cup red wine
1/3 cup sugar
500 g plums, stones removed, sliced

Method

  1. To make the poached plums, in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, combine all ingredients and bring to a simmer until sugar is dissolved, about 2-3 minutes.
  2. Add the plums, reduce heat to low, and cook for 5 minutes until tender. Remove plums, and strain remaining syrup into a small saucepan. Reheat syrup until reduced by half then return plums to the pot to keep warm until ready to serve.
  3. Preheat oven to 325°F.
  4. In a large bowl, mix together cookie crumbs and butter then press into a 9-inch (23 cm) springform pan. Refrigerate for 15 minutes to set.
  5. Meanwhile, add ricotta, sour cream, sugar, egg yolks, flour and lemon zest into a food processor. Blend until smooth, scraping down the sides as required. In another large bowl, beat egg whites until stiff and then tip in the cheese mixture. Fold together, but don’t over mix.
  6. Pour into prepared pan and bake for 50-60 minutes until a cake tester comes out clean and the middle barely quivers. Remove from oven and immediately run a long sharp knife all around the inside edge of pan.
  7. Set on rack to cool then cover and refrigerate for 6 hours, or overnight.
  8. When ready to serve, spoon poached plums over the cake. Just before serving, sprinkle sugar evenly over surface of cheesecake. Using a mini torch, heat until sugar melts and caramelizes. Serve immediately with reserved spiced plum syrup.

Makes 6 to 8 servings.

Source: Chef Kendall Collingridge

Deep, Dark Chocolate Pudding

Ingredients

5 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2-1/3 cups whole milk
1/2 cup sugar
pinch of salt
2 tablespoons Dutch-process cocoa powder
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 large egg yolks, plus 1 large egg
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1-1/2 teaspoons instant espresso
lightly sweetened whipped cream, for serving

Method

  1. Set a fine strainer in a bowl over a larger bowl of ice water.
  2. Microwave the chocolate and butter until melted. Let cool slightly.
  3. In a medium saucepan, simmer 2 cups of the milk with 1/4 cup of the sugar and the salt.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk the cocoa powder and cornstarch with the remaining 1/3 cup of milk.
  5. Whisk the cocoa paste into the hot milk. In the same bowl, whisk the yolks and whole egg with the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar. Gradually whisk some of the hot milk mixture into the eggs to warm them, then whisk the egg mixture into the saucepan and cook over moderately high heat, whisking, until very thick, about 5 minutes.
  6. Remove from the heat and whisk in the chocolate-butter mixture, vanilla extract and instant espresso.
  7. Strain the pudding into the bowl set in the ice bath and stir until cooled.
  8. Place a sheet of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the pudding and refrigerate until chilled, at least 4 hours or overnight. Serve with whipped cream.

Makes 6 servings.

Source: Chef Chris Broberg

Strawberry Shortcakes

Ingredients

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tbsp granulated sugar
2 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter (very cold or frozen)
2 eggs
1/2 cup 10 % or 18% cream
2 tbsp coarse sugar

Filling

2 cups strawberries, sliced
2 tbsp granulated sugar
1 cup whipping cream
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup strawberry jam or preserves

Method

  1. In bowl, whisk together flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Using box grater, coarsely grate butter into flour mixture; toss lightly to combine.
  2. Whisk eggs with 1/3 cup of the cream. Using fork, stir into flour mixture to form ragged dough.
  3. Turn dough out onto lightly floured surface; pat dough into 1-inch thick round. Using floured 2-1/4 inch fluted round cutter, cut out biscuits, rerolling excess dough to make 10 biscuits. Transfer to parchment paper–lined baking sheet.
  4. Brush tops with remaining cream and sprinkle with coarse sugar. Bake in 400°F (200°C) oven for 15 to 18 minutes or until golden and flaky. Let cool completely, slice in half.
  5. Stir strawberries with 1 tbsp of the sugar; let stand for 20 to 30 minutes.
  6. Whip cream with vanilla and remaining sugar until stiff peaks form. Spread 1 tsp of the jam on bottoms of shortcakes. Top with 1 tbsp whipped cream and strawberries, along with accumulated juices. Top with remaining shortcakes. Spoon remaining whipped cream and strawberries over top.

Makes 10 servings.

Source: Manitoba Egg Farmers

Lemon Meringue Pie

Ingredients

3 sheets of phyllo dough, plus more in case of tearing
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 cup light brown sugar
5 large egg whites
1 (12-ounce) jar lemon curd
Raspberries, for garnish

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Cut 2 sheets of parchment paper to fit a large baking sheet. Place 1 sheet of the parchment on a work surface. Top with a sheet of phyllo and brush with the melted butter. Sprinkle 2 teaspoons of the granulated sugar over the phyllo. Repeat with 2 more sheets of phyllo so that you have a stack of 3 sugared sheets.
  3. Using a ruler, trim the phyllo to a 12-by-16-inch rectangle, then cut it into twelve 4-inch squares.
  4. Slide the parchment onto a baking sheet and top with the second sheet of parchment paper. Bake for 18 minutes, until the phyllo squares are golden and crisp. Let cool completely.
  5. Preheat the broiler. Put the brown sugar in a food processor; pulse to break up any lumps.
  6. In the bowl of a standing electric mixer fitted with a whisk, beat the egg whites at medium-high speed until soft peaks form.
  7. Beat in the brown sugar at high speed, a few tablespoons at a time, until the whites are glossy, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer the meringue to a pastry bag with a plain tip.
  8. Spoon a dollop of lemon curd onto each phyllo square. Pipe a layer of meringue over the lemon curd (alternatively, you can spoon the meringue over the lemon curd).
  9. Broil 6 inches from the heat for 1 minute, or until lightly toasted. Set 6 phyllo squares on plates and top them with the remaining 6 squares. Garnish with raspberries and serve right away.

Makes 6 servings.

Source: Chef Gale Gand

Traditional Nyonya Lapis

Ingredients

375 g butter
170 g sugar
1/2 tin condensed milk
2 tbsps Brandy
18 egg yolks
6 egg whites
110 g all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp mixed spice

Method

  1. Sift flour and mix it with mixed spice.
  2. Cream butter together with condensed milk until creamy.
  3. Whisk egg yolks with 100 g sugar till thick.
  4. Add the remaining sugar and 1/2 tsp of cream of tartar to egg whites. Use high speed to beat up the egg whites till stiff.
  5. Fold in alternately the egg yolk mixture and the egg white mixture to the creamed butter while adding a little of flour at a time. Lastly add in the brandy.
  6. Grease on the bottom and sides of a 9-inch square tray. Place a piece of 9-inch square greaseproof paper to fit the base of the tin and grease again with butter.
  7. Preheat oven’s upper element at 200°C. Place greased tray under grill for 1 minute.
  8. Pour 3 tbsps of the batter into the tray and spread mixture evenly. Bake for 5 – 7 minutes or till light brown.
  9. Remove tray from grill. Use a skewer or toothpick to prick holes on top of cake to prevent air bubbles from forming. Repeat this step layer by layer till mixture is used up. Unmould cake at once. Turn it over on a cooling rack to cool for 1 hour.

Source: Delicious Nyonya Kueh and Dessert