Coconut Cheesecake with Mango Caramel

 This rich and luxurious cheesecake, which is perfect for a special occasion, is particularly hard to resist.  The delicious moist filling is topped with a heavenly mango caramel.  I love making cheesecake because it’s so versatile. It can take on so many different types of flavours. It’s much better than store bought ones definitely!

I have used Greek yoghurt instead of cream cheese, which makes it much lighter. Coconut and mango is a great flavour combination and the sweetness of the mango caramel is offset by the coconut filling which is not too sweet. 

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This cheesecake is extra special. I used vanilla wafers for the base and it’s a cheesecake lover’s dream! The crumbly base with the velvety coconut filling and the luscious mango caramel makes it phenomenal. I used some mixed candied fruits for the decoration.

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This cheesecake can stay for up to a week in the fridge. I’m sure that you and your family are going to love it. This recipe makes a 10 inch cheesecake. It’s best to make the filling and topping the day before and refrigerate overnight. I got the recipe for the mango caramel from here – cacao-barry.com.

PREP:  25 minutes  COOK TIME:  75 minutes

Ingredients

11/2 cups vanilla wafers, crushed in a food processor

3 tbsp sugar

6 tbsp butter, melted

Filling

700 gms Greek yoghurt

1 cup sugar

15 gms cornflour

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 tsp salt

3 large eggs, beaten

1 cup coconut milk

1/2 tsp coconut extract

Mango caramel

250 gms sugar

170 ml mango puree

50 ml whipping cream

1/2 tsp mixed spice

15 gms butter

1/2 tsp salt

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 180C.

Prepare a 10 inchspringform pan by lining it with aluminium foil on the outside of the pan bottom and up the sides. 

Combine the vanilla wafer crumbs and sugar together. Stir in the melted butter and mix well. Press the mixture against the bottom and the sides of the pan by using your hands. Bake the crust for 10 minutes until it is golden brown. Remove from the oven and cool.

Reduce the heat to 160 C. For the filling, place the yoghurt in a large mixing bowl and beat well. Add the sugar, cornflour, vanilla extract and salt. Beat until smooth and add the eggs slowly, beating continuously. Add the coconut milk and extract and beat until well combined.

Place the springform pan in a large roasting pan and scoop the cheesecake mixture into it. Add hot water to the roasting pan until it is halfway up the side of the springform pan. Bake the cheesecake for about 60 minutes, until the filling is set. Remove from the roasting pan and allow to cool thoroughly. Refrigerate overnight.

For the mango caramel, place the sugar in a small heavy bottomed pan and heat until the sugar starts to caramelise. Add the mango puree and whipping cream. Bring to the boil. Remove from the heat and add the mixed spice, butter and salt. Cool to room temperature and refrigerate until use. 

Carefully, remove the cheesecake from the springform pan on to a serving plate. Spread the mango caramel on top of the filling and return to the fridge for a few hours before slicing and serving. 

 

 

 

Olive, Lemon and Coconut Pots

I have been intrigued by savoury desserts for some time. The concept is not new, but many chefs have taken this to a whole new level. I had earlier made a Tomato Soup Cake which fits the bill for savoury desserts. However, I wanted to try something different.

Olives and lemon are a great combination and I thought of including coconut with these flavours. I used Greek yoghurt instead of cream and the dessert was light and creamy.

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For those of you that love savoury foods, this recipe will be ideal. If you’re also looking to cut down on your sugar cravings, this dessert is perfect.

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Anyway, the result was surprising, but in a nice way. I loved the taste – the olives were more prominent and I could taste the other ingredients, though it was more subtle. It’s quite filling and you can snack on these without feeling too guilty!

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PREP: 15 minutes COOK TIME: 40-50 minutes SERVES: 4

Ingredients

400 gms Greek yoghurt

1/4 cup granulated sugar

2 tsp cornflour

1/4 tsp vanilla extract

!/8 tsp salt

1 large egg, lightly beaten

1/2 cup coconut milk

1/8 tsp coconut extract, optional

1/3 cup black olives, pitted

2 tbsp lemon juice

Olive and lemon slices for garnish

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 160C.

Grease four ramekin dishes with a little butter.

Place the olives in a blender and process until smooth.

Place the Greek yoghurt in a mixing bowl and beat well until smooth. Add the granulated sugar, cornflour, vanilla extract and salt and beat well.

Add the beaten egg slowly and mix well. Add the coconut milk, olive paste, lemon juice and coconut extract and beat until combined. Spoon the mixture into the ramekin dishes. Place them in a roasting pan half-filled with hot water and bake 40-50 minutes until it is set. Remove the roasting tin carefully from the oven and remove the ramekins. Cool.

Cover with clingfilm and place in the refrigerator. It will store for up to a week. Garnish with the olive and lemon slices before serving.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mango Custard with Grapes

The summer brings forth the mango season and though I missed a good part of the season due to the lock down, I still managed to make a few dishes using this golden fruit. There’s nothing quite like the perfume of mangoes wafting through the kitchen. It’s just lovely!

I had this idea to make mango custard. It turned out to be a great success. Everybody loved it. I have used grapes, but you can use any fruit of your choice. It’s a light and refreshing end to a summer meal.

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You can serve this silky, smooth custard warm or chilled. Either way, it’s a refreshing and unusual dessert. Sponge fingers would be ideal to serve with this custard.

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PREP: 15 minutes COOK TIME: 20 minutes

Ingredients

3 egg yolks

1 tsp cornflour

4 tbsp sugar

2 cups milk

1 tsp vanilla extract

A pinch of saffron

1 large mango, cubed

A few grapes, deseeded

Instructions

Mix the egg yolks, sugar and cornflour to a paste in a pan. Add the milk and saffron and cook over moderate heat, stirring continuously until the mixture is thickened. Remove from heat and let the custard cool. Add the vanilla extract.

Blend a cup of the custard with the mangoes until the mixture is smooth and free of lumps. Add the blended mixture back to the custard and mix well.

Place the grapes in the bottom of four individual glasses and spoon the custard over them. Serve warm or chilled with sponge fingers.

Quick Apple Dumplings

If you want a quick fix for Apple Pie but don’t have the time, then this recipe is perfect. These dumplings are very easy to make and hardly take any time at all to prepare. The smell of apples and cinnamon is just so lovely!

Apples with cinnamon and raisins are rolled up in a simple pastry and baked in a sugar syrup. The dumplings are baked in their own sugar syrup which forms a sauce. It’s simply delicious!

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Instead of making the pastry, you can also use two cups of biscuit mix. I used Granny Smith apples and I didn’t peel them. They were just as delicious. If you have a day off from work, then this is just the project for you.

This recipe makes around 20 dumplings.

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PREP: 20 minutes COOK TIME: 45 minutes

Ingredients

2 cups flour

11/2 tsp baking powder

½ tsp salt

2 tbsp melted butter

½ cup milk

2 apples, cored and diced finely

½ cup raisins

1 tsp cinnamon

½ cup sugar

Extra butter for spreading

Sugar syrup

11/2 cups sugar

1 cup water

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 220 C. Grease enough muffin pans.

Sieve the flour, baking powder and salt together into a mixing bowl. Add the melted butter and mix well. Add the milk to form a smooth dough. Adjust the milk accordingly, adding a little at a time. Use more milk if needed. Knead briefly and set aside.

Mix the apples, raisins, cinnamon and sugar well. Roll out half the dough into a rectangle about ½ inch thick on a floured board. Spread some butter over the surface and spread half of the apple mixture over it. Roll up and cut into 3/4th inch slices. Repeat with the remaining dough and apple filling.

For the syrup, heat the sugar and water together in a heavy bottomed pan over medium heat until it starts boiling. Remove from heat.

Pour about two tablespoons of the sugar syrup into each muffin tin and place the apple roll in it. Repeat with the remaining syrup and apple rolls. Bake for about 35-45 minutes until the pastry is golden brown.

Apricot Passion Fruit Slice

A refreshing change, this unusual combination of dried apricots with Passion fruit makes it an extra special dish to serve for a festive breakfast. A sweet treat for your guests for the New year or for any occasion really! You could also serve this as a dessert – either way it’s delicious.

As you bite into it, the sweetness of the apricots mixed with the tangy flavour of the passion fruit is lovely.

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PREP: 30 minutes COOK TIME: 40 minutes

Ingredients

140 g rolled oats

125 g brown sugar

125 g wholemeal self-raising flour

185 g butter, melted

2 tsp grated lemon rind

Filling

155 g dried apricots, chopped

125 ml (4 fl oz) water

60 ml (2 fl oz) passion fruit pulp

2 tbsp sugar

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 180 C.

Grease a shallow 7X11 inches cake tin.

Place the oats, sugar and flour in a large mixing bowl and mix well. Stir in the butter and lemon rind and mix together. Press half the mixture on the base of the tin.

To make the filling, combine all the ingredients in a small pan and bring to the boil over medium heat. Reduce heat and simmer until the apricots are soft and all the liquid is absorbed. Set aside for 5 minutes to cool slightly. Spread evenly over the oat mixture.

Sprinkle the remaining oat mixture over the filling and bake for 40 minutes or until browned and crisp. Cut into slices and serve warm with a dollop of cream or yogurt.

Gingerbread Banana Cheesecake

This gingerbread flavoured cheesecake makes it a special finale for a dinner party. The creamy banana filling with bits of ginger candy is really delicious and complements the ginger base beautifully.

I didn’t crush the biscuits finely for the base and this made it more interesting while eating it. The base was extra crunchy and tasty. I decorated it with leaves from my lime tree. Holly leaves will make it perfect at this time of the year.

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A delightfully refreshing treat. This recipe was adapted from Fruit Fandango by Moya Clarke.

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PREP: 40 minutes SERVES: 6-8

Ingredients

250 gms ginger cookies, crushed

6 tbsp butter

1 tsp cinnamon

¼ tsp mixed spice

3 bananas

1 tbsp vegetarian gelatin/Agar Agar

1 cup cream cheese

2/3 cup double cream

2 tbsp clear honey

2 tsp lime juice

2 tbsp candied ginger, chopped

1 Kiwi, peeled and sliced thinly

Lime/Holly leaves to decorate

Instructions

Line the base of a 8 inch spring clip pan with parchment.

Melt the butter in a small pan. Add it to the crushed cookies along with the cinnamon and mixed spice and mix well. Press the crumbs evenly on to the base of the pan and up the sides. Allow to set for about 15-20 minutes.

Mash the bananas and mix them with the gelatin, cream cheese, cream, honey, lime juice and chopped candied ginger. Scoop this gently into the biscuit base. Refrigerate for 3-4 hours or overnight until set.

Decorate with the kiwi slices and leaves. I painted the leaves with a little egg white and sprinkled some icing sugar on it.