Eggless fresh mango cheesecake


I was inspired for this desert by Dazzling Kitchen ,but felt it needed some tweaking to suit our family taste. I loved the idea of using Agar Agar as a binder and thickened yogurt instead of sour cream, it offered a very good contrast to the sweetness of the fresh,sweet mango puree. The original glaze was made of fresh, pureed mangoes, I used some mango preserves I found in the Asian market and simply warmed it with a little water to thin,tasted great.1 nine-inch spring form pan is the ideal size for this light, airy cheesecake.It is fresh and flavorful,perfect for those hot summer days.

Photograph by Rahul Mahtani

CRUST

1 nine-inch springform pan

1  1/2 cups crushed digestive cookies, crushed

1/2 cup (1 stick unsalted, melted and cooled)

Combine crumbs and cooled melted butter. Press evenly into base of springform pan. Refrigerate for at least half and hour while you prepare the cheese cake filling.

FILLING

1 cup superfine sugar

1  1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt ( I used low-fat, still tasted great )

1 eight ounce pack room temperature cream cheese ( regular or low-fat )

1  1/2 cups water

3 tablespoons powdered Agar Agar

1 cup Fresh mango puree ( About 2 mangoes)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon salt

Boil water and cook agar agar according to package details. Set aside.

Using a stand mixer fitted with a paddle beat the cream cheese with the Greek yogurt , while slowly adding the sugar. Beat just till combined.

Combine the mango puree with the salt,vanilla,and agar agar solution. Pour into the beaten cream cheese combination , just to combine. Scrape the bowl from bottom to top to combine well.

Pour onto cold crust. Tap on a solid surface to ensure there are no air bubbles . Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 8 hours.

Serve

Eggless classic creme caramel


Recently a member of my prayer group was yearning for creme caramel.He too is a lacto vegetarian,meaning no animal products including eggs and gelatin . I created this for him and decided to put up the recipe so he can make it any time he is in the mood .

3 cup flan dish

Photograph by Rahul Mahtani

2  1/4 cups half and half

1/4 cup sugar

3 teaspoons custard powder ( I use Bird’s )

1 vanilla bean,scraped

3 tsp Agar Agar powder

1/2 cup sugar for caramelising

Place the 1/2 cup sugar in a heavy bottomed pan on a medium flame till the sugar starts to turn golden . Watch this carefully as it can go from golden to burnt in seconds . Pour into mould and rotate the mould to spread the sugar evenly. Set aside.

Cook the agar agar in 3/4 cup of water until the agar agar dissolves . Boil for 1 minute . Off heat .

Mix custard in 1/2 cup of cold  half and half to dissolve.

Place the balance 1  1/4 cup half and half with the vanilla bean in a heavy bottom pan, stir in the  1/4 cup sugar and stir over medium heat to dissolve sugar . Bring to a boil and stir in the dissolved custard . Cook till the mixture is slightly thicken , about 1 to 2 minutes .

Add the agar agar to the custard , boil and cook for about 2 minutes . Off heat . Allow to cool for 5 minutes, stirring .

Pass through a strainer into the caramel coated mould . Once cool, cover and allow to set for several hours in the refrigerator .

To serve, loosen the sides with a knife and invert onto a serving platter .

Chocolate Biscuit cake


So much was made of this simple cake made with crushed biscuits and topped with ganache it took me back to my childhood . The British Prince William chose this cake as his groom’s cake, no wonder . It maybe simple but it is simply delicious . I like my slightly altered from the traditional cake, for one I use a very fine quality semi sweet Callebaut chocolate . For another I like to add some chopped toasted hazelnuts and lastly, for flavor, I use some Amaretto liquor and some vanilla extract . I top the dessert with chocolate covered Hazelnuts .

Adapted from Bon Appetit

Photograph by Rahul Mahtani

Silicone loaf pan works best or 9 ” round pan, lightly coated with nonstick spray and lined with a parchment round .

CAKE

1 1/2 cups plus 6 tbsp  ( 4 sticks minus 2 tbsp ) unsalted butter

30  oz bittersweet chocolate ( I use semisweet Callebaut chocolate ) coarsely chopped

3/4 cup heavy whipping cream

6 tbsp Lyle’s Golden syrup

2  7 .5 oz packages butter biscuits , I like graham cookies (coarsely chopped)

1/2 cup toasted chopped hazelnuts (optional )

1 tsp vanilla extract (optional)

2 tbsp Amaretto liquor ( optional)

1/4 tsp sea salt (optional)

GLAZE

8  oz semisweet chocolate , coarsely chopped

1 cup heavy whipping cream

1 tbsp light corn syrup

CAKE

Stir butter and chocolate in a large saucepan over low heat until melted and smooth . Stir in cream and golden syrup . Remove from heat . Stir in all optional ingredients,if using  . Then stir in biscuit pieces . Pour chocolate mixture into prepared pan; smooth top. Cover and refrigerate until set , at least 3 hours or overnight .

GLAZE

Place chocolate in a medium bowl . Bring cream and corn syrup to a simmer in a small saucepan over medium heat . Pour over chocolate . Let stand 5 minutes , then stir until melted and smooth. Let cool slightly,stirring occasionally,until glaze is slightly thickened and pourable.

Wrap a warm,damp kitchen towel around the cake pan. Remove pan sides. Invert cake onto a cake board round.Peel off parchment paper. Place cake on a wire rack set over a rimmed baking sheet. Pour glaze over cake,allowing it to drip down sides; spread as needed to cover cake. Refrigerate cake until glaze sets, about 30 minutes . Serve

Peanut butter balls


Carole Walter is my favorite teacher and cookbook authors. Not only is she meticulous but she is very detail oriented. You can rest assured her recipes have been tested throughly before going to print. This particular recipe is easy to make,  requires no baking , so are great for making with kids, and make super gifts as you get a whopping 5 dozen cookies.

2  1/3 cups strained confectioners’ sugar

1 cup graham cracker crumbs

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter ,softened

3/4 cup chunky peanut butter

2 tsp vegetable oil

10 oz semi sweet chocolate , coarsley chopped

2 cups salted peanuts ,finely chopped

In a large bowl ,stir together the confectioners’ sugar and graham cracker crumbs. Add the butter and peanut butter and work with a wooden spoon or with your hands till throughly combined. Portion the dough into 60   1 inch balls and place on parchment lined jelly roll pans.

Combine the chocolate and vegetable oil in a medium heat proof bowl. Place the bowl over a medium sauce pan filled with simmering water and slowly melt the chocolate ,stirring occasionally.

When chocolate is melted ,remove it from the heat, but keep the bowl over the pot of water. Place about 1/2 cup of peanuts in a low flat dish ,such as a pie plate.

Using a fork (or a chocolate dipping fork ) dip one ball at a time in the melted chocolate. Tap the fork gently on the side of the bowl to help drain the chocolate from the cookie. The coating should be thin. Roll the dipped cookie in the chopped peanuts , and coat it evenly. Place on cookie sheet to set.

Store in an airtight container ,refridgerated for up to 3 weeks.May be frozen.

Caroline’s Eggless Lemon Slice


There is nothing more delicious than a small piece of something sweet to go with my afternoon tea. I adore anything using fresh lemons. This recipe comes from Vogue Entertaining. I have had to amend it to suit my taste,but the bonus is ,its Eggless,how sweet …and tart is life!!!!

Makes approximately 20 squares

THE SLICE

8 oz unsalted butter

1 can sweetened condensed milk

2 cups Marie (or any other plain ccokie) cookies,crushed

1 cup ,unsweetened,dessidicated coconut

Grated rind of 2 lemons,yellow part only.

ICING

1-11/2 cups powdered sugar

1 tablespoon unsalted butter,room temperature

juice of 1/2 -1 lemon

Cover a 9 ” square brownie pan with parchment paper ,with an overhang on each side to facilitate removal of squares.

In a saucepan melt the butter and condensed milk and,when it comes to the boil,remove it from the heat. Add the crushed cookies,coconut,and lemon zest,stir until combined and pour into the prepared parchment lined pan. Smooth the top and refridgerate until firm.

TO MAKE THE ICING

Sift the icing sugar into a bowl and beat in the butter and lemon juice until you have a smooth mixture. Spread the icing over the slice base in the pan and allow to set.

Cut into small squares and place on a serving plate.

Frozen peanut butter pie


I love peanuts and peanut butter,so ,when I stumbled across this decadent,eggless peanut butter pie Shorty’s Mexican roadhouse in Bedford New Hampshire,I was thrilled. Not only that ,did I mention how uncomplicated it is to prepare?

Serves 8

3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs

1 cup sugar

2 tablespoons(packed) golden brown sugar

1/4 cup unsalted butter,melted.

1 8oz package cream cheese,room temperature

1 cup creamy peanut butter,do not use old fashioned style or freshly ground

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

11/2 cups chilled whipping cream

Purchased hot fudge sauce

Mix Graham crackers,1/4 cup sugar and brown sugar in a medium bowl. Add butter and mix.Press mixture on bottom and up sides of 9 inch glass bottom dish. Refridgerate while preparing filling.

Beat cream cheese ,peanut butter, vanilla and remaining 3/4 cup sugar in large bowl till smooth. In another large bowl whip heavy cream until stiff peaks form. Gently fold whipped cream into peanut butter mixture in 4 additions. Pour filling into crust ,mounding in the center. Freeze until firm,at least 2 hours.

Warm hot fudge sauce. Slice pie,drizzle on sauce and serve

No bake Hazelnut chocolate cake.(baci cake)


For years I have made this delicious,no bake cake. I only remember a time in Malta ,when I had to prepare a birthday cake for my sister and had forgotten to order a cylinder of gas…no gas ,no oven (no town gas then ).So I decided to make this super cake,minus the liquor,of course and looked like a superstar. oh, in case I forgot to mention,its eggless!!!

18 oz crushed roasted Hazlenuts

10 oz semi sweet chocolate

12-13 oz plain tea cookies,crushed

3 oz super fine sugar

71/2 oz mixed dried fruit(optional)

1 teaspoon almond essence

3 tablespoons brandy

1/2 cup Nutella ,for topping

8-10 whole roasted hazelnuts for decoration

Melt chocolate in a double boiler or microwave. Start adding the crushed cookies in 3 batches to the melted chocolate,make sure that all crumbs are incorporated into the chocolate.

Add the chopped hazelnuts,sugar,almond and vanilla essence, whisky and candied peel.

Lightly spray a 6 inch dish(pam for baking is great, DO NOT OVER SPRAY). Place the mixture in and lightly tap the pan to set the batter.

Allow the cake to set,refridgerated for a few hours or overnight.

Unmold the cake and top with the Nutella and whole roasted Hazelnuts.