Monday, June 25, 2012

Maple and Ginger Cheesecake Tarts

What do you do with leftover (because no one wants to lose their teeth,) Arnotts Ginger Nut biscuits? Use them as cheesecake base. I have a couple of books with recipes using Ginger Nut biscuits....probably all with the same reasons as I do. Why do they make them so hard? The recipe I chose was from another Aussie purchase I made - Donna Hay Magazine Winter 2012, hot out of the press. Using the food processor to pulse crumb the Ginger Nut biscuit nearly killed the poor machine. The biscuits were THAT hard. It couldn't even make a crack in the first few pulses! In the end, I took out my mortar and pestle, and gave each and every biscuit a good smash for being stubborn before blitzing them to oblivion. Pressing the biscuits into the individual tart tin was a pain. I couldn't feel my fingers after lining the 8 tins. The cheesecake was a mix of two cheeses - ricotta and cream cheese. I do like that because the cheesecake turned out light and pleasurable in the mouth. Not your usual rich and sticky-through-your-throat-kind of cheesecake. I'd do this again replacing the Ginger Nut biscuits, of course.

Pizza Casareccia

I'm back! And I'm back with a 10kg loot from my recent trip Down Under. Much thanks (or no thanks, depending on whose view ;-p) to my girlfriend, I was in culinary haven over those few days. Not only did we feast, we, I mean I, shopped. Melbourne is Australia's foodie territory and there was no question that I could find every gadget, pan or spatula here. I had a very modest 1 item to shop for this trip, and ended up with....let's see...10kg worth including a pizza stone. Needless to say I was keen to put it to use and see if my pizzas crisp with the stone. I chose to use a new pizza dough recipe (from Nigella Lawson's How To Be A Domestic Goddess), feeling very goddess-like with my new toy. Well, the excitement pretty much ended there with my enthusiasm. Turned out that this dough recipe was a soft and sticky kind. The kind that needed well-oiled hands to handle. I flattened one half of the dough onto a non-stick pan and the other half on the pizza stone. Both turned out exactly the same texture! Crispy! Talk about a good pizza dough recipe. Well, I must say though, the crust got stuck on the the stone leaving traces of oil impregnated in it and extra cheese melted and burnt on the the stone left it looking very well-used. I shall try the stone with my regular pizza dough recipe and see if it's better than before. I'll be damned if it's the same after carrying that heavy stone back!! Stay tuned....