Years ago, I remember reading a story about a visiting British chef (probably Keith Floyd or someone like that, it was that long ago) who was invited to dinner at the homes of various society mavens along the Australian east coast. Apparently, he had the same nouvelle cuisine-style main course at nearly every meal. It was due to the dish being featured in that month’s Vogue Entertaining Guide, a magazine that is sadly no longer with us.
It just goes to show how influenced we are by local fads, which in turn are probably inspired by global trends. These days, there are so many food magazines, and it’s interesting to see how their covers and contents vary around the world, even among global titles.
One of my favourite food mags is delicious. It was originally started by the Australian Broadcasting Commission in 2001, and there is now also a British version. Of course, given that the magazines are published in different hemispheres, the seasons are switched around, so it’s likely that the Brit delicious will have features on winter pies and stews while the Aussie version has pages of ice creams and summer tarts. But variety is the spice of like, eh what?
delicious April 2012: Australia and UK
After seeing the Australian delicious story on Irish/French cook, Trish Deseine, I just had to make the no-bake chocolate cheesecake that’s on the cover. It also helps that the recipe is super-simple, with just a few ingredients (but quite a bit of chopping of chocolate, so save it for a cool day). Here's hoping it's so popular that other versions will be popping up all over the country!
300g digestive biscuits
150g unsalted butter, melted
350g fresh low-fat ricotta
250g mascarpone, at room temperature
1/3 cup (50g) icing (confectioner’s) sugar, sifted
1 tsp vanilla extract
¼ cup (60 ml) coffee or chocolate liqueur
150g dark chocolate, finely chopped
100g dark chocolate, extra
1. Line a 24cm springform pan with aluminium foil.
2. For the base: Crush biscuits into fine crumbs using a food processor. Add the melted butter and pulse until combined. Press into the base of the pan and chill for 30 minutes, until firm.
3. For the cheesecake filling: Clean out the food processor bowl, then process the ricotta until smooth. Place ricotta into a large bowl, then fold through the mascarpone, icing sugar, vanilla and liqueur. Fold through the chopped chocolate. Spread the filling into the biscuit base and refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour.
4. For the chocolate shards: Melt the remaining dark chocolate (in a microwave, on low, in 30-second bursts). Spread the melted chocolate thickly onto a flat tray and allow to harden (in the fridge for about 10 minutes). Use the blade of a sharp knife to scrape long shards of chocolate. Sprinkle the chocolate on top of the cheesecake before serving.
recipe adapted from delicious (April 2012)
Did you know that McVitie's Digestive biscuits 'do not contain any substance that assist digestion', according to the packet?
I spent ages chopping up the chocolate by hand - tip: you cannot chop chocolate in a food processor unless you want it to get stuck under the blade (I found this out the hard way!)
Not very hygenic, but I had finished making the cheesecake when Tabitha cat started cleaning up the bowl.
While waiting for the chocolate to harden, time can be productively spent browsing online for shoes and handbags.
I added the requisite amount of Kahlua liqueur (60ml), but I found it too much; will maybe decrease this or replace with strong coffee next time.
The chocolate shards look fantastic on the finished cheesecake.
The higher the better!
Even though I used low-fat ricotta, this is still a rich cheesecake.
So, one (big) slice is surely enough.