Sunday, 20 September 2009

Elaine's leaving "do": Cheese biscuits with goat's cheese pâté, Ricotta and spinach malfatti and Baileys cheesecake

This is the what the Edwards siblings had to send off Elaine to uni in Liverpool:

Cheese biscuits with goat's cheese pâté
Ricotta and spinach malfatti2/8/10 Newsflash - Just found out that these are also called gnudi and can be coated in semolina before boiling!

Baileys cheesecake

Starter: Cheese biscuits with goat's cheese pâté

Cheese biscuits (adapted from a Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall recipe)
100g /3½oz butter, plus extra for greasing
150g /5¼oz mature cheddar cheese
100g /3½oz plain flour
cayenne pepper
freshly ground black pepper
1 free-range egg yolk

1. Heat oven to 220°C. Lightly grease a large baking sheet with butter and cover it with a piece of baking parchment.
2. Finely grate the cheese into a mixing bowl. Sift in the flour and add a sprinkling of cayenne pepper. Add some freshly ground black pepper and mix.
3. Cut the butter into little cubes and rub them into the mixture. When the butter has almost disappeared into the flour and you have a crumbly mixture, stir in the egg yolk with a butter knife.
4. Gather the pastry into a ball of dough (it should come together very easily). Dust the work surface with plenty of flour. Carefully roll out the cheese dough into a rough square. It should be about 5mm thick. Neaten the edges with the side of your hand.
5. With a sharp knife, cut the square into strips, then each strip into fingers. Gently lift them on to the lined baking sheet, leaving a little space between each one.
[6. Grate Parmesan over biscuits before baking - OPTIONAL]
7. Bake for about eight minutes, but check after five or six minutes. The cheese straws should be a very pale golden brown. They are fragile when they come out of the oven, so leave them to sit for five minutes before you try to move them. Then carefully lift up the baking parchment and transfer everything to a wire rack to cool for a few more minutes.

Goat's cheese pâté
150g soft French mild goat’s cheese
1 tbsp Greek yogurt / cream / crème frâiche
5g finely chopped fresh chives, plus extra whole chives to serve
1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley

1. Put the goat’s cheese into a bowl and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
2. Stir in the Greek yoghurt
/ cream / crème frâiche to make a smooth consistency
3. Add the chives and parsley. Stir to combine.

Main: Ricotta & spinach malfatti
(taken from The Cook's Book)

½oz butter
½ finely chopped onion
4oz spinach
12oz ricotta
2oz grated Parmesan
1 egg + 1 egg yolk, beaten
½tsp grated lemon zest
4tbsp plain flour
Tomato sauce:
2lb tomatoes, chopped roughly
½ finely chopped onion
1 clove garlic
1tbsp finely chopped basil
1tsp granulated sugar


1. For the tomato sauce fry the onion until softened but not coloured. Add the garlic.
2. Add the tomatoes and sugar. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 30 mins.
3. Liquidise and pass sauce through a sieve. Return to pan and adjust seasoning and add more sugar as required. Set the sauce aside.
4. Fry the onion until softened but not coloured in butter and olive oil.Add the spinach and stir until wilted.
5. Drain and then finely chop the spinach when cooled.
6. Combine the ricotta, Parmesan, eggs, nutmeg and lemon zest. Mix until completely smooth. Add the spinach.
7. Stir in the flour until the mixture is from and dry but not stiff.
8. Use dessert spoons to form dumplings from the ricotta mix. Place the dumplings on a floured baking tray and refrigerate for at least two hours.
9. To cook the malfatti bring a big pan of salted water to the boil. Cook the dumplings in the water for 6-7 minutes (they will float to the surface when ready). Remove from the water and drain on a tea-towel.
10. In the meantime, re-heat the tomato sauce. Serve the malfatti on the sauce and garnish with fresh basil and Parmesan.

Dessert: Bailey's cheese cake with coffee sauce

6oz dark chocolate digestives
1oz butter, melted
1dtsp honey
Tub of mascapone cheese
200ml double cream, whipped stiffly
100g soft cheese
Bailey's - to taste(!)
2oz of white chocolate
2oz dark chocolate
Coffee sauce:
2oz caster sugar
1 tbsp instant coffee
3 tbsp golden syrup/honey
50ml water
125ml evaporated milk
1tsp cornflour (slaked with a little water)

1. With a food processor grind the biscuits to fine bread crumbs
2. Mix with the honey and melted butter. Turn into an 8" loose-based cake tin and gently compact with the back of a spoon. Chill
3. Beat the soft cheese and mascapone together. Mix in the cream and Bailey's (to taste). Ensure the consistency remains quite stiff.
4. Pour the filling over the base. Smooth and chill.
5. Once the cheesecake has set decorate with the melted chocolates
6. For the sauce, put all the ingredients in a pan (except the cornflour) and mix over a low heat until the sugar has dissolved. Stir in the cornflour.

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