Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Macaroni cheese-cake

As I may have mentioned, I have become slightly obsessed with the Readers Recipe Swap in the Cook supplement of the Saturday Guardian.

This week was macaroni. I was determined to come up with a sweet recipe. I was desperate to make a pun-tastic macaroni cheese-cake, but just couldn't devise a suitable recipe. Macaroni is just too big to deep-fry or caramelise (unlike vermicelli).
Consequently I've ended up with a cheesecake-trifle hybrid. I think it's a cold comfort pud. I've flavoured this with seasonal forced rhubarb. An alternative would be to make a chocolate custard, use bananas as the fruit and garnish with caramel.

Also, I must apologise for using Bird's custard powder. I didn't have the time (or eggs) to make real custard. Sorry.

Makes 4 individual portions


For the custard base:
100g macaroni
400ml milk
1tsp vanilla
2dsp caster sugar
1tbsp custard powder
For the cheese topping:
200g mascarpone
200ml double cream
1tsp vanilla extract
For the roast rhubarb topping:
400g rhubarb, cut into 2" batons
Juice of an orange
4tbsp demerara sugar
1tsp vanilla extract
For the crunchy garnish:
Breadcrumbs from a single slice of white bread
½oz butter
Ground ginger


1. First of all make the macaroni custard base. Put the macaroni, milk, 1dsp sugar and vanilla in a pan and gently bring to the boil. Put a lid on and reduce the heat to the lowest setting so that the surface of the milk is barely moving. Cook until the pasta is soft. (This took about 20min on my hob)
2. Meanwhile prepare the moulds. Line the outside of four 8cm chef’s rings with cling film.
3. Mix the remaining 1dsp of sugar and the custard powder in a bowl with a splash of milk to a smooth consistency.
5. Once the pasta is soft, sieve the milk into the custard mix. Whisk to combine and return to the pan. Put on a low heat until the custard starts to thicken (this should be pretty quick).
6. Once the custard has thickened add in the cooked macaroni and mix. Divide equally between the prepared moulds. Leave to set in the ‘fridge.
7. For the rhubarb, mix all the ingredients in a bowl. Transfer to a baking tray and bake at 180°C for about 10mins, or until just tender. Leave to cool.
8. For the topping, beat the mascarpone in a bowl until soft. In another bowl whip the cream with the sugar and vanilla to soft peaks. Combine the cheese and cream and gently mix with the juice from the rhubarb until combined.
9. For the garnish, melt the butter and then fry the breadcrumbs until they are golden. Drain on some kitchen paper and shake over as much ginger as you like.
10. Once the custard has set, remove the cling film and then plate. Fill the moulds with the cheese mix.
11. Remove the moulds (I use a quick waft of a blow torch). Lay the roasted rhubarb on top. Then sprinkle liberally with the toasted breadcrumbs.

Serve at room temperature.

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