Thursday, 22 June 2017

No bake mango cheesecake

I love mangoes and  usually buy them in whole boxes. Since they were nice and ripe, I thought I might as well use them for a cake - a cheesecake in particular. The cake itself is not too sweet, creamy with delicate mango flavour, on a thin digestive biscuits base and topped with pure mango mousse. I'm glad I've managed to take some pictures, as it disappeared quickly.

Ingredients for 22 cm spring form:
1kg soft cheese (Philadelphia type - I used store own brand)
1 cup granulated sugar
4 packets of gelatine (each for 500ml of liquid)
3 large ripe mangoes (if you have smaller, I would suggest to use 4)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
6-7 digestive biscuits
1cm slice of butter, melted

Start with lining spring form with baking paper:

Put biscuits in a blender and crush them to a sand (you can also put them in a plastic bag and crush them with rolling pin), add butter and mix well. Spread mixture on the bottom of the pan, pressing lightly and chill in the fridge.
Blend mangoes to a puree, dissolve gelatine in 1 cup of hot water. If you are using leaf gelatine, soak it for 10 minutes in 1 cup of water and then heat it up to dissolve it (make sure not to boil it or it's not gonna set properly). Cool it down a bit. Take 1/3 of the mango puree and mix wit 1/4 of gelatine, set aside - this is going to be the topping.
Put cream cheese, sugar and vanilla extract in a mixer bowl and beat it on low speed until it's uniform and creamy. Add remaining mango puree, mix well. With mixer still on, slowly pour gelatine, keep mixing until it's well incorporated. Pour mixture on top of the biscuit base, spreading evenly, chill until cheesecake thickens. Spread mango mousse on top and chill for couple hours, until set.
Enjoy :-)

Monday, 19 June 2017

Karpatka - polish Carpathia cake

Today I want to show you how to make a popular polish cake - Karpatka. Filling is creamy custard, similar to that one used in custard slices, but firmer, made with flour and butter not with eggs. Encased between two layers of choux pastry - their uneven surface reminding Carpathia mountains, hence the name. Dusted with icing sugar, to imitate snowy peaks. The cake itself is not too sweet and very creamy - hope you like it :-)

Ingredients for choux pastry (23x32cm form):
1 cup water
1 cup plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
125g salted butter
5 eggs

Put water  and butter in a pan and slowly heat it on a hob. Once butter is melted and mixture starts to boil add sifted flour together with baking powder. Heat it gently, stirring continuously, making sure batter doesn't stick to the bottom of the pan (otherwise it will burn!). Once dough is piping through, it will start to roll into a ball - when it does take it off the heat. Cool mixture, stirring ocasionally. When it is in room temperature, put it in a bowl and beat it with mixer. Add one egg at a time, mixing well after each addition. When all eggs are well incorporated, divide mixture in two pans, lined with baking paper, spreading it evenly. You don't have to make surfaces super-flat - wavy is fine, it will encourage forming 'peaks'. Bake it in 200C for 40 minutes, until golden-brown.

To make the filling you will need:
500ml milk (full fat is the best)
1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 heaped tablespoons plain flour (strong white one will make filling look less grayish, so you might want to considerate using this one instead)
2 heaped tablespoons cornflour (corn starch)
250g unsalted butter, in room temperature (if you like less greasy you can use less - down to 125g)

Put both flours, sugar and vanilla extract in a pan and add a little bit of milk - mix it to a paste, making sure you get rid of all the lumps. Gradually mix in remaining milk. Slowly bring mixture to a boil, stirring continuously - it will thicken a lot. When it's boiled through, take it off the heat and cover with cling film, in a way so it touches the surface of the custard (this will prevent skin from forming). Once it's cool, mix in butter - adding it gradually spoon after spoon. Beat it with mixer until it's light and fluffy. To assemble the cake, put one one pastry sheet on a tray, spread evenly all the filling and cover with second sheet. Dust the top with icing sugar and chill for 2 hours.
Enjoy :-)

Tuesday, 13 June 2017


If you like jammies, you're gonna love these biscuits - they taste so much better than the store bought ones. And you can make them in any shape you want, just need two cutters in different size (or shape). I went for the heart shape and used raspberry jam to stick halves together, but it's totally up to you. Or maybe you want to use nutella or peanut butter instead? Give it a try!

250g salted butter (chilled, cut in small cubes)
2 cups plain flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 cup icing sugar
3 egg yolks
small jar of jam

Sieve flour, baking powder and icing sugar together in a mixer bowl. Add butter and beat it on low speed until it's crumbly (if you don't have standing mixer, you can mix it by hand - just crush butter with your fingers, mixing it with flour until there's no big lumps visible). Add egg yolks and mix until it's smooth. Chill it for around an hour in refrigerator. Roll pastry so it's around 3mm thick and cut out shapes, cutting out holes in half of them. Bake them on a lined tray in 180C for 12-15 minutes until  they are golden brown. When they are cooled, spread some jam on half of the biscuits without a hole and cover with the holed ones, pressing lightly so they stick together. I've dusted mine with icing sugar, but it's optional.
Enjoy :-)

Thursday, 1 June 2017

Simple rhubarb cake

Sometimes you crave something simple. Something like this cake. It doesn't require any special ingredients, nor special skills - it's just simple and tasty. And even more, if rhubarb is not your thing or you just feel like trying something else, you can easily swap it for any fruit - it's gonna work just as well.

Ingredients for 20x30cm cake tin:
5 eggs, yolks and whites separately
250g unsalted butter, in room temperature
pinch of salt
1 cup sugar
2 cups plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
 3-4 stakes rhubarb, peeled and chopped in pieces
icing sugar for dusting

Beat butter with sugar in a bowl until it's light and fluffy. Add egg yolks, one at a time, mixing well after each. Add sifted flour mixed with baking powder, mix until it's well incorporated. In a separate bowl whip egg whites with a pinch of salt until stiff peaks form. Fold them in the batter, trying not to overmix. Grease form and/or line with baking paper, spread mixture evenly and arrange rhubarb pieces on top. Bake in 200C for 45 minutes, until golden brown and pick inserted in the cake comes out clean. Dust with icing sugar.
Enjoy :-)