Gooseberry tart with Swiss meringue

Easy but eye catching tart. Shortbread base, not complicated fruit filling and Swiss meringue topping. The tart looks very nice and, what more important, is really delicious. The combination of sour fruits and sweet meringue is simply divine. The gooseberries could be replaced by other sour fruits but this cake will not work with sweet fruits. Enjoy!

 

1 tart 8 x 8 inch

 

Ingredients for the base:

  • ½ cup softened butter
  • 5 tablespoons icing sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 ¾  cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon cold water (optional)

Filling:

  • 350 g gooseberries (fresh or frozen)
  • 1/3 to ½ cup sugar (depending on sourness of the fruits)
  • 2 tablespoons corn starch

Meringue:

  • 2 egg whites
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • pinch of salt

 

Shortbread base: in the bowl of a stand mixer place the softened butter and sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Stir in egg yolk (safe the egg white) and vanilla, mix together. Gradually add flour still mixing on medium speed until the dough forms a ball (the sides of the bowl should be almost clean). The amount of flour you need could vary because of flour type. If the dough is still very soft and does not shape a ball add water, one tablespoon at the time. When is ready, remove it from the bowl, wrap in a cling film and let cool in the fridge for at least 1-2 hours.

Make filling: wash fruits. In a bowl mix together sugar and corn starch. Add gooseberries and move the bowl to toss fruits in sugar mixture. Set aside for ½ hour.

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Place the cooled pastry on a lightly floured surface and roll out into 1/5 inch thick piece. Fill pan with prepared pastry and press to place properly. Drain the fruit mixture and spread over pastry base. Place the tart in the fridge until the oven is heated.

Bake for 40-45 minutes (until the pastry is golden brown, filling is bubbling and fruits are disintegrated). Cool after baking on a wire rack.

Meringue: place egg whites with sugar in a bowl. Place the bowl over the pan with boiling water. Still heating the bowl beat the egg mixture with fork until sugar has dissolved. Transfer the bowl to the stand mixer and beat meringue until stiff and glossy and the bowl return to the room temperature (about 10 minutes). During beating add salt.

Decorate the cooled tart with meringue waves and burn partially with a culinary torch. Serve immediately.


 

Category: Pastries/tarts.

Tags: fruits, gooseberry.

Black currant lavender bundtcake

This is classic bundtcake dough – butter creamed with sugar, then eggs, then flour. The black currants fruits are not very numerous to avoid weighting down the cake what might cause soggy texture. Among ingredients we have French black currant liqueur Creme de Cassis which gives main, clear and tangy flavour. Lavender suits perfectly this taste adding some herbal and light hint. The cake is moist and fluffy at the same time. All above make this a sin worth bake. Enjoy!

 

10 cups budtcake pan

 

 Ingredients:

  • 1 cup butter, melted
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons dried edible lavender
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ½ cup milk
  • 3 eggs
  • ½ cup black currant liqueur (Creme de Cassis)
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup ground almonds (almond flour)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼  teaspoon salt
  • 2-3 tablespoons black currant fruits

Icing:

  • ½ cup icing sugar
  • 2 tablespoons black currant liqueur (Creme de Cassis)
  • 2 tablespoons water

 

 

 

Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease the pan and dust it with flour.

In a bowl stir together melted butter, lavender, sugar and vanilla extract. In a separated small bowl slightly beat eggs with a fork. Add eggs, milk and black currant liqueur to the butter mixture and stir (or mix with electric mixer) until combined. Add flour, ground almonds, baking powder and salt and mix until incorporated. Spoon the 1/3 of cake mixture to the prepared pan. Scatter 1 tablespoon black currant fruits. Spoon the next 1/3 of the cake mixture on the top and repeat with fruits. Spoon the rest of the dough over. Bake for 1 hour (until the tooth pick inserted into the center comes out clean). Leave in the pan until cooled then remove from the pan.

Make icing: beat icing sugar with liqueur and water until smooth and thick but still liquid icing. Pour the icing over the top of the cake.

 

 

 

Category: Fruit cakes.

Tags: blackcurrant, lavender.

Ruby chocolate cheesecake with gooseberry mousse

No bake cheesecake. Two layers of cheesecake with ruby chocolate and red gooseberry mousse inbetween. Ruby chocolate is a natural product manufactured from ruby cocoa beens. It does not contain any colour adding nor others ingredients yet it is pink and tastes chocolately and fruity (mostly raspberry). This dessert joining chocolate cheesecake and sour fruit mousse is delicate, subtle, sweet-sour and very tasty. Enjoy!

 

You should make this cheesecake a day before because it must spend the night in the fridge to become proper structure.

round spring pan 9 inch

 

 Base:

  • 170 g tea biscuits
  • ¼ cup (+ 1 tablespoon optional) butter, melted

Cheesecake (two layers):

  • 2 x 200 g cream cheese
  • 2 x 5 tablespoons natural Greek yoghurt
  • 2 x 8 tablespoons icing sugar
  • 2 x 120 ml whipping cream
  • 2 x 120 g ruby chocolate
  • 2 x 1 tablespoons gelatine

Mousse:

  • 400 g gooseberry (I used red one)
  • juice of half lemon
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1,5 tablespoons gelatine
  • 225 ml whipping cream
  • 4 tablespoons icing sugar

*you may alternatively use white chocolate with freeze-dried raspberries however the taste will be different


 

Make the base: process biscuits in the food processor until very fine (sand texture). Add melted butter and mix until well incorporated. If the biscuits are very flaky you need to add more butter. Line the bottom of a spring pan with parchment paper. Spoon the mixture evenly pressing lightly with a spoon. Place to the fridge.

First chocolate layer: pour 120 ml whipping cream to a sauce pan and heat to the boil. Add 120 g ruby chocolate broken into pieces and mix until smooth mixture. Place to the fridge to cool to room temperature. In a bowl of electric mixer place 5 tablespoons yoghurt, 200 g cream cheese and 8 tablespoons icing sugar** and whisk together with a whisk attachment. Place 1 tablespoons of gelatine in a small bowl and cover with cold water. Set aside for 5 minutes to swell. Add cooled chocolate cream to the cheese mixture and whisk together. Heat gently soften gelatine in a double boiler or microwave and stir to dissolve. Cool slightly. Pour 1 tablespoon of cheese mixture to warm gelatine, mix. Pour next 2 tablespoons of cheese mixture, mix well. If the gelatine is smooth and all ingredients are well combined pour it in over the bowl of cheese mixture and mix shortly with electric mixer. Pour prepared cheese mixture over the cookies base and chill in the fridge.

Mousse layer: place gooseberries, sugar and lemon juice in a saucepan and heat until sugar dissolves and fruits burst. Transfer to the blender and blend until smooth. Place gelatine in a small bowl and cover with cold water. Set aside for 5 minutes to swell. Heat gently soften gelatine in a double boiler or microwave and stir to dissolve. Add to warm puree and mix together. Whip the whipping cream with icing sugar until stiff peaks. Gradually add gooseberry puree and whip together. Pour over the first chocolate cheesecake layer and place to the fridge.

Make the second chocolate cheesecake layer repeating steps described above. Pour this mixture over the gooseberry mousse layer, even the surface and place to the fridge for overnight.

The next day carefully remove the cheesecake from the pan. Place on a serving plate and decorate with fruits.

**my cakes and desserts are not very sweet. You may try every layer on every step of preparing and add more sugar if you want, remembering that sugar is less detectable in frozen/cooled desserts.

 

 

 Category: No-bake cakes.

Tags: chocolate, gooseberry.

French tart with fruits

French tart means shortbread base and fruits baked in creamy filling. The filling is fully liquid before baking and in high temperature slowly sets to become delicate foam. I made several mini tarts and used fruits such rhubarb and black currant which left over in my fridge. You may also use another berries (sour are best here) or bigger fruits cut into pieces. This is simple, tasty Summer dessert. Enjoy!

 

1 bigger tart or few smaller

 

Ingredients for the base:

  • ½ cup softened butter
  • 5 tablespoons icing sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 ¾ cups all purpose flour

Filling:

  • 2 eggs
  • ¾  cup whipping cream
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Addition:

  • sour berries or other fruits cut into smaller pieces (if frozen need to be thawed)

 

Shortbread base: in the bowl of a stand mixer place the softened butter and sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Stir in egg and vanilla, mix together. Gradually add flour still mixing on medium speed until the dough forms a ball (the sides of the bowl should be almost clean). The amount of flour you need could vary because of flour type. If the dough is still very soft and does not shape a ball add more flour, one tablespoon at the time. When is ready, remove it from the bowl, wrap in a cling film and let cool in the fridge for at least 1-2 hours.

Preheat oven to 375°F.

Place the cooled pastry on a lightly floured surface and roll out into 1/5 inch thick piece. Fill pan/s with prepared pastry and press to place properly. Fill the shells with parchment paper and scatter over any kind of weight e.g. ceramic balls, beans, peas or another baking pan. Bake blind for 15 minutes. Remove shells from the oven, discard weight and lower the oven temperature to 350°F.

Make filling: mix all ingredients together until smooth mixture. Arrange fruits on pre-baked shell/s. Pour the filling mixture over and bake for 35 minutes (the filling should be set on the whole surface). Cool before serving for 2 hours at least.


 

Category: Pastries/tarts.

Tags: currants, fruits rhubarb.

Easy apricot cake

When in apricot season we have craving for some bake this cake could be a good choice. It is quick and easy to prepare. We get fluffy, soft and moist cake with generous load of sour fruits on the top. Perfect pick for everyday tea time or to pleasure yourself with coffee. Enjoy!

 

round pan ø 9 inch

 

 Ingredients:

  • ½ cup + 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs
  • zest of half lemon
  • 2 cups all purpose or cake flour
  • 2 teaspoon baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • ¼ cup kefir
  • 14-15 apricots, pitted and halved

Icing:

  • 100 g icing sugar
  • 2-3 tablespoons lemon juice

 

Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Line the pan with parchment paper.

In the bowl of an electric mixer beat butter, vanilla and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs (one at the time) and mix together. Add lemon zest, mix together. In another bowl mix together flour, baking powder and salt. Gradually add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and mix until all ingredients are combined. Add kefir, mix until incorporated. Spoon the cake mixture to the pan. Arrange apricots halves around the outer edge (cut side down, slightly slanted). Fill the same way the center surface. Bake for 40 minutes (until the wooden skewer inserted into center comes out clean). Remove from the oven, cool in pan for 1 hour then transfer to a plate. Before serving pour the icing over the top.

Icing: mix icing sugar and lemon juice until smooth, thick but still liquid mixture. Add a little warm water if needed.

 

 

 

Category: Fruit cakes.

Tags: apricots.