Lets talk cookbooks. To start, I have plenty of them and though the exact number has never been identified, my cramped shelves could speak for themselves. How many of them do I actually use? I guess two or three at most!
The problem I find with a lot of cookbooks is that I buy them, I cook a couple of recipes from them and that’s where it usually ends. I tend to buy the books having read recommendations about them or after falling in love with a recipe or two, but after carefully going through the book, I don’t find more than 20% of the recipes inspiring enough to be brought to life.
There are exceptions to this rule of course, as some cookbooks or books meant to inspire cooking are so on the spot that they become best friends in kitchen. The two books I always refer to are The Flavor Bible and Sauces: Classical and Contemporary Sauce Making. The first one is the source of stimulus or a kick for creativity when it’s needed; the second one covers the fundamentals of cooking and something that could be considered as the backbone of cooking.
When I was thinking of something for the first blog giveaway (still time to enter), those were the first two books I thought of. The Sauces is a book not for the faint hearted my dears, it’s pilled up with information that can’t be browsed through but rather needs study and understanding approach. The Flavor Bible on the other hand has no recipes, but plenty of words to send your imagination for a swing! Hence for the first giveaway, I’ve went with the latter, but stay tuned as the Sauces will be one day as a giveaway item.
The idea for this recipe actually came from The Flavor Bible. I was searching for what to do with my leftover pack of blueberries, when I came across the note of the flavor affinity of mascarpone, cream, blueberries and lemon.
This is why l love this book so much, once it gives a hint of the star ingredients to work with, it gives way for your imagination to do the rest. When you think of these ingredients, the possibilities are limitless. You can make ice cream, parfait, trifle, fool and as in my case I’ve went for cheesecake.
There are a couple ways to make this goodness; one is by caramelizing the blueberries to a sticky candy like consistency, the other is by simply making a coulis to add to the cheesecake.
The idea of caramelized blueberries I’ve actually discovered rather by accident, I was heating up the blueberry coulis to melt the sugar and have left if for a little too long. By the time I took it of the heat, it was looking quite intriguing and inviting to be tasted, hence I’ve overlooked the bubbling signs, indicating how hot it actually was. Result? A week of walking around with a burned lip. Don’t try to repeat this particular step!
- 100g amaretti biscuits
- 110g digestive biscuits
- 90g butter, melted
- 320g blueberries
- 160g sugar
- 1 lemon zest
- 300 g mascarpone, room temperature
- 250g cream, chilled
- To make the crust: Heat the oven to 180C
- Crush the both biscuits in the food processor till fine crumbs, be sure not to leave any lumps. Then stir in the melted butter, coating all the crumbs.
- Line 4 mini cake tins with parchment paper Divide the crumbs between them and press them in. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes.
- When done, let them cool completely.
- For the blueberry layer, blend 140 g blueberries and pass them through a sieve. Add the 150 g of sugar and cook on a medium heat for 5-10 minutes stirring all the time.
- This will result in a caramel like consistency (if you prefer to have the cheesecake without the blueberry caramel, then cook for not more than 2 minutes, the rest of the cooking process is the same).
- Top the cheesecake crust with sticky blueberries (equally between all 4) and let everything cool completely, otherwise the mascarpone layer will start melting once added.
- For the cheese layer,
- Whip the cream with 10g of sugar until soft peeks. Mix the lemon zest with mascarpone and gently stir in the whipped cream. Divide between the 4 cake tins and finish by decorating with remaining blueberries.
- Let it set in the fridge for 3-5 hours.
- Before serving, run around the edge of the cheesecakes with the tip of the knife and carefully remove the cake ring, lift of the base and serve!
- Tip: If you choose to make the cheesecake with blueberry coulis rather than caramel, you can chill it completely then stir in into the mascarpone cream cheese mixture and then top the crust.