…and a bit more of us
When starting this blog I told you that one of the things that I most enjoy is to host meals for friends and family….I love it! I enjoy to prepare the table quite in advance and confess I do stress a bit but I am getting better in doing things in a more relaxed way!
On Wednesday, the first day of March we had a couple of friends over, it was a long due and promised dinner since we moved to Madrid 4 months ago! The sunny day and the start of such a nice month were good reasons to make it happen!
While I keep procrastinating my job hunting, I took advantage of the sunny afternoon to practise a bit more using our camera which is something that is on my to do list for a long time, in fact since 2010 when we bought it…ahahahaha!
This Blogging thing is also helping me to cross some ticks on my long to do list!
Flowers and some colour are a table must and with a day like that they had to be yellow! Flowers in Madrid are actually very expensive compared to London where I could have a nice bunch of tulips for 4GBP, well…it doesn’t happen here…
Anyway, our neighbourhood florist, Pili, always finds me something nice and offers me an extra flower all the times and lots of smiles…
One thing we made sure of after T was born is that his evening routine is kept as much as possible, we relax a bit on the weekends but he is normally in bed before people arrive for dinner…sometimes he can be awake for a quick ¡Hola! greeting and a goodnight kiss but after this, it´s adult time!
Dinner was simple; a butternut squash, spinach and goat cheese pastry and another one with a meaty smoked type of Portuguese sausage and spinach and a good spring salad as side.
Due to the Real Madrid match, the lack of taxis and an absolute chaos for parking the car, dinner was delayed and unfortunately I didn’t have an opportunity to take a picture but I promise to share photos and recipes of this in future posts. Meanwhile if you want to know just drop me a message via the Contact page.
Dessert was my much loved Ricotta Baked Cheesecake from Donna Hay…this time with berries and berries sauce!
It seems the weekend is going to be of cold and rain exactly when I decided to start decorating the balcony and doing some DIY….
If rain and cold is also the forecast for your weekend…bake this cheesecake and enjoy a good slice on the sofa or for something lighter try this nice and easy healthy brownies recipe!
Ricotta Baked Cheesecake with Summer Berries
I have done this recipe over and over again…I have been an addicted to Masterchef Australia and remember the day I watched Donna Hay making this cheesecake…..and life was never the same again!!!
I replaced half of the flour for the base with almond meal, it gives a nice crunchy nutty flavour!
Also, did a small amount of a berries sauce to make all the thing even better!
For the base:
- 75 g plain flour
- 75 g of almonds meal
- 55 g caster sugar
- 100 g unsalted butter
For the Filling
- 295 g caster sugar
- 330 g cream cheese
- ½ tsp of vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
- 60 ml lemon juice
- 2 tbsp finely grated lemon rind
- 500 g fresh ricotta cheese
- 5 eggs
- 1½ tbsp cornflour
- 1½ tbsp water
- 100 g of fresh mixed berries (you can use frozen as well)
- water -enough to only cover the berries
- 1 tbsp of brown sugar
- lemon juice to taste
Mixed berries and berries sauce. You can also use other fruits like mango and passion fruit, equally nice!
- Preheat oven to 150°C. Place the flour, sugar and butter in the bowl together and combine until a rough dough forms. Using the back of a spoon, press the mixture into the base of a lightly greased 20 cm round springform tin. You can do this on a food processor but I don´t have one (I know shocking!!!) and have been doing the base always with my hands and it´s always fine!
- Bake the base for 25 minutes or until golden and just cooked. Set aside.
- To make the filling, place the sugar, cream cheese, vanilla, lemon juice, lemon rind, ricotta and eggs in a bowl and whisk until smooth. Again you can do this mixture on a food processor.
- Place the cornflour and water in a small bowl and mix until smooth. Add the cornflour mixture to the cream cheese mixture and mix to combine. Pour the mixture over the cooked base, tap gently to remove any air bubbles and bake for 40 minutes or until light golden and just set.
- Turn the oven off and allow to cool for 40 minutes in the oven with the door closed. Refrigerate for 1 hour or until cold.
- For the berries sauce, in a saucepan put the mixed berries (you can use what you want or have, I did a mixture of strawberries, blueberries and raspberries), add the sugar, lemon juice (to taste) and cover with water (just enough water to cover all the fruits and simmer until you have a consistency of a nice sauce. You can add more sugar or lemon juice to your taste.
- Top with berries to serve.
- Make sure the sides of the tin are well greased to avoid the cheesecake to be stuck to the tin. Normally after the base is cooked, I grease the sides a bit more with a brush just to make sure the sides of the cake are nice and even in the end!
- It is very important to tap the tin after you pour the mixture as this will allow any air bubbles to disappear and avoid cracks on the top. If you have some cracks it´s fine…you can always cover them with the fruits which is what I do when for some reason mine do open a crack here and there!
- You may need to bake for longer than 40 minutes, this time with a different oven in the new house I found mine took around 1h to set.
Have a good Weekend
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