Category Archives: Fruit

My Blue Heaven

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Milkshakes are such a big part of childhood.  I always feel a little sad and as though I may have missed something essential about growing up because I was never into milkshakes as a child.  Something important.  Like a rite of passage, you know?

I have never drunk milk in my entire life.  I was already an adult before I would let myself to even try having a coffee with milk added.  As a child, I thoroughly despised dairy milk (we didn’t even think about non-dairy alternatives so let’s not go there).  So, milkshakes were something I eyed with a good measure of skepticism.  Tall chilled silver glasses filled with fabulously flavoured milk … it was still just a lot of milk to me.

Everyone would have their favourites … chocolate, of course, strawberry, banana, butterscotch, vanilla, pineapple, caramel … mostly standard stuff.  But there was one flavour that had us all just a bit fascinated and intrigued.  It had an air of mystery to it because we could never quite pin down what this fantasy flavour really was … blue heaven.  It just sounds so celestial.  So divine.  As if it could transport you somewhere fabulous with it’s gorgeous sky blue mystery flavoured milkiness.  Blue Heaven is an iconic Australian milkshake flavour invention that defied logic, by being madly successful.  So successful, it’s still around today in various forms.

Even my aversion to all things milky didn’t stop me from trying a blue heaven milkshake, out of curiosity.   It tasted like vanilla, but somewhat disappointingly, like an artificial vanilla (which, of course, it was).  Depending on where your research leads you, it actually was (and is) just artificial vanilla with blue colouring, or artificial vanilla raspberry with blue colouring.  The manufacturers of the flavouring apparently claim it to be the latter.  Now, that is cool, because raspberry is a fantastic mystery prize.  Sure, it is artificial raspberry that never comes close to real fruit, but who would have guessed?

I still don’t drink milkshakes, although I am partial to the odd smoothie.   I do love all things vanilla and raspberry though … and blue food?  I still love the idea of blue heaven as a flavour.  Would it work in a non-milkshake form?  Here in Australia, you can buy blue heaven syrup, blue heaven topping for ice cream, and blue heaven jelly.   Well, that’s a bit artificial and boring, despite being a testament to blue heaven’s ongoing popularity.

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So why not create my very own version of blue heaven, from scratch?  Real vanilla, real raspberry, and a little blue colouring for the sake of nostalgia?  Why not create it in cupcake form?  Good idea, yes?

Great idea.  Yes.  I still don’t drink milkshakes, remember?  😉

These moist cupcakes are pure vanilla and totally light blue, like the milkshake.  The cream cheese frosting is also pure vanilla deliciousness and blue like the heavens.  But take a bite of a cupcake and you get a surprise …  a fresh raspberry confit centre, sweet and tart.

I think it captures the essence of Blue Heaven, don’t you?  They do taste absolutely heavenly … and they’re blue 😀

I added some chocolate covered raspberries for decoration and little straws in honour of the milkshake that inspired them.

I hope you enjoy my blue heaven 🙂

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Makes 10 cupcakes

Ingredients
Blue Vanilla Cupcakes
125 grams unsalted butter, at room temperature
125 grams sugar
1 vanilla pod, scraped of seeds or 2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste
2 x 60 gram eggs
125 grams plain flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
125 millilitres milk
1-2 drops blue food colouring (water-based)

Raspberry Confit
200 grams fresh or frozen (and thawed) raspberries
200 grams sugar
15 millilitres freshly squeezed lemon juice

Blue Vanilla Frosting
125 grams unsalted butter
250 grams cream cheese
125 grams icing sugar
1 vanilla pod, scraped of seeds or 2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste
1 – 2 drops blue food colouring

10 chocolate covered raspberries

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Directions
Blue Vanilla Cupcakes
Preheat the oven to 180℃.  Place 10 cupcake liners on a lined baking tray and set aside.

Place the sugar, butter, and vanilla in the bowl of a mixer and whisk until the mixture is light, fluffy and the sugar is dissolved.  Add the eggs and whisk until the batter is smooth and light.

Sift together the flour and baking powder.  Add the lemon or lime juice to the milk.  Add half the flour to the batter and beat until smooth.  Add the milk and finally the remaining flour.  Whisk the batter until smooth and light.  Add a drop of blue food colouring and whisk until the colour is evenly distributed and the batter is a light pastel blue.  If required, add another drop or two, one drop at a time.  I only needed one drop to achieve a pale blue colour.  Divide the batter between the cupcake liners.

Bake for about 20 minutes until risen and cooked through.  Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack.  You can store these, at room temperature, in an airtight container, if making ahead before filling and frosting.

Raspberry Confit
Puree the raspberries and strain them well to remove the seeds.   Place the raspberry puree in a saucepan with the sugar and lemon juice.   Cook over a low heat until the sugar is dissolved, stirring it gently.   Raise the heat and cook until the raspberry confit mixture reaches 104℃.  Test the confit by dropping a small amount on to a slightly chilled plate.  It should start to set fairly quickly.  When done, remove from the heat and transfer a small amount to a 12″ piping bag.  Place on a workbench and let cool slightly.

While the confit cools, cut a small round from the top of each cupcake and make a small cavity in the centre of each cupcake, about half of the way through.  Remove the crumbs* but reserve the round cut from top.  It will form a lid.  Snip a small tip off the end of the piping bag and pipe a small amount into each cavity to just under the top of the cupcake. Replace the round cut from the top to form a lid on top of each cupcake.  They are now ready to be frosted.

*The crumbs are lovely sprinkled on top of ice cream

Blue Vanilla Frosting
Melt the butter and set aside to cool.  Whisk together the cream cheese, icing sugar, and vanilla until smooth and creamy.   Whisk the cooled butter until slightly thickened.  Add the butter to the cream cheese mixture and whisk until smooth.  Finally, add a drop of blue food colouring to give the frosting a pale blue colour.

Cover and refrigerate the frosting for 15 to 20 minutes before frosting the cupcakes.  This cream cheese frosting pipes beautifully and holds its shape without setting or becoming hard on standing or when refrigerated.

Pipe the frosting on to each cupcake.  Top with a chocolate covered raspberry.
For that blue heaven milkshake vibe, add a small straw for decoration.  I just snipped a standard straw into 4 equal pieces to get the right size for each cupcake.

Without frosting, the cupcakes keep well for up to a week, if stored in an airtight container.  Frosted, they must be stored in the refrigerator.  They will keep for up to several days at least and will be as moist and delicious as freshly made.

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Bite into a cupcake for a fresh raspberry surprise 🙂

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Filed under All Recipe Posts, Cupcakes, Fruit, Jams & Preserves

Tangy Lime and Coconut Crumble Bars

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It can sometimes take a long time to come full circle on a promise.  Sometimes, it can take a full fifteen months before you make good and deliver … *whistles as she looks around aimlessly, avoiding eye contact with the computer screen*.  Remember those yummy Coconut & Lime Bars I posted in October 2011?  I mentioned then that I usually make two kinds. The kind I posted then and a more tangy version, where the lime is the star of the filling.  I kept meaning to post the tangy one … but … ummmm … *looks away again, whistling nervously*

So here I am, fifteen months have flown by, and we’re all of us a little older.  I’m still making lime and coconut bars from time to time, but am finally posting the recipe.    With a bit of luck on my side, I managed to get a few minutes to take some snapshots of said bars before they started to disappear.  Literally.  Two to three minutes :-/  They are popular in this household.  Which is rather flattering, I know, but it was also a little annoying today.   You see, I made them for me this time.  I have gone back to the beginning with a low FODMAP elimination diet as I have had some random flare ups and just wanted to know why.  Having an intolerance to fructose, fructans, and polyols is a harsh restriction on one’s diet (especially when one loves mangoes so much one uses the word in the name of her blog, right?).

Most of the time, I am happy to bake up a storm, knowing I can have a small amount and let others reap the benefit of my labours.  Today, I needed to bake a treat that I could enjoy, due to the frustration of having another food intol fail, despite adhering to strict elimination diet guidelines.  Well, I guess, I may just be reacting to something that others generally tolerate well.  Frustration is a good thing to work off in the kitchen and tomorrow is another day, so the upside of this story is that

WE HAVE LIME AND COCONUT CRUMBLE BARS!!!

These bars are very different to the standard sturdy citrus bar.  The crust is quite soft and thinner than your usual bar.  Much more like a soft pastry crust.  The filling is curd-like in texture and tangy with lime juice and zest.  You don’t have to top it all off with the coconut crumble but it adds another dimension and more texture to the bar, especially as the crust is so thin.  This is more a dessert than a snack bar … fabulous with a dollop of Greek yoghurt, crème fraîche, cream, or ice cream, or just on its own.

The coconut sugar gives the crumble and crust a lovely toffee-like flavour.  You don’t have to use coconut sugar.  If you prefer, this recipe works well with granulated white sugar for the crumble and crust, and icing sugar in the filling.  In truth, that is how this recipe began.  I just made the coconut sugar variation today … looking at the bars when cut, I was reminded of hazel eyes … all green and golden brown.

You can make the coconut crumble topping ahead of time.  Cover and refrigerate it until ready to use.

These bars are gluten-free and low FODMAP, except for anyone with a lactose intolerance, as butter is an ingredient of the crumble and crust layers.  I have suggested coconut butter as a substitute, or use whatever you love best in place of the butter.  They are also tree nut free.

I hope you enjoy these … despite the very very long wait!

Makes 12

Ingredients
Coconut Crumble
25 grams unsalted butter, softened*
15 grams coconut flour
25 grams granulated coconut sugar OR granulated white sugar

Crust
110 grams unsalted butter, softened*
75 grams granulated coconut sugar OR granulated white sugar
50 grams coconut flour
1/8 teaspoon salt

*If you are lactose intolerant, substitute coconut oil for the butter.  Make sure the coconut butter is solid at room temperature before using.

Lime Filling
235 grams whole eggs (about 5 x 50g in the shell)
125 grams icing sugar OR granulated coconut sugar
80 millilitres lime juice (about 4 limes)
4 grams lime zest, finely grated (from 4 limes)
30 grams coconut flour
green food colouring (optional)

Instructions
Coconut Crumble
Rub the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs.  Stir through the sugar until well combined.  If making ahead, cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

Crust
Line a 20cm square cake tin with silicone baking paper.  Use a shallow pan or one with removable sides for easier removal of the bars.  Set aside.

In the bowl of a mixer, beat together the butter and sugar until light and the sugar is dissolved.  Add the coconut flour and salt, and mix until it comes together.  Press the dough into the base of the prepared tin.  Dust your fingers with coconut flour as the dough is soft and slightly sticky.  The crust layer will be quite fine.  You could roll it out but I have found it easier to press into the tin as the dough does not roll out easily as it is quite soft.  Chill for 20 to 30 minutes and preheat the oven to 180℃.

Bake the crust for about 10 minutes, until golden.  Remove from the oven.

Lime Filling
In the bowl of a mixer, whisk together the eggs and sugar (whichever one you use) until light.  Add the lime juice and zest, and the coconut flour.  Whisk until smooth.  The filling is quite fluid.  If you wish to add a little food colouring, do so now.  I don’t add it, but it’s a matter of preference.

Pour the filling over the crust as soon as it comes out of the oven.

Sprinkle the coconut crumble over the top as evenly as possible.

Return to the oven and bake for a further 12 to 15 minutes, until the filling is set.  Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the tin.  You can cut the bars when cool but it is much easier to chill the bars before slicing.  Use a pallet knife to lift them gently off the base of the pan, as the crust is very soft.

Store in an airtight container, in the refrigerator, for up to five days.

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Filed under All Recipe Posts, Bars & Slices, Fruit, Special Diet

Apricot Almond Low Carb Muffins

Apricot Almond LC Muffins_6062_wm_1x1I get so many requests for low carbohydrate recipes, I wish I had a dollar for every time I get asked.  I’d be a bazillionaire!  It does speak volumes about the popularity of low carb diets though.  For some, it’s about losing body fat and maybe some weight.  For others, it’s a lifestyle choice due to health factors like Type II diabetes, food intolerances, or carb sensitivity.  For others, it just makes them feel good.

Whatever the reason, there is no need to feel as though one has to miss out much on foods that are typically high carbohydrate.  Breads, cakes, snacks … there are so many options.  Nut flours and lower carb flours make life more nutritious and lower carb without deprivation.

One such flour that is gaining popularity but is perhaps less well-known, is lupin flour.  Lupins are a legume and popular in some Mediteranean cuisines.  Unlike many other legumes, lupins are quite low in carbohydrates while containing healthy omega fatty acids, a whopping dose of dietary fibre, and they pack a solid punch of protein.  There has been a lot of commotion about the potential for lupin flour use in breads to boost nutrition and give greater satiety thereby aiding weight loss, as well as it’s ability to help lower cholesterol and provide a range of nutrients.  Bread makers are starting to make lupin flour breads and they are gaining in popularity.  That’s all good.

But ultimately, I say yay because it’s high in protein, low in fat and carbs and high in dietary fibre.

Lupin beans are about 45% protein and 30% dietary fibre, and have negligble carbohydrate.  That is awesome.

100 grams of lupin flour contains:

1365kJ / 362kCals
39 grams protein
5.5 grams fat (0.1 gram saturated)
11.5 grams carbohydrates (2.9 grams sugars)
31.3 grams dietary fibre

It is also gluten-free.

For.  The.  Win.

Right?

On the downside, being a legume, it is likely that it may cause problems if you happen to react to FODMAPS, specifically fructans and galactans.  In particular, it’s likely to contain galactans as most legumes do.  I have yet to see it on a list of FODMAP foods, but it’s a reasonable assumption.  But that is not to say that it will cause someone a problem.  These things are highly individual.  So it might be worth checking out.

OK.  So, how does this lupin flour bake up then?  Well,  I like to go easy early on trying out a new flour so I went for muffins.  I’ve wanted to make my mum some low carb healthy muffins and these really hit the spot.  She likes her muffins fruity and is a big fan of the wheat free muffins I make for her, especially those with almond flour.  They have a lovely fall-apart, flourless texture but are not heavy or stodgy.

Apricots are in season now and apricots and almonds are a great combination.  You could substitute whatever fruit you like but be aware of the impact on the carbohydrate count.  One usually discounts fruit when thinking about a low carb option but these muffins prove you can enjoy a fruity muffin without a carbohydrate blow out.  Alternatively, you could leave out the fruit and just make them vanilla, or add some chopped up 100% chocolate or spices, or anything else you fancy that meets your low carb requirements.

Great, so where do I buy this lupin flour, CCM?  Well, I don’t know about elsewhere but here in Australia, Lotus Foods make a really good lupin flour that is widely available in health food and organic shops.  I have yet to see it in a supermarket but I suspect it’s only a matter of time.  You can also get it online.

I have used a granulated stevia based sweetener in place of sugar.  You can substitute your preferred sweetener, knowing that the amount in the recipe is equal to the same amount of sugar, so please substitute accordingly.

They are sugar-free, gluten-free, lower in fat than most muffins, and have a good dose of protein per serve, without adding any protein powders.  These are not suitable for a low FODMAP diet, however, but watch this space … I also follow a low FODMAP diet so the likelihood of a suitable version is high 🙂

They taste fantastic!  I hope you enjoy them too.

Macros are provided below the recipe, as always 🙂
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Makes 10

Ingredients
80 grams almond meal
100 grams lupin flour
65 grams Natvia (or substitute your preferred sweetener or sugar, equal to 65g sugar)
2 teaspoons baking powder
140 grams apricots (2 large), diced
2 large eggs
125 millilitres almond milk (or substitute your preferred milk)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste

Directions
Preheat the oven to 180ºC.  Line 10 muffin molds with muffin liners and set aside.
Mix together the almond meal, lupin flour, sweetener, and baking powder in a bowl.  Make sure you break up any lumps.  Toss in the diced apricots.

Whisk together the eggs, almond milk, and vanilla bean paste.  Add the wet ingredients to the dry mixture and mix lightly with a fork.  It’s okay if the mixture is a little lumpy as these are muffins.  Do not over mix the batter.  Pour the batter into the 10 lined muffin tins.
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes until risen, golden, and a skewer inserted comes out clean.
Cool on a wire rack before turning out.
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Macronutrient Profile
I have included macros for the recipe as stated above.  Any variations and substitutions will, of course, vary the macros to some degree.

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Filed under All Recipe Posts, Breakfast, Fruit, Muffins, Nuts, Protein, Protein Muffins, Special Diet

Gelato Panna e Amarene

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We always recall the truly memorable food moments in our lives with a smile and a longing to revisit the flavours, the textures, the sensory experience of that gastronomic interlude.  Sometimes we can, other times it must remain a sublime memory … perhaps associated with a special occasion, with people we love dearly, or places we have travelled to, that have left an imprint on our hearts.

Gelato is one of those things that can vividly recall happy foodie memories.   My fondest gelato memories always take me back to Italy.  I’ve had many great gelato moments in Italy and, not surprisingly, many of those involved variations on a chocolate flavour theme.  But perhaps one of the most memorable had nothing to do with chocolate.  It was at a particularly amazing gelateria in Piazza Navona in Rome … gelato made with fresh ingredients in a vast array of flavours, and no less than fifteen chocolate flavours to choose from.   Therein lay my dilemma.  Way too much chocolate choice (oh sure, try them all … 😉 ).  I couldn’t decide so I distracted myself by looking at the other flavours.  The thing with Italian gelaterie is that, whatever flavour experiments they come up with, the classic gelato flavours will always feature.  Pistachio, cioccolato, caffè, nocciola, limone, stracciatella, and panna e amarena.  Panna e amarena is a classic combination of a simple cream gelato swirled with sour cherry preserves, known as amarenata.  I’m not a fan of plain cream but oh I am a huge fan of amarenata.  I make my own every year.  You see this gelato everywhere but I’d never actually tried it.  It was wonderful.  So beautifully simple, with just a faint hint of vanilla in the creamy gelato, punctuated by the tart sweet cherry sauce and whole cherries swirled through it.   Perfection.

I’ve created a semifreddo version of this classic for Christmas.  Cherries always remind me of Christmas and it will complete a lovely Christmas trio of semifreddo style gelato I’m planning to serve with slices of pandoro on Christmas night.  This one, the Torroncino, and the Lebkucken spiced one.  There will be crushed up chunks of torrone and a rich ganache sauce spiked with Amaretto liqueur to serve alongside the gelato.  Not bad, yes?

The higher proportion of Italian meringue in this gelato makes it incredibly light and mousse-like in texture.   You can buy prepared amarenata or make your own.  It’s very simple to do, if you can find fresh or frozen morello cherries.  I have a simple recipe here.  Alternatively, you can make a sour cherry jam and swirl that through.  I’ve given a recipe for that below too.  I have not given exact quantities for swirling the cherry preserves through the gelato.  This is really up to you.  Both recipes for the sour cherry preserves make more than enough.  Leftovers are fantastic and can be kept refrigerated for several weeks.

It makes a pretty gelato to serve at Christmas and it matches the flavour of a classic nougat and chocolate perfectly.  Then again, it is also wonderful scooped in to a bowl or atop a waffle cone on a summer’s day … and pretend you’re sitting under a canopy in Piazza Navona and watching the world go by.  Bliss.

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Makes

Ingredients
Gelato Panna
3 large eggs, separated
90 grams sugar
20 grams vanilla sugar*
35 millilitres water
200 grams cream (35% fat), chilled
200 grams crème fraîche, chilled
Amarenata (recipe here) OR Conserva di Amarene (recipe below) q.b.
15 millilitres (1 tablespoon) Amaretto or Frangelico liqueur (optional)

*If you do not have vanilla sugar, replace the vanilla sugar with 20 grams of sugar and add one teaspoon of pure vanilla bean paste or extract.  I used the vanilla sugar to avoid adding colour to the gelato from the addition of vanilla beans.  However, this is purely my aesthetic preference and is not necessary.

Directions
Combine the sugars and water in a saucepan over a low-medium heat.  Let the sugar dissolve and bring to the boil.  Do not stir.  Place the egg whites in a bowl nearby.  Have the egg yolks ready in a separate bowl.

When the syrup has begun to boil watch it carefully.  Insert the candy thermometer in the syrup and wait until it reaches 115℃.  As you do this, beat the egg whites until they reach soft peak stage only.  When the syrup is ready, pour half of it in a thin and steady stream into the egg whites, as you continue to beat them on high-speed.  Set the remaining syrup aside, off the heat for now.  Continue beating the egg whites until they are glossy.  Set the meringue aside.

Return the syrup to the heat if required, just to melt it a little (it may start to form a skin and set if it cools).  Beat the egg yolks.  Pour the remaining syrup into the egg yolks in a thin steady stream as you beat them on high-speed.  Continue beating until the egg yolk mixture is light, tripled in volume, and has cooled.  In warm weather, or simply if you prefer, set the bowl in a larger bowl with an ice bath.  It will help to cool the egg mixture more quickly.

Make sure the cream is chilled.  Place the cream and crème fraîche in a large bowl.  Whisk until thickened slightly and the cream forms soft peaks.  Do not over-whisk the cream.

Gently fold the egg yolk mixture into the cream.  While you can be a little heavy-handed, you still want to keep the lightness of all that air we’ve beaten into the eggs.  Finally, gently fold in the meringue until no streaks remain.

Transfer the gelato to the prepared container or loaf pan.  Mix the amarenata or conserva and add the liqueur, if using.  Mix well.  Swirl some of the preserves into the gelato, with a light hand, making sure you swirl it about evenly.

Cover the gelato and freeze for 4 to 6 hours until set.  This semifreddo will never set hard and is very light and mousse-like.

It will keep for several days in the freezer, tightly covered.

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Conserva di Amarene
Ingredients
500 grams morello cherries, pitted weight (fresh or frozen)
250 grams sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon (cassia bark)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla seeds or paste

Directions
Place all the ingredients into a heavy-based saucepan and mix.  If using fresh cherries, add about 50 millilitres of fresh water.  If using frozen cherries, there will be enough moisture as the cherries thaw and heat up, so extra water is not required.

Place over a low to medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar is melted.  Bring to a simmer.  Cook until a small amount place on a chilled plate start to gel, or you can run a finger through it and it will leave a trail.  Remove from the heat and pour into clean jars and seal.  If you want to make this to use as jam, process the jars for about 45 minutes in boiling water.  Cool then store at room temperature.  When opened, they should be stored in the refrigerator.

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Filed under All Recipe Posts, Fruit, Ice cream & Sorbet, Jams & Preserves, Special Diet

Yuzu & Wattle Seed Protein Cheesecake

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I am running a seven-day diet challenge for myself.  It’s not that much of a challenge, to be honest, but the idea is to set me up so I can enjoy Christmas Day with the family and indulge in a bit of what is really not good for me, without fearing spending Boxing Day feeling below par.

So I’m kind of eating clean, whatever that means 😉

Well, in practice, all that means for me is that I stick to my low fructose and fructan diet 100%, without any random challenges.  I usually run random challenges where I introduce food that I know causes me GI distress, just to see if my situation has improved.  It has, by the way, so I’m happily and, so far, successfully doing science on myself to beat that sucker 😀

But, for at least a week (or until Christmas Day) I want to be 100% on the straight and narrow and along with that, I’m pretty much avoiding even an infrequent treat.  Wait on, that depends on what you consider to be a treat …

I’m still having dessert, people.   I’m even having cheesecake for pity’s sake …

I’m just having healthy desserts and that means another protein cheesecake.  Dare I say, the BEST protein cheesecake ever.   Why?  Let me count the ways … in a truly non-exhaustive list …

  1. It is light and creamy and sweet but has a beautiful tang from the citrus.
  2. It has a wonderful and unusual flavour combination that I’m sure you have not seen in a protein cheesecake before.
  3. The macros for this cheesecake are so freaking fantabulous, I had to quadruple check them this time because I found it so hard to believe.  Looking at the macros, you’d think it should be just rubbish.  It is the opposite of rubbish.  Manna from heaven, that’s what it is 🙂
  4. My mother hates cheesecake.  Perfect test subject.  Loves it.  This cheesecake can win over the cheesecake haters.  Trust me.
  5. Yuzu and wattle seeds are AMAZING.  Alone.  Together.  Yep.  Totally.

I’ll leave it there, shall I?

Some of you would be wondering what the hell is yuzu?

Or you might be thinking I hate yuzu / I can’t buy yuzu juice anywhere / I’m totally indifferent to yuzu and just don’t care.

Yuzu is a wonderful citrus fruit that has a lovely flavour reminiscent of lemons, mandarin and orange, possibly a tang of grapefruit.  It is sweeter than a lemon but still has a lovely astringent finish.  It originated in China but is widely used across Asia, especially in Korea and Japan.    I have not been able to source fresh yuzu fruit so I usually buy imported 100% yuzu juice, made from fresh fruit (not concentrate).    I highly recommend it.  In fact, I’ve used it in several recipes on this blog and many many more.  I love yuzu.  If you cannot find it, simply substitute fresh lemon juice or a combination of lemon and orange or mandarin juice in about a 3:1 ratio.  If you don’t like it, does this mean we cannot be friends anymore? 😉

The other ingredient is another I have used a few times here and many more times besides.  Beside my large stash of cinnamon that I barrel through at a rate of knots, is my trusty jar of ground wattle seeds, an Australian native seed.  Lightly roasted and ground, it has a wonderful aroma and flavour that has hints of hazelnut, coffee and chocolate.  It has to be a pretty perfect food because it’s also packed with nutrients and fibre.    You can buy wattle seed in specialty food shops and some supermarkets in Australia and online, if elsewhere.

Yuzu and wattleseed are a lovely flavour pairing.  Yuzu has a natural affinity for hazelnuts and dark chocolate … come to think of it, those three together are a particular favourite of mine.  It also goes really well with berries and summer stone fruit.  Don’t worry if you substitute lemon … the result will still be amazing.  It also goes rather well in this combination.

If you don’t have any wattle seeds handy and want to make this cheesecake now (of course you do!), it will also be fantastic with poppy seeds.

This is another dessert that you don’t have to make on the side because I can’t have the normal dessert everyone else is having.  When I make this cheesecake, everyone eats it because it’s just as good, if not better.  If you don’t care about making it healthy, feel free to use sugar in place of the stevia sweetener and a full-fat cottage or ricotta cheese along with a full-fat yoghurt or crème fraîche.  You will have yourself an amazing rich and luscious cheesecake.

Serve it with fresh berries, raspberries in particular, or stone fruit, mango, whatever.  Turn that fruit in to a fruit coulis and pour over the top.  Drizzle a little dark chocolate on top, if you like or some crushed roasted hazelnuts, or both.  It makes a great healthy dinner party dessert. 

Never ever make do when it comes to dessert.

On that note, let’s get to that cheesecake.

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Check out the macros.  Yes, they are indeed beyond awesome.  Total fluke, to be honest, but who’s complaining? 😉

Makes 1 x 20cm cheesecake (serves 8)

Ingredients

  • 500 grams low-fat cottage cheese
  • 250 grams thick non-fat Greek yoghurt (I used Chobani 0%)
  • 156 grams eggs (shelled weight, about 3 large)
  • 120 grams stevia blend sweetener (I used Natvia, or substitute your preferred sweetener)
  • 60 grams unflavoured micellar casein (I used Professional Whey)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon zest, finely zested
  • 80 millilitres 100% yuzu juice OR fresh lemon juice
  • 8 grams (2 teaspoons) ground wattle seeds

Substitutions:

  • You can substitute ricotta, quark, or cream cheese for the cottage cheese.  I prefer the cottage cheese as it gives a lovely light, creamy texture.  I think ricotta makes the best substitution, if you feel you must.
  • If you wish to use poppy seeds, substitute 10 grams of poppy seeds and omit the wattle seeds.
  • To substitute for the yuzu juice, use all lemon juice or a mix of 60mls lemon juice and 20mls orange or mandarin juice.
  • I used Chobani Greek yoghurt, which is especially high in protein and very thick.  If using a different Greek yoghurt, make sure it is thick or strain the yoghurt before using.  You will need about 375 grams of yoghurt to get about 250 grams of yoghurt after straining the liquid.
  • For a rich, indulgent cheesecake, substitute 125 grams sugar for the Natvia, and substitute equivalent quantities of full-fat ricotta or cream cheese for the cottage cheese and full-fat yoghurt or crème fraîche for the non-fat yoghurt.  The rest of the recipe remains the same.

Directions
Preheat the oven to 150℃.

Line a 20 centimetre springform tin with non-stick silicone paper or grease and dust with a little flour (wheat, oat, corn, as desired).  I prefer to line the tin with non-stick paper.  Set aside.

Place the cottage cheese in to the bowl of  a food processor and blend until smooth.  Add the remaining ingredients, except the wattle seeds, and process until smooth.  Add the wattle seeds (or poppy seeds) and pulse for a few seconds only to distribute.

Alternatively, blend the cottage cheese until smooth and transfer to the large bowl of a mixer.  Add the remaining ingredients and mix with the paddle attachment until the batter is smooth.

Transfer the cheesecake batter to the prepared tin and smooth the top.    Bake for 60 to 70 minutes, until set and starting to colour around the edges.  Switch off the oven and leave the cheesecake in the oven, with the door slightly ajar, for a further 20 to 30 minutes, to allow the cheesecake to settle.

Wattleseed Yuzu Protein Cheesecake_5881_wm_4x5

A lot of people get worked up about a slight crack on the surface of the cheesecake.  Seriously, I do not.  I’d probably get cranky if it domed or worse, fell, in the centre and cracked in a bid to erupt its contents as it baked.  But a small crack on a level smooth top?  I’m not that fussed.  I think it adds character. 🙂

Remove and allow to cool to room temperature.  Refrigerate for several hours, covered, before removing from the tin and serving.   It is best served chilled.  Serve with fresh berries or a berry coulis.  Raspberries are particularly lovely with this cheesecake as they match lemon, yuzu, and the wattleseed so well.  Mango would also be lovely and it goes without saying that a little dark chocolate grated on top or in a light chocolate sauce would be awesome.

Store leftovers, covered, in the refrigerator for up to two to three days.

Wattleseed Yuzu Protein Cheesecake_5892_wm_1x1

Macronutrient Profile
The macros provided here relate to the recipe as stated above, for both the yuzu and lemon versions.  Substitutions of other ingredients will change the macros, ranging from a negligible amount (e.g. lemon juice instead of yuzu juice) or dramatically (e.g. using full-fat cream cheese instead of cottage cheese).

Yuzu Wattle Seed Protein Cheesecake_macros

Lemon Wattle Seed Protein Cheesecake_macros

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