Tag Archives: microplane

Microplane Magic

28 Apr

In case you are wondering how I managed to get the grated parmesan looking quite so professionally fluffy, it is all thanks to my Microplane grater. Almost every guest we have had who has tried this out has asked where we got it and has bought one. Even my mother-in-law who can be very hard to please!!

I first discovered them at a cookery demonstration many years ago. They make any sort of grating almost effortless.

The first one I bought had a rubber handle and a plastic frame. After many washes in the dishwasher, the rubber deteriorated and the plastic casing began to crack (probably something to do with the fact that I think it is not dishwasher proof). So I replaced it with the current all stainless steel version, which is in my opinion, nothing short of fabulous.

I bought mine from a kitchen shop, but they are widely available on the High St, and at the online shopping store of choice for this mummyinahurry, Amazon.

If you want to know the science behind the magic, they explain all here

http://microplaneintl.com/english/mpprocess.htm

My stainless steel microplane grater

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Sarah’s Lime and Ginger Cheesecake

26 Apr

This recipe is one of my all time favourites, especially when we are entertaining and I am short on time. If like me, you were a child of the 70’s bought up on packet cheesecake mix, this is a revelation. It takes the same amount of time, but this no bake, enticing silky smooth dessert, gives any baked cheesecake a run for its money. The result is sublime. It is a million miles away from anything out of a packet, yet takes only the same time as a packet mix.And your guests will be practically licking the plate clean.

This started life as a recipe for a lemon cheesecake, from my friend Sarah, who is a fantastic hostess with a knack of making entertaining look effortless. The cheesecake itself is delicious in its original form when made with lemons, and decorated with strawberries. It’s subsequent rebirth as a lime and ginger cheesecake occurred as a result of a lime glut and a packet of ginger nut biscuits about to expire at the back of the cupboard. I have changed the recipe from Sarah’s original, but as a thankyou to Sarah for sharing her culinary secret, it still bears her name.

The effort part of this dessert takes about 5 minutes, but you will need to allow time for chilling. At least 4 hours.

For this recipe you will need

A round 23cm springform tin, greased and lined

250g ginger nut biscuits or 100g digestives or shortbread biscuits and 150g ginger nuts

100g melted butter

1 tin condensed milk (yes really – condensed milk. Just trust me on this one)

2 x 250g tubs mascarpone cheese

5 unwaxed limes

Method

Make biscuits into crumbs either in the processor, or by placing them in a large (strong) clean plastic food bag and pulverizing them mercilessly with a heavy implement, like a rolling-pin. This can be quite satisfying. Mix with the melted butter. Press into base of tin, then put in fridge to set for at least half an hour, or if you are running late, try 10 minutes in the freezer.

While that is chilling, zest 2 of the limes (I use the microplane) and then extract the juice from them all. Limes can be awkward little devils, and reluctant to give up their juice. When they are warm, you get more juice out, so I often pop them in the microwave to warm them up.5 or 10 seconds per lime. I would probably put them all in and zap for 30 seconds altogether.

Empty mascarpone into a large bowl. Add condensed milk and lime juice and zest. Mix until combined and smooth (do not overmix or it becomes a little thin). You can do this by hand or with the electric beaters (about half a minute works for me).

Empty mixture into the tin, over the biscuit base. Cover with clingfilm, then place in fridge for at least 4 hours. Remove from tin once set and place on serving plate (I often leave it on the tin base, rather than risking a collapse).

Serve

Stand back and wait for the compliments. They will come. I promise..

Alternatives

If you don’t like limes you can make this the traditional way, using lemon juice and lemon zest (juice of 2 lemons, zest of 1), and plain digestives.

The gingernut biscuits are quite hard and make the subsequent base quite hard. As a result I tend to combine them with digestives or shortbread biscuits to alter the texture but retain the ginger taste, which contrasts well with the lime.

If like me, you make the mistake of only buying one tub of mascarpone, I have used half cream cheese. The result is a bit less firm, but still delicious.

Taste the mixture before you place it in on to the base. If you prefer a bit more zing, add the juice of another lemon or lime.

Sarah's Lime and Ginger cheesecake

A slice of cheesecake. Not long for this world....