Finally, we felt Spring for a little. No more dark days in a row, no more cold rains…. I was getting kind of springy and I love it.
Two weeks ago we went up north to visit C’s grandfather. We went by his orchard and there I smelled the fresh grass and the blooming trees. It is just amazing how everything looks better, smells better when the sun is up.
If time would stop for a few hours at least I would just sit lying in the grass and dreaming of the days when we will be picking the wonderful apples and plums and pears and bake the most amazing tarts and pies and upsidedown cakes, and moussses, and…..
In the meantime though I settled on a simple vanilla flavored cheesecake, filled with the most amazing black pepper and rosemary sauce lying on a bed of rice crackers. It was so light and packed with so much flavour…..
And the rainy days are back and my mood went back down waiting for the sun to step in already.
For the rice crackers
115 g butter
95 g moscavado
1 egg yolk
160 g rice flour
50 g tapioca starch
a pinch of salt
Cream the butter and sugar together for 3-5 minutes. Add the yolk and beat until incorporated. Add the flours and salt and mix untill it comes together. Make a dough ball, flatten it a little, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
Preheat the oven at 175 C (350 F). Roll the dough to 4 mm thick and cut out whatever shapes you desire. Bake for about 12-15 minutes or until golden. Let cool completelly on a cooling rack.
For the crust
190 g rice crackers
85 g melted butter
Mix the crackers and butter and press the mixture on the bottom of the cheesecake pan. Refrigerate until ready to bake.
For the black pepper and rosemary strawberry sauce
400 g straberries
80 g sugar
60 g orange juice
rosemary and peppercorns
Place all the above ingredients in a pan over medium low heat. Bring to a boil and simmer untill thickened. Let cool to room temperature. Remove the peppercorns and the rosemary.
For the cheesecake
680 g cheese (homemade mascarpone)
200 g sugar
vanilla bean + vanilla extract
225 g heavy cream
Preheat the oven at 175 C.
Prepare a big pan that accomodates your cheesecake pan and boil water for the bain mare.
In the bowl of your stand mixer beat the cheese with the sugar and vanilla seeds untill creamy. Add one egg and beat just untill blended. Do the same for the rest of the eggs.
Add the cream and vanilla extract and fold it in. Pour a little more than half of the batter into the prepared pan and place in the oven for about 20-25 minutes or untill a little set.
Pour the strawberries on the cheesecake and top with the remaining batter. Bake another 20-25 minutes or until set but still jiglly. Let cool in the oven for about an hour (out of the water). Cover and refrigerate overnight.