It’s that time of the year when you have a spring in your step, resolutions are in place and you want to start your new year on a bright and positive note. What better way than to delight your guests with a few cheese laden cook-offs. Raise a toast to the new year with a dessert, snack and salad.
Cheese is a great way to induce calcium in your body, besides it’s an absolute hit with the young and old alike. So without wasting any time get set to tantalise your taste buds as Fratelli Fresh, Renaissance Mumbai convention centre hotel gives us a few awesome delights. Read on!
- 250 g good-quality dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids)
- 50 g butter , diced
- sea salt
- 175 g sponge fingers
- 400 ml good hot sweetened coffee
- vin santo or other sweet dessert wine
- 4 large free-range eggs
- 100 g caster sugar
- 750 g mozzarella curds
- 2 oranges
- a few fresh coffee beans , bashed up finely
Put a glass bowl over a pan of gently simmering water, making sure the water doesn’t touch the base of the bowl. Put 200g of the chocolate into the bowl, keeping the remaining 50g in one piece. Add the diced butter and a pinch of salt, and leave for 5 minutes or so until melted and combined. Help it along by giving it a stir every now and then.
Meanwhile, line a large, deep bowl or round earthenware dish (about 30cm in diameter and 12cm deep) with the sponge fingers, then carefully pour over the hot sweetened coffee. Add a couple of swigs of vin santo to your melted chocolate, stir it through, then drizzle all over the sponge fingers. Use a spatula to carefully smooth it out to the edges so you’ve got a nice even layer. Put it to one side to cool.
Separate your eggs, putting the whites into one bowl and the yolks into another. Add the sugar to the yolks with another swig of vin santo (if you’re feeling naughty!), and whisk with an electric whisk on the highest setting for about 5 minutes, or by hand, until all the sugar has dissolved and the yolks are pale and fluffy. Mix in the mascarpone and the zest of 1 orange.
Clean and dry your whisk, and whisk the whites with a pinch of salt until they form stiff peaks – they should be a similar consistency to the yolk and mascarpone mixture, and should hold their shape when you lift the beaters from the bowl.
Using a large metal spoon, add a spoonful of your whites to the yolk mixture and gently fold them in, then fold through the rest of the whites. Spoon and smooth this creamy mixture on top of your chocolate layer.
Scatter the finely bashed-up coffee beans over the top. Using a sharp knife or a speed peeler, carefully shave over your remaining chocolate. Finely grate over the zest from half your remaining orange. Pop the tiramisù into the fridge for 2 hours to set.
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 large eggs
- 3/4 cup milk
- 1 tablespoon melted unsalted butter
- Olive oil
- 1 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese
- 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
- 2/3 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1/2 cups marinara sauce
• In a medium bowl, whisk the flour with the salt. In a small bowl, whisk the eggs with the milk. Whisk the egg mixture into the flour mixture until smooth. Whisk in the melted butter until just blended. Cover the batter and refrigerate for 1 hour.
• Heat a 10-inch nonstick skillet over moderately high heat. With a paper towel, rub the skillet with olive oil. Pour in 1/4 cup of the crespelle batter and tilt the skillet to distribute the batter. Cook the crespella until golden brown on the bottom, 2 minutes. Flip and cook until browned in spots, 1 minute longer. Invert the crespella onto a baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining batter, rubbing the pan with oil as needed. You should have 8 cremepelle.
• Preheat the oven to 375°. In a medium bowl, blend the ricotta with the chopped parsley and 1/3 cup of the Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. Season the filling with salt and pepper.
• Lay the 8 crespelle on a work surface. Spread 2 rounded tablespoons of the mozzarella filling over half of each crespella. Fold the crespelle over the filling, and then fold them in half again to form quarters.
• Spread half of the marinara sauce in the bottom of a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Arrange the filled crespelle in the dish in a single layer, overlapping them slightly. Top with the remaining marinara sauce and sprinkle with the remaining 1/3 cup of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. Bake for about 25 minutes, until golden brown and bubbling; serve.
3. PARMA HAM AND BURRATA SALAD
- 8 slices Parma ham
- 2 heads red chicory
- 150 g ruby red, yellow cherry tomatoes
- 75 g lambs lettuce
- 250 g ball of burrata or buffalo mozzarella
- 1 sprig fresh tarragon
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 table spoon orange juice
- Sea salt
Make a dressing with sea salt, olive oil, balsamic and orange juice.
Dress the leaves and the cherry tomato, served chilled as shown in the picture.