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Desserts & Baking (Part 4) : Citrus cheesecakes, Rhubarb with orange mascarpone

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Citrus cheesecakes

Juicy oranges complement this creamy cheesecake, and supply vitamin C too.

Description: Citrus cheesecakes

Citrus cheesecakes

 

Preparation time: 25 minutes, plus chilling

Serves 6

Easy/Prepare ahead

50g (2oz) butter

200g (7oz) lighter dark chocolate

Digestive biscuits, crushed

350g (12oz) low-fat cream cheese

100g (4oz) ricotta

50g (2oz) caster sugar

Zest 1 Orange, and 50ml (2fl oz) Orange juice

4 sheets leaf gelatine

For the topping

2tbsp caster sugar

Juice 1 Orange

2tbsp Cointreau or other Orange Liqueur

2 Oranges, Peeled and Segmented

You will need

6 metal rings, placed on a silicon-lined

Baking sheet, or 18cm (7in) springform tin

1.    Melt the butter in a saucepan, add the biscuits and stir well. Spoon into the rings or the base of the tin, press down well and chill while you make the cheesecake.

2.    Place the cream cheese, ricotta, sugar and zest in a bowl and mix well. Soak the gelatine in a bowl of cold water until soft. Heat the orange Juice in a saucepan and, when hot, remove from the heat. Squeeze the excess water from the gelatine and add to the pan. Swirl around until the gelatin dissolves. Slowly pour on to the cream cheese mixture, stirring. When combined, spoon on top of the chilled base, smooth the top and place in the fridge to chili for a minimum of 4 hours or overnight.

3.    For the topping, place the caster sugar in a small saucepan and dissolve over a medium heat. Do not stir, just swirl the pan. Increase the heat and, when the sugar has caramelized, carefully pour in the juice. It is wise to cover your arm with a tea towel when doing this. Pour in the Cointreau, add the orange segments and chill.

4.    To serve, rub a hot cloth around the outside of each ring or tin to loosen. Serve with the orange segments.

Per serving: 377 calories, 19g fat (11g saturated), 38g carbohydrate

Rhubarb with orange mascarpone

Research has shown that rhubarb has anti-carcinogenic properties.

Description: Rhubarb with orange mascarpone

Rhubarb with orange mascarpone

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 20 minutes

Serves 4

Easy/prepare ahead

500g (1lb 2oz) rhubarb, trimmed and cut into 5cm (2in) pieces

75g (3oz) golden caster sugar

Finely grated zest and juice 2 large Oranges

2tbsp Grand Marnier (optional)

For the mascarpone

Finely grated zest 1 orange

125g (41/2oz) mascarpone

1.    Heat the oven to 170 C, 150 C fan, 325 F, gas 3. Place the rhubarb in a single layer on a baking sheet or in a large enamel dish. Mix the sugar with the orange zest, mix well and scatter evenly over the rhubarb. Pour over the orange juice and 4tbsp water. Cover with foil and bake for 12 to 20 minutes, depending on the thickiness of the rhubarb. To test if the rhubarb is cooked. Insert a sharp knife - it should give no resistance, but the rhubarb will still have retained its shape. Remove from the oven, allow to cool. When the rhubarb is cold, pour over the Grand Marnier, if using.

2.    For the mascarpone topping, simply stir in the orange zest. Spoon the rhubarb into glasses with plenty of the juices and place a spoonful of mascarpone on top.

Per serving: 228 calories, 13g fat (9g saturated), 22g carbohydrate

Baking

Know-how & suppliers

Even beginners can bake the perfect cake! The trick is to follow the recipe to the letter, and not be tempted to improvise; it's also handy to have a few bits and bobs in the kitchen that will make life a lot easier...

Description: the perfect cakes

A good electric whisk Cakes rise better the more air they have in them, and a heavy-duty whisk will make this much easier. We love the Dualit hand mixers, which whisk meringues in the blink of an eye. Widely available.

Measuring spoons You should use these to ensure accuracy - don't guess!

Non-stick cake tins You should always use the right cake tin for the recipe, and having a selection of non-stick tins will make your life so much easier.

Disposable piping bags Don't waste time washing messy piping bags out - Lakeland sells disposable ones that are perfect for piping everything from icing to macaroons. Available from lakeland.co.uk.

Rubber spatula We can't get by without these in the woman & home kitchen - there's something so satisfying about scraping every last bit of cake mix from the bowl!

Oven thermometer Most ovens are slightly inaccurate and it's useful to know what temperature yours has actually reached. Leave it        in your oven so you're always confident it's at the right level.

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