It’s November the first and what better way to mark this always busy month than to hand my blog over to a special guest blogger. Danielle from Keeping Up With The Holsbys suggested a guest blog swap and it’s nice to have her fill a gap that this blog has. Danielle and I are blogging buddies and she lives just three hours away in Sydney, Australia with her gorgeous family. I’ve loved watching her blog grow and swell with goodness. You can read more of her hilarious and brutally honest brand of writing here. Below is her delicious post on cake and cheese.
Pineapple Curd Cake with Homemade Ricotta
I used to think a tuffet was your bum. That’s what Little Miss Muffet was sitting on, right? Her butt?
Alas, no, a tuffet is a pouffe, but I think that ‘Little Miss Muffet sat on her pouffe’ just doesn’t rhyme, and is a bit weird all-round.
In fact, I think the entire nursery rhyme is a bit weird all-round.
Little Miss Muffet
Sat on her tuffet (big pouffe)
Eating her curds and whey
Curds and what?
What the hell are curds and whey?
Is that yoghurt? Cheese? Cheesy yoghurt?
As I got older I came to understand that curd is actually soft cheese, say like cottage cheese or ricotta, but as for whey?
Whey is the leftover by-product from making cheese and it tastes like ass.
Miss Muffet really should have brought a better picnic.
I read that you can make ricotta from whey leftover from making hard cheese, as there’s still enough good stuff in there to take you to Curdle-town. It is said that this is the ‘true’ ricotta but simply didn’t have any whey lying around.
I just used normal milk and my ricotta looked and tasted like the real deal to me.
Ricotta is super easy to make and there is something very satisfying about knowing you made this delicious, creamy versatile cheese yourself. The only drawback is the fact that it takes quite a lot of milk to yield a substantial amount, and you have a lot of whey left in the bowl. Whey is, in fact, incredibly high in protein and nutrients and quite versatile (including useful in home-made beauty treatments if you don’t mind smelling like baby vom) but I chucked it out.
Let’s make some ricotta.
Yield : 200g
What you will need :
- 4 cups whole milk
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 3 tablespoons distilled vinegar. You can use lemon or lime juice also but can be a tad unpredictable.
- Fine cheesecloth or I used a clean, rinsed Chux wipe.
What to do :
- Place the milk in a heavy-bottomed pot. Add the salt and heat over medium heat. Stir occasionally so the milk doesn’t scorch. Heat milk to 82ºC to 88ºC. If you don’t have a thermometer, heat the milk until it foams at the sides of the pan and starts simmering, but doesn’t boil. Another way to tell is that this temperature is when it’s getting too hot to stick your finger in for long.
- Remove pan from heat and add vinegar, lemon or lime juice. Stir only a couple of times. Straight away the curds will start to form. Do not to stir any more so as not to disturb the curds. Let stand for 5 minutes.
- Line a medium sieve with the cloth and gently pour the milk mixture into the cloth, endevouring not to disturb the curds. Let drain for 5 to 20 minutes to the desired consistency. Draining for 5 minutes will give you a moist and creamy cheese. Draining for 20 minutes will give you a drier ricotta. Transfer the ricotta to a container and cool to room temperature. Cover and refrigerate for up to 7 days.
Ricotta is great in pancakes, mixed into your batter, or on pancakes mixed with a little vanilla. Bruschetta loves the addition of ricotta, whether you’re thinking traditional basil and tomato or kooky with grilled eggplant and pesto.
Ricotta is awesome dolloped on tomato based pastas and baked into yummy blocks, however, this recipe has been a family favourite for a few generations now.
It started with my Nana, who handed it down to my Mama, who, in turn, handed it down to me…….and now I give it to you.
Pineapple Curd Cake
What you will need :
- 150g Ginger Nut biscuits
- 85g butter
- 170g ricotta
- 60g cream cheese
- 125ml cream
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 whole egg
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 225g tin of crushed pineapple
- 1 tablespoon cornflour
What to do :
- Pre-heat your oven to 180C.
- Prepare base by processing the biscuits to a fine crumb. Melt the butter and add it to the crumbs and mix well. Press into a pie dish or a cake tin. I use a spring form cake tin, but a pie dish is fine.
- Whip cheeses and eggs until smooth and add your sugar and cream. Beat until combined.
- Pour over base and bake in the oven for about 30 minutes until set in the middle.
- Allow to cool.
- For topping, mix your flour with a little water and pour into the pineapple.
- Cook over medium heat on the stove until it thickens a little.
- Spread over the top of your cake and chuck it in the fridge until you’re ready to eat it.