As it’s still Easter I’m allowed! I've given myself permission! With today being Easter Monday I’m being all syrupy with saccharine intentions of sugar-coating everything in range with sweet treats to satisfy everyone’s sweet tooth.
I wonder why we have only one sweet tooth instead of a whole lot of sweet teeth! I must remember to ask my dentist next time I see him/her (which will be soon if I devour all the chocolate I have on hand – I have to admit I’m doing a good job of it – I’m not letting the side down)!
It’s a strange phenomenon – the sweet tooth phenomenon - but it’s one we shouldn’t accept without question - on the other hand, is it really that important? I'm not going to waste time pondering!
Through my childhood and half of my adulthood I only had half a sweet tooth, if any at all, but now I’m in my the third quarter of childhood/ adulthood (whichever way you or I choose to look at it), I find my appetite for sweet things has miraculously appeared.
For instance, I’ve eaten more ice-cream over the past few years than I ever did throughout the rest of my life, childhood included. That’s not to say I eat ice cream every day, but my intake has definitely increased from what it was a decade ago...every other day...sometimes every day..............
Of course, I blame my heightened interest in sweets on a particular friend of mine who absolutely adores sweets, chocolates, chocolate cakes, crème caramels, sweet pies, whipped cream, bread and butter puddings, trifles, tiramisu (do I have to spell it out?). I reckon she has a whole extra set of sweet teeth in a glass beside her bed. She brings those out on special occasions!
One must blame others...at least some of the time. The blame burden can become burdensome if not shared around!
And then there’s another friend of mine who’d toss me out of the sewing circle (if I was in a sewing circle, that is) if I didn’t arrive bearing a packet of lollies (candy to those of you beyond the equator) that must include lots of green ones, to be sure!
Furthermore, and most importantly, my wicked actions are in direct defiance to all the “experts” - the pundits who force-feed us mere mortals the wickedness of anything bearing the slightest bit of sugar. Day after day "they" keep shoving down our throats how immorally debauched it is to eat sweet treats! What is a girl supposed to be other than defiant?
These recipes are for all of you out there with a sweet tooth or three, whether in your mouth or awash in a glass beside your bed!
Today’s motto; There are times eating sweets beats eating beets. Sweets are streets ahead of meats as special treats. I won’t repeat it if you cheat a little when it comes to sweets! (Don’t forget to clean your teeth afterwards!)
We shouldn't beat ourselves up for enjoying the sweet things in life!
Pineapple Ginger Cheesecake: Prepare usual biscuit base. Beat 250g cream cheese with 200g condensed milk until soft. Gradually add another 200g condensed milk, beating to combine. Add ½ cup fresh lemon juice. Mix well. Dissolve 1 level tblspn gelatine in juice from 450g can crushed pineapple and add to cheese mixture. Fold in crushed pineapple and chopped preserved ginger. Pour into chilled shell. Chill until ready to serve.
Strawberry Mousse: Purée 1 punnet strawberries and 1 ripe banana in blender. Add 6 egg yolks and 1 heaped dstspn sugar. Blend again. Scrape into bowl. Beat egg whites until very firm. Gently fold into strawberry mixture with 1dsstsp Grand Marnier, Cointreau or Kirsch (optional). Mix 1tspn gelatine with 3tblsn hot water until dissolved. Gently mix thoroughly with strawberries. Pour into serving bowl or individual dishes and refrigerate overnight. Serve garnished with whipped cream, strawberries and passionfruit pulp.
Brandied Syrup Dessert Cake: Grease 20cm cake tin. Beat 185g butter and ¾ cup castor sugar until light and fluffy. Gradually add 3 lightly beaten eggs, beating well after each addition. Sift 1.5cups SR flour. Carefully fold into mixture alternately with 1-2tbls milk. Stir well. Place into prepared tin. Bake in 170C oven for 35-40mins. Allow to stand in tin a couple of minutes. Turn out on rack to cool. When cold, return to tin. Pour over the syrup, a little at a time, allowing it to soak in. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Brandy Syrup: Bring 1 cup water and ¾ cup sugar to boil, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Simmer until syrupy and reduced to half a cup. Add ½ brandy and 1tblsn lemon juice. Stir well and cool. Assembly: Remove cake from tin. Carefully split the cake through the middle. Sandwich together with whipped cream and chocolate curls. Decorate with extra whipped cream and choc curls. Sprinkle icing sugar over the top, serve and enjoy!
Citrus Grilled Pears: Melt ¼ cup butter in pan. Add ½ cup brown sugar, stir. Add 4 large firm but ripe pears, peeled, halved, cored and cut lengthwise into 6 slices. Add pear slices and 4-5 tspns fresh lemon or orange juice to pan. Cook until pears begin to release juice and syrup forms. Turn slices frequently. Make a couple of hours ahead. Stand at room temperature. Gently re-warm when ready to serve. Serve with crème fraiche or mascarpone. Crème Fraiche: 1.5 cups heavy cream, ½ cup buttermilk. Pour cream and buttermilk into large sterilized jar with lid. Add a little sugar and vanilla to taste if you like. Shake well and allow to rest at room temperature for 6-8 hours or overnight. Chill for 24 hours before serving. Top with dollop of crème fraiche and crumbled amaretti biscuits. Serve pears with a Botrytis Semillon or Brown Brothers Noble Riesling.