Tag: blackberries

Cheesecake Swiss Roll with Mascarpone and Blackberries

Cheesecake Swiss Roll with Mascarpone and Blackberries

Some days call for lavish teatime treats, especially when it’s Sunday and I’m in the mood to spoil myself with some tasty calories. The 7th day of the week should be dedicated to rest and calm, but in my life it’s also dedicated to baking. I take advantage of the fact that there are no duties and tasks waiting to be taken care of, so I can give my full attention to a quiet kitchen instead. I’m willing to share my baked treats with my loved ones, it’s my kitchen credo after all, which led to my blog and my book’s subtitle: To cook, to bake, to eat, and to treat. Cake always tastes better when you share it, but the process of baking it gives me some time just for myself.

So this week I got hooked on the idea of combining a swiss roll with New York cheesecake – without the cookie base obviously. I was after a spongy roll, fluffy but structured, and I know that my beloved swiss roll recipe manages to satisfy this demand with ease. It’s been with me for two decades, I trust this roll. My usual filling would be whipped cream, as in my Blueberry Lemon Swiss Roll recipe. But it seemed too light for my current mood, I wanted creamy richness, a denser filling, with cream cheese and mascarpone – and a few plump blackberries – for my cheesecake swiss roll. My body’s ready for the next season and it doesn’t care that I’ll be in Malta again in a few weeks, sitting on the beach in a bikini under the burning sun. I’m set for autumn and my Maltese boyfriend deeply disapproves of my decision – I think every Mediterranean man or woman suffers when summer comes to an end. But for a northern girl, the next season promises coziness and hearty treats, lonely walks in golden forests, and a chilled breeze whistling through the streets.

Cheesecake Swiss Roll with Mascarpone and Blackberries


Cheesecake Swiss Roll with Mascarpone and Blackberries

Cheesecake Swiss Roll with Mascarpone and Blackberries

Makes a 15cm / 6″ long swiss roll 

For the swiss roll

organic eggs, separated, 2
a pinch of salt
granulated sugar 40g/ 1/4 cup, plus 3 tablespoons the sprinkling
plain flour 35g / 1/4 cup
cornstarch 15g / 2 tablespoons

For the filling

mascarpone 110g / 4 ounces
cream cheese 110g / 4 ounces
granulated sugar 2 tablespoon
lemon zest 1 teaspoon, plus 1 teaspoon for sprinkling
freshly squeezed lemon juice 1 tablespoon
blackberries 125g / 4 1/2 ounces

Set the oven to 220°C / 425°F (conventional setting) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, whisk the egg whites with a pinch of salt for a few seconds before adding half the sugar, continue beating until stiff.

In a second large bowl, mix the egg yolks and the remaining sugar with an electric mixer until thick and creamy. Using a wooden spoon, fold the egg white into the egg yolks. Sieve and combine the flour and cornstarch and fold gently into the egg mixture. Spread the dough on the lined baking sheet, covering a rectangle of roughly 15 x 30cm / 6 x 12″ and bake on the middle rack of the oven for about 6 minutes or until golden and spongy.

Sprinkle a kitchen towel with 2 tablespoons of sugar and flip the warm sponge onto the towel. Peel off the parchment paper and carefully roll the sponge with the towel, the roll should be 15cm / 6″ long. Leave it rolled up until cool.

For the filling, in a medium bowl, whip the mascarpone, cream cheese, sugar, lemon zest and juice until creamy.

When the sponge is cool, unwind the sponge roll and spread the filling on top, leave a small rim (see picture below). Cover with the blackberries and roll it up tightly. Sprinkle with the remaining 1 tablespoon of sugar and a little lemon zest. Serve immediately or keep in the fridge before serving.

Cheesecake Swiss Roll with Mascarpone and Blackberries


Cheesecake Swiss Roll with Mascarpone and Blackberries





Sunday Profiteroles! Vanilla Cream Puffs with Figs, Pears and Blackberries

Vanilla Cream Puffs

There’s something wonderfully old-fashioned about cream puffs. Voluptuously shaped and lusciously filled with vanilla cream, ripe figs, pears and blackberries they are anything but a simple teatime sweet. This creation calls for a pretty coffee table, delicate porcelain, frilly napkins and table cloth, my granny Annie would have loved it! She was very much into extravagant Sunday afternoon treats, she used to welcome her guests dressed up, with lipstick and jewellery. Her Frankfurt Crown Cake – the German Frankfurter Kranz – was her legendary masterpiece, delicious and opulent, it was the star of many coffee tables.

Airy choux pastry, golden and crisp, is the secret of a good profiterole. Be it in an elegant oblong éclair or a baroque shaped Windbeutel –  cream puff in German – the sensitive dough has to rise well first and then keep its shape. To get there stress-free, there are two rules to obey: the door of the oven should never be opened while the pastry is baking; and, once it’s done, the little puff balls have to stay in the oven with the door closed for a few minutes to dry and build up structure. When they cool off a little they are more robust than they may seem, which is helpful as they have to carry quite a rich filling.

Vanilla Cream Puffs


Vanilla Cream Puffs

Vanilla Cream Puffs with Figs, Pears and Blackberries

For 12 cream puffs you need

For the vanilla cream

milk 350ml / 1 1/2 cups
organic egg yolks 2
granulated sugar 80g / 1/3 cup and 1 tablespoon
a pinch of salt
cornstarch 30g / 1/4 cup
vanilla pod, slightly slit, 1
heavy cream, whipped, 100ml / 1/3 cup and 2 tablespoons

For the choux pastry

butter 80g / 3 ounces
sugar 4 teaspoons
a pinch of salt
milk 90ml / 1 /3 cup and 1 tablespoon
water 90ml 1 /3 cup and 1 tablespoon
plain flour, sieved, 130g / 1 cup
organic eggs 3


crisp pear, cut into slim wedges, 1
ripe figs, cut into slim wedges, 6
blackberries, a small handful

icing sugar, for the topping (optional)

For the vanilla cream, whisk 4 tablespoons of the milk with the egg yolks, sugar, salt and cornstarch until well combined. In a saucepan, bring the remaining milk with the vanilla pod to the boil. Take the vanilla pod out and scrape the seeds out of the bean into the milk. Add the egg-sugar mixture to the hot milk, whisking well. Take the saucepan off the heat immediately and whisk for another minute. If it crumbles, whisk in a little more milk. Let the cream cool and then chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. Once it’s cool, whip the heavy cream and fold into the vanilla cream gently. Keep the vanilla cream in the fridge until you fill the choux pastry.

Set the oven to 200°C ( 400°F) (top / bottom heat) and line a baking sheet with baking paper.

For the dough, bring the butter, sugar, salt, milk and water gently to the boil. When the butter has melted, stir in the flour vigorously with a wooden spoon, mix until smooth and the dough comes away from the side of the pan. Transfer the dough to a bowl and let it cool for about 10 minutes. Beat the eggs in with a spoon, one at a time, only mix in the next one when the one before is well combined.

Fill the dough in a piping bag with a wide nozzle and pipe the mixture into 12 balls. Bake in the oven for about 19 minutes or until golden brown and crisp, don’t open the door while the choux pastry is baking. When it’s done, switch off the oven but leave it closed. After 5 minutes open the door slightly, only the stick of a wooden spoon should fit in, and let the pastry dry for another 5 minutes (this way they keep their shape). Take them out of the oven and let them cool on a wire rack completely.

Prepare the cream puffs just before serving: cut off the tip, fill generously with vanilla cream and fruits and close with the lid again. Sprinkle with icing sugar (optional) and enjoy!

Vanilla Cream Puffs


Vanilla Cream Puffs


Vanilla Cream Puffs


Vanilla Cream Puffs




Vanilla Cream Puffs