Monday, 12 December 2011

Passionfruit Cheesecakes and Coffee Meringues for a Caldesi Catchup !!

With Vagina Monologues tour finally finished it was time to catchup with friends. Invited Katie and Giancarlo Caldesi and their boys Giorgio and Flavio along with our friends (and passionate foodies) John and Neil.
Wanted it to be a very relaxing afternoon for all so I prepared the puddings in advance - no last minute cooking required !!
The coffee meringues come from my Auntie Lorna's recipe for Cappucino Pavlova and it is great for both - the only difference is you will need more chocolate for the meringues as they are dipped before filling with the cream.

Cappuccino Pavlova

4 egg whites

pinch of salt

1 1/2 cups caster sugar

1 dessertspoon cornflour  

1 tsp instant espresso coffee powder

1 1/2 tsp white wine vinegar


Beat egg whites and salt until stiff. Gradually beat in half the sugar adding a little at a time. Beating well beat until thick and glossy. Fold in remaining sugar. Add cornflour, coffee and vinegar. The mixture should be lovely and thick and glossy. Spoon the mixture into a circle on parchment on a baking sheet. Bake at 110 o C / 120 o C for about 1 hour 40 mins then switch the oven off and leave in oven till cold.

Top with the following

600ml double cream

1 tablespoon caster sugar

1 tsp coffee

1 dessertspoon tia maria

Whisk together then cover meringue and grate dark chocolate over the top.

Obviously, if you are making meringues you need to spoon or pipe individual ones on the baking sheet and bake for 15 mins less - then dip in melted chocolate and leave to set before sandwiching together with the cream.

The Lime and Passionfruit Cheesecakes are the easiest things to make - they come from one of my favourite recipe books - Jo Pratt's In the Mood for Entertaining and the only cooking involved is melting the butter for the base and toasting some coconut !!
To make 8 small eggcup sized cheesecakes

45g desiccated coconut
60g butter
150g digestive biscuits

225g cream cheese
120g icing sugar
zest and juice of 3 limes
3 large ripe passionfruit
225ml double cream


Heat a small frying pan and toast the coconut until golden.
Tip in a bowl and add the butter to the pan to melt.
Crush the biscuits to fine crumbs and mix with the butter and coconut.
Divide between the 8 little dishes - use a teaspoon so you don't make a mess up the sides of the glasses or dishes.
Place in the fridge to chill.
Place the cream cheese in a bowl and soften with a wooden spoon.
Add the icing sugar,lime juice, zest of 2 limes and pulp from 2 passionfruit, keeping the rest to garnish.
Mix well until smooth.
In a separate bowl whisk the cream until it forms soft peaks and then mix into the cream cheese mixture.
Spoon or pipe into the glasses or dishes and place into the fridge to firm up.
They can be left overnight.
When you are ready to serve, garnish each with the reserved lime zest and passionfruit pulp and dive in !!! Enjoy !!