Saturday, 30 December 2006
When I visited Jonas’ hometown, Vänersborg, his mother’s garden was full of gorgeous currant bushes, laden heavily with bright red and white berries.
It’s rare that we can get our hands on reasonably priced currants in Sydney and so I was very pleased that I found a punnet just at Christmas.
I’m happy to eat the tart little berries just as they are, but Jonas prefers them cooked and sweetened. For this reason I mixed the currants with quince to form a syrup for cocktails, ice cream or as a dessert sauce.
It was good timing too because this Christmas Eve I made us an African inspired menu with an avocado soup from the Ivory Coast, a legume main from Algeria and a gorgeous goat’s cheese pudding from Cabo Verde. The pudding was rich so my red currant and quince sauce was an excellent accompaniment.
This pudding (which is very much like a cheesecake) has a wonderful tangy flavour from the goat's cheese. The original recipe uses 250g goat’s cheese but that's a little too pungent for me. I brought the amount down to 100g and supplemented the rest with fresh ricotta. I also added lemon zest to the sugar syrup to add a light citrus edge. It’s barely detectable but it does add something special.
The final result was more than yummy. I’d definitely make this again.
Pudim de Queijo (Goats' Cheese Pudding)
Adapted from a recipe on the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth’s website. Serves 6.
100g fresh soft goat cheese
150g fresh ricotta
250ml (2 cups) water
2 egg yolks
2 eggs (yolks & whites)
1 tablespoon wholemeal flour
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1. Preheat oven to 180’C.
2. Boil sugar and zest in water to the consistency of a thick syrup. Cool.
3. Whip cheeses together until they form a smooth paste.
4. Add sugar syrup and whip until combined.
5. Beat in egg yolks and egg whites.
6. Sprinkle the bottom of a greased cake loaf with burnt sugar. Pour in the mixture and cover with foil.
7. Place cake loaf in a oven proof dish and fill dish with hot water so that it reaches halfway up the cake loaf.
8. Place in oven and bake for 30 minutes.
9. Remove foil and baked another 15 – 20 minutes until cake is coming away from the edges of the pan.
10. Cool and serve cut into wedges.
Red Currant & Quince Sauce
Anna’s very own recipe. Makes 200ml.
100g red currants
3 tablespoons quince paste
½ cup sugar
½ cup water
1. Pick over currants and remove from stems. Reserve a third of the currants.
2. Dissolve sugar in water over a medium heat.
3. Increase heat to high. Add quince paste and currants and bring to the boil stirring continually. Currants should start to break apart.
4. When syrup has thickened enough to form droplets on a plate, add reserved currants and remove from heat.
Cabo Verde (Cape Verde) is group of islands just off the west coast of Africa, opposite Senegal and Mauritania. In the 1400s the Portuguese colonised the islands, which had been uninhabited, and used them as a water pit stop as well as for sugar cane production and a port during the slave trade. Today Cabo Verde is an independent republic and the official language is Portuguese.
Map taken from www.appuntidiviaggio.info
Tags: morsels and musings food blog food and drink australia recipes dessert cake cheese cheesecake queijo pudim cape verde cabo verde african food african cuisine african red currants currants quince sauce syrup dessert sauce