We invited readers to share some of their favourite recipes with us. As part of a continuing series, we publish three recipes we've received so far:
Here Bhanu Bachchan shares her recipes for some sinful desserts:
First up is her recipe for a Pumpkin Dessert:
Preparation time: 35 minutes
- 15 oz canned pumpkin
- 2 packets gram crackers
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ground clove
- 1/4 ground ginger
- 1/2 granulated sugar
- 1 cup pecan, coarsely chopped
For the topping:
- 1 cup whipping cream
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 2 tbsp roasted hazelnut
- In a medium mixing bowl, coarsely break the gram crackers.
- In another bowl, whisk the sugar, spices and pumpkin puree until sugar dissolves.
- With a spatula, gently mix the gram crackers, pumpkin puree and pecan.
- Lightly grease on the bottom of an 8x8 inch square dish.
- Spread the mixture evenly. Let it set in the fridge for a few hours.
- Mix whipping cream with an electric mixer on high speed for five minutes. Add powdered sugar and mix until combined.
- Spread on top of dessert and sprinkle some toasted hazelnut on top. Serve cold as in small slices.
Next is a recipe for Chocolate Ricotta Tart with Pine Nuts:
Preparation time: 30 minutes
For the crust:
- 250 gm all-purpose flour
- 15 gms cornmeal
- 180 pine nuts, toasted
- 50 gm sugar
- 50 gm salt
- 100 gm unsalted butter, melted and cooled
For the filling:
- 100 gm sugar
- 100 ml water
- 200 gm chocolate, chopped
- 150 Ricotta cheese
- 100 gm cream cheese
- 1 large egg
- 3 egg yolks
- 10 gm vanilla essence
- 150 gm pine nuts, toasted for garnishing
- To make the crust, lightly butter an 11-inch tart pan with a removable bottom. Blend the flour, cornmeal, 3/4 cup of the pine nuts, 1/4 cup sugar, and salt in a food processor until finely ground.
- Add the butter and pulse just until the dough forms. Press the dough into the tart pan.
- Freeze the crust until it is firm, for about 30 minutes. Or you can wrap it tightly after 30 minutes and freeze for up to a month. There's no need to defrost the crust before baking.
- When you are ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 F.
- Put the tart pan on a baking sheet. Line the tart crust with aluminum foil, shiny side well buttered and facing down. Fill the tart shell with pie weights or dried beans.
- Bake the crust for 25 minutes, until set. Very carefully remove the foil and pie weights. Bake the shell until golden, about 15 minutes longer. Cool completely.
- Make the filling by combining 1/2 cup of sugar with 1/2 cup of water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Cool the sugar syrup until it's warm to the touch.
- Melt the chopped chocolate in a microwave or in a double boiler over barely simmering water. Set aside. Pulse the ricotta and cream cheese in a food processor until smooth.
- Whisk the egg, egg yolks and vanilla in a spouted measuring cup. With the processor running, add the egg mixture to the cheese in a thing stream.
- Add the melted chocolate and pulse to combine. Add the sugar syrup in a same manner you added the eggs, process until smooth.
- Pour the filling into the tart shell and bake until the filling is almost set, for about 20 minutes. Scatter 3/4 of the pine nuts on top of the filling and bake for 10 minutes longer.
- Cool the tart completely. The tart can be kept up to three days in the refrigerator, tightly covered.
- Bring to room temperature before serving. Slice the tart with a hot dry knife and serve.
Third is a recipe for Orange Cheesecake with Candied Kumquats:
Preparation time: 60 minutes
For the candied kumquats:
- 2 cups water
- 2 cups sugar
- 1/4 tsp vanilla essence
- 25 medium kumquats, thinly sliced crosswise, seeds removed (can be swapped with orange)
For the crust:
- 2 cups cookie crumbs, finely ground
- 2 cups golden brown sugar
- 1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted
For the filling
- 1 cup fresh orange juice
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 tbsp finely grated orange peel
- 30 oz packaged cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1 cup sour cream
- 3 tbsp all-purpose flour
- 1/4 tbsp salt
- 5 lareg eggs
- To make the candied kumquats, combine the water and sugar in a medium saucepan. Scrape in the seeds from the vanilla bean; add the bean. Stir over medium heat until the sugar dissolves.
- Add the kumquats; reduce the heat. Simmer until the kumquat slices are translucent, about 30-35 minutes.
- Remove from the heat; cool the kumquats in the syrup. Strain the kumquats, reserving the syrup.
- Combine the kumquats and 1/4 cup syrup in a small bowl.
- Return the remaining syrup to the same saucepan; boil until reduced to 1 and 1/4 cups, about eight minutes.
- To make the crust, position a rack in the centre of the oven and preheat to 350°F.
- Lightly grease a nine-inch springform pan with 2 and 3/4-inch-high sides. Line the bottom with a parchment paper circle.
- Combine the cookie crumbs and brown sugar in a medium bowl; add the melted butter and stir. Press the crumb mixture evenly onto the bottom and 1 inch up sides of the springform pan.
- Bake the crust until set and the edges are golden brown, about 20 minutes. Cool the crust in the pan on a rack. Maintain the oven temperature.
- Wrap four layers of heavy-duty foil tightly around the outside of the pan with the crust to make the pan waterproof.
- To make the filling, bake the cake, combine 1/4 cup sugar, and orange peel in a small saucepan. Rub with your fingers until the sugar is moist and aromatic.
- Add the orange juice, bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Reduce the heat. Simmer until the mixture is reduced to 3/4 cup, about 10 minutes. Chill until cool.
- Meanwhile, using an electric mixer beat the cream cheese and remaining 3/4 cup sugar in a large bowl until smooth.
- Mix in the sour cream, flour and salt. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Mix in the cooled orange juice mixture.
- Pour the filling into the crust; place the springform pan in a large roasting pan. Pour enough hot water into the roasting pan to come halfway up sides of the springform pan.
- Transfer carefully to the oven and bake until softly set, about one hour or so. Turn off the oven.
- Let the cake stand in the oven for another hour. Transfer the spring form pan onto the rack and cool. Cover; chill the cake overnight. Run a knife around the edge of the cake to loosen and remove the side of the pan.
- Transfer the cake to a plate. Arrange kumquat slices atop cake, covering completely.
- Your cake is ready to be served.