Grilled vanilla peaches on truffled ricotta rye

Grilled Vanilla Peaches with Ricotta Toast (23 of 26)

VANILLA DREAM | Vanilla and maple glazed peaches layered on a  ‘truffled-up’ ricotta rye toast.

If the thought alone of grilled peaches is enough to excite your taste buds, try adding a smidgen of vanilla bean and a dash of maple before subjecting them to grill pan. Trust me, you won’t regret. It adds that extra oomph of sophistication to coat the soft, warm fruit.

These grilled peaches are as versatile as you want them to be. Serve them as a dessert, with vanilla bean ice-cream and drizzle of warm balsamic if you may. For me though, since the occasion was to host  a birthday lunch for my dear friend, I decided to deploy them as a convincing starter.

With the aid of creamy ricotta – which I magnificently combined with a drizzling of Pukura’s much loved truffle flavoured extra virgin olive oil (yes, going gourmet I am) – you can transform this simple fruit into an attractive starter even for the most discerning palate. Simply grill some sourdough or rye bread and spread a generous layer of the truffled-up ricotta cheese, then top with two slices of these grilled peaches. Finish with a drizzle of reduced balsamic glaze and chopped mint for garnish. Voila…a crowd pleaser.

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A simple to make crowd pleaser sure to impress even the most discerning palate.

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Crostini anyone?

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Grilled Vanilla Peaches on Truffled Ricotta Rye

Grilled Vanilla Peaches with Ricotta Toast (12 of 26)

INGREDIENTS (makes 5-6):

  • 250g tub of ricotta
  • 6 slices of rye bread, cut 1 cm thick and about a palm size each.
  • 2 peaches, cut into wedges  (1/8th each).
  • 1 vanilla bean (substitute for powder of essence if desired)
  • 1 tablespoon of maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon of Pukara’s truffle extra virgin olive oil
  • Pinch of truffle salt (optional)
  • Balsamic glaze (or reduce one cup of balsamic vinegar)
  • Handful of shredded mint (for garnish)

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METHOD:

  1. Wash peaches, pat dry. Slice open and take out seed. Cut into 8 wedges.Grilled Vanilla Peaches with Ricotta Toast (7 of 26).jpg
  2. Mix cut peaches with vanilla bean (I have a vanilla bean grinder) and tablespoon of maple syrup.Grilled Vanilla Peaches with Ricotta Toast (8 of 26)
  3. Turn heat on grill pan on high. After pan heats up, layer wedges on the pan and grill until beautiful char marks form on both sides (roughly 2-3 minutes each side). Be careful not to overdo it.Grilled Vanilla Peaches with Ricotta Toast (10 of 26)
  4. In the meantime, mix the ricotta with the truffle oil using a tablespoon. Add a pinch of truffle salt (or regular salt) and combine thoroughly.Grilled Vanilla Peaches with Ricotta Toast (2 of 26)Grilled Vanilla Peaches with Ricotta Toast (4 of 26)
  5. Toast the rye or sourdough bread on a grill pan or oven. Generously spread the done up ricotta over each toast. Grilled Vanilla Peaches with Ricotta Toast (11 of 26)
  6. Layer 2 grilled peaches on top of each crostini. Drizzle with balsamic glaze. Finish off with a sprinkle of the shredded mint for garnish. Serve while warm. Enjoy!Grilled Vanilla Peaches with Ricotta Toast (18 of 26)

 

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Healthy Blueberry Ricotta Cups

Healthy Blueberry Ricotta Dessert Cups (7 of 9)

A healthy and light blueberry dessert that can be whipped up in ten minutes.

Feel like dessert but overwhelmed by guilt? That’s exactly how I felt tonight (given my recent binge fest on desserts and patisseries). To satisfy my sweet tooth – and seeing I had a tub of light ricotta and blueberries sitting idly in my fridge – I decided to come up with a healthy concoction: blueberry ricotta cups. Simply drizzle some honey into the ricotta, zest some lemon peel into it, and whisk away until a smooth consistency is reached. Spoon the finale into small cups and garnish with blueberries, Voila! It is really that simple.

INGREDIENTS:
(Makes two servings)

  • Punnet of fresh blueberries
  • 4 tablespoons of light ricotta
  • 2 tablespoons of honey
  • 1 teaspoon of lemon zest, freshly grated
  • Icing sugar to dust (optional)

Healthy Blueberry Ricotta Dessert Cups (3 of 9)

METHOD:

  1. Heap 4 large tablespoons of ricotta into a bowl. Add 1 tablespoon of honey and grate in some fresh lemon zest. Hand whisk until combined to a smooth consistency. Healthy Blueberry Ricotta Dessert Cups (1 of 9) Healthy Blueberry Ricotta Dessert Cups (2 of 9)
  2. Spoon mixture into little dessert cups or ramekins. Mix freshly washed blueberries with a tablespoon of honey until evenly coated.  Healthy Blueberry Ricotta Dessert Cups (4 of 9)
  3. Spoon blueberries on top of the dessert cups filled with the ricotta mixture. Refrigerate for 2 hours before serving. Dust with icing sugar to serve (optional).Healthy Blueberry Ricotta Dessert Cups (6 of 9) Healthy Blueberry Ricotta Dessert Cups (9 of 9)

Fluffy Ricotta Hotcakes With Honeycomb

Ricotta Hotcakes with Honeycomb (1 of 50)

Light and fluffy pancakes with a creaminess one can only dream of. 

I love breakfast. And nothing beats waking up to some seriously fluffy and warm ricotta hotcakes dowsed with honeycomb.  Extra fluffy with creamy, custard-like middles, ricotta hotcakes are something pancake connoisseurs have to try making (or die trying).

Inspired by Bill Granger – who hails from my sunny hometown, Sydney – his signature ricotta hotcakes with honeycomb butter and banana are to die for. I’ve had my fair share of his ricotta hotcakes in Sydney (Surry Hills), and recently in London (Nottinghill) and Tokyo (Ometosando) this year. Now is the time to recreate the ‘magic’ back home (until he sets up shop here at least, but who knows when that day will come – or where I’ll be by then!).

Mind you, there is no ‘magic’ or skilful technique required in this recipe. From a methodological perspective though, what separates these ricotta hotcakes apart from regular ones is the fact that you are meant to separate the egg yolks from the whites and beat the latter until stiff peaks form before folding it into the batter.

Note: The ricotta isn’t something you necessarily taste — the pancakes definitely don’t taste “cheesy” — but rather, the ricotta adds a magical milky richness and creaminess to each bite.

Ricotta Hotcakes with Honeycomb (24 of 50)

INGREDIENTS (makes 6 medium sized pancakes, serves 2):

  • 70 grams of fresh milk
  • 70 gram of plain flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 110 gram of ricotta
  • 2 eggs, white and yolks separated
  • pinch of salt
  • butter for pan-frying
  • 1-2 tablespoons of honeycomb, to serve
  • icing sugar, to dust

METHOD:

1) Place ricotta, milk and egg yolks in a mixing bowl and mix to combine.

Ricotta Hotcakes with Honeycomb (50 of 50)

2) Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a bowl. Add to the ricotta mixture and mix until combined. Ricotta Hotcakes with Honeycomb (7 of 50) Ricotta Hotcakes with Honeycomb (10 of 50)

3) Place the egg whites in a clean dry bowl and beat until still peaks form. Fold egg whites through batter in two batches, with a large metal spoon.

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4) Lightly grease a large non-stick frying pan with a small portion of the butter and drop 2 tablespoons of batter per hotcake into the pan (don’t cook more than 3 per batch). Cook over low to medium heat for 2 minutes, or until hotcakes have golden undersides. Turn hotcakes and cook on the other side until golden and cooked through.

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5) Transfer hotcakes to a plate and quickly assemble with other ingredients (e.g. banana, honeycomb, etc). Dust with icing sugar.


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