Baked Pear & Amaretto Cheesecake with Del Monte

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If you’re of my generation (40 something and rapidly heading towards 50) you’ll probably remember the Sunday tea time treat of tinned fruit and evaporated milk that you used to have.  It’s not something you tend to see too often now though.  However tinned fruit is not just tasty and convenient, but it’s a good source of vitamins and minerals.  A product no longer confined to just grabbing the tin opener, opening the tin and pouring the contents into a bowl before smothering it with evaporated milk or ice cream; or simply just placing a ring of pineapple on to your gammon steak; you can use it in many different recipes, to prepare delicious food without the faff and fuss of having to peel, slice and prepare it yourself.

Del Monte canned fruit

I’ve adapted a baked cheesecake recipe that I use and have incorporated a tin of Del Monte pears which pair perfectly with almonds and Amaretto for an added depth of flavour.

Del Monte canned fruit

Base:

  • 50g Unsalted butter
  • 8 Digestive biscuits, crushed

Cheesecake:

  • 400g Philadelphia Cheese
  • 250g Mascarpone Cheese
  • 410g Del Monte tinned pears, drained
  • 3 Eggs
  • 60ml Amaretto
  • 15g Ground almonds
  • 75g Caster sugar
  1. Heat the oven to 190ºC (170º Fan).
  2. Line a 20cm / 8” spring form tin with baking parchment.
  3. Melt the butter, add this to the crushed biscuits and mix together thoroughly.

Del Monte canned fruit

  1. Pour this biscuit mixture into the base of your prepared tin and press down evenly.

Del Monte canned fruit

  1. Place in the fridge to cool whilst you prepare your cheesecake filling.
  2. In a food processor, add 150g of the drained pears, the Philadelphia and mascarpone cheeses, the eggs, Amaretto, almonds and the sugar.  I find that using my Kenwood food processor makes this an incredibly easy and quick process
  3. Blitz these together until smooth.

Del Monte canned fruit

  1. Drain the remaining pears from the juice and cut into approx. 5mm pieces.
  2. Stir the pear pieces into the cheesecake mixture to evenly distribute.
  3. Pour this mixture over the biscuit base in the tin.

Del Monte canned fruit

  1. Bake in the oven for approx. 40 mins until the top has started to colour and there is still a very slight ‘wobble’ in the middle of the cheesecake.

Del Monte canned fruit

  1. Turn off the oven, but leave the cheesecake in there, with the door slightly open until it’s cooled completely. (Leaving the cheesecake to cool slowly in the oven allows it set fully and prevents it from cracking).
  2. Remove the cheesecake from the tin and serve, cut in to small slices.

Del Monte canned fruit

I was sent a selection of canned fruits from Del Monte along with a gift voucher to purchase additional ingredients with to develop this recipe. 

BBC Good Food Show Winter 2016

Once again, in what seems to be the blink of an eye, Christmas is almost upon us and an amazing time is to be had at the BBC Good Food Show Winter 2016, being held at the NEC between 24th and 27th November 2016.

From Celebrity Chefs, demonstrating their talents in the Supertheater this year sponsored by Aldi UK and other demonstration stages around the show, to artisan food and drink producers, as well as kitchen appliance and gadget & gizmo manufacturers; there’s always so much to see (just make sure you wear your comfy shoes!). Once again there are plenty of Good Food Show Champions who have won the coveted chance to exhibit they winning products, which were judged, against tough competition, to win their place at the show.

There’s plenty to get involved with at the BBC Good Food Show in Birmingham this year. Learn new skills and get closer to the action in a Discover and Learn with Lexus session including a Yo! Sushi Masterclass and Knife Skills with Zwilling. YO! Sushi will walk you through the steps to become a sushi expert in this specially tailored masterclass where you will create three types of sushi to take away and enjoy. Or learn a range of knife skills from the Zwilling professionals – discover different sharpening techniques, which type of knife should be used for the right job, and how to master the pinch grip.

It’s a place where you can pick up plenty of hints and tips of the trade.  Grab something incredibly tasty to eat and drink whilst catching up with friends and stocking up on Christmas presents galore (not to mention the odd treat for yourself, of course!)

Once again this year, I’ll be there on Thursday 24th November as one of the BBC Good Food Show official Bloggers from where I’ll be Tweeting throughout the day, letting you know what’s in my shopping basket, what I’ve enjoyed and who I’ve caught up with amongst my favourite exhibitors and chefs.

To get you in the festive mood, join the Renshaw Academy Experts in a Christmas At: Renshaw Academy workshop. Learn how to create a festive cake topper, or discover confidence-boosting cake decorating hints and tips, plus take your own Christmas cake home. Plus, don’t miss tutored beer tastings as the Great British Beer Experience, sponsored by CAMRA and BeerHawk, returns to the Show. Explore new tastes, learn about the art of brewing and gain an insight into the diversity of real ale with industry experts Beer Hawk, Sally Lavender and Des de Moor.

Tickets are available from the BBC Good Food Show website online and also to purchase on the day. Why not treat yourself and be a VIP for the day by booking yourself a special ticket, which includes lots of other treats such as VIP parking, entrance to the VIP lounge with talks and demonstrations, a glass of fizz, tea, coffee & pastries, exclusive use of the VIP restrooms, and a fab goodie bag including a recipe book to take home.

Book Review – Cooks and Kids

The National Fostering Agency have once again teamed up with Gregg Wallace (Masterchef judge and TV presenter), along with the charity, Place2Be of which HRH the Duchess of Cambridge is Patron, and Welsh book publisher Graffeg Books to produce the third Cooks and Kids book.  A recipe book by kids for kids.

Cooks and Kids

Gregg, along with Tom Kerridge, Michele Roux Jr, Aldo Zilli, Cyrus Todiwala and a whole host of talented chefs, Masterchef contestants and former winners teamed together with children from 6 to 18 years of age to produce a wonderful recipe book, full of inspiration, ideas and delicious recipes. Children were invited to submit their favourite recipes for the opportunity to take part in a ‘Cook Off’, where they were to be paired off with chefs and celebrity chef to create their culinary creations which were judged by Gregg Wallace.

The National Fostering Agency is one of the largest Fostering Agencies in the UK and supports fostering parents and children with individually tailored care plans for the children.  More information on how you can be a foster parent or carer can be found on their website www.nfa.co.uk or by contacting them on 0800 044 3030.

Royalties for the book will be going to the Place2Be charity which provides therapeutic and emotional support assistance to children and families into 257 primary and secondary schools in the UK for children with complex social issues such as bereavement, family breakdown, bullying, domestic violence, neglect and trauma to enable them to thrive and achieve their potential.

I was invited to the book launch which was held at Aveqia in London who had generously allowed use of their demonstration kitchens for the children and chefs to create their wonderful dishes, as well as the launch, where I was able to ask Gregg Wallace a couple of questions about what inspired him to get involved and continue to work with the charities on this third book.

Cooks and Kids

What prompted you to get involved with the charities and the book project?  I’m a huge rugby fan and got involved through the Wasps Rugby Charity, where I have previously coached some of the rugby players.  As a single parent myself I understand how important is to provide kids with support.

How did you choose which chefs to choose to participate in the project? As you know, I’m a Masterchef judge, so I approached some of the chefs, participants and previous winners that I’d worked with and invited them to take part.  They all couldn’t wait to be involved in the project.

Do you have any plans to produce a fourth book? There are no current plans for a fourth book, however I will stay involved with the charity and we’re possibly planning a banquet next year.  Watch this space!

Cooks and Kids

During the launch, I had the absolute honour to meet and chat to one of the young cooks, Bethany, along with her foster carer, Janie.  Bethany was teamed with Celebrity Masterchef 2014 winner Sophie Thompson, and together they created Flat Breads and a wonderful Chocolate Cheesecake, both of which are featured in the book.

Cooks and Kids

The book is available for sale at the RRP of £20.00 via Amazon with profits going directly to Place2Be to enable them to continue their incredible and valuable work for our next generation.  On a personal level, as a former School Governor for over 6 years, as well as with a friend who suffered the bereavement of one of her young children, I’ve been able to see first hand just how valuable emotional support and assistance is to families and children to help them cope as they go through incredibly difficult situations in life, and therefore cannot urge you enough to help support this charity and their cause.

Thank you,

Rosie

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