Sunday 8 June 2014

Warm Date and Mascarpone Tart Recipe

Today's recipe is for a delicious, yet simple to make dessert of a date and mascarpone cheese custard baked in a filo (phyllo) pastry shell.

Though it sounds decadent (and it does taste heavenly) this is actually a quite a healthy low-fat option for a dessert (if you choose low fat Mascarpone, that is!!).

It's great for a lazy Sunday morning as it's a snap to make, yet is sure to delight even the most fussy eater.

Warm Date and Mascarpone Tart

Serves: 6–8
Warm Date and Mascarpone Tart: Classic dessert tart of a date and mascarpone cheese egg custard baked in a phyllo pastry shell. Simple to make, this classic dessert tart is guaranteed to please the whole family.


4 sheets of filo (phyllo) pastry
40g (1/4 cup, scant) butter, melted and cooled
30g (1/4 cup) ground almonds
10 fresh dates, pitted and sliced
2 eggs
2 tsp custard powder
125g (1/2 cup) Mascarpone cheese
50g (1/4 cup) caster sugar
120ml (1/2 cup) single cream
2 tbsp flaked almonds, to garnish


Brush a shallow, fluted, oblong flan tin (about 10 x 35m [4 x 14 in]) with melted butter or oil.

Brush a sheet of filo pastry sparingly with melted butter and sprinkle with ground almonds. Fold the pastry sheet in half lengthways and carefully line a then flan tin lengthways with the pastry. Repeat this process with the remaining pastry, butter and nuts.

Spread the dates evenly over the pastry base. In the meantime, combine the eggs, custard powder, Mascarpone cheese, sugar and cream in a medium bowl. Whisk the mixture until smooth then pour the mixture over the dates.

Sprinkle the flaked almonds over the top then transfer to an oven pre-heated to 180°C and bake for 25 minutes, or until the custard is golden brown and set.

Remove from the oven and allow the tart to cool for 10 minutes before slicing.

Serve warm, accompanied by whipped cream.

For thousands more classic dessert recipes, why not visit the Celtnet dessert recipes and dessert cookery pages?

Saturday 7 June 2014

Marmalade Breakfast Muffins Recipe

This recipe grew partially out of necessity and partially because I hate waste. Recently I bought a tin of marmalade, to try it out. But it was far too sweet and not bitter enough for my personal tastes. So, rather than throw it away, I decided to have a go at baking with it instead.

The obvious thing to try was a muffin, and I decided to adapt a Christmas muffin recipe I had lying around for use with marmalade instead. To make up for the lack of bitterness I added lemon and grapefruit zest, prepared the batter and into the oven they went.

About 18 minutes later the muffins were ready. I had two for breakfast with my morning coffee... My wife tried one, and, as always when a cake recipe works she whisked the remainder off to school with her!!! So I am going to have to whip-up another half batch this afternoon if I'm to sample the fruits of my labours once again!!

I like a little maize meal in my muffins, but this recipe works just as well if you substitute the plain flour and maize (corn) meal mix for 250g (2 cups) plain flour.

Marmalade Breakfast Muffins

Serves: 12
Marmalade Breakfast Muffins: A classic breakfast corn and wheat flour muffin flavoured with marmalade and citrus zest. Delicious and ready in less than 30 minutes from when you first begin to prepare them.


125g (1/2 cup) marmalade
180g (1 1/2 cups) plain flour
60g (1/2 cup) maize (corn) meal
3 tsp baking powder
140g (3/4 cup) golden caster sugar
finely-grated zest of 1 lemon
finely-grated zest of 1 orange (or 1/2 grapefruit)
90ml (6 tbsp) sunflower oil
2 eggs, beaten
200ml (4/5 cup) milk (or 100ml milk and 100ml yoghurt)
2 tsp mixed spice (pumpkin pie spice)


Mix together the flour, maize meal, sugar, baking powder, citrus zests and mixed spice in a large mixing bowl.

Pour the oil into a mixing jug then add the eggs and beat lightly with a fork. Pour in the milk, whisk briefly then add to the dry ingredients.

Place the marmalade in a microwave-safe jug and heat gently in your microwave until just melted.

Stir everything until just combined then fold in the marmalade (do not over-work the batter or the muffins will be tough). Spoon the batter into 12 muffin tin wells that have been lined with paper cases.

Transfer to an oven pre-heated to 180ºC (350ºF) and bake for about 20 minutes, or until nicely risen and golden brown on top.

Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Serve warm, with coffee.

For hundreds more muffin recipes, why not visit the Celtnet muffin and quickbread recipes pages?

Friday 6 June 2014

Beef Salad with Watercress and Basil Sauce Recipe

Here is a rather wonderful beef salad recipe. If you want to do something different with your steaks, apart from the usual steak sandwich, then this is a great recipe.

This also makes a wonderful filling for a baguette or ciabatta bread if you are looking for a slightly more substantial meal.

However, it's the basil and mustard sauce that really lifts this dish and makes it something special. The sauce is so good that I make it and store in in the refrigerator like a pesto.

Beef Salad with Watercress and Basil Sauce

Serves: 4
Beef Salad with Watercress and Basil Sauce: Here is a classic salad of fried beef steak tossed with watercress leaves that's served topped with a basil and mustard sauce (rather like a pest). This works as a salad but also makes a great sandwich filling.


2 lean sirloin (or rump) steaks
2 tsp sunflower oil
250g (9 1/2 oz) watercress
salt and freshly-ground black pepper, to taste

For the Basil Sauce:

25g (1 oz) fresh basil leaves
2 garlic cloves, peeled
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 tsp Dijon or English mustard
4 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil


Begin with the sauce. Combine the basil, garlic, lemon juice and mustard in a food processor. Pulse to form a rough paste then, with the motor still running, add the olive oil in a steady trickle until the mixture is thick. Turn the resultant mixture into a small bowl, season to taste with salt and black pepper then set in the refrigerator until needed.

Season the steaks then brush with the oil. Cook on a pre-heated griddle pan until done to your liking (medium-rare is probably best though). Transfer to the meat to a warm plate and set aside to rest for 5 minutes.

Arrange the watercress in a serving dish. Slice the meat diagonally (reserve any meat juices to add to the sauce). Add the beef strips to the salad and toss to combine.

Drizzle over the sauce and serve immediately.

For hundreds more ideas of what to do with beef and beef-based recipes, why not visit the Celtnet beef information and beef recipes pages?

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