Zucchero e Formaggio alia Crema

Zucchero e Formaggio alia Crema (zoo-kcr-oh ay for-maj-oh ah-lah cray-mah) is a delicious Italian dessert which would make a superb end to any dinner party. Serve it with an elegant and extravagant Sauternes wine, such as a Chateau d’Yquem.

4 oz. plus

1 teaspoon butter, melted

8 oz. crushed Brandy Snaps

2 teaspoon ground ginger

1 lb. full fat cream cheese, such as Petit Suisse

2 oz. castor sugar

4 fl. oz. single cream

2 tablespoons lemon juice

2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

½ oz. gelatine, dissolved in

2 tablespoons hot water

15 oz. canned apricot halves, drained

4 tablespoons preserved ginger, drained and finely chopped

15 fl. oz. double cream

2 oz. soft brown sugar

With the teaspoon of butter, lightly grease a 9-inch loose-bottomed cake tin. Set aside. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, com- bine the crushed brandy snaps, the remaining melted butter and ground ginger with a wooden spoon. Line the base of the cake tin with the mixture, pressing it firmly against the bottom of the tin with your fingers or with the back of the wooden spoon. Set aside.

In a medium-sized mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese and sugar together with the wooden spoon until the mixture is smooth and creamy. Stir in the single cream, lemon juice and cinnamon. Beat in the dissolved gelatine mixture and, using a large spoon, spoon the cheese mixture on to the biscuit base. Place the tin in the refrigerator to chill for 30 minutes or until the mixture has set.

Preheat the grill to high. Remove the cake tin from the refrigerator. Arrange the apricot halves over the cheese mixture and sprinkle the preserved ginger over the apricots.

Using a flat-bladed knife, spread the double cream over the top. Sprinkle the brown sugar over the cream and place the cake tin under the grill . Grill the top for 1 to 2 minutes or until the sugar has caramelized. Remove the cake tin from the grill , slide the dessert out of the tin and serve immediately.

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