Chocolate Ricotta Tart with Pine Nuts

Chocolate Ricotta Tart with Pine Nuts

The crust is absolutely perfect, crisp and very tender at the same time, with a distinct pine nut flavor. The filling is creamy and chocolaty (make sure to use a good quality chocolate) with a subtle tanginess from the cheeses.

This is Giada De Laurentiis’ recipe with some of my alternations. She certainly knows what’s what in Italian cuisine.  

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Curd Cheese Tart in Oatmeal Crust

Curd Cheese Tart in Oatmeal Crust

What can be simpler? The filling is just the fresh cheese, eggs and a bit of sugar. The crust is buttery and crunchy, and full of nutritious oats. You don’t have to roll the dough, just press it into the pan. Nothing is complicated here, use the best quality ingredients and you will sure have a winner.

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Curd Cheese (Russian Tvorog)

Curd Cheese (Russian Tvorog)

All you need to make a delicious fresh cheese is a large pot, instant-read thermometer (or a candy thermometer) and the buttermilk. The best cheese is usually made from full-fat buttermilk but it can be substituted for low-fat variety. Don’t use no-fat buttermilk though.

The tvorog is used in numerous ways in Russian cuisine. That’s why I often double or triple the quantity of the buttermilk. This fresh cheese also makes a suitable substitute for Italian ricotta.

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Caramelized Crêpes with Sautéed Apples and Rum Raisings

Soft spicy apples and plumped in rum raisins contrast wonderfully with crunchy caramel coating of the crêpes. Add a bit (or a generous amount) of cool sour cream to the hot crêpes and you have a perfect finale of your dinner or a very nice breakfast.

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Blueberry Sauce

Blueberry Sauce

This recipe makes about 4 cups of the sauce. But if you think this is unnecessary large amount, please reconsider. This is very versatile sauce. You can eat it with your pancakes, waffles, pour over yogurt or vanilla ice cream. The sauce is wonderful served with a lemon cheesecake or pound cake. And it will keep up to a week in the refrigerator.

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Curd Cheese Filled Crêpes with Blueberry Sauce

Curd Cheese Filled Crêpes with Blueberry Sauce

The combination of the curd cheese and cream cheese makes the filling very smooth. I usually put just a touch of icing sugar to sweeten the filling slightly, so, you might want to add more sugar according to your taste. The curd cheese is surprisingly easy to make or you can always find it in European deli stores.

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