The magnificent seven – in Spanish!

No, not the movie, although I hear it is great. I’m talking about my new TV series. Well, I will let you be the judge of whether it is magnificent or not!! The new series is on our screens this Thursday (Sept 29) at 7pm on RTE and I am so looking forward to seeing it.

DELICIOUS...One of the dishes that will be appearing on the new show

DELICIOUS…One of the dishes that will be appearing on the new show

The series is called Neven’s Food Trails and there are seven episodes where the cameras follow me around the Basque region of Spain. I absolutely love this part of the world. The people are fantastic and the food is just gorgeous and I find the whole region to be a real inspiration.

A big thank you to Flogas who are sponsoring the series. Also to RTE; to Brian Walsh who commissions my TV programmes and David Hare who once again produced the show.

There are so many highlights from the series it is hard to pick a few to share with you now but I will never forget my hot air balloon trip or the wonderful tapas I enjoyed or the best cheesecake in the world. Yes, it was the best and you will have to tune in to see why!

For now though I am going to share my very own ‘MacNean Cheesecake’ and I promise this is very very good as well. I use Pat Clarke’s fruit for this and it is just delicious.

SIMPLY THE BEST... Pat Clarke's fruit makes everything taste better

SIMPLY THE BEST… Pat Clarke’s fruit makes everything taste better

MACNEAN CHEESECAKE WITH RASPBERRIES AND WHITE CHOCOLATE

Serves 4

Ingredients: 

• 200g (7oz) cream cheese

• finely grated rind and juice of 1/4 lemon

• 1/2 vanilla pod, split in half and seeds scraped out

• 100g (3.5oz) white chocolate, broken into squares

•  100ml (3.5fl oz) cream

• 4 shortbread biscuits, finely broken up

• white chocolate curls, to decorate

• dried raspberries (shop bought), to decorate

• baby Maltesers (shop bought), to decorate

• spun sugar, to decorate

• fresh mint sprigs, to decorate

• Shortbread, to serve

For The Poached Berries: 

• 150ml (1/3 pint) red wine

• 1 tbsp crème de cassis

• 35g caster sugar

• 1/2 cinnamon stick

• 1 star anise

• 1/4 vanilla pod, split in half and seeds scraped out

• 200g (7oz) raspberries, plus extra to decorate

Method: 

• Using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese, lemon rind and juice and vanilla seeds until smooth and light

• Melt the white chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water

• Remove from the heat and set aside to cool a little.

• Whip the cream in a separate bowl and whip until stiff

• Fold the melted chocolate into the cream cheese mixture and then carefully fold in the whipped cream

• Transfer to a piping bag and place in the fridge until needed

For The Poached Berries: 

• Place the red wine and crème de cassis in a pan with the sugar, cinnamon stick, star anise and vanilla pod and seeds and bring to the boil

• Reduce the heat and simmer, until reduced by half and slightly thickened.

• Place the berries in a glass bowl and pour over the poaching syrup

• Leave to cool

To Assemble The Cheesecake: 

•Divide the poached raspberries among martini glasses and crumble the shortbread biscuits on top

• Pipe the cheesecake mixture right up to the rim of the glasses and decorate with  raspberries, white chocolate curls,  baby Maltesers, spun sugar and mint sprigs.

ENJOY!!!!

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