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.
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.
MACNEAN CHEESECAKE WITH RASPBERRIES AND WHITE CHOCOLATE
• 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
• 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.