Sunday, 11 March 2012

Up, Up and Away!

Torre di Tortilla Croccante con Ricotta Frulla e Frutti Miste
Crispy Caramel Tortilla Tower with Cream Cheese and Fruit

Another dessert from the man who doesn't know how to make them! And another one where you can enjoy being sinful... this one is made of low-fat cheese curd and is sweetened with Stevia- you have got to like that! The only naughtiness in it is a very small amount of sugar, to caramelize the tortilla squares and a drizzle of honey to make it look a little prettier before serving.

I think it is good to forget what we have learned about desserts one in a while and realize that yes, butter and fat do taste good, and yes, an egg yolk and some whipped cream do make for a richer flavor. But at the same time- if you can make something taste as good as this does without all of that... who needs that kind of excess all of the time? That's right... none of us. Especially when there are alternatives like this!

I added a little lime juice and vanilla to the cheese curd, sweetened it with Stevia and whipped it at a high speed for 3-4 minutes. The consistency of the cheese curd changes considerably when it is whipped- but I guess we would change too if we got a whipping! Although I am not sure the result would be as nice! You will have to tinker with the amounts of juice and Stevia- I liked mine a little more tart maybe than most- as with all things, it is a matter of taste and a balancing act. Just remember... Stevia is a LOT sweeter than sugar, so you will only need a little!

With the cream made, I turned my attention to the tortillas- also super easy. I slowly toasted the squares of tortilla in a dry frying pan, until they began to brown very slightly. I then sprinkled them with just a little sugar and flipped them over. This is where things get a little weird... now splash the tortillas slightly with water- you can do it just by dipping your fingers into a glass- you don't need much. Also- there is no need to worry as there is no fat in the pan and nothing is going to splash... it will sizzle- but it will be safe!

Carefully flip the tortillas over using tongs... they will be soft for just a few seconds, but will soon dry out and crisp up again... only when they do, the sugar which will have dissolved in that little bit of water, will caramelize on the surface of the tortilla, turning it from a this slice of bread into something crispy, yummy and delicious!

Layer the squares with alternating fruits on each layer of cream cheese- I had fig, cape gooseberries and blue berries over from last night- so that is what I used for my experiment, but I can imagine any other fruit working just as well. A light drizzle of honey, just to add a little shine, and a sprinkle of pistaccio splinters for some extra crunch- and there you have it! Low fat, low calorie and high indulgence... who could ask for more?

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