I remember many years ago on a slow Indian train journey being amazed by the luminous greens and yellows of the rice fields contrasted by the vibrantly coloured saris of the workers. It surprised me then to think that as hard as we try nature will always outshine our efforts.
Subtlety is not rhubarbs calling card, and when it caught my eye I was unable to resist. With no particular use in mind I poached it for 10 minutes with some vanilla bean, brown sugar and apple juice. Upon inspection the fridge revealed some left over ricotta which along with a little yoghurt gave me an idea for an indulgent treat.
I crushed biscuits in the food processor and added some melted butter. Then with the left over ricotta (200g) I beat in sugar (75g), the yoghurt (50g) and an egg until smooth. It was only then that I scratched my head and wondered what I was I was going to bake this unexpected treat in. After some rummaging around in the draws the best bet seemed a muffin tin. I generously greased each pocket and lined the base with the crushed biscuit and some of the cheesecake batter. I mixed up the toppings, using some of the rhubarb, some of the left over biscuit and leaving a few plain.
They baked for around 20 minutes until the cheesecake was just set. I impatiently hovered waiting until they had cooled sufficiently to try to release them. All my efforts were in vain as with every attempt I simply found a new way to break them, though they still tasted delicious.
In the end it proved there was nothing wrong with my method only a lack of patience, having sat in the fridge overnight the remaining cheesecakes easily popped out of the tin, leaving a tasty and elegant looking dessert…..