Paskha

For a change from Simnel cake, try Lesley Waters' traditional Russian Easter dish served with fresh fruit and chocolate sauce
By Lesley Waters
Paskha
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 8-10
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes plus chilling and standing time
  • Effort: easy

Ingredients

For the paskha

  • 200 ml double cream
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 85 g vanilla sugar
  • 600 g cream cheese
  • 55 g unsalted butter, softe
  • 85 g toasted blanched flaked almonds
  • 300 g fresh blueberries

For the chocolate sauce

  • 3 tbsp golden syrup
  • 1 orange, juice only
  • 100 g chocolate

Method

1. Line a clean, tall flowerpot with a fresh J-cloth and set aside.

2. Bring the cream to a boil in a saucepan. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and vanilla sugar until creamy and pale. Remove the hot cream from the heat and pour it over the egg mixture, whisking continuously.

3. Return the custard to a clean pan and cook over a gentle heat, stirring continuously until the custard has thickened, being careful not to let it boil. Transfer the thickened custard to a large mixing bowl and allow to cool.

4. Gradually beat the cream cheese into the cooled custard, followed by the butter. Gently fold in the almonds and half the berries.

5. Pour the mixture into the prepared flowerpot. Fold the excess J-cloth over the top, cover with a plate, and weigh the plate down with something heavy, such as a can of beans. Chill the pashka for at least 6 hours, standing the pot on a dish to catch the liquid that drains away.

6. Remove the pashka from the fridge 1 hour before serving.

7. For the chocolate sauce: place all the chocolate sauce ingredients in small saucepan and gently heat together.

8. To serve, turn out the paskha onto a large serving plate. Spoon over some chocolate sauce and scatter over the remaining berries. Hand the remaining chocolate sauce separately and serve at once.

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