It was National Cheesecake Day on July 30th, 3 days after my partners birthday & he wanted Cheesecake for his dessert. We must have went through every flavour on the planet until he decided that it was Crunchie he was going to settled for. To be honest I was glad as I do love a Crunchie Bar, it’s just that lovely melt in the mouth honeycomb that I like. This was delicious!
Makes a Deep fill 9″ Cake
300g Cream Cheese (I use Philadelphia & full fat, it dosen’t work with the lighter one)
150ml Double Cream
80g Icing Sugar
3 Cadburys Crunchie Bars – Blitzed in a processor
1 tsp vanilla essence
13 Digestive Biscuits – Blitzed in a processor
50g Melted Butter
Milk Chocolate shavings for the topping
Grease and line the bottom of a springform tin with greaseproof paper, set aside
Mix the melted butter with the crushed Digestives and spoon into the tin, pressing down with the back of a spoon until compact and smooth. Chill in the Fridge for about 1 hour
Meanwhile, mix the cream cheese, crushed crunchie bars and Icing Sugar together in a bowl with a hand mixer.
In a separate bowl whisk the double cream and vanilla essence until soft peaks form.
Fold the whipped cream into the cream cheese mix, don’t over mix as you want to leave as much air in as possible. Once your biscuit base has set, gently smooth the cream cheese filling on top, return to the fridge and allow to fully set for at least 12 hours or preferably overnight.
Remove from fridge about 10-15 minutes before you are ready to serve and shave some milk chocolate over the top, or you could grate or break up another crunchie bar for extra flavour. Yum! Remove from Cake tin and slice.
This can be kept in the fridge for about 2-3 days.
Sunday for me is a chillout day and normally a baking day, so today I decided to give these a go for our Sunday Brunch picnic at home. Sugar & Spice & all things nice……so yummy!
150g Strong White Bread Flour
1 packet 7g Dried Yeast
15g Caster Sugar (plus 40g for Topping)
1/2 tsp Salt
2 tbsp Bicarbonate Soda
1 tsp Ground Cinnamon
40g Butter (plus 30g melted for coating)
50g Chocolate (if using a dip)
Melt butter and milk in pan on low heat, do not boil, needs to be lukewarm about 40 deg.
Place strong white flour, yeast, salt and sugar in a bowl and mix. Make a well and pour in the melted butter and milk mixture.
Mix everything together until a soft dough forms and knead either using a stand mixer with dough hook or on a work surface with your hands for about 8-10 minutes. Grease a bowl and place the dough in, leave to rise for about 90 minutes or until doubled in size.
Knock back the dough and cut into 4 equal sections. Roll each section into a long rope approx 50cm long.
To make the Pretzel shape, curve the rope into an upside down U Shape, then twist the ends together twice, each time left over right. Bring the ends of the rope up to the top of the curve (loop) and press down to secure.
Preheat your oven to 200 deg and line a baking tray with greaseproof paper.
Bring a pan of water to the boil. Place 1/2 tsp of Bicarbonate Soda into the pan of water for each Pretzel, 1 at a time using a slotted spoon, slowly lower the pretzel into the water on the slotted spoon, leave for about 10 secs, lift out the spoon & drain the water then place onto the baking tray. Bake for about 10-12 minutes or until golden brown.
Meanwhile mix the caster sugar & cinnamon together in a bowl.
As soon as the Pretzels come out of the oven, brush with the melted butter and leave to cool for a few minutes. Once cooled toss in the sugar mix and serve straight away.
Melt chocolate with a little milk to serve. (if desired)
I am always trying to improve my recipes and my icing for my Empire Biscuits just wasn’t right, so I decided it needed to be a bit harder and went for Royal Icing. Turned out this is much better as it goes hard pretty quick. Good if you want to decorate them.
Makes enough for a 20cm Cake or 12 biscuits.
400g Icing Sugar
2 egg whites or egg white powder
1/2 tsp water
Using a whisk, bring the egg whites to a frothy consistency
A little at a time spoon in the icing sugar (& yes it WILL go everywhere, this was my kitchen worktop after….lol)
Add the little water and whisk until you get stiff peaks.
Now you are ready to use. At this point you can use food colouring and colour to decorate your biscuits of cake.
I made some Scottish Empire Biscuits using my trusty Recipe.
Oh Yum, I love Pistachios and had some in my cupboards to use up, so I though I would give this little delight a go and I wasn’t disappointed.
For the Crust
100g Plain flour
35g Cocoa Powder
70g Chopped Pistachio’s
1/4 tsp salt
70g unsalted butter, room temperature
35g Demerara Sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
For the Pistachio Paste
35g Demerara Sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 tbsp olive oil
For the Filling
150g Milk Chocolate
1 egg beaten
Pistachio’s chopped to garnish
Grease a 9″ Fluted Tart tin with removal bottom.
Whisk together flour, cocoa powder, chopped pistachios, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Beat butter on medium speed until fluffy. Add sugar, and beat until pale. Add vanilla, then flour mixture, beat until just combined and dough holds together when pressed between 2 fingers. Press dough into a disk, and wrap in plastic. Refrigerate for 15 – 30 mins.
Roll out dough to an 11-inch round, 1/4 inch thick on a lightly floured surface. Press dough into bottom and up sides of tart pan. Trim excess dough flush with edges of pan using a knife. Refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour or overnight. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 150 deg C.
Bake until firm, about 30 minutes. Let cool completely.
Make the pistachio paste: Pulse pistachios, sugar, and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a food processor until mixture begins to clump together. Add oil, and pulse until smooth and paste like. Spread evenly into bottom of cooled tart shell, pressing firmly with back of a spoon until flat and smooth.
Make the filling: Place chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Heat cream and milk in a saucepan over medium heat until almost boiling, pour over chocolate. Let stand for 2 minutes. Slowly whisk until smooth. Let cool for 10 minutes. Stir in egg until combined. Pour in filling to tart shell. Bake until just set, 30 to 35 minutes. Let cool. Garnish with finely chopped pistachios.
I had some pumpkin left after making my pumpkin soup recipe tonight so I decided to give pumpkin cupcakes a go. Yummy!
160g Plain Flour
1 teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
250g grated pumpkin
100g Light Brown sugar
60g caster sugar
75ml olive oil
2 large eggs
For the buttercream icing:
75g of softened butter
250g icing sugar
2 tablespoons milk
1 tsp vanilla essence
Orange food colouring
Preheat oven to 190 deg and line a muffin tin with cupcake cases.
Combine the flour, allspice, baking powder, cinnamon, bicarbonate of soda, nutmeg and salt in a large bowl
Whisk together the grated pumpkin, sugar, olive oil and eggs in another bowl
Pour the whisked mixture over the dry ingredients and stir using a spatula, until fully mixed
Dollop a spoonful of batter evenly into each baking cup in the cupcake tray until the batter runs out. Place the tray into the hot oven and bake for 18 minutes, remove and allow to cool.
Meanwhile make the buttercream, add the butter to a bowl and beat with an electric mixer until light and peaky
Sieve the icing sugar to remove any lumps, then add a little at a time to the butter while whisking continually, until all the icing sugar has been added. If the mixture begins to become too thick, add the milk a teaspoon at a time to loosen it up until the desired texture has been reached, add in the vanilla essence and food colouring and mix until combined.
Decant the buttercream into a piping bag and pipe into the cupcakes once cooled.
I was watching James Martin on Saturday morning and he made a raspberry chocolate tart, we sat there dying to try a bit. Unfortunately, I didn’t have any raspberries so a hazelnut version it was.
I decided to do a hazelnut nut pastry just to add extra flavour.
For the Pastry:-
125g Plain Flour
50g Icing Sugar
50g Crushed Toasted Hazelnuts (plus 10g for decoration)
Pinch of salt
80g Butter, cold, diced
1 egg yolk
For the Filling:-
300ml Double Cream
125ml Whole Milk
200g Dark Chocolate or Milk Chocolate with at least 40% cocoa solids
50g golden caster sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
To make the pastry, sift the flour and icing sugar into a food processor, add the hazelnuts and blitz together. Add the butter and pulse briefly until mixture looks like breadcrumbs, don’t overmix. Add the egg yolk and pulse until dough comes together. Shape dough into a flat disc, wrap in cling film and chill in the fridge for at least 1 hour.
Roll the dough out onto a floured surface. Using a loose bottomed tart tin, grease tin then line the tart tin with the pastry pressing into all corners. Trim any loose pastry. Chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 160 deg. Prick the bottom of the pastry and line with greaseproof paper and baking beans. Bake for 25 minutes, remove the baking paper and beans and return to the oven for a further 10 minutes.
Remove and trim the edges in line with the tart tin.
Meanwhile, to make the filling, place milk & cream into a pan and bring to just below boiling point, do not boil. Take of heat and stir in the chocolate to melt.
In a large bowl whisk together the eggs, sugar, salt and vanilla. Gradually whisk in the chocolate mix, whisking constantly.
Pour the mixture into the pastry case and bake on a wire rack in the oven for about 25 minutes until the filling has a slight wobble. Remove and sprinkle with chopped hazelnuts. Allow to cool in the tin before removing.
I had some egg white left over from a recipe that only required an egg yolk, so I decided to try patterns on meringues, turned out o.k. I thought. I’m know dying to try more patterns and colours……watch this space.
You can get my original meringue recipe here, all I done was draw lines inside a piping bag with orange food colouring and then filled the bag and piped, quite simple actually but creates a great visual pleasure.