Nutella Cheesecake

Admittedly I am not the biggest fan of Nutella, I’ve never really understood why everybody raves about it so much. This cheesecake however is my exception. It’s light and creamy, with just the right tang to cut through the richness of the chocolate. It’s an easy, fuss-free easy dessert which would be ideal for a fancy dinner party or get together. Trust me this one’s a keeper!

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Ingredients:

Serves: 8-12

  • 250 grams digestive biscuits
  • 75 grams soft unsalted butter
  • 1 x 400 grams jar nutella (at room temperature)
  • 100 grams chopped toasted hazelnuts
  • 500 grams cream cheese (at room temperature)
  • 60 grams icing sugar (sifted)

Method:

  1. Break the digestives into the bowl of a processor, add the butter and a 15ml tablespoon of Nutella, and blitz until it starts to clump. Add 25g/3 tablespoons of the hazelnuts and continue to pulse until you have a damp, sandy mixture.

2. Tip into a 23cm/9inch round springform and press into the base either using your hands or the back of a spoon. Place in the fridge to chill.

3. Beat the cream cheese and icing sugar until smooth and then add the remaining Nutella to the cream cheese mixture, and continue beating until combined.

4. Take the springform out of the fridge and carefully smooth the Nutella mixture over the base. Scatter the remaining chopped hazelnuts on top to cover and place the tin in fridge for at least four hours or overnight. Serve straight from the fridge for best results.

Original recipe taken from Nigella Lawson: https://www.nigella.com/recipes/nutella-cheesecake

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Giant Iced Millie’s Cookie

Here’s my first attempt at the Giant Iced Millie’s Cookie. For those of you overseas not familiar with Millie’s cookies it’s a bakery chain here in the UK. One of their signature products are the giant cookies that they do for special occasions and as you can see from the picture below it’s like a giant skillet cookie. It’s really simple to do and is a nice twist on the traditional chocolate chip cookie. Mine says congratulations as it was baked in celebration of my sister getting into uni. Just use your favourite chocolate chip cookie recipe (or you can use mine) Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies,  bake it in a cake pan for around 40 mins (depends on the thickness), cool then ice and you’re good to go!

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Pizza Hut à la Maison

You know when you’re really craving something to eat but don’t know exactly what it is that you want to eat. Well this is the result of that. Quick and easy to make,made with  store cupboard ingredients and uses up left overs. You can thank me later !

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Ingredients:

  • ½ tbsp tomato paste

  • 1 round flatbread (pita, tortilla, etc.)

  • 1 oz grated mozzarella cheese

  • ¼ bell pepper cut into thin strips

  • 1 black olive cut into slices

  • 1 pinch of oregano

(n.b I used whatever I had in the house so you can see I’ve used a tortilla wrap, cheddar cheese, and jalepenos instead of olives . You could use leftover meat as well)

Method: 

  1. Place the flatbread in the skillet and cook over low heat.
  2. Spread the tomato paste over the flatbread.
  3. Add the mozzarella cheese (or cheddar ), peppers and olives.
  4. Add a pinch of oregano, cover the skillet and cook over low heat until the dough is crisp and cheese is melted.
Video link to recipe: https://www.tastemade.com/videos/skillet-pizza 

 

And for Dessert……

Cookie dough of course

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Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup semisweet(milk) chocolate chips

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.  In the bowl of a stand mixer, use the paddle attachment to cream together the softened butter and sugars on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.  Add egg and vanilla, and mix until combined, about 1 minute.
  2. Add in the flour, cornstarch, baking soda and salt, and beat on medium-low speed until combined. Fold in (stir in) the chocolate chips by hand until just combined.
  3. Put the mixture into an oven dish and bake for around 20-30 mins or until just golden on top.
  4. Serve with vanilla icecream drizzled caramel sauce and some grated dark chocolate.

 

Chocolate and Orange Cupcakes

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Recipe by Joanne Wheatley

Ingredients

For the cupcakes

  • 120g/4oz plain flour
  • 140g/5oz caster sugar
  • 1 tsp baking power
  • 40g/1½oz unsalted butter
  • 50g/2oz dark chocolate, melted and cooled slightly
  • 1 free-range egg
  • 125ml/4fl oz milk
  • 1 orange, juice only
  • 3 tbsp granulated sugar

For the white chocolate and orange buttercream

  • 125g/4½oz unsalted butter, softened
  • 250g/9oz icing sugar
  • 2-3 tbsp milk
  • 50g/1¾oz white chocolate, melted
  • 1 orange, zest only
  • 100g/3½oz orange chocolate

Method

Preheat the oven to 170C/325F/Gas 3. Line a 12-hole muffin tin with paper cases.

Mix the flour, sugar and baking powder together in a food processor. Add the butter and pulse until combined.

Whisk the melted chocolate, egg and milk together in a jug.

Stir the chocolate mixture into the flour mixture until just combined.

Spoon the mixture into the cases and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until risen and golden-brown and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, mix the orange juice and granulated sugar together in a bowl. Carefully pour the orange juice mixture over the warm cakes and set aside to cool completely.

For the white chocolate and orange buttercream, beat the butter in a bowl until light and fluffy. Carefully stir in the icing sugar and continue to beat for five minutes. Beat in the milk, melted chocolate and orange zest.

Decorate the cupcakes with the buttercream

Use a sharp knife to make chocolate shavings from the orange chocolate and use them to decorate the cupcakes.

 

Viennese Whirl Biscuits

These biscuits are wonderfully short and crumbly and are filled with a lovely jam and buttercream filling. 

 

Ingredients

For the filling

 

Chocolate Cake

I made this recipe when I was in school, it’s from a kids cookbook and has since become one of my trusted recipes. The cake is a simple sponge with a chocolate ganache icing.  I’ve added fruit on top because fruit makes any dessert look spectacular.

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Ingredients:

For the cake:

  • 3 beaten eggs at room temp
  • 175g unsalted softened butter
  • 175g caster sugar
  • 150g self-raising flour
  • 3 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder

For the icing:

  • 100g milk chocolate
  • 100g dark chocolate
  • 200ml double cream at room temp

 

Method:

  1. Grease the 20cm cake tins and line the bases with baking parchment.Preheat oven to 180°c
  2. Cream the butter and sugar together in a bowl until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in the egg.
  3. Sieve the flour, cocoa powder , and baking powder into the bowl of creamed butter and sugar and then fold the dry ingredients into the creamed mixture.
  4. Divide the mixture equally between the two greased and lined cake tins, smoothing the tops with a palette knife. Bake for 20-25 mins or unti firm. Take care not to overbake the cakes or they will become dry.
  5. Turn the cooled cakes out onto a cooling rack. Break the plain and milk chocolate into a bowl and gently melt them over a pan of simmering water.

For the icing:

  1. Remove the bowl from the pan. Allow the chocolate to cool for 5 mins and then stir in the cream. Leave the mixture to thicken for a few minutes.
  2. Make sure the cakes are completley cool before putting on the topping. Put one cake on a serving plate and spread a quater of the topping over it.
  3. Put the other cake on top and spoon over the rest of the topping. Spread it over the top and the sides until the cake is evenly coated. Leave to set.

Strawberry Tartlets

These are a timeless classic and taste absolutely gorgeous! I lost the original recipe for these tartlets but the one below should work just as well if not even better.

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Ingredients

For the pastry

  • 200g (7oz) plain flour
  • 125g (4oz) unsalted butter
  • 30g (11⁄4oz) icing sugar
  • 1 large egg yolk

For the crème pâtissière

  • 350ml (12fl oz) full-fat milk
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 100g (3 1/2oz) caster sugar
  • 15g (1⁄2oz) plain flour
  • 15g (1⁄2oz) cornflour
  • 1⁄2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 600g (1lb 31⁄2oz) strawberries
  • 3 tbsp apricot jam, sieved

Method:

Blend the pastry ingredients in a food processor until the mixture first forms clumps and then comes together in a ball.  If you need to add water, 1 tsp will be enough. Roll the pastry onto a lightly floured board, to 5mm (1⁄4in) thickness, and use to line a 25cm (10in) loose-based tart tin or tartlet tins. Chill for 30 minutes.

Heat the oven to gas 5, 190°C, 170°C fan. Line the tart with nonstick baking paper and baking beans. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove the paper and beans, then bake for 5 more minutes. Leave to cool.

To make the crème pâtissière, heat the milk almost to boiling and then leave to cool for a few minutes. Put the egg yolks and sugar into a bowl and whisk until thick and pale. Add the flour and cornflour and whisk until smooth. Gradually whisk in the milk.

Return the mixture to a clean pan and stir over a medium heat until it begins to thicken. Stir vigorously, turn the heat to low, and simmer, stirring continuously for 2-3 minutes, until the mixture is very thick. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract. Pour the crème pâtissière into the tart case and spread level. Chill for 4 hours, or until set.

Hull the strawberries and arrange snugly on top of the crème pâtissière, pointed ends up. Gently heat the jam in a pan with 1 tbsp water, stirring. Remove from the heat and cool. Brush over the fruit.

 

Lemon and Poppyseed Cupcakes

My mum really liked these cupcakes and the speckled appearance inside the cake makes the baked cake look just wonderful.

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Recipe taken from BBC GoodFood

Ingredients:

  • 225g self-raising flour
  • 175g golden caster sugar
  • zest 2 lemons
  • 1 tbsp poppy seeds, toasted
  • 3 eggs
  • 100g natural yogurt
  • 175g butter, melted and cooled a little

For the icing

  • 225g butter, softened
  • 400g icing sugar, sifted
  • juice 1 lemon
  • few drops yellow food colouring
  • icing flowers or yellow sprinkles, to decorate

Method:

  1. Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4 and line a 12-hole muffin tin with cupcake or muffin cases. Mix the flour, sugar, lemon zest and poppy seeds together in a large mixing bowl. Beat the eggs into the yogurt, then tip this into the dry ingredients with the melted butter. Mix together with a wooden spoon or whisk until lump-free, then divide between the cases. Bake for 20-22 mins until a skewer poked in comes out clean – the cakes will be quite pale on top still. Cool for 5 mins in the tin, then carefully lift onto a wire rack to finish cooling.
  2. To ice, beat the softened butter until really soft in a large bowl, then gradually beat in the icing sugar and lemon juice. Stir in enough food colouring for a pale lemon colour, then spoon the icing into a piping bag with a large star nozzle.
  3. Ice one cake at a time, holding the piping bag almost upright with the nozzle about 1cm from the surface of the cake. Pipe one spiral of icing around the edge, then pause to break the flow before moving the nozzle towards the centre slightly and piping a second, smaller spiral that continues until there are no gaps in the centre. Slightly ‘dot’ the nozzle into the icing as you stop squeezing to finish neatly. Repeat to cover all the cakes, then top with sugar decorations or scatter with sprinkles

Old-Fashioned Rock Cakes

These are a British Classic which get their name from their rock like appearance. I was first introduced to these during my very first cooking lessons at school and I have been making them ever since. They are so quick and easy to make and are the perfect accompaniment to a hot cup of tea.

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Yield: 6 cakes

Ingredients:

  • 225g Self-raising flour
  • A pinch of salt
  • 113g Margarine
  • 100g packet of Milk Chocolate Chips
  • 57g sugar
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1tbsp Milk plus a little extra for the top
  • Demerera sugar for the topping (optional)

Method:

  1. Sift the flour into a large bowl. Then using your finger tips rub the margarine into the flour until it resembles breadcrumbs. Heat the oven to 180°c
  2. Using a wooden spoon mix the sugar and salt into the breadcrumb like mixture and then add in the chocolate chips. Mix in the beaten egg and then add 1 tbsp milk.
  3. With your hands, take small heaps of the dough and place on a lined baking tray. Brush with a little milk and add some demerara sugar on top. Bake in the oven for 15 mins until cooked and golden.

Notes: Traditionally these are made with dried fruit but you can put in any flavouring you like. I added chocolate chips because that’s what I like best.

 

Original recipe from http://scullerymaidsblog.com/2011/old-fashioned-rock-cakes/

Peanut Butter Cookies

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INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar, preferably light
  • 2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup peanut butter, creamy or crunchy (though we all know crunchy is better)
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon hot water

DIRECTIONS

  • 1. Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • 2. In the bowl of a stand mixer using the paddle attachment, beat the granulated and brown sugars and butter on high until light and fluffy. Add the peanut butter, eggs, and vanilla, reduce the speed to medium, and beat until thoroughly combined.
  • 3. Mix the flour and salt together in a small bowl. With the mixer on low, slowly add the flour and salt to the peanut butter mixture and blend thoroughly. Combine the baking soda and hot water in a small bowl and add it to the cookie dough, mixing until just combined.
  • 4. Drop the dough in heaping tablespoons onto the parchment. Gently press a fork into each cookie, first vertically, then horizontally, to create the classic peanut butter cookie crisscross. (If an extra sparkly, extra crunchy cookie is desired, dip your fork in a little granulated sugar prior to pressing it into the dough.)
  • 5. Bake for 8 to 12 minutes, until the cookies have barely begun to turn golden at the edges. Let the cookies cool for a minute or more on the baking sheet, then transfer them to a wire rack to cool at least a little. (The cookies will get crisper the longer they cool.) Store the cookies in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

Recipe taken from;

Peanut Butter Cookies