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

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.