No bake white chocolate cheesecake

No bake white chocolate cheesecake

white-chocolate-cheesecake-no-bake

This is such an incredibly easy recipe it is almost hard to believe it tastes so fantastic. I am not a big fan of sweet cheesecake recipes and this one really is an excellent recipe.

Next time I make this recipe I think I will add some finely grated citrus rind. I can taste a little lemon or orange zest in it but it is fantastic as it is as well.

Because it is not overly sweet, top it with almost anything to sweeten it up. Any fruit or berries will do the trick or even some crushed oreos, roasted coconut or anything that you like.

You will need a 23cm springform tin that is approx 5cm deep (deeper doesn’t matter)

What you need

Base
1 x packet tennis biscuits (Graham crackers or similar)
200g melted butter

Filling
360g cream cheese
250ml fresh cream
100g melted white chocolate
1 teaspoon vanilla essence

The process

Break up the biscuits, place them in a food processor and blend until a they are fine crumbs.

Melt the butter in a bowl, add the fine biscuit mixture and mix well until fully combined.

Take your baking tin and spray with spray and cook, then line the base of the tin with the biscuit mixture. press it down quite firmly with the base of a spoon and check that you have it fairly even by measuring with the spoon against the side of the dish all the way round.

Place the tin in the fridge.

Place the cream(keep about 50ml aside) and cream cheese into a bowl and mix together with an electric beater until you get to soft peak stage. (when you remove the whisks, it forms a peak but falls over)

Heat the 50ml of cream on medium heat until warm but not boiling, remove from the heat and add the chopped white chocolate. Stir until it is completely melted.

Add the melted chocolate and the vanilla essence to the cream mixture and fold in with a spatula.

Take you tin from the fridge and fill with the cream cheese mixture, cover with cling film and then back into the fridge for at least an hour or two.

You can make it the day before and it will last in the fridge for at least a few days 🙂

Top it with whatever makes you happy. Berries are a perfect match but try something different as well.

Chocolate profiteroles

Chocolate profiteroles

profiteroles

Matt could not stay away!

I just had to repost this today, they are really easy and are brilliant as a dessert to impress visitors during the Xmas season. They do take a bit of time but is so worth it.

These have got to be the ultimate weakness of almost anyone. Choux pastry is not difficult to make, it just seems like it’s not working while you are mixing and then suddenly comes together. It’s important to follow the instructions exactly and weight/measure the ingredients. You will have no problem and  can tell you people will want them over and over again. This photo is of my youngest son some years ago which tells the story.

What you need

40g butter
80 ml water
50g cake flour
2 eggs at room temp

Wooden spoon (a must)

Sauce
180g choclate
90ml water

Thois makes 25-30 bite size profiteroles.

The process

Heat the water on medium for the chocolate sauce and break the chocolate into the water, sitr until all of the chocolate is melted. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.

Heat the oven to 200 Celsius with the rack in the center of the oven.

Lightly butter a baking tray or spray with spray and cook

Sift the flour and set aside.

In a pot, add the water and butter and heat on medium high until the butter has melted and is just boiling.

Remove from the heat and immediately add all of the flour and mix until the batter forms a ball and starts to pull away from the sides of the pot.

Let it cool for about 3-4 minutes.

While it is cooling break the eggs and beat lightly in 2 seperate cups.

Add 1 egg into the mixture and mix well with a wooden spoon (this is where it seems strange, the batter will seem to separate and it has a strange loose texture – keep mixing) until it comes together. Add about 1/2 of the next egg and follow the same process until the batter comes together, add a little more egg and repeat. The batter must be smooth and shiny and just drops off the spoon when lifted but maintains it’s shape.

If you have a piping bag, use a large nozzle and pipe 2-3cm high rounds onto the baking trays. Alternatively place teaspoons of the dough onto the baking tray. space them about 2-3cm apart, you should end up with about 25-30 little mounds.

Use the remaining egg to place a little on each mound

Place in the oven and bake for 25 minutes until golden brown and puffed up. Swith off the oven. (Don’t open the oven!)

Remove from the oven and pierce the base of each profiterole with a knife to allow the steam to escape and place back into the oven for another 15 minutes to dry out and crisp up, then place them on a rack to cool.

Once cooled, slice the profiteroles in half, fill with whipped cream and spoon over the chocolate sauce.

Unbelievably good!!!

Here are some different toppings I made

  1. Caramel with roasted chopped almonds and filled with cream and another dollop of caramel.
  2. Chocolate as above with a little piece of marmalade rind

caramel-profiteroles

choc-profiteroles-marmalade

Best Banana bread recipe

Best Banana bread recipe

best-banana-breadSince my trip to Australia 2 years ago where banana bread is part of Ausie culture and can be bought anywhere! I have tried many banana bread recipes and am happy to say that this recipe is the easiest and tastiest of the lot.

I have been making it regularly, cutting thick slices and smearing thick layers of butter onto warm pieces 🙂 If it’s not directly from the oven, I pop it in the toaster to warm it up.

This is such an incredibly easy and satisfying recipe, you will be making it all through the holidays, having it for breakfast and for tea and perhaps even as banana french toast!

You need a 20cm x 10cm loaf tin, it takes 10-15 minutes to prepare and 1 hour in the oven.

What you need

2 large or 3 medium over ripe bananas
1 cup white sugar (must be white – I have tried others and it does make a difference)
1 egg
1/4 of a cup melted butter
1 and 1/2 cups cake flour
1 teaspoon bicarb of soda (baking soda)
1/4 teaspoon salt

Optional:
handfull of chopped walnuts
1 teaspoon cinnamon

The process

Heat your oven to 170 celsius

Use a potato masher to mash the bananas well. You want a paste consistency with as few lumps as possible. add the sugar, egg and butter and mix well. When you can feel the sugar has dissolved (about 1 minute of mixing) put aside.

In another bowl add the flour, salt and bicarbonate of soda (baking sode). Give it a mix with a fork to distribute the ingredients and then pour the flour mixture in with the banana mixture.

Give it a mix until all of the flour is mixed in, pour into a lightly buttered loaf tin (10cm x 20cm) and then into the oven for 1 hour.

Thats that! Your family will be so happy you tried this recipe.

Christmas fruit cake

Christmas fruit cake

fruitcake

Christmas fruit cake

Christmas cakes that contain alcohol should be made about a month ahead of time to allow the flavor to mature. Incredibly, fruit cakes containing alcohol can be stored for around 9 months if in an airtight container.

What you need

500g raisins
500g currants
500g mixed candied citrus peel
375g flour
Pinch of salt
½ teaspoon nutmeg
½ teaspoon allspice
375g soft butter
375g treacle sugar
6 eggs
50ml brandy

The process

Heat the oven to 150 Celsius.

Lightly butter and line a deep cake tin(should be 28cm x about 17cm deep) with grease proof paper. (cut a circle for the bottom and then line the sides)

Sift together the flour, salt, nutmeg and allspice onto a piece of grease proof paper.

In another bowl(large), cream together the sugar and butter until a creamy texture is reached. Take an electric beater and add the eggs one at a time to the sugar mixture beating well after each addition.

Add the flour in 3 batches, stirring by hand to combine after each batch. Add the dried fruits and the brandy and mix by hand.

Scoop the mixture into the tin and smooth the top. Then take the back of a spoon and create a depression in the center by pressing with the back of the spoon(about ½ cm deep)

Place in the oven for 2 ½ hours, test with a metal skewer to see that it comes out clean. If not, return to the oven covered with tin foil (you don’t want it to become too dark brown)for a further 15 – 30 minutes and test again.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the tin.

I am not mad about marzipan so prefer to melt some smooth apricot jam with a little brandy and paint it over the cake before serving.

Store the cake in a tin in a cool place until Christmas. Here is a Christmas glazed gammon recipe , a Christmas roast turkey recipe and of course, perfect roast potatoes.

See all of the Christmas recipe ideas

Easy banana bread

Easy banana bread

banana bread recipe

Banana bread

Last night it was cold and windy and had this ghalashing for banana bread, hot and steamy straight out of the oven and turned to a quick and trusty banana bread recipe I’ve had for years and never fails. (It was late so excuse the pic) I have done almost everything with banana bread, including making a bread and butter pudding with it.

What you need

2 cups plain flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon mixed spice (I didnt have but used 1/2 cinnamon and 1/2 ginger)
150g soft butter
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs beaten
1 cup mashed bananas (the riper the better)

The process

Oven temp 180 degrees celsius

Cream the butter and sugar in a large bowl with electric beaters until soft, Add the eggs and beat well, add the mashed banana and mix well.

Sift in all the dry igredients and mix to a smooth batter and mix well again.

Pour into a lightly greased loaf tin and pop into the oven for 35-40 minutes. Check at 35 minutes with a toothpick and if it comes out clean you’re done.

Remove your banana bread from tin and let it cool for about 10 minutes on a wire rack if you can resist the smell. If not, go ahead and cut yourself a slice of the warm delicious banana bread and load it up with some butter, I tell you it is irressistable.

You can also add a palm full of chopped nuts like walnuts to make it a really special banana bread.

I like mine with a good spread of butter. Enjoy!

Cheesecake with a chocolate crust

Cheesecake with a chocolate crust

cheesecakeBaked cheesecakes have been irresistible to me since I first had a slice in New York 24 years ago and this recipe, which has a chocolate biscuit base and creamy texture that includes condensed milk is just what the doctor ordered when you need a distraction.

What you need

1 packet chocolate digestive biscuits
100g butter melted
3 cups cream cheese
2 tins condensed milk (Nestle)
125ml lemon juice (from a bottle is just fine)
4 tablespoons custard powder
2 tablespoons vanilla essence
250ml whipping cream

The process

Crumble the biscuits into a bowl, pour in the melted butter and mix together.

Pour the mixture into a spring form cake tin and press down firmly, covering the base with an even layer about 1cm thick.

In a bowl whip the cream to a firm consistency and set aside.

In another bowl, add the rest of the ingredients and combine until they are uniformly mixed. Then add the whipped cream and fold it in gently with a metal spoon to distribute evenly.

Pour the whole lot into the tin, smooth the top and bake in the middle of a 180 Celsius oven for ½ an hour.

Remove from the oven and allow it to cool. Take a knife and run it around the edge before releasing sides of the tin.

That’s it, serve with a fruit coulis or cream or both!

Grandma’s Perfect Buttermilk Scones

Grandma’s Perfect Buttermilk Scones

Buttermilk Scones recipe

Buttermilk Scones

Forget every scone recipe you’ve ever read. This is the only one you’ll need! (Makes 12 – 15 scones) Recipe by Rozanne.

When these came out of the oven I left my office and drove over to try them. It was worth every second in the traffic. They truly are fantastic, this is one of those recipes your children will be asking you to leave them in your will!

What you need

4 x 250ml cake flour
Pinch of salt
30ml baking powder
120g butter, at room temperature
100ml sugar
250ml buttermilk
1 egg
125ml water
1 egg, lightly beaten to glaze

The process

Preheat the oven to 220 degrees Celsius and make sure the oven tray is in the middle of the oven. Prepare two baking trays by lining them with baking paper.

Sift the flour, salt and baking powder twice into a large bowl

Cut the butter into blocks and rub into the flour mixture with your finger tips. The mixture should look just like bread crumbs. Make sure there are no lumps of butter at all.

Add the sugar and mix around with your hands

In a small bowl, lightly combine the buttermilk and 1 egg. Add this to the flour mixture and mix together with a round bladed knife. Add just enough water to make a soft dough. (Make sure the dough is not sticky and do not over-mix)

Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead very gently until a ball is formed.

Pat the dough out with your fingers until it is about 3 cm thick. Cut out the scones using a round, metal cutter and place onto the baking trays (leave 2 to 3 cm between each scone).

With the remaining egg, whisk it up lightly and brush a bit on top of each scone.

Bake in the oven for 15 minutes. Always cut one open to check if they are completely cooked through, if not, immediately put them back in the oven for another 3 minutes.

Just a few hints

A lot of people tend to replace butter with margarine when baking because it’s a lot cheaper. NEVER do this when making scones. There is a huge difference between a delicious, light and fluffy butter scone and a horrible margarine scone.

Scones are not scones if they are not made with buttermilk. It is abominable to own such recipes. Tear them up. Now!!!!

Don’t ever forget to glaze your scones with egg before you bake them. The gloriously golden top is the best part.

Always serve your scones warm with butter, jam and a generous dollop of freshly whipped cream. Scrumptious!

When warming, NEVER put them in the microwave because they will go stodgy. Rather do it in the oven. It takes a bit longer, but definitely worth the wait!

Your scones are perfectly cooked when the sound hollow if you tap the bottom.

Devils food cake

Devils food cake

Devils food cake

This cake recipe has got it all, chocolate, cream, rich and delicious, the name says it all. It takes a while but you will you ever enjoy every slice of it when its done. I have made it with a butter cream icing as well which makes a nice change from the chocolate icing.

What you need
280g soft brown sugar
40g cocoa powder
250ml milk
90g chopped dark chocolte
125g softened, unsalted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
2 eggs, separated
185g plain flour
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

Filing
1 cup cream
1 tablespoon icing sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla essence

Chocolate Icing
50g dark chocolate, chopped
30g unsalted butter
1 tablespoon icing sugar

The Process
Preheat the oven to 160 degrees celsius. Lightly grease two deep 20cm round cake tins and line the bases with baking paper.

Combine third of the brown sugar with the cocoa and milkin a small saucepan. Stir over low heat until the sugar and cocoa have been dissolved. Remove from the heat and stir in the chocolate until it is melted. Cool.

Cream remaining brown sugar with the butter with electric beaters until light and fluffly. Beat in the vanilla, egg yolks and cooled chocolate mixture. Stir in the sifted flour and bicarbonate of soda.

Beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. Fold into the chocolate mixture.

Divide the mixture evenly into the two cake tins and bake for 35 minutes. Leave in tin for 5 minutes before turning out onto wire rack to cool.

For the icing, put the butter and chocolate into a heatproofbowl. Place the bowl over a pan of simmering water, making sure it does not touch the water, and stir until the mixture is melted and smooth. Gradually add the icing sugar and stir until smooth.

For the filling, whip the cream, icing sugar and vanilla in a small bowl with electric beaters until stiff peaks form. Spread over one of the cold cakes, top with the second cake and spread with icing, over the top. You may not be able to contain yourself but you should use a peeler and shave some milk choclate over the top.

Delicious Honey cake

Delicious Honey cake

Honey cake

Sometimes you want a cake that is a simple yet delicious and easy to make cake that anyone, no matter who they are will love. This is an extremely versatile cake which can be an anytime cake or a hot dessert ideal for winter or when you need something hot with whipped cream… you know what I mean. (20cm pie dish or spring form cake tin) I like to use a pie dish because it is usually served hot straight from the oven as a dessert, a bit like a honey version of the all time favourite Malva pudding.

What You Need

The Cake

1 cup of cake flour
Half a cup of sugar
1 egg
4 tablespoons of butter (melted)
125 ml milk
4 teaspoons of baking powder
2 ml of salt

The Syrup

50 ml melted butter
20 ml honey

The Process

The Cake

Preheat oven t o 180⁰C.

Grease a 20cm pie dish with a little butter and leave it to one side.

Sift all of  the dry ingredients together in a large mixing bowl and make a well in the center.

Heat the milk with the butter until the butter has melted, this should leave the milk warm but not boiling, remove from the stove.

Beat the egg in a separate bowl, and then add the warm milk mixture.

Add the milk mixture to the dry ingredients and mix very well.

Bake in the oven for 15 minutes.

So many people tell me baking is difficult, come on what could be easier than that.

The Syrup

When your cake is about to come out of the oven, melt the honey with the butter until very liquid but not boiling.

Pour the syrup over the cake as soon as it comes out of the oven and serve warm with cream or ice cream or let it cool and serve when you are ready to make someone verrrry happy.

There is a chocolate cake that also uses hot milk in the recipe that is truly decadent, try it you won’t regret it.

Chocolate layer cake

Chocolate layer cake

Chocolate cake

This chocolate cake uses hot milk and (I can’t tell you scientifically why it works out better, it just does, take it from me) in the recipe and just to add a little decadence to the cake I used both a chocolate icing on the outside and a meringue filling on the inside… It tastes just like melted marshmallow and who could not like that! If it is the last thing you do in the kitchen this year, make this fantastic chocolate cake. (2 x 19 or 20cm diameter cake tins)

What You Need

2 cups of cake flour
2 tablespoons of butter
1.5 cups sugar
4 eggs
4 teaspoons of baking powder
250 ml hot milk
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
2 ml of salt

Meringue Filling

Use this easy Meringue recipe. I mean it there is nothing to it.

You will have some left over so once you are done, make a small batch of meringues.

The Process

Preheat oven to 180⁰C.

Grease the cake tins with a little butter and make sure you get it into every little nook and cranny. Move the separator thingy(not sure what you call it) if you are using older cake tins and set them aside.

Crack the eggs into a small mixing bowl and give them a good beat with your electric mixer.

Add in the sugar and beat the hell out of them until they are light and fluffy, set aside.

Take a large mixing bowl and sift the dry ingredients, flour, baking powder and cocoa, together into a large bowl and set aside. You are almost ready to finish off.

In a pot on a medium heat, add the butter and milk and heat until you see bubbles forming around the edges. Let it bubble away for about 30 seconds.

Add the egg mixture to the dry ingredients and fold with a metal spoon until well combined.

Add the hot milk and butter to the mixture and mix well.

Now you are ready to finish. Pour the batter into the prepared cake tins and bake for approximately 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean.

Remove from the oven, allow to cool in the tins a few minutes then onto a rack to cool.

Sandwich the cakes with the meringue mixture (seen here), fresh whipped cream and Raspberry jam(done it and it’s delicious) or caramel(done and very sweet but seriously delicious) and ice with a rich chocolate frosting.