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.

Cherry pie recipe (tinned cherries)

Cherry pie recipe (tinned cherries)

cherry pie recipeAs a child I remember having the most delicious Sarah Lee cherry pies (not sure if you can still get them in SA) as a treat and as I have moved recently was keen to try out the new oven and decided to give a cherry pie recipe a try for some friends.

Everyone really enjoyed it and I can seriously recommend you try it. The recipe calls for ready made pastry so no messy stuff involved. It’s a pretty simple recipe and almost anyone could make this.

What you need:

2 x rolls frozen shortcrust pastry

1 1/4 cups sugar

3 tablespoons Maizena (corn starch)

Pinch of salt

2 x tins pitted black cherries in thick sauce

2 teaspoons lemon juice

1 tablespoon softened butter

Flan dish  (20cm)

The process

Set your oven to 200 celsius

Let the pastry thaw in the fridge over night and then lightly flour a surface and roll out so that you have enough width to line the flan dish with pastry. Spray the flan dish with spray and cook or butter well and then cover the pastry with baking paper and fill with baking beads.

Blind bake for 15 minutes, remove the beads and return to the oven for a further 10-15 minutes until lightly browned and crisp. Remove from the oven and let it cool.

Add sugar, Maizena and salt to a bowl and mix.

Drain the cherries and keep 1/2 cup of the sauce in a bowl.

Add the lemon juice to the cherry sauce and then add all of the dry ingredients and mix well.

Now add the softened butter and pop into the fridge for about 15 minutes.

The mixture is quite runny so don’t be alarmed.

Now place the cherry mixture into the beautifully crisp flan dish.

Cover with a lattice of pastry strips and pop into the oven for 50 minutes or so or until the lattice pastry is golden brown.

Serve with thick cream and ice cream.

Next time I will add a little cinnamon!!

 

Chicken Leek and Ham pie

Chicken Leek and Ham pie

Chicken and Ham pie with Leeks

I made these pies along with the Greek Lamb shanks and Lemon Flans for a dinner party of 23 people the other night and it went down a real treat. You can prepare the filling the night before and then just cover with the pastry and pop it in the oven half an hour before serving. It is a very simple recipe and seriously delicious.  Make a large pie or separate into 4 smaller pies, it works just as well. (Serves 4 to 6 people)

What you need

Large knob of butter (about 2 tablespoons)
1 large onion finely chopped
4 leeks finely sliced
4 chicken thighs poached and bones taken out
1 large potato cubed and par cooked
1/2 cup chicken stock
2 tablespoons flour
150g cooked ham chopped or shredded
1 pack frozen puff pastry
beaten egg for glazing
Pepper

The process

Put a large pan on a medium heat, melt the butter and then add the leeks and onions. Cook gently until they are soft but not browned. This should take about 10 minutes or so.

Now add the flour and give it a good mix. You want to cook the flour but not colour it so stir for about 3 minutes.

Add the chicken stock and bring to a gentle simmer so that the mixture begins to thicken. Now add the potato, chicken and ham, simmer for about 5 minutes, taste season if need be(this will depend a lot on the type of ham you use) and then remove from the stove.

Before serving, transfer everything into an oven proof disk, cover with the pastry, poke 2 holes into the top, wash with beaten egg and into a 200 Celsius oven for 30 minutes or until beautifully browned and puffed up.

This recipe can be doubled or trebled without any problem.

Banoffee Pie Recipe

Banoffee Pie Recipe

Italian banoffee pie recipe

Italian Banoffee Pie

There are few desserts as simple as making a banoffee pie and few that get the sounds of pure delight than this recipe. It’s of Italian origin I am told and although I love Italian food, have not had so many great desserts out of Italy so far.

You may have had one from woolies or a home industry but there is nothing like a home made banoffee and as we know, the act of making it transfers the love for the people you are making it and will taste so much better. It’s banana, cream, caramel and a beautiful crunchy base, you just have to try it, you will love it. This pie should serve about 8 people, it’s rich and seriously delicious. Use a 22cm pie dish.

What you need

120g butter
1/2 packet tennis biscuits
1/2 packey Marie bisuits (you can use a packet of tennis biscuits on their own)
1 tin caramel (carnation or clover make a great caramel)
3 or 4 bananas sliced about 5mm thick
250ml fresh whipping cream (be careful when you buy cream these days, there are so many varieties and some just do not whip)
1 teaspoon vanilla essence

The process

First off, take your biscuits and break them into a shopping bag, then place the shopping bag on the counter and with a rolling pin or wine bottle crush them into a fine powder. Now melt the butter in a medium size pot and add the biscuits, remove from the heat and mix the biscuit and butter mixture until all of the biscuit is evenly coated with butter.

Spoon into the pie dish about three quarters of the mixture and using a spoon spread it evenly and quite firmly over the bottom and up the sides of the dish. Try not to make the base thicker than about 3mm and press it down firmly. Using your finger tips, press the rest of the biscuit mixture into the sides of the dish closing up any holes.

Pop it into the fridge for about half an hour while you have a cuppa or a glass of wine and prepare the cream and bananas.

Slice the bananas into thin slices and set aside. Add the cream to a large bowl, add the vanilla and whip to a thick consistency.

Take your base from the fridge and place your banana slices on the bottom, then cover with the caramel using a spatula/spoon to spread evenly. Cover with the cream and give it a sprinkle with cocoa or grated chocolate or a few more banana slices, whatever you fancy really. (you can also mix the banana’s and the caramel together and then into the base)

Serve and watch the magic!!!

Toad in the Hole

Toad in the Hole

traditional english toad in the hole recipe

Toad in the hole

Don’t let the few ingredients fool you on this Toad in the hole recipe, it is fantastic. The batter will rise and rise and you will be tempted to open the oven, but resist and you will be rewarded with a puffed up Yorkshire pud that is hard to beat. If the areas below the sausages are a little wet don’t fret, this is exactly what you are meant to have. (for 3-4 people)

What you need

6-8 pork/beef sausages
1 1/2 tablespoon oil
225g plain flour (it is important to measure it)
4 large eggs
250ml full cream milk

The process

Heat your oven to 200 Celsius while you prepare, it is very important to place the dish in a hot oven.

You can use a metal roasting pan or an oven proof dish for this recipe that should be something close to 30cm x 20cm and have sides at least 7cm high.

Add the oil to your dish or pan and arrange the sausages in the base, place in the oven and bake for 10-15 minutes to cook the sausages while you prepare the Yorkshire pudding recipe. I cannot emphasis enough how important it is to get good quality sausages, some sausages have way too much fat in them and shrink down to these little tiddlers.

In a mixing bowl, add the flour, 3/4 of the milk and eggs, whisk it to a smooth consistency and then add the last of the milk in 2 portions mixing well between each addition. You will have a nice smooth, quite runny consistency. Season with a little salt and white pepper, give it a final whisk and transfer to a jug.

Take the sausage out of the oven and with tongs or a fork, move them around a bit so that none of the sausages are stuck to the bottom and try to leave equal spaces between the sausages. Now slowly pour the mixture in between the sausages so that they are almost covered.

Return to the oven for about 40 minutes and watch the Yorkshire pudding rise. It will rise above the edge of the dish. Check after 35 minutes or so to ensure that it does not burn. The Yorkshire pud should be a deep brown. puffed up and the sausages should be partly visible.

Serve straight away with a nice gravy. There is no reason why you could not use chicken sausages if you are averse to meat!

Cornish pasties

Cornish pasties

Cornish pasties

These cornish pasties are absolutely noting like the pies you would buy in a store unless it’s a home industry shop. They are really easy to make and if you are a bit stretched for time like I have been the last month or two, they freeze perfectly well and are an easy and quick meal to put together. It is well worth making the pastry yourself so take a few minutes extra and you and your family will not be sorry. (enough for 6 cornish pasties)

What you need

Pastry
2 1/2 cups plain flour
pinch salt (1/4 teaspoon)
125g butter cubed and chilled
4 or 5 tablespoons cold water

Filling
160g steak, trimmed of any fat and chopped into small pieces
1 small potato chopped into small squares
1 small onion grated or finely chopped
1 small carrot grated or finely chopped
2 teaspoons worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons beef stock
1 egg lighly beaten

The process

Take a large bowl and sift in the flour and salt.

If you have a food processor, pop the sifted flour into the food processor, add the butter and give it a spin until the butter is combined and you have what resembles breadcrumbs. Now add 4 tablespoons of water and give it a few pulses until you have the dough forming balls, if it is not forming balls add the rest of the water and pulse again.
If you don’t have a food processor, add the butter and with fingertips press the butter into the flour until you have breadcrumbs. add the water and use a knife to cut through the mixture, turning the bowl until you get the balls.

Now turn it onto a lightly floured board and bring it all together into a ball. Now wrap it in cling film and pop into the fridge while you make the filling.

Heat your oven to 200 Celsius

Chop up and mix all of your filling ingredients together, season with a little and a black pepper.(no cooking here)

Take out the dough and divide into 6portions, roll out on a lightly floured surface to about 3mm in thickness and using a side plate (approx 16cm diameter), cut a circle.

Place equal amounts of the filling into the center of each circle and then brush the edges with the lightly beaten egg. Now lift the edges and pinch together at the top, working your way down to the bottom and place onto a lighly buttered and floured baking tray. Give each one a brush with the remaining egg and pop into the oven, close the door and turn the oven to 180 Celsius. Bake for 20 minutes and your cornish pasties are done.

It’s really not that difficult and so worth it, give them a try. If you have leeks/peas or anything else you want to put into the pasties, give it a go, make them to your own taste. Try the Chicken pie for another easy pie recipe and never forget a winter favourite dessert, hot chocolate and banana pudding.

Milk Tart

Milk Tart

Milk Tart

Milk tart or Melk Tert is as South African as biltong and dry wors and this is one of those recipes you are going to want to bookmark, print or share so that you never lose it. Milk tart has been one of my favorite desserts for a very long time and I have tried quite a number of Millk Tart recipes and if you have been following these recipes for a while, you will know that the easier the better for me. It’s a goodie this one, try it.

What you need

Crust
110g flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
5 tablespoons caster sugar
60g butter

Filling
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons maizena (cornflour)
2 tablespoons flour
500ml milk
100g sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
Cinnamon

The process

Heat your oven to 180 Celsius

On a low heat melt the butter for the pastry.

In a mixing bowl, add the flour baking powder and caster sugar for the crust and give it a mix to distribute the ingredients evenly. Add the melted butter and use your fingers to mix it into the dry ingredients until you get it all sticking together in a crumbly shortbread kind of consistency with no flour left in the bowl.

Now take your pie dish (about 20cm circle) and press the pastry into the base and up the sides with an even thickness. Prick it with a fork about 4 or 5 times over the base and then pop it into the oven for about 12 minutes or so until the pastry is light brown. Remove and set aside.

While the pastry is browning get another mixing bowl and add the flour, maizena and eggs, whisk them together.

Now take a small pot on a medium heat and add the milk, sugar and salt. Heat until the sugar has completely dissolved and you are stirring continuously. The milk should be threatening to boil at this stage with small bubbles appearing around the edge (don’t let it boil).

Remove from the heat and allow to cool for about 10 minutes and then pour the milk in a slow stream into the egg mixture while you whisk. It is really important to add the heat gradually while you whisk. This prevents lumps from forming and does not cook the egg too quickly(If there is someone nearby to help you, that is best)

The mixture will be thickening while you whisk and once you have finished adding all of the milk mixture, return everything to the pot over a medium to low heat and add the vanilla essence. Cook it for a few minutes stirring constantly(slowly) until the custard has thickened to a wonderful creamy texture.

Fill up your base with the custard filling, give it a good dusting with cinnamon and set it aside in a cool place to set. Then pop it in the fridge for about an hour before digging in.

I know it seems like a long recipe but it’s really not…. I just want you to really enjoy this one!

Easy Chicken pie in a pot

Easy Chicken pie in a pot

Chicken pie

This is a fantastic Chicken Pie recipe that is very easy to make and thanks to frozen puff pastry takes only minutes to prepare. It makes a large pie that can feed about 6 people but tastes so good, 4 hungry people will devour it in no time. There is something so good about the smell of pastry baking in the oven and your family will be at the door asking when it will be ready.

What you need

250g frozen puff pastry that is thawed
1 beaten egg

1 tablespoon butter
2 medium onions grated or finely chopped
1 tin corn kernels drained
100g sliced button mushrooms
1 cup frozen peas
1 whole cooked chicken chopped or shredded depending on how you like it

2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
500ml chicken stock
250ml fresh cream

The process

Before you start this recipe, pop your frozen pastry in the fridge for about 2 hours to thaw. It is best to thaw it out in the freezer than on the counter or microwave, just seems to stay intact better.

Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a pan on a medium heat and fry the onions until they are soft, add the mushrooms and fry for about another 3 minutes stirring occasionally.

Now add the corn, frozen peas and chicken and cook for a few minutes to mix in all of the ingredients. Remove from the heat and set aside.

In another pot, melt 2 tablespoons of butter and add the flour. Stir or whisk well to cook the flour a little, be careful not to burn it, you want it to be better yellow not brown. Now remove it from the heat and add the chicken stock in a slow stream, whisk very well while adding the stock until all of the flour is mixed in and you have no lumps.

Pop it back on the stove and bring to the boil while you stir continuously, then reduce the heat to low, add the cream and stir until you feel it starting to thicken up. Remove from the heat, toss in the chicken mixture and give it a good mix.

Pour the mixture into a casserole dish that is about 20cm x 20cm x 10cm or a shallower one that is about 30cm x 20cm x 6cm and then place the pastry over the top. Tuck it in and fold any overlaps back onto the top. Cut 2 x 4cm slits in the pastry, wash the top with the beaten egg and place in a 180 Celsius oven for about 30 mins or until the pastry is crisp and browned.

It’s a fantastic meal folks, try it.

Take a look at the other easy chicken recipes.

Chicken pie

Chicken pie

Chicken pies

Chicken pies

Chicken pies are just great and this recipe is for 6 small pies or about 20 ramekin sized pies which are excellent for a snack instead of the usual snack types. Just load them onto a tray with teaspoons and believe me your guests will love them. I had similar little pies at the opening of a shop earlier this month and they were a real hit. You could also try a mini version of chicken lasagna for a change.

What you need

1 whole chicken
1 liter chicken stock
1 onion roughly chopped
Pinch of whole black peppercorns (about 8 or so)
2 whole cloves
1/2 teaspoon mixed spice
salt and black pepper
2 egg yolks lightly beaten
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 punnet mushrooms chopped(250g)
1 packet bacon chopped into small pieces
Handful of chopped fresh parsley
1 roll froxen puff pastry (400g)
1 egg
Milk

The process

In a large pot on a medium to high heat, heat the stock, add the onion, peppercorns, mixed spice and cloves. Pop in the chicken and allow to simmer for about 40 minutes. You want the stock to be bubbling slowly, so adjust the heat down if it is boiling.

Remove the chicken and allow to cool until you can handle it with your hands. Leave the stock on the stove and allow it to continue simmering until it has reduced by about half.

Now peel off the skin and remove as much meat as you can, making sure there are no bones or cartilage in your pie of chicken meat. Toss out the bones and the skin and break up the meat into morsel size pieces.

Fry the bacon pieces in medium until well cooked, remove and set aside.

Add your mushrooms to the simmering stock and leave to simmer for about 5 minutes until soft. remove from the heat, get a whisk add the egg yolks and whisk fast until the mixture turns creamy and thickens. Add the lemon juice, stir, taste and season a little with salt and pepper.

Now add the chicken, parsley and the bacon to the creamy mushroom sauce and mix to combine everything.

Cover and allow the mixture to cool.

Take 6 small ovenproof bowls of about 6cm deep and 10cm diameter, butter them lightly and share the mixture evenly between them. If you are using ramekins fill them to 3/4 full.

Now place a piece of pastry over the top of each bowl, brush with a mixture of egg and milk, pierce the center with a knife and place in a 200 Celsius oven for 15 to 20 minutes until the pastry is beautifully browned.

You are going to love these folks. Try some of the other festive recipes.

Spinach and potato bake

Spinach and potato bake

Spinach potato bake

Spinach potato bake

Potato bakes are great with almost any meal to give you a tasty starch and adding the spinach may even get the kids eating spinach! Imagine that. It’s a really tasty potato bake recipe that makes any meal something great. Roast a few chicken pieces, cook a few chops or a piece of steak and you have a great meal with this recipe. (4 people)

What you need

250g washed and chopped spinach leaves
4 medium potatoes thinly sliced
250ml cream
1 teaspoon crushed garlic
2 tablespoons wholegrain mustard

The process

Boil some water in a pot and toss in the spinach, allow to soften slightly, this will take about 1 minute.

Drain into a colander. When it is cool enough to handle, squeeze out excess water and place in a bowl. Loosen it up a bit ready for the potato bake construction.

Mix together the cream, mustard and garlic.

Lightly butter a 19 or 23cm casserole dish and make a layer of potato on the base. This should use about 1/3 of the potatoes. Top with 1/3 of the spinach and 1/3 of the cream mixture. Repeat 3 times.

Cover you dish with aluminium foil and place in a 170 Celsius oven for 1 hour. Then take of the aluminium foil and bake for another 30 minutes. The top should now be a caramel brown colour.

It’s a no hassle and almost impossible to go wrong recipe that will add something special to any meal.

Enjoy it folks. Here is another potato bake recipe