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.

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.

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!!

 

Fathers day Lunch

Fathers day Lunch

Fathers day

Dads seldom need more than to be shown that you appreciate them and what better way than to spend a little time preparing a few of his favorite meals. Spoil the Dads this weekend with a hearty lunch and a dessert that will have him singing your praises and looking forward to next year. Here are a few ideas that are really simple but will show him that you have put in the effort to make something special.

Always remember that the love you put into your food comes through in the flavour and remember to tell him you love him when you place it in front of him, it will bring tears to his eyes and probably result in a string of stories about when you were a nipper. After you have made your Dad the French toast for breakfast, try one of these.

Greek Lamb shanks

These are truly delicious, the preparation takes a little time and you need a bit of time for it to cook, but oh so well worth it.

Jeremy Mansfields Greek style chicken

This is one of the easiest yet tastiest meals to prepare and is a real winner for chicken lovers.

For Dessert in winter you NEED to make one of these beauties, they are foolproof and seriously delicious. Check the comments for inspiration.

Malva pudding recipe

Sticky toffee pudding

Apple passion crumble

Warm banana chocolate dessert

Warm banana chocolate dessert

chocolate-banana-dessertThere seems to be a glut of bananas on the market at the moment. PicknPay were all but giving them away last week and here is a really delicious warm dessert for those bananas that are getting over ripe. Also remember that if you peel and slice bananas you can freeze them and then pop them frozen into a blender for an ice cream type treat.

What you need

120ml soft butter (100 grams)
175ml white sugar
175ml brown sugar
1 egg beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
250ml mashed bananas
400ml flour (1 and 3/4 cups)
2 teaspoons baking powder
pinch salt
1 cup chocolate chips

The process

Add the softened butter and both sugars to a bowl and mix together very well then add the vanilla essence and egg and beat well with electric beater.

Sift in the flour, baking powder and a pinch of salt and mix until combines.

Add the banana and chocolate chips and mix gently with a metal spoon to evenly distribute the banana and chocolate chips, you dont want to mix it, just distribute it.

You have quite a large amount of mixture so place it in a large baking dish or roasting pan and bake at 180 Celsius for about 20 minutes. Check on it after 10 minutes and if the sides seem to be cooking too fast, turn the oven down to 160.

Allow it to cool slightly and dig in. It’s simple and very tasty.

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!

Black Cherry Tiramisu

Black Cherry Tiramisu

black cherry tiramisu

Black Cherry Tiramisu

This is a non alcoholic Tiramisu that worked so well the friends and family were groaning at the table, taking “just one more little piece”. It really is very simple and the only thing you need to be a little careful with is not turning the egg yolks into scrambled eggs but I have a fool proof method for that which will make sure your Black Cherry Tiramisu is perfect every time. You wil;l need a 30cm round pie dish or similar (makes enough for 10 people)

What you need

1 x 200g packet lady fingers (Bonomi is the brand I used from Picknpay)
2 x tins black cherries in syrup (pitted)
3 x tablespoons caster sugar

6 x egg yolks
4 tablespoons caster sugar
500g Mascarpone cheese (or 250g mascarpone and 250ml fresh cream beaten stiff)
1 teaspoon vanilla essence

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

The process

Open the tins of black cherries and add the syrup to a pot on a medium heat. Add the caster sugar and stir until the caster sugar is completely dissolved then remove and allow to cool while you make the mascarpone mixture. (if you want an alcoholic version, add 2 tots of cherry liqueur now.

follow these steps for the mascarpone exactly to ensure your egg yolks don’t scramble

Put a small pot of water onto the stove and bring to the boil, remove it.

In a glass mixing bowl add the egg yolks and caster sugar and beat to combine. Now place the bowl over the hot water in the pot and continue to beat until the misture turns a pale yellow (more white than yellow). It will thicken and when you lift the beaters it should leave a light trail along the top (about 3 minutes of beating)

Remove from the pot of hot water and beat for another 2 minutes until it has cooled a little.

In another bowl combine the mascarpone and vanilla essence (or if you like it a bit lighter like I do the mascarpone and beaten fresh cream and vanilla essence) Mix until smooth with no lumps.

Add the egg yolk and sugar mixture to the mascarpone mixture and fold together until well combines and smooth.

Dip the lady fingers one at a time in the cherry sauce and line the base of your pie dish with ladyfingers.

Add a layer of the creamy mixture and half of the cherries (halve them for a complete layer) and then sprinkle over a little cinnamon.

Repeat the process one more time ending with a layer of black cherries over the top.

Chill in the fridge for about 4-6 hours (this can be made the day before.

Folks, this is seriously delicious, the cherry flavour seems to fool you into thinking it’s not so rich and every mouthful is so tasty you will be hard pressed to stop before you are groaning. 🙂

Enrista Cappuccino reviews

Enrista Cappuccino reviews

I was sent a package containing bags of the 4 different Enrista Cappuccino sachets to try out and asked everyone in the office to taste them and give some feedback which resulted in the following reviews.

You must check out their website, it’s a work of art and gives you all the coffee facts and product info you will need. http://www.enrista.co.za or pop in to their facebook page, they have regular contests. http://www.facebook.com/cafeEnrista

Clinton reckons they are fantastic and really enjoyed the sweetened Cappuccino.

Scott also liked the stronger version in the unsweetened version (he thinks he’s dieting and every morning tells us “it’s gone” while patting his stomach)

Marinda, Trish and Cassandra liked the Decaf and the light versions saying the creamy topping is superb and so much better than their usual morning coffee which is a pretty good coffee I must say!

Here is my review: I liked the unsweetened original stronger cappuccino because I like my coffee sweet and have to say the topping is really creamy. I found myself drinking in as much of the creaminess as possible with the first few sips. For me the light is not strong enough but then I like my coffee nice and strong. The Decaf I also enjoyed but have to say, decaf and coffee should just not go in the same sentence!

You have to read Rozanne’s review, I asked her how she liked them and this is what I got back from her, a copywriter in the making I tell you.

Rozanne clearly loved them!

For those of you who, like me, enjoy the finer things in life then Cafe Enrista is just for you! Who needs a regular cup of coffee when you can, just as easily, have deliciously creamy cappuccinos?

Not only do these magical sachets turn my dreary mornings right around, but the different types of cappuccinos make them perfect for everyone (including you!).

My personal favorite is the original, sweetened cappuccino. It’s not too strong, just perfect. The layer of foam is gloriously thick and after taking your first sip, you’ll strongly resemble Santa Clause! I’ve always been a person with a sweet tooth, that’s why I love the sweetened cappuccino (you can’t get more convenient than that!).

Sometimes (around bikini season) I like to stay away from the sweet stuff. Once again, Enrista to the rescue. The UNsweetened cappuccino is just as marvelous as the sweetened, but the distinct and dangerously delicious taste of coffee is more evident.

For those of you who aren’t so keen on the strong stuff, the Lite cappuccino is just for you. It does not mean “Light” as is fat free, but rather weaker, creamier and more milky. I’m a bit of a cappuccino addict, so this is not my cup of tea (pun intended) although, my gran seems to love it!

We all love a good cappuccino after a meal. But, many of us neglect our cravings at night time. Never fear, Enrista is here! The blue sachets contain the contents of the perfect decaf cappuccino. Now, my family and I can all sit together after dinner and enjoy the yumminess of Cafe Enrista.

PS – it’s so good, I even caught my housekeeper sneaking some out the kitchen cupboard!

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!!!

Bread and butter pudding

Bread and butter pudding

Bread and Butter Pudding

Bead and butter pudding is one of those desserts that seem to really bring a family together and get them chatting at the end of a meal. Its warm, homely, moreish and smells great. I know it’s been so hot in SA lately but serve this with a dollop of great vanilla ice cream or shipped cream and you have a winner.

What you need

Crustless bread cut into triangles (I sometimes leave the crusts on of they are thin)
Butter
Apricot jam
Coconut grated (optional)
1/4 cup Raisins andcurrants (optional)
2 eggs
750ml milk
125ml sugar

The process

Butter and jam bread generously.

Arrange bread triangles overlapping slightly in an ovenproof dish, if using coconut, sprinkle over the bread.

Beat eggs, add sugar and milk then pour it over the bread and leave to soak for 30 mins. Sprinkle over the currants and raisins.

Bake at 160 celsius for 1 hour or until the top is browning lightly and the custard mixture is heaving underneath the bread.

Serve with whipped cream or ice cream

Simple, done and dusted.