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!!

 

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.

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!!!

Simple apple cake

Simple apple cake

Easy Italian apple cake

This easy apple cake recipe is ideal as a hot dessert with cream or as a tea time cake served cold. It’s a really simple recipe and while the apples are sweet and delicious in the shops right now, you are going to want to try this one. Use nice large golden delicious apples they work perfectly but any good apple will be fine. The beauty of this cake is that it is really simple to make and never fails to please.

What you need

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2/3 cup sugar
3 eggs
2/3 cup melted butter (use unsalted here)
Zest of 1 medium lemon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/3 cup milk
3 sliced and cored apples about 5mm thick

The process

Heat your oven to 180 Celsius

Add all of the ingredients except the apples to a large bowl and beat very well with an electric beater until you have a smooth well mixed cake mixture. Use a food processor if you have one.

Lightly butter a 23cm spring form cake pan and then flour it by placing about 2 tablespoons of flour into the cake tin and shaking and tapping it around until you have a fine film of flour coating over the butter. discard and left over flour.

Pour in the batter and cover the top of the mixture with the apple slices in a circular pattern. Don’t press then down, they will submerge slightly into the batter which is just what you want.

Bake in the center of the oven for about 1 hour or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean. The top should be golden brown and the cake puffed up between some of the apple slices.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool for at least 10-15 minutes before removing the sides.

Serve as a hot dessert with cream and a sprinkling of caster sugar or have as a tea cake. Try this one, it’s easy and impressive.

Easy Eton mess

Easy Eton mess

Eton mess

Meringue, strawberries and cream are about as good a summer dessert as you will get and this recipe takes so little effort to prepare you will hardly believe it. It is a traditional English dessert recipe that is usually made with raspberries but strawberries work for me. In fact you could use any fresh fruit or berries like gooseberries or peach slices for example, the result is always the same… silence at the table after the first mouthful or two and then endless compliments. (6-8 servings)

What you need

2 egg whites
100g caster sugar
150ml double cream
150g white chocolate chopped into small pieces
200g plain full cream yoghurt
350g fresh strawberries

The process

Firstly make the ganache by adding 1/2 the cream to a sauce pan and heating until it begins to bubble on the edges. Remove from the heat and add the chocolate. stir gently to melt the chocolate. Add the rest of the cream and with a beater on medium beat until it the ganache forms a soft peak when the beaters are removed. Set aside

Now heat your oven 140 Celsius, line a baking sheet with baking paper and make the meringue. Beat the egg whites in a large bowl until stiff peaks form. To test, if you turn the bowl upside down the egg mixture does not slip out. Now add the caster sugar in 3 batches and whick into the egg whites until the mixture is smooth and glossy. Take a dessert spoon and place spoonfulls of the mixture on the baking sheet, pop in the oven for about an hour or until crisp but still pale. Remove and allow them to cool.

Now for the final bit, add the yoghurt to the ganache and mix together with a metal spoon. You don’t need to mix it in if you know what I mean, just distribute the yoghurt evenly. ( imagine you will get a little of the sweet chocolate and then also a little of the yoghurt taste)

Break up the meringues into a large serving bowl, add the strawberries and the ganache mixture and turn it as if you were gently tossing a salad. Serve immediately.

It’s just so fantastic I can taste it while I’m typing.

To make the dessert a little fancier, you can simply structure each bowl with a whole meringue or two, a few strawberries and a lashing of ganache.

Pears with maple syrup

Pears with maple syrup

Pears in maple syrup

The pears around right now are really fantastic so this is the ideal dessert. It looks really impressive and is a great Valentines dessert that can be prepared ahead of time and then just stacked up and served. This pear dessert is so simple you will be making it whenever pears are in season. (4 people)

What you need

2 pears thinly sliced
2 tablespoons melted butter
demerara sugar
Thick plain yoghurt
Maple syrup

The process

Slice the pears lengthways and then lightly brush with melted butter. Drop them into the sugar to coat and then cook them in a pan on a medium heat for about 1 minute on each side. The sugar will melt and the pears will brown beautifully.

If you are serving them cold, allow them to cool and then cover and place in the fridge until you need them.

Serve straight from the pan or fridge stacked up then with a dollop of thick plain yoghurt and a drizzle of maple syrup.

These are really good I tell you.

As  a Valentines meal how about the beef rissoles or something from the Chinese menu, which is always good sharing food.

New Orleans bananas

New Orleans bananas

New Orleans Bananas

New Orleans Bananas

The year is almost over and this dessert screams good times. It has rum, bananas, rasins and cinnamon. It’s a really great way to end a dinner party and takes little effort to prepare. (4-6 people with ice cream.)

What you need

4 large ripe bananas
Handful of raisins (a little less than 1/2 a cup)
3 tots dark rum
60g butter
4 tablespoons brown sugar
½ teaspoon cinnamon
Vanilla ice cream

The process

First put the 3 tots of rum into a cup and toss in the raisins, set them aside to plump up.

In a pan on a medium heat, melt the butter, then add the sugar and stir until it has completely melted. Slice the bananas through the center, add to the sauce and cook for 3 or 4 minutes until soft, turning them gently every now and then.

Sprinkle over the cinnamon, add the raisins and rum mixture and allow to heat through for about another 2 minutes or so.

That’s that, sauce done.

Serve hot or cold topped off with a ball or 2 of ice cream.

Traditional steamed Christmas pudding

Traditional steamed Christmas pudding

Steamed Christmas pudding

Steamed Christmas pudding

This Christmas pudding recipe really needs a scale, I have tried to get it to cups but depending on the size of some of the ingredients, whether they are chopped or not etc… just does not do it justice. Head on over to the appliances section and get one, they are not expensive and once you have one you will wonder how you did without it.

You should make your Christmas puddings now for Christmas, just like a good Christmas cake, a Christmas pudding needs some time for all of the flavours to combine and the alcohol to really make a difference. Some say you should make them as far as 3 months ahead but not really necessary. You can also make it a week or so before but giving it time does make a difference. It’s an old fashioned recipe that has suet in it which you can get from your butcher, you just need to ask for it. You can use Brandy or Rum. Makes 2 small ones or 1 large one.

What you need

120g caster sugar
120g suet
150g sultanas
150g raisins
120g currants
60g candied citrus peel chopped
60g flour
60g breadcrumbs
25g almond flakes
Zest of 1/2 lemon
3 medium eggs beaten
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon mixed spice
1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
pinch of salt
75ml brandy

The process

Take either 2 small glass bowls (600ml or so) or 1 larger glass mixing bowl (1200 to 1500ml) and lightly butter them inside. Use a piece of the butter wrapper, it’s easiest.

Combine everything except the Brandy and eggs in a large mixing bowl and mix with a wooden spoon to distribute evenly. Now add the Brandy and the eggs and give it a good mix.

Fill the bowls equally with mixture and then cover tightly with tin foil by laying a piece over the top and creating a thick edge with the foil that hangs over the edge.

Now take the largest pot you have, place a saucer upside down on the base, place the pudding on the saucer and pour water around the side to reach about 2/3 up the side of the pudding and bring to the boil. When it’s boiling reduce heat to a simmer, place the lid on and it needs to steam for 5 hours.

Important: Check every 15 to 30 minutes depending on the size of your pot and top up the water level.

Remove from the heat and allow it to cool before yuo remove it. Once cooled and out of the pot, cover it with a fresh piece of foil and set it on a shelf in a cool dry place until you are ready to eat.

To reheat, steam in the same way for an hour, place a plate over the top and then turn upside down allowing the pudding to settle on the plate.

Pour about 2 tablespoons of brandy over the top and set it alight. merry Christmas.

It’s very rich and this will happily serve 6 to 8 people with custard and perhaps one of these strawberry cream cakes.

Here are all the rest of the Christmas recipes you will need.

Apple passion crumble

Apple passion crumble

Apple passion crumble

Apple passion crumble

This is a really great recipe. Hot Apple crumble with whipped cream or ice cream is one of my real favorites but the passion fruit and pear flavour added to the apple is just fantastic. Don’t be shy with the whipped cream on this one, forget any diet your are on and just indulge yourself. Eat it straight from the oven, you are going to love it. If you don’t want to make your own pastry, use the supermarket short crust pastry. (serves 6-8 people)

What you need

3 cups flour
1/3 cup caster sugar
250g butter cubed
1 teaspoon cinnamon powder
2 large eggs
2 tins apples slices (800g)
2 tins pears halves(800g)
4/5 passion friut (1/4 cup)
1 tablespoon brown sugar

The process

Take a 23cm springform cake tin and butter it lightly. Even if you are using a non stick tin, butter it, it adds to the flavour.

In a large bowl add the flour, caster sugar, cinnamon and butter cubes. Rub together with your finger tips until crumbly or process in a food processor by pulsing until crumbly.

Now add the eggs and mix with a wooden spoon until the dough comes together. if processing, continue to pulse until it forms a ball.

Lightly flour a surface and knead the dough for about 5 minutes or so until smooth. Wrap in clingwrap and place in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Take 2/3’s of the pastry and press into the base of the tin and up the sides about 7cm or so. Cover it with baking paper and fill with rice. Bake it at 180 Celsius for 15 minutes, then take out the paper and rice and bake for another 10 minutes, remove and set aside. Freeze the last 1/3.

Drain of the liquid from the apples and pears and then place them in a clean cloth to dry them off a bit.

Now add the apple pear and passion fruit pulp to a bowl with the brown sugar and toss it or stir lightly to combine.

Fill the crust with the apple mixture and use a grater to grate the remaining 1/3 of frozen pastry over the top, sprinkle a little extra cinnamon over the top and bake again at 180 celsius for about 30 minutes or until the top is golden brown and crisp. This can take up to 40 minutes.

Allow to cool for about 15 if you can, the filling is seriously hot.

Serve with whipped cream…. Sublime I tell you. Here is another fantastic apple pie recipe