Sunday, 28 July 2013

Oreo Cheesecake Bites

Recipe found on Mel's Kitchen Cafe

Oreo Cheesecake Bites

For the base
12 oreos
28g unsalted butter, melted
For the filling
550g cream cheese
100g granulated sugar
120ml sour cream
½ tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs
6 oreos, coursely chopped

57g white chocolate
57g plain chocolate

1. Preheat the oven to 170C/325F/mark 3. Line an 8x8 inch pan with foil, leaving a slight overhang.

2. For the base, place the oreos in a food processor with the butter and pulse to combine. Press into the bottom of the prepared pan.

3. For the filling, beat together the cream cheese and sugar. Mix in the sour cream and vanilla and add the eggs, one at a time. Fold in the chopped oreos.

4. Pour the batter into the pan over the biscuit base and bake for 35-40 minutes, or until the sides are set and the centre is almost set. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before refrigerating for at least 8 hours.

5. Remove the cheesecake from the fridge and slice into small squares. Melt the chocolates in separate bowls. Drizzle the chocolates over the cheesecake bars and return to the fridge to allow the chocolate to set before serving.

Apricot Thyme & Vanilla Brûlée Tart

Recipe found on desserts for breakfast 

Apricot Thyme & Vanilla Brûlée Tart

For the shortcrust pastry
2tbsp thyme leaves
260g plain flour
50g caster sugar
1/8 tsp salt
100g cold unsalted butter, cut into little cubes
1 egg yolk
3-4 tbsp water
1 egg white
For the crème patissière
1tbsp vanilla bean paste
240ml milk
240ml double cream
40g plain flour
75g sugar
6 egg yolks

apricots, halved
brown caster sugar
thyme leaves

1. For the pastry, place the thyme, flour, sugar, salt and butter in a food processor and pulse until the butter is evenly distributed and the size of small peas. Add the egg yolk and pulse to combine, then add the water, one tablespoon at a time. Pulse until the dough holds together when pressed between two fingers.

2. Form the dough into a small flat disc, cover with cling film and refrigerate for at least one hour.

3. Preheat the oven to 220C/425F/mark 7. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out to 1/8 inch thickness. Transfer the dough to a 9 inch tart pan, press into the bottom and sides and prick the base several times with a fork. Put some baking paper into the pastry case and pour over some baking beans or raw rice. Bake in for 13-15 minutes, before removing the beans/rice and baking paper and returning to the oven for 3-5 minutes, or until the pastry is light golden brown. Remove the pastry from the oven and leave to cool on a wire rack.

4. For the crème patissière, combine the vanilla, milk and cream in a small saucepan and heat gently until just simmering.

5. In a large saucepan, whisk together the flour and sugar. Add the milk and cream to the flour mixture and cook over a medium-low heat, whisking until the mixture has boiled for two minutes.

6. In a large heatproof bowl, whisk together the egg . Gradually add the hot mixture to the egg yolks, whisking constantly. Return to the saucepan and bring to 170C. Remove from the heat, transfer to a heatproof bowl and leave to cool. Cover and refrigerate until cool.

7. Remove the crème patissière from the fridge, whisk briefly and spread into the pastry.

8. Arrange the apricots over the tart. Just before serving, sprinkle the apricots with a thin layer of sugar and caramelize with a blowtorch or under the grill. Garnish with a few thyme leaves.

Saturday, 27 July 2013

Ginger Carrot Cake

I had been craving carrot cake for a good week or so, and had a half-tub each of cream cheese and mascarpone left over from making this cake (as well as a little of the ginger cream cheese/mascarpone frosting).
Anyway, the only sensible solution was a little too apparent... grab a couple of carrots and whip up a carrot cake, heavy on the ginger. I had only two and a half pecans, so decided to make the cake heavier on the ginger, incorporating fresh ginger, and left out any fruit and nuts.
The recipe for the cake was adapted from a recipe found on Bisous a Toi and the frosting was adapted from the one for this cake.
To make this into a round layer cake, double up the ingredients for the cake and triple the ingredients for the frosting. Bake in a round cake pan and slice into layers.

Ginger Carrot Cake

For the cake
150g (¾ cups) granulated sugar
180ml (¾ cups oil canola/vegetable oil
2 eggs
156g (1 cup) plain flour, sifted
1tsp bicarbonate of soda
1tsp baking powder
1tsp cinnamon
1tsp ground ginger
¼ tsp nutmeg
¼ tsp salt
150g (1 ½) cups carrots, grated
1tbsp fresh ginger, finely grated
For the frosting
1.5cm fresh ginger, finely sliced
10g caster sugar
10ml water
35g unsalted butter
100g icing sugar, sifted
75g mascarpone
100g cream cheese
½ tsp ground ginger


1. Grease and line cake pans. Preheat the oven to 180◦C/450F/mark 4.

2. For the cake, beat together the sugar and oil, then add in the eggs and mix to combine.

3. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and salt.

4. Add the dry ingredients to the wet mixture and mix until just combined. Fold in the carrots and fresh ginger and mix to incorporate evenly.

5. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 45-60 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.

6. For the frosting, place the ginger, sugar and water in a small saucepan. Heat gently until dissolved, then bring to a boil and remove from the heat. Once the syrup has cooled, remove and discard the ginger.

7. Beat together the butter and icing sugar (this may be most easily done in a food processor). Add the mascarpone, cream cheese, ground ginger and ginger syrup. Beat until homogeneous and use to frost the cake.

Sunday, 21 July 2013

Brown butter layered brownies

Recipe from Mel's Kitchen Cafe

Brown butter layered brownies

For brownie layer
113g unsalted butter
170g plain chocolate, chopped
400g caster sugar
4 eggs
½ tsp salt
155g plain flour
1 tsp vanilla extract
For the brown butter layer
113g unsalted butter
230g icing sugar, sifted
60ml double cream
1tsp vanilla extract
For the glaze
43g unsalted butter
113g plain chocolate

1. Preheat the oven to 170C/325F/mark 3. Grease and line an 9x13 inch pan.

2. For the brownie layer, place the butter in a small saucepan and heat gently until completely melted. Set aside to cool.

3. In a large bowl, mix together the eggs, sugar and salt. Once the mixture has become thick and more pale, fold in the chocolate mixture. Sift in the flour, add the vanilla and mix thoroughly. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan. Bake for 25-30 minutes, then allow to cool completely.

4. For the brown butter layer, place the butter in a small saucepan and heat gently until melted. Continue to heat until the butter browns. Transfer to a small bowl, then mix in the icing sugar, cream and vanilla. Spread over the brownies.

5. For the glaze, melt the butter and chocolate together in a heatproof bowl in the microwave oven or over a pan of simmering water. Pour over the brownies and chill until set.

Raspberry Coconut Cake

This cake is lovely for a hot day, a day which calls out for a cake fix but without a slathering of frosting. I must admit, I was surprised with the outcome of this cake as far as the flavour goes. I had expected the coconut to come through more, but it is extremely subtle.

Recipe found on DeliciousDeliciousDelicious

Raspberry Coconut Cake

Ingredients:For the Cake
400g plain flour
400g caster sugar
5tbsp baking powder
225g unsalted butter, cubed
5 egg whites
400ml coconut milk
2tsp vanilla extract

For the filling
250g mascarpone
150g raspberries3tbsp icing sugar


1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/mark 4 and grease and line two 24cm cake tins.

2. Mix together the flour, sugar and baking powder in a large bowl. Add the butter and two thirds of the coconut milk. Beat together for 2 minutes.

3. In a separate bowl, mix together the egg whites, remaining coconut milk and vanilla extract. Add to the flour mixture in thirds, beating well after each addition.

5. Divide the batter between the tins and bake for 40 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes away clean. Leave to cool in the tins for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

6. For the filling, mix together the mascarpone, raspberries and icing sugar. Use the filling to sandwich together the cake layers. Dust with icing sugar.

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Apricot & Fig Tea Loaf

Recipe from Poires au Chocolat

Apricot Fig Tea Loaf

125g dried apricots
125g dried figs
100g sultanas
½ vanilla pod
200ml Earl Grey tea
150g pecan halves
100g light brown sugar
pinch salt
1 egg
225g plain flour
1 ½ tsp baking powder
2tbsp milk

1. Place the apricots, figs and sultanas into a saucepan. Split the vanilla pods, scrape out the seeds and add the seeds and pod to the pan. Stew the tea until it takes on a deep amber colour. Pour the tea over the fruit and cook over a low heat, covered, for an hour, stirring occasionally.

2. Preheat the oven to 170C/325F/mark 3. Line a 9x5 inch loaf tin with baking paper or lightly greased foil.

3. Toast the pecan halves in the oven for about 5 minutes. Chop the pecans into small chunks and set aside.

4. Drain the fruit, reserving about 50ml of liquid. Top up the liquid to 80ml with water and return to the pan. Add the sugar and salt and heat gently until the sugar has dissolved. Pour into a large mixing bowl.

5. Chop the apricots and figs into small chunks and stir into the sugar syrup. Beat the egg and add to the mixture. Sift the flour and baking powder and mix in. Add the milk and mix until well combined. Transfer the mixture to the prepared tin and bake for 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the centre of the loaf comes out clean (a piece of foil or greaseproof paper may need to be used to cover the top of the loaf to stop it browning too much).
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