Monday, 23 June 2014

Strawberries and Cream Cheesecake


This strawberries and cream cheesecake is heaven in a tin. Who doesn't love cheese, strawberries, biscuits and cream? That is basically what this recipe is all creamed into one tin.

This cheesecake is perfect for this time of year; with summer blooming and Wimbledon beginning (you could make this recipe as a twist on the classic strawberries and cream) what better time to make this recipe then now?

 Strawberries and Cream Cheesecake:
*Adapted from the hummingbird bakery recipe*
220g Digestive Biscuits
100g Melted Butter
200g Chopped Strawberries
100g Strawberries halved for the topping
180g Caster Sugar
600g Cream Cheese
2 Eggs
100g Mascarpone Cheese
20g Icing Sugar
100ml Double Cream

1. Preheat the oven to gas mark 3. Line the base of the tin with baking paper. Blitz the biscuits into crumbs using a food processor or crush them by putting them in an sealed bag and bash with a rolling pin.
2. Combine the biscuit crumbs and melted butter into a bowl. Tip the crumbs into the prepared tin and pat down making sure they are evenly dispersed. Leave to set in the fridge for 30 minutes.
3. In the mean time put the strawberries, 80g of th sugar and 50ml of water into a saucepan. Bring to the boil then leave to simmer until the strawberries are soft and the water has reduced to half its original size. Leave to cool.
4. For the cheese topping, whisk together the cream cheese and remaining sugar until smooth. Add the eggs and continue to whisk to well combined. Fold in the cooked strawberries.
5. Pour the cream cheese mixture into the prepared tin. Put in the oven to bake for 30 minutes, until firm on top but slightly wobbly in the center. 
6. Allow the cheesecake to cool and then place in the fridge to set for 2 hours.
7. Meanwhile, beat the mascarpone cheese and icing sugar until smooth. In a separate bowl whip the double cream until stiff peaks form and then fold into the mascarpone mixture.
8. Take the chilled cheesecake out of the fridge and pour the mascarpone cream on top of the cheesecake and spread evenly. Place back in the fridge for a few hours, or preferably overnight to set.
9. When ready to serve remove the cheesecake from the fridge and top with the fresh halved strawberries.

Voillaaaaa done! There are a lot of steps to this cheesecake I know; but trust me it will be worth it once you get to tuck in!

Monday, 9 June 2014

Oven Baked Mini Chocolate Doughnuts

Doughnut, donut who doesn't love them! The good thing about these doughnuts is that you don't feel soo guilty having more than one as they are only mini! (That's just my way of justifying scoffing down a load of these little goodies).

This oven baked doughnut recipe is so easy to make and I reallyyyy recommended you to give the recipe a try even if you're not that into baking. I loved these doughnuts so much that I am going to, in the future, experiment with the recipe to try out different flavour combinations.

Oven Baked Mini Chocolate Doughnuts: (Makes 24)
250g Plain Flour
2tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Bicarbonate of Soda
1/2 tsp Ground Nutmeg
2 Eggs
130g Soft Light Brown Sugar
120ml Milk
4 tbsp Melted Butter
120g Natural Yogurt
3 tsp Vanilla Extract
For The Glaze:
100g Milk Chocolate
100g Dark Chocolate
5 tsp Golden Syrup
4 tbsp Butter

1. Preheat the oven to gas mark 4. Line a mini doughnut tray with butter and flour.
2. Mix the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and nutmeg into a bowl.
3. Whisk the eggs, milk, brown sugar and natural yogurt together in an separate bowl until well combined, add the melted butter and vanilla extract into this mixture; mix till well combined.
4. Pour the wet egg mixture into the dry ingredients and mix till well combined.
5. Put the batter into the greased doughnut tin until half full. It will be easiest to do this using a piping bag.
6. Bake for 10-15 minutes until golden brown.
7. To make the chocolate glaze melt all the ingredients and mix them together. Once the doughnuts have cooled dip the top of them into the chocolate glaze and then leave to cool, the golden syrup should give the chocolate glaze a nice shine.

I highly recommend only filling the doughnut tin half full as otherwise, like what happened in my first batch, they will rise to high causing there to be no whole in the bottom. However, this is easily solved by pushing the whole through after the doughnuts have been baked butttt it will be a lot easier if you do not overfill them to begin with!

If you think 24 sounds like too many doughnuts to make trust me you will have wished you had made more as they will be gone in no time!

Monday, 2 June 2014

Grissini Breadsticks

These crispy, thin, salty snacks are an great snack for on-the-go or a great lunch if you were to have them with dips such as hummus or even salsa.

The dough for these little grissini breadsticks is basically thinly rolled out pizza dough which is super easyyy to make. 

The great thing about grissini breadsticks is that they have a rustic style so you do not need to spend ages on the presentation of them; which is a massiveee bonus and makes them even less time consuming!

Grissini Breadsticks Recipe (Makes 24):
60g Wholemeal Flour
180ml Warm Water
1tsp Honey
7g Active Dry Yeast
180g Plain Flour
3tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil plus extra to grease the bowl
1 and a 1/2 tsp Salt
Topping Options: Finely chopped fresh or dry herbs, Parmesan Cheese, Poppy Seeds, Sesame Seeds, Salt or Black Pepper.

1. Combine the wholemeal flour, water, yeast and honey in an bowl till well combined. Leave for 10 minutes until the mixture is bubbly and foamy. 
2. Add the plain flour, olive oil and salt to the mixture, mix till well combined. Knead for 10 minutes until smooth.
3. Place the ball of dough into an lightly oiled bowl, cover with a towel and leave to rise in an warm place for 1 hour or until doubled in size.
4. Preheat the oven to gas mark 7 and line 2 large trays with butter and flour or baking paper.
5. Once the dough has risen punch the dough and then if adding herbs or any other spices knead them in now.
6. Pat the dough into an rectangle. Slice this rectangle into very thin slices long ways. Roll these slices out to your desired length for the grissini breadsticks and place onto the baking tray.
7. If you wish to coat the breadsticks in any topping such as poppy seeds or Parmesan cheese now is the time to do it.
8. Leave to rest for 15 minutes until they get a bit more puffy.
9. Bake the grissini breadsticks in the preheated oven for 15 minutes checking on them every 5 minutes to ensure they do not burn.
10. Leave to cool and then hey presto easy as pie you have a batch of homemade grissini breadsticks!