Friday, October 29, 2010

"Mexican" Cheesecake

I think when you find a good recipe that works for you shouldn't be afraid to use it over and over again, perhaps with a few alterations. This was my attempt at making my White chocolate, Raspberry and Gingernut Cheesecakes laced with Butterscotch into something "Mexican". I.e. MINUS the Raspberry and Butterscotch PLUS candied limes (which I will admit this was my first attempt at making and were perhaps a little sour). In hindsight a splash of tequila would not have gone astray.

Perhaps not a typical "Mexican" dessert (theme for party was Mexican), but it was easy, could be made at 11pm the night before quickly, and was the first thing I made in the new kitchen (while half unpacked).

TIP: Always put the cheesecake in the fridge when you get to your host's house. If you don't the final result is a very soft/melted cheesecake. I learnt the hard way therefore there is no finish on the plate photo.

 I blamed leaving it on bench/ car while at supermarket not in fridge, Dane blamed "liquefaction" from the car ride/ over speed humps.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Baking: Quickest Easiest One Bowl and Spoon Chocolate Cake

Quickest Easiest One Bowl and Spoon Chocolate Cake

This was ripped out of a weekend Dommion Post at least a year ago eagerly by my mother. Therefore it is no surprise that it is a Ruth Pretty passalong creation. She calls it Serena's Cheating Chocolate Cake - Her website says  "New York caterer, Serena Bass, says this cake takes less time to make than it does to heat the oven to bake it so she calls it a cheating cake. She describes it as damp, dark and toothsome."

Living in a flat and being a student, I don't often have Buttermilk in the fridge therefore use low fat natural youghurt as a substitute. It works beautifully, if not better! The cake must be cover in either chocolate buttercream icing or ganche!

I am very much a cup and teaspoon girl so will post the recipe as I use it below. I am also even lazier with this recipe, i.e. i don't sift the flour etc. and I only use one bowl! A link to her recipe is displayed above.

3/4 cup Dutched cocoa 
2 cups Sugar
1 3/4 cups Flour
1 1/2 teaspoons Baking Powder
1 1/2 teaspoons Baking Soda
1 pinch Salt
1 cup  Yoghurt (she uses Buttermilk)
2 large Eggs
1/2 cup Vegetable Oil
2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract + 1 teaspoon of Vanilla Bean Paste
1 cup Boiling Water

Preheat oven to 180°C.

Lightly grease base and sides of a 23cm deep round cake tin with oil and line with baking paper.

Into a large bowl sift cocoa, sugar, flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt and combine. 

Make a well in flour mixtures centre and add eggs, oil and vanilla extract/ paste and whisk to combine.

Pour in water and whisk till combined and batter is smooth.

Immediately pour batter into prepared tin and place into preheated oven for 40-45 minutes or till cake skewer when inserted comes out clean.

Remove cake from oven and cool completely before removing from baking paper and tin. Ice !

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Happy Birthday Daisy

Yesterday I was one of the lucky to be invited to attend Daisy's first Birthday.

As I have some very pressing study to do (due to exams), I was not able to stay for long therefore Helen insisted I bring home a doggy bag. The treats inside, needless to say (as all the Lovely Wee Days girls were there) were perfect. They tasted even better than they looked, which I know is difficult to believe as they looked so exquisite they could have easily belonged (in plastic form) in Daisy's tea party set.

The lemon meringue tartlets were definitely my favourite (but perhaps that just my love for citrus coming out); the curd just sweet enough and the meringue nice and crisp.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Change of A Kitchen

I haven't posted anything in a while due to exam prep and moving flats. However I thought I would share the result of the move and where I used to bake / cook compared to where I now have the delight of baking. This was quite exciting and believe it or not the kitchen was the HUGE selling point of the house to my two flatmates and I.

The two photos below show the kitchen at my old flat which was used by all six flat mates.

The picture below shows my new kitchen, complete with more cupboard space (for half the number of flatmates), dishwasher and even a little space for my mothers old retro Kenwood, which I so very love.

Above: Orange retro Kenwood in its cubby - (Note: fridge just temporary and microwave coming soon!... as you can probably tell was very excited by it all)
Below: Dishwasher!

The first thing I cooked was a batch of thank-you Hooky Pokey Biscuits (which I still have not mastered the art to the skill of Mary Bollard - Recipe: Edmonds Cookbook) and the Quickest Easiest One Bowl and Spoon Chocolate Cake (Recipe: On Blog) for my brother (Weston) and his two friends who helped me move.

Will post book cake recipe soon!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Dessert: White Chocolate, Raspberry and Gingernut Cheesecakes laced with Butterscotch

White Chocolate, Raspbeery and Gingernut Cheesecakes laced with Butterscotch

This recipe is for one large cheesecake however sometimes it is nice to make individual ones, as seen in the pictures. I make them in a silicon muffin pan, so they are easy to get out (just run a knife around the outside of the cake and push on bottom of the pan - they will pop out easily)

150g Gingernut biscuits
75g Butter, Melted
250 mL Cream
250 mL Cream Cheese
250g Mascarpone Cheese
125g Caster Sugar
2 Tablespoons Butterscotch (1 for Base, 1 for Topping)
500g White Chocolate, Melted
1 Cup Raspberries (Frozen or Fresh)

Process biscuits, butter and butterscotch in food processor and then press into a 25cm spring foam tin, lined with baking paper. Put in fridge.

Beat, with an electric beater, cream cheese, cream, mascarpone, sugar, chocolate and butterscotch until smooth. Place raspberries in bottom of base. Pour over cheese mixture and refrigerate for at least four hours, preferably overnight.

Cut into wedges and serve.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Cookie Dough

Sometimes you just feel like eating a cookie.
There are none in the house.
You can't be bothered making one.
At this point I head to the frezzer!

Frozzen cookie dough is amazing! Its as easy as letting it defrost for half an hour (or if your in a hurry you can deforst it in microwave), slicing it up and whacking it in the oven.

I love raw cookie dough, so as you'd imagine when am overseas go straight for the Ben and Jerrys Cookie Dough Ice-cream.

This cookie got a bit crispy around the outside due to the timing issues. I guess just an off day! I hope you have better luck when you try it!

This dough was Melting Moment Cookie Dough but Oaty Chocolate Chunk Crisp Cookies work just as well! Anything which the butter is creamed should be fine to freeze.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Biscuits, Cookies and Slices: Weston's Favourite The Classic Ginger Crunch

Weston's Favourite The Classic Ginger Crunch

My brother Weston loves this Ginger Crunch as it is so thin and crispy + it contains no healthy rolled oats...just pure sin (butter)

150g Butter, softened
1/2 Cup Sugar
1 1/2 Cup Flour
1 Teaspoon Baking Powder
1 1/2 Teaspoon Ground Ginger

75g Butter
1 Cup Icing Sugar
2 1/2 Tablespoons Golden Syrup
2 Teaspoons Ground Ginger

Preheat oven to 180C.

Cream first measure of butter and sugar together.

Mix in remaining crust ingredients until combined and crumbly.

Press into baking paper lined tray (20cm by 30cm) and bake for 20 mins or until lightly browned.
Note: It should just fit the base of the tin if pressed out thinly enough.

When crust has been taken out of the oven, melt the second measure of butter in a heavy based saucepan. Add golden syrup, then ginger and icing sugar, whisking with each addition until it forms a smooth runny icing.

Pour on top of the hot base and spread out evenly with a knife or by tilting the tray. Cut now, when hot into squares and leave to cool.