Lemon Cheesecake

It has been a long time since I made a cheesecake so I was excited to try a new recipe after a request from my colleague for his birthday. Cheesecake may seem odd for a birthday cake but what is odd is that he does not like cake…. I cannot complain it gave me the chance to try something new, here is my Lemon Cheesecake recipe;

Ingredients

  • 400g of Chocolate Digestives
  • 75g of Butter
  • 600g of Cream Cheese
  • 4 heaped tbsp of Icing Sugar
  • Zest of 2 Lemons
  • Juice of 1 Lemon
Lemon Cheesecake

Lemon Cheesecake

Method

  1. Ground the chocolate digestives until fine
  2. Melt the butter and allow to cool slightly
  3. Mix the butter and ground biscuits into a bowl and squeeze together with the back of a wooden spoon
  4. Tip into your spring form tin (mine is 26cm but slightly bigger or smaller is OK too)
  5. Push down gently in a flat even surface
  6. Mix the cream cheese and icing sugar together gently (this does not take long)
  7. Add the lemon juice and zest and combine thoroughly
  8. Add the cream cheese dollop by dollop into the chocolate, continually stirring until you get an evenly coloured mixture
  9. Poor on top of the biscuit base then smooth and flatten
  10. Chill for 1 hour before serving

I can safely say that the Lemon Cheesecake went down very well with my colleagues and was extremely delicious. If you are going to make this recipe, I would stick to this amount of lemon as it was just right and took a long time to get there. I would not add more as it may tip over to the bitter side. I really enjoyed it and it was actually really light and refreshing, I think it would be the perfect dessert for a warm Summer’s evening.

Butterfly Cupcakes

I cannot believe that my blog is 2 years old today, I am so proud of me for actually sticking it out! Although, this year I have not been the best for posting my recipes, I am still ALWAYS baking, so on this special day I had to share something special. This recipe I have been making since a little girl, I probably just did the decorating then but still, I made them! My recipe for Butterfly Cupcakes is really easy and can be made with the younger ones assistance as they will love helping, especially when you mention butterflies. Aside from being simple, they always look great, so this is a recipe you must try;

Ingredients

  • 100g of Plain Flour
  • 100g of Sugar
  • 1tsp of Baking Powder
  • 1/2tsp of Bicarbonate of Soda
  • 200g of Butter
  • 2 Eggs
  • 25ml of Milk
  • 2tsp of Vanilla Extract
  • 125g of Icing Sugar
Butterfly Cupcakes

Butterfly Cupcakes

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C
  2. Prepare your bun tin with your paper cake cases for later
  3. Sift the sugar into a bowl and add 100g of the butter then cream together until smooth
  4. In a separate bowl sift the flour, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda together
  5. Then slowly add the dry mixture to the creamed butter mix until crumbly
  6. Add the 2 eggs and whisk until smooth
  7. Finally add the vanilla extract and milk and mix in thoroughly
  8. Pour the mixture evenly into the cake cases
  9. Bake in the oven for 16-18 minutes
  10. Once cooked allow to cool thoroughly
  11. Once cool sift the icing sugar into a bowl
  12. Then add the final 100g of butter and cream until smooth
  13. Now cut a circle from the top of each cupcake and place to the side
  14. Fill each hole with a large tablespoon of butter-cream
  15. Now take the top of the cupcake and cut in half to make the wings and place into the butter-cream
  16. Repeat for each cupcake
  17. Finally dust your cupcakes with icing sugar or edible glitter!

Yet again these Butterfly Cupcakes looked great and tasted great… There is not really much more to say, I would recommend anyone keeping this recipe just in case you need a quick bake destined to impress!

Chocolate Macaroons

If I could go back and choose what I wanted to be all over again it would be a pastry chef, so with this in mind, I thought it was time I learnt how to make the ultimate sweet treat macaroons. I knew it would be hard and to be honest my expectations were quite low but I had to try. So, here is my recipe for Chocolate Macaroons:

Ingredients

For the Macaroons

  • 125g of Icing Sugar
  • 1 tbsp of Cocoa
  • 100g of Ground Almonds
  • 3 Medium Egg Whites

For the filling

  • 100g of Dark Chocolate
  • 4 tbsp of Milk
Chocolate Macaroons

Chocolate Macaroons

Method

  1. Preheat your oven to 160C and line a large baking tray (or 2) with baking paper and ensure it is flat
  2. Sift the icing sugar and cocoa into a bowl
  3. Then stir in the ground almonds
  4. Whisk the egg whites until stiff in a separate bowl, they are ready when the peak are stiff but still fold over as you lift the whisk
  5. Then fold them into the dry ingredients as gently and with as little movement as possible (this bit is the hardest, just be patient)
  6. Fill an icing bag with a plain nozzle with the mixture
  7. Pipe (around) 24 blobs equal in size (roughly 3cm across) onto your baking sheet, make sure you leave plenty of space between each
  8. Smooth the surface with a wet finger
  9. Leave the blobs to dry out for 15 minutes before baking
  10. Place into your oven for 17-20 minutes until the macaroons feel firm and will easily peel away from the baking paper
  11. Whilst they are cooling you can make the filling
  12. Break up your chocolate and place in a bowl with the milk over boiling water
  13. Let the chocolate melt whilst stirring
  14. Then using a teaspoon place a small amount onto one macaroon and use to seal the 2 together
  15. Continue until you have used them all
  16. Now let the chocolate set before eating

 

When the Chocolate Macaroons came out, they looked like Macaroons, which was a start and after tasting them, they also tasted like Macaroons so I was very happy! They were a little too crunchy and I suspected I overworked the egg whites, which was true as on my next attempt I was careful not to do this and they were much chewy, as they should be!

I have now had 2 attempts at this recipe and will certainly be taking the time to perfect it before moving on to trying all of the different flavours and colours I can and I will definitely be sharing my recipe with you!

Chocolate Cookie Cupcakes

I have not shared a cupcake recipe in a while and as I am always, probably too much, making them and experimenting I thought it was time to write another invention up on the blog! Here is my recipe for Chocolate Cookie Cupcakes;

Ingredients

  • 75g of Plain Flour
  • 25g of Cocoa Powder
  • 100g of Sugar
  • 1tsp of Baking Powder
  • 1/2tsp of Bicarbonate of Soda
  • 200g of Butter
  • 2 Eggs
  • 25ml of Milk
  • 2tsp of Vanilla Extract
  • 125g of Icing Sugar
  • 75g of Cookies
Chocolate Cookie Cupcakes

Chocolate Cookie Cupcakes

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C
  2. Prepare your bun tin with your paper cake cases for later
  3. Sift the sugar into a bowl and add 100g of the butter then cream together until smooth
  4. In a separate bowl sift the flour, cocoa, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda together
  5. Then slowly add the dry mixture to the creamed butter mix until crumbly
  6. Add the 2 eggs and whisk until smooth
  7. Finally add the vanilla extract and milk and mix in thoroughly
  8. Pour the mixture evenly into the cake cases
  9. Bake in the oven for 16-18 minutes
  10. Once cooked allow to cool thoroughly
  11. Once cool sift the icing sugar into a bowl
  12. Then add the final 100g of butter and cream until smooth
  13. Smash the cookies into small pieces and add them to the mix and stir until combined
  14. Use a pallet knife to decorate the top of the cupcakes with the frosting
  15. Then enjoy!

These cupcakes were made on a day when I made 3 batches of different flavours for my fiance to take into work, the first 3 batched were from my trusted collection of cupcake recipes but for the third I wanted to try something different. I settled on Chocolate Cookie Cupcakes, just because really. I find that I think of my best combinations from flavours when the cupboards are almost bare and I have to be inventive. These cupcakes were enjoyed greatly, in honesty not my favourite but it seems it is a boy thing!

Chocolate Nut Cornflake Cakes

It is Friday and it is March tomorrow, what better way to end the week and the month than with easy and delicious chocolate snacks? That is not really a question so do not answer it, the answer is there is no better way. So go buy some chocolate , pull out those old stale cornflakes we all have in the cupboard and get baking (well almost)! It is time to make Chocolate Nut Cornflake Cakes;

Ingredients

  • 300g of Whole Nut Milk Chocolate
  • 300g of Cornflakes
  • 2 tbsp of Golden Syrup
Chocolate Nut Cornflake Cakes

Chocolate Nut Cornflake Cakes

Method

  1. Break up the chocolate in a large glass bowl and add the golden syrup
  2. Melt over a pan of boiling water, continually stirring
  3. Once all of the chocolate has melted add the cornflakes gradually ensuring that all of them get covered in the chocolate mixture
  4. Then dish up the mixture into muffin cases, as large or small as you like, but I usually do around 2 heaped tablespoons in each
  5. Put them in the fridge for 45 minutes and allow to set
  6. Then enjoy!

I think these were probably the first thing and my favourite thing I made as a child and I do not think I have ever stopped making them! Simple and easy, it may not boast my baking skills but these Chocolate Nut Cornflake Cakes will always go down a treat. This recipe makes around 24 so it is perfect to make for a party or a really naughty night in! With Easter coming up, they are also great wih a couple of mini eggs placed on top whilst cooling for a holiday themed snack.

Chocolate Orange Bundt Cake

This week I am sharing a recipe for a Chocolate Orange Bundt Cake that I made for the second time this weekend as a belated Birthday cake for our friend. It was the second time as I attempted it last week, firstly, forgetting the baking powder then trying to turn it out to quickly, please do NOT do these things if you attempt this recipe! Luckily our plans fell through so he did not have to suffer that kind of birthday surprise!

On my second attempt, I nailed it and here is how you can make it at home;

Ingredients

For the cake

  • 200g of Butter
  • 200g of Sugar
  • 200g of Flour
  • 2 tsp of Baking Powder
  • 1 tsp of Bicarbonate of Soda
  • 4 Eggs
  • Rind of 1 Orange
  • Juice of Half an Orange

For the topping

  • 100g of Dark Chocolate
  • 4 tbsp of Milk
Chocolate Orange Bundt Cake

Chocolate Orange Bundt Cake

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C and grease your bundt tin
  2. Cream the butter and sugar together in a large bowl until smooth
  3. Then gradually sieve in the flour, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda, mixing until you have a crumbly mixture
  4. Add the egg and whisk until you have a smooth and creamy batter
  5. Finally add the milk, orange juice and rind and combine thoroughly
  6. Then poor into your cake tine evenly ensure there are no gaps in the texture of the tin and bang it on the work surface twice to make sure the bottom is filled
  7. Leave the mix to sit for 5 minutes before placing into your preheated oven
  8. Bake for 25-30 minutes until cooked through
  9. Take the tin out of the oven and turn upside down (right way round) over a cooling rack so the cake can slide out of the tin itself
  10. Allow to cool thoroughly before making the topping
  11. To do this, break up the chocolate and place in a glass bowl with the milk over a pan of boiling water
  12. Stir until all of the chocolate is melted
  13. Then drizzle the chocolate all over the top of the cake, allowing to drip down the sides and cover most of the cake (i do not ice the cake as I like the rustic homemade effect!)
  14. Allow this to set, then you can serve!

I am always floating my own cake boat, but this was really delicious, in fact, one of the best cakes I have made, the Chocolate Orange Bundt Cake also looks brilliant and adds more of a wow factor than your regular round cake, I mean, who doesn’t like a cake with a hole!

I would love to hear from you if you try/make any of my recipes, successfully or unsuccessfully and would like to share stories about them.

Valentines Day Biscuits

When you love to bake you cannot let a day like Valentines Day pass without using it as an excuse to get creative. So this year (for my special someone and work colleagues…) I made Valentines Day Biscuits and here is my recipe;

Ingredients

For the biscuits

  • 125g of Butter
  • 55g of Caster Sugar
  • 80g of Flour

For the icing

  1. 150g of Icing Sugar
  2. 4tbsp of Water
  3. ½ tsp of Red (or Pink) Food Colouring

 

Valentines Day Biscuits

Valentines Day Biscuits

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 190
  2. Mix the butter and sugar in a bowl until the mixture is smooth
  3. Begin to stir in the flour in stages through a sieve and continue to mix together thoroughly
  4. At this stage the mixture turns from a paste to a crumbly mixture so use your hands to create a ball with the mixture, if the mixture seems too dry, you can add a tablespoon of so of water at this stage
  5. Dust a dry and clean surface with flour and roll the mixture out to 1cm thick
  6. Cut out your shapes and place on baking paper on a baking tray (you may have mixture left over, keeping rolling our until you use all of the mixture for the shapes)
  7. Put the shapes into the fridge for 20 minutes
  8. Put into the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes until golden
  9. Leave to cool for 45 minutes
  10. Once the biscuits are cold, you can make the icing
  11. To do this sieve the icing sugar into a bowl
  12. Add the water a tablespoon at a time so you are mixing the icing and keeping it smooth
  13. Finally add the food colouring as desired before using it to decorate your biscuits
  14. Leave them to set before enjoying!

I have made this recipe or variations of it probably a hundred times but I have to say that these Valentines Day Biscuits were probably the best biscuits so far. In honesty I think the secret is not to overwork the dough, usually I fuss about the shapes being perfect and the thicknesses exact. However, when I made this biscuits I was in a rush and as I knew that they would be iced I took less time over the final look of them and to my surprise this made them better… I think I need to learn to be less fussy in future as it may just turn out OK!

Mexican Chicken and Potato Pot

This my new favourite thing to eat, I made it for the first time about 2 months ago and have had it  at least 10 times since! This recipe for a Mexican Chicken and Potato Pot was pulled out of a Chicken Made Simple recipe book then edited to suit what I had available. It came out amazingly so I never reverted back to the original. Here is my recipe;

Ingredients

  • 2tbsp of Olive Oil
  • 400g of Diced Chicken Breast
  • 1 Chopped Onion
  • 1 Chopped Green Pepper
  • 1 Chopped Red Pepper
  • 600g of Potato, Cubed
  • 250g of Sliced Carrots
  • 3 Garlic Cloves Finely Chopped
  • 1 Tin of Chopped Tomatoes
  • 1tsp of Oregano
  • 1/2 tsp of Pepper
  • 1/2 tsp of Chili Flakes
  • 2tsp of Coriander
  • 450ml of Chicken Stock
Mexican Chicken and Potato Pot

Mexican Chicken and Potato Pot

Method

  1. Heat the oil in a large pan
  2. Add the chicken and cook until lightly browned
  3. Reduce the heat and add the onion, pepper, carrots and potato
  4. Then cover the pan and leave to cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally so the vegetables soften
  5. Then add the garlic, chili, coriander, oregano and pepper and cook for 1 minutes
  6. Then pour in the tinned tomatoes and chicken stock and bring to the boil
  7. Once boiling put the lid on and turn back down to a medium heat and cook for 25 minutes
  8. It is now ready to serve 4

I think that this recipe for a Mexican Chicken and Potato Pot has become one of my favourites as not only is it it delicious, with some of my favourite flavours but it is also warm and comforting on these freezing cold Berlin evenings! It is also low in calories and makes 4 large portions, we tend to save half for the next evening and reheat again, it does this perfectly!

Snowflake Biscuits with Fondant Icing

Christmas may have come and gone but it is certainly still Winter outside, which means that my snowflake themed biscuits are still perfectly themed for the time of the year. This is one of my favourite recipes and it is so versatile and this time I used it to make Snowflake Biscuits with Fondant Icing;

Ingredients

  • 125g of Butter
  • 55g of Caster Sugar
  • 180g of Flour
  • 100g of Fondant Icing
  • Just a little bit of Strawberry Jam
Snowflake Biscuits with Fondant Icing

Snowflake Biscuits with Fondant Icing

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 190
  2. Mix the butter and sugar in a bowl until the mixture is smooth
  3. Begin to stir in the flour in stages through a sieve and continue to mix together thoroughly
  4. At this stage the mixture turns from a paste to a crumbly mixture so use your hands to create a ball with the mixture, add a few drops of cold water if it seems dry
  5. Dust a dry and clean surface with flour and roll the mixture out to 1cm thick
  6. Cut out your shapes and place on baking paper on a baking tray (you may have mixture left over, keeping rolling our until you use all of the mixture for the shapes)
  7. Put the shapes into the fridge for 20 minutes
  8. Put into the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes until golden
  9. Leave to cool for 45 minutes
  10. Once the biscuits are cold, use another cutter to cut out your fondant icing
  11. Start by warming the icing with your hands so it rolls more easily
  12. Then dust a surface with icing sugar and roll it out to around 3mm thick
  13. You can use a smaller cutter the same shape to make the icing or use any shape you have
  14. Keep cutting out your icing shapes until you have enough for your biscuits (you may need to roll out the icing more than once, like with the biscuit dough)
  15. Then use a dab of strawberry jam (or honey would do) to stick the icing to your biscuit
  16. Your biscuits are now ready to serve!

These Snowflake Biscuits with Fondant Icing were made as a birthday treat for a colleague at work and as usual it did not fail. If you want a go to biscuit recipe I would highly recommend it. You can always add your own touch to by changing the flavours or adding some nuts! The world is your biscuit!

Homemade Burger Rolls

My new years resolution, amongst other things is to start blogging more, I really was slacking at the end of 2013, and maybe the beginning of this year already!!

The first recipe I want to share with you is a must have recipe as although we used them for burgers, they can be used for lunchtime sandwiches or dipping in your soup! Most people think that baking bread is too hard and time consuming (which it is a little) but this recipe for my Homemade Burger Rolls may change your mind;

Ingredients

  • 1 Knob of Melted Butter
  • 500g of Plain Flour
  • 7g of Dried Yeast
  • 1tsp of Salt
  • 375ml Luke Warm Water
Homemade Burger Rolls

Homemade Burger Rolls

Method

  1. Sieve the flour, salt and yeast into a large bowl
  2. Make a well in the middle of the mixture and add the water
  3. Using a metal spoon mix the ingredients from the middle, slowly pulling more of the flour into the water until they are all combined
  4. Then use your hands to bring the mixture together, this is my favourite bit, but is very messy!
  5. Transfer the dough to a well floured surface and knead for 10-15 minutes. You know the dough is ready when you poke it with your finger and it springs back to shape.
  6. Once the dough has been kneaded to this point, grease a bowl and place the dough inside
  7. Cover with cling film and place somewhere warm for an hour so the dough can double in size. If you do not have an airing closet I find placing it on a chair in front of a pre-heated oven works best!
  8. Once the dough has doubled you need to ‘knock’ the air out of it by literally punching the centre of the dough to release any additional carbon dioxide build up, the louder the ‘fart’ the better!
  9. Remove the dough from the bowl and knead on a floured surface for a further 5 minutes
  10. Then roll the dough into a long tube and divide up equally into 8 pieces
  11. Shape each piece into a ‘bread roll’ shape and place on baking parchment, leaving a large gap between as the rolls will grown and ‘kiss’
  12. You now need to preheat the oven to 200C (making it the perfect heat for the second prove)
  13. Cover the rolls with cling film and place in your warm spot for 30 minutes, their size should again double
  14. After 30 minutes remove the cling film and lightly brush the bowl with water and place in the oven to bake for 15-18 minutes
  15. When the rolls are cooked remove from the oven and leave to cool for a few minutes before transferring to a cooling rack, once they are cool enough to touch, they are cool enough to eat!

So this recipe for Homemade Burger Rolls is still quite time consuming, but once you have created the dough, you really can get on with other things whilst it is proving. For me the rewards of freshly baked bread definitely outweigh any effort it takes to bake them. This recipe creates crusty rolls, which are my favourite and are the perfect accompaniment to homemade burgers!