Archive for January 2014 | Monthly archive page
This is a “new breed” of cheesecake – this baked chocolate cheesecake has the rich and smooth fudginess of a chocolate torte, and although baked, it does not create that dry peanut-butter mouth feel synonymous with baked cheesecakes.
Crust –240g Chocolate coated digestive biscuits, crushed 125g Butter
Filling –500g Cream cheese 250g Mascarpone 175g Castor sugar 2 Eggs (extra-large), beaten 300g Dark chocolate
Heat oven to 180°C. Mix together the biscuit crumbs and butter (melt the butter if you are mixing by hand or blitz the biscuits and unmelted butter together in the food processor). Press the crumbs evenly into a 24cm spring-form cake tin/ deep tart dish. Bake the base for 10mins to crisp and then let it cool while you make the filling.
Turn oven down to 150°C. Melt the chocolate in a double boiler. Beat the cream cheese and mascarpone until smooth (use a mixer – it’s easier). Add the sugar and eggs to the cheese, then add the melted chocolate and mix well, be careful not to over mix as the mixture might curdle.
Pour the filling over the baked base and bake for approx. 30 – 40 minutes. Bake the cheesecake until all but the very centre of the cheesecake is set (don’t worry about the wobbly bit in the middle as it will carry on cooking as it cools). Cool completely on a rack before chilling overnight.
TIP: Put a dish of hot water on the bottom rack of the oven – this will stop a skin forming on top of the cheesecake.
TIP: Run a knife around the edge of the tin to free the filling from the sides, do this as soon as you take it out of the oven. As the cheesecake cools and sets, it also shrinks, if the mixture is stuck to the side of the tin it will split in the middle.
We decorated our sublime cheesecake slices with polka-dots of white Heart Cake Confetti.
A deep dish meringue nest with a fresh cream filling and tart red berries makes for a great after-dinner dessert. The whipped cream is fresh and unsweetened (the meringue is sugary enough) – but if you prefer sweet cream, fold a Tbs. of icing sugar into the whipped cream. We used raspberries and blackberries for a sour tang, but you could just as easily use sweeter blueberries and strawberries.
Ingredients4 Egg whites 1 cup Castor sugar 2 tsp. Lemon juice, fresh / 1 tsp. white wine vinegar 1 tsp. Vanilla essence (optional) 1 heaped Tbs. Corn flour (Maizena) 1 tub Whipping cream
Pre-heat the oven to 180°C. Using an electric mixer, beat the egg whites on high until they reach a soft peak stage.
Gently add the sugar in small amounts whilst continuously beating the egg whites (don’t add the next amount of sugar if there are still granules present in the mixture). Your mixture should become ice-white and glossy. Once all the sugar has been added and the mixture can be rubbed between your thumb and forefinger without feeling any granules, the mixture is ready for the addition of the remaining ingredients.
Beat in the lemon juice / vinegar. If you choose to add vanilla essence, do so now (the vanilla will colour your meringue so that it appears a little brown). Beat in the corn starch.
Spread you meringue into a large tart dish or onto a baking tray lined with baking paper. Create a well in the centre where the cream and fruit will eventually rest.
Turn down the oven to 120°C and place the meringue in the middle of the oven. Bake for 1 hour, then switch off the oven and allow the pavlova to cool in the oven.
Place your cooled pavlova on a cake plate (unless it’s in a tart dish). Whip your cream until shiny and fluffy and spread into the cooled pavlova shell. Decorate with berries. Sprinkle Silver Shimmer on to the fruit to add a pearlescent glow.
You can do this with a normal brownie recipe – just bake in mini tins. Alternatively, bake your brownie in a tray and use cookie cutters to cut the desired shapes. We used loose bottom mini cake pans, the brownies came out perfectly yummy, and were baked with a gooey centre.
Ingredients225g Butter 140g Cocoa powder 4 Eggs 450g Castor sugar 140g Flour 1 tsp. Vanilla extract 2 Tbs. Coffee, brewed strong and black 115g Nuts (optional)
Whisk the eggs and sugar until light in colour and fluffy in texture. Melt the butter and mix in the cocoa; fold the cooled cocoa mixture into the egg mixture. Mix in the vanilla and coffee. Sift dry ingredients and lightly fold into the egg mixture.
Spoon the mixture into mini cake tins – if you don’t line the tin ensure the tin is well greased or else the mixture will stick to the tin! Bake at 180°C until the mixture has risen and is firm – approx. 30 minutes. Remove from the oven a few minutes sooner if you want a gooey center.
The brownie mini cakes were sliced in two layers and a Almond Marzipan filling was added, we topped them with nutella (yum) and red Heart Cake Confetti. A few were decorated with Red & White Ready to Roll Fondant Icing; and we wrapped some in parchment paper – fit for a picnic or lunchbox.
This tried and tested recipe has been passed down from Nicoletta’s Mom. You may find it familiar, since we have used it on our free recipe cards.
Ingredients:250g Butter (room temp.) 2 cups Sugar 2 cups Cake flour 1 cup Milk 4 Eggs 1 tsp. Vanilla extract 1 ½ tsp. Baking powder
Preheat the oven to 180°C. Line a muffin pan with cupcake holders. With an electric beater, beat together the sugar and the butter until the mixture is light in colour and fluffy in texture. Add the eggs one at a time to the mixture, beating the mixture till the eggs are incorporated after each addition. Add the milk and vanilla to the mixture, beat well. Add the sifted cake flour and the baking powder, mix well.
Spoon the batter into cupcake holders, and bake in a warm oven for approx. 20 minutes until the cakes are golden brown. The cupcakes can be iced with vanilla buttercream; we decorated ours with Star Cake Confetti, Chocolate Hearts and Red Ready to Roll Fondant Icing.