Tag Archives: Sweet

Bill’s Individual Cheesecakes

28 Jul

My mum is a baker.

Well, that’s not technically true, she is actually a nurse – but she is a recreational baker.

She often speaks about her desire to bake sweet treats and sell them in a specialty shop that also sells second hand books, flowers, coffee and has a facility to weigh babies (yes, weird I know, but that’s my mum!)

Last Friday night my mum and I made a big family dinner to celebrate the fact that all 6 of us were under one roof for a meal – something that rarely happens these days!

We baked these beautiful Bill Granger individual lime cheesecakes. They were lovely, plenty of lime tang, and just the right size. They were a hit with our four boys too!

Individual Cheesecakes

Ingredients
Base
  • 100g shortbread biscuits
  • 55g ground almonds
  • 50g unsalted butter
Filling
  • 400g cream cheese
  • 100mL sour cream
  • 110g caster sugar
  • 1 medium egg
  • 1 medium egg yolk
  • 1/2 teaspoon natural vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated lime zest
  • strawberries or raspberries to top
 Method
  • Preheat the oven to 160’C
  • Line a 12 hole, 125mL capacity muffin tim with patty pans
  • Crush the biscuits to fine crumbs, using a food processor or rolling pin
  • Put the biscuit crumbs, ground almonds and melted butter into a bowl and combine
  • Press 1 tablespoon of the mixture inot the base of each patty pan
  • Refridgerate while you make the filling
  • To make the filling, beat the cream cheese, sour cream and sugar together until light and fluffy.
  • Add the egg first, then the egg yolk, vanilla and lime zest, beating well after each addition.
  • Spoon mixture over the bases, then sprinkle the berries evenly on top
  • Bake for 20 minutes or until the cheesecakes are puffed and starting to colour.
  • Allow to cool, then refridgerate until ready to eat
  • Remove the cheesecakes from the patty pans
  • Top each one with fresh berries and dust with icing sugar to serve

 Being individual, these cheesecakes don’t need the overnight setting time a large one usually requires.

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Donna’s Pavlova

23 Jun

My mother-in-law is crazy.

I would go so far as to say that she is insane.

Crazy loud, crazy busy, insanely loving, and insanely generous.

I was watching MasterChef one night, and it was the episode where they had to make Donna Hay’s pavlova. As I often do, I thought out loud via my Facebook status, and typed something along the lines of “MasterChef is makes me want a mix-master!”

The next week at Sabbath lunch, my sister-in-law Linzi said to me “What colour mixer do you want?”  

Helene was at it again. Crazy and insanely generous.  

So, disguised as a present for Mother’s Day, Helene bought Linzi and I a Kenwood Mixer each – yep, a present for her daughters, on Mother’s Day – go figure!  

  

The combination of a  very new, very shiny, very cool mixer and nightly MasterChef viewing, has inspired me to make several (many) pavlovas from scratch.  

They really ARE the easiest of easy desserts. And they are cheap too.  

I use the Donna Hay recipe off the official MasterChef website.  

Donna Hay’s Pavlova

Ingredients
  • 150ml egg white (approximately 4 eggs)
  • 1 cup (220g) caster (superfine) sugar
  • 2 tablespoons corn flour (corn starch), sifted
  • 2 teaspoons white vinegar

NB: I usually double the recipe. When Linzi makes hers, she follows Donna’s exact amounts. Both our pavs are marvellous!  

 Method
  • Preheat oven to 150°C (300°F).
  • Place the egg white in the bowl of an electric mixer and whisk until stiff peaks form. Gradually add the sugar, whisking well, until the mixture is stiff and glossy. Add the corn flour and vinegar and whisk until just combined. Shape the mixture into an 18cm round on a baking tray lined with non-stick baking paper.
  • Reduce oven to 120°C (250°F) and bake for 1 hour 20 minutes. Turn the oven off and allow the pavlova to cool completely in the oven.
  • Decorate with your desired toppings.

  

Linzi's magnificent pavlova! Definately the prettiest thus far!

   

My very first pavlova - not the prettiest, but my favourite!

 

  

What not to do - Do not let your husband lick the perfect stiff peaks!

 
 

Linzi's beautiful pavlova waiting to be dressed

 My top tips for a successful pavlova
  • Use room temperature eggs
  • Make sure you get your eggwhites to STIFF PEAKS before adding any sugar, otherwise you just end up with royal icing
  • GRADUALLY add the sugar, don’t rush this part
  • Allow to cool SLOWLY
  • Top with the most decadent of toppings!

   

   

   

  

Clare and Bill’s Chocolate Self-Saucing Pudding

10 Jun

One of my new pleasures in life is swapping tried and tested recipes with girlfriends…

This is my friend Clare’s version of a Bill Granger recipe.

Clare is the quintesential wife and lady – minus the pathetic connotations which sometimes are associated with both of those labels! Clare is the girl you can always count on to give good food advice, and is always baking new and yummy things! I’m sure we’ll have the pleasure of seeing a lot of Clare’s culinary adventures on Eat Your Heart Out… I’m keen to share her beautiful hot crossed buns we enjoyed this year!

Back to Bill and Clare.

Chocolate Self-Saucing Pudding

Ingredients

Pudding

125g plain flour

  • 1 pinch salt
  • 120g caster sugar
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 4 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 250mL milk
  • 85g unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 eggs, slightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • double cream or creme fraiche to serve
Topping
  • 185g soft brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 250mL boiling water

Method

Pudding
  • Preheat oven to 180’C or 350’F
  • Sift the flour, salt, sugar, baking powder and cocoa powder into a bowl
  • Add the milk, butter, egg and vanilla extract and mix with beaters until combined
  • Pour into four 250mL (1 cup) greased pudding moulds
Topping
  • Stir the brown sugar and cocoa powder in a bowl to combine, then sprinkle it over the pudding batter
  • Pour boiling water carefully over the puddings, then bake for 20-25 minutes
  • Serve with thick cream

Stay tuned for my attempt at this beauty!

Welcome to Eat Your Heart Out! Care for some nougat?

9 Jun

So I have been reading blogs for a long while now… I started off with the beautiful, inspirational ramblings of Style Me Pretty, The Bride’s Cafe, A Cup of Jo, just to mention a few. Once I had finished planning our wedding, I moved on in a rather natural progression to blogs which feature beautiful homes, fabulous interiors and DIY projects… I became obsessed with Young House Love, Colour Me Happy, A Room for Everyone.

Following our beautiful wedding in November of 2009, I found myself to be a wife – who had to produce a meal most nights. What to cook?? My mum is a beautiful cook, and has always had yummy, nutritionally sound meals on the table for us – every night of my entire life. So apart from the half-hearted sitting-at-the-bench-chopping-what-she-told-me-to-whilst-chatting-about-our-days, I really had/have NO skills in the kitchen!

So in my quest to solve the never-ending question of what to cook, I began buying cook books.  Slowly but surely, I have completely fallen in love with cook books, food styling, food photography and generally making tasty, pretty treats.

This blog is a place where I hope to showcase the pretty food I make, the food that my friend’s make, recipes we come across, handy tricks of what to do (and what not to do!) and anything else my heart desires.

So what better way to start a blog, than with a piece of nougat and a cup of tea?

Cranberry, Pistachio and Almond Nougat

Ingredients

  • 3 sheets edible rice paper
  • 1/4 cup glucose syrup
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 2 cups caster sugar
  • 1  egg white
  • 1/2 cup pistachio kernels, toasted
  • 1 1/3 cups blanched almonds, toasted
  • 3/4 cup dried cranberries

Method

  • Place glucose syrup, honey, sugar and 1/3 cup hot water in a heavy-based saucepan over low heat.
  • Cook, stirring, for 10 minutes or until sugar has dissolved, brushing down side of pan with water to remove sugar crystals.
  • Place a candy thermometer in pan (don’t let it touch base). Increase heat to medium. Bring to the boil. Boil, without stirring, for 12 to 15 minutes or until mixture reaches 150°C on thermometer (see tip).
  • Remove pan from heat.
  • Using an electric mixer, beat eggwhite in a large, heatproof bowl until soft peaks form.
  • Gradually add syrup in a steady stream, beating to combine.
  • Working quickly, fold through pistachios, almonds and cranberries.
  • Spoon mixture into prepared pan. Using a wet spatula, smooth top, pressing down firmly.
  • Top with remaining rice paper, trimming to fit. Press down firmly.
  • Stand at room temperature until set.
  • Lift from pan. Cut into squares. Serve.

The next time I make this recipe, I will soak the rice paper first. I’m not sure if I should have, but I didn’t, and the rice paper was crunchy and snappy. Not soft and melty like it should be. I’d also use slightly less honey, as the balance of flavours was definitely overpowered by the honey.

Other than that, a winner!