Monday, 30 March 2015

Lotus/biscoff cheesecake

If you've not heard of biscoff, well where have you been?

Those yummy biscuits have been turned into a delicious spread which you can do all sorts of amazing things with. My personal favourite is just to lick it off a spoon however. But it's birthday time and I decided a biscoff cheesecake was the way to go for a birthday buffet sweet treat.

There's a few different recipes around and I adapted a baked version to the recipe that follows. If you don't like biscoff there's something wrong with you. If you do then you will LOVE this cheesecake.

125g biscoff biscuits
50g butter 
500g full fat cream cheese
110g biscoff spread 
105g caster sugar 
2 eggs 

First you'll need to line the base of an 8" loose bottomed tin then wrap foil round the bottom and up the sides of the outside of the tin. Whizz up the biscuits in a food processor until fine and melt the butter. Add the butter to the biscuits and press into the bottom of the tin. Pop this in the fridge. You can do this up to a day in advance.

Preheat the oven to 150c and boil the kettle.

In a bowl, gently beat together the cream cheese, sugar, biscoff spread and eggs. Be careful as you go but it will all come together. 

Pop the tin into a large baking tray and pour in the cheesecake mix. Put into the oven. With the oven door open, carefully fill the baking tray 2/3rds full with hot water.

Bake the cheesecake for 40-45 minutes. It should still have a gentle wobble in the middle. If it's too wobbly, keep cooking. 

Leave to cool in the tin then chill overnight in the fridge.

One thing I meant to do was crumble more biscuits over the top for an extra Biscoff treat. You could also bake bits of biscuit in the cheesecake mix.

Slice and demolish. And try to resist a second, third or fourth slice 

Friday, 13 March 2015

Comic Relief Red Nose Biscuits

Bless my boys, they're running around shouting "Happy Comic Relief Day"

We're off to a birthday party tomorrow and I asked if I could bring something with us. So I've combined a red nose themed bake with a party food gift. Haha! Two birds, one stone. 

I pinned these a few weeks ago but once I saw the biscuit recipe, I decided to go with my tried and tested biscuit recipe which I'll share with you now. This is perfect for when you need biscuits to keep their shape. It doesn't spread or grow, they come out of the oven the same size as they go in.

You can flavour your biscuits with chocolate powder, cocoa, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom etc. but these are just vanilla because of the jam centre. They're really just jammy dodgers in disguise. They'd be great to bake with kids too. Have a go!

100g caster sugar 
100g butter/margarine
1 medium egg
1 tsp vanilla essence 
275g plain flour
5 tbsp icing sugar
5 tbsp jam (strawberry or raspberry to achieve a red nose of course!)

Makes 20 complete biscuits

Mix together either by hand or electric whisk/mixer, the sugar and butter. Add the egg and mix well then add the vanilla essence. Finally mix in the flour and it will come together as a dough. Wrap in clingfilm and chill for at least 20 minutes . You can even keep the dough until the next day if you want to make it in advance.

Preheat oven to 190/170 fan. Lightly flour your worksurface and roll out the pastry. I used a 6cm round cutter to cut out the circles. Place on baking sheets. Once you've cut them all out, use a smaller cutter to cut out the noses of half of the biscuits*. I used a 2.5cm cutter. 

Bake for 8-10 minutes until just turning a shade darker. Leave to cool then mix together the icing sugar and jam. Spread some into the middle of one of the whole biscuits and spread around but not to the edge, leave a small gap. Add the top biscuit (one with a whole) and voila!

I used a black edible pen to draw on the faces but you could use some thick icing dotted on.

*Make sure you cut out noses from half the circles. On my second baking tray I forgot and remembered once they came out of the oven. I was lucky though that the biscuits were still warm and I was able to punch holes through them. Phew!

Friday, 6 March 2015

Mini egg blondies

It's not easter yet but if mini eggs are out then mini eggs need to be eaten!

I really don't like american recipes as I find cup measurements too vague but I decided to go with this one and use cups for the first time. Ever!

But it worked though I'm not convinced at all that the cup method will be used much by myself. I'm dieting still but did save a piece of this back and it was well worth the fall off the wagon. I will definitely make these again so here follows the recipe. Blondies don't always use peanut butter but this recipe does

8 tbsp butter/margarine (115g)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup caster sugar 
1/2 cup peanut butter 
1 egg
1 cup self raising flour 
1 tbsp milk
1 cup mini eggs 

Preheat oven to 190/170 fan. Grease and line an 8x8" baking tin. 

Mix together the butter/margarine and the two sugars. Add the peanut butter and mix. Add the egg and mix, scraping down the sides so everything is incorporated then finally add the flour and milk. Spoon into the baking tin then dot in the mini eggs (I find this way they're evenly dispersed so every piece gets eggs in it)

Bake for 30 minutes until the centre is set then leave to cool in the tin

Slice and devour 

Apologies for the terrible photos, they do no justice to the amazing taste 

Thursday, 5 March 2015

Dad turns 60!

My dad turns 60 next week but the jammy sod is off to celebrate it in the Caribbean. But he still had to have a cake before he goes as it's the law don't you know?!

So here's my cake for a 6(0) year old as he works in construction and my boys love diggers. I followed two tutorials to create the construction themed centre and topped the cake with choc fudge frosting, chocolate chips and chopped up crunchies. The cake itself was vanilla and chocolate. It was supposed to be coffee but let's not go there. I almost made it choc orange but decided not to last minute.

Here are the two tutorials

I settled on a 7" cake rather than an 8" seeing as he's going away so not much chance to finish it. Having said that though it soon got chopped up and demolished.

One cake was coloured with yellow and orange gel food colouring and the second cake I made with cocoa powder and added black gel food colouring.

I was very nervous to attempt to cut the cakes and mine is far from perfect but not bad for a first attempt with a 4 and 3 year old asking to help constantly. 

You don't know how it's going to look until it's cut open. Eeeeeeeek!

Using the tutorials, I cut round the edge of the 7", then cut round a 5" disc then finally a 3", popped each cake out and reassembled. I'd also frozen the cakes for 3 hours (3-5 is recommended) before cutting.

I didn't take many photos of how to assemble as the tutorials explain it well but here's my two reassembled 

I popped a layer of fudge frosting between the two cakes then covered the top and sides

Max placed the dumper on top for me. Look how proud they are 😝😝

The big reveal!

And my card. Love it!