We all need a little extra sunshine at this time of year. I think that might be why nature made it that oranges only take on their beautiful colour once the weather turns cooler… This is a lovely dessert, a rich, buttery, chocolate crust topped […]
The big day may be over with for another a year but that doesn’t mean that we’re done with the feasting – as far as I’m concerned that doesn’t finish until the clock strikes January!
This rich, creamy cheesecake is the perfect dessert for this time of year and it’s full of festive flavours. It’s also a handy way to use up any leftover mincemeat that you might have hanging around.
200g biscuits (anything you like but ginger nuts or speculoos are nice)
600g cream cheese
100g sour cream
1 tsp vanilla paste
1 tbsp rum (or brandy)
dark chocolate decorations
Start by lightly greasing a spring-form cake tin and securely wrapping the base of it with foil. Pre-heat your oven to 170°c. Crush the biscuits and melt the butter before combing the two. Press this mixture firmly into the base of the tin, pushing it slightly up the sides. Pop this in the fridge to firm up whilst you make the filling.
Put the cream cheese and sugar in a large mixing bowl and beat them together until they are smooth and creamy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each one. Mix in the sour cream, alchohol and vanilla, making sure that it is well blended. Stir in the mincemeat by hand and then pour the mixture over the biscuit base. Give the tin a little shimmy to level things off before giving it a couple of sharp taps to knock out any excess air bubbles. Put the tin in a bain-marie and bake the cheesecake for about 1 hour.
Once it’s done it should have a little wobble in the middle but be a little puffed up and a little golden around the edges. Turn off the oven and take the cheesecake out of its water bath but leave it in the oven to cool. Once it’s room temperature move it to the fridge to chill for several hours, preferably overnight.
To serve, carefully remove the cheesecake from the tin and add a few dark chocolate decorations and perhaps a touch of sparkle to the top.
Something about the onset of the cold grey weather makes me want to eat cheese. ALL THE TIME! Toasty, golden, melted cheese is my favourite and these scones, warm from the oven, fit the bill perfectly. They have a lovely combination of flavours. The rich […]
Quick, delicious and impressive. Are there three better words to describe a dessert recipe? I don’t think there are. This recipe is so easy, you don’t even really have to weigh anything (doesn’t that sound good?).
Buttery, crispy, flaky pastry wrapped around a filling of sweet pear, rich chocolate and warming ginger – this is just delicious at this time of year. And it really is so quick to make, it’s a perfect last-minute pudding but it look fancy enough to show off to your dinner guests. I really can’t recommend this recipe enough!
You can use dark or milk chocolate for this – I prefer dark though.
375g ready-made, ready rolled puff pastry
500g pears (about 5-6)
75g chocolate, roughly chopped
2 tbsp crystallised ginger, finely chopped
2 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp cornflour
Pre-heat your oven to 220°c and line a baking tray with baking parchment.
Peel, core and chop the pears into bitesize chunks. Combine this with the roughly chopped chocolate, ginger, 2 tablespoons of sugar and the cornflour in a mixing bowl.
Un-roll the pastry and pile the filling mixture along the centre of it. With the short edge of the pastry facing you, make cuts along each of the long edges, about a third of the way in, at approximately a 45° angle upwards. Cut out and discard the corner sections.
Fold the top and bottom ends over the filling and brush them with the egg wash. Wrap the edge pieces over the filling, alternating them and bushing with egg wash as you go to ensure that they stick, creating a plaited effect.
Give the whole thing a final glaze with the egg wash and sprinkle it with a little Demerara sugar to give a crunchy finish. Bake the plait for 30-35 minutes, until the pastry has puffed up, covering with a piece of foil if it starts to get a little too brown on the edges. Serve warm with a dollop of clotted cream.
What better Autumn teatime treat could there be than a slice of sweetly spiced loaf cake baked with butternut squash and sweet dried apricots? This cake is deliciously moist (sorry, I don’t have another word for it!) and a little like a fruitier carrot cake. […]
Last weeks high winds seem to have brought down most of the remaining apples from the tree in my garden, at least the ones that our resident squirrel hasn’t already nibbled. He’s very picky and won’t touch them once they’ve hit the ground!
This is a great way of making sure that those windfalls don’t go to waste as you can simply cut away any bruised parts of the fruit. It’s also a great way of using a few of my home-grown chilis. I’m not sure what variety they are but they’re mighty fierce! This calms them down a lot and it’s a great condiment to serve with fish, seafood and cheese – I especially like it with Galician tetilla cheese and fresh bread.
This recipe is more about ratios than weights but I’ve included them as a guide anyway.
makes 2 jars
1.5 pints of water
500g of sugar for every 500ml of liquid
100ml cider vinegar
2-3 red and green chilis (deseeded if you don’t want it too hot!)
Wash the apples and roughly chop them, peel, cores and all. Place them in a large pan with the water, bring to the boil and then cook until the fruit becomes pulpy.
Strain the fruit through a jelly bag into a large clean bowl. Don’t squeeze the bag (as tempting as it might be) or you will make the jelly cloudy. I like to leave my fruit to strain overnight so that I can be sure I’ve got every last drop of liquid out of it. You can discard the remaining pulp.
Place a saucer in your freezer to chill so that you can test for setting point later. Add the vinegar to the juice and use 500g of sugar for every 500ml of liquid that you have. Combine them in a pan and let them bubble away for 20 minutes. Drop a teaspoon of the jam onto the chilled plate, leave it for a minute and then push your finger through it, if it wrinkles then you’ve reached setting point. If not then continue to cook the jam for a few minutes more and re-test it.
Once setting point has been reached remove the pan from the heat. Finely chop the chilis and divide them evenly between sterilised jars. Carefully pour the jam into the jars and leave to cool. You’ll need to stir the jam every now and then as it cools and sets in order to make sure that the chili is evenly distributed. Seal and label the jars and store in a dark place.