Sunday, 12 June 2016

Fruity Flapjack

Perk up your flapjack with berries and seeds!! This easy fruity recipe is a great teatime treat. 
There's nothing complicated involved, just a bit of  melting and mixing before they go in the oven. 

  • 150g butter 
  • 55g dark brown soft sugar
  • 397g condensed milk
  • 1 tbsp golden syrup 
  • 250g porridge oat
  • 100g dried cranberries 
  • 100g dried blueberries 
  • 250g ready to eat apricots, sliced
  • 85g pumpkin seeds
  • 85g sunflower seeds

Lined an 18 X 28cm baking tin with baking parchment.

Preheat oven to 180C/160C for fan oven.

Melt butter and sugar in a large saucepan over a low heat. Add the condensed milk and golden syrup. Remove from the heat and stir in the oats, dried fruits and half of each of the seeds. 

Press the mixture into the prepared tin and lightly press on the rest of the seeds. Bake for 25-30 minutes until golden brown. Allow to cool and then cut into 12 bars. Keep in airtight container. 

Saturday, 4 June 2016

Non-Bake Banana Cheesecake

Cheesecakes are a lovely sweet treat that almost everybody loves. They are very easy to make, and they are simple and delicious. This beauty is full of chocolate and bananas, with a crunchy chocolate base. Serve it with shaved chocolate, chocolate sauce, or simply with freshly whipped cream.


For the base
  • 175g biscuit crumbs
  • 120g butter, softened
  • 3 tbsp honey
  • 2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tbsp double cream
For the filling:
  • 250g cream cheese
  • 250g ripe bananas, mashed
  • 200 ml double cream 
  • 100g milk chocolate 
  • 2 tsp unflavoured gelatine

To make the base, beat the butter with an electric mixer until lighter in colour and creamy, add the honey and cocoa powder, and beat for a few more minutes, until creamed and well blended. Add the double cream, and gradually add the ground biscuits until you get a batter that you can press into the base of a 23 cm (9-inch) spring form pan. Set the base aside and continue with the filling. 

For the filling, first melt the chocolate in a double boiler and let it cool to room temperature. Next, pour two tablespoons of cold water over the gelatine and leave it for at least 10 minutes to activate. Mash the bananas very well, then set them aside. Beat the cream cheese with an electric mixer on high, until creamy, then add the bananas and blend really well. 

Heat up the gelatine to dissolve it, but do not let it boil. Take a tablespoon or two of the cream cheese mixture and mix it well with the gelatine, then pour everything back to the mixture and blend well. Add in the milk chocolate and mix well. Finally, whip the double cream until stiff peaks form, then gently fold it in. Pour this over the base, and let the cheesecake sit in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours or overnight. 

Friday, 3 June 2016

Raspberry brownie cheesecake

Chocolate and raspberry.....match made in heaven 😀. Rich, dark brownie base and tangy cheesecake filing, what's  not to love ?


For the brownie base
  • 200g butter
  • 200g light brown sugar
  • 40g unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 medium eggs
  • 100g plain flour
  • 11/2 tbsp cornflour
For the raspberry cheesecake filling
  • 400g fresh raspberries
  • 75g sugar
  • 50 ml water
  • 250g Mascarpone cheese
  • 200 ml double cream
  • 3 tsp unflavoured gelatine 
For the garnish
  • 100g fresh raspberries

To make the brownie base, dice the butter into a  pan. Sift in the cocoa powder, and melt it over medium heat until well blended. It may seem like the ingredients are not going to come together, but the butter melt slowly and mix with the cocoa. When it's completely melted, add the brown sugar, and mix well. Set it aside for a few minutes, until it cools down slightly. Add the fist egg to the warm batter and immediately whisk it in very well. Add two more eggs in the same fashion, and add the vanilla and blend really well.

When the eggs are blended in, sift in the plain flour and cornflour and gently fold it in the batter. Do not overmix, about 20-30 strokes with a spatula should be enough. Take a round baking pan with a removable bottom or sides (23 cm; 9"), grease and flour the bottom and sides, pour in the batter and gently level it. Bake it in a preheated oven, at 160C  for about 20-25 minutes. Check it with a toothpick, to make sure it isn't overbaked. Do not run your knife around the edges, you need it to be somewhat stuck to the pan so the cheesecake filling won't leak out. Let it cool completely in the pan.

For the cheesecake filling, take the Mascarpone out of the fridge so it can come to room temperature. Place the raspberries, water and sugar in a saucepan, and bring it to a simmer over medium heat. Let it simmer for about 10 minutes, then remove it from the heat and let it stand for a few minutes,  then blend the raspberries into a puree. Sieve the raspberry puree to remove seeds. Place the gelatine in a small bowl, pour over 4 tablespoons of cold water and leave it for about 10 minutes, to bloom. Once the raspberries are cooled and the Mascarpone has softened, place both in a large bowl and combine it with an electric mixer on medium.

Melt the gelatine over low heat (or in the microwave), take a few teaspoons of the Mascarpone mixture, mix it well with the gelatine, then pour everything back in the bowl and blend well on low. In a separate bowl, whip the double cream until stiff peaks form, and gently fold it in the previous batter. Pour the filling over the cooled brownie base and place the whole cake in the fridge overnight. Serve it with fresh raspberries.