Monday, 22 April 2019

Simple Baked Cheesecake

This makes one relatively small cheesecake. Perfect for when you're home alone.

Simple Baked Cheesecake
slightly adapted from here

For the Base:
6 Digestives
35g unsalted butter, melted
Seas salt, to taste

For the Filling:
125g sour cream
250g cream cheese, room temperature
1 egg
50g brown sugar
50g caster sugar
100ml cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons cornflour

Make the Base:
Line 10 x 20cm loaf pan with baking paper. Set aside.

Process the biscuits in a food processor until you have a fine crumb. Add the melted butter and a pinch of salt and pulse to mix. Press the mixture into the base of the prepared pan. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Heat the oven to 160C.

Make the Filling:
In a bowl, mix together the sour cream and cream cheese until smooth. Stir in the egg and sugars, then add the cream and vanilla. Once combined, stir in the cornflour. Allow the mixture drain through a fine sieve (don't force the mixture through the sieve or you'll get lumps). Pour the filling mixture over the biscuit base. Tap the pan on the bench a few times to remove air bubbles.

Bake in a water bath by placing the pan in a larger baking tray, and pour boiling water halfway up the sides of the pan. Bake for 1¼ hours, or until the top is well browned. Turn the oven off, keeping the door closed, and leave the cheesecake undisturbed for about 3 hours. After 3 hours remove from the oven and allow to chill in the refrigerator overnight before cutting into bars.

Wednesday, 3 April 2019

Sticky Date Tart with Toffee Sauce

Hello, remember me? It's been a while. Life's been hectic, but I still make time to bake and snap and eat.

Sticky Date Tart with Toffee Sauce 
slightly adapted from here

For the Pastry:
225g plain flour
Pinch salt
125g chilled unsalted, butter, chopped
1 egg yolk
Chilled water

For the Filling:
240g pitted dates, chopped
150ml milk
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
100g plain flour, sifted
2 eggs, beaten
2 tablespoons golden syrup
100g brown sugar
20g flaked almonds and icing sugar, for sprinkling

For the Sauce:
200g brown sugar
Pinch salt
50g unsalted butter
300ml cream

Make the Pastry:
Put the flour, butter and a pinch of salt into a food processor and blitz to fine crumbs. Add the egg yolk and 2 tablespoons chilled water and pulse again until it comes together. Shape into a ball, wrap in plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes.

Grease a 36cm x 12cm rectangular loose-bottomed tart pan. Roll out the pastry to 5mm thick and line the tray with it, tramming the excess pastry and pop it into the fridge for 10 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 180C. 

Line the chilled tart shell with baking paper and fill with pastry weights. Blind bake for 8 minutes, then remove the weights and paper and bake for a further 5 minutes, or until golden and dry. Set aside to cool.

Reduce the oven temperature to 160C.

Make the Filling:
Put the dates and milk into a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to simmering point and remove from heat. Stir in the baking soda, then set aside for 30 minutes.

Place the dates and milk in a food processor with the vanilla and pulse to combine. Transfer to a bowl, then fold in the flour, eggs, golden syrup and brown sugar. Mix until just combined. Set aside to cool.

Make the Sauce:
Place the brown sugar, salt butter and cream in a saucepan over low heat, stir until the sugar dissolves. Cook for 2 minutes until slightly thickened.

Assemble the Tart:
Once the pastry case and the filling are cool, pour 80ml of the toffee sauce over the base, spreading it evenly. Next, spread the filling on top and scatter with almonds. Bake for 20-25 minutes until just set. Cool in the pan for 5 minutes.

Dust with icing sugar and serve warm with the remaining toffee sauce.

Saturday, 1 December 2018


I'm not really into Christmas. The whole commercial thing is a bit too much for me. But I do love a bit of Christmas baking... And seriously, if something called Kringle doesn't scream Christmas, I don't know what does. 

adapted from here

For the Filling:
¾ cup brown sugar, softened
70g unsalted butter
pinch fine sea salt
pinch ground cinnamon
½ egg white

For the Dough:
170g unsalted butter
1 x 7g sachet dried yeast
60ml lukewarm water
60ml lukewarm milk
¼ cup caster sugar
1 egg
2 cups "00" flour, sifted
½ teaspoon fine sea salt

For the Glaze:
1 cup icing sugar
1 - 2 tablespoons milk 

Make the Filling:
Put all the ingredients into a bowl and mix thoroughly.

Make the Dough:
Pour the water into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook.Sprinkle the yeast over the water, stir and leave to bloom (about 10 minutes).

Divide the butter in half and sandwich each portion between two pieces of cling film. Roll them out to a thin 20cm x 20cm square and pop them in the freezer.

Once the yeast mixture has become foamy, add the milk, sugar and egg and mix well.

Add the flour and mix on low speed for 1 minutes, then add the salt. Mix on low for another 4 minutes.

On a lightly floured work surface, roll the dough out to a 20cm x 30cm rectangle.

Place on piece of chilled butter on the top two thirds of dough.

Fold the uncovered third of dough over the middle third of buttered dough, then fold the remaining third of buttered dough over the top, like you would fold of business letter.

Again, fold one end over middle third and then fold remaining third over the top. Wrap in cling film and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

On a lightly floured work surface, roll the dough out to a 20cm x 30cm rectangle. Add the other piece of chilled butter and fold as before. Wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours.

Cut the dough into two even portions.

On a lightly floured work surface, roll the dough out to a 20cm x 30cm rectangle.

Cut dough into 2 equal pieces.

Lightly roll one piece at a time, until piece is about 15cm x 50cm.

Spread the filling down the centre of each rectangle of dough. Fold one of the long edges over the filling, moisten the other edge with some water and fold the top over, encasing the filling. Seal well.

Place the rolls of dough on a large rimmed baking tray lined with a piece of baking paper and form a circle, pressing the ends together.

Cover the kringle with a clean tea towel and leave at room temperature for 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 180C and then bake the kringle for 25 - 30 minutes or until golden brown.

Make the Glaze:
Mix the icing sugar with enough milk to make a drizzling consistency.

Once the kringle is cool, drizzle with glaze.

Monday, 29 October 2018

Chocolate Mole Tart

This tart is for when you make a batch of dulce de leche and need something to do with it, other than spoon it straight from the jar to your mouth. 

Chocolate Mole Tart
slightly adapted from here

For the Pastry:
250g plain flour, extra for dusting
50g icing sugar
125g cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
Zest of 1 orange
1 vanilla pod, seeds scraped
1 large egg, beaten
1 tablespoon or so of milk

For the Filling:
100g roasted hazelnuts
200g dark chocolate, chopped
Sea salt flakes
150g unsalted butter, chopped into small cubes
200g caster sugar
3 eggs
4 - 5 tablespoons dulce de leche

For the Sprinkle:
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 cloves
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
1 dried red chilli
Zest ½ orange
5 teaspoons cocoa powder
3 teaspoons icing sugar
Sea Slat flakes

Make the Pastry:
Put the flour, sugar and butter into a food processor. Pulse until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add the zest and vanilla seeds and pulse again.

Add the egg and blitz until well mixed. Add enough milk to bring the mixture into a ball.

Tip the dough out onto a lightly floured bench. Form into a disc and wrap in cling film and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

When the dough has rested, roll it out large to fit into a lightly oiled 25cm loose-bottomed tart pan, about 0.5cm thick. Line the base and sides of the pan with the pastry. Trim the excess pastry, prick the base all over with a fork and chill in the freezer for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 180C.

Remove from the freezer, line the pastry with a piece of baking paper and fill the case up with baking beans or weights. Bake blind for 10 minutes, remove the beans and paper, and return the shell to the oven for a further 10 minutes until firm, but not brown.  Leave on a wire rack to cool

Make the Filling:
Melt the chocolate and a pinch of salt in a heatproof bowl suspended over a pan of barely simmering water, don't let the pan touch the water. Add the butter and stir until melted. Remove from the heat and set aside.

Put 75ml of water into a pan with 150g of sugar and whisk. Put the pan over a low heat and heat until the sugar has dissolved and you have a thin, pale syrup. Remove from the heat and set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the eggs until fluffy. Add the remaining 50g sugar and mix for 5 minutes, until pale and frothy. With the mixer running, slowly pour in your warm syrup and then the melted chocolate. Mix very briefly to combine.

Assemble the Tart:
Spread the dulce de leche evenly onto the base of the tart shell. Roughly chop the hazelnuts and sprinkle them onto the dulce de leche. Pour over the warm chocolate mixture. Place on a baking tray and bake for 17 minutes, until the chocolate has set around the edges, but the centre still has a slight wobble to it. Leave to cool on a wire rack for at least 2 hours.

Make the Sprinkle:
Put all the sprinkle ingredients into a mortar and bash until it becomes a fine powder. Sprinkle it through a sieve on top of the tart.

Monday, 15 October 2018

Malted Milk Ice Cream

Is it ice cream season yet?

Malted Milk Ice Cream
adapted from here

2 cups full-cream milk
1 tablespoon cornflour
45g cream cheese, softened
1/4 teaspoon sea salt flakes
1 1/4 cups thickened cream
115g caster sugar
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
½ cup malted milk powder

Make a cornflour slurry by mixing 2 tablespoons of the milk with the cornflour. Set aside.

In a mixing bowl, whisk the cream cheese with the salt. Set aside.

In a large saucepan, bring the remaining milk, cream, sugar, corn syrup to a rolling boil over medium-high heat. Boil for 4 minutes, remove from heat and gradually whisk in the cornflour slurry.

Put the pan back on the heat and bring it back to a boil over medium-high heat for about a minutes, until thickened. Remove some of this mixture and put it back to the cornflour bowl. Add the cream cheese and whisk. Then add the malted milk power and whisk until you have a smooth paste. Next, very gradually, add this mixture back to the saucepan, whisking vigorously. Cook, stirring, until slightly thickened, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat. Set aside.

Pour the mixture into a large bowl or jug, cover the surface of the mixture with cling film to prevent a skin from forming, and chill in the refrigerator until completely cold.

Pour the mixture into an ice cream machine and churn according to the manufacturers instructions. Eat straight from the machine when it's thick and creamy, or store it in a container in the freezer. Take it out of the freezer for a good 20 minutes before serving so that it's that perfect "scoopable" consistency.

Monday, 8 October 2018

Pot-Roasted Beef with Extra Virgin Olive Oil - Manzo di Rovato all'olio

I made these luscious Italian beef sandwiches a while ago and have been too busy lately to write about them here. But as my kitchen is out of order... and I mean literally out of order eg. I have a refrigerator in my living room and an oven in my hallway due to current renovations, I thought I really should get them on the blog and share the love before the weather warms up too much to even contemplate turning on the oven (ignore the last sentence if you live in the Northern hemisphere). Though nothing much deters me from meltingly tender, slow-cooked, succulent beef drenched in a silky, rich gravy made of it's own juices... not even a heatwave. 

Pot-Roasted Beef with Extra Virgin Olive Oil - Manzo di Rovato all'olio
adapted from here

1 cup extra virgin olive oil
1kg chuck in one piece
2 tablespoons capers, drained
1 tablespoon anchovy paste
2 red onions, finely chopped
3 carrots, peeled and finely chopped
2 cups dry white wine
3 zucchini, sliced
30g Pamesan, finely grated
20g dry breadcrumbs
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Heat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven oven medium-high heat, add the beef and brown on all sides. Add the capers and anchovy paste and cook on medium heat for 1 minute. Stir in the onions and carrots and pour in the wine. Lay a piece of baking paper directly on top of the meat, top with the lid and cook on the lowest heat for 1 hour.

Add the zucchini and cook for a further 1 hour.

Remove the meat from the pot and set aside. Use a stick blender to blitz the vegetables and juices until smooth. Stir in the Parmesan and breadcrumbs and season with salt and pepper to taste. 

Slice the beef and serve with the sauce or make sandwiches using soft white rolls, slices of pot-roasted beef, chopped giardiniera and douse them with the sauce from the beef.

Wednesday, 12 September 2018

Lamington Cake

Blow everyone away at afternoon tea time with this lamington cake. The recipe is slightly adapted from Poh Bakes 100 Greats. Instead of using day-old sponge cake to make individual morsels, an orange chiffon cake is the base of this elegant remastering. I'm afternoon-tea-obsessed, and I'll pretty much take lamingtons which ever way they come, but this version is my current favourite.

Lamington Cake:
From here

For the Cake:
5 eggs, separated, plus 2 egg whites
½ teaspoon cream of tartar
150g caster sugar
80ml grapeseed oil
100 ml tinned coconut milk
finely grated zest of 1 orange
80 ml orange juice
150g plain flour, sifted
½ teaspoon baking powder
pinch of salt

For the Icing:
300g icing sugar mixture
30g good-quality cocoa powder
20g butter
90 ml tinned coconut milk
200g desiccated coconut

Preheat the oven to 160˚C fan-forced.

Using an electric mixer with the whisk attachment, whisk all the seven egg whites with the cream of tartar to medium peaks. Add the remaining sugar in 4 batches, mixing well after each addition, until stiff and very fluffy.

In a separate bowl, whisk the egg yolks and the remaining sugar until pale and fluffy. Add the oil and whisk, then add the coconut milk, orange zest and juice and whisk until combined. Add the flour, baking powder and salt and whisk until just smooth.

Spoon one-third of the egg white mixture into the egg yolk mixture and whisk until combined to form a batter. Add the batter to the remaining egg white mixture and fold until well combined and incorporated; stir gently with a whisk to get rid of any pockets of egg white, if necessary.

Pour the batter into a 25 cm angel cake food tin and bake for 30–40 minutes or until an inserted skewer comes out clean. Remove the cake from the oven and immediately invert the cake tin when it comes out of the overn, and allow the cake to cool completely before removing from the tin. Loosen the cake from the tin bu running a knife around the outer and inner sides of the tin. The cake should release easily. Then, slide the knife along the bottom of the tin and transfer the caketo a wire rack.

Make the Icing:
Combine the icing sugar, cocoa, butter and milk in a heatproof bowl. Place over a saucepan of simmering water, making sure the base of the bowl does not touch the water, then whisk until the mixture is smooth.

Pour and spread the chocolate icing over the entire cake, then sprinkle top and out and inner sides with coconut.