Thursday, 27 August 2015
It has been a long time since I have made a baked cheesecake as I often opt for the simple no bake style. I decided that with all the baking I am doing at the moment it would be good to do a lower fat version and so used reduced fat digestives along with low fat cheese and quark.
You will need:
11 reduced fat digestive biscuits
250 light soft cheese
4 tbsp plain flour
Juice of 1 lemon
150g caster sugar
To decorate: melted white chocolate, raspberries and lemon slices.
Start by making the biscuit base. Rub butter around a 23cm springform tin. Crush the digestives, add the melted butter and push into the base of the tin. Put this in the fridge to cool whilst you make the cheesecake filling.
Combine the soft cheese, quark, caster sugar, lemon juice and eggs. Stir in the raspberries.
Smooth this mixture over the digestive base. Cook at 180C for around 40mins. Allow to cool.
Add the remaining raspberries as decoration using melted white chocolate to stick them in place.
Wednesday, 26 August 2015
You may remember that a few weeks ago I discovered Sugar and Crumbs flavoured icing sugar when I made some Black Forest Gateaux style cupcakes. Here I used their Jaffa flavoured icing to make these chocolate orange cupcakes.
Makes 12 Cupcakes
For the cupcakes:
4oz caster sugar
3oz self raising flour
1oz of cocoa powder
For the frosting:
250g Sugar and Crumbs Jaffa icing sugar
125g softened butter
1 tbsp milk
Chocolate Orange Sensations (I used these rather than breaking up a chocolate Orange as the segments are smaller.)
Start by making the cupcakes. Pre heat the oven to 180C.
Cream the butter and caster sugar.
Mix in the eggs, flour and cocoa powder.
Divide the mixture between 12 cupcake cases and cook for around 15 minutes.
Top each cupcake with the Jaffa flavoured butter icing and top with a segment of chocolate orange.
What is your favourite sweet to use in cakes?
Monday, 24 August 2015
We were greeted and asked if we would like a drink before our meal in the roof garden. This was beautiful and a lovely use of a small space.
We then went downstairs for our meal. We chose from the 3 course set menu with wine package.
We were bought some fresh bread before being given a Parmesan flavoured amuse bouche.
I chose the Languositine ravioli to start. The flavours were beautiful.
Next I chose the salmon. Here I was really impressed with the service. The waiter explained that the salmon is served pink and asked if I would like it like this or cooked through. I have eaten salmon cooked like this at The Fat Duck and whilst it tasted nice, I like it cooked through. They were happy to do this and it made the meal even more enjoyable. The main was accompanied by their signature mashed potato!
For the dessert I chose the chocolate dome with cognac ice cream. It was nearly too pretty to eat! The dessert wine served with it was amazing.
Lastly we had some little treats to end the meal.
I really couldn't fault anything about the meal. It tasted and looked beautiful. The wines complimented each course and the service was seamless. Definitely worth looking into for a special occasion.
Thursday, 20 August 2015
When I saw that this weeks bake off theme was bread, I was quite pleased as I really love Strombolli and thought I could make variation of that. Then I read that they were no yeast quick breads. After a quick google for ideas I decided to make a no yeast focaccia.
You will need:
1 cup water
2 cups of strong white flour
2tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp Parmesan cheese grated (and a little extra to sprinkle on top)
2 sprigs of rosemary taken off the stalks.
3 large sundried tomatoes chopped.
Put the oven on at 220C to heat up.
Spray a square pan with olive oil.
Mix all the ingredients together and place in the tin.
Cook for around 20 minutes. Take out and sprinkle a little more Parmesan on top and cook for a further 5 mins.
Allow to cool slightly before eating.
You can find more blogger's bread recipes here.
Wednesday, 19 August 2015
I was in my element at BritMums as there was a fantastic craft room thanks to Lady Sew and Sew and Make It Coats. I was even happier when I was invited to be an ambassador. I love crafting but use the excuse of not having time. I thought this was a great excuse to make time.
I decided it was probably best to start with a simple project and opted for a cowl. Luckily there are you tube videos and tutorials galore to help you learn to knit.
For this pattern I was sent 3 balls of the Rowan Big Wool Silk and some size 10 needles. You can download this pattern for free by registering and there are 3 different patterns to choose from.
I chose to make the stocking stitch cowl. The pattern was simple.
Cast on 26 stitches
Row 1: Knit
Row 2: Purl 2, Knit 22, Purl 2
Repeat until desired length, cast off and sew together. (You will need a large needle for this part.)
I was surprised at how addictive I found it and actually felt I could have done something more complex. With the weather at the moment I fear that I will be wearing this much sooner than I had originally hoped! If you are interested in this or other craft projects then you can find your nearest stockist here. Do you knit? Have you any suggestions for my next project?
Tuesday, 18 August 2015
This Easter we had a lovely holiday in North Devon. Whilst I love going abroad for the weather, there is nothing better than exploring our own country and all it has to offer. Parkdean currently have a competition running to win a break at one of their sites in Cornwall or Devon. I have had a go myself but really need to scrub up on some of the local views. If you are lucky however, you might like to know what is in store for you if you choose to visit North Devon.
1. Make the most of Devon with the National Trust. If you are off to North Devon, it may well pay to get a National Trust Membership. There are a number of beach car parks which are free if you have membership. We also visited Knighthayes and Arlington Court.
2. There are a number of attractions to choose from. I have friends who have recommended The Milky Way theme park and the Quince Honey Farm. We went to The Big Sheep which is well equipped to entertain you even if the weather isn't its best. There are talks about the animals, rides and a soft play area.
3.Enjoy the beautiful beaches. The weather wasn't the best when we visited Devon, but that didn't stop us from visiting the beaches. The boys loves climbing the sand dunes. Lynmouth had some fantastic rock pools filled with anemones.Whilst we visited Sandymouh when the tide was in and there wasn't a great deal of sand, it was beautiful and kept the boys entertained.
4. Lynton and Lynmouth are joined by a cliff railway. When we visited it was actually celebrating 150 year anniversary and had a visit from Princess Anne. There are lots of little shops to look around and big man was excited to buy clotted cream fudge.
5. You can't go to Devon or Cornwall without having a cream tea. I have to confess I probably ate mine in Devon all wrong. Apparently it's cream first and then jam.
Have you been to North Devon? Where would you recommend?
I have received a Cream Tea Hamper for sharing this competition
Monday, 17 August 2015
Last week saw my husband and I celebrating 10 years of marriage. Our wedding cake was an amazing 3 tier white chocolate covered sponge cake with chocolate dipped strawberries on top.
I therefore wanted to make a white chocolate and strawberry cake to celebrate our anniversary. I decided to put my spin on it too.
For the cake:
4oz self raising flour
4oz caster sugar
For the buttercream:
50g white chocolate
150g icing sugar
For the cream cheese centre
100ml whipping cream
100g soft cheese
3 tablespoons of icing sugar
1 dessert spoon of grenadine
75g of white chocolate
Plus a small amount of grated white chocolate.
I chose to make a 13cm diameter cake. This is quite small but as I was using fresh cream, I felt this was a better size as we would be able to eat it all.
I started by making the 2 layers of sponge cake by mixing the flour, sugar and eggs with melted butter. I cooked these until a skewer came out clean. (Approx 20 mins at 18-C)
I chose the best and biggest strawberries from my punnet and used these to dip in melted white chocolate. I put them on grease proof paper to set.
I then made the filling by whipping the cream and adding the soft cheese, icing sugar and grenadine.
I place this on one sponge, added the strawberries and some more filling. I had made slightly more than required but my boys happily gobbled this up!
Next I made the white chocolate buttercream by adding the melted chocolate to the creamed icing sugar and butter. I started by putting this around the sides of the cake and adding the white chocolate fingers around the cake. I then added the remaining buttercream to the top.
I grated a small amount of white chocolate and put this around the sides of the top and added the dipped strawberries. I then tied red ribbon around the cake.
The boys loved the dipped strawberries and now have an idea of what our wedding cake was like. What kind of wedding cake did you have?
Linked to August Cake Club Challenge