Chocolate Vanilla Cheesecake


Chocolate Vanilla Cheesecake

This was my greatest triumph at Christmas and it was so good I'm making another one for New Years Eve. The cheesecake is made in a 25cm springform tin so it serves at least 8-10 people, but as it's so rich you could probably stretch it out to serve 12. The other beauty of this dessert is it freezes really well, minus the cocoa powder topping, so it's a useful dessert to have stored away in your freezer to pull out for unexpected guests or impromptu get togethers.

When raspberries come into season I will try it again with a handful of raspberries in the cheesecake mix and a few TBSP of raspberry liqueur, that would be lovely I think.

Have a wonderful New Year. I will be resuming normal service on the blog next week.

CHOCOLATE VANILLA CHEESECAKE

| Serves: 10 | Prep Time: 20 Minutes | Cook Time: 45 Minutes | Total Time: 1 Hour 5 Minutes |


Ingredients: for a 25cm Springform tin

  • For the base
  • 85g Hot melted butter
  • 14 Dark Chocolate Digestives, blitzed in a processor to crumbs
  • For the cheesecake filling
  • 900g Full Fat Cream Cheese
  • 200g Caster Sugar
  • 4 TBSP Plain Flour
  • 2 TSP Vanilla Extract
  • 3 Large Eggs, beaten
  • 285ml Soured Cream
  • For the topping
  • 142ml Soured Cream
  • Cocoa Powder for dusting
  • 2 Cadbury's Flakes, crushed to sprinkle on top

Instructions:

  • Step 1: Preheat oven to 180c/fan 160. Line the base of a 25cm springform tin with baking paper and lightly oil the sides.
  • Step 2: Mix together the base ingredients, press into the tin and bake for 10 mins, set aside to cool.
  • Step 3: Switch the oven up to 220c/fan 200. Beat the cream cheese and sugar until really smooth (I used my kitchen aid) then add the flour, vanilla extract, eggs and soured cream. Pour the mixture into the tin and bake for 10 minutes. Turn down the oven to 110c/fan 90 and bake for a further 25 minutes. Turn off oven, open door and leave in their to cool.
  • Step 4: Smooth the soured cream on top and put it in the fridge to set (or freezer if freezing), then sift over cocoa powder and sprinkle over the crushed flakes.

| Author: Beth Sachs | Date: 29th December 2011 |

Gingerbread House

Gingerbread House

Ever made a Gingerbread House? No, me neither so when I received an email from Tesco Real Food asking if I wanted to try making one...I thought why not, how hard can it be? Thanks to the How to video on the Tesco Real Food website it really wasn't that difficult at all (barring a small incident with a boiled sweet!). The video goes through everything in a step by step manner  - useful it it's your fist time. Granted, Kate does make it look effortless...and she doesn't have two excitable children wanting to join in the decorating but it's certainly not as tricky as I had first imagined.

My effort above obviously isn't going to win any prizes (I am artistically challenged at the best of times) but it's a lovely little project to do with the children on a wet and windy December afternoon, of which there have been plenty of those over the last few weeks!

As well as the How to Video guide, Tesco's are also offering advice on all matters cooking related via Twitter. On Christmas Eve (10am-8pm) and Christmas Day (8am-4pm) they are only a tweet away, eager to help avert any impending culinary disasters in your house. All you have to do is direct your food related question to @tescorealfood and they will get back to you with any advice, tips and practical help that could literally save the day!

Thanks Tesco Real Food for sending me all the ingredients to make the gingerbread house.

Smoked Salmon Pate

Smoked Salmon Pate

A few weeks back you will remember I received this fab seasonal box from Forman and Field in association with Knorr. In it was some gorgeous London Cure Smoked Salmon, which I have duly transformed into an ideal Christmas Day starter to serve 8. A little smoked salmon goes a long way in this recipe, helping keep the costs down but not compromising on flavour or quality.

Will you be serving a starter on Christmas day, or do you and your family prefer to get stuck straight in to the main event?


SMOKED SALMON PATE

| Serves: 8  | Prep Time: 5 Minutes | Cook Time: -  | Total Time: -  |


Ingredients: 

  • 200g tub of Cream Cheese
  • 200g Smoked salmon
  • 1 heaped TBSP of Horseradish sauce
  • Juice of 1 Small Lemon
  • 3 TBSP Chives, snipped plus extra for garnish

Instructions:

  • Step 1; Blitz together all the ingredients in a processor, season and garnish with extra chives.
  • Step 2: Serve with melba toasts or brown bread.

| Author: Beth Sachs | Date: 12th December 2011 |


Christmas Chestnut Cupcakes

Chestnut Cupcakes

Last Christmas I bought some tins of Creme de Marron (sweet chestnut puree) but unfortunately they did no more than linger at the back of my baking cupboard.... until today that is. Getting into the Christmas spirit I was flicking through Delia's Happy Christmas this morning when I spotted a recipe for chestnut cupcakes using creme de marrons. I decided to adapt Delia's recipe a little bit to suit what ingredients I already had in the house and came up with these little treasures. 

If you're not keen on mince pies or heavy fruit cake, these would make a great sweet alternative.

CHESTNUT CUPCAKES

| Serves: 8 | Prep Time: 15 Minutes | Cook Time: 30 Minutes | Total Time: 45 Minutes |


Ingredients: 

  • 150g Creme de Marron
  • 110g Soft Butter
  • 2 Eggs, beaten
  • 110g Plain Flour
  • 11/2tsp Baking Powder
  • 4 TBSP Milk
  • Topping:
  • 100g Cream Cheese
  • 100g Sour Cream
  • 100g Creme de Marron (handily creme de marron usually come in 250g tins)
  • Icing sugar to dust.

Instructions:

  • Step 1: Preheat oven to 170c and put 8 large cupcake liners into a muffin tin. Whisk together the butter and creme de marron until pale and fluffy.
  • Step 2: Add the beaten eggs slowly and continue to mix.
  • Step 3: Sieve in the flour, baking powder and fold in then add the milk and mix gently until combined.
  • Step 4: Spoon into the cupcake cases and bake for 25 - 30 minutes.
  • Step 5: When baked, remove from oven and leave to cook. Meanwhile make up the topping by mixing the cream cheese, sour cream and creme de marron in a bowl until combined.
  • Step 6: Spread onto the cupcakes once completely cold.

| Author: Beth Sachs | Date: 9th December 2011 |


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