White Chocolate and Brownie Cheesecake

white chocolate and brownie cheesecake recipe and method indulgent desserts valentines

This recipe has actually be lurking for about 3 months now, such is the busy period it’s been. A scrappy post-it in my kitchen and a whole heap of photos later, the impending Valentine’s Day spurred me to get blogging and try and recall what on earth went on.

I’d made this absolute delight of a cheescake (January dieters please look away now), as a treat for Rob while I was away working. It would be equally as great for Valentine’s Day, for which I now have to think of another show-stopping bake. Answers on a postcard please!

The brownies were a simple re-incarnation of my 3 ingredient Nutella brownies, fudgy, quick, and easy, they were perfectly resilient to being re-baked and refrigerated. And the best news was that I didn’t use a whole batch, so there were plenty left over for sampling 🙂

Recipe

1 batch Nutella Brownies

200g digestive biscuits
50g dark chocolate
75g butter

300g cream cheese
200g white chocolate
405g tin of condensed milk (unsweetened, the chocolate has enough sugar)
1 egg

Method

– Crush the biscuits / blend them to find crumbs in a food processor. Melt the dark chocolate and butter, and mix well. – Press into the bottom of a high-sided 8-10 inch springform pan, and bake at 180 degrees for 8 minutes. Set aside to cool.

chocolate brownie cheesecake base crushed biscuits

– In a large bowl (stand mixer is great if you have one), gently mix the cream cheese and condensed milk.
– Melt the white chocolate over a low heat, and slowly add to the cheese mixture, stirring continually. Finally add the egg and mix through.

white chocolate cheesecake recipe pouring into stand mixed batter and creamy mix

– Pour approx. one centimetre of the batter onto the biscuit base, and position the brownies around the surface.

white chocolate and brownie cheesecake recipe setting hearts into batter

– Bake for 5-6 minutes at 180 degrees, until the cheesecake layer is set enough to hold the brownies in place.- Carefully fill up the tin with the remaining cheesecake mix, being careful not to splash or cover the brownies.

white chocolate and brownie cheesecake assembled ready to cook

– Return to the oven for a further 20-25 minutes, until the top is set (you can touch it with your finger without any mix sticking); the middle should still be wobbly.
– Remove from the oven, cool, and refrigerate in the tin for a minimum of 12 hours (overnight)

The finishing dark chocolate swirl is by no means necessary, but adds a great finish and hides any blips where the cheesecake mixture might have splashed onto the brownies. I melted about 25g into a small piping bag and covered the whole cake in swirls.

triple chocolate cheese cake white milk and dark nutella brownies recipe and valentines ideas

white chocolate and brownie cheese cake crunchy biscuit base topped with dark chocolate swirls

heart chocolate nutella brownie under dark chocolate swirl set in white chocolate cheesecake valentines ideas

white chocolate cheesecake with heart shaped nutella brownies

As it’s been baked this cheesecake will keep for up to a week in the fridge – if it lasts that long, not with slices this size that’s for sure!

white chocolate and brownie cheesecake sliced topped with dark chocolate swirls crunchy biscuit base

The finished cheesecake had great contrasting textures, all brought together with a silky chocolate flavour. The crunchy base, chewy brownies, and creamy cheesecake make for an indulgent bite every time!

 

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Making Mini Doughnuts

mini ring doughnuts jam sandwich and white iced with sugar sprinkles quick bake ideas

Tonight was one of those nights where I got home from work and just wanted to have a play in the kitchen. Anyone who loves baking or cooking will know what I mean – not your average weeknight cook a healthy dinner, clean up and find the evening is over. But something more creative. More fun. More… sugary!

Any my unsuspecting target? This silicon mini doughnut that I bought in the sale at Lakeland before Christmas. Sadly (for you!) it was in the sale as they’re not making it any more, but rest assured it’s not going to be difficult to find another one, should you desire.

mini doughnut mould from lakeland purple review easy to use results
The recipe for these mini doughnuts I’m not going to share with you, as, quite frankly, it didn’t taste that amazing. Kind of an ok-I’ll-eat-one-more, but not a wow-I-must-finish-the-whole-plate-immediately sort of recipe.

The one thing I must love about these mini doughnuts is that they are SO quick to make – literally a couple of minutes to make up and 6-7 minutes to bake. So you can have fresh hot doughnuts in under 10 minutes. That’s groundbreaking stuff right there. And if you throw them straight into the sugar after removing from the mould, they are ready to serve immediately too. Winner.

fresh sugar doughnut rings mini baked from silicon mould close up

As you can see my first batch turned out a little flat. I’d followed the not-so-great-recipe’s instructions to only half-fill each mould, and they just didn’t rise up enough.
Not to be defeated, I had kind of been daydreaming of jam doughnuts all day, so sandwiched them together in pairs with a thin layer of raspberry jam. Hey presto, instand mini jam doughnut sandwiches!

mini jam ring doughnut sandwich sugared finish how to

mini ring jam sandwich doughnuts baked not deep fried using silicon mould lakeland easy under 10 minutes recipe

The second batch I filled up the moulds much more, just so the middle circle could be seen peeking out, and they came out much better. Full, fat, round doughnuts. That’s more like it!

freshly baked mini doughnuts light fluffy round using silicon mould not deep fried

To finish these off I drizzled across a white icing, mixed with a dash of lemon juice for added zing…

dripping white icing on freshly baked mini doughnuts with sugar sprinkles
…before topping with some tiny sugar sprinkles.

mini ring doughnuts with white icing and pink sugar sprinkles easy home bake quick recipe

Result? Well I had my play and discovered a new love for these little bites of amazingness. Not only are they super-quick and easy to make, and moreishly bite-sized, they’re actually one of those not so bad for your waistline type of cakes. The recipe I used only had a tablespoon of oil, which divided amongst the 30 or so doughnuts it yielded means they can probably be classed as low-fat. Hurrah! I will definitely be whipping up some more mini-morsels from this doughnut pan, watch this space for my quest to find a better recipe…

Leopard Print Speedo Cake

leopard print speedos swimming trunks pants cake good luck hand made painted hidden design

Today is a sad day in our office, as one of our much loved colleagues is leaving to take up a new role. She is moving to a popular swimwear company, jokes about budgie smugglers have been rife since the news broke, and I wanted to bake something to send her off in style!

I stumbled across a video tutorial the other week from Woodland Bakery for a leopard print cake – inside, not just out, and my mind was firmly set.

Using a classic Madeira cake recipe for firm-ness, I split it into 1/3:2/3 to add the colours and the flavour. The large portion, two thirds, I flavoured with lemon (and left without colour), to the remaining third I added a tablespoon of cocoa powder. Dividing the now chocolate portion in half again, I added a second tablespoon of cocoa powder to one half, giving a darker brown. They all then went into piping bags ready to go into the cake tin.

piping bags filled with cake batter lemon and chocolate flavour tutorial making patterns in cake

I used my number and letter cake pan to create the shape of the trunks – using a paper template to block out the sections that weren’t needed, so I’d not have to carve too much off to create the final shape. First to go in was a whole layer of the base colour / lemon cake:

leopard print cake how to and tutorial lemon flavour madiera piped base shaped tin

Then the start of the leopard print – thick swirls and stripes of the dark brown chocolate batter, spread across the area of the cake, to give each slice a little bit of ‘leopard’!

leopard print inside cake tutorial pipping dark brown lines into light batter

Over the top of this, a smaller, thinner line of the lighter chocolate batter:

leopard print cake tutorial light brown and dark brown chocolate batter piped into swirls on lemon base

Sealing in the light brown with a layer of the dark chocolate:

tutorial to make cake with leopard print inside piping lines and swirls

Then filling in around the sides and in between the chocolate mixtures (so the whole cake was level at this point):

leopard print cake tutorial how to pipe shapes and pattern into the cake batter

Another complete layer of lemon:

leopard print cake tutorial pan tin filled with batter hidden pattern

Now the tutorial only had one layer of leopard spots, but I wanted mine to be vertical in the cake as well as horizontal. Plus I had quite a lot of batter left in the piping bags! So I added another layer of the chocolate mixtures:

leopard print swirls hidden baked into cake how to tutorial

And finally one last layer of lemon filling in the sides and across the top. Without a doubt the longest time it has ever taken me to fill a cake tin!

leopard print cake tutorial pan tin filled with batter hidden pattern

It only took about 40 minutes to bake as the pan is relatively shallow, coming out a lovely golden brown and nice and firm for carving.

freshly baked leopard print hidden design inside cake

Then onto the carving – and I was so happy to see the first signs of leopard print as I sliced down the sides. Success!

leopard print inside cake tutorial first cut into pattern hidden design

A little more carving around the sides and top (the irony of what I was carving was not lost on me!)…

speedo swimming trunks pants shaped cake

… before covering with a lemon buttercream and light orange fondant. A minor disaster occurred just after I’d finished – a rouge packet of fondant fell out of the cupboard, landing right in the middle of the cake and causing a huge dent! Screaming ensued, Rob helped me peel the damaged fondant off and I started again. Groan! Hence why the fondant looks a little dry and cracked – it didn’t really appreciate being worked and rolled twice (nor did I appreciate doing it!)

speedo shaped cake tutorial covered with sugar paste fondant icing in orange

The leopard print decoration was seemingly simple but a little time consuming. Using watered-down food colours, I painted abstract circle and round patterns all across the cake in a darker brown…

hand painting leopard print spots dark brown onto cake using food colouring

… before filling in the centres with a lighter, tan brown.

leopard print spots pattern hand painted onto cake using food colouring dark brown and tan on pastel base

Once this was dry I piped a (slightly shaky) speedo logo using plain white icing.

piped icing white speedo logo on personalised leopard print cake

The finished cake – a true pair of budgie smugglers if I’ve ever seen one!

speedo swimming trunks leopard print cake inside and out tutorial hand made

leopard print speedos swimming trunks pants hand made cake tutorial with hidden design

I added a final finishing touch with a piped chocolate message (shaky again, must practice my piping!):

hand piped in dark chocolate message on cake good luck toni

good luck toni personalised leopard print speedos cake hand painted hidden design

Cutting into the cake – not quite as leopard-y as I’d hoped? But still sticky and spotty, and as always in our office very quickly devoured.

inside leopard print hidden design cake spots pattern

Take care Toni, we really will miss you!

toni with speedo leopard print cake leaving day

Update – May 2014 – I’m so pleased to say that this cake came runner-up in Renshaw Baking’s Cake Catwalk Competition. A classic leopard print never goes out of fashion!

Chocolate Swiss Roll With Baileys Cream

baileys cream chocolate swiss roll dinner party dessert silver serving plate sprinkled with caster and icing sugar

A happy new year once again – I must warn you to avert your eyes if the diet resolution is still intact. The following contains everything you want but can’t have – chocolate, cake, sugar, and of course a big dose of alcohol! I made this for a dinner New Years Eve, a great start to a wine-filled evening 😉

Actually without the filling swiss roll is quite a healthy dessert, especially if you fill it with jam, as it doesn’t contain any fat or dairy. My Simple Strawberry Jam Swiss Roll is by far the most popular post on the blog! But as per my Christmas Chocolate Yule Log post – the recipe is easily adapted for different flavours and occasions. The cake recipe is taken exactly from that post.

I am completely baffled by the loss of my Tala swiss roll tin that featured in the Yule Log post. Granted it’s not something I use often, and we moved house a few months ago, but how many places can their possibly be to use a big shiny tin! Nevertheless, I was happy to cope with a normal baking tray on this occasion as this swiss roll was one of the christening bakes for my absolutely amazing present from Santa (Rob) – drum roll please… – a beautiful, shiny black, KitchenAid Artisan Stand Mixer.

kitchenaid artisan stand mixer black and chrome review and sample recipe blogger baker

I’ve only had time for a few uses so far this year but am already utterly enamored. It beats, whips, kneads and mixes quietly and methodically to fantastic results. Watch this space for more KitchenAid cooks coming soon!

Adoration over – back to the cake 🙂

Recipe

4 medium eggs
125g caster sugar
30g cocoa powder
95g self raising flour

Baileys Cream filling:

50g butter
150g icing sugar
2 tablespoons Baileys Irish Cream

Additional 2 tablespoons Baileys to brush the cake (optional) – this will of course give a much more alcoholic dessert, richer and extra decadent

Method

– Whisk the eggs and sugar together until light, pale, fluffy, and about double their original volume (this can take up to 10 minutes, even with an electric mixer)
– Sieve the cocoa powder and flour, and gently fold into the egg mixture
– Take a swiss roll tin (or ordinary baking tray with ridged sides), line, grease well, and coat with a layer of sugar and flour
– Pour in the batter, and smooth out very carefully using a spatula, making sure to get into all the corners, and flatten out
– Bake in a hot oven (220 degrees) for 7-8 minutes, until the sponge is light springy to the touch
– Whilst the cake is baking, prepare another sheet of greaseproof paper, a little bigger than your tray. Lay it on a damp tea towel, and cover all over with a good sprinkling of caster sugar
– As soon as the cake is cooked, run a knife lightly round the edges, and flip out onto the sugared greaseproof paper
– Keeping the original sheet of greaseproof paper on top (the one it was baked with), quickly but carefully, start at one end and roll the whole tea towel, cake and paper stack up tightly
– Tuck the end underneath so the roll is held tightly, and allow to cool
– Once the cake is completely cool (check by turning the tea towel roll over and gently pressing with your hands), beat together the butter, baileys and icing sugar to form a smooth buttercream. Use your judgement and add more icing sugar if too runny or baileys if too stiff – it needs to be spreadable but not runny
– Carefully unroll the cake and remove the top layer of greaseproof paper. If the cake doesn’t want to lie completely flat, don’t force it or you risk cracking the outside
– If using, brush the additional 2 tablespoons of neat baileys lightly and evenly all over the cake
– Spread the Baileys buttercream all over the cake, leaving a gap of a few millimetres at each side, and thinning out slightly towards the outside edge
– Carefully re-roll, gently but firmly and tightly, to ensure a neat roll without squishing the buttercream out of the sides. An oozy edge is great, overflow much less so.
– Set onto your plate, seam side down. Sprinkle with caster sugar or dust with icing sugar. The cake is ready to serve immediately but can be made up to a day before (keep in a sealed container in the fridge if doing this)

chocolate swiss roll with baileys buttercream filling recipe method easy stand mixer oozing filling easy impressive dessert

chocolate swiss roll recipe with baileys irish cream buttercream filling stand mixer method fat free cake

Serve in small slices (you can always go back for more!) as it’s a very rich filling. But well worth breaking the resolutions for!

baileys cream chocolate swiss roll swirled cake slice dessert fork serving

Festive Fairy Light Cupcakes

christmas fairy lights festive cupcake ideas cake decorating fondant icing on white buttercream base silver edile ink metallic decoration

Happy New Year readers! The last of my Christmas posts, I promise. Now that we’re into January it’s nearly time for the tree to be packed away for another 11 months (well, 10 1/2, if I can get away with it!). But before the festivities finish completely I wanted to share these cupcakes that I made as a Christmas present at the start of last week.

My inspiration came from this brilliant silicon mould, that came as a free gift with the Christmas issue of My Cake Decorating Magazine.

christmas fairy light silicon mould for fondant cake decorating small medium and large

As you can see it had 3 different sizes of fairy light, and I honestly wasn’t sure if they would pop out in one piece, my previous experience with silicon moulds and fondant icing has been somewhat mixed to say the least!

Nevertheless I was very pleasantly surprised when they all came out really well. The key I found was to start with quite a dry fondant, fill up the mould, use a knife to scrape off any excess, and leave to air-dry for about 5 minutes (I found this worked quite well in between making the cupcakes themselves, and clearing up afterward!). The flexibility of the silicon meant it could be completely bent around itself to pop each little light out. I made all the lights from bright colours of fondant, and left them to air dry for about an hour before using, so the colours wouldn’t run into the buttercream.

multicoloured fondant icing fairy lights pressed from silicon mould my cake decorating christmas baking

During one of my many rounds of Christmas shopping, I accidentally stumbled across this lovely little present for me – a metallic silver edible ink pen from Rainbow Dust. It’s called a Click-Twist Brush, I’d not heard of these before but was obviously eager to try. I found it really easy to use as you can click out as much or as little ink as you need to get the desired effect.

rainbow dust metallic dark silver click twist edible ink brush review and use in christmas cake decorating

It took a couple of layers to build up the brilliant silver on the fairy light ‘sockets’, but I’m sure you’ll agree the effect was absolutely fantastic:

red yellow and green fairy lights made from fondant icing with silver edible ink decoration

Using a plain white buttercream I stuck the fairy lights onto the cupcakes in my planned patterns, and again used the silver pen to dot on a silver ‘wire’, connecting the lights up.

rainbow fairy lights christmas cupcake fondant pressed from silicon mould finished with silver edible ink

A final spritz of silver shimmer and light dusting of edible glitter later (if you can’t at Christmas, when can you…?) …

christmas fairy light cupcake red and blue with silver edible ink wire finished with silver shimmer spray

The finished festive fairy lights! A Christmas cupcake treat 🙂

fairy light fondant decorated cupcakes yellow purple red blue christmas gift ideas