Sunday, 8 September 2013

Cheesecake in a Glass

Ever been in a last minute situation where you have to entertain guests for dinner? The type where you discover in the afternoon that you're going to have guests over in a couple of hours? That's when there isn't any time to focus on an elaborate dessert. You have to prepare the meal- and fast!!
But what's the fun if there isn't any delicious dessert to wrap up the evening?

Once again Nigella comes to the rescue. The one thing about her recipes are that they are completely foolproof and produce brilliant results!
I recently tried out a recipe from a dessert cookbook i was gifted with and followed it to the tee.. With disappointing results.
Not good!!!

This cheesecake in a glass takes less than fifteen minutes to prepare and could be made as little as an hour before serving.

200g strawberries (or 1 big punnet)
1 tsp caster sugar
4 digestive biscuits
100g cream cheese, at room temperature
2 tbsp icing sugar
125ml double cream
1 tbsp lemon juice
½ tsp vanilla extract
4 small glasses/ bowls

Quarter the strawberries, then cut in half again, to give pretty small dice. Put into a bowl, sprinkle with caster sugar, cover with clingfilm and shake the bowl once or twice.

Leave the berries to macerate while you put the biscuits into a freezer bag and bash with a rolling pin until you have a sandy bag of crumbs.

Measure the cream cheese and icing sugar into a bowl and whisk by hand. Add the cream, lemon juice and vanilla, and whisk gently to combine.

Divide the biscuit crumbs equally between your four glasses, and arrange in the bottom of each one. Spoon the cream cheese mix on top, dividing it equally between the glasses and covering the biscuits.

Divide the sugar-shiny strawberries between the glasses, to give a glossy, red-berried layer on each glass.

If you'd like a lemony cheesecake without any strawberries, I'd recommend adding some lemon zest to the cream mixture.

It's such a quick and easy recipe that has the best results!!

Oh and yes my cheesecakes have crushed flake on top of them :-) that's how the Taste Tester prefers them. Everything with chocolate tastes better. He's a man after my own heart ;-)


Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Soft pretzels

Ten months! Thats almost how old my baby boy is. The months have passed in such a blur, so fast and so amazing. All praise and thanks to Him, I have enjoyed every precious moment that has passed.
Sleep deprived and exhausted as I may be, every second that passes is amazing, and I'm sure every mother out there can say the same about their children.
On that note, I am going to be trying out some baby teething biscuits soon and if successful, I will be sure to post the recipe here.
And I will try not to delay till my son is a teenager!

Anyway, this post is well overdue, and the pictures have been ready ages ago in my drafts, however I haven't had a moment to sit and write down the recipe...because every spare moment that I get nowadays is used to grab a quick meal, shower or nap.
The rest of my time is spent with a curious little snugglebug who loves to touch and press everything that his little eyes lay their sight on.

Oh also, forgive me for my typos and grammar/spelling mistakes. My brain is in scatter mode at the moment!!!

Now to the pretzels! The oh so soft, yummy pretzels!! The ones you can't help but gravitate towards at the mall!!
The other day my mum and I had gone to the mall where I spotted Aunty Annies..and they had samples!!! I was quick to choose the vanilla flavoured pretzels because the aroma was just mouthwatering.
I was definitely not disappointed and made sure I bought some on my way home.
They were soft, comforting, warm, buttery pretzels! 
This recipe comes pretty close! The great thing is, it isn't too difficult and the results are brilliant!

They are ofcourse, best served on the day they are made, but are pretty good for two days after! 

Ingredients: (I got about 20 pretzels out of this)

One packet quick action yeast
2 tablespoons caster sugar
1 teaspoon salt
275g/2 cups bread flour
275g/2 cups plain flour
350ml/1.5 cups lukewarm milk
100g/4 tablespoons butter

For the dipping:
2 cups very hot water
2 tablespoons bicarbonate of soda/baking soda

For the coating:
50g/2 tablespoons melted butter
caster sugar/ cinnamon/ vanilla sugar


Mix the yeast, salt, sugar and flours in a large bowl. Stir 100g melted butter into a measuring jug containing the lukewarm milk.
Gradually pour the milk and butter in to the flour and mix. You may not need all the liquid. When it comes into a soft ball of dough, knead for about 8-10 minutes.

Cover the bowl with cling film or a plate and let it rise in the warm room until double in size- about 1-2 hours.

Preheat the oven to 200c and cut the dough in to 20 equal portions.
Roll each piece into a thin sausage about 1 1/2 feet long. (don't use any flour or it won't roll) - the plus side of this is less mess :-)

To form the pretzel, cross the ends of the rope then twist to cross them over again. Take the twisted ends up to the top of the hoop and flip the whole thing over.

Dissolve the bicarb in a bowl with the very hot water.

Dip each pretzel into the bicarb water, drain them on a cooling rack while you do the rest. 

Put non stick baking paper onto two baking sheets and place your wet pretzels, scruffy side down, on to the baking sheets. Bake for five minutes, spin the tray around and bake for another 4-5 minutes more. so a total of 9-10 minutes. Do not over bake!

While the pretzels are baking, melt the last 2 tablespoons of butter and brush each pretzel with it.
Dip immediately in the caster sugar mixed with cinnamon or vanilla sugar. You could also make them savoury by sprinkling with sea salt and seasoning!

This is really a great recipe, even for people like me who aren't very great at binding dough.
I found the recipe here.

Give it a go and enjoy :-)


Monday, 25 March 2013

Hazelnut & oat raisin cookies

A couple of months back my friends and I had a meet up where someone brought these gorgeous chewy, oaty and hazelnut cookies. 
They didn't look so appealing but once we all tasted them.. We basically went nuts!!!!
I have never tasted anything non-chocolately as amazing as these cookies!
As soon as I got the recipe, I quickly started baking a batch. Trust me, one batch is NOT enough!!!
Fresh out of the oven with only a couple of minutes for them to cool down.. The taste tester was sold!!
Wondering whether we were the only ones so crazy for these cookies, I packed a couple for my parents and passed them along. The reason for my uncertainty was that- there isn't any chocolate in these.. How can they be so good??

Yup they too fell majorly in love!!
I then baked another batch because I was so happy :-)
.. And then another to take to the family in London!! I was soo happy to see them.. From the oldest of 70 years to the youngest of 12- go crazy for these!!!
It was sooo worth the effort!!!
Here's the recipe..
Go bake them NOW!!!

100g hazelnuts
100g undated butter, softened
200g soft light brown sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp runny honey
125g self-raising flour, sifted
125g jumbo porridge oats
Pinch of salt
100g raisins
A little milk if needed

-Preheat the oven to 190C/375F/Gas 5. Toast the nuts on a baking sheet for 5 minutes.
-Once toasted, rub with a clean tea towel to remove most of the skins.
-Roughly chop the hazelnuts and then set aside.
-In a bowl, cream together the butter and sugar with an electric whisk till smooth.
-Add the egg, vanilla extract and honey. Beat well until smooth once more.
-Combine the flour, oats and salt in a separate bowl, and stir to mix.
-Stir the flour mixture into the creamed mixture and beat until very well combined.
-Add the chopped nuts and raisins and mix until evenly distributed throughout.
-If the mixture is too stiff to work with easily, add a little milk until it becomes pliable.
-Line 2 or 3 baking sheets with parchment and roll the dough into walnut sized balls.
-Flatten each ball slightly, leaving plenty space between them.
-Bake in batches for 10-15 minutes until golden. Cool slightly, then move to a wire rack.
-Leave to cool completely before serving.

You can find the recipe here.

Enjoy :-)

Sunday, 13 January 2013

Banoffee Pie

The past two months have flown by so quickly. My entire life has taken the biggest turn with the arrival of my beautiful baby boy! I can't thank Allah enough for this blessing. Every single moment is spent caring for a whole entire tiny human being.
I have been able to carry on baking and making desserts though!! Surprisingly enough!
I thought once my little baby would make an entrance, all my kitchen antics would fly out of the window. Well we can't live without sustenance can we?
Blogging however, seems to have taken a back seat. I really have missed taking pictures and writing about my hopefully this means I'll try and post more often.

My first attempt to making a dessert was a couple of weeks ago. Banoffee pie!!!
Creamy, decadent, sticky, sweet, buttery and crumbly....oh so delicious!! Luckily this recipe is so quick and requires each step to be made in shifts. Which is perfect for me :-)
First, a buttery, crumbly base made with digestives and topped with a gorgeous, golden caramel layer and finished off with bananas, cream and (ofcourse) chocolate.
You can't have any dessert without chocolate. That's just wrong!!!

So far everyone who has tried this pie has fallen in love. Try making it. You will too :-)


For the base:
500 grams digestive biscuits
150 grams butter (melted)

For the Caramel:
100 grams butter
100 grams dark brown soft sugar
397 grams sweetened condensed milk (one can)

For the topping:
1 carton double cream
1 pack (2 fingers) Cadbury's twirl (I choose this because it is the perfect hit of chocolate!)
4 large bananas

Line your springform pan with greaseproof baking paper and grease it using butter.
Place the digestive biscuits in a food processor and whizz until they are completely crushed. Pour in the melted butter and whizz again till it starts sticking together.
Pour it in to your pan to create a base. You can also place some of it on the sides of the pan to create a pie shell.
Place in the refrigerator for a couple of hours or in the freezer.

In a non-stick pan, melt the butter and the dark brown soft sugar until the sugar dissolves. Pour in the condensed milk and keep stirring. Once it comes to a boil (It will start spitting so be very careful and maintain a distance from the pan)- let it boil for minute, while continuously stirring. It will become thick and come off the edges of the pan. Pour it on top of the base and place it back in the refrigerator for a couple of hours.

Once the caramel has completely cooled, beat the double cream in to soft peaks.
Slice the bananas and place on top of the caramel. (To avoid the bananas going black too quickly, instead of putting lemon on them which could cause them to taste slighty different, I submerge the bananas in boiling hot water for a couple of minutes before peeling . The skin will go black. This way the bananas don't go black in the pie for 2-3 days).
Pour the Whipped cream on top of the bananas and sprinkle the top with chocolate.

Leave in the refrigerator to chill for a couple of hours before serving.

Enjoy :-)