Cappuccino Cheesecake Cups

I don’t particularly like traditional Christmas pudding, and years ago I decided that as long as I was cooking the Christmas meal, I would make a pudding I wanted.  Sod tradition! The pudding I make most often is Christmas Crumble, which is always popular, and is sufficiently “Christmassy” to satisfy most people’s idea of what is acceptable on the day! I have, however, also made various trifles, and various chocolate-based puddings.

This year I was particularly indecisive.  I wanted to do something that required minimal effort.  A no-bake cheesecake was an option.  Years ago there were many variations on a theme of cheesecake pots – little pots of cheesecake mixture, usually involving brandy, rum, or some kind of alcohol.  I eventually found – in my gigantic trunk of recipes collected over the years – this one.  In the end I didn’t make this for Christmas day as the numbers of my guests doubled and Christmas Crumble was an easier way to feed the masses.

I still had cream, and cream cheese which I had bought in preparation, to use up, and so this weekend I made these Cappuccino Cheesecake Cups.  This recipe is so quick and easy, minimal effort.  It is very adaptable in that the flavour (in this case coffee and chocolate) can be easily varied.

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Ingredients:

3 tablespoons light muscovado sugar

1 tablespoon instant coffee granules

450g cream cheese

150ml double cream, plus extra for decorating

3 tablespoons Tia Maria

Amaretti biscuits

Dark chocolate for decorating

Method:

Put the sugar and coffee granules in a food processor and blitz to a fine powder.

Soften the cream cheese and mix in the sugar & coffee mixture with the Tia Maria.

Add the cream and using an electric whisk, beat it all together until it is well mixed and thick.

Place an Amaretti biscuit at the bottom of a small glass and spoon the cheesecake mixture on top (it would look really neat if it was piped). Pour a thin layer of cream over the top and finely grate the chocolate to cover the cream.  Refrigerate for a couple of  hours to set.

Wherever you are, whatever you are doing, I wish you a peaceful weekend 🙂

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Meringues (egg-free)

The word of the day is aquafaba. Yes, that slimy liquid in a can of chickpeas or beans.  It is magic, that stuff!  We’ll swiftly gloss over my previous failure using this liquid to make an egg-free chocolate mousse….and move on the one recipe I’ve had continued success with: meringues. And, what’s not to like about a meringue!! Especially one with no eggs.  NO EGGS!  Yes, my hatred of egg continues.

And so, to the meringues. Drain a can of chickpeas – you’ll need 120ml of the liquid. Of course you’re going to make hummus with the chickpeas rather than throw them away, aren’t you.

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Now, have patience and watch the liquid transform, you’ll think it won’t, but it will …..use an electric whisk, you’ll thank me (it takes a while to whisk….)

Whisk until soft peaks form and then slowly whisk in 100g caster sugar, a bit at a time until the whole lot is incorporated and you have a lovely shiny stiff mixture….

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This can be spooned or piped on to a baking tray lined with baking paper.  I like to pipe them because it makes me feel posh! You’ll need 2 trays, this will make about 40 small meringues. Bake at 90°C (fan oven) for about 1h30 – or till the meringues lift easily off the baking paper.  Leave to cool.

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They are fine as they are, but I like to dip their bottoms in chocolate for a bit of extra oomph.

I used Lindt Raspberry Intense for a bit of tang. Once the meringues have cooled, dip their bases in the chocolate and leave to let the chocolate set.  Patience is a virtue.  Don’t forget to lick the bowl afterwards (cook’s prerogative)

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And, at last…..egg-free meringues.  Store in an air tight container.  Do not put in the fridge!

Wherever you are, whatever you are doing, I wish you a peaceful weekend 🙂

 

 

 

Double Chocolate Chunk & Peanut Cookies

I am a lazy baker, I admit this.  I tend to go back time and again to recipes I love, and that I know won’t fail.  After all, why not just keep making the bakes that you enjoy?!  But I am making an effort. Really, I am!  And so today’s bake was a recipe I have not tried before.  Who doesn’t love a crunchy & chewy chocolate chip cookie? And when salted peanuts and peanut butter are added – how could I resist?  And of course, I do have a thing for that sweet-and-salty mix.

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When I try a recipe for the first time, it can be nerve-wracking, sometimes it works really well, and sometimes I get that uneasy feeling – is this how it is supposed to look? Surely that shouldn’t have happened? That looks wrong, how do I rescue it?  But I ploughed on regardless……and lost my concentration, and forgot to take photos….

I wasn’t convinced, I kept checking and re-checking the recipe……I had added all the ingredients…..it said it would make 12 cookies but there didn’t look nearly enough mixture to manage that….P1000796

The recipe said it would be a soft batter which would just drop off the spoon….it wasn’t and it didn’t….. But, you know, sometimes you think sod it, I’ve got so far, I’m going to finish this off. And I did.

I ended up with 14 large cookies!  They smell divine! They just need to cool off a little bit before they can be eaten.

Wherever you are, whatever you are doing, I wish you a peaceful weekend 🙂

Win some, lose some

No food post, and no baking today.

I had decided to make a chocolate fridge tart, a recipe I have adapted and evolved over time, so that it is a heavenly blend of salty and sweet – chocolate and salted caramel.

Unfortunately as the fates had it, my chocolate siezed, and I was unable to rescue it. I had run out of chocolate (how could this happen?!?) And so there will be no picture. But there will be a next time.  If at first you don’t succeed……

On the winning side, I have discovered a new blog to follow, the fabulous Princess of VP blog it’s always a bonus when you discover new blogs to enjoy.  (I tried to add a link to the blog, but for some reason it failed).

I love blogs on food, health, make-up, photography, in fact all sorts of things, blogs that make you think, that make you laugh, that spark an interest in something. I’m still new to all this and searching for more ideas.   What about you? What do you enjoy? Which blogs do you recommend?

Today in essence was a mixture of lose (my fridge tart) and win (found a new blog to follow). I’m still working at getting that old mojo back again.

Coconut Chocolates

It’s about time I did some food.  Although this is not technically baking, all the ingredients were just mixed together.  I have looked at this recipe on and off for a while, but I just knew I had to give it a try.  Coconut and chocolate? What’s not to love!! Bounty Bars, as we all know them, that lovely coconutty, chocolate…………..dreams of tropical paradise!

I found the recipe in the wonderful Baking Heaven magazine’s supplement “Chocolate Heaven”.  As I said, what’s not to love?!

I took these in to work and they were snapped up in an instant.  I must confess to using Lindt dark chocolate to coat them (yes, the luxury) but if you want something to taste good, you need to use the best ingredients.  I should have tempered the chocolate, but really, life is too short to temper chocolate when you are not a pro!Home made bounty bars