27 April 2009

Daring Bakers April Challenge : Mountains of Cheesecake

I'm not usually a fan of baked cheesecakes, I prefer the non-baked set-by-geletin kind, but I'm not one to avoid a challenge either. Unfortunately my timing in making this months challenge was a critical failure, since I went back to Weight Watchers 2 days before I made it! This meant that the cheesecakes were given to work and house mates to feast on.

And now, the formalities :

The April 2009 challenge is hosted by Jenny from Jenny Bakes. She has chosen Abbey's Infamous Cheesecake as the challenge.

Anyways, I decided to make 8 different flavours of mini cheesecakes, since I knew I'd never get through a whole large one myself. I used the main recipe, which I increased to 1 and a half times, and then split into 8 for each flavour. The recipe below is for the base of two flavours at a time (or 12 bun sized bases) and one filling (or 6 bun sized fillings).

Part 1 : Base

Ingredients :

70g each biscuit (shortbread, chocolate chip cookies, gingernuts, digestives)
1 oz butter

Method :

01. Blend each biscuit into crumbs.

02. Melt the butter, and stir in biscuit.

04. Add about 1 tbsp biscuit mix into bun case.

05. Flatten with the back of a spoon.

06. Add a few nuts to base for an extra crunch.

07. Set aside.

Part 2 : Basic Filling

Ingredients :

125g cream cheese
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup cream
1 small egg

Method :

01. Cream the cheese and sugar until smooth.

02. Add the egg.

03. Beat in the egg until completely incorporated.

04. Beat in the cream.

Part 3 : Flavourings and Finishings

Ingredients :

Coffee/Milk Chocolate : 1 tbsp mocha coffee mix

Maple/Pecan : 18 pecans, 2 tbsp maple syrup

Coffee/Hazelnut : 48 hazelnuts, 1 tbsp instant coffee

White Chocolate/Strawberry : 3 squares grated white chocolate, 2 large strawberries

Coconut : 2 tbsp shredded coconut

Triple Berry : 5 blackberries, 5 raspberries, 2 large strawberries

White Chocolate/Milk Chocolate : 3 squares grated milk chocolate, 3 squares grated white chocolate

Milk Chocolate/Orange : 3 squares grated milk chocolate, zest of 1/2 an orange

Method :

01. Add flavour directly in to basic filling mix and stir.

02. Pour or spoon mix on top of base.

03. Bake at 160 degrees Celcius for 20 minutes.

04. Open oven door slightly, turn off oven, leave for 1 hour as oven cools.

05. Cool completely on a wire rack.

06. Refridgerate overnight.

Part 4 : Decorating

Shortbread – Maple /Pecan – Pecan Digestive – Coffee/Hazelnut – Hazelnut Shortbread – Coconut – None Cookie – Milk Chocolate /Orange – Orange Jelly /Milk Chocolate
Digestive – Triple Berry – Blackberry Jelly Gingernut – White Chocolate /Milk Chocolate – White Chocolate /Milk Chocolate Gingernut – White Chocolate /Strawberry – Strawberry Jelly /White Chocolate Cookie – Coffee /Milk Chocolate – Milk Chocolate with Coffee /Milk chocolate

22 April 2009

Chilly Chilli - Oh Bother...

So after seeing an episode of Good Eats on chilli, I knew I wanted to try it out. However, it was not without problems. For one, I don't yet own a pressure cooker, or even a pot with a tight fitting lid. The other problem was that I vastly underestimated the amount of chile and chile powder that I needed, and so it was not hot at all... A baby could have eaten it, it was so mild. But, spiciness aside, it was damn delicious :) Next time - more spice, more spice, more spice!

Ingredients :

1 small tin kidney beans
1 small tin chick peas
1 onion, chopped
300g stewing beef
1 tin tomatoes
1 tbsp chile powder (I would suggest using 2 tbsp)
1 tsp cumin
1 beef stock cube (made into 1 pint stock)
1 cm red chile (Again, I'd suggest using 2 whole chiles, chopped finely)
2 cloves garlic, chopped finely
1 jar sun dried tomatoe pesto

Method :

01. Fry onion until softening.

02. Add garlic and chile, and fry for 1 min.

03. Add tomatoes, cook until thickens slightly.

04. Set this aside.

05. In the same pan, brown the beef.

06. Set beef aside.

07. Add a little stock to pan, scrape up the "burnt bits" into the stock.

08. Add the rest of the stock and the beef.

09. Add in kidney beans and chick peas.

10. Add in tomatoe mix from earlier.

11. Stir and simmer for 10 mins with no lid.

12. Add tomatoe pesto.

13. Cook with tight lid for 45 mins.


Serve on baked potato, in wraps, with salad, with rice or even pasta!

17 April 2009

Mild Chicken Curry for Mild Weather Blues

This weather is getting me down, it's been freezing here for the last week or so. So I decided to cheer (and warm) myself up with a mild curry.

Ingredients :

1 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped finely
1/4cm green chili, chopped finely
1 tsp chili powder
1 tbsp mild curry powder
1 1/2 cup chicken stock
1/2 cup double cream
2 chicken breasts, diced
1 carrot, diced
5 mushrooms, diced
2cm slice of butternut squash, diced


01. Fry onion in wok until browning.

02. Add garlic and chili and fry for 30 seconds.

03. Add chicken

04. Add spices, fry until chicken is cooked on the outside.

05. Add in vegetables, fry for 1 minute.

06. Pour in stock.

07. Pour in cream.

08. Simmer for 15 minutes, or until reduced and sauce thickened.

Serving :

Serve with rice, with wraps, or on a baked potato. :)