Saturday, 26 September 2015

Chocolate and Hazelnut Cheesecake

So, I found a recipe for “classic New York cheesecake” and I kind of have a pathological need to change up recipes to include my favourite flavours. And, you may have guessed, but my favourite flavour is Nutella. Without a doubt, every day of the week, I want to make things taste like Nutella. I think that's why I'd be especially terrible at Great British Bake Off - I would just do chocolate and hazelnut EVERYTHING.

So that’s what I did! Sorrynotsorry.

I was really impressed with this recipe, I think it must be the first cheesecake I’ve ever made where the top didn’t crack (SUCCESS!), and I have to imagine that that is due to the lower cooking temperature in the second half of the bake.

Unfortunately, I didn’t get any nice photos of the inside of the cake because I took it into work and we demolished it! A good effort.

Thursday, 24 September 2015

Mozarella and Roasted Squash Pasta

Ooh, autumnal cooking, I do like you.

I’m always looking for delicious pasta bake dishes for mid-week dinners. You see, I love to cook, but I really really love eating. So much so that I am incredibly impatient when it comes to cooking dinner after work. I will not be lovingly stirring a risotto for an hour when all I want to do is stick my head in a box of cereal for some nutrition.

And then, the clouds parted and heavens opened because I found this delightful little recipe, that even makes enough for leftovers! Dream.

This could very easily be a veggie recipe but I added the bacon last minute as I had a few rashers to use up, and they did add a lovely smoky, salty aspect.

Monday, 21 September 2015

Pork Belly Stir Fry

Want a quick and easy, flavourful dinner? Well, here you go!

I am continually on the lookout for delicious and quick recipes which do for a week night dinner, and what we have here is a little cracker. I also love doing “takeout at home” style dishes as well, because as much as I love my honey chilli chicken with a curry half and half from the local Chinese takeaway, it is unfortunately just not acceptable to eat that every night for dinner. Boo.

Personally, I liked the pork belly, but there were some definite fatty areas, if the thought of that grosses you out then I would maybe use those stir-fry strips of pork instead. Or maybe dry fry the fatty top layer to crisp it up a bit initially. To be honest, this would also be delicious with chicken, because this particular recipe is really versatile and utterly delicious. Feel free to serve with rice or noodles, either work here, but I love rice a lot.

Friday, 11 September 2015

Cheeseburger Cupcakes


I am a big fan of the TV show Bob’s Burgers. But, I prefer to bake. So this is my homage to Bob, who always names his burgers with a (sometimes cheesy) literary/pop culture reference.  

I have been wracking my brains trying to think of something clever to name these brownies as Bob would, and I can’t come up with ANYTHING. I am not creative. I have failed. Answers on a postcard.

I have another confession to make. I am kind of terrible at making things look pretty. I promise you, my food *tastes* great, but I can’t always get the cake to rise evenly, or ice things beautifully. My ganache always slips a bit, and my cupcakes always rise a bit too high in the centre. BUT! I wanted to give these a go. And I’m glad that I did, because I think they turned out pretty cool.

I already have great recipes for muffins and great recipes for brownies, so I have recycled those, if it aint broke don’t fix it.

Tuesday, 8 September 2015

Lamb and Beef Koftes with Roasted Veggies

Okay, shall we do something savoury? I think this is a perfect meal for the start of autumn, with lovely rich flavours and a lighter side.

I know that I tend to skew a lot towards the Mexican food angle, and this recipe actually came about because I was wanting to cook something with mince and wasn't really feeling the idea of chilli con carne. Then all of a sudden, a little lightbulb lit above my head: koftes! Of course!

This is an incredibly simple recipe and completely different from the flavours that I normally cook with. This will be going on my standard rotation of meals, because it was a taste sensation! Feel free to serve it however you like – in flatbread with veggies, or with rice, or like I have, with some roasted veg and couscous.

Saturday, 5 September 2015

Big Tall Victoria Sponge

I had a minor disaster a few weeks ago – my oven BROKE! Well, the glass door shattered for some reason, and rendered it completely unusable. Unfortunately it happened over the weekend when no one was around to come and fix it.

It was a tense 2 days with no oven, but then a very nice handyman came and installed a new one and all was right with the world! I’m still trying to work out how this oven bakes, so for its maiden voyage I decided to bake something fairly classic and simple (but that I had NEVER made before, great!).

The sponge here is actually the *second* thing I baked in the oven, because the first Victoria sponge didn’t turn out so well – there is enough batter in the mixture to make three good tiers, but I had initially baked it with only 2 tiers so the cake layers had their own little muffin top. I mean, the taste was good but the cake was NOT cute.

The only thing I would slightly change in this cake is that I think I put too much filling in, so the layers preferred to slide around a little bit (I have reduced the quantities here). But it tasted goooooood!