Chocolate and Raspberries baked cheesecake

2015-08-29 16.07.23

Ingredients

  • 7 digestive biscuits (original)
  • 50+50g unsalted butter
  • 180+70g cream cheese
  • 80+60g dark chocolate (70% cocoa)
  • 80+50g caster sugar
  • 30g plain flour
  • 3 medium eggs (separated)
  • 150ml double cream
  • 200g raspberries (plus extra for decoration)
  • 4 gelatine leaves
  1. Soak the gelatine leaves in water for at least 5 minutes before use
  2. Blend raspberries and add 70ml water to it
  3. Cook raspberries until simmering
  4. Turn the heat right down
  5. Add gelatine a little at a time to the raspberries and stir until completed incorporated
  6. Take it off the heat, sift out the seeds and set the raspberries juice aside to cool
  7. Pre-heat oven to 180°C (356°F) or 160°C (320°F) in a fan assisted oven
  8. Line the bottom (not the sides) of a 20cm spring form round baking tin with baking paper
  9. Break up the digestive biscuits
  10. Heat up 50g butter until melted and add to the biscuits
  11. Mix the melted butter and the biscuits and the add it to the bottom of the baking tin. Press the biscuits down until it is fairly firm
  12. Melt 80g chocolate, 50g butter in a microwaveable bowl (use mid power as high power will burn the chocolate). Check the chocolate every 1 minute to ensure it is not burn (alternatively melt in a heatproof bowl over simmering water)
  13. Add the egg yolks, 180g cream cheese to the chocolate butter mixture and beat until incorporated
  14. Add the flour to the mixture and beat again
  15. Whisk the egg white and add 80g caster (1 tbsp at a time) to the egg white, whisk until the  egg white forms firm peaks
  16. Add 1/3 of the egg white to the rest of the cake mix and beat it in
  17. Add the remaining egg white to the mixture and gently fold it in
  18. Pour the cake mix over the biscuit base
  19. Bake the cake for 40-45 minutes, once it’s done, the middle of the cake should have a very slight wobble. If it wobbles too much, bake it for another 5 minutes and check again
  20. Take the cake out of the oven and let it cool in the tin. Leave the cake in the tin for now
  21. Make the chocolate topping by heating the double cream with 50g caster sugar until it boils
  22. Pour the hot cream over 60g dark chocolate and mix until the chocolate has completed melted
  23. Let the chocolate ganache cool down to room temperature and add 70g cream cheese to it
  24. Spread the chocolate cheese filling over the top of the cake and completely cover the cracks and fillings between the cake and the cake tin
  25. The raspberry jelly should be starting to set at this stage, pour it over the cake with the cheese filling on top to give a smooth finish
  26. Leave the entire cake with the tin and put it into the fridge for 2 hours
  27. Melt the white chocolate and let it cool for at least 20 minutes
  28. Pipe the white chocolate and decorate the top with raspberries
  29. Run a sharp knife along the side of the cake to release it from the tin
  30. Transfer the cake onto a plate to serve
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Black Forest cupcakes

IMG_0609 For 12 cupcakes

  • 130g unsalted butter (room temperature and VERY soft)
  • 130g + 30g caster sugar (in separate containers)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 200g self raising flour
  • 2 tbsps coco powder
  • 100ml milk
  • 400ml double cream
  • 40g icing sugar
  • 400g dark chocolate (70% coco)
  • 200g morello cherries
  • 1 tbsp kirsch
  1. Pre-heat oven to 170°C (338°F) or 150°C (3202°F) in a fan assisted oven
  2. Rub the butter with 130g caster sugar until smooth
  3. Add 1 egg at a time to the butter/sugar mix and beat until incorporated (if it separates, add 1 tbsp of flour and continue mixing
  4. Once both eggs have been added, add the milk and beat again
  5. Sift rest of the flour and coco powder and add it to the rest of the batter
  6. Melt 60g of dark chocolate in the microwave in low-medium power (it will burn at high power)
  7. Allow chocolate to cool down for a few minutes at room temperature and add it to the cake mix
  8. Continue whisking until it forms a smooth and lump free batter
  9. Put a cupcake case into each of the mouth of a 12 hole muffin tin
  10. Divide the cake batter evenly into the 12 cases
  11. Bake in the oven for 12-17 minutes (test if the cake is ready with a clean skewer)
  12. Take the cupcakes out of the oven and allow it to cool down for 5 minutes
  13. Use a sharp knife to cut out and remove the centre of cupcakes (about 1/3 of the depth)
  14. Sprinkle or brush a small amount of kirsch onto the cupcakes
  15. In a microwave proof mixing bowl, melt 140g chocolate in microwave over low-medium power and let it cool down completely (but before it hardens)
  16. Whisk the double cream with icing sugar until it forms still peaks
  17. Add about 1/3 of the cream to the melted chocolate and mix until it is an even colour
  18. Put the chocolate cream into the centre of the cupcake (where you scooped out the cake before)
  19. Pipe the remaining cream onto the top of the cupcakes
  20. Melt the remaining chocolate and allow it to cool to a piping consistency and pipe it into the desired shapes on a baking parchment and allow it to set at room temperature or in the fridge
  21. Decorate the cupcakes with cherries and the chocolate pattern

Double Chocolate Strawberry Cheesecake

IMG_0626

I confess I had cheated a little by posting this on a baking blog. This does NOT require any baking. It is completely vegetarian (but NOT vegan) friendly too!

  • 150g digestive biscuits
  • 60g unsalted butter
  • 400g cream cheese
  • 100g icing sugar
  • 100g dark chocolate (70% coco content) + a 15-20g extra for decoration
  • 70g white chocolate
  • 280ml double cream
  • 250g strawberries
  1. Line a 21cm springform round baking tin with parchment paper (see video)
  2. Crush the digestive biscuits completely (either use a blender, or put the biscuits in a clean sealable plastic bag and beat it with a rolling pin, or whatever method you can think of to crush them)
  3. Put the crushed biscuits in a mixing bowl
  4. Melt the butter in a saucepan or microwave
  5. Pour the melted butter onto the crushed digestive biscuits
  6. Mix with a metal spoon
  7. Put the biscuits over the bottom of the baking tin, press it down with your hand or spoon so it is firmly at the bottom
  8. Whisk the double until it is thick and forms stiff peaks
  9. Add icing sugar to half of the whipped cream and gently mix it together
  10. Melt the dark chocolate in microwave (low power, or you will burn it), set it aside to cool, but not too long, because it will harden
  11. Mix cream with sugar, 200g cream cheese and the melted dark chocolate together with a metal spoon until smooth
  12. Pour the chocolate cream cheese mix over the digestive biscuits
  13. Wash the strawberries and drain the excessive moisture
  14. Slice the strawberries longitudinally and place the strawberries with the inside facing outward as shown in the picture above
  15. If you have left over strawberries, slice it up and layer them on the dark chocolate cream cheese filling
  16. Melt the white chocolate and let it cool down on the side
  17. Mix the rest of the cream cheese, whipped cream and white chocolate together
  18. Layer the white chocolate cream cheese filling on top of the dark chocolate filling
  19. Put the whole cake in the fridge for at least 3 hours
  20. Take the cake out and carefully peel away the baking parchment
  21. Melt the leftover dark chocolate in the microwave (on low power again), allow it to cool down
  22. Drizzle the dark chocolate over the top of the white chocolate filling to finish the decoration

 

Le Fraisier

Fraisier

This is a stunning cake, both in taste and in appearance. Good thing is, it’s not too hard either! But an electric whisk is a MUST!

Genoise sponge cake

  • 4 large eggs
  • 125g caster sugar
  • 50g unsalted butter (very soft and room temperature)
  • 125g plain flour
  1. Pre-heat oven to 180°C (356°F) or 160°C (320°F) in a fan assisted oven
  2. Line a 21cm round cake tin with baking parchment (see video)
  3. Add sugar to the eggs in a large mixing bowl
  4. Whisk with electric whisk at high speed (N.B. be patient, this can take 10-15 minutes even with an electric whisk)
  5. The egg should triple if not quadruple in size, thicken and become much paler in colour, when you lift the whisk out of the egg, it should leave a trail of ribbons behind it
  6. Sift flour and add it to one side of the mixing bowl
  7. Gently fold in the flour into the aerated egg batter (N.B. there can be collection of lour at the bottom, so look out for those)
  8. Once the flour has been incorporated completely, add the butter
  9. Gently fold in the butter
  10. Transfer the cake mix into the cake tin
  11. Bake for 25-30 minutes, the sides of the cake should start to shrink away from the sides of the tin slightly
  12. Test with a clean skewer by piercing the middle of the cake, if cooked, the skewer should come out clean
  13. Take cake out of oven and cool in tin for a couple of minutes then take it out of tin to cool on a wired rack
  14. Peel the parchment papers off, turn the cake on wired rack every 2-3 minutes to prevent it from sticking to the rack

Mousseline 

  • 6 large eggs (yolks only)
  • 600ml milk
  • 125g caster sugar
  • 100g corn flour
  • 120g unsalted butter (cut into small cubes)
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 1 tbsp kirsch (optional)
  1. Mix egg yolks and caster sugar, beat until smooth
  2. Add corn flour to the egg yolks and beat until smooth
  3. Heat milk in saucepan over medium heat until it bubbles
  4. Add milk a little at a time to the egg, whisk the egg continuously while you are adding the hot milk to it (otherwise you will be making scrambled eggs!)
  5. Once all the milk has been added, return the entire mixture to saucepan
  6. Put it over medium heat and whisk continuously until it really thickens
  7. Take it off the heat
  8. Add vanilla essence, butter and kirsch (optional) and fold it all into the mousseline
  9. Transfer the mousseline into a clean bowl and cover with cling film and let it cool to room temperature
  10. Store in the fridge until required

Lemon syrup

  • 1 lemon
  • 35g caster sugar
  1. Heat the lemon and sugar together over medium heat
  2. Reduce the volume by heat until it is a thin syrup consistency
  3. Take it off heat and allow it to cool down

Assembly

  • 100g marzipan
  • about 500g strawberries
  • dark chocolate for decoration
  1. Wash and cut the 400g strawberries in halves and drain the excess water off it
  2. Slice the cooled genoise sponge horizontally into 2 halves
  3. Spread half of the lemon syrup onto the bottom sponge
  4. Place the strawberries around the outside of the cake, inside of strawberries facing outside
  5. Pipe/spread mousseline onto the bottom sponge, around the strawberries to about half way up the height of the strawberries
  6. Fill the mousseline with strawberries
  7. Cover the strawberries with the rest of the mousseline
  8. Place the other half of the cake on top
  9. Spread rest of the lemon syrup on the top sponge
  10. Roll out marzipan as thinly and evenly as you can
  11. Measure and cut exactly the size of marzipan you need to cover the top of the cake
  12. Place the marzipan on top of the sponge, the lemon syrup should help to stick it down
  13. Press the top sponge down slightly with you hand, this will encourage the mousseline to fill up the spaces between the strawberries to give a perfect finish (careful not to crush or pop out the strawberries on the side)
  14. Decorate the top with washed, but uncut strawberries and chocolate on top

Pimm’s, lime and mint chiffon cake

2014-08-03 15.00.58

So who likes Pimm’s? The likelihood is, a lot of you out there! Why wouldn’t you? It’s one of those alcoholic drinks that you can just sip away all summer. Similarly, this cake is light and very refreshing. So, I’m sure this will make a wonderful summer afternoon treat or dessert after a meal.

P.S. If you don’t drink alcohol, you can always omit the Pimm’s. 

  • 120g plain flour
  • 3 large eggs (separate yolk and white)
  • 100g + 50g in separate measuring bowls
  • 60ml vegetable oil
  • 4g baking powder
  • 28g mint leaves
  • 5 limes
  • 60ml water
  • 500ml double cream
  • 40g icing sugar
  • Fresh berries for decoration
  • Optional: Pimm’s
  1. In a saucepan, boil 20g mint leaves with water over very low heat for about 20 minutes
  2. Take the mint flavoured water off heat and let it cool down completely
  3. Pre-heat oven to 180°C (356°F) or 160°C (320°F) in a fan assisted oven
  4. Do NOT grease or line cake tin with parchment paper
  5. Mix 100g caster sugar with egg yolks, beat until smooth
  6. Sift plain flour, baking powder on the egg yolks, mix until combined
  7. Make a well in the middle of the batter
  8. Add vegetable oil, lime zest, 20ml lime juice, mint water (also 1 tbsp pimm’s if desired) to the batter
  9. Mix with large metal/plastic spoon or spatula
  10. Whisk egg white with electric whisk until foamy and add the remaining 50g caster sugar 1tbsp at a time until all the sugar has been added
  11. Continue whisking until it forms stiff peaks
  12. Add 1/3 of egg white to the cake batter and mix it in vigorously
  13. Add half of the remaining egg white to the cake batter and gently fold it in (see video)
  14. Add the remaining egg white and fold it in again very gently
  15. Transfer the cake batter into the cake tin
  16. Use a metal knife and run it through the cake batter to remove large and uneven air bubbles
  17. Bake in the pre-heated oven for 45-55 minutes (turn the cake after 25-30 minutes if the oven bakes unevenly)
  18. Test if the cake is cooked by inserting a clean skewer into the middle of the cake, if ready, the skewer should come up completely clean. If not ready, return to oven and bake for another 5 minutes and repeat the testing
  19. Take the cooked cake out of oven and invert the cake tin (with cake inside) and cool upside down on a wired rack for at least 1 hour before attempting to take cake out of tin (cake will be more likely to drop out of cake tin if it was greased or lined beforehand)
  20. Once the cake is cool, slice cake horizontally into 2 or 3 equal layers (depends on how good you are at slicing cake and how much height has been achieved during baking)
  21. Whisk double cream with icing sugar until it forms stiff peaks
  22. Add 1 tsp of Pimm’s (optional), zest from 1 lime and 10ml lime juice to the cream and mix it all together
  23. Spread the cream between the cake layers and around the cake
  24. Decorate the cake with the rest of the mint leaves, fresh berries and lime

Chocolate orange chiffon cake

2015-04-05 15.16.36

Chocolate orange chiffon sponge

(21cm round deep cake tin). N.B. you will need an electric whisk for this

  • 3 large eggs (separate egg yolk and white)
  • 100+50g caster sugar (in separate measuring bowls)
  • 105g plain flour
  • 4g baking powder
  • 15g unsweetened coco powder
  • 60ml vegetable oil
  • 1 orange (zest and 70ml orange juice)
  • 1tsp coffee in 10ml hot water
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla essence
  1. Pre-heat oven to 180°C (356°F) or 160°C (320°F) in a fan assisted oven
  2. Do NOT grease tin or line with parchment paper
  3. Dissolve coffee in hot water and allow it to cool down
  4. Mix egg yolk with 100g caster sugar, beat until smooth
  5. Sift flour, baking powder, coco powder onto the egg
  6. Beat until well mixed
  7. Make a well in the middle of the ingredients
  8. Add the vegetable oil, orange zest, juice, vanilla essence and cooled coffee to the well
  9. Beat until the ingredients have mixed and formed a smooth batter
  10. Beat the egg white in a clean mixing bowl with electric whisk until foamy
  11. Add the remaining caster sugar, 1 tbsp at a time to the egg white
  12. Continue until all the sugar has been added
  13. Whisk the egg white until it forms stiff peaks (i.e. when you lift the whisk out, the egg white should hold its shape)
  14. Transfer 1/3 of egg white to the cake batter and beat it in
  15. Add 1/2 of the remaining egg white to the cake batter and GENTLY fold it in (see this video)
  16. Once the egg white has been incorporated, add the remaining egg white and gently fold it in again
  17. Transfer the cake batter to the cake tin. The batter should not cover more than 2/3 of the height of tin
  18. Bake in the pre-heated oven for 40-45 minutes (if oven bakes unevenly, turn the cake after 25 minutes and be very careful NOT to slam the oven door shut as this can cause the cake to drop)
  19. The cake should rise well in the oven
  20. Test whether the cake is done by pressing gently in the middle with a finger and the cake should spring back. Test the inside with a clean skewer and the skewer should come out completely clean if the cake has cooked properly
  21. Take the tin out of the oven and leave the cake in the tin
  22. Turn it upside down to cool on a wire rack for at least 1 hour (this will help prevent the soft and delicate cake to collapse on itself)

Chocolate cream

  • 400ml double cream
  • 100g dark chocolate (70% cocoa)
  • 50g caster sugar
  1. Break the chocolate into small pieces in a large mixing bowl
  2. Heat 200ml double cream and caster sugar over medium heat in a saucepan
  3. Stir the sugar in cream constantly and heat until it starts to bubble
  4. Take the cream off the heat and let it cool down slightly in saucepan for a minute
  5. Add the hot cream to the chocolate
  6. Mix until all the chocolate has melted (this is the chocolate ganache)
  7. Let the ganache cool down completely
  8. Whisk the remaining 200ml double cream until it is stiff
  9. Gently fold in the double cream into the cooled ganache

Assembly

  1. Once the cake is completely cool, slice it horizontally into two halves
  2. Spread half of the chocolate cream in the middle
  3. Use the remaining chocolate cream to decorate the rest of cake
  4. Decorate the to of the cake with orange slices