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Tuesday, 12 February 2013

A Heart Full of Love....

(and a tummy full of )
Raspberry & White Chocolate Cheesecake

Valentine's Day is just around the corner, and during a recent trip to Sainsbury's I spotted this heart shaped spring form tin - and of course, I just had to get it.

  It has been become a bit of an obsession of late, to 'collect' (or impulse buy according to Mr. B) baking tins and equipment, but we all know that these are essential items that I'm investing in - right?
So in order to redeem myself a little for this latest purchase (and not have to hide it away for a few weeks before I risk using it), I set about making something that my Valentine would not be able to resist.

I knew anything involving white chocolate would be met with approval, so it was just a case of adding a few more of his favourite things and see what would appear.
This is a very simple recipe which will set in the fridge overnight, so quick and easy.
I have found baked cheesecakes have a tendency to over bake unless you watch them very closely, and often run the risk of cracking.
Then you have to become a master of disguise and cover the little imperfections with fruit and icing sugar.

You will need :

200g shortbread biscuits
60g melted unsalted butter
200g melted white chocolate
300g full fat of medium fat soft cream cheese
200g fromage frais
200g fresh raspberries (or other soft fruit of your choice)

1. Melt the white chocolate in a bowl placed over a pan of simmering water. You can use the microwave  but I prefer to melt it slowly over the pan.

2. Grease the springform tin and set aside.

3. Crush the shortbread biscuits. You can do this in the food processor which is very quick and easy but if you prefer the old fashioned method, place in a plastic bag, and bash the life out of it. It's a good way to clear some of that pent up aggression we sometimes have.

4. Mix the biscuit crumbs with the melted butter and then press firmly into the base of the tin. Place in the fridge until needed.

5.  Beat together the cream cheese and fromage frais until smooth and thick.

6. Add the raspberries to the mixture along with the melted chocolate and mix until fully combined.

7. Spoon the cheesecake mixture onto the biscuit base. Level the top off (no licking the spoon just yet) and chill overnight. Now you can lick the spoon.

8. When ready to serve, run a palate knife around the edge of your tin the loosen the cheesecake away from the sides and careful release the spring clip.
Hold your breath, and hopefully it will lift away cleanly.
I dipped the palate knife in a tumbler of boiling water to warm it up and then carefully ran the knife around the edge of the cheesecake to 'tidy up' the appearance. 

This is a very simple and easy recipe to whip up for the one you love on Valentine's day and you will be sure to impress them with your baking expertise.

Happy Valentine's Day


Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Roll on over....

Meringue Roulade

This may look a little bit complicated to tackle, but I promise you it's not that hard and well worth a try.
The most tricky bit is to roll the meringue once you've filled it.
It can be a bit of a 'leap of faith' but you can do it - I know you can.

A lot of my friends seem to shy away from meringue and believe they can't make them, but I have to confess I find them quite straight forward and really do enjoy making them.
Not quite as much as we enjoy eating them though.

I thought this would be a good way to use up some of the
Seville orange curd I told you about a few weeks ago.
You can make the filling as subtle or strong as you prefer.
I tend to use about two thirds of a batch of curd, which gives a moderate orange taste.

You will need :

5 egg whites
150g caster sugar
1 tsp cornflour
icing sugar, for sprinkling
284ml double cream
5-6 tbsp orange curd

1. Preheat the oven to 140c / gas 1 and grease and line a 33 x 23cm Swiss roll tin with baking parchment. Leave a few cms of overhang at each end to help when lifting the finished meringue out.

2. Whisk the egg whites until doubled in size. They appear foamy rather then smooth.
Add a tablespoon of the sugar and whisk until soft peaks form.

3. Gradually mix in half of the remaining sugar, whisking until stiff and shiny.

4. Fold in the remaining sugar and cornflour and spread the mixture evenly in the Swiss roll tin.

5. Bake for approximately 45 mins or until there is a nice hollow sound when you tap the top.

6. Take a large piece of greaseproof paper, sprinkled liberally with icing sugar. Turn the meringue onto the paper and gently peel away the baking parchment from the meringue base.

7. Whip the cream until soft peaks form and then fold in the orange curd. Spread evenly over the meringue base without eating too much of it, if you can.

8. Roll up from the short end to form a Swiss roll. This can be a little tricky and a lot scary - hold up the greaseproof paper so that the end of the meringue rolls, and then continue to pull the paper up, whilst using your other hand to keep the meringue rolling. You will end up with a bit of cream on your hands but that's fine because it's easily licked off.
Dust with some icing sugar and you're done.
Stand back and admire your work - yes, you made that. Ta-dah !

This looks so impressive and is fantastic to serve if you have company coming over, but also great to keep all for yourself.
It will keep in the fridge for 3-4 days but in honesty, ours never makes it past day 2.

Let me know how your attempts come out and what ever you make next, enjoy your day