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Monthly Archives: August 2013

Easy Salted Caramel Ice Cream

Easy Salted Caramel Ice Cream

Easy Salted Caramel Ice Cream – goes brilliantly with brownies

There may be some very random recipes coming up in the next month – I’m moving and trying to use up stuff in my kitchen cupboards so I don’t have to take it with me. I made this in order to use a tin of caramel and a tub of cream (I bought it to make something else but realised I needed a longer expiry date). It’s ridiculously easy, requires just three ingredients and doesn’t need any fancy equipment. Add the salt in small increments, tasting as you go, but bear in mind that the flavours will be somewhat muted once frozen so be bold. Also, whilst a tin of Carnation Caramel (as I used) is 397g, there’s no need to be quite so precise with your measurements if weighing out from a larger jar.

Easy Salted Caramel Ice Cream

Ingredients:

  • 500ml double cream
  • 397g ready made caramel/dulce de leche
  • 1-2 tsp sea salt (to taste)

In  a large bowl, whip the cream until it’s thick and forms soft peaks – it should cling to the whisk but drop off easily when tapped on the side of the bowl. Stir the caramel to make it smooth, then add to the cream and fold in with a large spoon or spatula, trying to get rid of any big lumps ( a few small deposits of pure caramel through your ice cream won’t hurt!).

Sprinkle a little of the salt over the caramel cream – start with about half a teaspoon – and mix well. Try a bit to see if it’s to your taste, adding more salt a little at a time until it’s how you want it. Pour into a freezer-proof box with a lid and freeze for at least 6 hours, or preferably overnight. No need to keep taking it out and churning, it will set soft enough to be able to scoop just a few minutes after it’s taken out of the freezer. Delicious on it’s own, in a cone, or alongside warm apple pie or brownies!

Chocolate Orange Baked Cheesecake

Chocolate Orange Baked Cheesecake

Rich, creamy and delicious Chocolate Orange Baked Cheesecake

Whilst there are lots of things that I like to make regularly, I love to try out new recipes as often as possible. This was my first attempt at a baked cheesecake, adapted from Jo Wheatley’s (Great British Bake Off winner from series 2) recipe in her book A Passion For Baking. I’ve made a few things from this book and they’re all pretty fool proof so I felt confident enough to stray from the fairly plain (but lovely, I’m sure) flavours in Jo’s recipe and add the classic pairing of chocolate and orange. The result is a creamy and decadent dessert that would be excellent for a dinner party. Go carefully with your portions – it’s very rich.

Chocolate Orange Baked Cheesecake

For the base:

  • 25g dark chocolate
  • 70g butter, melted
  • 12 chocolate digestive biscuits (I’m sure plain would work just as well)

If you have a food processor, whizz up the chocolate, then add the biscuits and pulse until you have a fine breadcrumb texture. If you don’t have a food processor, chop or grate the chocolate as finely as possible, then put the biscuits in a large (clean) sandwich bag and bash with a rolling pin or heavy object until crumbled and no large lumps are left. Put the chocolate/biscuit rubble in a bowl and add the melted butter and mix together. Tip the mixture into a 9″ springform cake tin and press down with a spatula or back of a spoon to cover the base, trying to make it as even as possible. Chill in the fridge until the topping is ready.

For the topping:

  • 600g full fat cream cheese
  • 2 tbsp plain flour
  • 175g caster sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs + 1 large egg yolk
  • 300ml sour cream
  • 1 tbsp orange liqueur (optional)
  • finely grated rind two oranges
  • 100g milk chocolate

Heat the oven to 180C. In a large bowl beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add the flour, sugar, vanilla, eggs and yolk, half the sour cream and the liqueur (if using) and beat again. Add the orange zest and stir in to the mixture until evenly distributed. Remove the biscuit base from the fridge and pour on the topping, smoothing it out with a spatula. Place on a baking tray and bake for 30 minutes.

Carefully remove from the oven after 30 minutes (it will be barely set at this stage) and set to one side whilst you prepare the chocolate topping, but leave the oven on.

Melt the chocolate in a bowl over barely simmering water. Once smooth and melted, add the remaining sour cream and stir together until well mixed. Gently pour this chocolate mix over the top of the cheesecake, smoothing it out so it covers everything as evenly as possible. Return to the oven and bake for another 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool, transferring to the fridge to chill for a few hours or overnight. Remove from the springform tin just before serving.

Baked Cheesecaked with Chocolate and Orange

Chocolate Orange Baked Cheesecake – a delightfully decadent dessert

Black Forest Cake

Black Forest Cake

A Seventies classic – Black Forest Cake

August seems full of birthdays (not sure what makes November such a sexy month!) so I’ve been making a lot of birthday cakes, including for one of my brothers. We’re both children of the Seventies, so maybe that’s why he requested this rich chocolate and cherry concoction – Black Forest Cake (I don’t feel justified in calling it a gateaux). This isn’t strictly following a classic recipe; if it was the sponge would get soaked in kirsch and I’m not a fan of soggy sponge, but all the essential Black Forest flavours are here and everyone enjoyed it so nobody seemed bothered that I strayed from tradition.

Black Forest Cake

For the cake:

  • 225g butter, softened
  • 175g caster sugar
  • 50g dark brown sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 50g cocoa powder
  • 175g self raising flour
  • half tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp instant espresso powder
  • 2 tbsp golden syrup
  • 1 tbsp milk

Heat the oven to 190C and grease and line two 9″ cake tins with greaseproof paper. In a large bowl cream together the butter and sugars. Add two of the eggs and beat to incorporate. Sift in the cocoa and about half the flour, mix well, then add the remaining eggs and beat again. Add the remaining flour and baking powder and give a good mix, scraping down the sides of the bowl with a spatula. Add the vanilla, coffee powder, syrup and milk and give a final good mix before dividing the cake batter between the two tins. Gently even out the mixture with your spatula and bake for 20-25 minutes. The cakes are done when coming away from the sides of the tin, a skewer inserted comes out clean and they spring back when gently pressed. Remove from the oven, leaving to cool in the tin for 10 minutes or so, before turning out to cool completely on a wire rack.

For the cherry syrup:

  • 2 tins black cherries in light syrup
  • 2 tbsp icing sugar
  • 1 tbsp creme de cacao liqueur (optional)

Strain the cherries into a bowl so that you save the liquid. Press gently on the cherries so that any juice trapped inside gets squeezed out. Set the cherries to one side. In a saucepan, boil the syrup, icing sugar and liqueur (if using – you could also use kirsch, cherry brandy or anything else you have that wouldn’t overpower the cherry flavour) until reduced by about half. The syrup should coat a spoon but still be pourable.  Leave to cool.

For the cream filling:

  • 400ml double cream
  • 1 tbsp icing sugar, sifted
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

In a bowl, whisk all the ingredients until thick – I find it best to do this by hand with a balloon whisk as you can quickly find you go too far with an electric whisk. You want the cream thick enough to cling to the whisk, dropping off easily when tapped on the side of the bowl.

To assemble, put one of the cake on your serving plate and cover with about half the cream. Drizzle a few spoons of the syrup over the cream then add a layer of cherries. Put the other cake on top of the cherries, cover with the remaining cream, decorate with any remaining cherries and some syrup (don’t feel you need to use all the syrup). If you have any chocolate knocking around, finely grate a little over the top of the whole thing. Probably best served after a dinner of duck a l’ orange or alongside a nice cold Cinzano!

If you have any cherry syrup left it would be great on vanilla ice cream, or even a knickerbocker glory!

Cherries, chocolate and cream – Black Forest Cake

A slice of the past; chocolate cake filled with cherries and cream

Cold Oven Lemon Drizzle Cake

Cold Oven Lemon Drizzle Cake

Sticky, sharp and sweet Cold Oven Lemon Drizzle Cake

There’s been a bit of a gap in posting any recipes here, mostly because I’ve either been baking other people’s recipes, or because I’m experimenting with new recipes and they’re not quite ready yet. To make sure you got your regular dose of Lip Smackin’ Treats I thought I’d post one of my tried and tested recipes that I call Cold Oven Lemon Drizzle Cake. Most recipes require you to heat the oven first but, unusually, this recipe calls for you to turn the heat on only once the cake mixture goes in to the oven, hence the name. If you have a food processor, you can make this as an all-in-one cake, but it’s still incredibly easy to make without any fancy gadgets, as long as your butter is good and soft.

Cold Oven Lemon Drizzle Cake

Ingredients:

  • 115g butter, softened
  • 140g caster sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 170g self raising flour
  • 4 tbsp milk
  • 2 lemons
  • 85g icing sugar

DON’T turn on your oven! Grease and line a loaf tin with greaseproof paper. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and caster sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and mix well, then tip in the flour and give another good mix. Add the milk and finely grated rind of both lemons and give a good stir until well combined. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf tin, put it in the oven and turn on the heat to 175C. Cook for 50-60 minutes (make the syrup as per the instructions given below at about 45 minutes into the cooking time – that way it will still be warm when the cake is ready). The cake is done when risen, golden and firm to the touch – a skewer inserted will come out clean.

To make the syrup, juice the lemons (making sure you dispose of any pips) and place the juice in a small saucepan with the icing sugar. Bring to the boil and turn off the heat.

When your cake is done, take it out of the oven and put it, still in its tin, on a board or cooling rack. Prick the cake all over with a skewer (if you haven’t got a skewer or cake tester use a fork) and pour over the syrup over the still warm cake, making sure you get it over the whole surface. You may find it pools in the corners so you can use a teaspoon to guide it over the rest of the cake. Leave to cool completely in the tin before turning out and removing the greaseproof paper. Cut into slices and serve.