Monday, 26 September 2011

Strawberries & Cream cheesecake

As well as making muffins yesterday I also made the Strawberries & Cream Cheesecake. This is a baked cheesecake and they always intimidate me slightly (especially as the oven I'm using at present is awful!) as I'm scared about over or under cooking. Nevertheless with strawberry season coming to an end I wanted to make it whilst I could get my hands on good, flavoursome English strawberries.

You start off by almost making some strawberry jam! Once this is entirely cooled you mix it together with cream cheese and a bit of sugar. This is then put onto the biscuit base you prepared earlier and baked in the oven using a waterbath (also tricky). Once it's sat in the fridge for a couple of hours the final layer is added comprising of mascarpone , cream and icing sugar. Mine then sat in the fridge overnight to set properly. When ready to serve, garnish with a few strawberries and find some willing victims to eat it (thankfully my office is full of willing victims):

Sunday, 25 September 2011

Hazelnut Praline muffins

This lovely recipe is from the second Hummingbird Bakery book entitled 'Cake Days'. Usually I'm a cupcake sort of girl but I have a penchant for praline and these beauties caught my eye. Also, muffins do not require intricate and careful icing so are perfect when you don't have as much time to spare.

The recipe is very quick and simple to make, it took me about 20 minutes from beginning to the muffins being in the oven. I was a bit dubious about the amount of sugar they suggested you sprinkle over the top of the muffins before baking but as it turns out it has made the tops lovely and crisp.

My office are in for a treat tomorrow!

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Raspberry Ripple Cake

I often buy good food magazine, attracted by the lovely photos they have on the front and also I often grab it whilst stood in a queue at the supermarket. This month's has some gorgeous cakes in it so I have been working my way through them.

Last weekend I decided to try out the Raspberry Ripple Cake which actually comes from this book.
A triple layered cake covered in a light and smooth meringue icing, it sounded amazing so I made the sponge up on the Friday night intending to decorate on Saturday morning.

The meringue icing involves whisking egg whites until they form stiff, glossy peaks and then the addition of a sugar syrup
. Once this is done you sandwich the three layers together with raspberry jam and white chocolate meringue icing.

To finish off you coat
the sides and top of the cake with the raspberry meringue icing and added some of the remaining white chocolate icing to create the 'ripple' effect. I also added touches of raspberry jam to add further colour and depth. Once finished it looked something a little like this:

And finally a lovely cross section which shows you what a beast this cake was!