Because A Friday Treat is the Perfect Way to End the Week!

Thursday, 23 August 2012

Double Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake

Once again I find myself blogging in a new house and baking in a new kitchen! Another new oven to contend with, new cupboards to reorganise and new feelings of annoyance when I come to use something and realise I’ve left it in the old house (measuring spoons!) Regardless, it’s been a great week and I’m loving my new abode. I’ve finally shaken off the housemates (the other half doesn’t count...he only ventures in to the kitchen to do the washing up!) and have doubled the size of my kitchen, something I decided to celebrate by making an unusually complicated recipe – for me anyway, you know I like to keep things simple!

After weeks of cakes and simple bakes, I decided that this week I wanted to make more of a pudding and settled on cheesecake with it being my favourite dessert of all time. I really not fussy when it comes to cheesecake, I will happily eat each and every flavour, baked or chilled. One of my favourites however has to be white chocolate cheesecake and having not made one for about a year, decided to give it a go. Any old white chocolate cheesecake however was not good enough and so, in order to make it super special, I decided to throw in a chocolate biscuit base and a raspberry topping.

Now I won’t lie to you, this recipe really is a pain to make. It’s a proper baked cheesecake with changes in oven temperatures, water-bath baking, oven cooling and overnight chilling. However, the fact that it’s one of the most delicious cheesecakes ever (if I do say so myself) makes it completely worth it! I promise, I would not put you through all this otherwise.

Furthermore, there are no short cuts with this me, I speak from messy, cheesecakey experience. It really, really does have to stay cooling in the oven for 2 hours and really does need to chill in the fridge overnight. Just stick with it! Remember the deliciousness.

Finally, apologies for the small number of photos this week. We’re currently waiting for our broadband to be connected and are surviving on a limited mobile broadband allowance which really needs to be saved for boring things like buying car insurance and paying bills. Rubbish.

Some final tips before you get started:
  • I made this recipe without a blender, if you have one however your life will be much simpler than mine. You can blitz both the biscuits and the filling in a blender (separately of course) which will take seconds!
  • If you haven’t cooked something in a water bath before, it’s very simple. Boil a kettle full of water, wrap the outside of your cake tin in a double layer of tin foil, pop it in a roasting dish before half filling the roasting dish with boiling water. Done!
  • The uncooked filling is a very runny liquid, don’t freak out, it will work out fine.

Double Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake
200g Chocolate Sandwich Biscuits (I used Oreos)
85g Butter (melted)
400g White Chocolate (chopped into small chunks)
300ml Double Cream
450g Cream Cheese (full fat)
4 Eggs
1tsp. Vanilla Extract
300g Fresh Raspberries

20cm Round Cake Tin

1)      Preheat the oven to 180◦C and lightly grease the cake tin. Crush the chocolate biscuits using either a blender or a rolling pin, until they resemble breadcrumbs. Combine with the melted butter before pressing firmly into the base of the tin. Bake for 10 minutes for leaving to cool completely. Reduce the oven temperature to 140◦C.
2)      While the biscuit base cools, place the chocolate chunks and the double cream in a saucepan and place over a low heat, stirring frequently until the chocolate has melted. Allowing the melted chocolate and cream to cool slightly, place the cream cheese, eggs and vanilla extract into a large bowl and mix until smooth and creamy (or blitz in a food processor). Add the melted chocolate mixture to the cream cheese mixture and combine.
3)      Wrap the outside of the cake tin in a double layer of tin foil. Pour the filling onto the biscuit base and place into a roasting tin. Half fill the roasting tin with just boiled water and bake in the preheated oven for 1 hour.
4)      Once this hour is up, turn off the oven and slightly open the door. Leave the cheesecake in the oven, cooling for 2 hours. Once cooled, remove the cake tin from the water and roasting tin, top with raspberries and place in the fridge to chill overnight (at least 8 hours). Once chilled, remove the cheesecake from the tin and treat yourself to a huge definitely deserve it!

Friday, 10 August 2012

My Version of Custard Creams.

If there was one thing in the world that I would eat all day, every day, it’s custard. I’m not fussy about where it comes from or which form it’s in either, I’ll eat fresh, tinned, powdered, custard in donuts or pastries...the list is never ending! I don’t obviously actually live on custard, in fact I haven’t had any for ages but this week I decided it was time to introduce it to Treat Friday and I have done so in the form of my favourite biscuits, custard creams.

This week I’ve had a bit of a nightmare planning what to make as I’m once again moving house. On Wednesday we made the trip up to the new house with a car full of my stuff (there’s still loads to do I have so much rubbish?) including a lot of my baking trays, utensils and recipe books, which meant that when we came back and I then had to bake yesterday, I basically had a wooden spoon, a bowl and a baking tray with which to do it. Biscuits were all I could do then really, not that I’m complaining as they are delicious, but I even came into trouble with them when I went to roll out my dough and realised I’d moved my rolling pin. Nightmare.

So yes, it is going to be great when I get moved as I finally get to say goodbye to the miniscule kitchen I’ve been sharing with two other people for the past 5 months. Moving my stuff in on Wednesday I got unnecessarily excited that I had about eight cupboards to store things in, as opposed to the one I’ve got at the moment! Yes, so I’ve still got to share the kitchen with my boyfriend but I’m really not concerned about him wanting to spend any time in there...he’s not the most talented when it comes to cooking!

In a way then, this week’s recipe is perfect for anyone who’s just starting out with baking and doesn’t yet have all the baking tins and equipment, limited as I was with what I had to bake with. All you need, as I said, is a bowl, a spoon and a baking tray. So have a go, there’s no excuse not to!

Some final tips before you get started:
  •  When creaming together the butter and sugars, do so for at least 5 minutes. At this stage it’s impossible to over beat the mixture and makes sure that the resulting mixture is smooth and creamy.
·         As I didn’t have a rolling pin, I instead rolled my dough into small, walnut sized balls and then squashed them down on the baking tray with the back of a lot less fuss than rolling it out and cutting shapes, although you can do this if you prefer!

My Version of Custard Creams
175g Unsalted Butter (softened)
50g Icing Sugar (sifted)
50g Golden Caster Sugar
2 Egg Yolks
2tsp Vanilla Extract
300g Plain Flour

For the Frosting
110g Unsalted Butter (softened)
150g Icing Sugar (sifted)
2tbsp. Custard Powder

1)      Preheat the oven to 200◦C, line a baking sheet with greaseproof paper. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and both sugars until light, fluffy and creamy. Add both egg yolks and the vanilla extract and mix well.
2)      Add half of the plain flour and combine before add the remaining half. Roll up small, walnut sized balls of the dough and place on the prepared baking sheet. Push down with the back of a fork until slightly flattened.  Bake for 10 minutes or until slightly golden brown.
3)      Once the biscuits have cooled completely, make the frosting by creaming the unsalted butter with the sifted icing sugar and custard powder. Once smooth, place a teaspoon of the frosting on the flat side of one biscuit and sandwich together with the flat side of another. Repeat until all the biscuits are frosted and sandwiched and enjoy!