Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Strawberry Cheesecake

This strawberry cheesecake is so easy to make while also providing generous helpings - perfect for a friendly dinner party! You just need to make it that morning or the night before, and it'll be ready and set for when you need it. You're going to need a spring baking tin, mine was approx 8", or else your cheesecake will crumble to pieces when you try to serve. So lets get started...

Foods you will use:

  • 115g digestive biscuits
  • 50g butter
  • 1/2 packet strawberry jelly
  • 100ml boiling water
  • 225g cream cheese (full fat) 
  • 50g caster sugar
  • 50ml strawberry yogurt 
  • 50ml whipping cream
Note: You can use 50ml milk instead of the yogurt if you want- just increase the amount of caster sugar to 75g.

How you will use them:

1.  First of all, put the biscuits into a seal-able bag and crush them into tiny tiny crumbs - no big bits. I used a rolling pin to do this - I had a bit too much fun with it!

2.  Next, cut up the strawberry jelly and melt it into the boiling water, then leave to cool. If you have time, you can just leave it for a while in the fridge. I didn't, so I filled a large bowl with cold water and put the jug of jelly into it. It cooled almost immediately!


3.  Back to the Base. Melt the butter in a pan and pour in the crushed biscuits. Mix together until the biscuits are completely covered in butter. Put it into your baking tin and flatten down evenly. You can use a wooden spoon, but I just pressed down on it with the small pot and it worked much better. Make sure it's completely flat before storing in the fridge.


4.  Now for the tastiest part, the cheesecake filling! Put the cream cheese into a mixing bowl and beat until it's nice and smooth. Now throw your sugar, cream, yogurt and cream cheese into a mixer/liquidizer. Make sure it's on a low speed, the less bubbles = the better.

5. Pour this beautiful mixture into a bowl and fold in your cream. Take out your biscuit base and slowly pour the filling onto it. The slower you go = the less bubbles = the better.

6. Now just leave it in the fridge for a few hours until it's completely set and your ready to serve.

                                                       And here's the result!:


Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Strawberry and Banana Muffins

Today I'm going to be making Strawberry and Banana Muffins. These are one of my favourite type of muffins, using two fruits that shouldn't go together, but definitely do! The banana gives the muffin a really full, moist taste and the strawberry works perfectly to give it a sharp, interesting edge.

Foods you will use: 

  • 100g soft margarine/butter
  • 125g caster sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 100ml natural yogurt
  • 225g self raising flour (or 225g plain flour and 1/4 teaspoon bread soda)
  • 4 tablespoons milk
  • 2 large ripe bananas
  • 1 cup/240ml fresh strawberries 

How you will use them:

  1. Ok, so first of all we're going to preheat the oven to 200C/ Fan 190C/ Gas Mark 6. Look at my lovely oven.  

                                                                   2.Done? Ok, now we're going to get our bun tray out and line it with some muffin cases. I actually ran out of these halfway through, (that's preparation for ya!) so I just greased some of the tray with oil, and it actually turned out better. The muffin tends to stick the the paper cases, so if your using them take them off the muffin as soon as it cools!

3. Go get your two bananas and mash them. Then get your strawberries and eat them cut them into bite sized pieces. I should mention, coat your strawberries in flour. This is to make sure the strawberries don't sink to the bottom of your muffins. I just used the flour that was prescribed for the recipe.

4.   Next, we're gonna cream the margarine and sugar until it's pale and creamy. This is way easier if the marg is room temperature, but if you forgot to take it out of the fridge earlier (like I did) you can just heat it for a few seconds in the microwave.

5.   Now whisk the eggs, milk, yogurt and (my favourite ingredient) vanilla extract into your margarine and sugar mixture. If it looks curdled, you're doing it right. Careful with the whisker, I got some of the mixture on my favourite jeans but you can refrain from doing this by covering the bowl partially with a towel. Or just wear an apron.

                                        This is the eggs, milk, yogurt and vanilla extract.... Bleugh:

And this is the end result! 
6.   When you've done that, sieve in the flour and fold in gently (gently, ya hear?!). Then you can add in your strawberries. And yeah, you can do that gently too.

7...Almost there! You just need to spoon your mixture into the bun cases and put them in the oven for 20-25 mins. An ice cream scoop would be ideal here. They gotta be golden brown when coming out. Use a tester if your not sure, (it's just a long sharp thing) and stick it in the middle of the muffin. If it comes out clean, it's cooked. 

                                            And here's another picture of my lovely oven:

                                                             Cool on a wire tray.
                                                      Et, wha-la! C'est magnifique, non?




Hello there, if you haven't guessed already, this will be my interpretation of a Cooking Blog. I'll pretty much be scouring the internet and any cook books I have lying at home for ideas and inspiration for tasty recipes to share.

I'll try not to overload you all with chocolate coated food, though. Well, not the whole time. I'm not some sort of health freak, quite the opposite, but I always feel the biggest bonus of tasty food is when it's good for you too. Besides, no one in my house eats junk food but me.

Cooking was just a source of fun for me which slowly progressed into a hobby, occurring on a weekly basis. This will be a place where I can keep all my work documented and hopefully collect ideas from other budding chefs! 
You should expect a few variations of food from Rachel Allen in here - Gotta love a bit of the Allens - she's my cook idol!
I mostly just bake, but through the course of this blog I hope to broaden my horizon and start cooking some mains..

So that's pretty much all I have to say! I hope you enjoy my blog, I'll do my best to upload my work frequently and I hope you get a chance to learn from my mistakes (because I do make a lot) and succeed in cooking some of your own inventions!