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Showing posts from May, 2012

Mixed Berry Cheesecake

With some incredibly summery weather here at last, I wanted to make something that would complement the weather, rather than fight it. A cool, fruity cheesecake sprang to mind, so I played around a bit and came up with a Mixed Berry Cheesecake - a vanilla cheesecake marbled with raspberry and blueberry purées. This gives a lovely creamy, fruity cheesecake that would be perfect as a summer dessert. Mixed Berry Cheesecake Ingredients 165g digestive biscuits 60g butter, melted 675g full fat cream cheese 225g caster sugar 1/2 tspn vanilla extract 2 large eggs For the fruit purées 100g raspberries 130g blueberries 2 tspns sugar splash water Preheat the oven to 140 Fan / 160 conventional / Gas 3. Lightly grease a 20cm (8 inch) springform or loose based tin. First make the fruit purées by placing each fruit into it's own saucepan, along with 1 tspn of the sugar and a small splash of water. On a medium heat, bring to a simmer, and soften the fruit - you'll ge

Chocolate and Pistachio Biscotti

Chocolate Biscotti, studded with pistachios and chocolate chips. Yum! And perfect with a coffee. I've wanted to enter Dom, at Belleau Kitchen's Random Recipes challenge for some time, and finally this month I 've done it! The challenge involves cooking a recipe picked at random from your cookbook collection, and is a great idea as it gets you to do recipes that you might otherwise have discounted. May's challenge was to select a cookbook at random, and then you could choose between either the first or last recipe in the book. I used my patented randomiser (aka Ben) to choose a book. Unfortunately, I don't think this was as random as might otherwise have been the case, as the selected book was 'Chocolate - 100 everyday recipes' . Knowing Ben, whose capacity for chocolate is unlimited, I suspect randomness had nothing to do with it. Nevertheless, I hadn't actually cooked from the book before, and it's not one that I would have chosen, so

Jubilee Royal Velvet Cake

As we're getting much closer to Jubilee Weekend, I wanted to try out an idea for a cake that I have been mulling over for some time. I have previously tried  Blue Velvet Cupcakes and Red Velvet Cupcakes, but I have always wanted to try making the proper cake. With the Jubilee presenting the perfect opportunity, and with the Olympic Torch being in Cardiff this week, as I was feeling all patriotic on Friday I finally got to try out my ideas. Let me present to you a red, white and blue Royal Velvet Cake, complete with a blue sugar candy crown. The cake is not, strictly speaking, a traditional velvet recipe, but I'm using poetic license. I used the recipe from Heather Baird's SprinkleBakes book  for her Neopolitan Cake. I've been a big fan of Heather's blog, SprinkleBakes for some time, and when her book came out earlier this month, I had to buy it. Heather's work is one of the most artistic and inspirational I have come across. Everything seems to be exe

Liebster and Versatile Blog Awards

I've been really honoured and pleased recently to be nominated for the Liebster Blog, the Versatile Blogger and the Sunshine Blog award by some of my fellow bloggers. Although I'm running a bit late, it's now time for me to do my bit and pass them on. I was given the Liebster Blog Award by Laura at Aga Girls. This was a lovely surprise, as I must admit that I had not discovered Laura's website at the time. It was a weird mix of embarrassing yet lovely to find someone who had visited and enjoyed my blog. However, I've now rectified that and am a regular reader. There are some great posts. including this  Jubilee Lemon Shortbread . Laura is, like me, a fairly new blogger, and I so look forward to reading more from her in the months to come.  "The origins of the Liebster Blog award are somewhat unclear but the general consensus is that it originated in Germany, Liebster meaning favourite or dearest, to showcase bloggers with fewer than 200 followers. Up

Blueberry and Dark Chocolate Oaties

These little cookies may not look much, but be warned, they are addictive and so easy to make they could form the start of a serious addiction (Mike take note!). They are packed full of dried blueberries, rolled oats and chocolate chips, which give a lovely chewy texture alongside an intense hit of chocolate cookie dough. I can only say 'Yum!' They are adapted from a recipe in Marian Keyes' book, ' Saved by Cake '. I didn't have all the ingredients so played around a little. I also like my cookies chunky, so altered the method slightly.   This is the first recipe I've tried from the book - but there are lots to tempt you. I'm a big fan of Marian Keyes' novels ('Anybody Out There' is one of my favourites) so it was interesting seeing how she tackled a recipe book detailing a love of baking which developed from her own personal battle with depression. Her writing style is very comfortable and comforting, and this would be a great book f

Hazelnut Brownies

Last Wednesday was a bit warmer than it has been of late, so I took Sam for a walk to the village in his pushchair. We stopped at our local deli ( Deli a Go Go ), ordered a coffee and a hazelnut brownie, and sat in the window watching the world go by. Sam and I did a bit of pondering. We pondered how we were going to feel when I return to work at the end of my maternity leave. The weeks are going by fast, and I am now able to count on one hand the weeks I have left. It's not so much the going back to work, more the having to entrust Sam to some one else's care. Sam thought that it wouldn't be so bad, as he has some lovely people taking care of him. They make funny noises and faces and make him laugh. They give him cuddles when he's sad, and they play when he wants to have fun. They feed him and soothe him to sleep when it's nap time. While it makes me happy knowing that he will be well looked after, it breaks my heart that it won't be me doing it. That the