Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake (No Bake)

Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake (No Bake)

Pumpkin spice is slowly gaining popularity in the UK, but there’s still definitely people that aren’t aware of how delicious pumpkin and pumpkin spice is in baked goods. Or no-baked in the case of this Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake! Most people in the UK think pumpkin is a savoury ingredient, but it’s wonderfully versatile and works so well in sweet recipes too. If you like pumpkin pie you will love this beautifully light and creamy cheesecake. There is pumpkin puree mixed into the cheesecake filling and it’s flavoured with cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and allspice. This Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake absolutely screams Autumn, it’s easy to make and tastes absolutely delicious. It’s quite a large cheesecake, it completely filled my tin right to the brim! So you could reduce the recipe if you don’t want it that big, but really, why wouldn’t you?!

To make the base I used my food processor to whizz up the biscuits until they turned into crumbs. I added the cinnamon and melted butter and mixed them in, then I pressed the mixture into the bottom of a 23″ springform tin and put it in the fridge to chill.

I moved onto preparing the filling. I used my electric hand whisk to mix together the cream cheese, pumpkin puree, icing sugar, vanilla and pumpkin spice mix until it was smooth with no lumps.

Then I added the double cream and whisked more until the mixture thickened considerably.

I tipped the cheesecake mixture on top of the base and smoothed it over. Then it went back into the fridge to set overnight.

The next day I decorated it. First I melted the white chocolate and drizzled it all over the top. Next I whipped up some cream with icing sugar and vanilla and piped it around the edges. Then I sprinkled orange hundreds and thousands, and pumpkin shaped sprinkles in the centre. I also made some pastry leaves to decorate the Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake, which I brushed with edible glitter and placed all around the edge. Of course, you can decorate the cheesecake any way you like!

Those not in the know on the deliciousness of pumpkin were in awe of how tasty this cheesecake was! They loved how creamy it was, and how it was full of pumpkin pie flavour – and so did I! The sweet white chocolate drizzled on top was perfect against the velvety filling and the pastry leaves were an extra crunchy treat.

This Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake would make an awesome centrepiece for Thanksgiving, Halloween or a family meal during Autumn. It will certainly feed a crowd and is sure to impress!

If you like this, you’ll love some of my other pumpkin recipes!

       

I’m linking this recipe up with Recipe of the Week hosted by A Mummy Too, Cook Blog Share hosted by Easy Peasy Foodie, Simple & In Season hosted by Feeding Boys and Fiesta Fridays this month hosted by A Pug In The Kitchen and Ginger & Bread.

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5 from 5 votes
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Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake

Ingredients

Pumpkin Spice Mix

  • 3 tsp Ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp Ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp Ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp Ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp Allspice

For the biscuit base

  • 300 g Digestive biscuits
  • 125 g Butter melted
  • 1 tsp Ground cinnamon

For the cheesecake filling

  • 450 g Pumpkin puree
  • 450 g Full fat cream cheese
  • 250 g Icing sugar
  • 450 ml Double cream
  • 1 tsp Vanilla extract
  • 3 tsp Pumpkin spice mix see above

For decoration

  • 300 ml Double cream
  • 2 tbsp Icing sugar
  • 1 tsp Vanilla extract
  • 50 g White chocolate melted
  • Orange/Pumpkin themed sprinkles optional
  • Pastry leaves optional
  • Edible glitter optional

For the pastry leaves

  • 115 g Plain flour
  • 56 g Butter
  • 1 1/2 tbsp Cold water

Instructions

  1. Mix the spices together for the pumpkin spice and set aside

  2. To make the base, use a food processor to whizz up the biscuits until they turned into crumbs. Or you can put them in a bag or a bowl and bash them up with a rolling pin

  3. Add the melted butter and cinnamon and mix them in, then press the mixture into the bottom of a 23″ springform tin and put it in the fridge to chill for at least 30 minutes

  4. To make the cheesecake filling. Use a stand mixer with a whisk attachment or an electric hand whisk to mix together the cream cheese, pumpkin puree, icing sugar, vanilla and pumpkin spice mix until it is smooth with no lumps

  5. Add the double cream and whisk more until the mixture thickens considerably

  6. Pour the cheesecake mixture on top of the biscuit base and smooth it over. Then put it back into the fridge to set overnight, or for at least 5 hours

  7. To decorate, remove the cheesecake from the tin and put onto a serving plate

  8. Melt the white chocolate and drizzle it all over the top

  9. Whip the double cream together with the icing sugar and vanilla, then pipe it around the edges using a piping bag fitted with a nozzle. Sprinkle the sprinkles in the centre

  10. If you have made the pastry leaves, brush them with edible glitter and place them all around the edge on top of the cream

Pastry Leaves (optional)

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 160C Fan/180C/350F/Gas Mark 4, and line a baking tray with baking paper

  2. Put the flour into a bowl and add the butter, rub the butter into the flour until it resembles breadcrumbs

  3. Add the water, little by little, until it comes together into a dough

  4. Wrap it in cling film and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes

  5. Flour your work surface and roll the pastry out to 4-5mm thick, use a leaf shaped cutter to cut out the shapes and place them onto a lined baking tray

  6. Bake for 10-15 minutes until they are golden, then allow to cool completely.

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Apple Crumble Cheesecake (No Bake)

Apple Crumble Cheesecake (No Bake)

Why decide between two desserts when you can combine them? This apple crumble cheesecake has all the delicious flavours and textures of both an apple crumble, and a cheesecake! The biscuit base, crumble and apples are all laced with cinnamon and spices, making this dessert ideal for Autumn. The apples are a perfect balance of tart and sweet, the crumble and biscuit base provide crunchy texture and the cheesecake base is so creamy and light. It’s also really easy to make! The cheesecake is no bake, the apples just get chucked in a pan and left to soften, and the crumble only needs to go in the oven for under 10 minutes. The only hard part is waiting for everything to cool and set, but trust me, it’s worth the wait!

Jump straight to the recipe!

I started by making the apple topping as it takes a while to cook down, and then needs to fully cool. I put them in a pan along with the cinnamon, mixed spice, light brown sugar and maple syrup. On a low heat I let it simmer for around 25 minutes, until about a third of the apple pieces had gone mushy, and the rest were fully soft but still intact. I let it cool completely, then put it in the fridge to chill.

To make the base I used my food processor to whizz up the digestive biscuits into crumbs. I stirred in the cinnamon, added the melted butter and mixed it all together.

I pressed it into the bottom of a 23″ springform tin, then put it in the fridge.

To make the cheesecake filling I used my electric hand whisk to mix together the full fat cream cheese and icing sugar until smooth with no lumps. I added the vanilla and the double cream, and whisked it until it was thick.

I poured it into the tin and smoothed the top so it was level. Then I put it in the fridge overnight to set.

The next day I made the crumble topping by mixing the ingredients together then spreading it out onto a baking tray and baking for around 7 minutes, I bashed it up so it wasn’t in big chunks, then let it cool completely.

To assemble the apple crumble cheesecake I removed it from the tin, then I used a butter knife to smooth it all around the edges. I piled the apple mixture on top, then covered it with the crumble, then finished it with a sprinkling of icing sugar.

Apple Crumble Cheesecake

This apple crumble cheesecake is probably one of the most delicious things I have ever made! I served it at a dinner party and everyone loved it, one guest said it was ‘like crack’, and whilst they don’t have any personal experience of that, I’m taking it as a compliment!

Apple Crumble Cheesecake

If you love cheesecake and you love apple crumble, but you just can’t decide between the two, then apple crumble cheesecake is the dessert for you!

 

I’m linking this recipe up with Recipe of the Week hosted by A Mummy Too, Cook Blog Share hosted by Recipes Made Easy, and Fiesta Fridays.

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5 from 1 vote
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Apple Crumble Cheesecake (No Bake)

Servings 12

Ingredients

For the biscuit base

  • 250 g Digestive biscuits
  • 2 tsp Ground cinnamon
  • 100 g Butter melted

For the cheesecake filling

  • 750 g Full fat cream cheese
  • 230 g Icing sugar
  • 2 tsp Vanilla extract
  • 300 ml Double cream

For the apple topping

  • 2 large Bramley apples chopped, cored & peeled
  • 75 g Light brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp Ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp Mixed spice
  • 1 tbsp Maple syrup

For the crumble topping

  • 75 g Oats
  • 75 g Plain flour
  • 80 g Butter melted
  • 75 g Light brown sugar
  • 1/2 + 1/4 tsp Ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 + 1/4 tsp Mixed spice
  • Icing sugar for dusting

Instructions

  1. Start by making the apple topping as it takes a while to cook down, and then needs to fully cool


  2. Put the chopped apples into a pan along with the cinnamon, mixed spice, light brown sugar and maple syrup

  3. On a low heat, let the apples simmer for around 25 minutes, until about a third of the apple pieces have gone mushy, and the rest have softened but are still intact. Put it into a bowl and let it cool completely, then put it in the fridge to chill

  4. To make the biscuit base use a food processor to whizz up the digestive biscuits into crumbs, or put them in a zip lock bag and smash them with a rolling pin

  5. Stir the cinnamon into the biscuit crumbs, then add the melted butter and mix it all together

  6. Press it into the bottom of a 23" springform tin to create an even layer, then put it in the fridge for at least 30 minutes

  7. To make the cheesecake filling use an electric hand whisk or a stand mixer to mix together the full fat cream cheese and icing sugar until smooth with no lumps

  8. Add the vanilla and the double cream, and whisk it until it is thick. You want it to be thick enough so that you have to shake or tap the spoon to get it to fall off

  9. Transfer the cheesecake mixture into the tin and smooth the top so it is level. Put it in the fridge overnight, or for at least 5 hours, to set

  10. To make the crumble topping, mix the ingredients together then spread them out onto a foil lined baking tray and bake on 160 Fan/180C/350F/Gas Mark 4 for around 7 minutes until it starts to go golden, break it up into smaller chunks, then let it cool completely

  11. To assemble the cheesecake, remove it from the tin, then use a butter knife to smooth the appearance of the filling all around the edges

  12. Pile the apple mixture on top, cover it with the crumble, then finish it with a sprinkling of icing sugar

You can find more of my Cheesecake recipes by clicking here!

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Chai Cupcakes with Spiced Buttercream

Chai Cupcakes with Spiced Buttercream

You may remember me mentioning back in late November that myself and my boyfriend were due to be moving into our first very own house before Christmas. Well, it got delayed so we spent in Christmas in our flat with a pile of boxes in the next room containing half of our belongings that we had already packed in preparation. To be fair, it was a lovely Christmas as the company and the food were amazing, which is all I needed. I am very excited however that the move is now finally going ahead in two weeks time! I’m not sure how often I’ll be able to blog before and after the move as it will be a very busy time, but I’ll certainly do my best. Hopefully these deliciously spiced cupcakes will keep you going for now!

I started by warming up 150ml milk (I used almond milk), I took it off the heat and poured it into a mug. I added 4 chai spiced tea bags to it and left them to brew for around 10 minutes. Before removing them I squeezed them out as much as I could.

I poured the milk into a mixing bowl and added 2 eggs and whisked them in.

In another mixing bowl I creamed together 100g golden caster sugar and 100g butter.

I poured in the milk and whisked it in. Then I added 250g self raising flour, 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1/4 tsp ground cloves and 1/2 tsp mixed spice, and mixed it in.

I divided the mixture between 12 cupcake liners and baked them on 180C/160C Fan/350F/Gas Mark 4 for 20-25 minutes until they were golden on top and a skewer came out clean. I let them cool completely on a wire rack.

I made the icing by mixing together 200g butter, 400g icing sugar, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1/4 tsp ground cloves, 1/4 tsp mixed spice and 2 tbsp milk (I used almond milk).

I used a piping bag with a Jem 1E tip to ice the cupcakes with the buttercream.

These cupcakes are packed with flavour from both the buttercream and the sponge. They are dark, spicy and deliciously warming which is very much needed this time of year. Pair one with a hot drink and you’ve got a match made in heaven!

I am linking this recipe up with Recipe Of The Week hosted by A Mummy Too.

And with the Sunday Fitness & Food Link Up hosted by Ilka’s Blog and Marathons & Motivation.

And with The No Waste Food Challenge hosted by Elizabeth’s Kitchen Diary as I don’t actually drink tea, and I bought the tea bags to make a Chai & Ginger Cake before christmas so I used more of them up in this recipe.

And with Cook Blog Share hosted this month by Hijacked By Twins.

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Chai Cupcakes with Spiced Buttercream

Servings 12

Ingredients

  • 100 g Golden caster sugar
  • 300 g Butter
  • 150 ml Almond milk
  • 2 tbsp Almond milk
  • 4 Chai spiced tea bags
  • 2 Eggs
  • 250 g Self raising flour
  • 1 tsp Bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon
  • 3/4 tsp Mixed spice
  • 1/2 tsp Ground cloves
  • 400 g Icing sugar

Instructions

  1. Warm up the 150ml of milk until it is hot but not boiling, take it off the heat and pour it into a mug. Add the chai spiced tea bags and leave to brew for 10 minutes. Before removing them, squeeze them out as much as possible

  2. Pour the milk into a mixing bowl, add the eggs and whisk them in

  3. In another mixing bowl cream together the golden caster sugar and 100g of the butter

  4. Pour in the milk and egg mixture and whisk it in. Then add the self raising flour, bicarbonate of soda, 1/2 tsp of the cinnamon, 1/4 tsp of the ground cloves and 1/2 tsp of the mixed spice, and mix together

  5. Divide the mixture between 12 cupcake liners in a muffin tin and bake them on 180C/160C Fan/350F/Gas Mark 4 for 20-25 minutes until they are golden on top and a skewer inserted into the middle of a cupcake comes out clean. Let them cool completely on a wire rack

  6. Make the icing by mixing together 200g of the butter, the icing sugar, 1/2 tsp of the cinnamon, 1/4 tsp of the ground cloves and 1/4 tsp of the mixed spice. Once it comes together add the 2 tbsp milk

  7. Use a piping bag with a Jem 1E nozzle to pipe the buttercream onto the cupcakes, or if you don’t have one smooth it on with a spoon.

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Cinnamon Streusel Cheesecake

Cinnamon Streusel Cheesecake

The inspiration for this Cinnamon Streusel Cheesecake came from a visit to a pub where they served something of the same name. My boyfriend adores anything cinnamon so it always catches my eye. I took him a piece home as I knew he would love it, and indeed he did. He kindly shared a bite with me and it was so yummy I knew I had to make a homemade version! I really upped the wow factor by adding cinnamon to the base as well as the streusel topping, plus a cinnamon icing drizzled over the top. I think this will be our dessert on Christmas Day!

To make the base I whizzed up 200g disgestive biscuits in a food processor. I also mixed in 2 1/2 tsp cinnamon.

I melted 70g butter and mixed it into the biscuit crumbs. I pressed the mixture into a lined 23″ springform tin and put it in the fridge for 30 minutes to chill.

To make the cheesecake filling I mixed together 575g full fat cream cheese, 3 egg yolks,
135g caster sugar and 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract until it was smooth.

Using an electric hand mixer I beat the whites from the 3 eggs until stiff and then folded them into the cream cheese mixture.

I took the base out of the fridge and poured the cheesecake mixture on top. I put the tin onto a baking tray as sometimes I find a little butter can leak from springform tins when baking cheesecake.

I baked it for 40 minutes at 180C/160C Fan/350F/Gas Mark 4. Then left it to cool fully before putting it in the fridge to chill.

When it was cold, I whipped up 300ml double cream and spread it all over the top.

For the streusel topping I mixed together 110g melted butter, 190g plain flour, 100g light brown sugar, 2 1/2 tsp cinnamon and a pinch of salt.

I covered the cheesecake generously with the streusel topping. For a final flourish I made some icing using 70g icing sugar, 1 tsp cinnamon and enough water to make it a thick consistency. I drizzled it all over the cheesecake, then dusted over some icing sugar.

The cheesecake was absolutely divine! The cinnamon flavour was just right, the cheesecake was light and fluffy, and the streusel topping was crunchy. I served it at a dinner party and everyone had two slices – the perfect review!

I’m linking this recipe up with the Sunday Fitness & Food Link Up hosted by Ilka’s Blog and Marathons & Motivation.

And with Simple & In Season hosted by Feeding Boys, as although you can get cinnamon all year round, it really shines during Winter.

And with Cook Blog Share hosted by Easy Peasy Foodie.

Crumb topping recipe from Baking A Moment.

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Cinnamon Streusel Cheesecake

Ingredients

  • 200 g Digestive biscuits
  • 6 tsp Ground Cinnamon
  • 180 g Butter melted
  • 575 g Full fat cream cheese
  • 3 Eggs
  • 135 g Caster sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp Vanilla extract
  • 300 ml Double cream
  • 100 g Light brown sugar
  • 190 g Plain flour
  • 70 g Icing sugar
  • A pinch of Salt

Instructions

  1. To make the base whizz up the disgestive biscuits in a food processor along with 2 1/2 tsp of the cinnamon. Mix 70g of the melted butter into the biscuit crumbs

  2. Press the mixture into a lined 23" springform tin and put it in the fridge for 30 minutes to chill

  3. To make the cheesecake filling mix together the full fat cream cheese, the yolks from the eggs (keep the whites), the caster sugar and the vanilla extract until it is smooth

  4. Using an electric hand mixer beat the whites from the eggs until stiff and then fold them into the cream cheese mixture

  5. Take the base out of the fridge and pour the cheesecake mixture on top. Put the tin onto a baking tray as sometimes a little butter can leak from springform tins when baking cheesecake

  6. Bake it for 40 minutes at 180C/160C Fan/350F/Gas Mark 4. Then leave it to cool fully to room temperature before putting it in the fridge to chill and go completely cold

  7. Whip up the double cream and spread it all over the top of the cold cheesecake

  8. For the streusel topping mix together 110g of the meltedbutter, the plain flour, light brown sugar, 2 1/2 tsp of the cinnamon and the salt

  9. Cover the cheesecake generously with the streusel topping, pressing it into the cream

  10. Make some icing using the icing sugar, 1 tsp of the cinnamon and enough water to make it a thick consistency. Drizzle it all over the cheesecake, then dust over some icing sugar

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Mincemeat Plait (Vegan)

Mincemeat Plait (Vegan)

I really love mince pies and finding new ways to eat mincemeat is definitely high on my list of priorities in December. My favourite kind of mincemeat is the luxury versions that are laced with brandy and/or port, as they give it that intense richness. I’ve never made my own mincemeat as I really think you can buy such good quality tasting versions in the shops. If you love mincemeat as much as I do, you’ll also love my Mince Pie Cupcakes With Brandy Buttercream and my Mince Pie Bakewell Squares.

I’ve been kindly given a subscription to Vegetarian Living Magazine by PocketMags and I found this recipe for a Vegan Mincemeat Plait inside. I was immediately drawn to it, plus I had some fast action yeast to use up. I really don’t make bread enough as it can be time consuming, but this recipe is quick enough to make in an evening.

I started by putting 200g strong white bread flour, a pinch of salt and a 7g sachet of fast action yeast into a bowl. I made sure to keep the salt and yeast separate, then mixed everything together.

I warmed up 200ml almond milk in a pan with 1/2 tbsp light brown sugar and 1/2 tsp vanilla extract. I only let it get hot enough so I could still hold my finger in it. I then whisked in 2 tbsp olive oil.

In a food mixer fitted with a dough hook I mixed the flour and milk mixture together for 6 minutes. I put the dough into an oiled bowl, covered it and left it to rise for 30 minutes.

I floured my Joseph Joseph Roll Up Non-Slip Silicone Pastry Mat and rolled the dough out in a rectangular shape.

I melted 2 tbsp melted margarine (dairy free if you want this recipe to be vegan) and brushed most of it all over the dough, then I sprinkled over a mixture of 1 tbsp ground cinnamon and 2 tbsp dark brown sugar all over it.

I used a luxury jar of mincemeat (make sure it’s vegetarian as mincemeat can contain suet) and spread 200g of it over the dough.

I rolled the dough into a sausage shape, cut it in half, attached it at the top then twisted the two halves together. I placed it on a lined baking tray and baked it on 220C/200C Fan/425F/Gas Mark 7 for 15 minutes.

I made a glaze from 50g icing sugar, 1 tsp vanilla extract and 1/2 tbsp almond milk. It smelt so good!

As soon as the plait came out of the oven, I covered it in the glaze then left it to cool.

This bake was so yummy, the glaze on top sounds so simple but it’s incredibly delicious! I’m not a vegan, but it’s great to learn an easy vegan friendly recipe for the festive season that tastes amazing and will cater for friends who follow a vegan diet. Also it feels like a much healthier recipe as it doesn’t use any butter or other high fat dairy products.

I’m linking this up with The Food Calendar hosted by Charlotte’s Lively Kitchen.

And with Free From Fridays hosted by the Free From Farmhouse.

And with The No Waste Food Challenge hosted by Elizabeth’s Kitchen Diary as I used up some fast action yeast and some bread flour that were nearly out of date in this recipe.

And to Healthy Vegan Fridays hosted by Rock My Vegan Socks.

NB. I have received the subscription to Vegetarian Living Magazine and the Joseph Joseph product free of charge, all opinions are my own.

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Mincemeat Plait (Vegan)

Ingredients

  • 200 g Strong White Bread Flour
  • A Pinch of Salt
  • 7 g sachet Fast action dried yeast
  • 200 ml + 1/2 tbsp Almond milk
  • 1/2 tbsp Light brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp Vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp Olive oil
  • 2 tbsp Dairy free margarine
  • 2 tbsp Dark brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp Ground cinnamon
  • 50 g Icing sugar
  • 200 g Mincemeat

Instructions

  1. Put the strong white bread flour, salt and fast action yeast into a bowl, making sure to keep the salt and yeast on separate sides of the bowl, then mix it all together

  2. Warm the 200ml of almond milk in a pan with the light brown sugar and 1/2 tsp of the vanilla extract. Only let it get hot enough so you can still hold your finger in it. Then whisk in the olive oil

  3. In a food mixer fitted with a dough hook mix the flour and milk mixtures together for 6 minutes. Then put the dough into an oiled bowl, cover it and leave it to rise in a warm place for 30 minutes

  4. Flour your work surface and roll the dough out in a rectangular shape. In a bowl mix together the ground cinnamon and dark brown sugar

  5. Melt the margarine and brush most of it (reserve a little) all over the dough, then sprinkle the cinnamon mixture all over it

  6. Spread the mincemeat over the doughRoll the dough into a sausage shape, cut it in half, attach it at the top then twist the two halves together. Place it on a lined baking tray and bake it on 220C/200C Fan/425F/Gas Mark 7 for 15 minutes

  7. While it's baking make a glaze from the icing sugar, 1 tsp of the vanilla extract and 1/2 tbsp of the almond milk

  8. As soon as the plait comes out of the oven, cover it in the glaze then leave it to cool. Slice to serve

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Apple Pie Fondant Fancies: GBBO Week #9

Apple Pie Fondant Fancies: GBBO Week #9

I didn’t post a bake along last week as I’ve been on holiday, I feel like I lucked out as Tudor Week looked tough! I’m still not over Benjamina’s shock exit either… This week was patisserie week and also the semi finals! As usual Bake Off is coming to an end far too fast. All of the bakers were very nervous this week, even Selasi!

The signature challenge was to make two styles of 24 savoury palmiers, using only puff pastry (no rough puff allowed!) Paul and Mary were looking for layers in the pastry, and a small amount of filling but with a lot of flavour. There were some debate amongst the bakers over whether they were using strong bread flour or plain flour for the puff pastry dough, with most of them using a mixture of the two. Andrew was the only one who used only plain flour and he had to re-start his puff pastry as it was too crumbly.

There were lots of different palmier shapes from the bakers. Jane made flowers, Andrew did musical notes, Selasi made butterflies and Candice made hearts. The judges thought Jane’s pesto and sundried tomato palmiers were not fully baked, they loved the flavour of her tapanade palmiers but again they were not quite baked. Candice’s pastry was well baked and the judges enjoyed the flavours, however they felt the palmiers were too big and thick. Selasi’s palmiers were also underbaked. Despite Andrew having to redo his pastry, his palmiers were crispy and Paul loved them.

This week’s technical challenge was to make a Savarin, this is basically a large rum baba. It’s a yeasted cake which is soaked in an orange liquor syrup and decorated with whipped cream and fresh fruit. Paul warned the bakers may not prove the cake correctly, and he also wanted to see the cake evenly soaked with the liquor. Jane knew what it was, but the others were unsure.

Jane struggled with the caramel shards, I lost count of how many times she attempted to make them! All of the bakers had very neat piping skills when they made the chocolate label for the cake. It was a hot day in the tent so they all struggled with getting the cake to cool so they could add the whipped cream decoration. Paul actually gave the bakers some grace for this! Selasi came last as his savarin was over baked and his orange segments still had membrane on, Candice’s was also over baked and under proved which meant she got third place. Andrew’s was also slightly over baked so he came second, and Jane won despite not being successful with the caramel decoration.

The showstopper was to make 36 fondant fancies, two different types, all made with genoise sponge, and all made from scratch. They had 4 and a half hours to complete the challenge, Mary admitted that you’d make the sponge the day before usually which would make it more difficult for the bakers, but of course she still wanted them to be perfect. Paul wanted to see shop standard fancies with flat sides.

I liked Jane’s tip to use a potato masher to dip the fancies into the fondant. Mary made a comment about Selasi not sifting his flour, so he immediately re-made his sponge again! All of the fancies had to be covered in buttercream to ensure smooth sides, but Jane was the only baker who decided against doing this as it is a time consuming element to the bake. It was a very tense time in the tent as they all struggled to complete the challenge on time.

Mary and Paul both loved Candice’s praline fancies and cherry bakewell fancies, they thought the overall apperance was a bit messy but the flavours and fillings were what won them over. As Jane did not use buttercream to cover her fancies, the side were very messy and the judges noticed this immediately. Andrew’s fancies looked fantastic, I loved the way he presented them, it was such a clever idea.The judges agreed and called the presentation ‘stunning’.

Selasi left this week, he came last in the technical and the judges thought his white chocolate fancies were overly sweet. It was very close between him and Jane I thought, and I was surprised they chose him. Next week is the final and we get to find out who the winner is!

This week I decided to make the fondant fancies. I find making puff pastry from scratch quite boring (too much turning and folding) and I don’t have the right tin to make a Savarin in. Making these gave me so much sympathy towards the GBBO bakers! They are very time consuming due to all the different stages, but ultimately worth giving a go at least once as they taste so good and look really impressive!

I started with the cake. I made a genoise sponge and whisked up 5 eggs with 150g golden caster sugar for about 7 minutes until it was thick.

I then sieved in a mixture of 150g plain flour and 2 tsp cinnamon in three stages, and gently folded them in each time. I then added 75g melted butter which I poured around the edge of the bowl and folded in. I poured it into a lined baking tin.

I baked it on 180C/160C fan/Gas 4 for 25 minutes. I let it cool then wrapped it up and put it in the freezer for an hour.

While the cake was baking I made the apple filling. I heated up 1 chopped cooking apple, 1 tsp cinnamon and 25g light brown sugar on a low heat for 15 minutes until the apples were soft. I let the mixture cool, then whizzed it up using a hand blender.

 

I took the cake out of the freezer and brushed a thin layer of apricot jam over the top.

I then rolled out a 250g pack of orange fondant and covered the cake with it.

I trimmed the edges of the cake then using a ruler I cut it into 1.5″ squares.

Then I cut each square into half.

I spread the apple filling onto the bottom half and sandwiched them all back together.

I made a caramel butter cream by mixing 150g butter, 300g golden icing sugar and 1 tsp caramel extract.

I used a palette knife to coat the sides of each cake. This was quite fiddly to get 100% neat. I put them in the fridge for an hour for the buttercream to set.

I made a pourable fondant by mixing up 1kg ready to roll fondant with 115ml water and some orange food colouring. I set up a cooling rack with a baking tray underneath and using it to place the cakes on before the pouring the fondant over the top.

I melted 100g white chocolate, put it into a piping bag and piped a zig zag pattern on top. I then added some bronze sprinkles.

I didn’t expect the fancies to be as neat as professional ones, but I thought they came out alright in the end. The sides could have been neater, but the top were lovely and smooth. My fondant didn’t fully set, even after being in the fridge overnight, so they were quite messy when eating them!

And the best bit, they tasted just like apple pie! The cinnamon, apple and caramel all came together in a way I wasn’t expecting, and produced a delicious apple pie flavour. This wasn’t my original intention, but it really made the whole experience of making these worthwhile.

   

I’m linking up with the Great Bloggers Bake Off 2016 hosted by Mummy Mishaps, with Bake Off Bake Along hosted by Rhyme & Ribbons and This Particular, and with the Sunday Fitness & Food Link Up hosted by Ilka’s Blog and Marathons & Motivation.

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Apple Pie Fondant Fancies

Ingredients

  • 5 Eggs
  • 150 g Golden caster sugar
  • 150 g Plain flour
  • 3 tsp Cinnamon
  • 75 g Melted butter
  • 1 Chopped cooking apple
  • 25 g Light brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp Apricot jam
  • 1.25 kg Orange or white ready to roll fondant
  • 150 g Butter
  • 300 g Golden icing sugar
  • 1 tsp Caramel extract
  • 100 g White chocolate
  • Bronze sprinkles
  • (If using white fondant) Orange food colouring

Instructions

  1. To make the genoise sponge whisk the eggs with the golden caster sugar in a stand mixer for about 7 minutes until thick and trebled in size

  2. Sieve in the plain flour and 2 tsp of the cinnamon in three stages, and gently fold them in each time. Add the melted butter by pouring it around the edge of the bowl and folding it in. Pour the batter into a lined 12" x 9" traybake tin

  3. Bake it on 180C/160C fan/Gas 4 for 25 minutes. Let it cool then wrap it up and put it in the freezer for an hour

  4. To make the apple filling heat up the chopped cooking apple with 1 tsp of the cinnamon and the light brown sugar on a low heat for 15 minutes until the apples are soft. Let the mixture cool, then whizz it up using a hand blender

  5. Take the cake out of the freezer and brush a thin layer of apricot jam over the top

  6. If you are using white fondant, knead some orange food colouring into it first until you get the desired shade. Rolled out 250g of the fondant and cover the cake with it

  7. Trim the edges of the cake then using a ruler cut it into 1.5" squares. Then cut each square into half horizontally

  8. Spread the apple filling onto the bottom half of the cake and sandwich them all back together

  9. Make a caramel buttercream by mixing the butter, golden icing sugar and caramel extract together. Use a palette knife to coat the sides of each cake with the buttercream, then put them in the fridge for an hour for the buttercream to set

  10. Make a pourable fondant by mixing up 1kg of the ready to roll fondant with 115ml water. Set up a cooling rack with a baking tray underneath and using it to place the cakes on before the pouring the fondant over the top

  11. Melt 100g white chocolate, put it into a piping bag and piped a zig zag pattern on top. Add some bronze sprinkles

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Cranberry & Apricot Cinnamon Rolls

Cranberry & Apricot Cinnamon Rolls
I realised when clearing out my cupboards for the food bank before Christmas that the packet of fast action yeast I owned was very out of date. It had been a lot longer than I realised since I last made any bread! It’s quite a time consuming thing to make, and unfortunately I don’t often have the time for it. So I decided to make time this weekend and I made myself get up early to get started on the dough. I was happy I did as when these Cranberry & Apricot Cinnamon Rolls were baked I had a big smile on my face and eating one felt all the more satisfying!

I started by warming 125ml water, 125ml milk and 100g butter in a pan until the butter melted. I removed it from the heat and added one packet of fast action yeast and 1 tbsp sugar and covered it with a pan lid. I left it for 10 minutes.

In a large bowl I measured out 550g strong bread flour, 40g sugar and 1 tsp salt and stirred them together.

I poured the butter and milk mixture into the flour, followed by 2 beaten eggs. I mixed it all together to form a dough.

I kneaded the dough for 10 minutes on a floured surface, then put it in an oiled bowl, covered it with cling film and left it to prove for 2 hours.

After 2 hours it had doubled in size.

I knocked the air back out of the dough and rolled it out into a rectangle approximately 40cm long by 30cm wide.

I melted 25g butter and brushed it all over the dough.

I got sent some dried fruit from Whitworths recently and I thought cranberry and apricot would go perfectly together in the rolls. They come in convenient resealable packs too which made storing the leftovers so much easier for me.

In a bowl I mixed together 100g of the dried apricot, 100g of the cranberries, 75g light brown sugar, 2 tsp cinnamon and the zest of 1 orange.

I spread the fruit and sugar mixture out evenly over the dough, leaving about a 1cm strip empty at one end.

I rolled the dough up like a swiss roll, and then sliced it into 1cm wide pieces. I got 13 pieces from the dough. I arranged them in lined baking trays (not very neatly!) and covered them with cling film. I left them in a warm place for their second prove for 1 hour.

I baked the buns on 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4 for 30 minutes. I forgot to take a photo when they came out of the oven, but as soon as they were cool enough I pulled one apart and I was thrilled to see beautifully baked soft dough. This was a really great moment as I had put so much time into making the rolls!

I made icing using 200g icing sugar and about 2/3 juice of the orange I zested earlier for the filling. I wanted to drizzle the icing, but for it not to be too runny, so I added a little bit of the orange juice at a time. I then drizzled it over the buns using a piping bag.

Eating these buns felt so good! When I sat down to eat one and all the waiting was over it felt so satisfying to dig in! The dough was lovely and soft, and the fruity filling gave them real flavour and character. I definitely won’t leave it so long again before I make more bread!

I’m entering this into Tea Time Treats hosted by Lavender & Lovage and Hedgecombers, as this recipe would be a tasty treat to have with a hot drink.

I’m also entering it into the Food Year Link Up hosted by Charlotte’s Lively Kitchen. This recipe would be great for breakfast week as these rolls would certainly make a special breakfast!

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Cranberry & Apricot Cinnamon Rolls

Servings 13

Ingredients

  • 125 ml Water
  • 125 ml Milk
  • 100 g Butter
  • 1 sachet Fast action yeast
  • 1 tbsp Caster sugar
  • 550 g Strong bread flour
  • 40 g Caster sugar
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 2 Eggs
  • 25 g Butter melted
  • 100 g Dried cranberries
  • 100 g Dried apricot, chopped
  • 1 Orange
  • 75 g Light brown sugar
  • 2 tsp Cinnamon
  • 200 g Icing sugar

Instructions

  1. Warm the water, milk and butter in a pan on a low heat until the butter melts
  2. Remove it from the heat and add the fast action yeast and tbsp of sugar, cover it with a pan lid and leave for 10 minutes
  3. In a large bowl stir the strong bread flour, remaining sugar and salt together. Pour the butter and milk mixture into the flour, followed by the eggs. Mix together to form a dough
  4. Knead the dough for 10 minutes on a floured surface, then put it in an oiled bowl covered with cling film and leave it to prove in a warm place for 2 hours
  5. Knock the air back out of the dough and roll it out into a rectangle approximately 40cm long by 30cm wide
  6. Brush the melted butter all over the dough
  7. In a bowl mix together the dried apricot, the cranberries, light brown sugar, cinnamon and the orange zest. Spread the mixture evenly over the dough, leaving about a 1cm strip empty at one end
  8. Roll the dough up starting at the opposite end from the 1cm gap, then slice into 1cm wide pieces. Arrange them in lined baking trays and cover with cling film. Leave them in a warm place for their second prove for 1 hour
  9. Bake the buns on 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4 for 30 minutes. Cool on a cooling rack
  10. Once they are completely cool, make the icing by mixing the icing sugar and about 2/3 juice of the orange, add a little bit of the orange juice at a time until you have a thick but spreadable consistency. Drizzle it over the buns using a piping bag or a spoon
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Orange 5-Spice Cake

Orange 5-Spice Cake

Tomorrow is Chinese New Year and this year it is the year of the Sheep (or Goat in some cases). There’s a bit of confusion over which animal it actually is this year because the Chinese symbol that represents it is used to describe a variety of sheep/goat type animals. People born in the year of the Sheep are believed to be gentle and mild mannered, and do not like to be the centre of attention. I’m not sure how much I believe in the personality types, but I love Chinese culture and I find it so interesting. I decided to make this cake using the well known Chinese 5 spice and orange as it’s a flavour often used in Chinese cooking.

I started by creaming together 400g caster sugar and 115g butter. I then added 3 eggs and whisked in. Then I added 480ml fresh orange juice and mixed in.

In a seperate bowl I weighed out 560g plain flour, 4 tsp baking powder, 1/2 tsp 5 spice mix, 1/2 tsp mixed spice 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1/4 tsp ground ginger and 1/4 tsp cardamom. I mixed it into the batter and then poured it into a lined baking tray.

I baked it on 350F/180C/Gas Mark 4 for 30 minutes. Then I turned it down to 325F/160C/Gas Mark 3 for a further 20 minutes until a skewer came out clean.

While the cake was still hot I brushed melted butter over the top and sprinkled on a topping made from 25g golden caster sugar, 1/2 tsp cinnamon and 1/2 tsp mixed spice mixed together.

The cake was lovely and light with a great spicy flavour. I do think the orange flavour could’ve been stronger, but I was using up some zested oranges. I’d definitely recommend adding the zest of one orange for a stronger punch of orange! It takes great with custard too (not sure how Chinese that is!) I hope you enjoy the Chinese New Year celebrations in your city this weekend!

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Orange 5-Spice Cake

Ingredients

  • 400 g Caster sugar
  • 115 g Butter
  • 3 Eggs
  • 480 ml Orange juice
  • 560 g Plain flour
  • 4 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp Ground ginger
  • 1 tsp Mixed spice
  • 1/4 tsp Ground cardamom
  • 1/2 tsp 5 Spice
  • 25 g Butter melted
  • 25 g Golden caster sugar

Instructions

  1. Cream together the caster sugar and butter. Add the eggs and whisk in. Then add the orange juice and mix in
  2. In a separate bowl stir together the plain flour, baking powder, 5 spice, 1/2 tsp of the mixed spice 1/2 tsp of the cinnamon, the ground ginger and cardamom. Mix it into the wet ingredients to make a batter, then pour into a lined baking tray
  3. Bake on 350F/180C/Gas Mark 4 for 30 minutes, then on 325F/160C/Gas Mark 3 for a further 20 minutes
  4. Mix together the golden caster sugar, 1/2 tsp of the cinnamon and 1/2 tsp of the mixed spice
  5. While the cake is still hot brush the melted butter over the cake and sprinkle the sugar mixture all over the cake too
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Spiced Apple Crumble

Spiced Apple Crumble
I had a craving for apple crumble last weekend. It must be the drop in temperature, it makes me want warm cosy foods. I’ve already had my first (and second!) mulled wine of the season, and I wanted to add those winter flavours and spices to this crumble to make it extra cosy and perfect for Christmas time. The other great thing about crumble is that it is so easy to make, once assembled it’s just a matter of snuggling under a blanket and waiting for it to bake.

I started by peeling and chopping 3 large cooking apple into small pieces. It was about 600g of apples, but 3 large Bramley apples should do the trick. I added 70g sultanas, 70g light brown sugar, 1 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp mixed spice, a pinch of nutmeg and the zest of 1 orange.

I mixed it all together and spread it out into a dish. My dish is 31x21cm (12×8 inches).

For the crumble I mixed 190g light brown sugar and 350g plain flour together. I then added 220g butter, cut into cubes and rubbed it with my fingers until it looked like breadcrumbs. This is quite a thick crumble topping, which is how I like it, so if you prefer a thinner layer take a third off the measurements.

I spread the crumble topping over the fruit and baked it on 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4 for 45 minutes until golden and bubbling.

Serve warm with custard for a warming and spicy winter treat!

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Spiced Apple Crumble

Ingredients

  • 3 Large cooking apples
  • 70 g Sultanas
  • 260 g Light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp Mixed spice
  • 1/4 tsp Nutmeg
  • 1 Orange
  • 305g Plain flour
  • 220 g Butter

Instructions

  1. Peel and chop the apples into small pieces. Add the sultanas, 70g of the light brown sugar, cinnamon, mixed spice, nutmeg and the zest of the orange
  2. Mix it all together and spread it out into a 31x21cm (12x8 inches) dish
  3. For the crumble mix 190g of the light brown sugar and the plain flour together. Then add the butter, cut into cubes, and rub it with your fingers until it looks like breadcrumbs
  4. Spread the crumble topping over the fruit and bake it on 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4 for 45 minutes until golden and bubbling
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Fruit Strudel with Homemade Filo Pastry

Fruit Strudel with Homemade Filo Pastry

I’ve always said that making filo pastry from scratch is absolute madness and a pursuit only to be undertaken if you are a Great British Bake Off contestant. However secretly I have been harbouring a craving to make it myself. Just to see what it was like, out of curiosity more than anything. Now I live with my boyfriend I have so much more time at weekends (we used to live in different cities) so I have time for big baking projects like this. So I did it! Here’s what happened…

I decided to make a strudel as this is one of the most well known filo bakes so I thought it was a good place to begin. I started making the filo pastry by sieving 250g plain flour into a bowl. In a separate bowl I beat one egg with 125ml water, 1/2 tsp lemon juice and a pinch of salt. The recipe told me to put the flour on the work surface (hence the photo above) and pour the egg mixture into it. This is a bad idea. I do not recommend it as it is stupidly messy. Just mix it in a bowl until a dough forms.

The dough will be quite wet, so knead it on a floured surface until it becomes smooth. This takes about 10 minutes. I oiled my hands to stop it sticking to them and found this quite effective.

I covered my dining table with an old, but clean, bed sheet. You could also use a tablecloth. You may get butter or fruit juice on it so don’t use your best linen. Then I floured it evenly and well.

I rolled out the dough as much as I could with a rolling pin, then covered it with a damp tea towel for 15 minutes. I used more flour and kept the dough moving so it wouldn’t stick to the sheet.

Then I started stretching! I pulled and stretched the dough gently, letting it stretch with its own weight. It wasn’t as hard as I imagined as it is naturally a very stretch dough. It did tear several times but I was expecting that so I wasn’t too concerned. It was hard to keep the edges thin and they stayed thicker all the way around.

After brushing melted butter all over the dough, I sprinkled it with a mixture of 100g soft light brown sugar, the zest of 1 lemon and 1 tsp cinnamon.

I then sprinkled it with one punnet of blueberries, one punnet of raspberries and 3 bramley apples chopped into berry sized pieces. Using the bed sheet I rolled up the strudel gently and slowly.

I put it on a baking sheet and left it overnight in the fridge. The next day a lot of juice had released from the fruit, I mopped it up but I was concerned about how thin the pastry looked on top, how soggy it was on the bottom and how many holes there were in it all over.

So I made more! I used half of the quantity and it stretched a lot better this time and I was much more careful about not making holes.

I re-covered the top and bottom with pieces of the new pastry. It wasn’t the neatest but I felt more confident that it wouldn’t fall apart when baking. If I hadn’t left it overnight, I probably wouldn’t have done this. I brushed it all over with melted butter to make it nice and golden when it baked.

I baked it on 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4 for 35 minutes. The fruit released a lot more juice, so I transferred it to a wire rack (with a tray underneath) to cool. You can of course serve it straight away, or let it cool then warm up later. I thought it tasted better hot.

I sliced it up and served it with custard (not homemade, come on… I’d done enough!) I was pleased with how well it had baked despite being left overnight, the filo was beautifully golden, layered nicely and there was a good proportion of fruit. In some areas like the ends there was too much pastry, but if you’re tucking it in to seal it you can’t really avoid this. I’d definitely add more spices if I make it again, but you could taste the cinnamon. It all got eaten up and I got some good comments from colleagues and family. Overall I was really proud of myself and it felt good to overcome this baking challenge!

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Fruit Strudel with Homemade Filo Pastry

Ingredients

  • 250 g Plain flour
  • 1 Egg
  • 125 ml Water
  • 1 Lemon
  • A pinch of Salt
  • 25 g Butter melted
  • 100 g Soft light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon
  • 3 Bramley apples
  • 250 g Fresh raspberries
  • 250 g Blueberries

Instructions

  1. Start by making the filo pastry, sieve the plain flour into a bowl. In a separate bowl beat the egg with the water, 1/2 tsp lemon juice and salt, then mix with the flour
  2. Knead the dough on a floured surface for 10 minutes. Oil your hands to stop it sticking to them
  3. Cover a dining table with an old, but clean, bed sheet or tablecloth. Flour it evenly and well
  4. Roll out the dough as much as you can with a rolling pin, then cover it with a damp tea towel for 15 minutes
  5. Pull and stretch the dough gently, letting it stretch with its own weight
  6. After brushing melted butter all over the dough, I sprinkled it with a mixture of the soft light brown sugar, the zest of the lemon and the cinnamon
  7. Sprinkle the blueberries, raspberries and chopped apples over the pastry. Using the bed sheet, roll up the strudel gently and slowly
  8. Put it on a baking sheet and bake it on 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4 for 35 minutes
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