Wednesday 27 March 2013

New York Cheesecake

I love cheesecake, and I especially love New York cheesecake, which is a type of baked cheesecake that uses a lot of cream cheese to make it taste really rich and yummy. Here's a video of how to make it. Don't do what I did - it is best if the egg shells don't get blended into the mixture. We did get them all out, though, and even the best chefs make mistakes!

Here's what I did.
For the base
250g digestive biscuits
125g melted butter
Handful of oats

For the filling
750g cream cheese
220g caster sugar
35g plain flour
2 teaspoons orange zest
2 teaspoons lemon zest
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
4 eggs
185ml double cream

1. Preheat the oven to 150C.
2. Use a little butter to grease the base and edges of a baking tin.
3. Use a food processor to smash up 250g digestive biscuits. My mummy says she used to do this by putting the biscuits in a plastic food bag, and smashing them with a rolling pin. My way is better, though!
4. Add a handful of oats. They give an extra texture and flavour.
5. Add the melted butter and mix until it all starts to stick together.
6. Press the mix into the bottom of the tin, and about 3/4 up the sides.
7. Put the tin in the fridge for now.
8. Use an electric mixer to mix the cream cheese, sugar, flour, vanilla essence, orange and lemon zests together in a bowl. Carefully add one egg at a time. Be careful with those shells!
9. Once it is all mixed together, add the cream and mix until it is just combined.
10. Take the base out of the fridge and pour the filling over.
11. If you have any filling left over, pour it into ramekins.
12. Put the base (and ramekins) into the oven. The cheesecake will take about 1hour 25minutes (ramekins take less time). Cook until the centre is just set.
13. Cool the cheesecake on a rack, then put into the fridge for at least three hours before serving.
14. When completely chilled, remove from the tin (it shrinks away from the edge slightly, making it easier) and enjoy!

Recipe adapted from 'I want to be a chef around the world' by Murdoch Books, which I got for my birthday recently.

Saturday 23 March 2013

Chicken chasseur

Mummy and Daddy recently bought a big new pan, so this is a perfect time for a recipe I haven't tried before... chicken chasseur!

4 chicken legs (thighs and drumsticks)
30g plain flour
Knob of butter
2 tbsp organic rape seed oil
1 onion, roughly chopped
200g mushrooms
100ml white wine
100ml double cream
200ml chicken stock
100ml passata
Pinch of dried, mixed herbs (although fresh thyme would have been better)
4 carrots
Garlic (or use garlic paste or granules if you don't have any fresh)

1. Coat the chicken in the flour. Heat about half of the oil in the (new large) pan and fry the chicken until browned. Remember to turn the chicken. It should only take a few minutes on each side. Drop in the butter, too.
2. Take the chicken out the pan and put to one side. Add the rest of the oil and put in the onion, then garlic, and heat until soft. Add the mushrooms, and then the herbs.
3. Once the mushrooms are soft, add the white wine and put the chicken back in the pan. Add the chicken stock and passata and bring to the boil. Add the carrots to the pan.
4. Simmer for about 30 minutes.
5. Next, add the double-cream and stir. Heat for about five minutes.
6. Serve with vegetables or potatoes, or you could even try serving with pasta for a change.

Saturday 2 March 2013

Seductively Simple Heavenly Hearts

Seductively Simple Heavenly Hearts
Daniel has very kindly let mum team up with him to make this recipe, although when the pot of Greek Gods Honey & Strawberry yogurt arrived, he knew just who the recipe should be made for...the love of his life...Blue Bear.

Daniel and Blue Bear got very excited when the yogurt arrived!
So we designed our recipe using a shape that is recognised by all mankind (and bear-kind) as a symbol of love...a heart shape.

Using ready rolled puff pastry (even tops chefs admit that it is far better to cheat with puff pastry than to make your own from scratch), we cut heart shapes and topped them with a layer of good quality jam, thinly sliced apple, then brushed lightly with a little melted butter.

We added a little sprinkle of sugar (the butter and sugar will just help them brown nicely in the oven). Then we popped them in the oven for 15-20 minutes. Oven temperature needs to be around 180 - 200 C (you will know your own oven best).
The ingredients you'll need
Next, we topped with Greek Gods Honey & Strawberry yogurt, and some pieces of strawberry. You can use blueberries too if you like.

These hearts are so simple to make, will certainly wow the love of your life and you can even unleash a little creative flair in how you arrange your toppings. Our favourite was the design where half the heart had the topping on and the other half was left for the pastry to fully puff up.

A simple but scrumptious topping!
Let's see what Aphrodite thought (well aphrodite-bear)...

Blue Bear gets into character to try out our love inspired Aphrodite-Bear. 
We were kindly sent a 680g pot of Honey & Strawberry Greek Style yogurt from The Greek Gods for the purpose of this blog post. However, I have written this item straight on the shopping list to buy again as it is really tasty and makes a fabulous alternative to cream or ice cream (and also tastes great on it's own - even though the 680g pot is a very generously sized pot - it didn't last long in our household as it was just soooo delicious).

Here's the ingredients list to add to your shopping list:

1 pack Ready rolled puff pastry
A couple of teaspoons of good quality jam (we used Super Jam as it uses grape juice instead of sugar to sweeten it.) You could of course make your own if you like.
Pot of Greek Gods Honey & Strawberry Greek Style yogurt. You won't need to use the whole pot so you'll have some left to eat on its own too (mmmm....heavenly!)
1 apple - thinly sliced.
a little butter - melted
A sprinkle of sugar.
This recipe was certainly inspired by Daniel and Blue Bear's true love

This is our entry into the Foodies 100 Greek Gods competition to wow aphrodite with a love inspired recipe! 

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