1 x 200g packet of coconut biscuits (Tennis biscuits) 80g butter, melted 800g cream cheese 250g crème fraîche 180g caster sugar 40g flour 4 eggs grated rind of 3 lemons 100ml lemon juice 10ml vanilla Meringue: 4 egg whites 70g sugar a pinch of salt
Preheat your oven to 140℃ and spray a 22cm loose-bottom cake tin with cooking spray. Break the biscuits into the bowl of a food processor and blitz to crumbs. Drizzle in the melted butter with the engine running. The mixture should resemble wet sand. Spoon the biscuit mixture into the prepared cake tin, spread it out evenly and press it down on the bottom with the back of a spoon. Set aside. Add the cream cheese, crème fraîche, caster sugar, flour, eggs, lemon rind, lemon juice and vanilla to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium speed until you have a very smooth mixture. Set aside. Wrap the outside of the prepared cake tin with aluminium foil, place the tin in a roasting tin and pour 2-3cm water into the roasting tin. Place in the oven and bake for 1,5-2 hours, until set like wobbly jelly. Turn off the oven, open the door and allow the cake to cool to room temperature. Refrigerate the cheesecake in the baking tin for 3-4 hours.
Meringue: Add the egg whites, sugar and salt to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Place the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water (without the bottom touching the water). Whisk the mixture by hand until the sugar has dissolved and it burns your finger when you touch it. Transfer the bowl to the mixer and whisk at the highest speed until firm, glossy peaks form. Spoon or pipe the meringue onto the cheesecake and flame with a blowtorch before serving.
100g pistacchio nuts, roughly chopped about 16 medium figs 50ml honey
For the pastry: Add the butter and sifted icing sugar to the bowl of a food processor. Run the machine until the mixture is well combined and pasty. Add the flour and pulse until the mixture resembles wet sand. Scrape down. Drizzle a few drops of the egg into the bowl with the engine running. Add a few more drops at a time until the mixture comes together. (You may have egg left and that is okay – the less you need the crispier the pastry!) Shape the pastry into a disc, wrap it with cling wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Preheat your oven to 190℃. You will use a 22cm loose-bottom flan tin but do not spray or butter the tin! Roll the pastry to a 3mm thickness and line the bottom and sides of the tin. Dock the pastry with a fork and bake blind for 15 minutes. Remove the baking paper and weights/beans and set aside to cool.
For the Crème Pâtissière: Add the corn flour to a mixing bowl. Pour a small amount of the milk into the owl and stir to make a slurry with the corn flour. Add the egg yolks and half the sugar. Whisk by hand until the sugar has dissolved. Set aside. Pour the rest of the milk and the rest of the sugar into a small saucepan. Set over medium heat and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Take the milk from the heat as soon as tiny bubbles start to appear around the edge of the saucepan. Drizzle the warm mixture onto the egg mixture in a very thin stream while whisking continuously. Now pour the mixture back into the saucepan and place on a medium-low heat. Stir until the mixture is thick and smooth. Allow to cook for about 30 seconds. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla. Pour the mixture into a shallow bowl, place a piece of plastic wrap directly onto the surface and allow to cool completely.
Whisk the mixture by hand once it is at room temperature, until it is smooth. Spoon it into a piping bag and pipe into the prepared pastry shell. Scatter the chopped pistachio evenly over the surface. Cut a cross into the top third of each fig and place the figs side-by-side on the pistachio. Drizzle the honey over the figs before serving.
500g self-raising flour 10ml cream of tartar 10ml bicarbonate of soda 10ml ground ginger 2ml salt 170g butter, cubed 170g golden syrup 350g brown sugar 2 eggs 12 chocolate balls, halved 250ml cream, whipped
Preheat your oven to 180℃ and spray a 24-hole mini-muffin pan with cooking spray. Sift together the flour, cream of tartar, bicarbonate of soda, ginger and salt. Add the cubed butter and rub in with your fingers. Set aside. Add the syrup and sugar to a saucepan set of medium-low heat and stir until the sugar has almost completely dissolved. The mixture should be very runny. Cool for 5 minutes. Whisk the eggs together in a bowl and add it to the syrup mixture while whisking. Pour the mixture into the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly – there should be no dry flour left. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. Roll teaspoonfuls of dough into balls and place in the muffin pans. Flatten the balls with your fingers and then make an indent with a small shot glass/the back of a lemon juicer. See video below. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and immediately press the indents like you did before baking. Place half a chocolate ball in each hollow and set aside to cool. Top each ginger cup with whipped cream to serve.
This is one of the easiest and quickest cakes you will ever bake. It is delicious to eat as is and perfect when making trifle!
1 x 385g can condensed milk 4 eggs 60g butter, melted 5ml vanilla 180g self-raising flour 1 x 360g can caramel treat 250ml cream
Preheat your oven to 180℃ and spray a bundt cake tin with cooking spray. Add the condensed milk, eggs, butter and vanilla to a mixing bowl and whisk together with electric beaters. Sift over the flour and beat together on high speed for 1 minute. Pour the batter into the prepared bundt cake tin and bake for 35 minutes. Allow the cake to cool in the tin for 10 minutes before inverting it onto a serving plate. Cool completely. Serve the cake with dollops of caramel treat swirled into the whipped cream.
Preheat your oven to 150℃. Draw a 22cm diameter circle on a piece of baking paper and place on a baking sheet. Add the egg whites to a large mixing bowl and beat with an electric whisk until soft peak stage. Add the sugar a spoonful at a time while whisking continuously. Add the vinegar, cornflour and vanilla and fold through. Spoon the mixture onto the circle (on the prepared tray) and shape it into a round dome. Place the pavlova in the oven and turn the temperature down to 120℃. Bake the pavlova for 1 hour 15 minutes. Turn off the oven but do not open the oven door. Allow the pavlova to cool in the oven for 2 hours. Whip the fresh cream and spoon onto the fully cooled pavlova. Top with the cherries and strawberries and drizzle over some passionfruit.
This is a cheat’s shortcut to cinnamon buns but in this case, made with puff pastry.
1 packet puff pastry 125ml cinnamon sugar egg-wash: 1 egg yolk + 30ml water whisked together 250ml icing sugar
Preheat your oven to 190℃ and line a baking sheet with baking paper. Lay the puff pastry flat on a working surface and sprinkle the cinnamon sugar over. Cut the pastry into strips that are more or less 1,5cm X 12cm. Roll each strip in its length and place each roll on the prepared baking sheet with the cut side up. (showing the spiral) Brush the rolls with the egg wash and bake in the oven for 25 minutes. Remove the rolls and cool completely. Mix the glaze by sifting the icing sugar and adding a few drops of hot water at a time. Be careful not to add too much water at a time as you are looking for a very thick consistency. Now drizzle the glaze over the cooled pastries and set aside for about 30 minutes. Keep the pastries in a sealed container.
Preheat your oven to 180℃ and line a 20cm x 20cm baking tin with baking paper. Add the melted butter and sugar to a large mixing bowl and whisk together. Add the espresso, eggs, vanilla and melted chocolate and whisk to combine. Now add the flour, cocoa powder and salt. Fold the ingredients together until you have a smooth batter. Add the chopped chocolate and fold through. Scrape the mixture into the prepared baking tin and set aside.
For the cheesecake swirl: Add the cream cheese, sugar, egg yolk and vanilla to a mixing bowl and whisk together until smooth. Spoon dollops of the cheesecake batter across the surface of the brownie mixture. Swirl the cheesecake mixture through the brownie batter with a small knife. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes. Cool the brownies in the baking tin before removing and slicing.
For the base: Place the biscuits in a food processor and process to a fine crumb. Spoon the biscuit crumbs into a mixing bowl and add the sugar and melted butter. Mix together until it resembles wet sand. Spoon the mixture into a 23cm loose-bottom cake tin and press evenly over the base. Place in the refrigerator.
For the mousse-cheesecake: Preheat your oven to 150℃. Place the chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water and allow to melt until completely smooth. Add the cream cheese, chocolate, cocoa powder and sugar to a mixing bowl and whisk with an electric mixer until incorporated. Add the vanilla and eggs and whisk until the mixture is smooth and glossy. Set aside. Add the cream to another mixing bowl and sift the icing sugar into the bowl. Whisk until the cream develops a mousse-y texture and soft peaks form. Fold the cream into the cream cheese mixture – do this in 3-4 batches. Fold until just incorporated. Pour the cheesecake mixture into the cake tin with the biscuit base. Smooth the top and give the cake tin a jiggle to let out any air bubbles. Place the cake tin soon top of a sheet of aluminium foil and fold the foil up the sides on the outside of the tin. Place the cake tin into a roasting pan and fill the pan with 2,5cm of hot water. Bake the cake for 70 minutes. Check and refill the water in the roasting tin every 20 or so during baking. Remove the cheesecake from the oven and immediately run a sharp knife around the outside of the cake to release it from the tin. Allow the cheesecake to cool completely before removing the tin ring.
For the ganache: Add the cream to a small saucepan and warm it. Remove from the heat, add the chocolate and stir until the chocolate has melted and the mixture is smooth. Set the cheesecake on a wire cooling rack, inside a baking sheet and pour the ganache over the cake. Refrigerate for 30 minutes before serving.
1 x 385g can of condensed milk 60g butter, softened 190ml sugar 10ml vanilla 2 eggs 125ml flour 125ml cocoa powder, sifted 1,2ml salt 80g dark chocolate, finely chopped 80g dark chocolate, chopped a handful of pistachio nuts
Preheat your oven to 180℃ and line a 20cm x 20cm baking tin with baking paper. Add the condensed milk, butter and sugar to a large mixing bowl and cream together with a hand-held mixer, until smooth. Add the vanilla and eggs and mix for another minute. Now add the flour, cocoa powder and salt and mix again on low speed. Add the chopped chocolate and stir through with a spatula. Pour the batter into the prepared baking tin and bake for 45 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool in the baking tin. Add the 80g chocolate to a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan with simmering water and allow to melt. Drizzle the chocolate over the brownies and sprinkle the pistachio nuts on top. Slice and serve.
The original cake, Kladdkaka, is a traditional Swedish bake but this is my take on it, resulting in a warm dessert that is somewhere between a brownie and a lava cake. From start to finish it will take you 30 minutes to put together this more-ish chocolate cake!
Preheat your oven to 180℃ and spray a 22cm loose-bottom cake tin with cooking spray. Dust the bottom of the tin with cocoa powder. Set aside. Add the chocolate and butter to a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water and stir every now and then until completely melted. Pour the chocolate-butter mixture into a mixing bowl. Add the flour, cocoa powder and sugar to the bowl and stir together by hand. Add the eggs and vanilla and stir until combined. Pour the batter into the cake tin and bake for 25 minutes. The cake should have a firm top that cracks when you apply pressure to it with your finger. Allow the cake to cool slightly in the cake tin. Run a knife between the cake and the tin and remove the cake ring. Serve warm with a dusting of icing sugar.