Tag: foodporn

A Snickers Cheesecake Loaf

As part of our regular Scoff Club, I made a ‘Blokey Snickers Cheesecake Loaf’ from Saved by Cake by Marian Keyes.  This is one of my favourite recipe books, as it is honest and fresh – while it details her battle with depression and how baking helped her through it all.

I can understand the link, as I myself find baking very therapeutic.  In fact, I was feeling a bit down this weekend and immediately, all I wanted to do was bake.  The fact that I didn’t have the required ingredients is a whole ‘nother story, so I just sat on the couch feeling sorry for myself.

Anyway, I digress..  This was one of the recipes that always caught my eye – it’s a rugged, badass cheesecake that looks amazing, and I just needed to try it for myself.

Here’s the recipe, courtesy of Marian Keyes..

Ingredients

Base

150g Milk chocolate digestive biscuits

50g Salted peanuts

75g Butter

Filling

250g Mascarpone cheese

250g Ricotta cheese

200g Caster sugar

2 Eggs

200ml Sour Cream

4 Snickers bars, chopped into chunks

To Decorate

Toffee sauce (the one out of a squeezy bottle)

Handful of salted peanuts

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 170°C.  Line a 1kg loaf tin with greaseproof or baking paper.

2. In a food processor whizz up the biscuits and peanuts. If you don’t have a food processor, you could just pop them into a Ziploc bag and use a rolling pin to smash them up.  Don’t blitz this mixture too much, as it must look rough and rugged – plus, if you keep blitzing, you will make something like peanut butter which is a total fail.  You should still be able to see parts of the peanuts.

3. Melt the butter in the microwave and stir into the biscuit mix. Mix it really well, and even when you think you’ve mixed it enough, mix it some more.  Tip this into the lined loaf tin and flatten it out.  I used the based of a glass to press it down.  Bake the base for 15 minutes, then take it out of the oven and allow it to cool.  Once it’s cooled for a bit, throw it in the fridge to set for a few hours.

4.  For the filling, you need to preheat the oven to 170°C again.  In a mixing bowl, beat the 2 cheeses together with an electric mixer.  Add in the sugar and eggs and beat well.  Pour in the sour cream and throw the snickers pieces in, then mix it all together.

5. Pour the mixture into the tin on top of the biscuit base and bake for an hour and a half.

6. You may look through the oven and find it is looking super dark and fudgey – apparently this is what it’s mean to do – so don’t have a panic attack like I did.  Also, I found my Snickers bars bubbled up and melted over out of the tin and into the oven causing what seemed like someone threw a smoke bomb into our apartment, Call of Duty style.  Keep smoke mask handy at all times.

7. After the hour and a half, turn the oven off and leave the cake sitting in the heat of the oven for ages, don’t open the door, don’t take it out.  Leave it as long as you possibly can.  I was tired, went to bed and took it out the next morning, but I’m sure an hour or two would have sufficed.

8. Leave the cake to cool for a while then refrigerate overnight – again it helps the cake set properly, and you will definitely be glad you did this!

9. I surprisingly found it easy enough to remove the loaf from the tin just by holding onto the baking paper, and I found the tin slid off nicely.  Whew.  Serve with the toffee sauce drizzled all over the top and throw some of the peanuts over it too. I couldn’t find toffee sauce ANYWHERE (perhaps it’s more of a Brit thing) so I used Caramel squeezy sauce (I figured toffee is pretty close to caramel anyway) and it seemed to work well.  I suppose, if you’re an overachiever, you could just make your own toffee sauce, but I’ll leave that up to you.

For service, I wanted it to look as rustic as possible so I popped the loaf onto my big wooden chopping board and decorated in a careless manner.  I love the way it looked.  SUCCESS!  It was also rather delicious.  It’s not overly sweet (which I was worried it would be), but it seems the cheeses really balanced out the sweetness of the Snickers bars and caramel sauce.

You’re welcome! ;)

photo 1

Scoff Club

Two weekends ago, Ross and I hosted Gary and Jess for our regular family Scoff Club.

We decided to do things a little differently.  Usually, what happens is that we keep what we’re cooking a surprise until the guests arrive and find out what they’re being served.

Instead, we created an entire restaurant chain called Andross Burgers specializing in gourmet burgers.  Ross created a website from scratch, complete with pictures, a menu and even an order form.  Our guests had to order in advance via the website, for a bit of extra fun.

The burgers were delicious.  Ross and Gary had ‘The South African’ which was a lean lamb burger topped with chunky apricot chutney, grilled feta cheese, sauteed onions and cucumber ribbons.

photo 1(1)Jess had ‘The Hawaiian’ which was a chicken fillet burger with tomato relish, served with slivers of grilled pineapple and onion, crispy bacon, topped with melted cheddar cheese, mayonnaise and cucumber ribbons.

I had ‘The Paraguayan’ which was a chicken fillet burger with tomato relish on a bed of greens, smothered in a peanut cashew sauce, topped with fresh banana and cucumber ribbons.

All the burgers were served with sweet potato wedges.  It was all so delicious, if I do say so myself.

For dessert, I made a ‘Blokey Snickers Cheesecake Loaf’ – I got the recipe from the Marian Keyes recipe book.  I could only have a tiny slice (a moment on the lips, a lifetime on the hips), but from what I tasted, it was pretty yummy too.

photo 2I have no clue what we’ll make when it’s our turn to host again – we’re running out of ideas FAST!

6-Step Falafel

My mom sent me this recipe from her Fairlady magazine (October 2013 issue), and I decided to give it a bash.  I am a HUGE fan of Mediterranean cuisine, and this 6-step Falafel recipe was so easy, and DELICIOUS that I just had to share it.

Ingredients:

2 x 400g tinned chickpeas, rinsed & drained

2 garlic cloves

1/2 red onion, finely chopped

1 cup breadcrumbs

1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda

1 tsp baking powder

1 tbsp flour

1 egg

2 tsp cumin, ground

2 tsp coriander, ground

1/2 tsp dry chilli flakes

10g flatleaf parsley, chopped

10g coriander, chopped

Sea salt and black pepper

Vegetable oil for shallow frying

To serve:

Toasted pitas

Tzatziki

Fresh mint

Flatleaf parsley

Method:

Step 1:  Place the drained chickpeas in a food processor and blitz until smooth.

Step 2:  Add the remaining ingredients to the pureed chickpeas in the food processor, season well and blitz again until combined.

Step 3:  Place the pureed mixture into a bowl, shape into small balls and place on a lined baking tray.  The mixture will seem quite dry – but it came together nicely when shaping.

Step 4:  Heat a frying pan with oil, fry the falafel in batches for 2-3 minutes on each side until golden brown and cooked through.  Drain on paper towel.

Step 5:  Heat up your pitas – you can use a griddle pan, oven or even a microwave (read the instructions on your pita bread pack).

Step 6:  To serve, place a dollop of tzatziki inside a pita, then add the falafel balls.  I also spread some hummus inside my pita.  Garnish with fresh mint and parsley.  Smash in face.

If this isn’t a girl loving her falafel, then I don’t know what is.