Showing posts from June, 2015

Chocolate Expresso Cheesecake

Having a BBQ tonight with friends so have made a cheesecake for dessert. Have made it many times and we love it because it's chocolate, but also has a hint of coffee in it.  It's an American recipe which I've changed from cups, so there are some odd sounding amounts! I use ordinary digestive biscuits with cocoa powder to get the chocolate base, as I find this works better than using chocolate biscuits; I think it gives a better chocolate taste. You need a 23cm springform tin.  Preheat oven 160C/gas3 Put 125g digestive biscuits in a processor and blitz till crumbs. Add 60g butter and 1 tbspn cocoa and blitz again till the mixture clumps together. Press this into the cake tin and put in the fridge. Whisk 140g caster sugar and 1 tbspn of expresso powder [or a good instant powder] together in a little bowl. Melt 350g dark chocolate [or a mixture of dark and milk] over simmering water or in the microwave. Keep this fluid but not hot. On a low speed on a mixer or a ha

Sweet Potato Cake with Chocolate Frosting

I'm not usually a fan of American frostings, finding them too sickly, but my daughter wanted me to make her a cake with frosting for her birthday. I decided on a sweet potato one because it's been on my list of 'to make' for ages, and I had bought a bag of sweet potatoes with my weekly shopping. I tasted a cake like this for the first time recently, and thought it was reminiscent of a carrot cake, one of my favourites, but without nuts! This is another recipe from an American paperback I brought back on one of my visits, 'Cakes my Mom used to make'. There are only a few photos in the book, and not one for this cake, so I had to use my imagination; the recipes are very basic so you need to work out exactly what you have to do - not really an ideal baking book. It's a 3-layer cake, filled with an orange cream and covered in a chocolate cream cheese frosting - so not many calories! Preheat oven 200C/gas6. Prick 350g sweet potatoes [ 2 medium or 1 large]

Mascarpone and Strawberry Traybake

This is an unusual American recipe as it has a pastry/dough layer, then jam, then fruit and finally a cream topping. It's a good way of using the strawberries that are around in the shops. I think a good quality jam makes a difference to the finished taste - I bought some from a local WI market. Preheat oven 180C/gas4 and grease a  large rectangular tin, about 23 x 30cm and line it with a long strip of foil with the ends hanging over the short edges;  this is to get the cake out of the tin more easily. Using an electric hand beater or a stand mixer, beat together 200g butter and 50g light brown sugar, mixing together for about a minute. Add 280g plain flour and mix together on a low speed. Turn the speed up a bit and beat together till you have a dough. Press the dough roughly in a layer in the foil lined tin. Bake the dough for about 20 mins till it's just starting to puff up. Take it out of the oven and cool while you get on with the rest of the cake. Leave the oven on

Rhubarb and yoghurt cake

This is another variation on the French yoghurt cake, but as I have rhubarb to use I thought it would be a change from a crumble or meringue. It's very easy  - you use the yoghurt pot as a measure. 250g rhubarb cut into smallish pieces plus  1 tspn cinnamon [or more if you like it] 1 small pot natural yoghurt [the pot is then the measure] 3 pots caster sugar 3 pots plain flour 3/4 pot of veg oil [I used sunflower] 1/4 pot milk 2 eggs 2 tspn baking powder pinch salt Preheat oven 200C/gas6 Grease and base line a 20cm round tin. Put all the ingredients except the rhubarb into a bowl and beat together. When it's all mixed, add the rhubarb and stir in. Spoon into the tin and bake for 30 mins till golden. Nice moist cake, so easy and quick to make. The rhubarb gives it a nice texture and some sharpness. I like these yoghurt cakes as they're simple to make and you can use so many different ingredients. You can change the yoghurt for a