Double Decker Cheesecake

I devised this recipe for my Brother in Law who said he would buy someone whatever present they wanted if they made it for him. I’m really looking forward to receiving my Birkin.

Anyway, he loved it so much he took the left overs home so it was definitely a winner. If you’re feeling a bit low on sugar make it. I hope someone buys you a Birkin if you make it for them. Make this a good few hours before you are going to eat it as it needs time to set.

Ingredients

For the base

250g cookies

100g butter

1 tablespoon caster sugar

For the Filling

500g cream cheese

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

100g icing sugar

100g dark chocolate

100ml double cream

1 tablespoon cocoa powder

1 large Double Decker – chopped

Topping

1 pack of Dinky Deckers

Method

Grease and line a loose bottomed 8 inch tin with greaseproof paper.

First we need to make the base so blitz your cookies into crumbs the best way you can. I wrap mine in wax wrap paper and bash with a rolling pin but you can whizz in a blender if you prefer.

When the cookies have turned to crumbs place a large saucepan over a low heat and melt your butter, then add your cookie crumbs so they are all fully coated in butter. Add your caster sugar and make sure it’s completely combined.

Now spoon the crumbs into your tin making sure they are all compact to form a good base. I press down on them to make them as compact as I can. Place tin in the fridge on a baking tray while you make the filling.

For the filling

Measure your cream cheese and icing sugar into a large mixing bowl and beat together. Beat in your vanilla extract and add your cream and cocoa powder beating all the time.

Melt your chocolate and fold into the mix along with your chopped up Double Decker. I chopped this into about 16 little squares.

Leave to set in the fridge for the day or over night would be even better. Decorate the top with your Dinky Deckers.

Gift it to someone who is going to be the happiest person in the world!


Mint Chocolate Mousse

I don’t know anyone who would be able to resist this. As always with my recipes, it’s easy to make and utterly delicious. I prefer using eating chocolate rather than cooking chocolate as the mousse is denser. These are a great idea for a dessert to serve when you have guests over. A delightful end to a meal and they look cute when you bring them out to guests.

Serves 4

Ingredients

180g milk chocolate

70ml double cream

4 egg whites

3 tablespoons caster sugar

1 teaspoon of peppermint essence

Mint leaves to garnish

Method

Melt your chocolate. I do this with short bursts in the microwave but feel free to melt it in a bowl over a pan of hot water.

Whisk your egg whites in a separate bowl. Add your sugar and whisk until light and frothy.

Add this to your chocolate mixture bit by bit along with your mint essence.

Whisk until smooth and glossy so all the ingredients are fully combined together.

Spoon into your serving dishes and pop in the fridge to set for a few hours, over night if possible.

Serve chilled from the fridge and garnish with a mint leaf.


Coconut and Lime cheesecake

There aren’t enough hours in the day to make all the cheesecakes I’ve dreamt up but you can never have enough cheesecakes in my book so I’ll give it a good go!

Crunchy coconut biscuit base, creamy topping finished off with more coconut and zesty lime. The flavours are a match made in heaven. A beautiful Summer dessert that I’ll definitely be making again and again. Make this the day ahead or on the morning if you need if for after dinner as although it’s easy to make you do need to chill it for a few hours to get the best result.

Ingredients

100g butter

250g coconut biscuits

2 x 280g tubs of cream cheese

100g icing sugar

300g whipping cream

50g dessicated coconut and more to scatter on the top to decorate

Juice of 1 lime

Zest of 1 lime

Method

Start by grating the zest of your lime and set aside.

Now measure out your biscuits and place them in double sandwich bags or similar explode proof material. I like to use waxwraps for this part and fold around the biscuits so none of the crumbs can escape. Bash them into crumbs with your rolling pin. Alternatively you could blend but I find the dry biscuits are sometimes a bit difficult to blend.

Line and grease a loose bottomed cake tin (8 inch).

Melt your butter in a saucepan and once it’s runny add your biscuit crumbs. Stir the mixture together so the crumbs are all buttery and coated fully in the buttery liquid.

Transfer to your cake tin and press down to form the base. Chill in the fridge for an hour or so.

While the base is chilling you can be getting on with the rest of the cheesecake.

Whip up your cream cheese, icing sugar, lime juice and coconut. In a separate bowl whip up your cream and then fold it into your cream cheese mixture.

Remove your base from the fridge and spread your mixture onto it. Shake over your coconut and sprinkle on your grated lime zest.

Chill for at least 4 hours or overnight.


Raspberry Ripple and Elderflower Ice Cream

Summer dessert inspiration alert! Wait no more for the ice cream man. Is there even such a thing anymore?!

Who can believe how simple it is to make your own ice cream? The flavour options are endless. A quick and easy dessert that can be served with crumbles and cakes or simply by itself.

Ingredients

160g fresh raspberries

600ml double cream

2 tablespoons elderflower cordial

2 tablespoons icing sugar

Ripple

50g fresh raspberries

15g caster sugar

2 tablespoons orange juice

Method

With a hand blender or blender whizz up your 160g raspberries ( save the 50g for the ripple) with your elderflower cordial. Don’t worry if you leave a few chunky bits as this will add to the texture and be lovely.

Add your cream and icing sugar to a large mixing bowl and pour in your berry mixture that you’ve just blended.

Pour this into a freezer proof dish. You can use a loaf cake tin and this will be perfect.

Now in a separate bowl blend up your raspberries with your orange juice and add to a small saucepan over a low heat. Stir in your sugar. Once this is a gorgeous red liquid swirl it through your ice cream mixture for your ripple effect.

Cover and freeze overnight for the best success.

Tip: Take out of the freezer 10 minutes or so before you want to serve. Serve with even more raspberries for added delight.


Raspberry and Pistachio Amaretto Trifles

I love making trifles. There’s something so 50’s housewife about it. They’re versatile so you can make as many delightful varieties until your hearts content. Mia loves them so I’m always experimenting with different flavours and this raspberry, pistachio and Amaretto one is a delight.

Of course you could faff about making your own custard and jelly but why bother when this quick and easy version tastes as good. I hope you like it.

Makes 4

Ingredients

4 teaspoons Amaretto

Sachet of raspberry jelly

Punnet of raspberries

Half a madeira cake

Large carton of custard

270ml whipping cream

Pistachios to decorate

Method

Divide your raspberries between your glasses.

Make up your jelly mix according to instructions in a jug and pour over and divide between your four glasses.

Allow to set in the fridge for a couple of yours or so.

When the jelly is set pour over an inch or two of custard into each glass.

Cube up your madeira cake and divide evenly between the glasses. I used about four cubes each.

Now pour over a teaspoon of Amaretto each over the sponge pieces.

Whip up your cream so it is not too thick but still holds it shape. Divide over the four glasses and top with pistachios.

Voila!

Tip: If Amaretto is not your thing use sherry or orange juice instead.


Strawberry and Passion Fruit Eton Mess

Now the weather’s warming up and everyone’s in the mood for having lots of fun in the garden I thought I’d share my gorgeous strawberry passion fruit Eton Mess recipe with you.

Crunchy, glossy, vanilla meringue smothered in fresh double cream and drenched in fruit. Bliss served in the garden with a glass of rosé.

Ingredients

x4 egg whites

225g caster sugar

1 teaspoon white wine vinegar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract 225g

Topping

Double cream – medium tub – whipped until thick

Punnet of strawberries

3 passion fruits

Mint leaves to decorate

Method

Pre heat oven to 150c / 130c

Line a large baking sheet. Draw round a dinner plate as a template.

Start by separating your eggs and putting all your egg whites into a large mixing bowl. Whisk until thick and fluffy.

Now bit by bit beat in your caster sugar until if forms glossy, marshmallowy peaks.

Whisk in your vinegar, then add your vanilla extract and whisk some more.

Spoon onto your circle of the lined baking sheet.

Bake on the bottom shelf of your oven for approximately 55 minutes. It will start to rise and look much more impressive than it did to start with.

Allow to cool for as long as you have. Some people even leave it in the oven overnight (switched off obviously).

Remove from the oven once fully cool and crumble into a large bowl, dollop over your whipped cream and lastly add your chopped strawberries and passion fruit seeds and juice. Give a gentle mix to combine and serve in little individual bowls garnished with a fresh mint leaf.


Banoffee Pie

This delicious classic will have everyone exploding with glee! Bananas, caramel, whipped cream…. heaven and so so easy to make. I make it with a choc chip cookie base just to be extra!

Possibly one of the most delightful desserts that I have made.

Ingredients

200g choc chip cookies (feel free to double up this and the butter for a chunkier base)

80g butter – melted

Tin of caramel sauce – I used Carnation 397g

284 ml whipping cream

2 small bananas – chopped into rounds

A square or two of milk chocolate to shave over for decoration

Method

Pop your cookies in two sandwich bags doubled up and bash into small crumbs with a rolling pin.

Place your butter in a pan over a low heat and once it has melted add your biscuit crumbs, stirring all the while to combine and coat them in the butter.

Line a 20cm loose bottomed cake tin and press the crumbs into the base. It will look like there’s not enough but spread them thinly and they will fully cover the base. If you want to use double measures for this feel free.

Allow to set in the fridge for around an hour or so.

Remove from fridge and pour over your caramel sauce. Now place your chopped banana rounds onto the caramel.

Top them with your fluffy whipped cream and shave over some milk chocolate to finish off.

This is utterly delicious, trust me there will be none left!


Apple and Cinnamon Crumble

When you know you know! Ha ha. This cinnamon infused apple crumble is the ultimate comfort food. Crisp, tart apple coated in crunchy crumble and smothered in hot custard.

So simple and delicious you’ll never buy one in the supermarket again!

I cook for those that I love to show love, to comfort and there’s no better comfort food than this.

Ingredients

3 Bramley apples

1 teaspoon cinnamon

Juice of half a lemon

1 tablespoon butter

Topping

225g plain flour

100g butter – diced

2 tablespoons brown sugar

1/2 a lemon squeezed over apples

Tablespoon demerara to sprinkle

Method

Pre heat oven to 190C / 170C fan

Peel, core and slice your apples.

Add to a saucepan with your tablespoon of butter and juice of half a lemon.

Stir over a low heat to soften and transfer to your baking dish.

Sprinkle over your cinnamon.

Set aside while you make your topping.

In a separate large mixing bowl mix together your flour, diced butter and brown sugar. I put my hands in and rub it all together to form a crumbly mixture.

When it’s looking crumbly, scatter it all over your apples in your baking dish and pat down a little so it covers all of the apples.

Sprinkle over a tablespoon of demerara for extra crunch and bake in the centre of the oven for approximately 35 minutes.

Serve with lots of hot custard.


Mars Ice Cream

I love experimenting with new ice cream flavours. I had an abundance of these mini Mars bars left over from the Christmas goodies so here we are.

If I’d have known making ice cream was so simple I’d have done it years ago. It’s so creamy and delicious. I can’t stop thinking about what flavour to make next? Have you ever made your own ice cream?

Ingredients

300ml double cream

2 teaspoons caramel syrup

50g sugar

x8 mini Mars bars ( Celebrations size)

Method

Simply put all your ingredients into the blender and blitz until smooth. I’d recommend a blender rather than a stick blender as you need a bit of power to blast the Mars bars until they are smooth. Once the mixture is smooth transfer to your freezer proof dish or tin.

Cover with clingfilm and freeze overnight. Remove 5 minutes or so before serving.

Tip: Serve in cornets with a mini Mars bar to decorate.


Cinnamon Pancakes

Who doesn’t love a pancake? We went on a family holiday to Tunisia years ago and they had a beach front pancake hut on the hotel grounds. My Dad ate so many every day that my Mum banned him from going into there half way through the holiday!

When we are allowed Dad, I will make you a huge stack and we won’t tell Mum! My Mum used to pretend it wasn’t pancake day when we were little as she dreaded standing over a hot stove for hours while we all had a pancake eating contest. How cruel ha ha. That’s almost as mean as saying when you hear the ice cream man’s tune that means he’s run out of ice cream.

I’m sure she’d give anything to have as all lined up at the moment waiting for pancakes.

These ones are the thicker and fluffier American type. We love them with lemon and sugar, smothered in maple syrup, a dollop of vanilla ice cream and sometimes crispy bacon.

What do you add to yours?

Makes 2 large pancakes or 4 small ones ( Just double up recipe for more)

Ingredients

1 egg

150ml milk – I use semi skimmed

1 teaspoons cinnamon

110g plain flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

Knob of butter to coat the pan

Method

Add all the ingredients to your mixing bowl except the butter and whisk until smooth. Don’t over whisk.

You don’t need to rest your batter mix but if you do it will result in lighter, fluffier pancakes.

Heat a large frying pan, add your butter and when it starts to sizzle add a ladle full of your pancake batter mix. When it starts to bubble slide your pan slice underneath and flip. Heat this side for a moment or two until it looks light and fluffy and serve.

Tip: Serve with whatever takes your fancy but these work so well with lemon, sugar, maple syrup and ice cream. For a weekend treat top all of that with crispy bacon.