Happy Feast-er Part 2

Along with all the lovely food and drink that we buy at Easter, people seem to have wanted to get involved with baking this year in order to make even more yummy Easter treats. And I’m not just talking about cakes. But chocolate, Creme egg Brownies. They seem to be all the craze this Easter so I just had to make my blog post a two parter and share it with you. The recipe and the photos that is – not the brownies themselves I’m afraid 😉

I think they have been popular because they combine our favourite things about chocolate and indulgence. They are typically Eastery because they have the Creme egg in but are also gooey and chocolatey and comforting. Perfect for the cold Easter we have had. They will also go amazingly well with ice-cream as a dessert (loved by adults and kids alike). And of course they aren’t just for Easter but can be made purposefully as a yummy treat. I was going to say they are great to ‘use’ up ‘left-over’ Creme eggs, but that is crazy! Left over? Use up? I bought a six-pack especially for the occasion!

egg brownie 5

I saw this on a friend’s Facebook… I like the choppiness of these ones!

My boyfriend and I made some this morning – it was nice to bake together really. I think it was the first time we had done that actually. Spilt sugar, lack of electric whisk and a messy kitchen aside…. it was a pleasant experience with a delicious looking outcome. I feel a fraud really because I haven’t tried one yet. But like lots of others, I saw previous pics and just had to make them – so you don’t need my word of mouth dribbling with saliva. You’ll probably want to make them anyway.

Here’s the recipe:

AMAZING CADBURY’S CREME EGG BROWNIES! (This was the title that I found on Facebook. I can’t argue with the excitable enthusiasm, capitalisation or exclamation mark…)

  •  185g unsalted butter
  • 185g best dark chocolate
  • 85g plain flour
  • 40g cocoa powder
  • 3 large eggs
  • 275g  caster sugar
  •  6 Cadbury’s Crème eggs cut in half. (we put them in the freezer for a couple of hours – which apparently makes them easier to cut.)
  1. Preheat the oven to 160C (Gas mark 5)  and grease a 20 cm square baking tin. (we lined with baking paper)
  2. Melt the butter and dark chocolate together either in the microwave or in a bowl over boiling water.
  3.  Break 3 large eggs into a large bowl and tip in 275g caster sugar. With an electric mixer on maximum speed, whisk the eggs and sugar until they look thick and creamy, like a milk shake. This can take 3-8 minutes. (or 20 if you don’t have an electric whisk – but we figured it was burning off the looming calories!)You will know it’s ready when the mixture becomes really pale and about double its original volume.
  4. Pour the cooled chocolate mixture over the eggy mousse, and then gently fold together.
  5. Hold a sieve over the bowl of eggy chocolate mixture and sift the cocoa and flour mixture, shaking the sieve from side to side, to cover the top evenly.
  6. Gently fold in to the mixture.
  7. Pour into the baking tin and cook for 15 minutes then take out of the over and gently press the Cadbury’s Creme egg halves into the mix, spacing them apart evenly.
  8. Put back in the over for another 5-10 minutes.
  9.  Leave to cool before removing from tin and cutting into squares.
Our version - it made 6. Two are waiting to be eaten with ice-cream this tea time :D

Our version – it made 6. Two are waiting to be eaten with ice-cream this tea time 😀

This was a version another friend made….

egg brownies

These are neat ones made by my boyfriend’s brother and girlfriend…..

egg brownnie 3

My sister made these. I did make fun because I thought they looked odd – but now I look again, I like how they have all the little eggs in. (She used caramel ones too).

So yes, I’ve acquired an unhealthy obsession with Creme egg brownies (and other people’s Facebook pics!) Luckily I haven’t eaten all these… or I wouldn’t be here to tell the sickly tale! But some baking inspiration for you all 😀

Keep feasting… 😉

XSXS

Advertisements

More Cheese Please!

I don’t know if any of you out there have heard of raclette? I only ask because I never had until we moved into our house and were given a Raclette grill. Raclette is the type of cheese. The grill and way of eating it seems to come from Germany/France/Austria. My boyfriend first had it when he was snowboarding in France and Austria and when we were offered this grill he was most excited! It is quite good actually and a very social way of eating.

Ours is like a teflon, round grill plate (some are made of marble/stone) – this is where you cook meat. Raw chicken, beef, pork etc. I know it is a bit weird to have raw meat on the table but the idea is to cook it together. Then underneath you have these heat elements and you put in little triangle trays full of the hard cheese and it melts. You then serve the melted cheese with your meat and we usually have cooked meats like salami, chorizo, parma ham etc with small, salad potatoes, salad and french stick. Yummy. If you break it down, I guess it is just potatoes, meat salad and melted cheese! But is the idea of cooking together and keep eating little bits. My boyfriend has boy’s nights and they get through nearly a wheel of cheese and have various rounds. They claim to get the cheese sweats! My boyfriend also claimed to have cheese ‘giggles’ once and he came to bed giggling uncontrollably…. it was the cheese, no not the beer of course 😉

This is the picture I found that is most similar to ours. Meat on top and cheese below!

 

You can be more adventurous too. I actually bought my boyfriend a Raclette book, which has ideas for social gatherings and different ways to use your grill. You can prepare vegetables/mushrooms/prawns and cook certain things in a pan before so they are a little cooked and finish them off with the cheese in the little trays after. Last night, I put some potatoes onto the grill to brown them and also peppers. So you can do what you like really.

We had Raclette on our French holiday in the summer. It was a little different though. you get a stand that holds the cheese (below) and then you scrape the cheese of either side. You get the cooked meats, potatoes, salad and bread but don’t cook raw meat. So not sure if that was something they added when they made these grills or what. It was still good though and nice to try it in a restaurant.

The raclette in France…. the cheese comes off either side….

The reason we had one last night, just us two, was that my workmate’s husband had been to France and bought us a pack of Raclette cheese back. So we thought it would be nice for a Friday evening. Sounds like we are getting old….. having a cheese evening! Haha. The cheese can actually be quite difficult to get. We have arranged to have 8 people come for a raclette evening before and then not been able to buy the cheese! Once, I was running round Lidl (who only seem to have it certain times of year), Sainsbury’s (who seemed to suddenly stop selling) and Aldi who didn’t have it at all! This may have been the time my friend bought some back that evening from a bigger Sainsbury’s in Conventry so the party could go ahead! At times. my boyfriend has gone to a cheese shop in a town 40 minutes away and then to Waitrose in another city! We are dedicated to our cheese!

You can actually use different cheeses in the grill and the book I bought shows this. But we just think that for how often you use it, you might as well use the proper stuff!

Hope, I’ve given you some new ideas for your Saturday tea. A tip: if you have a teflon one like ours, make sure you use plastic cutlery to put the meat on/take it off.. (my girl mates love making fun of my boyfriend who is the ‘fun police’ with his plastic on teflon!) Haha

Have a good day,

XSXS

A Cake of Cheese (Part 2)

Afternoon everyone. You may remember a while ago that I posted a recipe for a cheese cake in A Cake of Cheese. I have also shared with you, my love of chocolate in Sweet like Chocolate. I mentioned that I have a recipe for a dark chocolate cheesecake too….. one to take you to the dark side. 😉

It’s been a busy week with the Aussies. Tomorrow, we are having a huge family party and me and my Mum are sorting the food. This is where my cheesecake comes in. I am making one for tomorrow. The white chocolate cheese cake that I posted about previously is a recipe off my Aussie aunty, so it’s only right that I share my recipe in return right?

In the last few years, I have made this cheesecake probably ten times. I got the recipe from a Sunday magazine and it is a recipe of Tana Ramsey (Gordon’s wife). It requires a bit of messing and a lot of different bowls but it is so worth it! After making it so many times though, i still haven’t learnt that my cake tin is smaller than the one in the recipe so I always end up with too much! Hence, I make two mini ones too 😉 A happy mistake then really.

So without further ado… here is the recipe:

Chocolate Cheesecake

Preparation time: 15 minutes (though I swear it always takes me longer… must be the licking out the bowl!)

Cooking time: 45 min to 1 hour.

  • 300g of sweetened oat biscuits (they work well but I also use digestives a lot as some prefer them.)
  • 75g butter
  • 150g of good quality dark chocolate
  • 750g of mascarpone or cream cheese (Philadelphia or supermarket alternatives work well.)
  • 125g light brown sugar
  • 3 beaten medium eggs
  1. Preheat the oven to 180C/gas mark 4 (160C if fan oven). Line a 23cm nonstick springform tin with greaseproof paper (I just grease my tin with butter and it comes out fine.)
  2. Put your biscuits into a food processor until they are crumbs (or if you are unlucky like me, put them into a plastic bag and bash with a rolling-pin – another reason it takes me longer!) Then melt your butter, mix with the crumbs and press firmly into your tin to create the base. Put in the fridge for 10-15 min.
  3. Meanwhile, melt your chocolate in a bowl over a saucepan of hot water and set aside to cool (but not too much because i find it separates otherwise.)
  4. Beat you soft cheese and add the sugar and beat again. The stir in the beaten eggs and the chocolate and pour onto the chilled biscuit base.
  5. Put the cheesecake in the oven for 45min – 60 min (I find mine always needs the full hour.)
  6. When it is ready it will still have a wobble to it if you shake it slightly. It will continue to cook as it cools.
  7. Let it cool and refrigerate until ready to serve! Yummy.

You can add grated chocolate to the top too to make it really calorific! I put white chocolate onto mine once when it went wrong. This was when the dark chocolate separated from the cheese and it went speckly! So it was a hiding aid… but it makes it look pretty as an added extra.

My next challenge is to get the cheesecake to my Gran’s house without dropping it! 😉

Enjoy your chocolately treat this weekend!

XSXS

Mixing your drink… with more drink!

Hello everyone, I must start off with an apology. I didn’t post anything new yesterday! I know, shameful. And on a saturday when I had no work to do. I was annoyed at myself because I had managed to post something everyday up til then and every day of my first week back at work – even the day I had my pounding headache! Ok, my excuse is this. We went to a BBQ in the afternoon, at like 3pm. I figured that we would be back mid-evening since we were going so early… Mmmm turns out we got in at 11ish and I wasn’t in a suitable state to do most things, especially blog! So apologies for that. I will fill you in on all the gossip from last night to make up for it. 😉

I am pleased to say that I started the afternoon on water… see I was sensible – to begin with! I soon began the pouring of the wine though as the food sizzled on the BBQ. Mmmm a nice chilled, crisp white wine contrasted with a hot, juicy burger. Yum. Went down very nicely I can tell you. We also had hot dogs, salmon, potatoes and salad. There is something special about eating outside isn’t there? Especially in September, like we are living on borrowed summer time. Or it is a reward for the mainly rainy summer we did have. We chatted as we ate the al fresco food and soon a fly zapper was brought out that seemed the entertain the males for quite a while. It was tennis racket shaped and zapped and insect that it hit. The lads, naturally, tried to get each other with it… on the face, head, arms, legs etc… boys will be boys! My boyfriend soon tired of this though and then tried to kill spiders with it. I think we could do with one at home since I hate the eight legged monsters! We heard little bangs as the poor spiders fried against the zapper, causing much laughter. Things get funnier… the more you drink right?

Well things got hilarious later on! We were asked if we wanted a blow job. No.. don’t worry, it’s not one of those blogs. I don’t mean that sort. I mean the cocktail! I had never tried it before and my boyfriend’s twin brother wanted to make us all one. Here’s the recipe for those who would like to experience a blow job at a party 😉

Blow Job

  1. Pour one measure of Creme de Menthe into a small glass (we also used Blue Curacao and Cointreau but they may have different, just as rude names)
  2. Use a tea-spoon (someone recommended to turn it over) to allow one measure of Baileys to be poured slowly into the glass. So hold the spoon in the glass over the creme de menthe and pour the Baileys over it slowly. This is so it settles on top.
  3. You should have a two-layered drink and then down it in one – and make sure you swallow, not spit 😉

Get your tongue round that 😉

Since we had gone into ‘mixing’ mode of drinks.. we decided to play a drinking game with a ‘dirty pint’ in the middle. For those of you who do not know what this is, it’s basically a mixture of what everyone is drinking. Unfortunately, we all have different tastes so there was all sorts in there! Gin, wine, champagne, beer, cider, martini and Baileys. Bleurgh. We played Ring of Fire. You have a circle of cards, the full pack, in the middle of the table. Everyone takes it in turn to pick a card – and you mustn’t break the circle, which naturally gets harder as you go on. Every number and picture card means something different. For example ‘six’ means ‘dicks’ so all the men drink. ‘Fours’ means ‘whores’ (another form of positive terms for women I see!) so all the women drink. I am quite impressed I have remembered as much as I have actually for saying how full of blow jobs and martinis I was by this point! Occasionally, someone has to take punishments and drink from the ‘dirty pint’ in the middle and the last person has to finish it  – which surprise, surprise was me!! It was very curdled by that point, disgusting! Another rule was to not say the word ‘drink’. Being a drinking game and all, I tended to say it a lot – the more I drank, the more I said it! Also another rule when you pick an ‘eight’ is to choose a ‘mate’, who has to drink whenever you do. My poor friend, had to drink whenever I did, haha! Very much fun.

Yes, mixing drinks is always my downfall and I have paid for it today. Even in my 26th year and after three years of university drinking culture, I have not learnt this valuable lesson. I get bored and change my drink and I bow to peer pressure and ‘down it’ when told to! And of course the drinking games you cannot survive without consuming many different alcohols – well at least I can’t!

So learn from my mistakes and avoid mixing blow jobs with wine – and you can tell your boyfriends and husbands my advice too 😉

Have a good evening!

XSXS

A Cake of Cheese

Evening folks….

My bank holiday startedwith a walk this morning and then, with a worry that I had minus calories for the day,  I decided to make a cheese cake! It is my favourite thing to make and I like to think of it as my ‘signature’ dish. I always make a chocolate cheesecake for special occasions…or just a Friday night haha…. I actually ripped the recipe off Gordon Ramsey’s Wife as it was in a magazine. It is made with the best dark chocolate and is ooh so calorific and gooood! But that is not what today’s blog is about. Oh no. Today… I decided to go over to the not so dark side and make a white chocolate cheesecake, which is in fact a recipe off my aunty in australia…or whereoever she ripped the recipe from 😉

It got me thinking why is it called cheese cake? I used to think the whole ‘cheese’ thing was a myth but yes it does in fact have cheese in it of the soft variety. But why cake?! To me cakes are spongy and I have never met a cheesecake like that. The reason I tend to make cheesecakes is because they can rarely go wrong. Cakes can fail to rise, be too dry, taste too eggy etc. Cheesecakes may not set that well but this will not take away from the taste. A few of mine have decided to combine base with mixture when the base hasn’t set (this was the time I used Oreos) or they have been all gloopy or sometimes patches have chocolates have shown when the chocolate had started to set before the cheese part. But it still always tastes amazing. So yeh why is it called ‘cake’ when it is so different? If anyone knows then do tell. I started thinking about Jaffa Cakes and how even though the name they have always been debated to be either cakes or biscuits. I can understand this as they are dunkable like biscuits and a similar size and shape yet they are spongy like cake. But no, cheesecake I just don’t get.

So this afternoon I set to work on my cheesecake. The trouble is that there are always extra biscuits and chocolate that I tend to munch my way through as I cook; meaning the last thing I want to do with the end result is eat it!!! Sure I’ll have a go though later 😉 I love melting chocolate and mixing the soft cheese, condensed milk and cream… oh so good. All these lovely sweet liquids. Anyway before you dehydrate from dribbling too much, I’ll share the recipe with you and a pic from today’s attempt. (Hopefully my aunty won’t tell me after this that the recipe is a family secret and one I was meant to take to my grave 😉 )

White Chocolate Cheesecake

Ingredients

185 g of crushed plain chocolate digestives (or any you prefer – I don’t recommend Oreos!)

90g butter, melted

500g cream cheese, softened

400g condensed milk

200g white chocolate, melted

300ml single cream

1 tablespoon of gelatine (you can get sachets)

1/4 cup of boiling water

100g dark chocolate, melted

Method

  1. Crush the biscuits (in a food processor if you are lucky or I just bash with a rolling pin for 20 min!)
  2. Add the melted butter to the biscuit crumbs and mix. Press into a 23cm springform tin and refrigerate.
  3. Beat cream cheese with the condensed milk (put white choc to melt as you do this)
  4. Add melted white chocolate and then beat in to the mixture with the cream.
  5. Mix the gelatine with the boiling water and stir until dissolved. Mix it to the cheesecake mixture.
  6. Take the base out of the fridge, which should now be firm. Pour the cheesecake mixture onto it.
  7. Melt the dark chocolate and with a table spoon, mix it through your cheese cake to create dark chocolate swirls.
  8. Put into the fridge to set for a few hours
  9. Eat… after a healthy dinner… because it all balances out then right and you can eat guilt free?

Mmmmmmm….

 

So, I hope you enjoy and maybe another day I’ll take you over to the dark side and share my other chocolate cheesecake recipe with you 😉

Have a good evening, hopefully with some form of cake – preferably the cheese variety!

See you tomorrow,

XSXS