Easy peasy White Chocolate cheesecake
Last Saturday I was out all day. I came home to an ill and bedridden Tim and Beau and a Darcey who was taking over the whole kitchen. If you’ve ever wondered how many bowls and utensils it takes to make a cheesecake when you’re nine years old I can tell you. ALL of them!
You have to give it to her though. She was bored and wanted to do something with her weekend. It wasn’t TV and it wasn’t games on the iPad so I was pretty happy, but I did get back in the nick of time. The recipes (yes plural recipes for one cake!) weren’t exactly what we had to hand. We didn’t have enough chocolate or cream cheese. We also had the wrong biscuits. Ever ingenious Darcey was going to make it work. She bashed up the snack biscuits we have for packed lunches – the individually wrapped chocolate covered bars. She didn’t turn them into fine breadcrumbs as you normally would with a cheesecake base. There were plenty of chocolatey lumps which meant the base of the cake tin wasn’t exactly covered. I switched off my perfectionism and let it go. It was after all Darcey’s cake.
As I got home she was just about to heat up the milk (which I had to reduce a little- like by half!) and add the chocolate. This is the kind of baking I do- make it up as you go along and take notes so you know what works and what doesn’t, but I don’t think she would ever know that. She just wanted to make a cake. By the time we had mashed the recipes together with what we had I suggested that we bake this ‘no bake’ cheesecake as it was a bit too runny and I doubt it would ever have set.
Once the cake was out of the oven and completely cooled Darcey covered it with chocolate which she had grated with our Cusipro grater that has this handy cover. When you turn the cover over it to the bottom it collects all the gratings. She grated milk and white chocolate and that was sprinkled over the whole cake. She didn’t stop there adding random dollops of chocolate sauce – the kind usually saved for ice-cream on top of the sprinkles. This unfortunately meant that Tim gave it the nick name of Darcey’s litter tray cheesecake. Luckily Darcey didn’t hear that and it didn’t stop him from tucking into a healthy slice of it.
Totally delicious! In fact it’s such a success I’ve asked Darcey to make it for our New Year’s Eve dinner. She’ll need to make it again anyway. She got really upset when it was all gone and everyone had eaten it up. I don’t thinks she quite gets that that is the desired outcome of any bake. It will come to her I’m sure. Until then I will continue to let my little one bake to her hearts content – no matter how many mash ups and books she need all at once.
Darcey’s White Chocolate cheese cake
Chocolate Torte Madeira Sprinkle Birthday Cake
Where do you get your cake inspiration from? I follow quite a lot of blogs but I only stay subscribed if they keep on delivering great inspiration month after month. If they don’t post for a few weeks I don’t really mind as when they do it’s always amazing new content and that’s how I feel about Sweetapolita. She has a very distinctive style and I always want to have a go at recreating her cakes. Her style was the inspiration for this cake.
BeauBeau is TWELVE!!!!
Where does the time go. I’ve been writing this blog for over four years and each year my daughter’s birthday cake posts seem to come round quicker and quicker. For the first time in ages I actually can believe Beau is twelve. She is so much more happy and mature than she was last year. She’s settled into senior school really well and has a lovely group of new friends who we met for the first time on Sunday. One of them even offered to help carry over the drinks for all the gang while we were at bowling! I mean literally said “Would you like me to help you carry the drinks over“!!! How happy am I that Beau has found such polite and friendly group of girls to hang out with? VERY.
So, when it came to her birthday cake she asked for something simple, chocolatey and pretty. Gone are the days of sculpting cakes into fancy designs. In fact I can’t actually remember the last time I was asked to do that. I knew exactly which of Sweetapolita’s cake designs I was going to make. Lots of soft chocolate ganache buttercream and lots and lots of pretty sprinkles!
Now, I would say that this cake is quick and easy to make and I am sure it is, but not when you are desperate to finish season 4 of Prison Break on Netflix and can’t stop watching it and stay up till 3am to do so! Without Netflix it would have been sooo much quicker!
Chocolate Torte Madeira Cake
Happy Birthday Beau Beau Bob. We love you so much.
Emma (a.k.a. Mamma.xxx)
Why I’m stuck on Friands
I absolutely adore Friands. Have you ever made them? They look like a mini cupcake or a squashed muffin but what they actually are is a little taste of heaven. Now, I know what you’re thinking – really? A taste of heaven?!?!? but bear with me.
I have a minor (read MAJOR) addiction to Dr Pepper which is an almond flavoured fizzy pop drink and marzipan is one of my all time favourite cake ingredients – especially when my mum adds it to her Madeira cake, so it’s no surprise that a little thing like a Friand floats my boat.
Friands are a little French cake made with ground almonds, icing sugar and egg whites. This Friand recipe is much more moist than a cupcake and have a beautiful, delicate texture unlike a muffin. They are more of a delicacy in my eyes. But, and that’s a big but, they like to get stuck in the tray. And when I say stuck I mean welded on – can’t get it out even with a knife, spoon or thin spatula -kind of stuck. So, when I baked these last night there was only one thing for it. Tim and I stood in the kitchen – me complaining that even though I coated the tray with plenty of oil those babies weren’t coming out. Tim – with a mouthful of dug out Friand said “They taste great to me” whilst attempting to get his next one out! So lesson learned. Make these delicate bakes in cupcake cases!!!
Needless to say, they didn’t go to waste and the little hits of blueberries were delish! Even baked in a silicon mould didn’t help keep them unstuck!
How to make easy jam: Rhubarb Jam recipe
Have you ever made jam?
I hadn’t until recently. I thought I needed a ton of equipment- a big pan (which has been tricky since getting an induction hob!) a thermometer, special spatulas etc. But, you just don’t need them. All you need is a regular deep saucepan, a wooden spoon to stir, a plate or two for testing and a clean jar to put it in with a sealable lid and a piece of waxed paper. That’s it. The process is super simple and the ingredients list isn’t very long at all.
You can print this recipe here
How to make easy jam
This recipe yields one large jar (¾ litre) or two regular jam jar sizes
- 445g Rhubarb
- Juice of one unwaxed lemon
- 225g Jam sugar (with pectin)
- Place 2-3 saucers in the freezer for testing the jam on later.
- Sterilise the jam jars. You can buy sterilising tablets and soak or submerge the jars in a pan of water and bring to the boil for 10 minutes, but if you clean and use them when they are still hot straight from the dishwasher that’s sterilised enough too.
- Cut the rhubarb into small pieces and place in a deep saucepan
- Measure the sugar and add it to the pan along with the squeezed lemon juice making sure there are no pips
- Add water to the ingredients till it’s just covered and place on a low heat.
- Once the sugar has dissolved turn the heat up so the ingredients are boiling for five minutes and the rhubarb is soft and mushy.
- To test if the jam is done and will set once cooled remove the pan from the heat. Use a tea spoon to place some jam on the back of one of the saucers from the freezer. Leave it for 30 seconds then push it with your finger. If it wrinkles up it’s ready. If it doesn’t keep boiling for another five minutes and try again on a fresh plate.
- Once it will set add the hot jam to warm jars and cover the ingredients inside the jar with a waxed disc of paper and close the lid. The wax paper is to protect and preserve the jam till it’s ready to eat. I don’t know why I bothered with the paper as I tucked into it that night! But if you are keeping it for longer or are planning to make some as gifts then seal it up well. This helps with keeping it sterilised.
- Once cooled store your jam in a dark place.
Tips when making jam
- Always keep your equipment super clean.
- Use the correct sugar. ‘Jam sugar’ has pectin in it which is a setting agent. Preserving sugar is something completely different.
- If you’re not planning to eat the jam straight away it is doubly essential that the jam jars are sterile and the seal with wax paper and lid are air tight. Jams can last years if unopened.
- Store unopened jam in a dark cupboard. Once open keep it in the fridge.
- Keep your jam mould free for longer by not allowing sticky kids to stick knives inside the jar when it’s covered in butter (we all know they don’t mean to but goodness me!) We have a tea spoon rule for jam in our house and it lasts a lot longer now. I tell them it’s what the queen / Kate Middleton do!