Sunday, September 25, 2011

Cheesecake Supremo

Skimming through my photos in the past few days, I have noticed for a person that doesn’t turn to cheesecake very often (I much prefer the cake option given the choice, give me fudge, lemon, raspberry in a soft luscious cake any day) that since I have 3 close friends that have a love of cheesecake that I have become a bit of a cheesecakier! Yes that’s a word, Im sure of it!

A devine cheesecake I made 2 months ago was by and it was a Snickers Cheesecake and the cooking process that Jaime uses to bake them makes for a very silky soft cheesecake indeed!  I will blog you this one at a later date as silly billy me forgot to take a photo of the finished product… der! So I will just have to make it all over again for you all, darn shame that!

However in the meantime, I have discovered this Cheesecake Slice (or Bars in the US of A ) recipe, also from that I have baked a few times now and everyone loves it!  It is a divinely delicious Cookie Dough Cheesecake Slice. Now who doesn’t love Cookie Dough? Just the words Cookie Dough make me go all gooey.  I find that by just adding an extra 250g (if you buy the double packet) of the cream cheese that you can almost double the slice to enable you to share it with friends! Even better because your friends will love you for it and you get to share the calories around!!

Trust me with all your heart when I say the words “This recipe is super duper easy”.

Cookie Dough Cheesecake Slice
Biscuit Base: 1 Packet Digestive Biscuits - processed into crumbs
5 Tbsp Unsalted Butter – melted

Cheesecake Filling:
250g packet Cream Cheese, room temperature
1/4 cup Castor Sugar
1 large Egg, room temperature
1 tsp pure Vanilla Extract

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough:
5 Tbsp Unsalted Butter - room temperature
1/3 cup Brown Sugar – firmly packed
3 Tbsp Castor Sugar
1/4 tsp Salt
1 tsp Vanilla
3/4 cup Plain Flour
1 cup Chocolate Chips (I used Cadbury chips as the cooking choc ones are bitter)

Preheat oven at 160 degrees.
Place biscuits into the food processor and pulse until they have become crumbs, melt butter and pour into the food processor on the crumbs and pulse until combined. Then tip the mixture out into a well lined pan (20 x 30cm or 20 x 40cm) with foil or baking paper. Press down the crumb mixture firmly into the pan. Bake in oven for approx 8-10 minutes, remove and cool.

Next to make the cheesecake filling, place the cream cheese and castor sugar in the electric mixer and mix them on medium until well combined, then add in the egg and vanilla. Once this is whipped up nicely, scrap it into the pan on top of the crumb base that has cooled down from being baked.

Final stage is to make the cookie dough, put the butter and both castor and brown sugars into the electric mixer and cream them together until sugar dissolved.  Add in the salt and vanilla whilst mixing, and finally add the flour and do not over mix this. Remove from the mixer and stir through the chocolate chips (the mixer won’t really like them add into it whilst it is running).  Using a teaspoon or fingers, take small teaspoons size chunks and drop all over the top of the cheesecake filling in the pan. This should make a patchy/rustic appearance.

Put into the oven and bake for approx 30-40 minutes, until the slice is set and the cookie dough is golden.  If the top between the cookie dough gets a melted butter appearance in the cracks, just dab it out with paper towel to keep it firm and set.  Set on a cooling rack, once cool, place into the fridge. Pull out the entire slice from time, and cut into even squares or rectangles. Serve cold.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Dinner Party Trifle

I decided to modernise the old fashioned trifle… you will get to know that I rarely stick to a recipe I am given or find… try as I might I seem to always HAVE to change something.  Well on this one I completely mixed it up, in fact I used no recipe at all… so volare you have a Cookie Queen original!

I was making a 3 course dinner for 6, and with limited time I decided to come up with a dessert that I could complete more than 50% the day before. Not only did I manage this but it was elegant and super scrumptious!

Elegant Trifle – Served in single glasses
1 pkt Raspberry Jelly
250ml boiling Water
250ml Cold Water
2 Strawberries/glass – sliced
Sponge Cake (I cheated and bought mine)
1 cup (just over, about 260ml) single Cream (pouring cream)
1 Vanilla Bean Pod – scraped
3 Egg Yolks
¼ cup of Castor Sugar
½ Tbsp Cornflour
Ice Cream – optional to serve
Additional Strawberries – to serve

Make up the jelly as per instructions on the packet. Once cooled, pour about 3cm/1 inch in the bottom of each glass.

Slice the strawberries and place a layer of the slices into the glass (they will float so no need to set jelly first. Then place glasses in the fridge to set the jelly.

Cut out the sponge to fit exactly in the glasses(this is easiest to do before you pour the jelly in the glass).  Place the sponge in the glasses next to form the next layer.

Make the custard:
Place the cream and vanilla bean (scraped) into a small saucepan, and place onto stovetop on a low to medium heat.  Stir and bring to almost boiling point.  Place the egg yolks, sugar and the cornflour into a bowl, and whisk to combine.  Pour the contents of the saucepan into the bowl of egg mixture, whisking it in.  Place the entire mixture then back into the saucepan and stir on a low heat for about 8 minutes, until it is thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon. Do not leave it unstirred as it will go lumpy (did it with the first batch and then had to sieve it, so not fun).  Allow the mixture to cool before placing about 3cm/1 inch in each glass on top of the sponge.

Place glasses back in the fridge for at least 1 hour to set.

To serve, place a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top and some sliced strawberries.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Hunka Hunka Burning Love!!!

Anyone looking would think I have the Elvis fetish.... I don’t... but he intrigues me, in fact the whole Elvis Phenomena has me momentarily spellbound.

The craziness of it all, I mean yes he was a fantastic singer, writer, performer, entertainer etc and he was ground breakingly daring for his time, but the fans are mental! They are. Really.  Who on earth lays dead for over 30 years of a heart attack in the prime of their career and “fakes it”??  Seriously people, the sightings at the burger joints are definately hilarious, but it draws you right in with the conspiracy theories. Is he or isn't he??

I also have to confess.... I have a dislike to animal print, you will rarely see me condone it, especially when it comes to children. myself or house furnishings.... I once sent my partner to buy a cat scratching/hammock pole thingie with one single rule to remember... “NO Animal Print” and what did i get?? Yes... Leopard print... O.M.G. hideous! (Apologies to anyone you does like animal print) Rock & Roll, Hot Rodding and the Zoo are the only places this belongs... Elvis does fall into the allowance (under the rock & Roll banner). And it really suited the Hunka Burning Love Cupcakes I baked!! 

I have made Elvis Cupcakes on two occasions, once were the Hunka Burning Love Cupcakes I am providing you with the recipe below, and the second Cupcakes were vanilla Cupcakes with Pineapple Buttercream and decorated in the Elvis theme for a 40th celebration.

I hope you enjoy making these as much as I did!

Hunka Burning Love Cupcakes

Banana Cupcake
125g unsalted butter, melted
3/4 cup castor sugar
2 large eggs
½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 ½  cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½  teaspoon baking soda
pinch of salt
2 ripe bananas

Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Frosting
2-3 tbsp smooth peanut butter
250g packet cream cheese, softened
2  cups icing sugar mixture
1 tsp vanilla

Topped with Maple Syrup Glazed Bacon and a drizzle of Maple Syrup (honey can be substituted)

Pre-heat oven to 350’ or 180’.
Cream butter & sugar together with electric mixer, approximately 3 minutes. Add eggs one at a time and then the vanilla, beat until combined and fluffy.  In a separate bowl sift in all of the dry ingredients. Then mash up the bananas with a fork and add them into the mix.  Next add half the dry ingredients into the egg mixture, mix until just combined.  Add in the milk and then the 2nd half of the dry ingredients.  Be very careful not to overmix as you will bruise the flour and it will make a tough cupcake without spring in its step!

My trick is ‘soup spoons’ using the font of one to scoop the mix out and the back of another to push the mix off the 1st spoon into the patty cake wrapper.  Use 2 spoons of mix into each patty cake wrapper, 2/3 full. Bake for approx 20, just lightly firm to touch with a quick spring back.

Let cool before frosting.

To make the frosting add all the frosting ingredients into the mixer and use the paddle attachment. Mix into a whipped cream consistency, and then its ready to pipe onto the cakes.

For the bacon topping, slice the rashes (2) into 1.5 inch squares, heat frypan and drizzle approx 1-2 tablespoons of maple syrup into the pan first and heat.  Next add the bacon and pan fry until golden and crispy.

Top your cupcake using a closed star tip, and insert your crisp of bacon and lightly drizzle with about a ¼ - ½ teaspoon of maple syrup.

I got 18 small size cupcakes from this mix, otherwise it would get 12 large cupcakes.