Carrot Cake Cheesecake… Cake

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cx 11/06/2017

My friends and I have wanted to make this cake for ages. It is really several cakes piled into one glorious creation. The cheesecake centre is smooth and creamy against the spiced, nut studded carrot cake that is topped with a luxurious icing and even more nuts for beautiful texture and flavour. A real celebration cake!

The frosting makes enough to cover the entire cake generously however, I only covered the top of the cake and this was more than enough as the frosting is very sweet. I used the remaining frosting for a coffee and banana pecan cake which was really nice or you could just half the recipe.

INGREDIENTS:

FOR THE CARROT CAKE LAYERS:

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup muscovado sugar
  • 1 cup sunflower oil
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 cups plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 cups grated carrots
  • ½-1 cup chopped pecans

FOR THE CHEESECAKE LAYER:

  • 16oz full fat cream cheese, softened
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • ¼ cup sour cream
  • 1/3 cup whipping cream

FOR THE FROSTING:

  • ½ cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 8 oz full fat cream cheese, softened
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup whipping cream
  • 4 cups icing sugar
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup chopped pecans

DIRECTIONS:

FOR THE CHEESECAKE LAYER:

  1. Prepare the cheesecake layer first. This can be done early in the day, or the night before. If freezing the cheesecake, can be stored 1-2 weeks in the freezer.
  2. Preheat oven to 160C. Using a large roasting pan, add 1 inch of hot water to the pan. Place it on the lower shelf of the oven. Allow it to preheat in the oven.
  3. Prepare an 8-inch spring-form pan by wrapping the bottom of the pan (outside) with a double layer of foil. Line the bottom (inside) with a circle of parchment paper.
  4. Beat cream cheese with granulated sugar for 2-3 minutes until creamy. Add in salt and eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  5. Beat in sour cream and whipping cream, until light and fluffy (about 2 minutes). Pour into prepared 8-inch spring-form pan. Place pan in centre of preheated roasting pan in the oven, making sure to be careful not to spill water.
  6. Bake cheesecake for 45 minutes. There should still be a slight wobble in the centre. Turn oven off and let cheesecake sit in oven for an additional 30 minutes. Remove and cool completely on counter.
  7. When cooled, remove outside portion of the spring-form pan and place into the freezer for a couple of hours or overnight. If using within 24 hours, feel free to just refrigerate cheesecake (this is what I did).

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FOR THE CARROT CAKE LAYERS:

  1. Preheat oven to 180C. Grease two 8-inch cake pans. Set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine sugar, oil and eggs until blended. Add in flour, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Beat for about 2 minutes. Stir in the grated carrots and pecans. Pour into prepared cake pans.
  3. Bake for 30-40 minutes until a knife inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. Cool on wire rack for ten minutes then remove from pans and cool completely.

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FOR THE FROSTING:

  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine cream cheese and butter. Beat with whisk attachment for 3 minutes. Add in sugar, cinnamon, vanilla, and heavy cream. Beat for 3-4 minutes until light and fluffy. Fold in chopped pecans.
  2. To assemble the cake, layer one layer of carrot cake. Add the cheesecake then top with second layer of carrot cake. Spread on the frosting on top and on the sides if you feel particularly decadent.
  3. Store in the fridge, covered, for up to 3 days. ENJOY!

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Raspberry Kuchen

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RaspberryKuchenGoOne-1 21/04/2017

A kuchen is a cake-like dessert, very similar to a cheesecake, that has a soft dough crust and a topping of custard or cheese that contains berries or other fruits. I love this recipe for many reasons. There are no stray egg whites or yolks left to deal with when the cake is finished. What’s not used in the crust is used in the custard and that appeals to my “green” instincts. The cake, which can be made without a mixer, is very easy to do and has the added advantage of being low in fat and only moderately sweet. Best of all, it can be made with fresh or frozen berries of any type. Frozen berries will produce a creamier cake because of the liquid they exude as the cake bakes.

Ingredients:
Base:

  • 1 cup plain flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups fresh or frozen berries

Filling:

  • 1-1/2 cups plain low-fat or non-fat yoghurt
  • 2 tablespoons plain flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 slightly beaten egg yolks
  • 1 slightly beaten whole egg
  • 1+1/2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 180C. Lightly grease bottom and sides of a 9-inch spring-form tin. If using frozen raspberries, thaw at room temperature for 15 minutes then drain.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl stir together 1 cup flour, the first 1/2 cup sugar, salt and baking powder. Add melted butter, 2 egg whites and first teaspoon of vanilla. Stir by hand until mixed.
  3. Spread onto the bottom of the cake tin; sprinkle with berries. Set aside.
  4. For the filling, place yoghurt in a large mixing bowl and sprinkle with 2 tablespoons flour. Add remaining sugar, yolks, whole egg, zest and remaining vanilla. Mix until smooth then pour over berries.
  5. Bake for about 55 minutes or until the centre appears set when shaken gently. Cool for 15 minutes then remove sides of pan. Cover and chill until serving time, up to 24 hours. If you are feeling brave, you can remove the pan bottom. I wasn’t feeling brave. Transfer to a serving plate.

Speculoos Cheesecake

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Screenshot_2016-05-26-09-28-14-1[1] 26/05/2016

My first guest blog! And it comes courtesy of this wonderful lady…

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It is a bit of a joint effort as we both had a hand in it although I must admit, my role heavily leaned towards taste testing. I don’t always go for cheesecake but I have to say, this is a fantastic and easy recipe that tastes incredible. What are you waiting for? Make it now!

Ingredients:

(Buttery) Biscuit Base:
– 300g Lotus/Biscoff Biscuits
– 150g Butter, melted

Cheesecake Filling:
– 2x280g Philadelphia Cream Cheese – Full Fat
– 1 tsp vanilla bean extract
– 100g icing sugar
– 300ml Double Cream
– 250g Speculoos/Biscoff Cookie Butter

Method:

1) Blitz both of the biscuits for the base in a food processor until they’re a fine crumb. Mix with the melted butter and press down firmly into an 8″ springform deep cake tin. Alternatively, if you’re like Lissi and you don’t own said springform tin, bung it into a shallow 8” cake tin and find that you have way too much filling and result to pouring the rest into shot glasses to chill. Dunk lotus biscuits into the remaining mix as a snack! Dare I say, I prefer the latter option. Shots of speculoos cheesecake on tap? Err, yes please! Anyway, for the amazing topping/shots/snacks, read on.

2) Mix the cream cheese, vanilla, icing sugar and cookie butter until smooth – then mix in the double cream and whisk until it’s thick and holds itself completely. You may find this easier with an electric whisk.

3) Spread the mixture evenly over the biscuit base and chill in the fridge for at least 5-6 hours, but preferably overnight.

4) Remove from the tin and decorate how you like, Lissi sprinkled hers with crushed lotus biscuits, and grated white chocolate. Good shout.

5) Store in the fridge – will last 4 days in the fridge, covered… if your will power lasts that long.

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Lemon Marzipan Cheesecake Slices

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IMG_20151228_230803[1] 28/12/2015

Oh wow! What a surprise these were. I made these for a festive alternative to Christmas pudding for the pud haters that unfortunately walk among us but unlike many alternatives, these slices turned out to be ridiculously tasty, zingy and rich with soft marzipan layers running through the creamy lemon filling for a Christmas vibe. You could make these at any time of year and I plan to… many times a year!

Ingredients:

  • 125g (4oz) shortcrust pastry (your favourite recipe)
  • 250g (8oz) readymade golden marzipan
  • 90g (3oz) full fat cream cheese
  • 2 medium eggs, separated
  • Finely grated zest and juice of 1 small lemon
  • 60g (2oz) caster sugar
  • 1 level tbsp plain flour
  • 1 tbsp milk
  • Icing sugar, for dusting

Method:

  1. Set the oven to 160°C. Roll out the pastry thinly to a square and use to line a 19cm (7½in) square shallow tin base and up the sides. Divide the marzipan in half and roll out each piece to an 18cm (7in) square.
  2. Put one piece of marzipan on the pastry in the tin. Soften the cream cheese in a bowl, beat in the egg yolks, lemon rind and juice, sugar, flour and milk.
  3. Whisk egg whites until stiff then carefully fold them into cheese mixture. Spoon half mixture over marzipan base, put other piece of marzipan on top then spoon rest of cake mixture on top. Bake for 1 hour.
  4. Cool then dust with icing sugar before cutting into slices to serve.

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These keep really well in an airtight container. You can even freeze them… or just eat them!

Cheesecake Swirl Chocolate Brownies

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IMG_20140731_175325[1] 01/08/2014

So I work shifts and I cycle to work. This means that when I bake for all my colleagues, the first question I ask myself is ‘how transportable is this bake?’ That usually results in me using my trusty 8×8 square pan and baking a sweet treat that I can cut up into squares to keep everyone going through the long days and nights. These cheesecake brownies fit the bill perfectly and they taste pretty good too. 

Ingredients:

Brownie Batter:
1 stick of unsalted butter, cut into pieces
3 oz unsweetened chocolate, chopped 
1/2 cup caster sugar 
1 large egg
1 tsp pure vanilla extract 
1 pinch salt
2/3 cup plain flour or 1/3 each flour + coco powder
1/2 tsp baking powder

Cheesecake Batter:
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened 
1/4 cup caster sugar 
1 large egg yolk
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract 

Method for the Brownie Batter:
1. Put an oven rack in the middle of the oven and preheat oven to 180°C.
2. Line an 8×8 inch square baking pan with foil and butter.
3. Heat butter and chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water on a moderately low heat, whisking occasionally, until just melted. 
4. Remove from heat, pour into a big bowl and whisk in sugar, egg, vanilla, and a pinch of salt until well combined and shiny.
5. Whisk in flour and baking powder until just combined and spread in baking pan.

Method for the Cheesecake Batter:
6. Whisk together the cheesecake batter ingredients in a small bowl until smooth.
7. Dollop over brownie batter, then swirl in with a knife.
8. Bake until the edges are slightly puffed and centre is just set, about 40 minutes.
9. Let cool on a wire rack.

These are quite sweet but very chewy and moreish; perfect for that chocolate sugar rush to keep everyone going. The cheesecake is creamy and the brownie is fudgy and rich.