White Chocolate and Berry Cheesecake

White Chocolate and Berry Cheesecake

The team at Nairns sent me some of their yummy biscuits that have 40% less sugar than the average sweet biscuit, and I just had to use them to create a delicious cheesecake to share with friends! Give it a go and let me know what you think!

Ingredients:

200g Nairns Mixed Berries Oat Biscuits, crushed into crumbs

100g butter, melted

350g white chocolate pieces

300ml cream, whipped until stiff

100ml plain yoghurt

250g cream cheese

400g frozen mixed berries

 

Method:

  1. Grease a spring-from/loose bottom round cake tin – I used a 20cm tin.
  2. Mix melted butter with biscuit crumbs until the crumbs are all covered in melted butter.
  3. Pour the crumbs into the cake tin and press down firmly, making sure that the biscuit base is even. Put the biscuit base into the freezer for half an hour.
  4. Melt the white chocolate pieces in a heat proof bowlΒ over a bain marie (pot of gently simmering water) making sure that the water doesn’t touch the bottom of the bowl. Stir the chocolate occasionally to help the melting process.
  5. In a seperate bowl, whip the cream cheese until soft. Then gently fold in the whipped cream, yoghurt and melted chocolate.
  6. Take the biscuit base out of the freezer and evenly spread 1/3 of the frozen berries over top of the biscuit base.
  7. Gently pour the cheesecake mixture on top and scatter the remaining frozen berries on top – some of the berries will sink in to the cheesecake mixture, this is good!
  8. Put into the fridge to set for around 8 hours. Leaving it to fully set will make it easier for you to cut and plate the cheesecake.

Lemon and Apple Sponge Cake

Lemon and Apple Sponge Cake

Do you ever want to bake something delicious but not covered in icing or chocolate, but still make it look interesting? I know that I do. And this cake was definitely a winner in my house. This sponge cake has a beautiful, light texture with a slight lemon taste which compliments the sweet apples nicely.

Lemon and Apple Sponge Cake

Ingredients:

  • 25g butter
  • 3 medium apples
  • 125g butter, softened
  • 125g white sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine salt
  • Zest of 1 lemon, finely grated
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 cups plain flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 Tablespoons milk
  • 3 Tablespoons apricot jam
  • 1 Tablespoon water

Method:

  1. Preheat your fan bake oven to 160C (325F) and grease a cake tin (23 – 26cm diameter).
  2. Melt 25g of butter slowly in a small saucepan. While the butter is melting, peel, quarter and core the apples for the top of the cake.
  3. Using a small knife, cut some long lines into the apple to create some decoration on the apple (or you can skip this decorative step if you wish! and slice the apple into thin, lengthways slices instead to decorate the top.)
  4. Once the apples are prepared, in a medium sized bowl, beat the butter with a whisk or hand beater until soft and fluffy.
  5. Then slowly add the sugar and cream the sugar and butter well so that the sugar is incorporated well into the butter.
  6. Then add the vanilla extract and lemon zest and beat well until all smooth.
  7. Whisk in one egg at a time, whisking really well before adding in the next egg. Whisking the eggs in really well not only helps to add more air to the sponge, but it also will help prevent the batter from separating.
  8. In a separate bowl, combine the flour and baking powder.
  9. Then slowly add this into the butter and egg mixture, whisking really well between each addition, adding the milk slowly as you need to. I added about a quarter of the flour mixture, then a quarter of the milk and so on until it was all incorporated.
  10. Once the batter is smooth, transfer this to the prepared cake tin, and gently smooth out the top of the cake. Then start arranging the apple on top and place in the oven once the top of the cake is covered in apple.
  11. Bake for around 40 minutes, depending on your oven. Around the 35 minute mark, have a peek to see how it is going, and remove if necessary.
  12. While the cake is baking, place the apricot jam in a small saucepan with the water, and heat until the jam starts to boil. You will need to stir this constantly so that it doesn’t burn and stick to the bottom of the pan.
  13. Remove the cake from the oven when it is cooked inside, and then immediately pour the hot jam over the cake. I used a pastry brush to help spread out the jam over the cake. This adds a beautiful glossy finish to the cake, and adds a beautiful, subtle apricot flavor.
  14. After about 10 minutes, transfer the cake to a cake rack so that it can finish cooling.
  15. Serve a generous slice with natural yoghurt for a delicious, home baked treat!

Let me know what you think of the recipe and if you have any variations or tips at all!

Mediterranean Inspired Lamb Meatballs with Yoghurt Sauce and Chickpea and Rocket Salad

Mediterranean Inspired Lamb Meatballs with Yoghurt Sauce and Chickpea and Rocket Salad

There’s nothing like a flavorful, exotic dinner, let alone an easy, flavorful, exotic dinner. And this is just that! Be ready to have your mind and your taste buds blown people!! Here is my recipe for:

Mediterranean Lamb Meatballs with Yoghurt Sauce and Chickpea and Rocket Salad

Ingredients:

Meatballs

  • 500g lamb mince
  • 1/2 red onion
  • 4 mint leaves, chopped
  • A few stems of coriander (or cilantro depending on where in the world you are)
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon fine salt

Yoghurt Sauce

  • 200g unsweetened (natural) Greek youghurt
  • 8 mint leaves, chopped
  • A small handful of coriander leaves (cilantro)
  • Zest of 1 lemon, grated
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Chickpea and Rocket Salad

  • 1 can chickpeas
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili flakes
  • 1 teaspoon oil
  • Zest of 1 lemon, grated
  • Salt

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 190C (or 375F).

2. Drain the chickpeas and place into a baking dish. Pour over the oil, sprinkle over the salt, lemon zest and chili flakes, then stir to make sure the chickpeas are all covered with the seasonings. Then put in the oven. Making sure to check on them every 5 minutes or so, just to toss chickpeas in the dish to ensure even browning.

3. While the chickpeas are roasting, place all the ingredients for the meatballs in a medium sized bowl, and mix until evenly combined. It gets a little messy, but it’s easiest to use your hands to do this.

4. When all combined, roll into small balls (just smaller than a tablespoon) and place on a lightly greased baking tray. Then put this in the oven (same oven as the chickpeas is fine). The meatballs will take anywhere from 10-15 minutes to cook, depending on the size.

5. In a small bowl, mix together the ingredients for the yoghurt sauce while the meatballs and chickpeas are in the oven. Taste the sauce to check you are happy with the seasoning (pro tip).

6. Put the rocket leaves on a plate, and then remove the chickpeas from the oven when they are nice and golden brown. Sprinkle these on top of the rocket leaves.

7. Take the meatballs out of the oven, and make sure they are cooked all the way through (no longer pink inside) and then put these on your plate. Cover the meatballs with your yummy yoghurt sauce, or put it on the side. The yoghurt sauce also works really nicely with your rocket leaves as well.

Side note: if you want to, these also work really well in a pita pocket!

Enjoy πŸ™‚

My Favorite Quick and Easy Green Smoothie

My Favorite Quick and Easy Green Smoothie

Green smoothies are like the “it thing” at the moment. And there are so many good reasons to drink them, and so many different ways to make them! Green smoothies are packed full of beneficial nutrients such as iron, calcium, vitamin C as well as having high levels of fibre – thanks to the dark, leafy greens. They are also super yummy. And this is the recipe I use for a super yummy, and easy to make Green Smoothie!

Green Smoothie

Ingredients

  • 1 really ripe banana, sliced and frozen
  • Fresh coconut water
  • Spinach leaves (or kale or swiss chard/silverbeet)
  • Ice (optional)

Method

1. Put all the ingredients into a blender.Β I use one banana, and then around 150g of spinach leaves (or kale or swiss chard/silverbeet), and then start with around 3/4c coconut water.

2. Blend up, really well.Β It can take a little while for the spinach to get all blended up, but it is really worth waiting for it to blend up a bit more, as a lot of people find the texture of green smoothies off putting. Depending on the consistency, if the smoothie is really thick I will add more coconut water and then continue to blend until nice and smooth.

3. Pour into a glass, and enjoy.Β Drink up! The coconut water and frozen banana really helps to cut through the leafy, earthy taste, so this is a recipe I know people will love. It also works really well with added frozen berries, or even orange, apple or lemon! Yum!!


The Perfect Homemade Lemonade

The Perfect Homemade Lemonade

When life gives you lemons, you better know how to make lemonade. And this is the only recipe you will ever need for lemonade. And you can call it your secret lemonade recipe if you like.

The Perfect HomemadeΒ Lemonade Recipe

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups of sugar

1 1/2 cups of water

6 lemons

1. Make a simple sugar syrup

Combine your equal parts of sugar and water together in a small saucepan and put over a low heat, making sure to stir the pot so the sugar starts to dissolve.

2. Add some lemony flavor

Zest two lemons and add this to your sugar water which is starting to heat up. Bring this to a boil and then simmer for five minutes. By this stage the sugar will have dissolved and you’ll have some great lemon flavor in your sugar syrup.

3. Add more lemony flavor

Remove your sugar syrup from the heat, and add the juice of six lemons. Then stir well.

4. Remove the bits

Once your lemonade has cooled down, strain the juice and pour into a bottle (or if you’re smart like me, do this in one quick and easy step). Then close the lid on your lemonade and cool.

5. Drink your lemonade/show off

This makes like a concentrate, so you can mix the lemonade with a bit of water to get the taste you are after. The ratio that I like is about 3 parts lemonade to 1 part water, but honestly, just experiment with what you like! Serve with lemon slices, a couple of ice cubes and a few mint leaves to make it look real fancy.

And there you have it. You have your own secret recipe for lemonade which is perfect every time!

Preserving Carrots and Parsnips for ROASTING

Β I love carrots!! They are a simply wonderful vegetable that can often test your patience, but they are so worth it! Its hard growing something that you can’t look at and see its progress, and so when one carrot is ready, I get so excited and pick them all. (If you wanna know more about growing carrots, check out my previous post about carrots!) This week, I picked some carrots that I had (sorta) forgotten about and some parsnips I had definitely forgotten about! It was so exciting!! See!! Look at me with some of my babies!
They were huge and such random shapes! But because I picked all these carrots and a few parsnips, I had to do something with them. What you might know if you have had a few garden harvests, is that generally home picked vegetables don’t stay fresh as long as supermarket vegetables. So within a few days, the veggies would go bendy and floppy. Sad face!
My carrots with a 30cm ruler
And I love roasts. Roast chicken, roast pork, roast lamb, roast beef. YUM! But the best thing is not just the meat, but the vegetables! Oh my gosh! Roast potato, roast carrot, parsnip and onion! YUM! So instead of just boiling the carrots and then eating them straight away, or steaming them, putting them in fried rice, I DON’T KNOW! Whatever you want! I decided that I would save my carrots for a roasting day. Hehe. Get it! So here is how to preserve your carrots and parsnips for future roasting! GENIUS! If I do say so myself πŸ˜€
To begin, wash your carrots and parsnips really well. They tend to be more gnarly than shop bought carrots, so lots of dirt gets trapped. Then peel them and wash them well again to remove the last of the dirt. After they are peeled, cut off any long bits that are super thin, as these will cook a lot faster than the rest. You won’t want to use these bits but save them for something else like stock or soup!
Bring a medium sized pot of water to the boil. And salt well. While you are waiting for the water to boil cut the carrots and parsnips into even sized pieces so that the cooking time is the same for the different pieces. One the water has boiled, put a few at a time (I did like 5 or 6 at a time) in the pot. Allow them to cook for 4 or 5 minutes.
After cooking, immediately remove the carrots and run under cold water, or place in an ice water bath. Either way is fine. This is just to stop the cooking process, as even when the carrot is out of the water, it would continue to cook.
Continue the process with the remaining carrot and parsnip until all the veggies are cooked and cooled. Then you need to thoroughly dry the vegetables and place on a baking sheet with baking paper or parchment paper down. Make sure that none of the veggies are touching. Transfer this tray to the freezer for a couple of hours, or until the vegetables have started to freeze. They can then be moved to a plastic ziplock bag, or a plastic container, and stored in the freezer until you are ready to use them.
When you are ready to roast, it is so easy! Just preheat your oven to 190C or 380F, and then put as many carrots or parsnips on a tray as you like. Drizzle with a little olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake in the oven for around 30 – 45 minutes, or until the carrots are golden and heated through. They can be cooked with other veggies too, if you are roasting heaps of veggies together.
Also, if you don’t want to roast your veggies, steaming them works perfectly well too! Just get your steamer ready and pop them in the steamer for about 5 – 7 minutes or until they are soft and well heated through! And an added bonus, they can be easily microwaved! Just place them in a microwave proof dish, cover with a paper towel and microwave in 30 second intervals until the veggies are steamed and heated through.
Homemade carrots are so sweet and tasty! What better way to savor them, than to preserve them for roasting at a later date! I hope you enjoy your delicious carrots!