Cakes & Bakes: Peanut butter baked cheesecake

Home-made peanut butter baked cheesecake | H is for Home

It’s Justin’s 50th birthday today so, of course, I had to make him a birthday cake.

Crushed plain chocolate digestive biscuits for peanut butter baked cheesecake base | H is for Home

I made a peanut butter baked cheesecake – seeing as cheesecake is his favourite kind of cake, and he’s quite partial to peanut butter too.

Cheesecake cake tin wrapped with wet tea towel

I also wanted to try out a tip that I found on the internet this week. Apparently, instead of using a Wilton Bake Even Strip (which helps keep your cake level and prevent a cracked top), you can wrap the sides of the tin with a wet cloth or tea towel.

Peanut butter baked cheesecake batter ingredients | H is for Home

It worked pretty well, there was a slight bulge to one side of the top which I put down to the overlap of the cloth. Next time I’ll use a cloth cut down to fit the circumference exactly. So long as the cloth is very wet, it won’t burn in the oven. Elasticated cloth, or nylon/polyester fabric probably wouldn’t work very well in the heat of an oven; stick with cotton or linen.

Pouring peanut cheesecake batter on to biscuit base

The plain chocolate digestive biscuits gave just that bit of extra depth of flavour over plain digestives, and baking the base for 10 minutes gave it a ‘biscuity’ taste and texture.

Chocolate topping ingredients for peanut butter baked cheesecake

I used mascarpone, but you can use Philadelphia or any other plain full-fat cream cheese.

Smooting chocolate topping on peanut butter baked chesecake | H is for Home

Results were delicious – a rich, indulgent treat.

Home-make peanut butter baked cheesecake with toasted mixed nut sprinkles | H is for Home

There’s only one slice left – that must mean that the birthday boy approves!

Cakes & Bakes: Lemon & blueberry cheesecake

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Slice of home-made lemon & blueberry cheesecake | H is for Home

Right, it’s official, cheesecake is H is for Home’s favourite cake!

Home-made lemon & blueberry cheesecake ingredients | H is for Home

Hobnobs ground in a food processor | H is for Home

It’s by far, the most baked Cakes & Bakes entry.

Cheesecake biscuit base made using Hobnobs | H is for Home

Juicing & zesting lemons | H is for Home

This week, lemon & blueberry cheesecake joins the ranks.

Eggs broken into a small measuring jug | H is for Home

Cheesecake mixture and blueberry purée | H is for Home

I’ve used Hobnobs instead of the usual digestive biscuits for the base. Frozen blueberries are available in the supermarket all year round and at a fraction of the price of fresh.

Adding blueberry purée to cheesecake mixture | H is for Home

Lemon & blueberry cheesecake put into a water bath before baking | H is for Home

Home-made cheesecake isn’t difficult. The secret is cooking it long & low. Wrapping the tin with foil and placing it in a water bath (bain-marie) makes sure it cooks properly all the way through without burning. You want the slightest browning of the top.

Top of home-made lemon & blueberry cheesecake before topping with fruit | H is for Home

Home-made lemon & blueberry cheesecake | H is for Home

It feels like a very indulgent cake… but I know the blueberries count as one of your 5-a-day. It leaves just one question, do the lemons make it two? 😉

Detail of a home-made lemon & blueberry cheesecake | H is for Home

If you’d like to save this recipe, you can pin it from here.

Chocolate covered marzipan petit fours
Yields 45
For the marzipan
  1. 150g/5oz ground almonds
  2. 200g/7oz icing sugar
  3. 2tsp almond extract
  4. 1 egg white
For the chocolate coating
  1. 50ml/1¾fl oz whipping cream
  2. 7g/¼oz sugar
  3. 12ml/½fl oz water
  4. 45g/1½oz dark chocolate, chopped
Add ingredients to shopping list
If you don’t have Buy Me a Pie! app installed you’ll see the list with ingredients right after downloading it
For the marzipan
  1. Put the ground almonds, icing sugar, almond extract and egg white into a food processor and combine until it comes together into a thick ball (about a minute)
  2. Turn the marzipan out onto a work surface and knead it a couple of times
  3. Form it into a pack of butter shape, wrap in cling film and chill in the fridge for about an hour
  4. Bring cream, sugar, and 60ml/2fl oz water to boil in heavy medium saucepan, stirring until sugar dissolves
  5. Add the chocolate and whisk until melted and the glaze is smooth
  6. Slice the slab of marzipan into equal sized cubes before rolling each between your palms to form balls
  7. Using a tooth pick, dip each ball into the chocolate sauce before placing it on a tray lined with parchment paper
  8. Cover the petit fours carefully with cling film and chill for half an hour
Notes
  1. Any unused marzipan will keep for up to a month in the fridge or 6 months in the freezer
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H is for Home Harbinger http://hisforhomeblog.com/

Cakes & Bakes: Italian cheesecake with almond crumb base

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Slice of home-made Italian cheesecake with almond crumb base | H is for Home

Lidl had a ‘Taste of Italy‘ special this week so I stocked up on a few Mediterranean bits & bobs when I popped in. I bought a couple of tubs of ricotta, not quite knowing what I was going to do with them. Of course… Italian Cheesecake!

Italian cheesecake ingredients

Ground almonds, sugar and butter in a saucepan

I fancied making it with a crunchy base using amaretti biscuits but I couldn’t find any in the shops. No need to panic, I improvised and made my own almond crumb base.

Almond crumb cheesecake base

ricotta and sugar mixture

I’ve made a fair few different cheesecakes in the past. I think this is almost up there with the all-time favourite Gordon Ramsey version.

making Italian cheesecake mixture

uncooked Italian cheesecake

It’s best served cold, straight from the fridge, perhaps with an after-dinner espresso.

Italian cheesecake straight from the oven

Home-made Italian cheesecake

Fancy giving it a try? Pin the recipe for later!

Vegan chocolate petit fours
Yields 25
Ingredients
  1. 300g/10½oz dark chocolate
  2. pinch sea salt
  3. 2tbs coconut oil
  4. 215ml/7½fl oz tinned coconut milk
  5. toasted desiccated coconut, chopped mixed nuts, icing sugar and/or cocoa powder to finish
Add ingredients to shopping list
If you don’t have Buy Me a Pie! app installed you’ll see the list with ingredients right after downloading it
Instructions
  1. Break the chocolate up into small pieces and put it into a large heatproof bowl
  2. Add the coconut oil and the salt
  3. In a small saucepan, bring the coconut milk to the boil before pouring it over the chocolate. Stir until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth
  4. Allow to cool, cover the bowl with cling film and leave to set overnight in the fridge (or at least 4 hours).
  5. Put the toasted desiccated coconut chopped mixed nuts, icing sugar and/or cocoa powder into separate wide-bottomed bowls
  6. Using a measuring teaspoon, scoop out a portion of ganache before rolling between your palms to form a ball before putting it on a plate or baking sheet
  7. Repeat until all the ganache has been used
  8. Cover the balls in cling film and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes
  9. Toss in the balls equally between the chopped mixed nuts, icing sugar and or cocoa powder, rolling around the bowls making sure each ball is completely coated
  10. Carefully place the balls on to a plate lined with parchment paper, recover carefully with cling film and put them back into the fridge to firm up again
Notes
  1. These can be stored in a sealed container in the fridge for up to a week
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H is for Home Harbinger http://hisforhomeblog.com/

Cakes & Bakes: Triple Chocolate Cheesecake

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Slice of triple chocolate cheesecake | @hisforhome

I consider myself something of a greedy chocoholic (who edges the cake knife round a few millimetres when no ones looking to get a bigger piece). But faced with this triple chocolate cheesecake, a small slice was sufficient… even for me! 

Triple chocolate cheesecake ingredients | @hisforhome

It is is the richest, most decadent chocolate fantasy I’ve ever made or eaten. A quick tally of all the ingredients brings it in over 2 kilos!

Oreo cookie cheesecake base | @hisforhome

There’s a base made from crushed Oreo cookies…

Melting dark chocolate in a glass bowl | @hisforhome

Melted dark chocolate and cheesecake mixture | @hisforhome

…a thick, intense dark chocolate middle layer…

Adding melted dark chocolate to cheesecake mixture | @hisforhome

Uncooked triple chocolate cheesecake | @hisforhome

…and a sweet, white chocolate ganache topping (with dark chocolate flakes to decorate of course!)

Triple chocolate cheesecake | @hisforhome

It was a real winner with everyone who tried it… and there’s now a note in my recipe file for “must make again!”

Lemon curd and jelly tarts
Yields 24
Cook Time
15 min
Cook Time
15 min
Ingredients
  1. 180g/6oz plain flour
  2. pinch of salt
  3. 90g/3oz cold butter, cubed
  4. 3-4 tbsp cold water
  5. 8tbsp lemon curd
  6. 8tbsp fruit jelly or jamHome-made lemon curd and jelly tart ingredients
Add ingredients to shopping list
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Instructions
  1. Put the flour and salt into a food processor and whiz briefly together to mix
  2. Add the butter cubes and pulse briefly a dozen times or so until you have coarse crumbs
  3. Trickle in the water continuing to pulse until the mixture resembles rough lumps and looks a bit like overcooked and dry scrambled eggs. Add only as much water as you need
  4. Tip the clumped crumbs onto a sheet of cling film and gently squeeze together into a ball without pressing too hard
  5. Wrap & chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes
  6. Preheat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF/Gas mark 6
  7. Lightly grease a tartlet tin
  8. On a lightly floured work surface, roll the pastry out thinly
  9. Using a pastry cutter slightly larger than the circumference of a tartlet hole, cut out pastry rounds
  10. Press the pastry rounds evenly into each hole (I use the end of my rolling pin as a tamper)
  11. Fill each pastry case with about a teaspoon of lemon curd or jelly/jam
  12. Bake for 15 minutes
  13. Allow to cool for 5 minutes in the tin before attempting to remove them
  14. Allow them to cool completely on a wire rack
Print
H is for Home Harbinger http://hisforhomeblog.com/

Cakes & Bakes: Japanese cheesecake

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Slice of Japanese cheesecake with preserve

Last week we shared a Taiwanese bread recipe; this week we’re staying in that general geographical area with this Japanese cheesecake.

Japanese cheesecake ingredients | @hisforhome

Separated eggs | @hisforhome

This cake is also known as a soufflé cheesecake – it gets this airy texture from the separated eggs.

lining a cake tin with parchment paper | @hisforhome lining a cake tin with tin foil | @hisforhome

Cheesecake mixture after adding the cream and eggs | @hisforhome

A stiff meringue is made from the whipped egg whites and sugar, and is then folded into the mixture at the end.

Japanese cheesecake mixture after adding the flour, rum and lemon juice | @hisforhome

Japanese cheesecake meringue | @hisforhome

To finish the cheesecake, the recipe calls for an apricot glaze. We have all manner of home made jams & jellies in the cupboard, so I decided to make a plain version of the cake – then experiment with the different flavours of jam for each slice.

folding meringue into Japanese cheesecake batter | @hisforhome

Japanese cheesecake batter in cake tin | @hisforhome

Apricot might indeed be perfect, but you never know…

Japanese cheesecake | @hisforhome

Japanese cheesecake with jars of jam and jelly | @hisforhome

…it could be blackcurrant, wild raspberry, strawberry, gooseberry or quince!

Butter-dipped biscuits
Yields 6
Ingredients
  1. 113g/4oz salted butter
  2. 300g/10½oz plain flour
  3. 1½ tbsp granulated sugar
  4. 1½ tbsp baking powder
  5. 250g/9oz buttermilkHome-made butter-dipped biscuits ingredients
Add ingredients to shopping list
If you don’t have Buy Me a Pie! app installed you’ll see the list with ingredients right after downloading it
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 230ºC/450ºF/ gas mark 8
  2. In a microwave-safe bowl (or the dish the biscuits are being cooked in if it's microwave-safe) melt the butter in the microwave
  3. Put the melted butter into an 20cmx20cm/8"x8" baking dish
  4. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, mix together the flour, sugar and baking powder
  5. Pour in the buttermilk and stir until a loose dough forms
  6. Pour the biscuit dough into the baking dish (on top of the melted butter.) Some of the butter will run over the top of the dough, that's perfectly fine
  7. Cook for 20-25 minutes (rotating the dish 180º once during baking) - the biscuits should be golden brown on top and spring back to the touch
Print
Adapted from The Country Cook
Adapted from The Country Cook
H is for Home Harbinger http://hisforhomeblog.com/

Cakes & Bakes: Baked Banana Cheesecake

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Baked banana cheesecake | H is for Home

Our favourite dessert to make for a dinner party is a freshly-baked, light & airy vanilla cheesecake. The recipe we posted, one of Gordon Ramsay‘s, is by far the most popular of our Cakes & Bakes series.

This week, I suggested to Justin that I’d make a baked banana cheesecake for a change. Being a traditionalist, he wasn’t as enthusiastic about the idea as I was. I went ahead and made it anyway – I thought that if it was put in front of him, he’d eat it anyway. And so he did!

The secret to a light & airy banana cheesecake is to whisk the mixture to within an inch of its life. Using an electric food mixer makes the job a lot less laborious. However, doing it by hand with a balloon whisk will burn off a lot more calories and tone up the bingo wings! 🙂

Cakes & Bakes: Baked Banana Cheesecake

Cook Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Yield: makes 6-8 slices

Cakes & Bakes: Baked Banana Cheesecake

Ingredients

  • for the base
  • 150g/5oz ginger nut biscuits
  • 50g/2oz butter
  • 25g/1oz Demerara sugar
  •  
  • for the cake
  • 400g/14oz cream cheese
  • 125g/4½oz low fat plain yoghurt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1tsp vanilla essence
  • 2 medium-sized, very ripe bananas
  • 180g/6½oz caster sugar
  •  

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 160ºC/325ºF/Gas mark 3
  2. Grease a 20cm/8in deep, spring-form cake tin
  3. In a food processor, grind the ginger nut biscuits making sure there are no lumps
  4. In a medium-sized saucepan on a low heat, add the butter & Demerara sugar and stir until the butter is melted and sugar has dissolved
  5. Remove from the heat, add the ground ginger nuts and mix
  6. Put the mixture into the cake tin and press firmly & evenly into the base using the back of a spoon
  7. Put the tin into the fridge while you make the cake mixture
  8. In a food mixer, using the balloon whisk attachment, mix the cream cheese and yoghurt on a high speed setting for 3 minutes until aerated
  9. In the food processor that was used for grinding the ginger nuts (no need to clean it out between the two stages), puree the bananas
  10. Add the banana puree to the cheese & yoghurt mixture and whisk on a low speed for a minute
  11. In a measuring jug, whisk the eggs before adding it to the cake mixture in 2 stages, whisking after each addition
  12. Add the vanilla essence to the mix then add the caster sugar and whisk until well blended, light & airy
  13. Remove the cake tin from the fridge and cover the bottom & sides with a double layer of tin foil
  14. Pour the cake mixture into the tin, over the ginger nut base and place the tin into a deepish baking tray
  15. Add water to the tray, to a level about 1.5cm below the rim
  16. Carefully put the tray containing the cake tin into the oven and bake for 75 minutes
  17. Remove from the oven, take the cake tin out of the water bath and allow to cool for 10 minutes
  18. Remove the cake from the tin, allow to cool for a further 20 minutes before chilling in the fridge for a couple of hours or overnight.
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