Monday 21 December 2015

Baileys Chocolate Cheesecake Trifles

This is my last blogpost before the Christmas holidays. My blog will be taking a short break and normal services will resume towards the end of January.  Baileys and Christmas are synonymous and it just isn't Christmas without  Baileys! These Baileys chocolate cheesecake trifles are really quick and easy to make and are guaranteed to be a hit at your Christmas parties. You can make them in a large dish to be served family style or serve them in small individual dishes. We had them at our Christmas drinks with our neighbours and everyone thoroughly enjoyed them. It's full of Baileys and has a lovely creamy richness from the cream cheese and whipped cream. The Oreos add a lovely crunch and chocolatey boost.

I'm sending this to We Should Cocoa guest hosted this month by Munchies & Munchkins on behalf of Choclette from Tin and Thyme. The theme this month is Christmas and as mentioned earlier, Baileys and chocolate pretty much equal Christmas to me! 

Wishing everyone a very Happy Christmas and a wonderful New Year! See you all back in Jan 2016 when I will be hosting AlphaBakes.

 cream cheese, cocoa powder, Baileys, whipping cream and oreo cookies 

 Oreo cookie base 

 Cheesecake layer 

 whipped cream layer 


For the cheesecake layer 
450g cream cheese
55g caster sugar
30g cocoa powder
4-6 tablespoons Baileys 

For the whipped cream layer
250mls whipping cream
2-3 tablespoons Baileys
1.5 tablespoon cocoa powder
3 tablespoon icing sugar

Base and topping
15 Oreo cookies, crushed

  • Beat the cream cheese, sugar and cocoa powder until smooth. 
  • Add in Baileys and set aside.
  • In a separate bowl, whip the cream until it starts to thicken then add in the Baileys, cocoa powder and icing sugar and whisk until stiff peak forms. 
  • Assemble the trifles by putting a layer of cookie crumbs at the bottom of each dish. Reserve a few tablespoons for the topping. 
  • Pipe or spoon the cheesecake layer on top of the cookie crumbs followed by the whipped cream layer. 
  • Repeat with a further layer of cheesecake filling followed by the whipped cream filling. 
  • Sprinkle the remaining cookie crumbs on top. 

Monday 14 December 2015

Spinach, Tomato and Mushroom Mini Frittatas

We had our neighbours round at the beginning of December for pre-Christmas drinks and nibbles. I made some festive bites which were quick and easy to do and tasted delicious. Initially I planned to make a quiche but I came across this recipe on Italian Food Forever and decided to give it a go. I used spinach and cherry tomatoes for their festive colours and added in some mushrooms. This recipe is so versatile as you can basically add whatever ingredients you fancy. They keep well too and tasted great for breakfast the next day. 

I'm sending this to a few blog challenges this month. 

AlphaBakes hosted by Caroline from Caroline Makes and myself on alternate months. The letter this month is N and I am using it for 'Noel' as Caroline is accepting any Christmas related entries. 

Treat Petite hosted by Stuart from Cakeyboi and Kat from The Baking Explorer. The theme this month is Red and Green aka Christmas. 

Extra Veg guest hosted by Elizabeth from Elizabeth's Kitchen Diary on behalf of Helen from Fuss Free Flavours and Michelle from Utterly Scrummy.

Simply Eggcellent hosted by Dom from Belleau Kitchen. The theme this month is Anything Goes and this recipe uses 8 large free range eggs.

 eggs, milk, spinach, mushroom, tomato 

 egg and milk mixture 

 add in the filling 

Makes 12 mini Frittatas

8 large free range eggs
250mls milk
salt and pepper
180g baby spinach, sauteed and drained
12 cherry tomatoes, halved
handful of chestnut mushrooms, chopped and sauteed

  • Preheat the oven to 180C
  • Grease a non stick 12 cup muffin tin.
  • In a large bowl, whisk the eggs and milk and season with salt and pepper. 
  • Pour evenly into the muffin cups. 
  • Add in a spoonful of mushrooms and a handful of spinach to each cup.
  • Add 2 cherry tomato halves. 
  • Bake for approximately 25-30 minutes or until set. 
  • Allow to cool before serving. 

Saturday 12 December 2015

Nutella Nanaimo Bars

This month's AlphaBakes is the letter 'N'. I started thinking about 'N' recipes and decided on Nutella which I love.  I've baked a lot with Nutella and wanted something a little different so when I came across these Nutella Nanaimo bars, I knew I had to make it immediately. I've seen Nanaimo bars on the blogosphere but have never made it myself. It's a no bake dessert bar named after the west coast city of Nanaimo in British Columbia. It usually has a wafer crumb base layer topped with a layer of custard flavoured butter icing and covered with melted chocolate. These of course contain nutella and have an Oreo cookie base. It's sweet and buttery and nutty and oh so naughty. One compliment I received was that "these taste like little explosions of heaven in your mouth". It's perfect for the upcoming festive season as it's quick and easy to make and you can make them in advance. 

I'm sending this to AlphaBakes hosted by Caroline from Caroline Makes and co hosted by myself on alternate months. The letter this month is "N" and I hope I get bonus points for my double N entry ;) 

 making the biscuit base 

 adding lots of lovely Nutella 

 cooked biscuit base 

 Nutella layer 

 add melted chocolate 

 ready to eat 

Recipe adapted from Sweet Twist of Blogging

For the base
2 packs of Oreo double stuff cookies (or regular oreo cookies)
60g caster sugar
50g cocoa powder
115g butter, melted
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract 
[I wanted to add some chopped hazelnuts but didn't have any in the cupboard]

For the filling
40g butter
110g icing sugar
300g Nutella
1 tablespoon double cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the topping
140g dark chocolate
10g butter

  • Preheat the oven to 180C.
  • Grease and line a square baking tin. 
  • Place the Oreo cookies in a food processor and blitz until it resembles breadcrumbs.
  • Place in a large bowl and add in the remaining ingredients.
  • Mix well then pour into a square tin.
  • Press down gently and level the top. 
  • Bake for approximately 15 minutes.
  • Allow to cool. 
  • To make the filling, beat the butter and icing sugar until it forms a paste.
  • Add in the Nutella, cream and vanilla extract and mix.
  • Pour onto the cooled base and level with a spatula. 
  • Place in the fridge to chill.
  • Place the chocolate and butter in a bowl over a pan of simmering water.
  • Stir occasionally and once fully melted, remove from the heat.
  • Pour the melted chocolate on top of the chilled filling, tilting from side to side to get an even coating.
  • Cover and chill for a few hours before serving.

Monday 7 December 2015

Apple and raisin muffins with streusel topping

As mentioned before I've been baking a LOT with apples these past few weeks. These muffins came about as I had 1 ripe banana and some apples to use up. I started with a banana and apple muffin and decided to add in raisins, nuts, spice and a streusel topping. The result was a wonderfully delicious and fragrant muffin which made for a perfect breakfast on the go.

I'm sending this to the No Waste Food Challenge guest hosted by Jen from Jen's Food this month on behalf of Elizabeth from Elizabeth' s Kitchen Diary.

 adding wet ingredients to the dry ingredients 

 adding pecans, raisins and apples

 add streusel topping before baking


 You can clearly see the chunks of apples and the raisins 

 Great breakfast with a nice cup of tea 

Makes 15 muffins 

For the streusel topping
25g flour
85 demerara sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
50g cold butter
25g pecans, chopped 

For the muffins
100g brown sugar
50g caster sugar
220g plain flour
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon mixed spice
60mls milk
1 ripe banana
80mls vegetable oil
2 large free range eggs
1 pot (165g) Muller light banana and custard yoghurt (or vanilla or apple flavour) 
2 apples, peeled, cored and roughly chopped
100g raisins
75g pecans, roughly chopped

  • Preheat the oven to 180C. 
  • Line 2 muffin trays with 15 muffin liners. 
  • Make the streusel topping by mixing all the ingredients in a bowl by hand. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, mix the sugars, flour, bicarbonate, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and mixed spice. 
  • In a separate bowl, lightly beat the eggs and add in the mashed bananas, vegetable oil, milk ad yoghurt.
  • Make a well in the dry ingredients and add the wet ingredients. Stir until just mixed. 
  • Add in the apples, raisins and pecans and mix. 
  • Divide the mixture evenly between the muffin cases. 
  • Top with streusel topping and bake in the pre heated oven for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown and a skewer insertedinto the centre comes out clean. 
  • Allow to cool in the tray for a few minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely. 

Saturday 5 December 2015

Mini Caramel Apple Cheesecakes with Streusel Topping

I can't believe it's December already! I probably say this every year but where has the year gone? This year seems to have flown by in a flash. I'm sure there's a lot of festive cooking and baking going on worldwide but I'm still in autumn mode with apples. I saw this on pinterest and thought what a great idea. I've been waiting for the perfect opportunity to bake these and made them to take to a dinner party. We were really full from all the food but still managed to enjoy one or two of these. It's a good idea baking them in muffin cases as it's a nice individual portion, looks cute and is easy to transport. I also took some to work as did J and both our work colleagues enjoyed them. It's a baked cheesecake filled with fresh apples, streusel topping and a generous drizzle of salted caramel sauce. These are great for the upcoming festive season as you can bake them in advance and they are sure to be a hit at any party. 

I'm sending this to Simply Eggcellent hosted by Dom from Belleau Kitchen as the theme this month is anything goes. This recipe contains 3 large free range eggs. 

It's also going to Recipe of the Week hosted by Emily from A Mummy Too.

 streusel topping 

 digestive biscuit base

 add cheesecake mixture 

 then chopped apples

 top with streusel topping 

 generous drizzle of caramel sauce before serving


Recipe adapted slightly from

Makes 18 mini cheesecakes

For the base
16 digestive biscuits
2.5 tablespoon caster sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
85g butter,melted

For the filling 
340g cream cheese
225g caster sugar
3 large free range eggs
3/4 cup creme fraiche
3 or 4 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and chopped into tiny pieces (if the chunks are too big, the apples won't cook fully)
3 tablespoons lemon juice

For the streusel topping
80g plain flour
40g oats
75g brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
57g butter

  • First prepare the streusel topping by mixing all the ingredients together in a large bowl using your hands until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. 
  • Cover and chill in the fridge. 
  • Preheat the oven to 165C. 
  • Prepare the crust by blitzing the digestive biscuits in a food processor or bashing them with a rolling pin in a ziplock bag. 
  • Add the melted butter, sugar and cinnamon and stir until mixed. 
  • Line 2 muffin tins with 18 cupcake/muffin liners. 
  • Divide the mixture evenly between 18 cases and press down gently.
  • Bake in the pre heated oven for approximately 5 minutes then remove from the oven and allow to cool.
  • Make the filling by beating the cream cheese with the sugar until smooth. 
  • Add the eggs one at a time followed by the creme fraiche and mix well.
  • Pour the filling (use a measuring jug with a pouring spout) on top of the baked cheesecake crust until about 2/3 full.
  • Peel, core and finely chop the apples then toss in fresh lemon juice.
  • Place a generous spoonful of apples on top of each cheesecake. 
  • Top with the streusel topping. 
  • Bake in the pre heated oven for approximately 30-35 minutes or until golden brown. 
  • Allow to cool completely then chill in the fridge for a few hours or overnight. 
  • Just before serving, pour a generous amount of caramel sauce on top of the cheesecake. I used ready made caramel sauce but you can also make your own. 

Monday 30 November 2015

AlphaBakes "M" Round up

Welcome to November's "M" Roundup. It's great to see so many of you joining in with AlphaBakes this month. We've had a wide variety of entries from sweet to savoury and a few new ingredients I've not heard of before. I am excited to see what December brings as we have already used 'X' this time and there's not many letters left so let's hope it's a good one. Be sure to check out Caroline's blog on 1st December to find out.

Caroline's mum Jacqueline sent in a chocolate marble cake. I love marble cakes and this looks pretty and delicious. 

Next we have Mushrooms on toast with Garlic and Thyme by Kate from Veggie Desserts. This is a delicious breakfast/brunch which is quick and easy to make. The mushrooms have lots of flavour from the herbs and the toast helps to absorb all those lovely mushroom juices. 

My co host Caroline from Caroline Makes baked Lavender Macarons which she packed in a box to give to her mum. You can read about Home Bake Box where she got the ingredients from on her blog. I am always impressed with anyone that bakes macarons as I'm terrible at them myself!

Suelle from Mainly Baking baked a delicious Marzipan and Cherry Loaf for her husband who wanted one from Waitrose. Why buy one when you can bake one at home and I'm pretty sure this tasted better than the shop bought ones. The cherries look really pretty and are beautifully and evenly spaced out. Check out her blog for her very helpful tip on how to prevent the cherries sinking to the bottom.

On to something savoury now with Maftoul with Roasted Harissa Rainbow Carrots from Shaheen from A2K - A seasonal Veg Table. Maftoul is made from sun-dried bulgar wheat and hand rolled into tiny, chewy balls. It absorbs flavours very well and is served with gorgeous roasted rainbow carrots.

Johanna from Green Gourmet Giraffe made a beetroot and caramelised onion galette with vegan mozarella. It made for a perfect end to a day full of ups and downs and I'm sure balanced out all the bad in the day! It's such a versatile recipe as you can change the filling and serve it warm or cold. 

Caroline is back with a Brazilian Condensed Milk Cake also known as Bolo de Leite Condensado. Caroline thought she got a can of caramel but had a can of condensed milk instead so decided to find a recipe to use it up. Unfortunately she didn't really like the texture of the cake as it was rubbery in texture but was not too bad when served with custard. The bundt tin makes the cake look really pretty. 

Kate from Gluten Free Alchemist made Mini Mouthful Jam Tarts with Pate Sucree which are of course gluten free. Pate Sucree is sweet French tart pastry which is sweetened and enriched shortcrust pastry perfect for sweet patisserie. Her is topped with a fresh raspberry which makes it look so pretty and oh so tempting!

Next is my own entry with a Chocolate Mint Cake made as a suprise for a friend's birthday. The sponge is chocolate mint and it has a creamy, minty cream cheese filling with chopped up Aeros. The cake is topped with a chocolate ganache and decorated with more Mint Aero's. If you like chocolate and mint then you'll love this cake! 

Dom from Belleau Kitchen baked a Gluten Free Apple and Medjool Date Cake which looks delicious and virtuous. Dom's not so sure about it as he feels it lacks something naughty but it went down well unsurprisingly! I'm sure it would be a great recipe for the upcoming festive season especially for those who are gluten intolerant.

Choclette from Tin and Thyme baked Strawberry Marshmallow Fluff Cookies and says they are the best cookies ever! I don't doubt her for an instant and would really like to try one or two of them. They are moreish on the outside and chewy on the inside and has ooey gooey marshmallow fluff baked in the cookie. 

Stuart from Cakeyboi made a very seasonal dessert, perfect for autumn and Thanksgiving with an unusual ingredient and a very clever kitchen gadget. I am of course talking about his Sweet Potato Cupcakes with Toasted Marshmallow. It's full of seasonal spices such as ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves which I'm sure smelt heavenly whilst baking. 

Next we have Golden Oat Raisin and Almond Cookies by Kat from The Baking Explorer. They are made with Marriage's Master Millers Golden Plain Flour and are packed full of almonds, raisins and a touch of golden syrup. It's unsurprising really that they went down a treat and I'm sure there will be requests for more! 

Caroline is back with French Toast Stuffed with Cream Cheese and Caramelised Pecans. She got the inspiration from her trip in America and served it with a little bottle of maple syrup, a souvenir from her trip. It sounds absolutely delicious and would make for a very indulgent brunch.

Caroline's final entry is White Chocolate, Banana and Walnut Gluten Free Muffins. She was recently named Writer of the Year at work - congratulations Caroline! and baked these muffins as a celebration. She made them gluten free so everyone could enjoy them.

Next we have Kerene from The Dream Baker with her Strawberry Cheesecake Mousse. It's an easy no bake dessert which is great for using up leftover cream cheese and whipping cream. I love the addition of strawberries and her presentation is beautiful. 

Our final entry is Green Beans with Mushrooms and Shallots by Grace from Life can be Simple. She wanted to make side dishes that she liked and that were also on the healthy side and came up with this. Looks delicious and nutitious!

That's the end of the Magnificient and Marvellous "M" round up! Thank you to everyone who participated. Remember to check out Caroline's blog tomorrow to see what letter we are using next and I will see you all back in January 2016!