Tuesday, 23 August 2011

No Bake Raspberry-Lemon Cheesecake...

For the crust:
3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
1 tablespoon sugar
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

For the filling:
2/3 cup sugar
zest on 2 lemons
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 (8 ounce) tub frozen whipped topping, thawed
1 cup fresh raspberries, slightly mashed with a fork

1. In a medium bowl, stir together the graham cracker crumbs and 1 tablespoon of sugar and melted butter. Evenly divide the crumbs between your individual serving dishes and press into the bottoms of the dishes to form a crust layer.
2. In a large bowl, mix together the sugar and lemon zest until the sugar becomes moist and fragrant. Add cream cheese and beat with an electric mixer until smooth. Add lemon juice and vanilla mixing to combine. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the whipped topping until well blended, then fold in the raspberries.
3. Evenly pipe or spoon the filling into individual serving dishes. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving. If desired, garnish with fresh raspberries and a sprig of fresh mint.

-If you make this into one pie, simply use pour the cream cheese mixture into a 9-inch graham cracker crust and chill for 3 hours before serving.
-This recipe tastes really delicious with blueberries and strawberries as well. Play around with different fruit combinations to create a wide range of flavors.
-I have not tried this recipe using fresh whipped cream, so I cannot attest to the results.

mybakingaddiction.com (Where I located the recipe from.)

Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars...

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened 

Cheesecake Filling:
3 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup sugar, plus 2 tablespoons, divided
3 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

3 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Streusel topping, recipe follows
1/2 cup caramel topping

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
     In a medium bowl, combine flour and brown sugar. Cut in butter with a pastry blender (or 2 forks) until mixture is crumbly. Press evenly into a 9x13 baking pan lined with heavy-duty aluminum foil. Bake 15 minutes or until lightly browned.
     In a large bowl, beat cream cheese with 3/4 cup sugar in an electric mixer at medium speed until smooth. Then add eggs, 1 at a time, and vanilla. Stir to combine. Pour over warm crust.
     In a small bowl, stir together chopped apples, remaining 2 tablespoons sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Spoon evenly over cream cheese mixture. Sprinkle evenly with Streusel topping. Bake 40-45 minutes, or until filling is set. Drizzle with caramel topping and let cool. Serve cold and enjoy!

Streusel Topping:
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup quick cooking oats
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened 

In a small bowl, combine all ingredients. I like to really combine it by using my clean hands to thoroughly combine the butter into the mixture.
the-girl-who-ate-everything.com (where I located the original recipe from.)

Sunday, 21 August 2011

Spiced Autumnal Orange Drizzle Cake with Dark Chocolate Embers...

125g/4.5oz butter
75g/3oz caster sugar
2 large eggs, beaten
150g/5oz self-raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1.5 tsp mixed spice
zest of one orange* see top tip.
2 tbsp (or 30 ml) of Cointreau or milk if you don't want to use alcohol
85g/3.5oz dark chocolate, roughly chopped

Top Tip: wash the fruit with a wee bit of washing up liquid to take the wax off, unless you can buy unwaxed oranges (I find them harder to source compared to lemons and limes). It will make the zesting of the orange much more effective and easier.

1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4 and line a 2lb loaf tin.
2. If you don't have an electric whisk, like me, then mix the butter, sugar, orange zest together first before adding in the eggs, then the flour, spices and baking powder. If you have an electric whisk, then add in all of the above ingredients and whizz them up until the mixture is smooth.
3. Stir in the Cointreau/milk so that the mixture falls softly off the spoon - that's my interpretation of 'a soft, dropping consistency'.
4. Stir the chocolate into the cake mixture. I wanted the chocolate to sink to the bottom of the cake, so didn't coat the chocolate with flour.
5. Spoon the cake mixture into the loaf tin and smooth the top. Pop it into the oven and let it bake for about 40 minutes, or until the tester/knife comes out clean.
6. While the cake is in the oven, prepare the orange drizzle. (if you prefer it a bit sweeter, then increase the sugar)

Ingredients for Orange Drizzle:
Juice of one orange
1 tbsp of Cointreau
30g golden caster sugar
7. I normally use a chopstick to poke wholes in the cake for the drizzle to pour into. This time I experimented with a cocktail stick in case they make smaller holes. Nope. I'll return to the chopstick next time.
8. Slowly pour the drizzle evenly over the cake when it is fresh out of the oven. Ta da!

Verdict - Mmmmmmmm.... Moist and flavoursome. The chocolate, orange and spice mix is a winner with adults and children alike. The added bonus is that this is a simple and quick cake to bake (especially if you have an electric whisk).

Friday, 19 August 2011

Cherry-Apricot Yogurt Sundaes with Maple Granola Brittle...

1/3 cup sugar 
1/2 cup water 
5 fresh bay leaves, halved lengthwise, or 2 large dried California bay leaves 
2 (3- by 1-inch) strips fresh lemon zest 
2 (3- by 1-inch) strips fresh orange zest 
6 fresh apricots 
1 lb fresh cherries (preferably Royal Ann or Rainier) 
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice 
2 cups plain yogurt (preferably Greek)

     Simmer sugar, water, bay leaves, and zests in a 1-quart heavy saucepan 5 minutes, then remove from heat and let steep 20 minutes. 
     While syrup steeps, halve apricots lengthwise and remove pits. Run a paring knife crosswise around each cherry, touching pit, then twist cherry halves to separate. Remove pits with tip of knife. 
     Toss apricots and cherries with lemon juice in a large shallow bowl. Return syrup to a boil, then pour over fruit, tossing to coat. Cover and let stand, stirring occasionally, at least 30 minutes. Put 1/3 cup yogurt on each of 6 plates and serve with fruit.

Maple granola brittle:
1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats 
1/2 cup whole almonds (2 1/2 oz) 
1/2 cup pecans (2 oz) 
1/2 cup shelled sunflower seeds (2 oz) 
1/2 cup roasted pumpkin seeds (2 1/2 oz) 
1 teaspoon finely grated fresh orange zest 
1 cup packed light brown sugar 
1/2 cup pure maple syrup 
1/2 cup fresh orange juice 
1/4 teaspoon salt 
1/2 stick (1/4 cup) cold unsalted butter, softened

     Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350°F. 
     Spread oats, almonds, pecans, and sunflower seeds in an even layer in a large shallow baking pan and bake, stirring occasionally, until oats are pale golden, about 15 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and toss with pumpkin seeds and zest. 
     Line a baking sheet with nonstick liner. Cook brown sugar, syrup, juice, and salt in a 4- to 6-quart heavy saucepan over moderately high heat, stirring with a wooden spoon (be careful not to splash or splatter while stirring; mixture will become extremely hot), until it registers 290°F on thermometer, 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in butter until melted (mixture will thicken and become opaque), then quickly add nut mixture and stir until coated well. Immediately pour onto liner, then cover mixture with a sheet of parchment paper. 
     Roll out brittle as thin as possible with a rolling pin. Carefully peel off parchment paper and discard (don’t worry if some caramel sticks to parchment). 
     Cool to room temperature, about 30 minutes. Break brittle into large pieces.

Malted Chocolate Pudding Cake...

Nonstick cooking spray
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup Dutch processed cocoa powder, plus 2 tablespoons
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon fine salt
1 cup chocolate malt powder, such as Ovaltine
1/2 cup low-fat (1 percent) milk
1 large egg white
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups boiling water
Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting, optional

     Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a 2-quart baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
Whisk together both flours, 1/2 cup of the brown sugar, 1/4 cup cocoa, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. In a separate bowl whisk 1/2 cup of the malt powder with the milk, egg white, butter, and vanilla until the malt dissolves. Stir into the dry ingredients until only a few small lumps remain and spread the batter in the prepared baking dish.
     Combine the remaining 1/4 cup of brown sugar with the remaining 2 tablespoons of cocoa and sprinkle over the batter. Stir the remaining 1/2 cup malt powder into the boiling water and pour it over the batter. Bake until the cake springs back when lightly touched and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs, 30 to 35 minutes. Cool for 30 minutes on a wire rack. If desired, dust the top of the cake with confectioners’ sugar and immediately spoon the warm cake and sauce onto plates or shallow bowls.

Yields 8 servings; 203 calories per serving.

Decadent Chocolate Cake...

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/3 cups sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon cardamom
3/4 teaspoon fine salt
2/3 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
1/2 cup boiling water
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 cup lowfat (2 percent) Greek-style yogurt
1/2 cup 1 percent lowfat milk
1/3 cup canola oil
1 large egg
1 large egg white
1/3 cup currants, soaked in hot water for 1 minute, drained
1/2 cup chopped semisweet or bittersweet chocolate
Confectioners’ sugar for dusting

     Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Generously spray a 10-inch Bundt pan with cooking spray.
Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cardamom, and salt in a medium bowl. Combine the cocoa and espresso powder in a small bowl. Pour the boiling water over the cocoa mixture, whisking until smooth. Stir in the vanilla.
     Whisk together the yogurt, milk, oil, egg, and egg white in a large bowl; stir in the cocoa mixture until blended. Gradually add the flour mixture, stirring just until combined. Stir in the currants and chopped chocolate.
     Pour the batter into the pan. Bake in the center of the oven until a cake tester inserted in the cake comes out clean, about 50 minutes. Cool on a baking rack for 10 minutes, then turn the cake out onto a baking rack to cool completely. Dust generously with confectioners’ sugar just before serving.

Makes 24 servings; serving size: 1 slice; calories per serving: 180 calories.

White Chocolate Coconut Pancakes...

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon white sugar
1 1/4 cups milk
1 egg
3 tablespoons butter, melted
1/2 cup white chocolate morsels
1/2 cup coconut
1/4 cup toasted coconut

     In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. Make a well in the center and pour in the milk, egg and melted butter; mix until smooth.Fold in coconut.
     Heat a lightly oiled griddle or frying pan over medium high heat. Pour or scoop the batter onto the griddle, using approximately 1/4 cup for each pancake. Drop in white chocolate morsels. Flip when bubbles appear on the top. Brown on both sides and serve hot. Garnish with butter, syrup, and toasted coconut.

Honeyed Banana-Blueberry Bread...

3/4 c. fresh blueberries (frozen should work as well)
1 3/4 c. all-purpose flour
2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 c. uncooked quick oats
1/2 c. honey
2 large eggs, beaten
1/4 c. Greek yogurt (fat free can work)
1 c. mashed ripe bananas

     Preheat the oven to 335 degrees and grease and flour a 9×5-inch bread pan. Sprinkle the blueberries with 1 tablespoon flour.
     Whisk the remaining flour together with the baking powder, salt, and oats in a large mixing bowl.
In a medium mixing bowl, mix the eggs, honey, yogurt, and banana mush.
     Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ones and mix with a wooden spoon, just until flour lumps are eliminated. Toss the berries into the bowl and fold them in gently, with just a couple of strokes.
     Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes, until a tester inserted in the middle comes out mostly clean. The batter for this bread is very moist, so a little may cling to the tester even when it’s fully baked.
     Cool the bread completely, then wrap it up overnight before slicing and serving. Can be frozen.

Honey and Oat Blueberry Lemon Pancakes...

1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup old fashioned oats
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup fat free milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • zest of 1 large lemon
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries (washed and dried)

     Preheat oven to 200 degrees.In a large food processor, add flour and oats and pulse until oats are ground. Then, add everything else except the blueberries and pulse until all ingredients are pureed and well combined.
     Heat a non-stick skillet to medium heat. Using a 1/4 cup scoop, pour batter on to skillet and add 8-10 blueberries on top of each pancake. Once you start to see little bubbles form, flip and continue to cook until pancake is browned on each side. Place pancake on an oven safe dish and place in oven to keep warm. 
     Continue until you have used all pancake batter.

Thursday, 18 August 2011

Heavenly Mango Mousse Cake...

For the white butter cake:
  • 2 large eggs, separated
  • 1 3/4 cups sifted cake flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup caster sugar, divided
  • 1-2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup + 1tbsp milk
  • 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar

  • Directions
  1.      Preheat oven at 350 degrees approx 177-180 Celsius. Grease 2 6-inches round cake pan and line with parchment paper. With a whisk and clean mixing bowl, whisk egg whites until foamy. Then add in cream of tartar and 1/4 cup sugar and continue to whisk until stiff peaks forms. Transfer to another bowl, if you do not have a spare mixing bowl.
  2.      In a separate bowl, mix cake flour, salt, and baking flour together. Next, change to a paddle attachment, beat butter and remainder of 3/4 cup sugar at medium speed until light, creamy and fluffy.
  3.      Add egg yolks, one at a time, beating after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Next, add the vanilla extract and beat until combined. Divide cake flour mixture to 3 additions, starting with milk and ending with flour and continue mixing until well combined.
  4.      With a rubber spatula, gently fold in beaten egg whites into cake batter, and fold until well combine. Careful to not over mix and lose all the air. Otherwise cake will deflate.
  5. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a skewer or toothpick inserted comes out clean. Set aside to cool before transferring to a wire rack to cool off completely.

For the mango mousse:
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons powdered gelatin
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 4 oz (120gr) mango puree
  • 2 tbsps sugar
  • 1/2 cup (125ml) heavy cream, cold

  1.      Sprinkle the gelatin over the water in a small bowl and let it soften while you prepare the fruit.
  2.      In a medium saucepan, bring the mango puree and sugar to a simmer. Remove from the heat and add in the softened gelatin. Stir until the gelatin is completely melted.
  3.      Transfer the fruit puree to a large bowl and let it cool down to room temperature.
  4. Using a whisk attachment attached to the mixer, whip the cream on medium speed until soft peaks form. Fold about 1/3 of the whipped cream into the fruit puree to lighten it up (do not worry about losing air at this point). Carefully fold in the rest of the whipped cream. You will notice that the mixture appears a little runny.
  5.      Cover mousse with cling film wrap. To help it set nicely to a spreading consistency, do chill it in the refrigerator for about 15-20 minutes before spreading it over the cake.

For the fresh cream and mango chunk layer:
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream, cold
  • 3 tbsp powdered sugar
  • 1/2 a mango, sliced into cubes

  1.      With a whisk attachment, whisk heavy cream and powdered sugar until stiff peaks form.

For light meringue buttercream:
  • 2 large white eggs
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened and cut into cubes
  • 4-5 tsps lemon juice
  • 1-2 tsp pure clear vanilla extract

  1.      Mix whites and sugar in a mixer bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Heat, whisking constantly until sugar dissolves for approx. 2-3 mins and mixture is warm.
  2.      Remove from heat. With a whisk attachment, whisk on high speed until stiff peaks form, for about 5 minutes. Add butter, several cubes at a time, whisking after each addition. Add lemon juice and vanilla then beat for another 2 minutes, scrapping down sides of bowl when needed.

To assemble:
  1.      Slice one of the cake into half. Use the thicker baked cake as the base. Spread a thin layer of whipped cream. Layer cut mango cubes evenly on cake and top with remainder whipped cream.
  2.      Layer next layer of cake, and spread the mango mousse over the layer and finally layer with final layer of cake. With a cake spread, remove access mousse and whipped cream. Chill cake in the refrigerator for about 2 hours to allow mousse and whipped cream to set before frosting. Thaw before serving.

Warm raspberry cupcakes with orange sugar drizzle...

200g self-raising flour
2 tsp baking powder
200g unsalted butter , softened
4 eggs
200g caster sugar
3 tbsp milk
50g ground almonds
zest of 1 medium orange
150g punnet raspberries , lightly crushed, plus extra to decorate
For the Sugar Crust:
juice of 1 medium orange
4 tbsp caster sugar

     Heat oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4. Line a 12-hole muffin tin with paper muffin cases. Tip the first 8 ingredients into a large bowl and beat with electric whisk until smooth. Fold the crushed raspberries through the batter.
     Divide the batter between the cases (they should be about half full) and bake for 20-25 mins or until golden and just firm. Make the topping by mixing together the orange juice and sugar until well blended.
     Remove the cupcakes from the oven and allow to cool a little. Drizzle each with the orange and sugar crust mix. Top with the extra raspberries to serve.

Nutrition per Serving:
328 kcalories, protein- 5g, carbohydrate- 37g, fat- 19 g, saturated fat- 10g, fibre- 1g, sugar- 23g, salt- 0.49 g

bbc goodfood

Fruity Teacake...

300g mixture dried berries and cherries
225ml hot tea
juice 1 orange (about 75ml/2½fl oz) plus zest
50g butter
100g light brown sugar
1 egg
225g self-raising flour
4 tbsp demerara sugar

     Place the dried fruits in a bowl and pour over the hot tea, orange juice and zest. Cover with cling film, then leave for at least 4 hrs or better still overnight.
     Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Grease and line the base of a 2lb loaf tin. Beat together the butter and sugar until creamy, then beat in the egg followed by the flour. Carefully stir through the fruit mixture. Spoon the mixture into the tin, then smooth over the surface with the back of a spoon. Sprinkle all over with a thick layer of demerara sugar.
     Bake for 1 hr or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tin, then turn out, cut into slices and serve.

Nutrition per Serving:
231 kcalories, protein- 3g, carbohydrate- 48g, fat- 4 g, saturated fat- 3g, fibre- 1g, sugar- 33g, salt- 0.27 g

bbc goodfood

Storecupboard Pasta Salad...

2 tsp finely chopped red onion
1 tsp capers
1 tbsp pesto
2 tsp olive oil
185g can of tuna in spring water, drained
100g leftover pasta shapes
3 sundried tomatoes , chopped

Mix the onion, capers, pesto and oil. Flake the tuna into a bowl with the pasta and tomatoes, then stir in the pesto mix.
Make it for kids Mix together 1 tbsp pesto with 2 tbsp mayo. Stir through 100g cooked pasta along with 100g sweetcorn, 185g can drained, flaked tuna and 1 chopped tomato. 
Dress it up: 
Griddled tuna salad Mix 200g leftover pasta with juice ½ lemon, bunch chopped parsley, 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, 2 chopped spring onions, 1 tbsp drained capers and a handful toasted pine nuts. Brush 2 tuna steaks with olive oil, griddle for 2 mins each side, then cut into slices. Toss through the pasta to serve.

Nutrition per Serving:
189 kcalories, protein- 19g, carbohydrate- 12g, fat- 7 g, saturated fat- 2g, fibre- 2g, sugar- 2g, salt- 0.91 g

bbc goodfood

Blueberry Muffins...

5 tbsp rapeseed oil
225g self-raising flour
115g wholemeal flour
2 tsp baking powder
zest ½ lemon and 1 tsp juice
85g golden caster sugar
50g light muscovado sugar
1 small very ripe banana with black skin (about 85g peeled weight)
1 egg
284ml pot buttermilk
225g fresh blueberries

     Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Use 1 tsp oil to lightly oil a 12-hole muffin tin (or use paper cases). Mix both flours with the baking powder and lemon zest. Reserve 1 tbsp caster sugar, then stir the rest into the flour with the muscovado.
     Mash the banana well. In another bowl beat the egg, then stir in the banana, buttermilk and oil. Using a large metal spoon, very lightly stir into the flour mix, just to combine. Over-mixing will make the muffins tough. 
     Toss in the blueberries and give just a few turns of the spoon to carefully stir them in without crushing.
     Spoon the mixture into the tin - each hole should be very full. Bake for 20-25 mins until risen and golden.
     Mix the reserved caster sugar with the lemon juice. When the muffins are done, remove from the oven, then brush with the sugar and lemon mixture while they are still hot. Gently loosen the edges of each muffin with a knife, then leave in the tin for 15 mins to cool a little as they're very delicate while hot. 
     Remove to a wire rack. Best eaten the day of making, but will keep for up to 2 days.

Nutrition per Serving:
206 kcalories, protein- 5g, carbohydrate- 36g, fat- 6 g, saturated fat- 1g, fibre- 2g, sugar- 16g, salt- 0.43 g
bbc goodfood

Vanilla Blueberry Cheesecake...

300g blueberries
100g golden caster sugar
200g digestive biscuits
100g butter , melted
2 tsp vanilla extract
600g soft cheese
100g icing sugar
300ml pot double cream

     To make the blueberries, put the sugar and 3 tbsp water in a pan. Cook until dissolved then boil until syrupy. Add the blueberries, cook for a minute or two. You want them to soften but not burst. Tip the blueberries into a sieve over a bowl and cool.
     Butter the base and sides of a 22cm spring form cake tin then line with baking parchment. To make the base, whizz the biscuits in a processor to crumbs. Mix with the butter then tip them into the prepared tin and press firmly into the base to create an even layer. Chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.
     Mix the soft cheese, icing sugar and vanilla in a bowl until smooth then tip in the cream and mix until combined (it's better to use a wooden spoon for this as electric beaters will overwhip the cream). Stir through half the blueberries then spoon onto the base. 
     Smooth the top of the cheesecake. Leave to set in the fridge overnight. Stir the remaining blueberries back into the syrup and chill.
     Take the cheesecake from the fridge about 30 minutes before serving. Release the tin and remove the paper from the sides. Slide the cake onto a plate leaving the base paper behind. Spoon over the blueberries and syrup before serving.

Nutrition per Serving:
695 kcalories, protein- 6.9g, carbohydrate- 49.8g, fat- 53.6 g, saturated fat- 31.1g, fibre- 1.4g, salt- 1.4 g

Thin Mint Pie...

    • 45 Thin Mint Cookies, divided use
    • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, melted
    • 1 pkg. (8 oz.) cream cheese, room temperature
    • 1/3 cup sugar
    • 8 ounces thawed Cool Whip Topping
    1. Place 24 Thin Mints into the bowl of a food processor and pulse until the cookies have been crushed into fine crumbs; mix with butter until well blended.
    2. Press firmly onto bottom and up sides of 9-inch pie plate. Refrigerate crust while preparing filling.
    3. Coarsely chop the remaining (21) cookies; set aside. Beat cream cheese and sugar in medium bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add chopped cookies and whipped topping; folding gently until well blended. Spoon into prepared crust.
    4. Refrigerate at least 2 hours or until firm. Garnish with whipped topping and additional cookie crumbs.

Chocolate Bete Noir...

Ingredients: Cake-

  • 1 cup water
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 9 tablespoons (1 stick plus 1 tablespoon) unsalted butter, diced
  • 18 ounces bittersweet (not unsweetened) or semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 8 ounces bittersweet (not unsweetened) or semisweet chocolate, chopped
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Butter a 10-inch-diameter springform pan. Line bottom of pan with a parchment round and butter parchment. Wrap 3 layers of heavy-duty foil around outside of pan, bringing foil to top of rim.
  3. Combine 1 cup water and sugar in small saucepan Bring to boil over medium heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Simmer 5 minutes. Remove from heat.
  4. Melt butter in large saucepan over low heat. Add chocolate and whisk until smooth. Whisk sugar syrup into chocolate; cool slightly. Add eggs to chocolate mixture and whisk until well blended.
  5. Pour batter into prepared pan. Place cake pan in large roasting pan. Add enough hot water to roasting pan to come halfway up sides of cake pan.
  6. Bake cake until center no longer moves when pan is gently shaken, about 50 minutes. Remove from water bath and transfer to rack. Cool completely in pan.
  7. Run knife around pan to loosen cake. Release sides. Cut cake into wedges and serve with whipped cream
  1. Bring whipping cream to a simmer in a small saucepan over medium heat. Remove from heat. Add chocolate and whisk until smooth.
  2. Pour over top of cake still in pan. Gently shake pan to distribute ganache evenly over top of cake. Refrigerate cake in pan until ganache is set, about 2 hours. Do Ahead: Can be made 2 days ahead. Cover and keep refrigerated.

Cheesecake Supreme with Oreo Cookie Crust...

  • 2-3 cups Oreo cookies with cream center removed, finely ground. How many cups you use depends on how thick you like your crust; thicker is better with this crust. 
  • 5-6 tbsp. of butter 
  • 1/3 cup of sugar 
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 5 (8 oz.) packages cream cheese, softened 
  • 5 eggs 
  • 2 egg yolks 
  • 2 tsp. vanilla 
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar 
  • 1/8 cup flour 
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  1. Get out your cream cheese, eggs and cream and let sit while making the crust so that they are at or close to room temp by the time you need them. 
  2. Grind up cookies in a blender or food processor. Mix cookies, sugar, salt and butter in a bowl until combined and press into the bottom and about an inch or two up the sides of a 10″ springform pan (springform pan is key, make sure you have one). Place in refrigerator while you make the cheesecake. 
  3. DO NOT PREHEAT YOUR OVEN. In a large bowl, combine cream cheese, eggs, egg yolks and vanilla; mix until smooth. Add in the sugar, flour and heavy cream and blend until smooth. 
  4. Do not over-mix as this will create more air bubbles which can contribute to your cake cracking. Pour batter into your prepared, chilled crust. 
  5. Place your cake in the oven and then turn it on to 400 degrees (F). Bake for 10 minutes (You can bake it up to 15 minutes if you’d like the top to brown a bit). Turn the oven down to 200 degrees (F). Bake for 3 hours. Then turn the over off, prop open the door slightly and let cool for 1 hour. Finally, place in your refrigerator and chill for a full 24 hours before removing the springform pan’s side and serving.

Chocolate-Glazed Chocolate Tart...

For the crust:
  • 9 (5- by 21/4-inch) chocolate graham crackers (not chocolate-covered), finely ground (1 cup) 
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted 
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F with rack in middle. 
  2. Stir together all ingredients and press evenly onto bottom and 3/4 inch up side of tart pan. Bake until firm, about 10 minutes. Cool on a rack 15 to 20 minutes.
For the filling:
  • 1 1/4 cups heavy cream 
  • 9 oz bittersweet chocolate (not more than 65% cacao if marked), chopped 
  • 2 large eggs 
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  1. Bring cream to a boil, then pour over chocolate in a bowl and let stand 5 minutes. Gently stir until smooth. Whisk together eggs, vanilla, and salt in another bowl, then stir into melted chocolate. 
  2. Pour filling into cooled crust. Bake until filling is set about 3 inches from edge but center is still wobbly, 20 to 25 minutes. (Center will continue to set as tart cools.) 
  3. Cool completely in pan on rack, about 1 hour.
For the glaze:
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream 
  • 1 3/4 oz bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped 
  • 1 teaspoon light corn syrup 
  • 1 tablespoon warm water
  1. Bring cream to a boil and remove from heat. Stir in chocolate until smooth. Stir in corn syrup, then warm water. 
  2. Pour glaze onto tart, then tilt and rotate tart so glaze coats top evenly. Let stand until glaze is set, about 1 hour.

Fusilli Pasta with Lemon Garlic Greens...

  • 1 zucchini
  • 1/2 pack green beans
  • 1/2 fine stem asparagus
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 large lemon
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  1. Prepare the vegetables – thickly slice the zucchini and cut each of the asparagus and green beans into three pieces.
  2. Heat a few tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil (e.v.o.o.) in a large pan, add the zucchini, season and fry for a few minutes ensuring not to let them color too much.
  3. Finely chop the garlic. Zest the lemon. Add both to the pan with the zucchini along with the juice of half a lemon. Make sure the garlic doesn’t brown.
  4. Bring a pan of water to the boil and quickly blanch the asparagus and green beans, then immediately rinse them in cold water to prevent them from cooking further. Place the frozen peas in a bowl and cover with boiling water from a kettle. Leave to stand for a few minutes before draining.
  5. Bring a large pan of water to the boil. Salt generously, add the pasta and cook until al dente – err on the side of caution if using fusilli as it will lose its shape.
  6. Add the remainder of the vegetables to the pan. Squeeze over the juice of the remaining half a lemon, drizzle over some e.v.o.o. and season. Drain pasta and stir through the veg. If you wish drizzle over a little more e.v.o.o. Allow the pasta to absorb some of the juices before serving. I like to grind black pepper on it before eating.

Blueberry Cheesecake Squares...

Cookie crust:
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup confectioners sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) chilled unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1 teaspoon ice water
Cheesecake filling:
  • 16 ounces (2 packages) softened cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup blueberry jam
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9X13 inch pan.
  2. Place flour, sugar and salt in food processor and pulse.
  3. Add butter and process until the dough begins to form a ball, adding ice water if necessary.
  4. Press dough evenly over the bottom of the prepared pan. Bake until crust is lightly golden, about 20 minutes. Let cool for 30 minutes.
  5. While cooling, prepare filling. Mix softened cream cheese, sugar and vanilla until well blended.
  6. Add eggs and mix just until eggs are incorporated.
  7. After crust cools for 30 minutes, pour cheesecake filling evenly over the crust.
  8. Spoon Blueberry Jam randomly on top of filling and then swirl to combine.
  9. Bake at 350 degrees F for approximately 35-45 minutes or until center is set. Allow to cool in pan.

Salted Mudslide Cookies...

  • 2 cups + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/4 cup dark cocoa powder
  • 3 tablespoons instant coffee powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) of unsalted butter, melted and cooled for 10-15 minutes
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 egg + 1 egg yolk, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup coffee liqueur + 1 teaspoon (Godiva, Kahlua, etc)
  • 1 cup chocolate chunks
  • sea salt for topping
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
  2. Mix the flour, cocoa, coffee powder, salt and baking soda in a bowl and set aside. In another bowl, mix the melted butter and sugars until they are combined. Add the egg, egg yolk, and vanilla and stir until mixed. Stream in coffee liqueur and mix. Gradually add flour and mix until a dough forms – it will look crumbly at first, but it will come together. If you find you absolutely need more liquid add in a teaspoon of coffee liqueur, but it should come together.
  3. Fold in the chocolate chunks. Refrigerate dough for 30 minutes.
  4. Remove dough from the fridge and roll into golfball sized balls. Set on a non-stick baking sheet with 2 inches between each.
  5. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until the edges are set and the middles are still soft. The centers should be puffy. Do not over bake. Remove from oven and immediately sprinkle with sea salt. Let cool completely then dig in!