This dessert was so easy to make and a real hit! It does need to be refrigerated overnight so be sure to make it ahead of time.
250g Tennis biscuits, crushed
200g butter, melted
2 tsp vanilla extract
extra 250ml milk
Caramel pudding layer:
1 box caramel instant pudding
1 can caramel treat
1 slab milk chocolate, grated
- Mix the biscuits with the melted butter and press it firmly into the bottom of a deep, square 30 cm dish. Let cool until needed.
- Heat 1 liter of the milk with the sugar for 10 minutes in a large microwave-safe bowl.
- Whisk the eggs and remaining 500 ml milk, flour, cornflour and vanilla extract in a separate bowl until smooth.
- Mix the flour mixture into the hot milk and microwave for about 4 minutes, stirring every minute until the mixture is thick. Beat in the butter and let cool.
- Beat the extra milk and instant pudding together. Whip the cream in a separate bowl until soft peaks form and fold in the instant pudding.
- When the custard has cooled, pour over the cooled biscuit layer. Smooth caramel treat over the custard, then add the instant pudding mix. Top with grated chocolate (and crumbs of any leftover biscuits) and refrigerate overnight.
This recipe caters for about 10-12 guests.
This past weekend I celebrated my birthday and I had decided I needed to bake an EPIC cake! I first came across this amazingness of a cake while on Facebook with a link to Shugary Sweets and just knew this was THE cake to bake!
The recipe is below for those of you who want to give this a try…
2 230 gram packages cream cheese (softened)
1 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1/4 cup sour cream
1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
Carrot cake layers:
2 cups sugar
1 cup oil
4 large eggs
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 cups shredded carrots
Cream cheese icing:
1 cup unsalted butter (softened)
1 230 gram package cream cheese (softened)
1 tablespoon vanilla essence
1/4 cup heavy cream
4 cups icing
1 cup chopped pecans
For the cheesecake layer:
Prepare the cheesecake layer first as you’ll need to put it in the fridge/freezer once done.
Preheat oven to 160 degrees C. Using a large roasting pan, add 1 inch of water to the pan. Place it on the lower 2/3 of the oven and allow it to preheat in the oven. Prepare 23cm springform pan by wrapping the outside bottom part of the pan with double layer of foil. Line the inside bottom with a circle of parchment paper.
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. Beat in sour cream and heavy cream, until light and fluffy (about 2 minutes). Pour into prepared pan. Place pan in center of preheated roasting pan in the oven, making sure to be careful not to spill water.
Bake cheesecake for 45 minutes. Turn oven off and let cheesecake sit in oven for an additional 30 minutes. Remove and cool completely on counter. When cooled, remove outside portion of the springform pan and place into the freezer for several hours or overnight. If using within 24 hours, just refrigerate.
For the carrot cake layers:
Preheat oven to 180 degrees C. Grease and flour two 23cm cake pans and set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, combine sugar, oil and eggs until blended. Add in flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Beat for about 2 minutes. Add in shredded carrots. Pour into prepared cake pans.
Bake for 30 minutes. Cool on wire rack for ten minutes and then remove from the pans and cool completely
For the icing:
In a large mixing bowl, combine cream cheese and butter and beat for 3 minutes. Add in sugar, vanilla, and heavy cream and beat for 3-4 minutes until light and fluffy. Fold in chopped pecans.
To assemble the cake, place on layer of carrot cake then place the cheesecake on top and finally the second layer of carrot cake. Spread on the icing on the sides and top and decorate with leftover pecans. (I decided on a naked cake look and didn’t ice the sides.)
Store in the refrigerator, covered, for up to 3 days.
The other weekend I decided some baking was required! I took out my box of recipes and quickly chose my favourite vanilla cupcake recipe.
While taking out all the ingredients to place on the kitchen counter, I came across a jar of assorted Lindt chocolate balls I had forgotten about. I brought them out too and decided to try create a secret centre or secret filling per cupcake. I happened to have some dark chocolate, milk chocolate, white chocolate, hazelnut noisette, and caramel filled Lindt balls that I set aside.
After making the cupcake batter I brought out some special cupcake holders that I used for the secret centre cupcakes so I could tell them apart from the normal cupcakes which would be in plain white. (I didn’t have enough Lindt balls to make all the cupcakes have secret fillings.) I put a bit of the batter in, then popped in a Lindt ball, and finally topped with some more batter leaving enough room at the top for the cupcakes to rise.
I’m not sure whether it was the difference in cupcake holders with thicker paper or the addition of the chocolate ball but I had to bake the cupcakes for longer than normal. Once they’d baked and cooled a little I iced them with a chocolate butter icing.
The cupcakes had barely been iced or cooled down completely before I took one, gave one to MrMan, and we devoured it! They were perfect! Still warm from the oven. And the chocolate was still soft and gooey. The only thing I realised after biting into one was that the chocolate had sunk to the bottom. It was obviously too heavy during the baking process but they still tasted amazing!
I’m thinking that the next time I make secret centre cupcakes that I’ll try marshmallows… They are lighter in weight and perhaps won’t sink to the bottom but should still go gooey in the heat of the oven.
My most favourite dessert on a hot summer’s day is strawberries soaked in sherry (or port) and served with whipped cream. I made some over the weekend and wanted to share it with you.
First you cut off all the stalks and leaves, then cut them into quarters and place into a bowl.
Then you sprinkle them with sugar. You can use normal sugar or castor sugar. I use normal sugar and use two teaspoons per punnet of strawberries.
Then grab some sherry or port and douse the strawberries. I used about 1/3 of a cup of Old Brown Sherry for the one punnet of strawberries.
Finally, place a lid or cover on the bowl and mix a little before placing in the fridge until serving.
I usually serve these strawberries with whipped cream. My favourite way of whipping cream is to add a teaspoon of vanilla essence as well as about two teaspoons of icing sugar or castor sugar before whipping. And a nice change to this dessert would be to mix the strawberries and cream and then layer onto a meringue base for a decadent pavlova.
Have you got a summer favourite dessert?
A month or two ago I wrote about how much fun I am having testing out my new kitchen and baking up a storm. Today I’m sharing my beloved recipe for Jam Drop cookies.
60ml castor sugar
5ml vanilla essence
500ml cake flour
50ml apricot jam*
Beat butter and castor sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in vanilla essence. Sift flour, cornflour and salt together and blend into beaten mixture until a soft consistency is attained.
Roll into walnut-sized balls (approximately 1 teaspoon of mixture) and make a hollow in the centre of each. Place on a lightly greased baking sheet at bake for 15 minutes at 180C, or until lightly golden.
Cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes and then move onto a wire rack to cool completely.
Dust with icing sugar before serving.
*You can substitute the apricot jam for Nutella or tinned caramel.
The second course in the Yuppichef’s The Art of Baking course is Cookies and Biscuits.
I love making cookies! Besides getting to choose which cookie cutters to use (from over 100 different shapes I have), I love that my cookie recipes always make so many which means days of enjoyment afterwards! Although this was my first time making butter biscuits with a zesty lemon flavour, I wasn’t any less excited! It meant I got to try out my new letterpress cookie cutters that I recently received for my birthday.
The dough was easy to make as it required only a handful of ingredients. Best of all, I used lemons freshly picked from my tree which I am sure added to the tastiness of the final product.
I did find that the letterpress cookie cutters were quite big which meant that I wouldn’t get as many cookies out of the dough as I had hoped. So I made a few big cookies and then chose a few of my slightly smaller cookie cutters for the remainder. The letterpress cookie cutter set comes with a handful of letters and a little orange block which allows you to letterpress cookies even when you use other cookie cutters. Score!
As for the recipe, the lemon zest is just a hint in the taste. I decided to make up a bit of lemony icing to finish off the cookies and add a bit more zing. The dough itself was quite difficult to roll out as it kept on sticking to the rolling pin. I dusted with flour, and with more flour, but to no avail. In the future, I think I’ll be sticking with my tried and tested (and much loved) recipe for cut-out cookies.