Chocolate chilli cheesecake (no-bake)

Chocolate chilli cheesecake

Ingredients:

  • 1¼ cups chocolate biscuit crumbs
  • 80g butter, melted
  • 500g Philadelphia cream cheese, softened
  • 400g can sweetened condensed milk
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp cardamom
  • ½ tsp chilli powder
  • ¼ cup boiling water
  • 2 tabs instant coffee
  • 1 tsp powdered gelatine
  • 100g milk chocolate melts, melted and cooled slightly
  • 100g milk Lindt Excellence dark chocolate with chilli, melted and cooled slightly
  • ½ cup thickened cream, softly whipped
  • Extra chocolate or cocoa powder, to decorate

Method:

  1. Grease a 20cm springform pan.
  2. Combine biscuit crumbs and butter; then press mixture into the base of the pan and refrigerate.
  3. Beat the cream cheese, condensed milk and spices with an electric mixer until just combined.
  4. Dissolve the coffee in the water, followed by the gelatine powder. Stir until completely dissolved.
  5. Add the melted chocolate and gelatine/coffee to the cream cheese mixture; beat until smooth.
  6. Gently fold through the cream.
  7. Pour the mixture over the prepared base. Refrigerate for 3 hours or until set.
  8. Grate chocolate over the top to decorate, or dust with cocoa powder. Slice and serve.

Heart-shaped strawberry hand pies

Heart-shaped strawberry hand pies

Ingredients:

  • Perfect pastry dough (see the recipe)
  • 3 cups strawberries, de-stemmed and roughly chopped
  • 6 tabs raw sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp cornflour
  • 2 tabs Chambord, or other berry liqueur (optional)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tab water
  • 1/4 cup icing sugar, to decorate
  • Freshly whipped cream, to serve

Fresh strawberries

Method:

  1. Preheat your oven to 200° C. Line two baking trays with baking paper and set aside.
  2. In a saucepan, combine strawberries, sugar, berry liqueur and vanilla until sugar dissolves and strawberries disintegrate.
  3. Drain some excess juice (approximately 1/4 cup) from the saucepan to a small bowl; return the saucepan to the heat.
  4. Add cornflour to the separated juice; stir until completely mixed. Add cornflour mix to the saucepan and stir until strawberry mixture is thick; remove from the heat and allow to cool.
  5. On a lightly floured surface, roll out half of the prepared pastry dough to 1/8 inch thickness.
  6. Use a 6 inch heart-shaped cookie cutter to cut heart shapes in the pastry. Roll out the remaining half of the dough and repeat. Form any excess dough back into a ball, roll out and cut again until dough is used up.
  7. Whisk egg and water together in a small bowl; lightly brush around each heart.
  8. On half of the hearts only, place 2 to 3 tablespoons of the cooled strawberry filling.
  9. Cover each ‘filled’ heart with one of the remaining hearts; use a fork to gently press the edges together to seal. Pierce the top of each pie with a sharp skewer to allow steam to escape.
  10. Brush the tops of each pie with the egg wash and bake for 20 minutes, or until the pies are golden brown.
  11. Cool the pies on a wire rack, then use a sieve to dust them with icing sugar.
  12. Serve with freshly whipped cream.

Baileys coffee and white chocolate fudge

Ingredients:
  • 150ml Baileys with a Hint of Coffee
  • 50ml milk
  • 30g butter
  • 350g caster sugar
  • 300g white chocolate, chopped
  • Butter for greasing
Method:
  1. Grease a square cake tin or baking pan with butter.
  2. Measure out 125ml of Baileys and pour into a medium saucepan. Add the milk, butter and caster sugar and put the pan over a low heat. Stir occasionally, until the sugar has dissolved and the butter melted — this will take about 10 minutes.
  3. Turn the heat up to medium and let the mixture gently simmer while stirring constantly. The bubbles should calmly break the surface for 10 minutes.
  4. Remove pan from heat and stir in chopped-up chocolate and last 25ml of Baileys. Keep stirring until the chocolate has melted and you have a beautifully smooth consistency.
  5. If the chocolate is being slow to melt, put the pan back over a low heat and stir until silky smooth.
  6. Pour the mixture into the cake tin or baking pan and chill in the fridge for at least two hours, or until it has set completely.
  7. Remove from the fridge, cut into squares and enjoy!
Note:  Each piece is worth approximately 0.126 standard drinks, depending on how large you cut your squares.

Rum and raisin fudge

Makes approx. 30 squares
Ingredients:
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 2 tbsps rum
  • 395g can sweetened condensed milk
  • 125g butter, chopped
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tbsps golden syrup
  • 150g milk chocolate melts
Method:
  1. Lightly grease a 20cm square cake pan. Line base and sides with baking paper.
  2. Place raisins and rum in a small bowl. Set aside for 10 minutes.
  3. In a medium saucepan, combine condensed milk, butter, brown sugar and golden syrup. Stir over a low heat until combined. Bring to the boil on high; then reduce heat to low and simmer for 8-10 minutes, stirring constantly.
  4. Stir chocolate melts and raisin mixture through, until combined and smooth.
  5. Spoon mixture into prepared pan. Cool at room temperature for 5-6 hours, until firm. Cut into squares to serve.
Tip:  Fudge can be placed in the fridge after 3 hours for 15-20 minutes to firm up before slicing. Store in fridge.

Mars bar cheesecake (no-bake)

Serves 8

Ingredients:

  • 250g plain chocolate biscuits
  • 150g butter, melted
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 20g butter, extra
  • 300ml thickened cream
  • 50g milk chocolate, chopped finely
  • 3 tsps gelatin
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) water
  • 2 x 250g packets cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup (110g) caster sugar
  • 3 x 60g Mars bars, chopped finely

Method:

  1. Process/crush biscuits until mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add butter, process/mix until just combined. Using one hand, press crumb mixture evenly over base and side of 21cm springform tin. Cover and refrigerate 30 minutes or until firm.
  2. Meanwhile, combine brown sugar, extra butter and 2 tbsps of the cream in a small saucepan; stir over low heat until sugar dissolves, to make butterscotch sauce.
  3. Combine chocolate and another 2 tbsps of cream in another small saucepan; stir over low heat until chocolate melts.
  4. Sprinkle gelatine over the water in a small heatproof jug; stand jug in small saucepan of simmering water. Stir until gelatine dissolves; then let cool for 5 minutes.
  5. Beat cheese and caster sugar in medium bowl with electric mixer until smooth. Beat remaining cream in small bowl with electric mixer until soft peaks form. Stir slightly warm gelatine mixture into cream cheese mixture; stir in Mars bars; fold in cream.
  6. Pour half of the cream cheese mixture into prepared tin; drizzle half of the butterscotch and chocolate sauces over the mixture. Pull skewer backwards and forward through the mixture several times go create a marbled effect. Repeat process with remaining mixture and sauces.
  7. Cover cheesecake and refrigerate 3 hours or until set.

Note:  You can also melt the milk chocolate and cream in a microwave oven; cook on HIGH (100%) for about 1 minute, stirring twice during cooking time.

Caramel mud cake

This caramel mud cake is rich, dense and delicious. If you love caramel, then this cake is for you!

Caramel mud cake Ingredients:

  • 125g unsalted butter, chopped
  • 100g white chocolate, chopped coarsely
  • 225g brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 150g plain flour
  • 1/3 cup (50g) self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 3 eggs, beaten lightly (use only 2 eggs for a denser cake)

Ingredients (caramel frosting):

  • 185g butter, chopped
  • 1.5 cups firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup (100ml) milk
  • 2 cups pure icing sugar, sifted

Ingredients (chocolate ganache):

  • 2/3 cup dark chocolate, roughly chopped
  • 2 tabs double cream

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to slow. Grease 22cm-round cake pan; line base and side with baking paper, extending paper 5cm above edge of pan.
  2. Combine the butter, chocolate, sugar and water in medium saucepan; stir over low heat until mixture is smooth. Transfer mixture to large bowl; cool 15 minutes. Whisk in both flours, then essence and eggs.
  3. Pour mixture into prepared pan; bake in a slow oven for about 1 hour (see tip below). Stand in pan 10 minutes; turn onto wire rack to cool.
  4. Place cake, top side up, on serving plate; allow to cool.
  5. Slice cake in half sideways to form a base and a lid.  Spread the base with a third of the caramel frosting; cover with the top half of the cake. Spread the remaining frosting over the the cake.

Method (caramel frosting):

  1. Melt butter in small saucepan.
  2. Stir in brown sugar and milk; bring to a boil. Reduce heat then simmer, uncovered, for 3 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
  3. Gradually stir in icing sugar until frosting is of spreadable consistency.

Method (chocolate ganache):

  1. Place dark chocolate and double cream in a small microwavable bowl.
  2. Heat on high for 15 second intervals, checking if the chocolate can be stirred.
  3. Once, the chocolate has melted enough to stir, stir until it is a smooth and shiny consistency.
  4. Allow the ganache to cool slightly, then place it in a piping bag. Using the piping bag, add a dot of ganache to the middle of the cake, then draw rings around it (like a target). Then, using a skewer, draw alternating lines back and forth through the rings to create a chevron appearance.

Tip:  If the cake starts to rise above the tin but is not quite cooked, cover it loosely with foil.

(photo credit: afeitar via photopin cc)