Saturday, 28 June 2014

Nutella and Raspberry Cheesecake in Jars


 These nearly never happened! Well they did...but they nearly never made it to the blog! I taught a class at a church activity day a few weeks back on how to make cheesecakes in jars! So I made several practice ones in the run up to the class, and then even made several on the day during the class for people who hadn't been able to attend! There were several different classes running with sign up sheets, and my class got filled up within the first 5 minutes of the day so lots of my friends never got the chance to attend! I ended up with lots of jars left over too so last week I made more for some friends and neighbours who were having a tough time, and still I kept glancing at my camera knowing I should snap some pics...but I didn't!

So eventually yesterday I had a tiny bit of cheesecake mix left in the fridge...and I knew what had to be done! I whipped up this little bad boy, photographed it just for you - and even got the flashgun out and everything! I'm trying hard to make it up to you after neglecting you all for so long! and then I devoured it for my lunch, whoops!

 The thing I love about cheesecakes in jars is they are SO versatile! You can mix and match fillings and flavours and just go crazy!

During the class I did, I had TONS of ingredients for people to mix and match with.  There were mini meringues, shortbread chunks and fresh strawberries to layer with vanilla cheesecake for the fruit lovers.  There were snickers, dulce de leche and mini millionaire's pieces for the caramel lovers, and brownie chunks and crushed oreos to layer with nutella swirled cheesecake for all the chocoholics!

The nutella flavoured cheesecake was my fave so I went with it this time around...because who doesn't love nutella?! It's my FAVE! I just used a small amount to give it a hint of chocolate hazelnut-ness so as not to overpower the cheesecake filling.  The fresh raspberries add sweeteness and it all pairs beautifully with an oreo base!

Go find a jar, fill it with cheesecake goodness and give it to someone you love - I promise you they will love you forever for doing so, or eat it for your lunch and I won't tell ;)

Nutella and Raspberry Cheesecake in Jars:
Makes 5
From Cupcake Crazy Gem

 15 Oreos, crushed into crumbs
5 tsp unsalted butter, melted

300g Philadelphia cream cheese (I've said it once...don't scrimp with the cheap stuff!)
275ml double cream, whipped
100g icing sugar
3 heaped tsp Nutella

Punnet of fresh raspberries
Handful of milk chocolate chips

Crush your Oreos using a blender until they have blitzed into crumbs.  Stir in the melted butter until the mixture comes together.  Add 4 tsp of oreo mix into the bottom of each jar.  Press it down with the base of your spoon, you may need to use your fingers for the middle of the base, depending on how small your jars are you are using.

Using a freestanding electric mixer, whisk the double cream until peaks form.  Change to a beater, and add in the cream cheese.  Mix until it is combined.  Sieve in the icing sugar and continue to mix.  Add in the Nutella and keep beating for 2-3 minutes until everything is completely blended together.

Transfer your cheesecake mix into a piping bag fitted with a star tip.  You can spoon it in but it makes your layers less defined and not as neat so I found the piping bag was the best way to make it more presentable! Pipe a layer of cheesecake starting from the outside of the jar, finishing off in the middle.  Using paper towel, dab some of the moisture out of your raspberries.  Add as many fresh raspberries as needed to cover the whole layer.  Repeat with a layer of cheesecake, and then another layer of raspberries again.

Finish off, with one final layer of cheesecake.  Top with a raspberry and a sprinkling of milk chocolate chips. 

You can also go crazy with ribbons and tags and patterned paper to decorate your lid and jars if you are giving them as gifts! or grab a teaspoon and eat and enjoy :)

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Coconut Banana Bread with Passion Fruit Frosting

Before I well and truly fall off the face of the's a blog post!! 

Excuse my absence...I was off having a baby! and then I had decided I was going to make an amazing extravagant over the top pink themed bake to announce the baby news, but you know what, babies are hard work! and in between feeding and changing and playing and washing and cooking and repeating that cycle all through the day it has left little time for blogging...and even for baking, sadly enough! 

I laugh to myself when I think back to the conversation I had with my husband whilst I was still pregnant, telling him I was going to really focus on my blog when the baby came along, as obviously I wouldn't be working and would have all the time in the world....wrong! Even when the baby is sleeping, I can't bake for fear that my Kitchenaid would wake her up again! 

So I've mostly only been throwing together quick no bake desserts in the past few months, and I've also become really good at baking in the half an hour window in the evening when her daddy is bathing her!!

So I decided if I was ever going to blog again, I had to forego the extravagant bake announcing Ella's arrival and just tell you already! Ella Kristyn Braithwaite arrived on the 8th February, if you follow me on instagram at all you will be FULLY aware of the fact I had a baby because I'm pretty sure not a day goes by that I don't post a picture of her, but I can't help myself! We are also living away from all our family and friends right now so it's as much for all of them as it is for myself that I take hundreds of pictures! She is a pure joy! We could not be any happier, and despite the waking for night feeds, and the lack of time for baking/blogging we wouldn't have it any other way! If you want to read about how she came into the world, in such a relaxed and happy manner surprisingly, then you can do so here...and she has continued on in that same happy vein.  She naps great in the day, has a long 7-8 hour stretch sleeping when she goes down and only wakes once for a feed, and gives you more smiles than you know what to do with! She is a really content relaxed baby and we feel super lucky that not only was my pregnancy such a breeze, that the rest has been too :)

and I just cannot believe our little lady turned 4 months old on Sunday! It has flown by in a second!!

But I digress...before I forget what I came here to tell you about...let's talk about banana bread! There can never be enough banana bread recipes...and you can never bake too much banana bread.  In fact, despite my general lack of baking in recent months, in the past month I managed to bake 3 different banana breads! A chocolate chip banana bread, a rather fabulous nutella banana bread and this beauty of a coconut banana bread with passion fruit frosting!! It is quick and easy to throw together, a great way to use up brown bananas that you had big plans on eating healthily with but instead they withered away in your fruit bowl, and I consider it a semi healthy treat vs a big pan of fudgy brownies so it's win win all round! 

I totally devoured the first two banana breads I baked without taking any photos of them at all, bad blogger, and I nearly did the same with this so I got out my camera and took a few lazy token shots just to give you the idea.  I promise I'll put some more effort into the next bake I feature!!

All you really need to know is that you haven't tried banana bread until you've tried this one! I'm forever trying to 'coconu-tify' every bake I make, so a cup of dessicated coconut was an easy way to do so in this bake...and oh the frosting, I ate the leftover frosting by the spoonful and you'll want to as well! I found this amazing passion fruit coulis on the shelf in tesco one day and just knew I wanted to bake with it, so it's been sitting in my cupboard waiting for it's debut! All I needed to do was whip a few tablespoons of it into some vanilla frosting to produce the creamiest dreamiest passion fruit frosting.  It was too easy to be true! but it was...and then a sprinkling of shredded coconut and real passion fruit seeds tied it all together nicely! 

I made this as a treat for the pack lunches that I made for all the ladies at my church when we went on a nice little trip together last weekend.  Within a few minutes of people trying the banana bread, they were all offering to move in with me so I think it went down pretty well :)

Coconut Banana Bread with Passion Fruit Frosting:
Serves 12
Adapted from Whipped the Blog

1 1/2 cups plain flour
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup caster sugar
2 eggs, lightly beaten
3 large, ripe bananas, mashed
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup desiccated coconut

2 cups icing sugar
3/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/4 cup passion fruit coulis
seeds of half a passion fruit
1/4 cup shredded coconut

Preheat oven to 180 degrees C.  Grease your loaf tin with butter.

In a large bowl, whisk together the sifted flour, soda, salt and sugar.  
Mix in the slightly beaten eggs and mashed bananas.
Slowly stir in the melted butter until just incorporated. 
Stir in the desiccated coconut.
Pour into your prepared tin, and bake for 45-50 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the centre comes out clean.  If the top starts to brown sooner than you would like, cover with tin foil to prevent burning.  Let cool in the tin for 10 minutes and then turn out onto a wire baking rack to cool completely.

Prepare the frosting by whipping the butter in a freestanding mixer with the beater attachment.  Sift in the icing sugar, stir it with a spoon before you turn on the mixer to ensure your work surfaces do not get covered in a dusting of icing sugar.  Beat in the passion fruit coulis. 
Spread the frosting on to the cooled loaf with a palette knife.  Sprinkle the shredded coconut on top and cover with the passion fruit seeds.

Eat and enjoy :)


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