Recipe: Mint Aero Birthday Cheesecake

Mint Aero Cheesecake 3

As it was the boyf.’s birthday a few weeks back, I thought I’d don my chef whites once again and attempt to make a cheesecake that he’d been eyeing up online for a while.

I’ve made a cheesecake before and it was actually a success, but I cheated slightly by using a pre-made base. This time I was going all out by making everything, and I can safely say although it went down a treat with the birthday boy, I never want to smell another mint Aero for as long as I live…

Mint Aero Cheesecake 1

Ingredients:

For the base:

  • 4oz digestive biscuits (around 12 biscuits)
  • 3oz melted butter

For the cheesecake:

  • 320g soft cheese (Philadelphia or the like)
  • 250g icing sugar
  • 250ml whipping cream
  • 2 large  mint Aero bars
  • 1 bag of mint Aero Bubbles (optional)

Method:

1. Place the digestive biscuits into a food bag, seal and than bash the living daylights out of them until finely crushed

2. Tip the biscuits crumbs into a bowl and slowly add in the melted butter, mixing as you go

3. Line your tin with clingfilm (easy way to get the cheesecake out later, always thinking)

4. Evenly cover the bottom of the tin with the crushed biscuit mix

5. In another bowl (obvs) mix together the Philadelphia and the icing sugar

6. Whip up the whipping cream and add to the Philadelphia mixture

7. Grate the two large Aero bars

*You will hate your life as you get covered in melted minty chocolate, but stick with it*

8. Add 3/4 of the grated Aero to the Philadelphia mixture

9. Spread the mixture onto the biscuit base, sprinkle the rest of the grated Aero on top and decorate with the Aero Bubbles

10. Leave in the fridge for at least 12 hours to ensure it’s fully set

Et voilà! A mint Aero cheesecake fit for a birthday cake replacement 🙂

– love Stef x

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Recipe: Lemon curd Swiss roll

I adore the annual delight that is The Great British Bake Off so taking part in a monthly version at work was a very easy ‘yes.’

That was until I thought about it and realised that I then had to make the various desserts listed… But hey, I made calzones – surely I can whip up a pudding?!

Turns out I can (to an extent) – here is the recipe for my first bake-off challenge, the Swiss roll:

Swiss Roll

Ingredients:

  • Butter (for greasing)
  • 3 free-range eggs
  • 115g caster sugar (plus an additional 4tbsp)
  • 115g plain flour

Method:

1. Grease a 13″ x 9″ tray with buttered baking parchment

2. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C

3. Put the eggs and sugar into a bowl and place over a pan of gently simmering water

4. Whisk until pale, creamy and thick – the mixture should leave a trail when the whisk is lifted

5. Remove the bowl from the heat and whisk for a further 5 minutes

6. Sift the flour and use a large metal spoon to lightly fold in the mixture half at a time

7. Pour the mixture slowly into the tray using a spatula to evenly cover the base

8. Bake for 10 – 12 minutes until well-risen, pale golden and firm to touch

9. Place a damp tea towel on a flat work surface and cover with baking parchment

10. Dredge the parchment with the 4tbsp of sugar (dredge means chuck the sugar all over the parchment), turn out the sponge onto the paper and remove the buttered parchment from the sponge

11. Cut the edges of the sponge off from each of the two longer sides

12. Roll the sponge tightly from the short end with the paper inside, before leaving on a wire rack to cool

13. When cold, unroll (but not flatten) and spread the lemon curd filling all over the sponge, leaving a 1cm border

14. Roll up and dust with icing sugar

Et voila! A Swiss roll that’s almost as easy as the pushing down a hill method!

*DISCLAIMER: Yes, I didn’t make the lemon curd, but what do you want from me? Do I look like Mary Berry? Baby baking steps people, baby baking steps…*

– love Stef x

Recipe: Valentine’s Day Calzones

Yep, you read that right – a recipe. That I used on that sickingly forced holiday known as Valentine’s Day.

To reiterate, I actually made dough – dough. Not bought something and put it in the oven, which is what my ‘cooking’ normally consists of. And it was edible, like really edible.

Valentine's Day Calzones

Granted they’re not the most perfectly shaped calzones, but you get the drift. So, onto the recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 225g plain strong flour
  • 90ml milk (body temperature)
  • 50ml water (body temperature)
  • 1tsp dried yeast
  • 25ml garlic-infused olive oil
  • pinch of salt
  • 150g cherry tomatoes (halved)
  • 200g buffalo mozzarella
  • 70g salami (sliced)
  • 70g chorizo (sliced)
  • 60g prosciutto

Method:

1. Sift the 225g of flour into a large bowl

2. In a separate bowl, mix the warm milk, water and dried yeast

3. Add the yeast mixture to the flour and make a dough

4. Knead for 5 minutes on a floured, even surface

5. Making a small well in the centre of the dough, add the olive oil and knead to combine

6. Place the dough back in the bowl and cover with cling film. Leave it to prove in a warm place for two hours

*I discovered (somewhat luckily) that the above initial steps can be done the day before if needed – simply place the dough, still in its cling filmed bowl, in the fridge after proving*

7. Preheat the oven with a baking tray inside to 230 degrees C

8. Add the pinch of salt to the dough and knead again, before divided and rolling into four equal balls

9. On a floured surface, roll each ball out into 8″ circles

10. Place 1/4 of the mozzarella and Italian meat mixture (bung it all in a bowl, season and drizzle with oil) onto 1/2 of each dough circle, leaving a 1″ border around the edge

11. Use water to brush clean the edges, then fold over the sides and pinch closed the calzone

12. Bake for around 8 minutes

And there you have it – calzones fit for a Valentine’s Day meal. We accompanied them with a feta cheese salad and washed it down with a bottle (or three) of Prosecco.

Mez Bez and Paul Hollywood would be proud, I think 🙂

– love Stef x