Thursday, January 31, 2013

Tim Tam Cheesecake

This is a bit late for Australia day but please don't hold that against me or this cheesecake.

If you only ever try one recipe from my blog please make it this one. Boyfriend and I  both agree that this is the yummiest cheesecake ever, its my favourite thing I've made/eaten in a long while. Basically it's a cookies and cream cheesecake with a special ingredient that makes it extra good. No its not love, its Tim Tams but they're pretty much the same thing. The always awesome Tim Tam is my all time favourite Arnott's biscuit. 

I am a Tim Tam fan from way back! Coming home from school on grocery day was always exciting, Mum would have a cup of tea and Tim Tams waiting for us. There's nothing better than tea or coffee or especially hot chocolate sipped through one of these biscuits. In my eyes there's not much a pack of these chocolate biscuits cant fix.
The cheese filling has a lovely flavour from the white chocolate and vanilla and turned out nice and light, almost fluffy. I was going to try using Tim Tams as the base but wasn't sure how that would go because of the cream filling and chocolate coating. Instead I used plain chocolate biscuits and added some malt powder as the biscuit part of the Tim Tam is slightly malted. Like I said earlier though the real kicker in this cheesecake is the load of Tim Tam pieces through the filling and the tower of crumbled cookies on top. Perfection!
Tim Tam Cheesecake (printable recipe)

Chocolate Base
125 grams plain chocolate biscuits (cookies)
75 grams butter (melted)
1 teaspoon malt powder

Cheesecake Filling
2 teaspoons gelatine
2 tablespoons water
375 grams cream cheese (softened)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup caster sugar
300 mls thick cream
180 grams white chocolate (melted)
300 grams Tim Tams (roughly 1 1/2 packets)

To make the base- Grease a 8 inch round spring form pan and line with baking paper.

In a food processor, process biscuits until fine crumbs. Add the melted butter and malt and process until combined.
Press the mixture evenly over the base of the tin, use the flat bottom of a glass to press evenly.
To make the filling- Roughly chop 200 grams of the Tim Tams, a mixture of small and large pieces works well.

In a small heatproof bowl sprinkle the gelatine over the water. Stand the bowl of gelatine mixture over a saucepan of boiling water and stir until the gelatine has melted. Allow to cool for 5 minutes.

With an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese, vanilla and sugar until smooth.

Beat in the cream until combined, followed by the white chocolate and gelatine mixture.
Stir through the chopped Tim Tams.

Spoon the filling over the prepared base and smooth over the top, refrigerate for at least 3 hours (or overnight) until set.
Roughly break up the remaining 100 grams of Tim Tams and sprinkle/pile on the top.

Enjoy! (I know we did)

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Peppa Pig Birthday Cake

Another fun little cake to start the year! I'm so out of touch, I had no idea who Peppa Pig was before doing this.  After a little research I found she is very cute and it was a really enjoyable cake to make.
Inside, the cake was my favourite vanilla cake with pink strawberry buttercream and a strawberry jam filling.The cake was covered and decorated with fondant. Happy to report the birthday girl was a big fan!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Strawberries and Cream Pavlova Hearts

Ok so i'm all for preparation but the amount of Easter stuff already in stores is a little nuts, pretty sure its been there since boxing day too. Hey store people, don't you know its valentines day that comes next!

To get you in the valentines mood I thought I'd share these strawberries and cream pavlovas I made a couple of weeks back. Funny fact is, up until Christmas this year I had never made a pavlova, they were always my Mum's thing. Since my mango Christmas pav (which I might share soon) I've become a bit infatuated with them, making three more since plus these yummy little guys.

You could make these for someone you love this valentines day, or better still make them for yourself if you love pavlova!! The strawberries and cream filling is a little bit lovely and perfect for the occasion,  you know because they're strawberries and they're red!
Strawberries and Cream Pavlova Hearts (printable recipe)

Heart Meringues
3 egg whites
pinch of cream of tartar
3/4 cup caster sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons cornflour
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

To make the meringues- preheat your oven to 120 degrees c. Cover a baking tray with baking paper, grease the paper lightly with butter and dust with corn flour. Shake of any excess flour.

Add the egg white and cream of tartar to the bowl of an electric mixer, whisk until soft peaks form.

Once the egg whites reach soft peak stage, gradually add the sugar and continue beating until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is thick and glossy.
Sift in the cornflour and add the vanilla, gently fold through.

Spoon the meringue mixture into a piping bag with a large round tip. Pipe heart shapes onto the prepared baking tray and smooth over with a butter knife. Try to keeps the hearts close to the same size and shape.
Bake uncovered for about one hour until the meringue feels dry to touch, turn off the oven and leave the meringue inside to cool with the door slightly ajar.

Strawberries and Cream Filling
300 mls thickened cream (whipping cream)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons sugar

1 punnet strawberries (thinly slice)
1/4 cup strawberry jam

For the filling-Beat the cream, vanilla and sugar in a bowl till soft peaks form, be careful to not over whip the cream.

Warm the strawberry jam in a small saucepan over low heat, until thin.

Spoon a dollop of whipped cream onto a heart meringue, top with some strawberry slices and a little drizzle of strawberry jam. To finish the pavolvas sandwich on a second meringue heart and enjoy!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Sports Ball Cupcakes

These cupcakes where a fun way to kick off the year, especially considering some are footballs!

A friend asked if I could make some sports themed cupcakes for her nephews 5th birthday, given the standard shape of cupcakes and the fact most sports are played with a round ball the idea was a natural progression.

I know footballs aren't round but I think they work anyway, but its the basketball cupcakes that I think are my favourites.
The cupcakes were made with my favourite chocolate cupcake recipe and frosted with chocolate buttercream, then covered in fondant to transform them into baseballs, footballs, soccer balls  basketballs, tennis balls and cricket balls.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Goodbye 2012 , Hello 2013!

First up I hope everyone had a fantastic start to the new year! Looking back over my pictures from 2012 I've enjoyed remembering some of the yummy new recipes I tested, the exciting occasions I got to make treats for and the fun things I've got to share with you all. Thank you for reading, for commenting (they always make me smile) and mostly thanks for a great year! I promise 2013 will be full of more sweets, more treats and yummy things to enjoy as all thoughts of new years resolution diets fade from our memories.

While looking back I realised there are a number of things I've failed to post for one reason or another. In the spirit of starting the new year fresh I thought I'd share whats left of last years creations before moving onto exciting new stuff.