Caramel Oreo Cheesecake Celebration Cake

 

IMG_8788

Are you wanting to create a show stopping cake for a special someone or to just treat the fam? Well do I have the cake for you, Caramel oreo cheesecake cake. The title could be a little confusing so let me explain. Dark chocolate velvet cake with dollops of cream cheese and oreo cookies baked into it creating a baked cheesecake texture. Then layered with cream cheese icing, bakers dulce de leche caramel and finally some more oreo crumb.

Caramel Oreo Cheesecake Celebration Cake

Ingredients
1 1/2 cup flour
1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup cocoa
1 tsp. baking soda
250ml water
2/3 cup canola oil
1 tbsp. white vinegar
1 tsp. vanilla
125gm cream cheese
1 cup.  oreos, crushed
Icing

2 1/2 cup icing sugar
250gm cream cheese
1 tsp vanilla
To garnish
Bakers of Geraldine Dulce de leche caramel (found at most supermarkets)
1x packet Oreos, crushed

Method:

  1. Pre-heat to 180ºc fan bake.
  2. Line 2x sponge tins with baking paper on base and sides, if you spray with oil the baking paper sticks like a dream.
  3. In bowl sieve together flour, baking soda, cocoa, sugar into a bowl and whisk to add air and incorporate all ingredients.
  4. Add oil, vanilla, water and vinegar to dry ingredients and whisk until batter is smooth. Pour evenly into lined sponge tins.
  5. Add dollops of cream cheese to both tins followed by the crushed oreos.
  6. Bake for 28 minutes until cake springs back when touched.
  7. Allow cakes to cool, remove from tin and place on  your cake stand or serving plate.
  8. To make the icing, sieve icing sugar into stand mixer bowl and add vanilla and cream cheese. Whisk for 5 minutes until light and fluffy make sure you scrape down the sides.
  9. Remove lid from caramel jar and microwave for 30 seconds.
  10. Lather half the icing on the base cake, drizzle over caramel and sprinkle with oreos.
  11. Top with second cake and repeat making a ring around the edge with the oreos this time followed by caramel.

Serves 10-12

 

Oaty Cashew Ginger Crunch

IMG_8851

Just out of the blue I had a craving for ginger crunch! So decided to change it slightly and add some salted cashew nuts to the base and a sprinkle in the topping. Its a good addition to your classic and think I will be making this one again soon.

I really enjoy using brands that are an affordable price but also a good quality, this recipe is made 100% from Pams. I didn’t realize until I had all of the ingredients out, they are clearly my go to!

Oaty Cashew Ginger Crunch

Ingredients
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 cup flour
1 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup salted cashews
250 gm butter
Icing
80 gm butter
3 tbsp. golden syrup
2 1/4 cup icing sugar
3 tsp. ground ginger
2 tbsp. salted cashews, rough chop
2 tbsp. crystalized ginger, diced

Method:

  1.  Pre-heat oven to 180ºc.
  2. Line square cake tin with baking paper and half way up the sides.
  3. In food processor combine all ingredients for the base and process for 2-3 minutes until a dough is forming.
  4. Press into tin evenly and bake for 22 minutes until brown, remove and allow to cool slightly.
  5. Sift icing sugar and ginger into a large bowl. Melt golden syrup and butter in microwave or stove top until melted.
  6. Stir the butter golden syrup mixture into the icing sugar until smooth, pour and smooth over slice base.
  7. Cut crystalized ginger and cashews and sprinkle over icing push in slightly and allow to set.
  8. Cut and store in an airtight container.

Serves 10-12 slices

 

 

Beef Stroganoff

IMG_8210

It was the first day of winter yesterday here in New Zealand and its a season I don’t overly enjoy. However one of the highlights of this cold season is the comfort food that comes along with it. As im sitting here writing this post I’ve just enjoyed a nice hot bowl of pumpkin, corn and bacon chowder which I will be sharing with you soon.

Beef Strog is something that has warmed up to me as I have grown older, but now I highly enjoy the dish and decided to whip one up for our lunch yesterday and a easy recipe for all of you.

Beef Stroganoff

Ingredients:
1 red onion, sliced
1 tsp. garlic
200gm meadow mushrooms, sliced
2 tsp. smoked paprika
2 tbsp. butter
500gm beef stir-fry
6 tbsp. canola oil
salt and pepper
70gm tomato paste
3/4 cup gherkins, sliced
250gm sour cream
1/2 cup. cream
1 tbsp. sugar

Rice or pasta to serve

Method:

  1. Heat fry pan over high heat add 2 tbsp. oil.
  2. Coat stir-fry beef with salt, pepper and smoked paprika.
  3. Fry beef in two batches to achieve nice brown colour around 2 minutes each side, once browned put in a bowl and set aside.
  4. Heat 2 tbsp. oil in your fry pan add onions and garlic, cook for 2 minutes then add mushrooms and butter cook for a further 2 minutes.
  5. Add gherkins, tomato paste, cream and sour cream stir well, add beef and its juices.
  6. Cook for a further 10minutes add sugar and check seasoning.
  7. Serve with rice or cooked pasta.

Serves: 3-4

Gluten- Free Feijoa and Apple Loafs with Lime Cream Cheese Icing

IMG_8105

Gluten-free baking can most of the time be deemed as dry and unpleasant however I have managed to make not only as gluten-free cake be moist and satisfying but also dairy-free. If you use a simple vanilla icing sugar and water icing instead of the lime cream cheese icing it will be both gluten and dairy free however this time I covered mine in lime cream cheese icing.  This is a simple plain cake recipe with some Feijoa and apple compote added with some diced dates for added texture. Topped with a generous amount of lime cream cheese icing these are a perfect accompaniment to a cup of tea or coffee.

Gluten- Free Feijoa and Apple Loafs with Lime Cream Cheese Icing

Ingredients:
2 1/2 cup. gluten-free flour
3/4 cup. caster sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
2 tsp. baking soda
300ml water
100ml canola oil
2 tbsp. cider vinegar
1/4 cup. dates, chopped
1 cup feijoa and apple compote
Lime Cream Cheese Icing
3 cup. icicng sugar, sifted
250gm cream cheese
1/2 lime zest and juice

Method:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 180 fan bake.
  2. Sift gluten-free flour, baking soda, caster sugar and cinnamon into a bowl and whisk in water, oil, cider vinegar until you have a smooth batter.
  3. Stir in 1 cup of Feijoa and apple compote and chopped dates.
  4. Spray silicon mini loaf tin with rice bran or canola oil.
  5. Fill with 1/2 cup of batter and bake for 26 minutes until tested  with a skewer and it comes out clean. If you only had one loaf tin like I did you can bake the other half once the 1st batch is cooked or make in a muffin tin.
  6. Combine cream cheese, sifted icing sugar, zest and juice of half a lime.
  7. Whisk in stand mixer for 1 -2 minutes until thick and fluffy.
  8. Top your cakes and enjoy

Makes: 10-12 mini loafs or muffins

You can garnish further with a thin slice of feijoa and lime zest.

Feijoa and Apple Compote

IMG_8048

I got given a huge bag of Feijoa from a lovely young lady at work and the recipes are starting to roll in this is a simple Feijoa and apple compote perfect served with yoghurt or ice-cream as a dessert treat. On your fave muesli in the morning or  baked into cakes or muffins. It a very versatile recipe that has more than just one purpose, you can freeze it down and bring it out when you need it.

Feijoa and Apple Compote

Ingredients:
10-12 medium feijoas, flesh removed
1 large green apple, 2cm dice
1/2 cup water

Method:

  1. Combine feijoas, apple and water in a pot over a medium heat and simmer for 18minutes.
  2. Stir occasionally to avoid it catching.
  3. Cool and enjoy

Makes: 2 cups

Venison Rigatoni

IMG_8036

Pasta, their is something very comforting about sitting down to a big bowl of hearty pasta after a long day at work. Been dreaming of a having rigatoni pasta and was leaving work the other day and venison mince caught my eye and well that, was that!

I’ve used venison with a tomato base and raisins for a bit of sweetness finished with some crunchy green beans and baby spinach. My partner and I were both pretty happy with the outcome but why don’t you be the judge and make it for yourself ?

Venison Rigatoni

Ingredients:
500gm Venison mince
1/2 white onion, diced
1 tbsp. fresh garlic crushed
2 tbsp. oil
1c tin diced tomatoes
2 tbsp. tomato paste
1 continental beef stock jelly pot
1 cup. raisins
1/4 cup. red wine
1 tbsp. brown sugar
2 tbsp. Worchester sauce
500gm rigatoni pasta
salt and pepper
200gm green beans
1 1/2 cup baby spinach

Method:

  1.  Heat frypan over medium to high heat add oil, onions and garlic until brown.
  2. Add chunks of venison mince and brown pieces season well.
  3. Add raisins,  tomato paste, stock, sugar, Worchester sauce and red wine. Stir well to combine and add tin tomatoes, simmer for 30minutes over a low heat.
  4. Cook your rigatoni pasta in boiling well salted water for 11 minutes and drain keeping 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid.
  5. Blanch green beans in boiling water for 2 minutes and run under cold water to keep them nice and green.
  6. Add venison base to drained pasta with blanched green beans and baby spinach followed by the 1/2 cup of pasta water.
  7. Stir well to combine check and adjust your seasoning.

Serves:4-6

Sticky Pork and Broccoli Udon Noodles

IMG_7860

Sometimes you really want takeaways but it can be much cheaper making it yourself. I’m happy to say these pork udon noodles are delicious we both ended up going back for seconds and there was none left for lunches, we were not complaining though!!

Minimal amount of effort went into this dinner only 3 vegetables broccoli, capsicum and mushrooms and the udon noodles come pre-cooked they just need rinsing and added to the hot sauce. I just got my udon noodles in 200gm packets from the mad butcher they will sell these at most supermarket and Asian grocers.  The sauce base for this recipe could be used with chicken, beef or just vegetables its a very versatile mix of Asian flavours. The udon noodles soak up the sauce and are just delicious!

Sticky Pork and Broccoli Udon Noodles

Ingredients:
400gm pork mince, room temp
1 red capsicum, sliced
1 1/2 cup broccoli, small florets
3-5 button mushrooms, sliced
1 spring onion, sliced
3 tbsp. canola oil
2 tbsp. sweet soy
1 tbsp. light soy sauce
2 tsp. crushed ginger
1 tbsp. crushed garlic
1 tbsp. sweet chili sauce
1 tbsp. fresh coriander, chopped
1 tsp white sugar
1/4 tsp. fish sauce
2 cups water
2 tbsp. corn flour
400 gm. udon noodles. precooked
2 tbsp. sesame seeds to serve

Method:

  1. Heat a large fry pan on a high heat, add 2 tbsp. of oil and pork mince in spoonful’s. Brown each side 3-4 minutes until golden.
  2. In a bowl combine soy sauces, fish sauce, ginger, garlic, coriander, sweet chili and sugar together. Pour into hot fry pan over beef coasting the beef remove from fry pan into bowl and set aside. Sprinkle with corn flour and mix in well.
  3. Heat remaining oil in fry pan and add broccoli, mushrooms and capsicum sauté for few minutes until browned add 1 cup of water and let cook out until all water is evaporated and vegetables are tender.
  4. Add pork and sauce back to the fry pan. Let cook out for 2 minutes to start thickening, add last remaining cup of water and rinse udon noodles.
  5. Simmer for 5 minutes and serve with sesame seeds and chopped spring onion.

Serves: 2-4

Otaki Grans Sunday Sponge

IMG_7762

For as long as I can remember a trip to Otaki on the Kapiti Caost of the North Island always included one of grans famous sponge cakes with home made jam of her choice to finish of a Sunday roast was tradition! Some of the earliest food memories and my passion for sharing comes from my Gran Anne Joynt. When she passed away I was lucky enough to be given her Kenwood stand mixer and famous sponge tins, something that I will cherish and look after for the rest of my life! I remember the first time I attempted a sponge cake with grans mixer and tins and it turned out a success and the true judge was my dad he was happy, but again he would have to say its good right?

Well anyway there’s a wee bit of background surrounding the Otaki Sunday Sponge. In turn fashion it is layered with homemade jam I chose a apricot one I made a few months back but you can use any jam you like.

Otaki Grans Sunday Sponge

Ingredients:
4 eggs, separated
1/2 cup. caster sugar
1/2 cup. flour
1/4 cup cornflour
1 tsp. baking powder
pinch salt
25 gm. butter, melted and cooled
Whipped cream, homemade jam and a dust of icing sugar to serve

Method:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 190 degress bake.
  2. Line two sponge tins with baking paper base and sides.
  3. Separate egg whites into a stand mixing bowl, whisk until foamy.
  4. Whisk in caster sugar and egg yolks, whisk for 5 minutes until pale and fluffy.
  5. Sift all dry ingredients into separate bowl and fold into the egg mixture. I use a rubber scraper, start by going around the edges then a figure 8 pattern through the mix. Do not stir as you will loose all the air that makes it fluffy and light.
  6. Once flour is basically folded in fold in butter.
  7. Pour sponge batter evenly over the two sponge tins and bake for 24 minutes until sponge comes away from the edges of the tin.
  8. Cool and spread jam and whipped cream on the bottom layer followed with the lid, dust with icing sugar and enjoy!!

Serves 6-8

Baked Chicken and Mushroom Risotto with Fennel

IMG_7813
Wanting to keep dinner pretty simple tonight and made a one dish wonder! Only had to brown a few things in a hot pan and the oven did the rest. Baked risotto rice with creamy chicken breast, mushroom, fennel, spinach and tarragon turned about to be a winner! You could serve alongside some steamed vegetables if you wanted but we kept it simple and just had the risotto bake! Could make it vegetarian and use big chunks of pumpkin for a meatless dinner.

One Dish Baked Creamy Chicken and Mushroom Risotto with Fennel

Ingredients:
250gm. button mushrooms, sliced
2 tsp. crushed garlic
1/2 brown onion, diced
1/2 fennel bulb, core removed and sliced
1 tbsp. dried tarragon
3 tbsp. oil
1/4 leek, sliced
2 cups. baby spinach
1 cup. Arborio or short grain rice
2 cup. chicken stock, warm
3/4 cup. cream
1/4 cup. white wine (optional)
Salt and Pepper
700 gm chicken breast or thigh

Method:

  1. Pre-heat oven 180 degrees fan-bake.
  2. In large oven proof dish slice mushrooms and scatter over the base followed by rice and half the spinach.
  3. Heat fry pan over high heat add half the oil, onion, garlic, tarragon and fennel with a good sprinkle of salt and pepper. Sautee until browned add leek and cook for 2 minutes then pour in wine to deglaze the pan. I also chopped about 1 tbsp. of top of the fennel and added to the fry pan.
  4. Add to baking dish followed by remaining spinach.
  5. Add remaining oil to fry pan and season your chicken I used breast, add to hot pan and brown both sides around 2-3 minutes per side,
  6. Add to baking dish with hot stock and cream.
  7. Cover and bake for 30 minutes then remove cover and bake for a further 15 minutes until rice is tender.
  8. Serve as is or with a side of steamed vegetables.

Serves: 4-5

Chicken and Black bean Quesadillas

IMG_7615

Change up dinner a bit with this tasty dish, Cumin and paprika seared chicken layered with hummus, cheese, spinach and red onion inside a toasty tortilla topped with avocado sour cream. Simple dinner but a tasty one for a mid night Mexican twist or a long weekend lunch treat this will be perfect to change things up.  I made 4 jumbo size quesadillas however you could use small wraps and get more if the family is bigger. I just used my frypan to toast but if you have a sandwich press they would be done in half the time.

Chicken and Black bean Quesadillas with Avocado Sour cream

Ingredients:
500gm chicken diced or sliced
2 tbsp. oil
1 tsp. garlic salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
2 tsp. paprika
2 tsp. cumin
1/2 tin diced tomatoes with oregano
1 tbsp. brown sugar
1 tin black beans in spring water, drained and rinsed
2 tbsp. coriander stalks
2 tbsp. fresh coriander leaf
2 cups cheese, grated
4 dsp. hummus, I used honey carrot
1/4 red onion, sliced
1 cup. baby spinach
1/2 avocado
125 gm sour cream
1 tbsp. sweet chili sauce
4 jumbo tortillas
Oil spray

Method:

  1. In bowl combine chicken, garlic salt, pepper, cumin, paprika. Stir to combine and allow to marinate and develop flavour for 30minutes or overnight.
  2. Heat fry pan over medium to high heat, add oil followed by chicken. Cook for 10 minutes and then turn, you want you chicken to brown nicely to develop flavour. Cook for a further 5 minutes and add the diced tomatoes and brown sugar and chopped coriander stalks, lower heat and simmer for 15 minutes stir in black beans.
  3. Remove from fry pan and allow to cool slightly.
  4. Time to assemble; Spread one dessert spoon of hummus over the wrap, sprinkle half wrap with cheese onion spinach and some fresh coriander leafs followed by 1/4 of the chicken mixture top with little more cheese. Fold over tortilla. repeat until all are ready to be cooked.
  5. Heat fry pan over medium heat and spray with oil, place folded tortillas in and cook each side for 2 minutes until toasted. If you have a sandwich press this is perfect to use.
  6. In bowl add sour cream, avocado and sweet chili sauce. Smash and stir to combine.
  7. Cut quesadillas into 3 and top with avocado sour cream, sweet chili sauce and shredded iceberg lettuce.

Serves: 4 Jumbo quesadillas