Raspberry Cheesecake Brownies


CheeseCakeBrownies-8Have you noticed the amazing array of cakes, biscuits, brownies and slices that are available all over Brisbane? There was a time when everything was sourced from the same commercial bakery, but not anymore. I find it inspiring to see what creativity there is in kitchens all over Australia.

One morning I was out at Milk Bar Cafe in Ashgrove enjoying my coffee, when I peered into the cabinet and saw these amazing delights. Raspberry Cheesecake Brownies! What more could you want than the combination of two decadent treats! I ordered one on the premise I needed to try some for research reasons! Mmmmmm so delicious. When I returned home with what I guessed would be the right ingredients, I did a bit of research and started baking. I changed the recipe so that the top and bottom should work out to be of equal proportions now. This one I photographed was a bit thin on top.

CheeseCakeBrownies-6So here is the recipe… enjoy!

Raspberry Cheesecake Brownies

Ingredients

(as high percent cocoa as possible)

500g castor sugar

(free range)

Method

Preheat the oven to 170°C. Grease and line a 25 x 25cm tin.

Place the chocolate in a bowl over a pan of simmering water until melted. Set aside to cool slightly.

Cream the butter and 350g of the caster sugar until pale, then add 3 of the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in the melted chocolate, then fold in the flour. Spread all of the mixture into the lined pan. Bash down on the counter top a few times to make it as flat as possible.

In a separate bowl, beat the cream cheese, remaining sugar and eggs and the vanilla extract until smooth, then spread over the chocolate base.

Poke the raspberries into the top and bake in the oven for 40-45 minutes.

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Place in fridge overnight and cut into squares in the morning.

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Chocolate Caramel Slice


I was asked to bake some caramel slices for one of my clients last week and I have to admit these are one of my great weaknesses. I love the overload of sweetness combined with the richness of the caramel. When baking this classic recipe I decided to double the recipe and use a slightly bigger pan so that everyone can really indulge in this delicious slice. Here is the recipe.

It is my version of the Taste recipe.

Ingredients

Base

2 cup of flour

1 cup brown sugar

1 cup desiccated coconut

250 gm butter, melted

Filling

2 400 gram cans of condensed milk
4 tablespoons golden syrup
120g butter, melted

Topping

60 grams of copha

250 grams of dark chocolate

125g cooking chocolate, chopped

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C. Line a 3cm deep, 28 x 26cm (base) pan.
  2. Combine all base ingredients in a bowl. Mix well. Press into prepared lamington pan. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until light golden. Remove from oven. Cool.
  3. Make filling: Combine all ingredients in a saucepan over medium heat. Make sure the saucepan is a non stick type. Cook, whisking, for 8 minutes or until golden. Pour over cooked base. Bake for 12 minutes or until firm. Cool completely. Refrigerate for 3 to 4 hours, or until set.
  4. Make topping: Place copha and chocolate into a heat-proof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Stir until melted. Pour over caramel. Refrigerate to set. Cut into squares to serve

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Dinner for Six


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I have heard my friends say to me that having people over for dinner is daunting and I’m going to try and convince you that it isn’t. I’m in Sydney and when I’m here I love to catch up with old friends and it’s easier to have them over for dinner than to try and organise a date at a restaurant. This is especially the case if you have friends with young children.

Firstly my advise is not to cook anything new. Cook something you have made many times before and you’re confident with. It doesn’t have to be a meal that belongs in a top restaurant, people want to be able to relax and talk and that’s much easier if the host is relaxed.

I made a special roast chicken that is easy and succulent. This was served with hasselback potatoes and freshly cooked zucchini and carrots. Have you heard of hasselback potatoes before? They are so simple and so delicious. You cut the potatoes into thin slices and then roll in olive oil and salt. Place in an oven at 180 degrees celsius and watch them become crunchy and delicious. You can add rosemary or any herb or spice that you think enhances your meal.

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Another hint is to make a few special garnishes like roasted pistachios and slivered almonds. If you sprinkle these through the salad or on top of the roast chicken it will make your guests feel like it’s a special meal.

Roast Chicken marinated in Avjar

Ingredients

1 Free range chicken (a size that you think is right for your dinner party)

4 tablespoons of virgin olive oil

freshly ground salt and pepper

three cloves of garlic diced

A jar of Avjar

1/2 cup of pistachios (toasted in the oven)

1/2 cup of almonds slivers (toasted in the oven)

1 onion sliced

Grated lemon zest

Method

Heat oven to 200 degrees celcius.

Line a baking tray with alfoil to save on cleaning up later.

Unwrap your chicken and tuck the wings under the body.

Mix together the Avjar, olive oil, salt and pepper and diced garlic cloves.

Massage this into the bird, all over the skin and around the legs and wings. Make sure there is plenty of the sauce on the bird.

Place the chicken on the tray and place half the sliced onion into the chicken and sprinkle the other half on top.

Leave in the oven until the top of the chicken looks roasted and crunchy (see photo). Take out occasionally and spoon juices over the bird.

Then turn the oven to 150 degrees and keep roasting until very succulent, around an hour and a half.

Before taking to the table grate some fresh lemon zest on the top of the bird.

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