Easter Caramel Cheesecake Feat. Hotel Chocolat

Easter Caramel CheesecakeThe last time I blogged an Easter baking recipe was three years ago when I shared a lovely, but rather garish, green cake. Bright green icing, fake mini eggs, butterfly sprinkles and Malteser bunnies, it was delicious but not the classiest looking of desserts. When these glorious looking Easter treats* landed on my desk from Hotel Chocolat I decided to put them to good use and make a more grown up, but still eye-catching, dessert.

Easter Caramel Cheesecake Easter Caramel Cheesecake

In my package I received A Dozen Quail Egglets which include two each of the flavours Chocolate Mousse, Salted Caramel (one of Hotel Chocolat’s best flavours IMO), Peanut Butter, Raspberry Supermilk, Strawberries and Cream and Hazelnut Praline. This is an extremely nice set with a wide range of flavours that would make a perfect gift for any adults you have to buy for this Easter. I also received a set of the Caramel City Bunnies, a sophisticated take on the ever popular Easter Bunny motif. I love his little tie, he looks like he is ready to take the Caramel Bunny out on a date – which gave me my inspiration….

Easter Caramel Cheesecake

…Lets make No-Bake Caramel Cheesecake with caramel, Caramel, and even more caramel!

Ingredients

For the (buttery biscuit) base you will need:

300g biscuits – I like digestives and especially chocolate digestives best but you can use any that gives a good ‘rough’ crumb, such as Oreos for a richer flavour

125g melted unsalted butter

For the filling you will need:

284g (family pack size) full fat Philadelphia or similar cream cheese – mascarpone is also a good one to go for

75g icing sugar

100g  Carnation Caramel or similar

150ml double cream

150g Dairy Milk Caramel (chopped up)

To decorate, I used:

Carnation Caramel

Canned whipped cream

Hotel Chocolat Caramel City Bunnies

Hotel Chocolat Salted Caramel Quails Egglet

Galaxy Golden Eggs.

Method

  • Blitz your biscuits in a food processor (or smash in a bag with a rolling pin if you’re old school/have something you’re cross about). How fine is up to you, I like quite fine but don’t mind the odd chunk, especially if it still has chocolate on.
  • Stir into the melted butter.
  • Press into the bottom of a 11 inch loose base baking tin. Leave in the fridge to set while you prep the filling

Easter Caramel Cheesecake

  • Whisk together the cheese, caramel and icing sugar until smooth. Remember to taste it during this and the next step: if you need it to be sweeter, add more sugar; if you want it to be richer, add more caramel.
  • Pour in the double cream and keep whisking until it thickens. It needs to be thick enough to form peaks so best to use an electric whisk for this one. It is ready when the peaks stand on their own:

Easter Caramel Cheesecake

  • Next, stir in your chopped chocolate.
  • Spoon over the biscuit base and spread evenly. Return this to the fridge for at least 5 hours.

Easter Caramel Cheesecake

Finally, we have reached the most fun stage – the decorating and the eating! I added the Caramel drizzle before removing it from the pan (for tidiness sake mostly). You may need to put a knife round the pan to loosen the biscuit base when removing it. Then I added some squooshy cream, the lovely little bunnies and a golden egg nest.

Easter Caramel Cheesecake Easter Caramel Cheesecake

I think it looks lovely. Still lots of fun, but a distinctly grown up affair for adult who kind of wish the Easter bunny was real. I love how the cream gives the look of little cotton tails on the bunnies. And because I did all the work, I’m definitely going to make sure that Egglet ends up on my plate…

I hope you enjoyed this post and that it has put you in the mood for Easter – tell me, what is your favourite Easter treat?

 

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BEDM | Bigging Myself Up

The topic of today’s Blog Every Day in May is “Top 5 posts from your own Blog”. I’ve tried to pick posts from different topics so that this post will become an overview of my little bloggy blog.

Mani Monday – Eyeballin’ Eyeball nail art

This is from back in October. I haven’t done any nail art in ages (that’ll change soon!) but I really love this creepy half-moon eyeball look.

DIY Magazine Folder Company Folder

Crafts, magazines and stationery, this post had it all! I went decoupage crazy and made myself a file to keep my magazine cuttings. Decorated with magazine clippings obv.

Loch Long Mini Break Cabins

This is a favourite mostly because I am dying to go back! I miss the hot tub! This was a perfect mini-break with my boyfriend and two friends (and their cutie doggy) so it’s nice to reminisce, a major plus point for having a blog.

Neon Cake Pops Neon Cake Pops

Yum indeed! I spotted neon sprinkles and just couldn’t resist them so whipped up some cake pops. These went down very well at work.

Halloween Drive-in It is on Halloween drive in

Going to a drive-in movie was one of the things I said I wanted to do in my 30 Before 30 post so I was super excited to go along to a Halloween drive-in screening of Halloween. Perfect for a horror fan like me.

And that’s my favourites. It’s fun to look back on your own blog, I’ve never really done this before – too scared to find errors! Hope you like my choices. Leave me you link in the comments if you’re also doing BEDM or something similar.

 

Marshmallow Fluff Christmas Cupcakes

Marshmallow fluff Christmas cupcakesI love a cheat’s way of baking. I’ll often crack out the Betty Crocker box mixes if I plan on doing some fancy decorations – you gotta save time one way or another! And it is still homemade, I baked it in my oven! I put in my own egg!  Plus, those Betty Crocker boxes taste damn delicious. This recipe is a super easy basic cupcake recipe (yes, proper from scratch) and a cheat’s ‘icing’.

Fluff cupcakesIngredients (for 12):

115g Stock or unsalted butter at room temperature (seriously though, just buy Stork)
115g caster sugar
2 eggs
115g self-raising flour
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons milk (if needed)
1 jar Marshmallow Fluff (try Americandy stores or Amazon)
Ready to roll coloured royal icing. Or make your own if you are a show-off!

You will need a muffin tray with cupcake liners and to preheat your oven to 180C/Gas mark 4.

  • Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
  • Beat in the eggs, one at a time.
  • Sift over the flour and mix. Try not to knock the air out with a folding method.
  • Stir in the vanilla extract. The mixture should be a medium consistency, enough to slowly run off the spoon. If it’s to thick or sticky, add the milk.
  • Divide into the lined muffin tray and pop in the oven for 13 – 18 minutes.
  • Check if cooked through by poking with a skewer – it should come out clean. Leave to cool on a wire rack.

Boom! How easy was that? Then go to town with the decorations. I spooned Fluff over all of them first of all. This is tricky because it is extremely sticky but bear with it. It also ‘self-levels’ after a few minutes. If you want to make it thicker so that you can throw some peak in there, gradually add some icing sugar and it’ll start to hold it’s shape and will work for piping.

Fluff penguin cupcakePop on some novelty rings!

Santa snow drift cupcakeHow about a ‘Santa stuck in a snow drift’ design using the royal icing?

Smores fluff cupcakesOr, my favourite, pop them under the grill for a few minutes for a delicious toasted s’mores topping. Yum!

What are your favourite recipes using Marshmallow Fluff? I have half a jar left so need some suggestions!

Confetti Cookies

Who would like a cookie?

Confetti cookiesI wanted to try something else with my neon sugar sprinkles that wasn’t a cupcake so I went for these Confetti Cookies. They are adapted from a recipe for chocolate chip cookies. I just swapped the chips for sprinkles, believe me though, if I had both they would be going in.

Ingredients:
250g plain flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
200g soft light brown sugar
100g castor sugar
150g unsalted butter (melted)
1 egg and 1 egg yolk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
Mixed neon sprinkles

Preheat the oven to 170c or 150C for a fan oven. Makes 12 approx.

  • Sift the flour, salt and baking soda together
  • In a separate bowl, mix the sugars and the butter together
  • Mix the eggs and vanilla extract and add to the sugar and butter. Beat until light and fluffy.
  • Add to bowl with flour. Mix until just blended.
  • Stir in the sprinkles
  • Blob tablespoons of mixture onto a greased baking tray. Do not flatten, they’ll do it themselves in the oven. MAke sure you leave space between them, I used two baking trays with six on each but they still joined up. Four per tray would be better.
  • Bake for 12 – 15 minutes or until edges are golden brown.

When you put your tray(s) in the oven, make sure your oven shelf is straight or you’ll end up with a cookie corner like I did!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis recipe makes lovely chewy, soft cookies. Use the same recipe for your chocolate chip cookies too, it’s the best one I’ve found so far.

Neon Cake Pops

Neon Cake Pops

While mooching about Tesco the other day I spotted the ultimate summer cake accessory – Neon Sugar!

Neon Sugar

Look how pretty it is! I didn’t think a cupcake would do justice to these sprinkles so I decided to bite the bullet and finally attempt cake pops.

Cake pop ingredientsIngredients:
Betty Crocker Red Velvet Cake Mix
3 eggs
205ml water
4 and a half tablespoons vegetable oil
Betty Crocker Vanilla Icing
Vanilla flavoured Candy Melts
Neon Sugar

Preheat the oven to 180C or 160C for a fan oven.

  • Make the cake mix as instructed. Leave the cake to cool thoroughly .
  • Crumble the cake into a large bowl until it looks like breadcrumbs
  • Mix three tablespoons of the icing into the cake mixture. It’s best to do this with your hands so that you can ensure that it is not getting too sticky or is not too dry.
  • Form the mixture into balls (smaller is better) and pop into the fridge for 30 minutes to chill.
  • You can either use lollipop sticks to make cake pops or you can stick to cake balls.
  • Melt the Candy Melts over a pan of water. They melt fast so keep an eye on them!
  • Dip the cake balls into the melted chocolate and sprinkle with the Neon Sugar. Leave to set.

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Don’t be afraid of cake fails! Make the balls too big and they wont stay on the stick. Too dry; same problem. But it’s ok, the crumbs are still tasty and you can munch them while lovingly decorating the rest to share.

Cake pop fail

Oh but look at them when they work out!

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Yeah! Matching your treats to S/S ’13 trends! Still got half a tub of the Neon Sugar left…hmm…whats next?

Easter Treats

Easter CakeI love Easter. It’s the one holiday that makes me wish I was a child again. You don’t really get Easter as an adult in the way that you do Christmas. There’s no egg painting, picnics and egg rolling on Easter Sunday over the age of 13. Sure, you can get a chocolate egg, but you kinda have to buy it yourself.  So instead, I bake.

Easter ingredientsYou’ll see from the ingredients picture that I cheated and bought packet mixtures. But like egg painting, the fun is in the decorating. I couldn’t find proper Cadbury’s Mini Eggs so the Pixar bag in the middle is the equivalent. I used Wilton Food Colouring Gel to dye the vanilla frosting green. It is super concentrated and as its gel, doesn’t change the consistency of you icing. I can’t recommend it enough.

The Easter Bunny’s Hilltop Cake cakeUsing the Betty Crocker Red Velvet Cake Mix is dead simple. Just add some water, vegetable oil and 3 eggs, give it a stir and pop it in the oven. It comes out a darker red (almost brown) than the box suggests but it tastes lovely and chocolatey and is perfectly moist. You can bake from scratch of course, but I wanted to save time and really go to town on the decorations: easter cake close upI’m so happy with how this turned out. It will make a great centrepiece for the Easter dinner table.

Creme Egg Stuffed Cookies creme egg stuffed cookiesSince packet mixes are such time-savers, I also whipped up these bad boys. Creme Eggs are the ultimate Easter candy. The more stuff they’re baked into the better I think. creme egg cookiesThe Betty Crocker Chocolate Chip Cookie Mix gives you 5 nice sized cookies, each with a whole Mini Creme Egg wrapped in it, with a wee bit left over. All you add to the box is a splash of water (and the Creme Eggs) so even if you needed two or three boxes, it is still an inexpensive way of doing things. I took these out of the oven when they were golden brown but still slighty spongy to the touch so that they were lovely and chewy. creme egg stuffed cookiesLook at that!! These were all scoffed immediately after this photo was taken. If you do want to cook these from scratch I have a handy recipe over here.

Happy Easter y’all!

Rocky Road to Dublin Cupcakes

Rocky Road CupcakesHappy St Patrick’s Day! Tomorrow. To celebrate, whip up a batch of my Rocky Road to Dublin Cupcakes which have an appropriately Irish twist without being all dyed green and in your face about it. These are chocolate Guinness cakes with a rocky road inspired topping, all in white, like a thick, foamy pint. And speaking of rocky road, also check out my old Baileys Rocky Road recipe which, in my opinion, is still the best.

IngredientsIngredients:
250ml Guinness (other dark stouts are available)
150g salted butter
125g plain chocolate
500g caster sugar(!)
200g sour cream
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
525g plain flour
2 teaspoons baking powder

For the topping:
200g cream cheese
150g white chocolate
100g salted butter
1 tablespoon Guinness
White mini marshmallows
Flaked almonds
White chocolate chips
Yoghurt covered strawberry pieces (or similar – you want something fruity but white)

Makes 24 cupcakes – ideal for your St Paddy’s party. Preheat the oven to 170C and pop paper cases into a couple of muffin trays.

  • Melt the chocolate and butter in a glass bowl over a pan of boiling water. Add the Guinness and combine well. Remove from heat and stir in the sugar until dissolved.
  • In a separate bowl, mix the sour cream, eggs and vanilla together. when combined, add the chocolate mixture. Then add the flour and baking powder and mix until smooth. I had to use and electric whisk to get mine smooth but a little elbow grease would work just as well.
  • Pour into cases and place in the centre of the oven for 18 minutes or until you can stick a knife into the middle of one and it comes out clean.
  • For the topping, melt the chocolate, butter and Guinness together.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk the cream cheese to soften. Add the chocolate mixture once it has cooled, and whisk well to achieve a light, fluffy and smooth texture.
  • Dollop onto the cooled cupcakes and decorate ’til your hearts content.

Chocolate Guinness CupcakesThese are the right amount of chocolateyness without being too sickly sweet. Display on a granny-like cake stand and be the hit of the party!