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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Sunday Catch Up #12

 

This week I have mostly been burning through money like it’s going out of fashion. I’ve desperately been needing a new laptop for ages so I picked one up this week. It wasn’t expensive but I used this as an excuse to justify also buying a new satchel (mint of course), tickets for a comedy show, flowers etc. I may have to do a May spending ban…

Made Up

 

I went to a couple of Science Festival events this week. Last Saturday I went to Made Up? at Summerhall which was an exploration of the science of cosmetics. There was a bit of history thrown in with an 18th century live makeover. The foundation was a bit pale (white was the fashion to cover up sores) but the rouge used on the cheeks and lips reminded me a lot of Benetint – things haven’t changed that much! We also had the chance to make our own charcoal based facemasks.

EdSciFest

My mask was a bit lumpy but seemed to work OK. Don’t think I’ll be giving up my Origins too soon thought!

I also popped along to the Wildlife Photographer of the Year Exhibition at National Museum Scotland which was fantastic. It’s on until the 1st of June and absolutely fee so I really recommend this for any animal/nature/photography fan. It’s based in one room so easy to get round even if you only have a free 15 minutes.

The other major event this week (aside from being crazy busy at work) was introducing my parents and David’s parents. After 5 years this shouldn’t be a big deal but as we were meeting for lunch it seemed a bit formal. Went very well though – phew! We went to the Sun Inn which is local to the village my parents live in and is really nice. It’s a fairly standards Scottish gastro-pub style place but has won lots of awards so definitely worth a visit and not too far out of the city.

Tulips and Mini Eggs

Happy Easter everyone!

Lush Easter Products

Oh Lush! You certainly know how to part us from our dollars, with your fancy new website and “Limited Edition” signs everywhere. Here’s a review of some I couldn’t resist.

Fluffy Egg Lush Fluffy Egg Lush Fluffy EggIt’s a pink, egg-shaped bath bomb with a flower on either side. It smells like Snow Fairy (a bit like candy floss) so if you like sweet smells you’ll like this. It turned the bath pink and softened the water ever so slightly, but it fizzed away in about 1 minute. And er, that’s it. At £2.95 it’s an OK price but I’d only really recommend this if you love the smell of Snow Fairy and are missing it. Otherwise you might be a bit disappointed.

Bunny Lush BunnyOh-em-gee how cute! This is the Bunny bubble bar and I hated it! It is an evil bunny never the like seen since Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Here’s some action shots and I’ll explain why: Lush Bunny Bubble Bar Lush Bunny Bubble BarOh look! It’s pink inside! Hang on, what’s that stuff? Oh well, can’t see it in the bath…

The Bunny bubble bar gives a reasonable amount of bubble (not “mountains” but enough), the water goes a nice soft pink colour and it smells kinda like a muted down version of Fluffy Egg due to the vanilla – sweet but not sickly. The blue bits in the middle, it turns out, are cornflower petals, a nice touch but I can’t see many in the bubbles. But then when the bubbles start to dissipate it all goes wrong. Firstly, they disappear rather quickly, long before it’s getting out of the bath time if you’re planning a luxurious soak. Secondly, you’re left with all these small petals floating about, sticking to your skin, gathering in your belly button. This would be fine if they were lovely blue petals, but they’re not, they’re brown, dead and look like your bath is full of bugs. And then you have you try to get them out of your tub after your nice “relaxing” bath and they’re everywhere. At £3.25 for a bathtub of misery, this is one bunny to avoid.

Secret Garden Lush Secret GardenLet’s end on a positive. The Secret Garden bath bomb premises you a “garden of flowers” but luckily it doesn’t literally deliver on this. It does scent wise, it’s a floral, rose smell with a hit of citrus to liven things up.

Lush Secret GardenThe first layer fizzes fast and leaves a thick foamy top, before the bulk of the bomb fizzes at a much slower rate for a good 10 minutes until your bath is a lovely grassy green colour with beautiful soft water once the foam dissolves.

Lush Secret Garden Lush Secret GardenThere’s a few petals in there and one complete bud, but these are large and easy enough to pick out of the bath if they are bothering you. This bomb was £2.95 and by far my favourite of the three.

Have you tried any of the new products in Lush? Which do you recommend?

Mani Monday – Easter Chick Nails

Easter Chick NailsAfter the Easter Bunny’s visit last week I wanted to do another cute Easter nail design. This one is inspired by CutePolish who is amazing. Check out her nail tutorials if you haven’t already. You are bound to find something you want to try.

For these I used: Model’s Own ‘Lemon Meringue’ (yellow); OPI ‘Who the Shrek are You?’ (green); OPI ‘What’s with the Catitude’ (blue); OPI ‘Rumple’s Wiggin’ (purple) Essie ‘Blanc’ (white); Barry M ‘Papaya’ (orange) and Models Own WAH Nail Art Pens in White and Black. Other tools used were a dotting tool and a striping brush and finished with a coat of Seche Vite.

What do you think?

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!