Category Archives: Desserts/Puddings

Baked cheesecake

 A detour from cupcakes to show that it’s not all about sponge…our friends came over for lunch on Saturday and I decided to make a blueberry cheesecake.  The base wasn’t as crunchy as it should have been but it was ok. Our friends had seconds so mustn’t have been that bad!

Lemon Meringue Pie for a family BBQ

For the family BBQ this weekend I made lemon meringue pie (with raspberries). The recipe came from BBCGoodFood again. I really must expand my recipe research horizons!

I was quite pleased with the pastry as it was just on the right side of biscuity. I had misread the oven temperature though so cooked it on a bit too high a heat so it was a little singed looking. For a first stab at lemon meringue I thought it was ok. I didn’t make the lemon bit from scratch owing to time pressures and frankly, that’s just too much to do on a Sunday morning. Perhaps it would have been a bit more solid if I’d made it myself but the Tiptree Lemon Curd was good enough.

I had some left over pastry (as always) and made those lovely little jam tarts with sponge hats on which I remember mum doing when we were kids with the left over pastry. Millie and Hettie enjoyed messing about with the spare pastry (and eating it of course).

I’ve also been asked to make some cakes for a friends engagement party so I’ll be stocking up on fondant flowers and hoping my ebay delivery of petal cutouts arrives before Saturday! I’m also going back to my own recipe for cupcakes – the tried and tested 8 8 8 and 4 rather than Fair Cake’s recipe. I’ll add the tablespoon of cornflour as I like the texture that gives but I’m going to leave the baking powder out as I don’t think it’s necessary. I tried my old batter mix without the creaming of butter/adding flour and eggs alternatively and just putting it all in the mixer together and it seems to work fine.

Here’s another photo of a savory dish I made recently too – a chicken, mustard, leek and creme fraiche plait.

Phil made me very happy this weekend putting in cupboards in our kitchen which now house all neatly and orderly my baking tins and cake making equipment. A tidy cupboard makes for a happy home.

Lemon cheesecake

This weekend I mostly baked lemon cheesecake. Just to make sure that I could do the whole cheesecake thing really.

And I think it was successful, if a little undercooked which just made it a lot more yummy. Anyway both our guests and the girls ate half they daily calorie allowance in one slice very quickly so I think it was a success.
The topping was soured cream mixed with lemon curd which was a very nice bittersweet to cut through the very cheesy cake. This was described as being ‘light’ enough to have after a big meal….er no, it’s not light, it’s dense!


Earlier in the blog I featured one of the many pavlova’s I’ve made. A couple of people have been asking me for the recipe so I thought I’d write it up here for all to share in the perfect, gooey, crunchy, sticky pavlova.

3 egg whites
6oz caster sugar
1 level tsp cornflour
1 tsp raspberry/cider/wine vinegar
300ml whipping cream
fruit of your choice

Draw a 23cm or 9 inch circle on a sheet of non stick baking parchment and place on a baking tray.
Whisk the egg whites until stiff in a large bowl then add 2oz sugar at a time, whisking in between each addition to stiff again. Finally fold in the cornflour and vinegar.
‘Dollop’ or pipe the pavlova into the circle marked on the baking sheet. Make a dip in the middle to hold the filling.
Bake in the oven at 180C 350F mark 4 for 5 minutes then at 130C 250F mark 1/2 for a further 45-50 minutes until set but soft in the middle.
Leave to cool slightly then carefully peel off the paper. Don’t worry if it cracks.
When completely cold, whip the cream until it just holds its shape and then pile on top of the pavlova. Add fruit on top.

I often make two batches and make a pavlova ‘sandwich’ as in the picture, especially for large gathering. I try and make the dollops look like a flower…


I’ve just looked back at my blog and realised that I’d already posted the recipe…my memory is as bad as my mums…tut tut.

Double Chocolate Cheesecake

Last weekend we had a BBQ with our neighbours and I set myself the weekly cake task for the event. Last week I thought about things that I’ve really not cooked very often and sought inspiration from cookbooks and the internet and decided upon cheesecake. Cheesecake is one of those puddings that either makes me think of the 1970s lemon cheese cake on crushed digestive biscuits with mandarin segments (from a tin) on top or something found lurking in the frozen isle of the supermarket. Either way, not that tempting. However I remembered my mum’s cousin Anne introducing me, as a teenager, to the delights of baked cheesecake. I must get her recipe again as it was delicious.

Baked cheesecake has much more of a sophisticated flavour about it and less of the 70s kitsch. So I scoured a few recipe books and a few websites and found a double chocolate cheesecake recipe which could be adapted for the wheat free requirements across the road.
So I found this recipe on BBC Good Food (as usual!) I think mine was a bit more goey than perhaps I expected, but it was very much appreciated by the friends across the road.
And despite being incredibly rich (I added raspberries in an attempt at being healthy and to cut through the richness of the chocolate) this very large cheesecake didn’t last too long!
Next week I am going on a cupcake course with Fair Cake to learn the delicate art of perfect swirls and sugar craft toppings. Hopefully I’ll be able to post some much better cup cakes on Sunday. I’m hoping for something close to the image below…wish me luck!

Chocolate Beetroot cake

On Friday I made the recipe from BBC Good Food for blitz and bake chocolate and beetroot cake was really interesting in the way the ingredients were put together and resulted in a lovely purple tinged chocolate cake. Perhaps my oven is hotter as I think the 1 hour cooking time was too long.

Still it was a good cake, sticky and moist with a slight earthy flavour mingled in with the cocoa and chocolate nibs. The following day it was even more moist and Phil and the kids had some on Sunday warmed up slightly with ice cream. It became more of a chocolate brownie cake by the end of the weekend.
Thank you to friends and family for sending other beetroot recipes. The Channel Four eat yourself thin recipe was popular and I might try it next time.
Also this weekend I had a lovely time buying some goodies for my cup cake course in two weeks. I found a non stick rolling pin, bigger icing nozzles, icing smoother and side scraper and gel icing colours from Lakeland. I’m going to have to practise this weekend with piping again and coloured icing.
On a different cooking note, I’ve got into chinese/thai style soups recently and have making this incredibly simple, fresh tasting yummy soups for mid week meals. The naughty bit is the won ton or dim sum dumplings which I can’t resist but with a basis of miso soup they’re really healthy. For once, when Hannah came over to stay on Friday, we ditched the usual take away and had the home made soup. Delicious.
And on a non-food note, I made this card for Phil’s neice inspired by photomontage/collage work of artists as varied as Richard Hamilton, Claudine Hellmuth and of course the children’s favourite, Lauren Child. I also think there’s a bit of Henri Rousseau in there too.

Next: Beetroot and chocolate cake

This weekend I am setting myself the task of another fruit tealoaf – this time with a different flavoured tea and also a beetroot and chocolate cake. I use the BBC Good Food website a lot as they have some great recipes and do a ‘cake of the week’ special. I’ve been meaning to try out the ‘blitz and bake beetroot and chocolate cake’ for a while now so will do that this weekend.

This is the picture on the BBC website.