Thursday 5 November 2015

Biscoff Peanut Butter Oreo Cheesecake

Calling all Biscoff and peanut butter lovers! This recipe is perfect for you!

Serves 12
200 grams digestive biscuits crushed (you can use Lotus Biscoff or Oreos if you prefer)
80 grams unsalted butter (melted)
360 grams philadelphia cream cheese (full fat)
300 ml double cream or whipping cream (lightly whipped)
1 jar (380-400g) of Biscoff biscuit spread, original or crunchy
2  1/2 tablespoons of cold water
2  1/2 teaspoons of gelatin
1-2 packets of peanut butter Oreos
Extra cream for decorating (optional) 

  • Lightly grease a 8 inch springfoam tin or a mousse ring with unsalted butter. Put the crushed  biscuits in a bowl. Add in the melted butter and mix till well combined. Lightly press the mixture over the greased tin evenly. Refrigerate while you make the cheesecake mixture.
  • You can use 1 or 2 packets of Oreos, up to you. Cut 12 Oreos into halves and place them in a airtight container for decoration later. Cut the rest of the Oreos into small pieces.
  • Put 2 1/2 tablespoons of cold water in a small bowl, add in the gelatin and place the bowl into a saucepan of simmering water (water bath) but make sure the water in the saucepan doesn't bubble into your bowl of gelatin. When the gelatin have dissolved, turn off heat and set aside.
  • In a large bowl whip the philadelphia cheese until smooth.
  • Add in the dissolved gelatin and mix well.
  • Add the Biscoff spread and mix till well combined.
  • In another small bowl whip the cream till soft peaks (make sure not to over whip the cream) Gently fold the cream into the cream cheese mixture till combined.
  • Depending how you want the cheesecake to look inside, you can just fold in the pieces of Oreos into the mixture and just pour the mixture onto the biscuit base. Or if you a want a neat layer of Oreos in the middle like in the picture, divide the mixture into two equal bowls. Pour one bowl of cheesecake mixture onto the biscuit base, spread and smooth it out with a angled blade pallet knife. 
  • Place the Oreos on top leaving about a centimetre away from the edge and carefully pour the other bowl of cheesecake mixture on top. Spread and smooth out the mixture evenly with a palette knife trying not to move the Oreos below.
  • Chill for 4-5 hours, ideally overnight.
  • Remove from tin. Cut into 12 pieces. Decorating with cream, Oreos and biscuit crumbs.

  • Enjoy! :) xx

    If your not a fan of Oreos you can leave them out, taste just as good :)

    Thursday 24 July 2014

    Afternoon Tea at the Celtic Manor (Spring Menu)

    Back in May, me and the girls decided to catch up over afternoon at The Celtic Manor. I was so happy that we were just in time to try the Spring Menu before they switched to the Summer menu. I've already tried the afternoon tea at the resort in summer 2013 and it was one of the best ones i've had in Wales, so I was hoping this years Spring menu would be just as good if not better.

    You get a choice of teas from their speciality tea selection or freshly brewed coffee. I went for a jasmine tea.

    First the finger sandwiches. Some lovely light fillings, cucumber with lemon creamcheese, honey roast ham, chicken with basil pesto mayonnaise, smoked salmon.

    I love bagels so this was definitely my favourite.

    Cakes and desserts next. As some of you might know, I love my cake and these were so impressive! A mini orange and ginger cupcake. A red berry white chocolate truffle on top of a shortbread, very creamy inside.

    This banoffee fudge cake with chocolate ganache was delicious! The sponge was so soft and fluffy and not too sweet, I could have done with a bigger piece hehe!

    Honey spiced madeleine, a little pot of apple dessert and the cappuccino pecan layer cake was also lovely, a little sweet even for my liking but loved the flavour.

    As soon as we finished the cakes, the waiter came over and asked if we were ready for our scones and we told him if we could wait at least half before they bring them over as we were all so full at this point. The scones were warm when they arrived at the table but just like last year, I found them a little over baked.

    Over all another lovely afternoon tea here at the Celtic Manor. I was especially impressed with the cakes! Definitely worth a visit if your in Wales. I'm looking forward to next week to try the Summer menu, I know its going to be just as good!

    Friday 14 February 2014

    Afternoon Tea At Caldonian Hotel, Edinburgh

    Sorry once again for my late blog posts! I should have blogged about this afternoon tea a couple of months ago oops! December last year, I made a little trip up to Scotland to attend my lovely aunts surprise 50th birthday celebration, so this was a lovely chance to try a afternoon tea in Edinburgh town centre. My cousin have already tried the Caldonian Hotel and she did say it was lovely and that she really didn't mind paying another visit with me.

    Afternoon tea is served at stylish Peacock Alley at the heart of the hotel.

    The hotel have also be awarded The Tea guild Special Award of Excellence 2013!

    Starting off with my favourite, scones! Freshly baked fruit and plain scones served with clotted cream and preserves. Still warm when they arrived, lovely and soft.

    Finger sandwiches includes, honey roasted ham with onion chutney, egg and black pepper mayonnaise, cucumber with sea salt cream cheese and Scottish smoked salmon with lemon dill. Loved all the fillings especially the roasted ham with chutney, perfect size too.

    Moving onto the cakes and desserts. Such a lovely selection which includes, a Orange Lavender cake, Creamed Raspberry Financier, both cakes were soft, light and moist,. A Hazelnut & Mocha macaroon which actually tasted like a rich brownie to me but still very yummy. A Strawberry tart with a lovely creme patissiere filling. The one I was most intrigued by was the Earl Grey Shortbread Trifle, my cousin tried  one spoonful and she was not impressed, she couldn't wait for me to try it and see what I thought of it! But surprisingly, I really enjoyed it! The Earl Grey jelly wasn't too strong and having each spoon with the layers of custard and cream I thought it was quite unusual.

    A perfectly made Choux Pastry Swan. Pastry was crisp, will definitely have to attempt making theses one day.

    Overall I thoroughly enjoyed the afternoon tea. The hotel itself is absolutely stunning and sophisticated, atmosphere was warm and welcoming and the food was beautiful. I do recommend this place if your taking a trip to Edinburgh.
    The Caledonian Hotel is definitely one of the finest hotels in Scotland.

    Sunday 8 September 2013

    Nutella Cheesecake

    I was so happy when I put this simple, yummy cheesecake recipe together, couldn't wait to share this with you all! Hope you will like this recipe as much as I do!

    I came up with this recipe, all to do with the unopened jar of Nutella which has been in my cupboard for the past 6 months. I knew if it continues to stay there, I will just end up opening the jar and start eating it with a spoon! Haha yes i'm that bad! So I thought maybe I can make a cheesecake with it and i'm so glad that I did! It's my new favourite cheesecake recipe now. Quick and easy to make and simply delicious!

    Serves 12
    2 packets Oreos (154g packets)
    80 grams unsalted butter (melted)
    400 grams philadelphia cream cheese (full fat)
    300 ml double cream or whipping cream (lightly whipped)
    300 grams Nutella 
    2 tablespoons of cold water
    2 teaspoons of gelatin
    12 Ferrero Rocher (optional) Or use some fresh fruit to decorate

    • Lightly grease a 8 inch springfoam tin or a mousse ring with unsalted butter. Remove the fillings of the Oreos. Discard the filling. Finely crush the Oreo biscuit and put them in a bowl. Add in the melted butter and mix till well combined. Lightly press the mixture over the greased tin evenly. Refrigerate while you make the cheesecake mixture.
    • Put the 2 tablespoons of cold water in a small bowl, add in the gelatin and place the bowl into a saucepan of simmering water (water bath) but make sure the water in the saucepan doesn't bubble into your bowl of gelatin. When the gelatin have dissolved, turn off heat and set aside until needed.
    • In a large bowl whip the philadelphia cheese until smooth. Add the Nutella and whip till its well combined.
    • Add in the dissolved gelatin and mix well (gelatin should be like liquid, if it has turned into jelly heat it back in the saucepan.
    • In another small bowl whip the cream till soft peaks (make sure not to over whip the cream) Gently fold the cream into the cream cheese mixture till combined and pour into the prepared biscuit base. Spread and smooth out the mixture evenly with a palette knife.
    • Chill for 4-5 hours, ideally overnight.
    Un-mould the cheesecake and cut into 12 equal pieces. Place a Ferrero Rocher on top of each slice or decorate with some fresh fruits.
    Light, smooth and creamy!

    Remember to leave a comment below if you've tried the recipe, I would love to know what you think of my recipe. You can also tweet me a picture on Twitter of your cheesecake or show me on Instagram xx

    Sunday 25 August 2013

    Afternoon tea at the Celtic Manor Resort

    A few weeks ago it was afternoon tea again for me, this time at the Cetlic Manor, a 5* Resort in Newport, Wales. A lovely friend said that the afternoon tea here at the resort is great, so I thought i'll take my cousin along for a belated birthday treat. 

    The resort afternoon tea is served at The Olive Tree & Garden Room. As we entered, we were welcomed by friendly polite staff who sat us down to our table to a window seat. The room was beautiful and bright and it put a extra big smile on my face that day as the sun decided to make an appearance so we manage to enjoyed the beautiful sunny view outside towards the golf course. 

    With our drinks, we got to choose from a few selection of fresh teas or freshly brewed coffee. Food came on a three tier stand, everything looked very appetising and it is quite a lot of food for afternoon tea but I always skip lunch if i'm having afternoon tea and because our table was booked for 2.30pm I was particularly hungry by this time and I knew I wouldn't have a problem demolishing the whole lot, especially when it comes to bread and cake!

    So we started off with the bottom tier with the sandwiches. There was a wide range of sandwiches, i've not had afternoon tea with so many varieties before. We had seven pieces each, which includes, egg mayonnaise, chicken coriander and lime, cucumber and mint creme fraiche, honey roast ham with cherry tomatoe and apple chutney, mini bagel with smoked salmon and lemon and chive cream cheese. Sandwiches were all fresh, fillings were just right, not too much or too less. My favourites was the honey roast ham with apple chutney and the mini bagel, the salmon was lovely and fresh and tasted beautiful with the cream cheese.

    Moving onto the second tier, mango and passion fruit chocolate pot and lemon meringue 

    The chocolate pot was a little too sweet with the syrup on top but I always love the flavour combination of mango and passion fruit together, a little different as i've not had a dessert like this before. I don't eat lemon meringues that often as I do find the lemon filling too sweet with a meringue, although the tart was very sweet but it was also very light and fluffy too.

    Third tier, cakes, my favourite!

    All cakes were all lovely and soft, the buttercream with the velvet chocolate cupcake was so smooth and silky. The raspberry joconde, a cute little cake with a raspberry mousse filling and a praline buttercream pyramid which was a little sweet but the sponge was lovely and light. When we were close to finishing all our cakes the waitress came over and asked if we were ready for ours scones but we said if we could wait for a moment, as we needed time to rest before eating anymore food.

    For me, afternoon tea is all about the scones, I am quite fussy when it come to scones, and I would have prefer if they were served at the start rather than at the end. The scones were warm when they arrived, I thought the outside was slightly over baked but the inside was lovely and light served with Roddas clotted cream and strawberry preserve.

    Overall another lovely afternoon experience. Food was delicious, service was good and the atmosphere was relaxing with the beautiful surroundings.

    I highly recommend the resort afternoon tea, with a unbeatable price of just £32 for two persons its worth a visit for a elegant and luxury treat! I'm looking forward to going back to try the Newbridge Cream Tea and the Christmas Afternoon Tea.

    For more info on the Celtic Manor Afternoon Teas, click HERE 

    Sunday 18 August 2013

    Recipes by John Whaite

    I'm sure many of you are just as excited as I am! Yes The Great British Bake Off  is back on our screens on 20th August!

    Since the show last year, I have been a little addicted to John Whaite's recipes, my favourite and well deserved bake off winner! John won over the audience with his down to earth personality, his passion and his amazing talent for baking. I think it was the second episode when John won star baker on bread week that I thought what a great baker John truly is! I started following him on twitter and when he tweeted a recipe for his wholemeal loaf, I really wanted to try out the recipe. I've only tried bread making once and it turned out in such a disaster that I never attempted it again but after bread week on the bake off, I was inspired by John and the show to give it another go. So when I attempted the recipe and seeing my dough double in size I was clapping with joy! I was thinking, I must be doing it right this time! (The first time I tried making Chinese bread rolls, they actually turned out like rocks!)

    Yes! My first successful homemade bread! The loaf turned out beautiful, lovely and light. Bread making didn't seem that scary after all following this easy and simple recipe. Recipe can be found HERE 

    Second recipe I tried from Johns blog, Lemon Drizzle Loaf. A very moist, zesty and fluffy loaf. Recipe HERE 
    From here on I always trust Johns recipes as I know they will turn out great, they do just get better and better each time!

    These Blueberry and White Chocolate Bagels are the ones John made on the bake off. I've not made bagels before but the contestants on the bake off looked like they were having so much fun and after making my first successful loaf I was a little bit more confident playing with dough this time. I loved the recipe, these turned out great! Sweet, chewy and yummy! Recipe HERE 

    Johns Gateau Saint-Honore a la passion is one of the most advanced recipes that i've tried. So much works goes into this famous French patisserie and its a real test of skill and I certainly didn't have it! Its the first time I made choux and rough puff pastry. The choux pastry was quite straight forward to make but the puff pastry I found very difficult! After wasting two blocks of butter, I still failed miserably and i've never been brave enough to attempt puff pastry till this day. This would have been a lovely dessert if I didn't mess up my puff pastry but the flavours was beautiful, the choux was lovely filled with chantilly cream and the caramel but I wished I did a better job with the presentation. What's special about this recipe is that it has a lovely passionfruit curd filling, absolutely gorgeous. Recipe HERE

    Johns Arabian Night Tart is one of my favourites bakes from last years bake off! A rich and buttery pastry case filled with pistachio frangipane, creme patissiere and decorated with exotic fruits.

    I was so please how this turned out as I don't make tarts that often. The pastry turned out lovely, not too thick or too thin, crisp with no soggy bottom, soft pistachio frangipane and a lovely smooth creme patissiere. A perfect, stunning recipe! A recipe I highly recommend. Recipe can be found HERE 

    Soon after John was crowned the winner of The Great British Bake Off, he started to write his first baking book but he still continued posting recipes on his blog and this time I decided to make my first ever Christmas cake using his recipe. As I didn't want to use alcohol, I asked John what juice he would recommend and he suggested pomegranate juice would be nice. I was really looking forward to making this cake as i've not made a Xmas cake before, while the cake was in the oven my house smelt absolutely beautiful! Recipe HERE 

    My first Christmas Cake

    Johns chocolate chiffon recipe has got to be my all time favourite cake! I've lost count how many times i've made it now. A very light and chocolatey sponge and it's even better with his salted caramel icing, indulgent experience! Trust me, I can eat a lot of this cake! Recipe HERE

    Finally in April 2013, John released his first book JOHN WHAITE BAKES, Recipes for everyday and every mood. I couldn't wait to get my hands on this book and I knew I wouldn't be disappointed! The book have a wide variety of recipes and for people of all skill levels. There are many delicious savoury recipes in the the book that I would like to try including, a caramelized onion and rosemary fougasse, pizza puttanesca but I do have a very sweet tooth and everytime I pick up the book I can't help but make something sweet again! Here are a few of the recipes i've tried so far from the book.

    Here are some apricot and white chocolate flapjacks, a white chocolate and raspberry melting cake, rose madeleines and spiced apple and cranberry muffins. What I love about the book is that it includes many quick, easy and mouth-watering recipes, a lot of ingredients you will already have in your cupboard and also many fancy recipes for dinner parties or those special occasions. 

    These salted peanut and chocolate florentines are absolutely addictive! I used sultanas instead of apricot as I didn't have any apricot in the house but they still were very good. Perfect for my sweet tooth, sweet, chewy and chocolatey.

    These Rose Lychee Meringue Hearts are so adorable! I was so looking forward to making these as i've never made meringues before and I was so pleased that they turned out lovely! The meringues were light and airy, crisp on the outside and soft in the inside just like a meringue should be and with the lychee topping its just perfect.

    Definitely one of my favourite recipes from the book so far! Deliciously sweet, pretty and such a chic dessert. John has definitely created the most indulgent and delicious recipes for everyday and every mood...

    A must try recipe, heaven on a plate! 

    Hope you like my attempts of Johns recipes, do try them out as they are all beautiful recipes. You can order Johns book HERE John is already writing his second book and i'm really looking forward to when it comes out as he's been studying at Le Cordon Bleu for a pastry diploma to become a patissier and i'm sure there will be some great recipes and hoping some baking techniques too. I'm so happy that he is doing so well after the Great British Bake Off and i'm sure he's going to continue to do great in the future.