Mini Baked Chocolate Cheesecakes

Well, Happy New Year! I hope you’ve all had yourself a nice indulgent, and refreshing break. I admit I had intended to blog about this a little sooner but, you know…holidays happened. Hasn’t that sun been great?! Well, recently anyway 🙂

I found this recipe, by Donna Hay, in the New Zealand Herald last year.  Despite regularly browsing the lifestyle (namely food) pages of our online newspapers, I was instantly drawn to the rest of her equally indulgent and mouth-watering recipes. You can check them out here

The dessert itself is not heavy at all, and melted in my mouth with a slight moussy texture. I found the sliced fruit (berries, mainly) helped complete the richness and also made it perfect for someone who doesn’t have quite a sweet tooth.

I enjoyed the smaller individual-sized portions which are great if you are making them for a small group of people. There wasn’t any leftovers laying around in the fridge to taunt me in the days following!

So, welcome back to After Taste for 2013 – you can expect all sorts of exciting and tasty recipes to surface in the coming months and in the year ahead.

See you all again soon!

Mini Baked Chocolate Cheesecakes
Serves 4
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  • 100 grams chocolate biscuits
  • 30 grams butter, melted
  • 2 tbsp ground almonds
  • 400 grams cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup caster sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 150 grams milk chocolate, melted
  • Small amount of extra chocolate, for flaking on top
  • Berries, to serve

Preheat oven to 150 degrees. Place the biscuits, butter and ground almonds in the bowl of a small food processor and process until roughly chopped. Spoon the mixture into the base of 4 x 1 cup-capacity ovenproof dishes and press down using the back of a spoon.

Place the cream cheese and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat until light and creamy. Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat until smooth and thick. Fold through the chocolate and spoon over the biscuit bases.

Place the dishes on a baking tray and bake for 20-25 minutes or until firm to touch. Allow to cool completely at room temperature before placing in the fridge for 2 hours.

Dust with roughly chopped chocolate flakes and top with berries of your choice. Enjoy.

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This recipe is my entry in Sweet New Zealand for February 2013! Check out all the great recipes at Greedybread at the end of the month!

sweetnz

 

Double Chocolate Cream Cheese Filled Muffins

What can I say? These muffins are epic. This is your ideal recipe to whip up on a cold, blustery day like it is in Wellington at the moment, infact all over New Zealand I believe!

I like them best straight out of the oven when the piping hot cream cheese just oozes out from between the chocolatety goodness. Incredible.

Guess you’ll just have to try the recipe to know what I’m talkin’ ’bout 🙂

Double Chocolate Cream Cheese Filled Muffins
Makes 12

  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 2 tsp milk
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup cocoa
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips

Filling:

  • 100 grams cream cheese, softened (I used light Philadelphia cream cheese)
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp flour

Preheat oven to 180 degrees. Line a muffin tin with paper liners or spray well with non stick cooking spray. Set aside.

In large bowl, beat the oil, sugar, eggs, vanilla, sour cream and milk until well combined and light in color, for 3 minutes or so. Fold in remaining ingredients until just combined.

In small bowl, mix cream cheese, sugar and flour together until smooth. Set aside.

Scoop 1 large spoonful of muffin batter into prepared muffin tins to be 1/3 way full. Drop small spoonfuls of cream cheese mixture into middle of muffin batter (should be about 1 1/2-2 teaspoons per muffin). Scoop another large spoonful of muffin batter and pour overtop cream cheese mixture. Muffin tins should be filled 2/3-3/4 way full.

Bake 20-25 minutes. Remove from oven and cool 10 minutes before removing from tins. Once cooled, store in air tight containers, ideally in the fridge.

They also freeze particularly well 🙂 Enjoy.

Sour Cream Berry Cupcakes

Meet Ming. Ming makes cupcakes. Infact she makes cupcakes, cookies and savouries. I don’t know a lot else about Ming expect she is just an ordinary homebaker like you and I, who likes taking pictures of her baking.

What I do know is that I haven’t quite come across another baking site like hers that makes me drool quite as much as I do when I’m scrolling through this one. Her website is a documentation of a project to test, experiment and create new flavours of cupcakes and other delicious treats. Sounds like a perfect little life to me.

Although I discovered this wee beauty a while ago, I have only made this one so far and it sure is delicious! I definitely recommend.

On a side note, I finally got myself one of these! I can now decorate to my heart’s content and not worry about the little wee things getting squashed!

Sour Cream Berry Cupcakes
Makes 10

For the cupcakes:

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • pinch of salt
  • 115 grams butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla essence
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 1/2 cups berries (fresh or frozen)

For the icing:

  • 2 tbsp butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup cream cheese
  • 1 cup icing sugar
  • 1 tsp lemon rind, grated
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence

Mix together the flour, baking soda, and salt. In a separate bowl, cream butter and sugar on medium until light and fluffy. Reduce speed to low and add vanilla and egg. Stir in the sour cream.  Add flour mixture.  Stir in the berries.  Bake at 180 degrees for approximately 20 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean.

To make the icing, beat the butter and cream cheese together until it goes nice and smooth and creamy. Slowly mix in the icing sugar and blend it till it’s really well combined and then throw in the lemon rind and the vanilla essence and give it another couple of stirs. Ice the cupcakes once cooled and if you like, you can top with additional berries or decorate with some white chocolate.


Kahlua and Mars Bar Cheesecake

My favourite dessert is Cheesecake. Hands down.

 In fact, there are several key (or so I’m told) desserts I haven’t ever tried because cheesecake, if an option, is my dessert of choice.

The hoarding of this recipe all started with a delightful slice of Kahlua and Mars Bar Cheesecake at Lone Star one evening. I have wanted to recreate it ever since, it was that good! After a google or three I couldn’t find a similar recipe anywhere. I did however come across a recipe for a Crunchie Bar Cheesecake. I used this recipe and swapped the Crunchies Bar for a lot of Mars Bar and a dash (or more) of Kahlua! I have been making my own Kahlua and Mars Bar Cheesecake for years now and have passed this recipe on time and time again.

There isn’t too much more to be said about this recipe except that it is absolutely mindblowingly DELICIOUS and you should all try it!

Kahlua and Mars Bar Cheesecake

  • 1 x 250 gram packet plain sweet biscuits
  • 150 grams of butter, melted
  • 3 teaspoons of gelatine
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 375 grams of cream cheese, softened
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla essence
  • 1/2 cup of caster sugar
  • 1 x 300 ml thickened cream
  • 3 x 60 gram mars bars, chopped
  • 4-5 capfuls of Kahlua

Grease a 24 cm springform tin (the deeper the tin the better!) and set aside. Process biscuits until crushed, add butter, process until just combined. Before you press biscuit mixture over the base I like to add 1/2 a cup of chocolate chips to the mix just to give the base a bit of flavour and texture. This is entirely optional! Press the base over the tin evenly, cover and refridgerate for approximately one hour.

Sprinkle gelatine over water in a cup. Stand cup in a pan of simmer water, stir until dissolved. Cool. Beat cream cheese, vanilla essence and sugar in a small bowl with an electric mixer until smooth. Beat cream in a seperate bowl until soft peaks form
Stir in gelatine mixture into cheese mixture with Mars Bars, fold in cream and Kahlua.
Pour mixture over base in tin, Cover and refridgerate until set.

This cheesecake stands pretty great on its own but if you like, you could serve with a spoonful of natural yoghurt and a small handful of berries. I often crumble a Cadbury Flake bar (or similar) over the top just before serving. Enjoy!

I have decided to enter this into Sweet New Zealand. This month is hosted by Mairi at Toast. Head along to her blog and check out all the entries for November! Well worth it.

Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Icing

Looking back I seem to be blogging about a lot of ‘favourite things’ recently and quite frankly, this cake is no exception.

Carrot cake is my absolute favourite type of cake and for this reason, I have been privileged to try a fair few! The following recipe belongs to an old flatmate and friend of mine. This cake has it all. Generally a repeat offender if I ever need to bake a cake for someone or something!

The photo illustrates two cakes using this recipe and a layer of delicious cream cheese icing in between. In hindsight, I’d say I was just being a little too ambitious and a single layer cake works just as well, if not better.

Classic Carrot Cake

For the cake

  • 1 cup wholemeal flour
  • 1 cup plain white flour
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 cups raw sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 cup oil
  • 4 eggs (beaten)
  • 3 cups finely grated carrot

For the cream cheese icing

  • 8 tablespoons cream cheese
  • 50 grams of butter
  • 2 cups sifted icing sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl. Grease and line a round cake tin. Pour mixture into tin. Bake at 180 degrees for about 1 hour or until cooked. Ice when cool.

Mix together ingredients for the cream cheese icing. Ice cake and sprinkle with 1 cup of chopped nuts and apricots!