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a blog about making bread at home

Archive for the tag “cheesecake”

A new star in the baking firmament – #TanyaBakes

Earlier this year I was asked to make an index for a baking book written by a YouTuber (yes that is a word, it’s in the dictionary). So I did the job and ended up a bit puzzled. There were plenty of recipes for cakes, cookies and cheesecakes, but they were a bit ‘easy’, no complicated techniques, no hard-to-find ingredients, not many flavours, and I wondered faintly why anyone had bothered to make the book. So I put the work behind me and got on with other things and wasn’t even tempted to try making any of them.

Last Friday, 1st July, while Britain and Europe were still reeling from Brexit, I was labouring over an index for a book about medieval trade across the North Sea, and on the day the destruction of the Somme was remembered (wasn’t #wearehere fabulous? I wish I’d been able to see some of the young men myself), Tanya Bakes was launched. And I finally got why the book was written, it’s not a book for my demographic at all, it’s a cookery book for people who want straightforward, simple, feelgood recipes, with nice pictures. It’s for girls (and boys) who want to thank their mum or dad or sister, or nan or uncle or teacher and make them a few cookies. It’s for friends who want to spend an hour together to make something before settling down to watch a movie. It’s for anyone who wants to make cheesecake or party pudding or a cake you can stick sparklers in. There’s not much in the way of fancy icing to be done and it shows it is OK to put sweets on cakes if that’s what you want to do. If you want recipes for Nutella or put peanut butter in something, you’ll find something to help you.

Twitter went mad. #TanyaBakes was used by people expressing their excitement at having received their copy, saying they were going to one of the book signings she has arranged, and more importantly perhaps, showing off their bakes. So it’s not my demographic, but I’ve got to congratulate Tanya if she encourages people to try a few things for themselves. It’s not a book to grab and use every day, I had to laugh a little at the person who put a review on Amazon complaining about the amount of sugar, but in moderation it has got good points.

And I made some brownies. Tanya’s most ‘exotic’ recipe uses coconut sugar and coconut oil, I swapped that out for brown and white sugar and some butter, but I did put in the half an avocado. Here’s a piece with some raspberries out of my garden and a bit of cream.

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Dan Lepard’s Classic Cheesecake

Very quick blog today to remind me of something I should make more often. From Dan’s book Short and Sweet . It’s also on the web here. I also make about half the recipe as there’s only three of us and we’d be eating it forever if I made more. A full-sized one is good for family gatherings however.

Oat cookies and butter for the base, cream cheese (I use ricotta and marscapone), sour cream, sugar, plain flour, lemon zest, vanilla essence and eggs. Simple and delicious.

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amaretto cheesecake

A dinner-time treat to follow down some home-made pizza, the base being Dan’s recipe from Short and Sweet. I like mine thin so make a half quantity for three pizzas and roll them out quite thinly. I also try to use the 00 flour that the recipe calls for. No pictures I’m afraid!

So, cheesecake. From the Hairy Bikers Bakeation in Italy – first make your amaretti biscuits – egg white, sugar, almond extract and ground almonds, then make the cheesecake topping – ricotta cheese, caster sugar, eggs, double cream, lemon zest and amaretto liqueur.

I’d had my eye on this one for a while, partly because it is gluten-free and our niece is that way inclined so if we entertain her we try to include treats she can eat. Normally with cheesecake for her I’d use the GF digestive biscuits from Sainsbury, but this is a way of making a cheesecake without involving any flour. So, equipped with a bottle of amaretto bought this week on offer from that supermarket already named I was ready.

Given that there’s only two adults and our son is mightily suspicious of everything I bake and thinks a wiff of alcohol will make him drunk (one day I’ll remind him about ‘quaffing’ Bucks Fizz at a Christening when he wasn’t out of nappies but not today), I opted to make only a three quarters sized cake on the basis that it ought to do 5 to 7 portions and keep the two of us going over the weekend.

Results – acceptable, a bit on the egg-custard side of cheesecake to be utterly perfect, but as I used the yolk from the egg used for the amaretti biscuits and three whole eggs, that might be why. However, the worst part was that while it was cooling in the oven it leaked out about 50ml of sweet juicy stuff which seemed to contain most of the amaretto. I saved most of this ‘juice’ and used it with some sliced strawberries which I left to marinate in caster sugar while the cake cooled. I don’t expect there to be much of this left by Monday. I have biked about 12 miles today, 7.5 with the offspring on his new road bike, so felt I’d just about earned it. And now I’m equipped with the amaretto, there’s some other recipes in that book that will require my attention.

Chocolate cheesecake for Easter

Hairy Bikers Belgian chocolate truffle recipe doesn’t involve a lot of baking! But I’m so looking forward to some of this…..

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