Nutella Cheesecake

Well, today’s post couldn’t be more of a contrast from the one on Wednesday about my 30-day squat challenge! If you’re joining in, how are you getting on?  I’ve just completed day 2 – I WILL pass the pencil test!

If you’ve been following the blog for awhile, you’ll know that I truly adore chocolate, which of course includes the delicious Nutella.  Such is my love for Nutella is that I could easily put a Nutella recipe on these pretty pink pages every Friday, but that wouldn’t help us get our bootylicious bottoms, now would it?!

I would love to take credit for this recipe, but alas, I can’t.  If you love Nigella Lawson as much as I do, then you’re probably already aware of the original fabulous pudding.  I made it for some friends last weekend and it went down a storm!  Just as I can’t order straight off a menu, I seem incapable of following a recipe to the letter.  Some of the people I made this for last weekend were little people, so I made the decision to leave out the hazlenuts.  Yes, I know Nutella is made from hazlenuts, but I find seeing nuts in a pudding is sometimes off putting for children.  I also added 50g more digestive biscuits to compensate for the omission of the hazlenuts in the base, and adjusted the butter accordingly.  And being such a fan of Nutella, I added a good couple of extra tablespoons of Nutella!  This is a super easy and quick recipe to make; the hardest part is waiting for it to set in the fridge.

Nutella cheesecake

Ingredients

  • 300g digestive biscuits
  • 90g unsalted butter, melted
  • 400g Nutella, room temperature (I used more than this)
  • 500 grams cream cheese (at room temperature)
  • 60 grams icing sugar (sifted)

Method

  1. Break the digestives into the bowl of a processor and blitz.  Once the biscuits resemble sand, add in the melted butter a tablespoon of Nutella, and blitz again until it looks like damp sand.
  2. Tip into a 22cm/8inch round springform and press into the base either using the back of a spoon. Place in the fridge to chill.
  3. Beat the cream cheese and icing sugar until smooth and then add the remaining Nutella to the cream cheese mixture, and continue beating until combined.
  4. Take the springform tin out of the fridge and  smooth the Nutella mixture over the base. Place the tin in the fridge for at least four hours or overnight. Serve straight from the fridge for best results.

Domestic Princess tips:

  1. Make sure the cream cheese is at room temperature, as otherwise you’ll end up with a lumpy cheesecake.
  2. If you don’t have a food processor to whizz up the biscuits, pop them in a zip lock bag and bash them with a rolling pin, then just pop the biscuits in a bowl and mix the butter and Nutella in by hand.
  3. I like a thicker base cheesecake than Nigella’s recipe makes, so next time, I’ll probably double the quantity for the biscuit base and use 1.5 the quantity for the chocolate topping.
  4. This is a perfect pudding to make ahead of time if you’re having people over for supper.

What is everybody up to this weekend?  We’re off to say goodbye to some very special friends this evening 😦 . That’s the downside of being an expat, you meet wonderful people that you would never have met had you not embarked on this crazy journey.

With much love
The Domestic Princess
xoxo

Mini Egg Blondies

Hello everyone!

Is it just me that thinks this year is flying by?  I cannot believe that it is Easter this weekend!  It’ll probably come as no surprise to you that I love Easter.  Chocolate, hot cross buns, roast lamb and the promise of 4 days free of work?  What’s not to love!  I think my favourite Easter chocolate has to be Cadbury’s Mini Eggs.  The matte, pastel shell covered chocolate eggs are just so moreish.  Surprisingly, I have never added these delicious little gems to any of my recipes, so when I came across a recipe on Twitter for Mini Egg Blondies, I practically squealed.  Mini Eggs, encased in a scrumptious, chewy blondie…what was stopping me?!  If you’re wondering what a blondie is, the best way I can describe it would be to liken the taste to a bar version of a cookie, and the texture to that of a brownie – gooey and chewy.  In fact, you might think of a blondie as the brownie’s cousin.  What they’re most definitely not, are brownies made with white chocolate instead of dark or milk.  The only chocolate element to a blondie, are the chips you add in.  No melted chocolate here!

Obviously, I couldn’t just follow somebody else’s recipe, I had to tinker and fiddle until I’d made it my own, and here’s the result.

Mini egg blondies

Ingredients

  • 200g unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing 
  • 225g light brown sugar
  • 1/4tsp of salt
  • 1 1/2tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 250g plain flour
  • 1/4tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1tsp baking powder
  • 200g Mini Eggs (or more if you’re feeling generous!)

Method

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180C/Fan 160C/Gas mark 4.  Butter an 8 or 9″ square cake tin and then line with greaseproof paper.
  2. In a saucepan, melt the butter and whisk in the sugar and salt.  The more you whisk it, the lighter and fluffier your blondies will be.
  3. Add in the vanilla extract and whisk again.  Take off the heat and leave to cool to room temperature.
  4. Once the sugar/butter mixture has cooled, add the eggs and give a good whisk.
  5. Into a large bowl sift the flour, bicarbonate of soda and baking powder.  Then into the flour, whisk small amounts of the the egg and butter mixture until it’s all been combined. Don’t pour all the egg and butter mixture in at once, as you’ll end up with a lumpy mixture.
  6. Fold in the Mini Eggs.
  7. Pour the mixture into your prepared cake tin and spread out evenly.
  8. Pop the tin in the oven for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the top is slightly cracking, the outer edges are firm and the middle still slightly gooey.
  9. Leave to cool on a wire rack for at least 10 to 15 minutes (this bit is SO hard!), then cut into squares ready to serve.

Domestic Princess tips:

  1. Make sure to let the melted butter and sugar mixture cool to room temperature before adding in the eggs, otherwise you’ll risk them scrambling.
  2. By melting the butter with the sugar, instead of creaming them, you’ll end up with a chewier blondie.
  3. Don’t worry if you can’t get your sticky mits on Mini Eggs, just substitute them for roughly chopped milk chocolate, or white or dark for that matter!
  4. A metal pan tends to work better with blondies than silicone or glass.
  5. These blondies lend themselves to many different things being added:  nuts, raspberries, fudge pieces, peanut butter, cranberries…the list is endless.
  6. The “butterscotch” taste of blondies comes from the brown sugar and melted butter combo, so don’t be tempted to switch the brown sugar for white, as they’ll taste quite different.
  7. Over-cooking the blondie mixture will give you a dry and hard bar.  As you near the end of the cooking time, check every 1 to 2 minutes until the skewer comes out with just a little bit of the mixture on it.  Remember, it’ll carry on cooking for awhile when it’s out of the oven.
  8. If you’re watching your sugar intake, you can reduce the sugar in this recipe by a third. The texture will still be the same, but it’ll be slightly less sweet.

I can’t think of anything more perfect to have on Easter Sunday afternoon!  Please send me some pictures if you make a batch of these!

Happy Easter!

With much love

The Domestic Princess

xoxo

Malted chocolate cheesecake….with a surprise!

Whilst I adore Christmas pudding, especially my Granny Phyll’s Christmas pudding recipe (I’ll share it with you next year), I’m well aware that there are many of you who don’t share my love for it! So, for the non-pudding lovers out there, I’ve created this pudding just for you!

Cheesecake

Ingredients

  • 300g malted milk biscuits
  • 110g, unsalted butter
  • 30g golden syrup
  • 7tbsp of malted powder, e.g. Horlicks
  • 50g popping candy (optional, but this is the surprise bit!)
  • 600g cream cheese, room temperature
  • 150ml double cream
  • 150ml sour cream, room temperature
  • 300g milk chocolate
  • 300g white chocolate
  • Chocolate malt balls, such as Maltesers

Method

  1. Grease the bottom and sides of an 8″ to 9″ (22 – 23cm) springform tin.
  2. Crush the biscuits into crumbs.  I normally whizz them up in my food processor, but not being in my own kitchen, I gave them a good bash in a zip lock with a bottle of wine! Improvisation at its best.
  3. In a saucepan over a low heat, put the golden syrup and butter and leave to gently melt.
  4. Once the butter and golden syrup have melted, give them a quick stir to combine it all and in a bowl put the crushed biscuits, the melted butter mixture and 3tbsp of the Horlicks.  Stir until it’s all combined and resembles damp sand.  Quickly add in the popping candy, if adding it, and press down firmly into the springform tin.  Cover with clingfilm and put in the fridge to set.
  5. Melt the milk chocolate and white chocolate in separate bowls over saucepans of simmering water.
  6. Divide the cream cheese, double cream and sour cream evenly between the two bowls of melted chocolate.  In the milk chocolate one, add the remaining 4tbsp of Horlicks.
  7. Using an electric whisk, beat both sets of mixtures until they’re smooth and lump free.
  8. Pour the milk chocolate mixture evenly over the biscuit base.  Clean up any splashes.
  9. Carefully spoon the white chocolate mix on the top of the milk chocolate one.
  10. Pop in the fridge and after about an hour decorate with Maltesers and put back in the fridge for another 4 hours.

Domestic Princess tips:

  1. Bangaloreans, you can find malted milk biscuits in the Waitrose section at Hypercity.  If they’re out of stock, just use regular digestive biscuits and add 2 extra tablespoons of Horlicks.
  2. For a more Christmassy look, use white chocolate Maltesers.
  3. If you can’t find Maltesers, grate some chocolate and mix with some Horlicks powder and sprinkle evenly over the top.

Children will love the popping candy element of this pudding!

And the best bit of this cheesecake, you can make it a few days ahead and just keep it covered in clingfilm in the fridge.

I hope all your Christmas preparations are coming along nicely.  I have to confess, I have never been this disorganised!  So on that note, I’m off to play catch-up.

With much love
The Domestic Princess
xoxo

Lemon Mousse

I love an indulgent chocolate pudding, but sometimes a light, fresh zingy is what is called for, and this mousse is just that!  This mousse is quick and easy to put together, so the perfect pudding.

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 250ml of double cream
  • 2 lemons, juice and zest (approximately 60ml)
  • 50g icing sugar or 5g of stevia
  • 2 egg whites

Method

  1. Put the double cream and sugar (or stevia) in a bowl and whip until it starts to thicken.
  2. Add the lemon juice and zest (keep some back to sprinkle on the mousse as garnish) and whisk until it has thickened to soft peaks
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites until they’re have formed quite firm soft peaks.
  4. Using a metal spoon, slowly combine the egg whites into the lemon cream mixture.
  5. Once combined, pour into 4 dishes and pop in the fridge for a couple of hours to set.
  6. When ready to serve, sprinkle on a few strands of zest on each mousse and serve with some gingersnap biscuits.

Domestic Princess tips:

  1. Be careful that you don’t over whisk the cream, otherwise it’ll be hard to incorporate the egg whites.
  2. If you want a milder lemon flavour, just add 1 lemon.
  3. To make this a chocolate orange mousse, substitute the lemon for orange and add 30g of cocoa powder at stage 1.
  4. If you want to make this a more grown-up pudding, substitute one of the lemons for 30ml of limoncello.

If you make this, I would love to hear what you think!

With much love
The Domestic Princess
xoxo

Salted Caramel & Fudge Pavlova

I don’t think you can beat a pavlova as a pudding; it’s a classic!  There is something resplendent about bringing out a pavlova piled high with softly whipped cream that has a crunchy outer, which then yields to a soft chewy centre.  It looks quite spectacular and as if you’ve been slaving away in the kitchen for hours, which is quite the opposite.

People seem to have the misconception that pavlova is hard to make, well I promise you it’s not.  It is in fact really easy and the actual meringue part can be knocked up in less than 15 minutes.

Pavlova is traditionally adorned with soft fruit, but since they are pretty scarce in Bangalore, I needed to get creative.  Salted caramel is very much de rigueur at the moment, and whilst I’ve made caramel sauce on countless occasions, I’ve never attempted a salted caramel one.  So, with that in mind and some fudge I needed to use up, I came up with Salted Caramel and Fudge Pavlova:  it’s a killer combination that I’m inordinately proud of!

Ingredients

For the meringue base

  • 6 egg whites
  • 300g of caster sugar
  • 2tsp cornflour
  • 1½tsp of white wine vinegar

For the salted caramel sauce

  • 75g unsalted butter
  • 50g caster sugar
  • 50g soft light brown sugar
  • 100ml double cream
  • ½ to 1½tps of fleur de sel, or sea salt flakes

For the topping

  • 200g fudge, chopped into small chunks (I use these for pure convenience!)
  • 500ml double cream

Method

Serves 8 – 10

To make the meringue base

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4.
  2. Line a baking tray with baking parchment.
  3. Whisk the egg whites until they look shiny and peaks form when you remove your whisk.  NB. Unless you are Popeye, I highly recommend using an electric hand whisk or standmixer for this.  A friend of mine once tried to use their blender to whisk eggs – this won’t really work either.
  4. One spoonful at a time, add the sugar to the eggs, whilst continuing to whisk.  Make sure each spoonful is thoroughly mixed in before adding the next one.
  5. When all the sugar has been added, continue whisking for 3 – 4 minutes, or until the meringue is thick and glossy.  A good test is if you can hold the bowl over your head without any meringue falling on you!
  6. Whisk in the cornflour and vinegar.
  7. Using a metal spoon, scoop the mixture onto the baking parchment and use a palette knife to shape it into a fat circle.  Smooth around the edges and create a little well in the middle.
  8. Pop in the oven and immediately turn the temperature down to 120C/fan100C/gas ½ and cook for around one and a quarter to one and a half hours.  To tell if it’s ready, it should look crisp on the outside, but when you prod the centre it should feel squidgy.
  9. Turn the oven off and open the door slightly and let the meringue completely cool.
  10. Once the meringue has completely cooled, carefully peel the off the baking parchment and place the meringue on a serving dish.  Don’t worry if it cracks, this is par for the course.
  11. Whip the double cream until it forms soft peaks.
  12. Fold in half the salted caramel sauce and three-quarters of the fudge pieces.
  13. Pile the cream on top of the meringue, drizzle the remaining caramel on the cream and sprinkle on the rest of the fudge pieces.

To make the salted caramel sauce

  1. Melt the caster and soft light brown sugars in a heavy based pan.  Don’t stir; simply swirl the sugars around the pan.  After about 3 – 5 minutes, the sugars should be a golden liquid caramel, bubbling away.
  2. Take the pan off the heat and add in the butter.   Stir in the butter until it has melted.
  3. Put it back on the heat and add in the cream and half a teaspoon of the fleur de sel or sea salt flakes – don’t be tempted to use regular table salt, it won’t achieve the taste we’re looking for.  Give it a stir with a wooden spoon.  Have a little taste to see if it’s salty enough – be careful you don’t burn your tongue!  Flavours are much more muted when they are cold remember, so I go for the full allocation of salt.
  4. Let it bubble gently away for another minute or two.
  5. Take off the heat and pour into a jug or container until you’re ready to use it.

Domestic Princess tips:

  1. Make sure the bowl you’re using for the meringue is super clean.  Any traces of fat will scupper your attempts at a light, fluffy meringue.
  2. Egg whites whip up to a greater volume if they start off at room temperature.
  3. Don’t overwhisk your egg whites as if you do, they will collapse and you’ll have to start again.
  4. If you’re worried about overwhisking your eggs, add 2 drops of lemon juice to your eggs before you start whisking.
  5. If you prefer your pavlova to be crunchy the whole way through, omit the cornflour.
  6. The thicker your meringue is, the more mashmallowy it will be inside.  If you prefer a chewier consistency, then spread it out thinner on the baking parchment.
  7. Make sure you leave the pavlova to cool down in the switched-off oven.  Don’t expose the pavlova to cold air, until it is completely cool, as it will probably sink.
  8. A good rule of thumb when making meringues, is to calculate 50g of sugar for every egg white.  If you follow this, you won’t go far wrong.
  9. You can make the meringue and the salted caramel sauce the day before you want to serve it.  Keep the meringue in an airtight container until you’re ready to add the topping, just before serving.  The salted caramel will keep in the fridge for 7 to 10 days and can be frozen too.
  10. If you can’t get your hands on shop bought fudge, this is a great recipe for making it yourself.

I don’t know about you, but my mouth is watering now – I might have to make this again tomorrow!

Do you love pavlova?  Are meringues your cooking nemesis, or do you find them easy to make?

With much love
The Domestic Princess
xoxo

Champagne & Elderflower Syllabub

I love syllabub and I love Champagne, so I thought what could be better than combining them?  Syllabub takes me back to me childhood and reminds me of the dinner parties the Domestic King and Queen used to throw when I was little.  The Domestic Queen was known amongst their friends for her syllabub and would often serve it as pudding.

According to Wikipedia, Syllabub is a traditional English dessert that was popular back in the sixteenth to nineteenth centuries.  The basis of the original syllabub was rich milk or cream, sugar, combined with wine or cider (Nigella Lawson has a syllabub recipe using cider).  Rumour has it that when making syllabub back in Tudor times, a cow was milked directly into a bowl of wine or cider!  Thankfully for us, the modern version uses cream, not milk directly from a cow, sugar and wine, with any other flavours you fancy, being added in.  In this recipe, I’ve swapped the wine for Champagne, but any sparkling wine will work, I just happened to have a bottle open from the previous evening’s festivities, so decided to experiment and was really pleased with the outcome!

The purists way of making syllabub is to dissolve the sugar into lemon and wine, with a curl of orange peel, leaving it overnight to infuse.  The next day, the cream is added and beaten until it’s thickened and voila the syllabub is ready!  In my recipe, because I’m using Champagne, I make it just ahead of serving, as the Champagne would go flat!

Serves: 8  

Ingredients

  • 600ml of double or whipping cream
  • 50g of icing sugar
  • 6tbps of elderflower cordial
  • 300ml of Champagne

Method

  1. Whip the cream, together with the icing sugar until it forms soft peaks.
  2. Add in the elderflower cordial, whilst still whisking the cream.
  3. Slowly add the Champagne into the cream, until it’s all combined – you can do this by hand, or on the slowest setting of your mixer.
  4. Pour the syllabub into glass bowls or glasses and serve with sable, tuile or shortbread biscuits.

Domestic Princes tips

  1. Be careful not to over whisk the cream.  If it gets to a butter like consistency, you’ve whipped too much!
  2. The Champagne can be substituted for wine or sparkling wine.
  3. For a lower fat version, swap half the cream for low-fat Greek yoghurt.
  4. Don’t be tempted to pour all the Champagne in at once, as this will cause the syllabub to curdle.
  5. For a twist on a traditional trifle, use the syllabub instead of the custard layers in the trifle.
  6. This recipe is so quick and easy to make it can be made straight before serving, or made ahead of time and kept chilled in the fridge.

Have you got any recipes that conjure up memories of your childhood?  I’d love to hear about them.

With much love

The Domestic Princess

xoxo

Elderflower & Cucumber Jelly

With Jubilee fever sweeping the UK, and even reaching as far as Bangalore, I thought I’d post a recipe this week that was quintessentially British.  I’d be proud for this recipe to take pride of place on any Jubilee street party table!  What could be more British than a recipe with elderflower and cucumber in it?  This recipe was inspired by the Pimms jelly we had for supper last weekend at the lovely Jody and Fred’s house – it was divine!  Jody served mini portions of the Pimms jelly with mini portions of other scrummy puddings, which worked really well and looked fabulous on the plate!

Makes 4 x 200ml portions

Ingredients

  • 535ml white wine (with a glass spare for the cook 😉 )
  • 265ml elderflower cordial
  • 1½ cucumber
  • 60g caster sugar
  • 8 sheets of gelatine
  • Extra cucumber or mint leaves to garnish

Method

  1. Fill a bowl with cold water and put in the gelatine leaves to soak for 5 minutes.
  2. Top and tail the cucumber and chop into chunks.
  3. Pop the wine, cucumber and elderflower cordial into a blender and whizz until smooth.
  4. Sieve the blended mixture into a saucepan; make sure all the liquid is pushed through.
  5. Add the caster sugar into the saucepan and gently heat until the sugar is dissolved – this takes merely seconds.
  6. Remove any excess water from the soaking gelatine leaves and add them to the heated wine mixture.  Turn off the heat and stir until the leaves are dissolved.
  7. Pour the jelly mixture into either wine glasses, a funky mould, or if serving “a la Jody”, pour into a loaf tin, ready to cut into small pieces when set.
  8. Put in the fridge for at least 4 hours to set.
  9. When ready to serve, garnish with either a mint leaf or two, or make a little ribbon from the remaining cucumber, and tie into a bow (again, thank you Jody!)

Domestic Princess tips:

  1. Any variety of white wine can be used.  I used Pinot Grigio, as that’s what I had in the fridge, and am not a big fan of it as a drink – give me Cloudy Bay any day!  But it tastes great in the jelly!
  2. If you wish to make the jelly a little posher, substitute the white wine for either Champagne or Prosecco (or any sparkling wine).  The bubbles get trapped in the jelly and fizz on your tongue when eating it!
  3. If you want to make this a child friendly recipe, then you can swap the white wine for water, or half water, half pear juice (the cloudy variety), which works really well with elderflower and cucumber.
  4. If you’re making this for vegetarians, or aren’t sure if somebody might be vegetarian, then substitute the gelatine for agar flakes.  It’s generally available from health food stores; I found mine in Waitrose.  Use one heaped teaspoon for every 250ml.
  5. If you wish to vary the quantities, the general “rule of thumb” for gelatine to liquid ratio, is 1 gelatine leaf for every 100ml of liquid.
  6. If you’re not a fan of cucumber, then just omit it from the recipe, it won’t make any difference to the setting of the jelly.  You could swap it for raspberries.  About 100g – 150g of raspberries would work.
  7. If you want to “unmould” the jelly in front of your guests, use copper or plastic moulds; avoid ceramic ones because the jelly has a tendency to stick to the sides.
  8. If using a mould, pop the base into warm water for a few seconds before slithering it out.
  9. This is quite a firm set jelly, so if you’d like a softer-set one, use either a bit less gelatine, or increase the liquid.
  10. Bangloreans – you can find gelatine in Sorbet and elderflower cordial in the Waitrose section in Hypercity.

So, there you have it, a jelly fit for a Queen, or maybe a Domestic Princess!  Have you made homemade jellies?  If so, what flavours have you used?  Are you celebrating the Jubilee this weekend?  I’d love to hear all your plans.

With much love

The Domestic Princess

xoxo

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