Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Cherry Cheesecake

I love cheesecake, but I am of the school of thought that a baked cheesecake is far superior to any other form of cheesecake. Oh, but the effort of achieving the perfect, non-cracked cheesecake...'bake for x amount of time, then open the door a little, then a little more, then leave overnight in the oven etc, etc.' Sigh.

So when I was paging through my Nigella Express cookbook and came across this recipe, which Nigella claims to be converted on and it's a fridge cheesecake without gelatine, I HAD to try it. I was not dissappointed. I've added lemon zest and a vanilla pod which definitely elavates the flavours into cheesecake euphoria.

Bye bye tons of effort, hello tons of flavour!


125g digestive biscuits
75g butter
300g cream cheese
60g icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 vanilla pod scraped
1/2 tsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp lemon zest
250ml double cream
1 x jar of Black cherry conserve


Place the biscuits in a food processor and blitz until beginning to turn to crumbs, then add butter and whiz again to make mixture clump.

Press this mixture into a 20cm springform tin; press a little up the sides to form a slight ridge.
Beat together the cream cheese, icing sugar, vanilla extract, vanilla pod seeds, lemon zest and lemon juice in a bowl until smooth.

Lightly whip the double cream to soft peaks, and then fold it into the cream cheese mixture.
Spoon the cheesecake filling on top of the biscuit base and smooth with a spatula. Put it in the fridge for 3 hours or overnight.

When you are ready to serve the cheesecake, unmould it and spread the black cherry conserve over the top.

Serves 10.

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Thai Noodle Soup

I adore Thai Green Curry, but occasionally you fancy all the flavour without the heavy richness of a curry. This calls for easy Thai Noodle Soup.

When I make this soup I haul out all the vegetables in the fridge drawer that are almost past their best and toss them in the pot. Use the recipe below as a rough guide, and throw in whatever you have/fancy. I had a half a cup of corn skulking in the fridge as my toddler would only eat corn and now won't touch it...no matter how many aeroplane or train noises I make!

I like this soup with coconut milk in, but leave it out if you'd prefer a clear soup.

2 tsp vegetable oil
1 tsp fresh chopped ginger
1 tsp finely chopped garlic
600ml chicken or vegetable stock
2 tsp fish sauce (or soy sauce)
1 tsp of dark brown sugar
2/3 nests of noodles
1/2 red pepper
1/2 cup of corn
1/2 cup of coconut milk
2 handfuls shredded cabbage or 2 bok choy
2 carrots, cut into strips

In a large saucepan heat 2 tsp of vegetable oil over high heat, cook the ginger and garlic for 30 seconds, do not let it brown.

Add the stock and bring to the boil. Add fish sauce, sugar, noodles, vegetables and coconut milk. Boil for 5 minutes and serve.

Serves 2.