Velvety Chocolate Cheesecake

I have been eating so much food during the Christmas season, that today I swore I would start a diet and eat more healthy food. This diet was broken when my friend cruelly posted an easy recipe for Toblerone Cheesecake.

So unfortunately my diet goal was officially broken today, all due to my poor decision to make this Chocolate Cheesecake. Making this Cheesecake was such a good idea at the time, the recipe was so easy- actually too easy.

I am surprised I even have the energy to write this post. I am slumped on the couch like a beached whale in a Chocolate Cheesecake coma.

I did not end up using Toblerone Chocolate to make the Chocolate Cheesecake, because I had none in the pantry and I was too lazy to go buy some. I ended up using the Alter Eco Organic Dark Chocolate Velvet Truffles that were left over from Christmas and Koko Black Chocolate flakes. Using that chocolate was a great idea.

The Chocolate Cheesecake did not take very long to make, instead of using a mixer I got my husband to do the mixing whilst he was watching the cricket (yawn) and the Chocolate Cheesecake was ready in 3 hours. The Chocolate Cheesecake tasted so amazing, it was so creamy and it literally felt like it melted in my mouth. The Chocolate Cheesecake tasted so good, that I could have easily eaten half the cake in one sitting. Alas, the diet must prevail.

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I think for the sake of my diet I better donate the Chocolate Cheesecake to someone else. If I keep eating it I may pass out.

Velvety Chocolate Cheesecake Recipe

*Adapted from a recipe by Alanna Wilkinson

250 grams of Arnott’s Chocolate Ripple Biscuits

Approximately 50 grams of butter

500 grams of cream cheese, softened (I used Spreadable Philadelphia)

Half cup caster sugar

200 grams of milk chocolate, melted

Half cup of  thickened cream

Shaved Milk chocolate for sprinkling on the cheesecake

Method

1. Combine biscuit crumbs with melted butter and place it in a 20cm spring form pan. Place it in the refrigerator to chill.
2. Beat cream cheese and sugar using an electric mixer until smooth. (I did this without a mixer, I mixed it with a wooden spoon) Beat in the melted chocolate and cream until well combined.
3. Pour onto the prepared crumbed base, and sprinkle chocolate shavings on top. Refrigerate for 2-3 hours until set, or overnight.

Enjoy

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Christmas Inspired Cakes

For Christmas this year, I wanted to experiment with piping Christmas inspired decorations. I ended up using the usual safe cupcake recipe and a lot of green and red food colouring, these cupcakes were definitely not suitable for children’s consumption. ha ha..

The first cupcake I made, I used the Wilton Christmas Reindeer set I bought from the shops, I had a lot of fun with this set. I used two tone icing, the two tone icing gave a lovely contrast to the cupcake.

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For the second cupcake I used just green coloured icing and sprinkled with red sprinkles.

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A few weeks later I had a light bulb idea and I decided to make a full sized cake and pipe deep green and red coloured patterns on the cake. I also decided to pipe a Christmas tree in the middle. This cake scared me, because I had not baked a full cake in a long time, luckily it turned out really well and I received high praise for my creation.

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The last Christmas cupcake I made was made using the same deep green and red coloured patterns.

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I had so much fun making the Christmas inspired cakes, I cannot wait to see what I can make for next year.

Chocolate Rush Patisserie

I love how Church Street Parramatta has evolved over the years into a really decent eating hub for lunch, dinner and desserts. When I saw Chocolate Rush Patisserie on Church Street, I was very much intrigued.

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Today I finally decided to finally try Chocolate Rush Patisserie because I have heard so many great things about the place. My friend and I went in to order some items to take away. My friend only wanted to order Passionfruit Sorbet because she was on a diet, but I decided to order a Chocolate Cake Pop and a slice of the Milk Chocolate Cake. I decided to be good and wait until I got home to try my goodies, because I did not want to make my friend jealous.

When I got home I put my baby to sleep and tried the slice of Milk Chocolate Cake first. The Milk Chocolate Cake tasted not bad, but I cannot say I was overly impressed. The cake did not taste smooth and very chocolatey like other similar cakes I have eaten in the past. Then I took another bite and I felt a crunching sensation in my mouth and I took a look and I saw it was bits of egg shell in my cake. I was so disappointed that I threw the cake away.

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I then tasted the Cake Pop. The Cake Pop was was not bad either, the cake part was very moist like mud cake but it need more of a chocolate hit.

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I really honestly had high hopes for this place and I really wanted to say that I loved the what I ordered, but unfortunately I did not. The place is beautiful, the service is superb but I was just not impressed with what I ordered.

I doubt I will return to Chocolate Rush Patisserie to try any more of their cakes or chocolate.

Chocolate Rush Patisserie website:

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Chocolate-Rush-Patisserie/573712376080242?sk=reviews

Chocolate Candy Cane Fudge

With Christmas shortly around the corner, I decided to make some home made food for presents this year. I thought that making Chocolate Candy Cane Fudge would be a great idea.

The Chocolate Candy Cane Fudge was very easy to make, I used the easy fudge recipe that I blogged about previously and then sprinkled crushed candy cane on top.

I found Toffee Apple and Strawberries and Cream Candy Canes at Coles. To make the crushed candy cane, I placed the candy cane in the food processor and crushed the candy canes into small fragments.

I left the Chocolate Candy Cane Fudge in the fridge for a few hours and then cut them into pieces.

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The Chocolate Candy Cane Fudge tasted very nice, but it was quite sweet.  The Chocolate Candy Cane Fudge did however look very pretty.

The recipe for the Chocolate Fudge can be found on this website:

http://food-life.diply.com/omg-facts/she-poured-condensed-milk-over-chocolate-chips-seconds-later-my/66593

Chocolate Bears

A few months ago I was inspired by my friend Leah’s chocolate making and decided to buy some chocolate molds so I could make some chocolates for my myself. In typical “me” fashion I forgot about the molds. I saw my friend Lizzy making chocolates yesterday, so decided to get the chocolate molds out of cupboard and make chocolate bears.

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I started making chocolates a while ago by making Cookie Butter Cups and I enjoyed making them. Unfortunately I ran out of my couventure chocolate so I gave up. For making the Chocolate Bears I did not have time to go buy more couventure chocolate so I used Cadbury White Chocolate Melts instead.

The Chocolate Bears were fairly simple to make, I did not temper any of the chocolate, I just melted the chocolate at 50% power in the microwave for 1 minute and 30 seconds. I used a Chocolate Writing Pen to make the eyes and nose. I filled the chocolate molds with the chocolate. I then tapped the mold on the kitchen bench gently to get rid of the bubbles. Then Chocolate Bears were placed in the fridge for one hour.

When the Chocolate Bears were set I pushed them out the molds. The Chocolate Bears looked so cute.

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The next day I decided to make Chocolate Bears using dark chocolate and they turned out well too. Maybe next time I will not use white chocolate eyes on the Chocolate Bears.

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I enjoyed making the Chocolate Bears so much that I will definitely go buy more chocolate molds.

Chocolate Bears Recipe

250 grams of chocolate melts

chocolate molds

Method

Melt chocolate in the microwave for 1 minute and 30 seconds on 50% power

Using a teaspoon slowly pour the chocolate in the molds

Using the teaspoon to gently smooth out the melted chocolate in the molds

Tap the mold gently on the kitchen bench a few times until the chocolate is smooth on the top of the mold

Place the chocolate mold in the fridge until it is set

*I used Roberts Confectionery Chocolate Molds. Roberts Confectionery Website:

http://www.robertsconfectionery.com.au/

Brown Sugar Butterscotch Cupcakes

I have been on a baking spree lately, I cannot stop baking, I am addicted. I was looking for a new recipe to fuel my addiction, and Sally’s Baking Addiction just happened to post a new recipe on Facebook. What great timing!

I know I have said this a million times, but I totally love Sally’s Baking Addiction website. Her recipes are so easy to make and most recipes do not involve using a mixer.

This recipe for Brown Sugar Butterscotch Cupcakes was actually not as hard to make as I thought it would be, although at first the butterscotch sauce scared me, I was a bit worried that I may not be able to make the butterscotch sauce. Luckily I was able to conquer my fears and make the sauce with no problems. The cupcake part of the recipe was pretty much straight forward and was the same vanilla cupcake recipe that I made before.

When I finished the cupcakes, I felt super proud, they looked great.

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The Brown Sugar Butterscotch Cupcakes tasted amazing, the cupcake was so moist and the butterscotch sauce was divine. The combination was amazing.

Once again I ended up using my own icing recipe because I did not want to use a mixer.

I cannot wait to find more new recipes, I feel so pumped!

Brown Sugar Butterscotch Cupcakes recipe can be found on this website:

Brown Sugar Butterscotch Cupcakes.

Yarra Valley Chocolaterie

Every time I hear about a chocolate place that I have never heard about before, I get very excited. I get even more excited when I hear the place sells fabulous chocolate. Then when I find out the chocolate place is in a city that I cannot go to, I feel very sad. Luckily for me I found out that my new favourite chocolate brand, Yarra Valley Chocolaterie delivers! Yay!

I discovered Yarra Valley Chocolaterie from a friend online, she said their chocolate tasted amazing and I know when she says something tastes amazing she is never wrong. I did a Google search on Yarra Valley Chocolaterie and I was amazed at all the different kinds of chocolate items that they sell. I decided that I would order some of their chocolate online because I doubt I would ever have time to go visit them.

Stupid me without thinking ended up ordering their chocolate online on one of the hottest weeks in Sydney, so it is no surprise that when the chocolate arrived it was melted. I was so devastated that I emailed them and told them what happened. Straight away I got a response from Leanne from Yarra Valley Chocolaterie and she advised that this had never happened before and as an act of good will, they will re-send the chocolate. I was so shocked and overwhelmed with their amazing customer service.

When the weather cooled down, Yarra Valley Chocolaterie re-sent me the chocolate and it arrived via express post in perfect condition. I was so relieved. They even placed an ice block in the box so the chocolate would not melt. How amazing is their customer service?

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I wish all companies would be as courteous and efficient as Yarra Valley Chocolaterie.

Anyway, now onto writing about their chocolate…

I ended up putting two of the salvaged blocks of chocolate in the fridge, once the chocolate blocks hardened in the fridge, I ate some of the chocolate. I was amazed at how good each variety of their chocolate tasted. My favourite out of all the blocks I bought was definitely the Gourmet Collection Macadamia and Salted Caramel. The combination of smooth couverture milk chocolate, macadamia nuts, caramelized toffee pieces and a hint of salt made this chocolate taste divine. The chocolate tasted so smooth and creamy and not too sweet. I was totally addicted that I ate the whole block in a day.

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I can honestly say that Yarra Valley Chocolaterie chocolate is one of the best chocolate brands that I have ever eaten, it is so good that it is my second favourite chocolate brand.

I will definitely order more chocolate from Yarra Valley Chocolaterie again soon, not only do they make amazing chocolate, they also have amazing customer service.

Yarra Valley Chocolaterie’s website:

http://www.yvci.com.au/

*note: this is a real story and not a promotion

Vanilla Cupcakes

This weekend I thought I would rekindle my love for making cupcakes because I missed making them. I had a 1 kilogram jar of left over Jalna Yoghurt to use, so I Googled recipes that involved using yoghurt. I ended up finding a great recipe on one of my favourite baking websites Sally’s Baking Addiction.

The Vanilla Cupcakes recipe was really easy to follow and it was my first time not using self raising flour to make cupcakes. I had never used the combination of yoghurt, plain flour, baking powder and bicarbonate soda before in a cupcake recipe. What I loved most about the cupcake recipe, was that I did not have to use a mixer.

The Vanilla Cupcakes did not take much time to make and bake, I was very happy with how the Vanilla Cupcakes looked. Such perfect domes.

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Once the Vanilla Cupcakes cooled down, I tasted one. The Vanilla Cupcakes tasted so moist and I loved the vanilla flavour. I could not believe how great they tasted. I loved the Vanilla Cupcake recipe so much that I ended up making it four times that weekend.

I also had lots of fun practising my piping skills with the new piping tips that my Aunty bought me for my birthday . I did not end up using Sally’s icing recipe, I used my own recipe.

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I definitely think this recipe is my new favourite cupcake recipe, it ticks all my boxes. I might try to experiment by adding other flavours to the mixture.

Any suggestions?

The Vanilla Cupcake recipe can be found on this website:

Very Vanilla Cupcakes.

Gingerbread

Christmas is soon approaching and it is freaking me out, where did the time go? Today I realised that I am not at all prepared for Christmas and I should be because it is my baby’s first Christmas! This week I thought I would start practising baking Christmas sweets, first off the rank was Gingerbread.

I will be quite honest, any recipe that involves kneading scares me. I think I may have developed a kneading phobia.  I have tried numerous of times to knead scones and it has never turned out. So usually I tend to choose recipes that do not need kneading. (until now).

Being the lazy person that I am, I Googled and found the easiest recipe on the internet. I wanted one that did not involve a lot of work and did not involve using the dreaded mixer. It was really odd, because even some of the recipes that claimed to be easy, were not. This recipe that I chose was so easy.

Due to my baby brain, at the last minute I realised that I do not have any Christmas cookie cutters, so I decided to use my cat cookie cutter and later that week my leaf cookie cutter. (note so self: buy Christmas cookie cutters).

Making and in particular kneading the Gingerbread dough did not end up being as scary as I thought. The whole process went okay.

The Gingerbread were baked in 10 minutes.

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I was really impressed how cute the Gingerbread cats looked. They definitely need a bit of tweaking, but they turned out okay. I got my Husband to taste test the Gingerbread and he said it tasted really nice. He said the Gingerbread had a nice soft texture and were not too sweet. Thumbs up from my Husband.

A few days later I decided to make more Gingerbread, this time using my leaf cookie cutter.

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I really liked how these Gingerbread turned out more than the cat shaped ones.

I also tried to decorate the Gingerbread cats, but because they looked so bad, I am not going to show you. Hahah…

Next challenge might be shortbread!

The Gingerbread recipe can be found on this website:

http://www.bestrecipes.com.au/recipe/gingerbread-cookies-L7409.html