Monday 17 June 2024

WHITE CHOCOLATE CHEESECAKE


I am no big baker or dessert maker but when there is a special occasion (like a colleague turning 50) I will make an exception and MY GOD was this white chocolate cheesecake worth the effort!

Possibly the best cheesecake I have EVER had and actually surprisingly easy to make plus it feeds enough for a dinner party or an office birthday.

Highly recommended!

INGREDIENTS
(Makes enough for 8 people)
  • 100g crème fraiche
  • 275g Philadelphia cream cheese
  • 500ml double cream
  • 260g white chocolate buttons
  • 250g McVities digestive biscuits
  • 150g unsalted butter
  • White chocolate bar, grated into large curls
  • Packet of white chocolate lenders

METHOD​​​
  • In a mixing bowl, beat the cream cheeses together until soft. 
  • In a second mixing bowl, semi whip the double cream and then melt the chocolate over a bain-marie until blood temperature (37*). 
  • Fold the chocolate into the cream cheese mix, and then fold in the semi whipped cream.
  • Melt the unsalted butter in a pan. crush the biscuits by bashing them in a bag with a rolling pin, being careful to keep the pieces of biscuit reasonable large and then stir them into the butter until coated all over.
  • Assemble the cheesecake by spreading the biscuit base into the bottom of a serving dish, then add the cheesecake mix topped with white chocolate shavings and the lindor balls.
  • Leave to set in the fridge overnight.

Monday 3 June 2024

PRAWN, BUTTER BEAN & FETA TOMATOEY STEW WITH DILL AND HARISSA

Summer may have all but gone but this amazing prawn, butter bean and feta stew (which is a bit of a cuisine mashup  - a bit greek, a bit Middle Eastern, a whole lot of AMAZING), may just be my dish of the summer and in fact of 2024 so far!!!

It's packed full of flavours that you wouldn't expect to work together but make it a real showstopper of a supper - the bright summery and punchy flavours we all need when nearly June is giving more mid March!

Serves 2-3

INGREDIENTS
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 fat garlic cloves, grated
  • 400g tin chopped tomatoes
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • Pinch of chilli flakes
  • 2 tsp rose harissa paste, or regular harissa
  • 1 jar butter beans with their liquid, you’ll seriously notice the difference using jarred beans
  • A few large handfuls of spinach 
  • 300g raw king prawns
  • 200g feta cheese
  • Small bunch fresh dill
  • Lemon wedges, to serve
  • Crusty bread, to serve (optional)
METHOD
  • Preheat the grill to a medium heat.
  • In an ovenproof pan, heat the oil over medium heat and cook the onion for 7-8 minutes until softened. 
  • Add the garlic and cook for a further minute. 
  • Pour in the chopped tomatoes, fill the can 1/3 the way with water and throw that in too, and add the paprika, harissa, chilli flakes and sugar with a good pinch of salt and cracked black pepper. 
  • Bubble for a few minutes before adding the beans with their liquid, plus the spinach, if using - if you’re using tinned beans, drain them, and you may need to add more salt here. 
  • Let everything bubble away for 4-5 minutes until the sauce has thickened slightly.
  • Stir the prawns into the sauce and crumble over the feta, keeping some pieces quite big and chunky. 
  • Pop until the grill for about 3-4 minutes or until the prawns turn pink and cheese golden - check after about 2 mins as you don’t want chewy prawns!
  • Remove from the grill. 
  • Scatter over the fresh dill and finish with a few squeezes of lemon. 
  • Dunk with crusty bread.