15 September 2012

Mini Strawberry Cheesecake

I used to dread making cheesecake.
Only because it would take 60-90 minutes in the oven!!
(That's way too long for an impatient person like me.)

But then I realised that if I made minis, it would take just 20 minutes!!
And it eliminated the need for messy slicing.
And they're much cuter :)
And I get to use my hoard of cupcake liners.
What's not good about mini cheesecakes??

Makes 10 minis.

180g Digestive biscuits, crushed
50g butter, melted

Stir melted butter into crushed biscuits till even combined.
Equally divide among the cupcake liners.
Press into the base of the cupcake liners.
Set aside while you prepare the filling.

375g cream cheese
80g sugar (or more if you like it sweeter)
2 eggs
2 tbs milk
1 tsp vanilla extract

Allow the cream cheese to soften till it reaches room temperature. If you use cream cheese that's still cold, there's a high risk of curdling, and that won't make nice cheesecake.

With the paddle attachment, cream the cheese and sugar till evenly blended.
Add eggs one at a time, allowing each addition to combine completely before adding the next.
Add milk and vanilla extract till thoroughly combined.

Divide mixture equally among cupcake liners.
It's ok to fill the liners almost to the brim, as these don't rise much in the oven.
Bake at 140*C in a water bath for 20 min.

Chill the cakes in the fridge after they cool down to room temperature.
Best to make these a day in advance to let the flavours mature.
Just before serving, spoon 1 tsp of strawberry jam onto the top of the cake and top with half a strawberry.

Or simply enjoy it plain!


Click HERE for more cheesecake recipes.

10 September 2012

Hawaiian & Portobello Pizza

Why wait an hour for pizza delivery when you can make your own in the same time with fresh pizza dough and as much topping as you like?
Plus, I guarantee it's cheaper and more delicious!

Don't believe me?
Then give this a try and tell me your verdict.

Makes a 12x12" pizza.

150ml warm water
1/2 tsp sugar

1/2 tsp sea salt
1-1/4 tsp instant yeast

3 tbs extra virgin olive oil
225g bread flour

Stir sugar and salt into warm water to dissolve.
Sprinkle yeast over water and set aside for about 10 min to activate the yeast.

Add olive oil and flour. Stir till dough comes together. 
Then knead till smooth and springy.

Place ball of dough in a large flour-dusted bowl. 

Proof for about 30 min till double in size.

Punch dough down. Rest 5 min.
Flour the dough ball generously, then press evenly into a greased 12x12" pan.

Spread pizza sauce on top of the dough. (I took a short cut today and just used pasta sauce from a jar.) Sprinkle generously with oregano and some freshly cracked black pepper.

Then layer on your favourite toppings.
For Hawaiian: ham and pineapple cubes (I used canned pineapples, drained and rinsed) 
For Portobello: bacon and portobello mushrooms, sliced

Finally, sprinkle with mozarella cheese. 

Bake in a 200*C oven for about 20 min.  

Best enjoyed when still warm!

More pizza ideas: