Apologies for the recent hiatus; I won’t bore you with the details but let’s just say a break up and a fire are just highlights of what has turned my life upside down over the last few months – there’s been more going on than in a soap!
Anyway, more importantly, I have discovered spiced rum… It’s such a unique taste and really stands up well in baking. I’ve been making shortbread a lot recently and it’s one of my boyfriend’s favourite things for me to bake. His favourite ice cream flavour is rum and raisin and one day, I suddenly thought about combining the two and thus, rum and raisin shortbread was born! I soaked the raisins in rum before putting them into the shortbread and then used the leftover raisin rum to soften fudge and then drizzled the fudge over the base of the biscuits to add a little extra! These are so popular, I get asked to make them all the time; they’re smooth for a shortbread and everyone just loves them; give them a go yourself and see! (Please excuse the photo, it was only a quick snap and they were eaten too quickly for me to take proper photos!)
Rum and Raisin Shortbread
225g unsalted butter
100g caster sugar
225g plain flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
185g raisins (I use a mix of golden and flame raisins but any will do)
Spiced rum (enough to cover the raisins in the pan)
Ready made, soft fudge (amount depends on how much fudge you want on each biscuit)
Place the raisins in a saucepan and add the spiced rum so that it almost cover the raisins.
Preheat the oven to 150C/Gas 2
In a bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until fully incorporated and fluffy.
Mix together the flour, baking powder and salt in a separate bowl. Gradually stir the dry ingredients into the butter and sugar mixture.
Remove the raisins from the rum and stir them into the biscuit mixture until equally incorporated.
Roll the dough into walnut sized balls and place on ungreased baking trays about an inch apart to allow for spreading. Flatten the biscuits slightly.
Bake for 15 to 20 minutes until they no longer look wet but are only just starting to brown at the edges.
Remove from the oven and let them cool for about 10 minutes on the tray and then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.
Whilst cooling, place the fudge in a saucepan over a low heat and place about a tablespoon of the raisin rum over the fudge. Allow the fudge to melt completely and add more rum to taste.
When the biscuits are cool, turn them over and drizzle the liquid fudge over them.
Allow the fudge to harden slightly and then enjoy!
Who doesn’t like a good cheesecake? I am certainly addicted to them but for some reason, I’ve never tried to make one. However, this all changed when the guys at work kept talking about how much they love cheesecake and how I should make one. I’d recently read a blog post over at the brown-eyed baker about a turtle cheesecake that consisted of oreo base, caramel and pecans, vanilla cheesecake and chocolate ganache. The moment I mentioned this to everyone at work, they insisted on me trying to make it and wow am I glad I tried.
This is undoubtedly the best cheesecake I have ever eaten and my colleagues definitely agreed. An oreo base is always a great start to a cheesecake but this cheesecake was so decadent and delicious. The vanilla cheesecake was smooth and flavoursome and I thought that the combination of such rich elements would be too much but it wasn’t, the balance was exactly right and I could definitely easily eat a whole slice. For those of you who are a bit confused about the name, I was too when I first read it because in the UK, we don’t have turtle sweets! All I know is that turtles are American sweets that look like turtles and consist of caramel, nuts and chocolate. Don’t worry, it’s not real turtle!
It was time consuming but was simple to do and definitely worth the effort. You really won’t regret making this. I used a ready made caramel sauce though instead of making a salted caramel because I didn’t wanted salt in mine and it still worked really well.
So…biscoff… a spread made of biscuits? Who knew? Well, I didn’t know about this magnificent treat until a few weeks ago and I definitely didn’t think I’d be able to find any in England but low and behold, on the bottom shelf at my supermarket, there it was! Imagine my delight! Within five seconds, my brain was buzzing with the possibilities of what I could bake with it and a jar was already in my basket.
I toyed with ideas for a few days but then the urge became too much and I gave in… not only to biscoff but to Nutella… I completely experimented making these cookies but they really were delicious. The edges were chewy but the biscoff stuffing made the entire centre gooey and fudgy. The chopped hazelnuts gave a different texture to the cookie and they were very addictive. A very easy bake with brilliant results.
Nutella and Hazelnut Cookies stuffed with Biscoff Spread
70g Plain flour
1 teaspoon vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
1 tablespoon milk
40g chopped hazelnuts
6-8 tablespoons Biscoff
Grease a large baking sheet.
Place the Nutella, flour, egg, milk and vanilla extract or paste into a bowl and mix until all of the ingredients are incorporated.
Fold in the hazelnuts.
Place 1/2 tablespoon measures of the mixture onto the baking sheet, well spaced apart and shape into round cookies. The amount of mixture should make between six and eight cookies. Flatten each cookie slightly.
Place 1 teaspoon of Biscoff spread in the middle of each cookie.
Place another 1/2 tablespoon measure of the cookie mixture on top and seal the edges slightly.
Bake in a preheated oven at 180C for around 10 minutes but watch the cookies carefully as the edges can burn easily.
Take out of the oven and cool for 5 minutes before leaving to cool on a wire rack.