I wanted to make my boyfriend’s birthday perfect. I went all out with banners, balloons, confetti and a pile of beautifully wrapped presents but as a baker, I knew the showstopper had to be the cake. Dilemma… his favourite dessert is cheesecake but I wanted to make him an actual birthday cake… Solution… MAKE BOTH! The result… A rum and raisin cake surrounded by mini lemon cheesecakes.
I’m so glad that I decided to make both, he was so excitable all day and we gorged ourselves on cake throughout the day. Better start planning now to top it for next year!
I found this recipe for individual cheesecakes but I wanted to give them a real punch of lemon flavour so I omitted the raspberries and substituted the lime zest for lemon. I also used this recipe to make a batch of lemon curd, which I topped the cheesecakes with and there was plenty left over for smothering toast – yum! (Such a hard life when there are leftover goodies that just have to be used up isn’t it?)
It may look like there’s a fairly thin layer of curd on top but because the lemon is so tangy in the curd and so subtle and creamy in the cheesecake, it’s the perfect amount to compliment each other. I also substituted half of the digestive biscuits for amaretti biscuits for an Italian twist and hint of almond.
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 I’m in a theatre society and this lovely group of people are almost as obsessed with baked goods as I am so, naturally, they are my guinea pigs when I try out new recipes. Whilst scrolling through the archive posts on my new favourite blog, KatieCakes, I found something that looked so interesting that I couldn’t resist trying it; cheesecake brownies. Combining two of my favourite desserts, it seemed impossible to ignore so I rushed out to the shops in search of ricotta and donned my apron to make these beauties.
In all honesty, I was slightly disappointed with the flavour but I think this recipe has a lot of potential. I think my pan was a little too large for the amount of mixture as they were a little thin and I much prefer thick brownies. I’d also recommend having the cheesecake mixture ready to pour in when you put the brownie mixture into the pan because I didn’t and by the time the cheesecake mixture was ready, the brownie was practically set in the pan and therefore marbling the two was very tricky.
Nevertheless, they were a huge success at theatre society and I still enjoyed the taste. The brownie was crumbly and moist with a silky cheesecake layer. I think I might put double the cheesecake mixture in next time as well to get the ratio more equal.
If you’d like to have a go at this recipe, it’s on Katie’s blog here. Enjoy them!