New York Cheesecake with Mixed Berry Coulis

Classic New York-style cheesecake served with a deliciously tangy mixed berry coulis. This is a restaurant quality dessert you can easily bake in your own kitchen! 

 

We’re nearly at the end of January, but I’m back and it’s time now to share my first recipe of 2019!

The New Year comes as a time of reflection and thinking about your goals for the next year. This blog has given me so many wonderful opportunities and I’ve achieved so much through being a food blogger, personally and professionally. This blogging journey has enabled me to work with prestigious companies and attend some wonderful events over the years – something I’d love to continue doing in the future. My blog is a fantastic and fun hobby and I get so much joy out of working on it, so I’m looking forward this next year where I’ll continue to share my favourite recipes.

Today, I’m serving you a virtual slice of cheesecake ready for you to bake and celebrate the weekend with.

You’re going to fall head over heels with this cheesecake. It’s creamy, incredibly light for a baked cheesecake and pairs wonderfully well with a drizzle of homemade mixed berry coulis.

This cheesecake starts with a buttery biscuit base. I like to use plain digestive biscuits as they’re not too flavourful and won’t distract or steal any glory from the cheesecake filling.

The cheesecake filling requires the usual cheesecake ingredients: softened cream cheese, caster sugar, sour cream, plain flour, vanilla extract and whole eggs and an egg yolk. I would always recommend that you use full-fat cream cheese and sour cream – using low or reduced fat varieties will not work and are likely to jeopardise the overall taste and texture.

The baked cheesecake tastes amazing alone, but I particularly enjoy cheesecake served with a coulis or a sauce. I couldn’t decide what flavour coulis I wanted to make to serve with this cheesecake. At first I thought I would prepare a strawberry sauce, but I worried it might be too sweet, next I thought about making a raspberry coulis but then I discovered the pack of frozen raspberries I thought I had in the freezer were actually mixed berries, so because I didn’t feel like rushing out to get some different fruit I decided to stick with using the mixed berries.

I also usually make my coulis/sauces with icing sugar, but again I used the last of that and forgot to replace it so I ended up using caster sugar, which works just as well and produced a deliciously tangy mixed berry coulis.

This New York cheesecake has stolen my heart. Many baked cheesecakes I have eaten have never impressed me, but this recipe changed my opinion completely! It was incredibly easy and simple to make and tasted and looked like a dessert you would be served at a restaurant.

(Serves 12)

Ingredients:

Biscuit Base: 

200g digestive biscuits

100g butter (salted or unsalted)

Cheesecake Filling: 

900g / 2lb full-fat cream cheese, at room temperature

200g caster sugar

200ml full-fat sour cream, at room temperature

3 tablespoons plain flour

3 large free-range eggs plus 1 egg yolk, lightly beaten and at room temperature

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Mixed Berry Coulis: 

500g mixed fresh or frozen berries (mine included blackberries, blackcurrants, redcurrants and strawberries)

4 tablespoons caster or icing sugar

2 tablespoons lemon juice or water

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C / 160°C Fan / 350°F / Gas Mark 4. Grease and line the base of a 23cm / 9-inch springform cake tin.
  2. To make the biscuit base: Crush the biscuits to fine crumbs. In a small saucepan, melt the butter and then add to the biscuit crumbs and stir to combine. Place the biscuit mixture into the cake tin and spread into an even layer pressing it down until firm using the back of a spoon or your fingers.
  3. Bake for 10 minutes or until golden. Once baked remove from the oven and leave to cool while you prepare the cheesecake filling.
  4. Reduce the oven temperature to 160°C / 140°C Fan / 320°F / Gas Mark 2.
  5. To make the cheesecake filling: In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese and sugar with a spatula or wooden spoon until smooth. Add the sour cream and flour and beat again until incorporated. Gradually add the beaten egg a bit at a time along with the vanilla extract – you want to beat the mixture and not whisk it as whisking will add too much air and may cause your cheesecake to crack.
  6. Pour the cheesecake filling on the biscuit base and then bake in the oven for 45 minutes or until the cheesecake is just set with a slight wobble. It should still be cream on top and a little golden around the edges. My cheesecake took an extra 10-15 minutes before I was confident that it was ready.
  7. Now turn off the oven, leave the door open slightly ajar and leave the cheesecake to cool completely in the oven – this prevents the top of the cheesecake from cracking, but if it does crack it’s not the end of the world! Once the cheesecake is cool, cover it and leave to set in the fridge for at least 8 hours or for best results leave it overnight.
  8. To make the mixed berry coulis: In a medium saucepan add the mixed berries, sugar and lemon juice/water. Gently heat and cook on a medium heat, crush the fruit with the back of a spoon until the fruit starts to break down and has started to reduce and the juices coat the back of the spoon. Strain through a sieve, then chill the sauce at the same time as the cheesecake – I find making mine the night before and leaving it to chill overnight produces the perfect consistency.
  9. To serve the cheesecake, take it out from the fridge and allow it to sit for about 5-10 minutes before removing from the cake tin. Slice and serve with the mixed berry coulis and more fruit.

Recipe slightly adapted from BBC Food

Recipe Notes:

  • Before starting to the prepare the cheesecake, you must make sure that all the ingredients for the filling are at room temperature. I always leave the cream cheese and sour cream out at room temperature for about an hour to soften.
  • Cheesecake will keep stored in the fridge for up to one week. You can freeze the cheesecake for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge before serving.
  • You can switch the mixed berries for frozen raspberries to make a raspberry coulis or you can serve the cheesecake with caramel or chocolate sauce if you prefer.

Enjoy!

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Chocolate Hazelnut Cake (Torta alla Gianduia)

Flourless chocolate hazelnut cake – this Italian cake originates in Piedmont, a region in North-Western Italy known for its hazelnuts. This gluten-free cake is a chocolate lovers dream dessert

Christmas is now less than two weeks away and if you’re anything like me and want to be organised regarding food this cake will be perfect for an alternative pudding this Christmas Day.

As much as Christmas is one of my favourite times of the year, I’m not the greatest fan of traditional Christmas food. I don’t have the typical Christmas roast dinner as I’m vegetarian and because I’ve never enjoyed mince pies, Christmas cake or pudding that means Christmas Day dessert is usually a creation involving chocolate in some form or another.

Some years we have a yule log, however this year we fancied a change and decided on this classic Piedmontese cake, Torta alla Gianduia.

This torte is simply divine and it has an incredible soft, truffle cake texture that’s simply too hard to resist.

Because this cake is flourless that means it’s suitable for anyone following a gluten-free diet. I was a bit skeptical making this cake, it was one of the first times I’d baked a flourless cake but I was extremely happy with how it turned out! My sister who usually dislikes gluten-free bakes even said this was the only gluten-free cake she has ever liked.

The texture is mousse-like and beautifully light and fluffy – it really does melt-in-your-mouth. You’ll have the urge to eat slice after slice of this cake just like I did!

You know this cake is good because it rivals my favourite chocolate fudge cake. I used Nigella Lawson’s recipe from How To Be A Domestic Goddess, but I used the dark chocolate ganache recipe from SWEET by Yotam Ottolenghi and Helen Goh. The ganache is rich, glossy, silky and has all the qualities a good chocolate ganache should have.

torta gianduia recipe

This cake is made differently to the usual cake recipes I make and I love that I’ve discovered a brilliant gluten-free chocolate dessert. I know this cake will most definitely be appearing on our table on Christmas Day or Boxing Day, but I also know it’ll be a year-round favourite for parties and other celebrations.

Serve this showstopper cake with pouring/whipped cream or ice cream. I always serve chocolate bakes with fresh raspberries, but you can also eat it with different berries on the side. If you want you can garnish the top of the cake with extra hazelnuts, chopped or whole.

Torta alla Gianduia is a big hit with my taste testers and I’m sure it will be with yours too! If you adore the combination of chocolate and hazelnuts, then this is the cake recipe for you.

(Serves 10-12)

Ingredients:

Flourless Chocolate Hazelnut Cake:

6 large free-range eggs (whites and yolks separated), at room temperature

Small pinch of salt

125g butter (salted or unsalted)

400g chocolate hazelnut spread

1 tablespoon frangelico, rum or water

100g ground hazelnuts (can be substituted with ground almonds)

100g dark chocolate, melted and cooled slightly

Dark Chocolate Ganache:

200g dark chocolate, chopped into 2cm pieces

200ml double cream

1 tablespoon golden syrup

1 tablespoon butter (salted or unsalted)

Method:

  1. To make the cake: Preheat oven to 180°C / 160°C Fan / 350°F / Gas Mark 4. Line a 23cm / 9-inch springform cake tin with parchment paper and grease well with extra butter. Set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk the egg whites and a pinch of salt until stiff but not dry. In another bowl, beat together the softened butter, chocolate hazelnut spread and the frangelico, rum or water (just a tablespoon of whatever one you’re using) – I used water for a non alcoholic version.
  3. Now mix in the ground hazelnuts and the egg yolks. Fold in the melted chocolate, then lighten the mixture with a large dollop of egg white – at this point you can beat the mixture as vigorously as you like. Gently fold in the remaining egg white a third at a time, continuing to fold until no egg white is visible in the cake mixture.
  4. Carefully transport the cake mixture into the cake tin, bake for 40 minutes or until the cake is beginning to come away from the sides and a cake tester when inserted into the centre of the cake comes out completely clean without any uncooked batter attached. Leave the cake to cool in the tin completely.
  5. To make the ganache: Place the chopped chocolate in a medium mixing bowl. Heat the cream and golden syrup in a small saucepan until bubbles just begin to appear on the surface and just before it starts to come up to the boil. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and stir with a spatula or wooden spoon until mostly melted. Now add the butter and continue to stir until smooth. Directly place a piece of clingfilm on the top of the ganache and leave it at room temperature for about two hours until spreadable.
  6. Decorate the cake by covering the top and sides with the ganache. Decorate the cake with chopped, toasted hazelnuts and serve. Keep the cake stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Enjoy!

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Vanilla Clotted Cream Fudge

Cornish clotted cream fudge that tastes like fudge from a sweet shop. This fudge has a divine caramelised flavour and an irresistibly creamy texture. 

I wanted to share this fudge recipe in time for the start of the festive season. I make fudge mostly over Christmastime and this clotted cream fudge is a recipe I’m repeatedly asked to make every Christmas.

It’s a delicious and thoughtful gift for family and friends – who wouldn’t love to receive an edible gift as a Christmas present?

This fudge recipe I’m sharing with you today is inspired by my love of Cornish fudge. Cornwall is an idyllic area in the South West of the UK, if you’ve ever visited Cornwall then you’ll know just how amazing the scenery is and how equally special the food is too. If you have sweet tooth then you’ll enjoy all that Cornwall has to offer in terms of cream teas, ice cream and endless fudge flavours to choose from!

It’s been far too long since I last shared a fudge recipe and I knew I had to do something about that. I made this chocolate fudge a while back and since then I’ve had suggestions to share a vanilla version.

You won’t need to use a sugar thermometer to make this fudge, just stir all the ingredients together in a saucepan, bring it up to the boil, then continue to boil the mixture for another 3-5 minutes. Stir it every now and then to make sure the mixture doesn’t burn on the bottom of the pan and pick up too much colour. Once the fudge has turned a light golden colour, this is now your cue to remove the pan from the heat. After the pan is off the heat, you’ll now need to beat the fudge mixture until it becomes matte and is thick (this can take anything from 5-10 minutes to achieve the correct consistency).

I’m not going to lie as this last step does need a fair bit of elbow grease, but it will be worth all the hard work, trust me on that!

I made this fudge again last week ready for Christmas gifts, I like to get organised with my Christmas preparation as I’m usually working up to and during the festive season. This fudge will last in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks and it can also be frozen for up to 3 months, I have now got a batch of fudge in the freezer, well maybe half a batch!

(Makes approx. 40 pieces)

Ingredients:

275g caster sugar

100g golden syrup

1 x 227g tub of clotted cream

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Method:

  1. Line a 8 x 8 inch (20 x 20cm) square tin with parchment paper and set aside.
    Place all the ingredients in a large saucepan. Heat gently and stir until all the sugar has dissolved.
  2. Turn the heat up and the bring the mixture up to the boil – occasionally stir the fudge to stop it catching. Allow to boil for 3-5 minutes until it’s turned a light golden colour. Then take straight off the heat – you can check the fudge is ready by using a sugar thermometer. If it has reached 116°C / 240°F then it’s ready. But if you don’t have a thermometer you can drop a small amount of the mixture into a glass of cold water and if a soft ball forms, then the fudge is ready to take off the heat.
  3. Using a wooden spoon, continuously beat the fudge for 5-10 minutes until it is really thick and matte. Spread the fudge into the tin you prepared and lined earlier and then leave it for 30 minutes at room temperature.
  4. Place the fudge in the fridge for at least 4 hours or overnight until set. Once set, cut the fudge into pieces – this recipe makes approx. 40 pieces of fudge.
  5. The fudge will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for 2 weeks or you can freeze it for up to 3 months if you want to prepare this fudge ahead of time.

Recipe Notes:

  • Be careful as the fudge mixture can bubble quite ferociously and easily cause a painful burn if it comes in contact with skin.
  • I package my fudge pieces in clear gift bags which you can get from many online retailers and then tie a festive ribbon around the top or you could also use a small gift box lined with tissue paper to present your fudge.

Recipe from Rodda’s

Enjoy!

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White Chocolate Cookies

Soft and cake-like cookies filled with white chocolate chips. This is a sponsored post in partnership with Bacofoil®. All views and opinions are my own.

I’m sure everyone is enjoying the return of The Great British Bake Off this year. So far I’ve loved seeing all this years bakers show-stopping creations, however something I’ve noticed is how many baking disasters there have been as a result of bakes sticking to the baking tins and trays.

Although it makes good TV viewing, it’s not something I want to experience in my kitchen. I have had in the past my fair share of this common problem with standard baking papers, until I discovered Bacofoil® Non-Stick Baking Paper.

If you were thinking all baking paper is the same, then it’s time to think again!

Bacofoil® Non-Stick Baking Paper is different to other baking papers I have used, this is because it has an innovative and unique Non-Stick textured surface, with little dimples, which means there is less surface area in contact with the bake so the food bakes evenly and just slides off making cake mess and cookie disasters with the baking papers I normally use a thing of the past.

It is also non-stick on both sides. The baking paper can be used for several batches of the same recipe being baked on the same baking tray/s. Once you’re done with your recipe, all you need to do is throw away. In the past I have used silicone baking mats, however these are usually quite expensive and I find they’re hard to clean properly.

The baking paper is multifunctional too! Not only can it be used to line cake tins and baking trays for savoury or sweet recipes, it can also be used to make tulip muffin cases, to roll out pastry or sugar-paste icing and you can even make a piping bag out of it for drizzling chocolate or icing.

To test out Bacofoil® Non-Stick Baking Paper I baked my favourite bakery-style chocolate chip cookies using delicious white chocolate and vanilla to flavour them. Cookie dough is notorious for being sticky and this cookie dough I made today is no exception, so I felt this was the perfect recipe to test out this product.

When preparing my cookies, the first thing I noticed was I didn’t need any additional preparation to the baking trays other than lining them with the baking paper – as it’s non-stick no extra butter is needed for greasing as I do with standard baking paper.

I waited with anticipation as my cookies baked, but I needn’t have worried as they came out of the oven looking perfect. After allowing my cookies to have a few minutes to cool on the baking tray, I took a spatula and lifted them off the tray with ease. Nothing had stuck, so I declared it a cookie triumph!

When I had finished baking my batch of white chocolate cookies, I pressed a few extra chocolate chips onto the top of each cookie for decoration purpose and then I simply removed the Bacofoil® Non-Stick Baking Paper from my baking trays and discarded it and returned my still clean baking trays to my baking cupboard.

My baking trays were pristine with no greasy marks as the baking paper prevented any of my cookies sticking and me having to use force to attempt to remove them the baking tray and causing a tear in the paper, which could lead to grease or oil seeping onto the baking tray/s making them dirty.

I love the fact it was hassle free and saved me another less enjoyable chore of washing up!

All in all, Bacofoil® Non-Stick Baking Paper has really impressed me and the other bakers in my household, as it’s ideal for all kinds of baking jobs and is super convenient and easy to use. I’m looking forward to using it to create many more tasty recipes!

For more information about Bacofoil® and all of their products, check out their website www.bacofoil.co.uk

(Makes 18-20)

Ingredients:

150g butter (salted or unsalted), softened

80g light brown sugar

80g caster sugar

1 large free-range egg, at room temperature

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

225g plain flour

Pinch of salt (add 1/4 teaspoon if using unsalted butter)

1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

200g white chocolate chips, plus extra for decoration

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 190°C / 170°C Fan / 375°F / Gas Mark 5. Cream the butter, brown sugar and caster sugar together until pale and creamy.
  2. Add the egg and the vanilla extract and beat until completely incorporated.
  3. Sift the flour, salt and bicarbonate of soda together over the top of the mixture and gently fold in until a few specks of flour remains.
  4. Now add the chocolate chips and fold them through until evenly distributed throughout the cookie dough.
  5. Cover and chill the dough for 15 minutes (this is an optional step).
  6. Divide the cookie dough into 18-20 equally sized pieces (approx. 40g each), roll into balls between your palms. Evenly spread on two to three large baking trays lined with Bacofoil® Non-Stick Baking Paper (leave a gap between each cookie to allow for spreading).
  7. Bake the cookies for 8-10 minutes until they’ve turned a light golden colour. When the cookies come out the oven they will appear under baked, however, as they cool they will firm up.
  8. Allow the cookies to cool on the baking trays for a few minutes. As the cookies cool you can press a few extra chocolate chips on the tops if desired, then gently transport the cookies to a wire rack to finish cooling completely. The cookies will store in an airtight container for up to one week, but they’re best eaten on the day of baking or the day after.

Enjoy!

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Classic Victoria Sandwich

This traditional sponge cake tastes great decorated with a choice of fillings such as vanilla buttercream, whipped cream, lemon curd or jam. This recipe proves that you needn’t be an experienced baker to make a bakery-worthy cake.

Today I wanted to share a layer cake recipe that’s popular in bakeries, coffee shops and tea rooms.

Victoria sandwich is a classic British recipe and a firm favourite cake for many. It’s a popular cake for celebrations like birthdays and can be as dressed up or down according to the occasion.

Over the last few weeks I’ve lost count of the number of sponge cakes that have been baked in my kitchen. Luckily I don’t mind as sponge cake is my favourite cake and I wanted to make sure this cake was good enough for sharing.

I worried that the recipe was too simple, but sometimes you don’t want to bake anything too elaborate or requires more than a handful of ingredients.

If you feel like adapting the recipe you can add different flavours like fresh lemon, lime or orange zest or fold through some fresh/frozen berries or even some chocolate chips into the cake batter before baking – there are so many derivatives of this basic sponge cake recipe.

Once the cakes are completely baked all the way through, allow them to cool and then decorate as you want. Traditionally the cake has a raspberry jam filling, but strawberry jam or even homemade lemon curd are both delicious alternatives. As well as a curd or jam filling, you can also fill the cake with vanilla buttercream or whipped cream.

However you decide to decorate this cake, I hope you enjoy baking (and eating) it as much as we do!

(Serves 10)

Ingredients:

Cake Batter: 

225g (8 ounces) butter (salted or unsalted), softened – I leave mine out at room temperature overnight to ensure it’s soft enough

225g (8 ounces) caster or granulated sugar

4 large free-range eggs, at room temperature

225g (8 ounces) self-raising flour

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

4 tablespoons milk or water

Decoration/Filling:

3-4 tablespoons raspberry or strawberry jam (try not to use too much otherwise it might spill out)

Half batch vanilla buttercream recipe or 150ml double cream, for whipping (both optional)

Icing sugar, for dusting

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 190°C / 170°C Fan / 375°F / Gas Mark 5. Line the base of two 20cm / 8-inch cake tins with parchment paper and grease the sides of the tin.
  2. In a large mixing bowl cream the butter and sugar together for about 2-3 minutes until light and fluffy.
  3. Add the eggs one at a time and beat well after each addition – if the mixture looks curdled, add a bit of the flour. Next mix through the vanilla extract.
  4. Now gently fold through the flour and mix until no lumps of flour remain. Add enough water/milk to loosen the cake batter slightly (I added 4 tablespoons of water to my cake batter. We’ve found adding water instead of milk produces a lighter cake).
  5. Evenly divide the cake batter between the cake tins, leave a small dip in the centre of each cake to encourage even rising.
  6. Bake the cakes for 20-30 minutes (it takes around 25 minutes in my oven) or until the tops have turned a light golden colour and a cake tester comes out clean when inserted into the centre of one of the cakes. Only test one cake as this will become the base layer and the other cake will be the top layer on show.
  7. Leave the cakes to cool in the tins for 10 minutes, then carefully run a knife around the sides of the tin and release the cakes from their tins. Peel the parchment paper carefully off the base of each cake and leave the cakes to cool completely on a wire rack, base side down.
  8. Once cool, fill the cake with raspberry jam and sandwich the two cake halves together. Dust the top with icing sugar and serve. The cake will keep at room temperature covered for up to 3 days. Generally this cake only lasts a day or so in our house!

Enjoy!

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Lemon Posset

This elegant English dessert requires only three ingredients to make. Garnish each posset with fresh berries and serve with crumbly shortbread biscuits. 

Lemon posset is a popular dessert on many restaurant and pub menus and if I spot lemon posset on a menu I will always pick it over anything else without a second thought!

For something so simple, this stunning dessert wows with its beautiful citrus flavour and luxuriously smooth texture. Possets are no-bake and can be prepared several hours ahead of time.

Today I’m checking back in with this divine lemon posset recipe. This traditional English dessert is a magical concoction of cream, lemons and sugar. Acidity from the lemon is what sets this dessert, without the need for any gelatine. That means this dessert is gluten-free (as long as you serve it with a gluten-free biscuit) and vegetarian.

You might have noticed my absence from the blog. I’ve taken this time away as an opportunity to update some of my older recipes with new photographs like these Terry’s Chocolate Orange Cupcakes, also these Chocolate Fudge Brownies, these Jammy Dodgers and most recently these Chocolate Malt Cupcakes.

I thought about which other recipe in my repertoire I wanted to update and I eventually decided after much deliberation that I would make my favourite lemon posset.

This recipe was originally shared in April 2015. 

Lemon posset will take you about ten minutes to prepare and be ready to set in the fridge. The hardest part really is waiting for it to set, but it’s certainly going to be worth the wait! This recipe also doesn’t need any specialist equipment, all you’ll need is a lemon juicer and zester/grater for zesting the lemons, a large saucepan and a spoon for stirring. You can serve your posset in any dish you like. I have used vintage tea cups, glasses and small ramekins, but it’s up to you what you serve them in. Aways remember be creative and put your own twist on anything you make and most importantly, have fun!

Once you’re ready to serve, decorate the tops by garnishing with fresh berries (I love blueberries and raspberries) and serve with homemade shortbread biscuits. Feel free to swap the shortbread for another biscuit of your choice, I think gingernuts would also pair fantastically with this dessert.

These creamy lemon pots will be perfect to welcome the arrival of spring next week, or dessert for Easter Sunday lunch and upcoming St. George’s Day in April, but they’re wonderful for all occasions.

(Makes 6)

Ingredients:

Lemon Posset:

600ml double cream

Zest and juice of 3 lemons

150g caster sugar

Shortbread:

125g unsalted butter, softened

55g caster sugar

180g plain flour

Method:

1. To make the lemon posset: Place the double cream, lemon zest and sugar in a large saucepan and on a medium heat gently bring the mixture up to the boil. Boil for 3 minutes. After 3 minutes take the pan off the heat and stir through the lemon juice. Now sieve the creamy mixture into a jug. Pour into 6 ramekins or small serving dishes/glasses and cover. Leave to set in the fridge for at least 4 hours or overnight if you want to make these in advance. Serve the lemon posset chilled.

3. To make the shortbread biscuits: Preheat your oven to 190°C / 170°C Fan / 375°F / Gas Mark 5. Cream the softened butter and sugar until smooth. Fold in the flour and mix into a soft dough. Now roll the dough out to approx. 1cm thickness on a lightly floured surface. Using a biscuit/cookie cutter of your choice, cut the dough into rounds or a shape of your choice. Sprinkle the top of each biscuit with extra caster sugar and then spread the biscuits out evenly on two large baking trays that have been lined with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Chill the biscuits in the fridge for 20 minutes.

3. Once chilled, bake the shortbread for 15-20 minutes or until lightly golden. Watch the biscuits closely nearing the end of the baking time as they can colour quickly. Allow the biscuits to cool on the trays for a few minutes and then transport them to a wire rack to finish cooling completely.

Recipe Notes:

  • Refer to this page for conversions.
  • Be careful when boiling the posset mixture, make sure you’re using a large enough saucepan as this mixture could erupt and  boil over if you take your eye off it.
  • I recommend transferring the posset mixture into a jug when pouring into the serving dishes, this makes sure they’re really clean and neat. Allow the posset to cool a little at room temperature before chilling in the fridge – I left mine for about half an hour before refrigerating.
  • This shortbread recipe yields approx. 20 biscuits, but this will depend on the size of your biscuit/cookie cutter. If you make smaller biscuits, baking time will be a few minutes less. The baked shortbread biscuits will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up 5 days and the lemon posset will keep for 3 days stored in the fridge.

Lemon posset recipe from The Great British Farmhouse Cookbook, shortbread recipe from BBC Food

Enjoy!

jess

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Chocolate Chip Cookies

Master homemade chocolate chip cookies with this simple recipe. You’ll love the crisp outside and chewy centre! 

Finding the perfect chocolate chip cookie can be a difficult task for many bakers to master. But don’t fret, I have this easy chocolate chip cookie recipe ready to share with you just in time for the start of the festive season. Everyone has their idea of the perfect cookie, but if you’re a fan of crispy, yet soft and chewy textured cookies, then you’ve come to the right place.

You can never have enough chocolate chip cookie recipes in your life. I’ve already shared a basic CCC recipe with you and I wanted to share this new recipe I recently discovered and ended up thoroughly enjoying because of its ease and amazing taste.

As soon as these cookies leave the oven you’ll be reaching for one almost straight away! There is nothing more tempting than the aroma of a freshly baked cookie!

But hold on, before you go ahead and devour the cookies, for a pretty presentation that’s easy on the eyes as soon as the cookies have finished baking and are out of the oven I like to press a few extra chocolate chips on the tops. The reason for this is sometimes when you’re rolling the cookie dough you can’t choose how the chocolate chips are dispersed, so to guarantee every cookie has a generous helping of chocolate I decorate the top of each cookie with even more chocolate chips.

I also thought I’d share some of my tips for freezing and making the cookie dough in advance. Rolled cookie dough freezes well in a sealed sandwich/ziplock bag for up to 3 months. The perks of having cookie dough in the freezer is you can bake how ever many cookies you want ready for unexpected guests or for when a craving for cookies strikes! When you’re ready to bake the frozen cookies just take how ever many you want out, then once your oven has heated up all you’ll need to do is to bake the cookies for a couple of extra minutes more than the recipe states.

Lastly, if you have ever had any problems occur when baking cookies, below I’ve rounded up some of my top tips, which I hope you’ll find helpful.

Tips For Baking Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies:

  • Always use room temperature butter. I use room temperature butter in most recipes, having the butter nice and soft will make creaming it easier. I tend to leave my butter out at room temperature for one hour before using, however, in the summer months when it gets really hot it doesn’t take that long to soften up! To test your butter is soft enough and ready to bake with, it should still be cool to the touch, but when pressed using little pressure your finger will leave an indentation. Please don’t be tempted to microwave butter to soften it!
  • Use two different types of chocolate. I love all kinds of chocolate, so I like to use a mix of dark and milk chocolate in my cookies. You’ll love the rich, slightly bitter flavour of the dark chocolate in contrast to the creamy, sweet milk chocolate.
  • I’ve found since testing out several cookie recipes that chilling the cookie dough for a length of time isn’t always necessary. I don’t personally believe it changes the flavour too much, only the texture very slightly. Chilling will produce a slighter thicker cookie, but not much more than that. I like that this recipe only requires an optional 15 minutes chilling time, which is great over the busy holiday period! I’ve baked many cookie recipes which have suggested the dough should be chilled for a minimum of 24 hours, however, there’s never been any instruction on what you do when you need to roll the dough ready for baking, as after overnight chilling it’s usually rock hard and impossible to roll.
  • Try shaping the cookies by hand. I used to use an ice cream scoop, however, I now prefer to individually divide and then roll the dough into balls, shaping between my palms to get a nice round shape.
  • You’ll be able to tell the cookies are ready as they’ll brown slightly around the edges. Cookies often appear uncooked, however under baking is the secret to a soft centre.

(Makes 24)

Ingredients:

150g butter (salted or unsalted), softened

80g light brown sugar

80g caster sugar

1 large free-range egg, at room temperature

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

225g plain flour

Pinch of salt (add 1/4 teaspoon if using unsalted butter)

1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

200g chocolate chips (I use a mix of dark and milk chocolate chips and chunks), plus extra for decoration

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 190°C / 170°C Fan / 375°F / Gas Mark 5. Cream the butter, brown sugar and caster sugar together until pale and creamy.
  2. Add the egg and the vanilla extract and beat until completely incorporated.
  3. Sift the flour, salt and bicarbonate of soda together over the top of the mixture and gently fold in until a few specks of flour remains.
  4. Now add the chocolate chips and fold them through until evenly distributed throughout the cookie dough.
  5. Cover and chill the dough for 15 minutes (this is an optional step).
  6. Divide the cookie dough into 24 equally sized pieces, roll into balls between your palms. Evenly spread on two to three large baking trays lined with parchment paper or silicone baking mats (leave a gap between each cookie to allow for spreading).
  7. Bake the cookies for 8-10 minutes until they’ve turned a light golden colour. When the cookies come out the oven they will appear under baked, however, as they cool they will firm up.
  8. Allow the cookies to cool on the baking trays for a few minutes. As the cookies cool you can press a few extra chocolate chips on the tops if desired, then gently transport the cookies to a wire rack to finish cooling completely. The cookies will store in an airtight container for up to one week, but they’re best eaten on the day of baking or the day after.

Recipe from Bake Play Smile

Get your apron and mixing bowl at the ready, it’s now your turn to bake these divine chocolate chip cookies!

Enjoy!

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