Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Super Delicious, High-Protein Citrus Cheesecake Bites

High Protein Citrus cheesecakes


Low fat, high in protein, and no refined sugars (as well as being low in carbohydrates in general)! These mini cheesecakes are amazing and are very easy to make. Plus you can adapt the recipe to make whatever flavour of cheesecake you fancy! I was inspired for this recipe from the fantastic Ugne - she was on the latest season of the Great British Bake Off, and bakes amazing healthy desserts - her website is www.ugnebakes.com :)

Here I have three options for cheesecake filling (all of which are divine) : lime , lemon, and chocolate orange - all you need to do is alter the citrus fruit and/or the protein powder used in the filling. They’re amazing as post-workout snacks, or if you just love cheesecake but don’t love the usual unhealthiness of them!

Also, if you have some cool flavours of protein powder, why not try making some funky cheesecakes? For example I've seen strawberry delight, peanut butter, and sticky toffee pudding flavours of protein powder - they could make amazing cheesecakes!

If you want to bake one large cheesecake, use the recipe as below but use it to fill a 20cm round cake tin. This will take longer to bake – about 20-25 minutes.

Makes 20 mini cupcakes

Ingredients:

For the base:

  • 75g (1/2 cup + 1 tbsp) ground almonds
  • 65g (4 tbsp) crunchy peanut butter (I use meridian but any unsweetened brand would work)
  • 20g (2 tbsp) unflavoured whey protein powder (I use Myprotein)
  • 1 tbsp agave (or maple) syrup

For the filling:

  • 250g (1 cup) quark
  • 125g (1/2 cup) cottage cheese
  • 10g (2 tsp) stevia (I use Truvia)
  • 1 egg white
  • 30ml (2 tbsp) lemon/lime/orange juice
  • 25g (2 + 1/2 tbsp) vanilla/chocolate whey protein powder (I use Myprotein whey protein isolate)

You will need a mini muffin tray - mine is a great silicone one from Lakeland.

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 180c/ 355f/ gas mark 4.

2. Make the base. In a mixing bowl add the crunchy peanut butter, protein powder, agave syrup and ground almonds, and mix until a dough is formed – it may look a little powdery, but if you press some mixture together with your hands, it will form a ball.

3. Take small lumps (about a teaspoon in quantity), and press this into the base and sides of your silicon mini muffin tin.  This requires a little patience but keep at it! Leave to one side.

4. Make the filling. In a food processor combine the cottage cheese, quark, stevia, egg white, protein powder (vanilla or chocolate), and juice (lime, lemon or orange). Blitz until smooth.

 If you want to make multiple types of cheesecake (i.e. one third lemon, another third orange, the last third lime), blend all the ingredients apart from the protein powder and juice. 
Separate into different bowls and add the protein powder/juice to each bowl (making sure to decrease the amounts as you have decreased the amount of mixture e.g. 10ml lime juice instead of 30ml if you have divided the mixture into three).

5. Place a heaped teaspoon of mixture into each mini muffin tray hole (lined with the nutty base). *

6. Bake for 6-8 minutes, until the sides of the base have browned, and the cheesecake mixture isn’t wobbly. Leave to cool.

7. Enjoy!

*For the batch here, I made half of the batch chocolate orange, and the other half lemon. To some of the lemon cheesecakes before baking I dropped a tiny amount of chocolate mix on the top of the lemon ones, then used the end of a spoon to swirl and create a marbled effect. 

These cheesecakes will keep for up to a week in an airtight container in the fridge. 


High Protein Citrus cheesecakes

Brilliant blog posts on HonestMum.comMummy in a TutuDiary of an imperfect mum

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Monday, 16 May 2016

Swedish Baking - Ostkaka (Cheesecake) and Kladdkaka (Sticky Chocolate Cake)

Ostkaka Swedish Cheesecake Raspberries
Ostkaka


Swedish chocolate cake kladdaka
Kladdkaka


For the fun festivities of Eurovision, I decided to bake a few dishes from the host country, Sweden. The first is Ostkaka, a baked cheesecake made with cottage cheese. Not as sweet as it's English or American relatives, but I found it great for breakfast or as an afternoon snack with some berries. 
The second dish is the brownie's  yummy stickier cousin, Kladdkaka. It’s a very simple cake to bake, but you have to be very careful with the baking time – it needs to be soft in the center, as if you cook it for a few minutes too long, it becomes like a dry chocolate cake.  To be honest, on this attempt I baked mine for 1 minute too long so they weren't quite as perfectly sticky as needed, but still ended up very moist and delicious.

I found these recipes quite hard to find online, so if you know improvements/adaptions of the recipes, or if you know any other amazing northern European baking recipes, I'd love to hear from you.

Ostkaka

Ostkaka swedish cheesecake raspberries


Ingredients:
  • 680g (24 oz) cottage cheese, strained through a sieve to remove excess liquid *
  • 4 eggs
  • 60g (¼ cup) caster sugar
  • 60g (¼ cup) plain flour
  • 120g (½ cup) ground almonds
  • 1 tbsp amaretto

To serve:
  • Berries or fruit compote

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 220c/ 425f/ gas mark 7. Grease a deep 20 x 30cm baking tray.

2. Whisk the eggs with the caster sugar until light and fluffy. This only takes a few minutes.

3. If the strained cottage cheese is very lumpy (which I find happens with English cottage cheese*), blend briefly in a blender until smooth.

4. Fold in the plain flour and ground almonds, followed by the strained cottage cheese and amaretto.

5. Pour into the prepared dish and cook for 30 minutes. Check the cheesecake, and if the top is becoming very brown, cover with kitchen foil.

6. Cook for another 10-20 minutes, until the top feels springy to the touch.

7. Serve warm with a fruit compote, or berries.

8. Enjoy!

*I found that cottage cheese from the UK turned the cheesecake a little grainy, so if you can, use another kind of curd cheese – you can find twarog in most polish shops, which would work excellently. Even better would be Swedish cottage cheese, but I personally don't know any UK retailers who sell it.

Swedish chocolate cake kladdaka

Kladdkaka

Ingredients:
  • 100g (7 tbsp) butter, melted
  • 2 eggs
  • 200g (1 cup) caster sugar
  • 150g ( 1 ¼ cups) plain flour
  • 4 tbsp good quality cocoa powder (I used Green and Blacks)
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 180c/350f /gas mark 4. Grease and line a 15cm square cake tin with baking parchment.

2. Whisk the eggs with the sugar until light and fluffy.

3. Fold in the flour, cocoa, vanilla and salt. When no more flour speckles can be seen, pour in the melted butter, and fold in until you have a dark and smooth chocolaty mixture.

4. Pour into the cake tin. Bake for 15-20 minutes. After 15 minutes, check the cake often! It needs to be soft in the center, but not gooey. Once you can press the mixture and the top cracks slightly, it is done. 

5. Serve warm with berries and yoghurt.

6. Enjoy!

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Tuesday, 3 May 2016

Berry Curd Filled Lemon Cupcakes With Buttercream Frosting







 Happy May everyone! I’ve been experimenting with different cupcakes and think I’ve come up with a fancy flavourful one. The lemon cupcake is made even more lemony with a delicious lemon syrup that soaks it's way into the sponge.

However, inside the cupcake is where the glory is – a mixed berry curd. Think lemon curd in it’s tartness, but packed with the flavours of cherry, raspberry and other summer fruits. I used a bag of frozen mixed berries from my local supermarket, but you could use any fresh or frozen summer fruits you have around. To top the cupcakes I piped a vanilla buttercream, but if you’re a lemon fiend, you could make this lemon-y as well with the replacement of lemon juice for milk in the recipe.

This recipe makes 12 cupcakes, and you’ll end up with some berry curd leftover (which is brill on toast)

Ingredients:

For the cupcakes:
  • 125g soft margarine (Stork) or butter
  • 125g caster sugar
  • 125g self-raising flour
  • 1 tbsp milk
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • Finely grated zest of 1 lemon

For the lemon syrup:
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 100g icing sugar

For the Berry Curd:
  • 250g frozen mixed berries
  • 110g granulated sugar
  • 30g butter
  • 1 egg

For the buttercream:
  • 150g softened butter
  • 300g icing sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract OR 1 tsp lemon juice
  • Splash of milk

To finish:
  • Gold shimmer spray (optional)

Method:

1. Place 12 cupcake cases in a muffin tray. Preheat the oven to 180c/160c fan/gas mark 4.

2. Make the cupcakes. Cream the butter and sugar together in a large mixing bowl, until the mixture becomes lighter in colour and there are no sugar crystals in the creamed mixture.

3. Add the egg, self-raising flour, lemon zest, juice and milk, and fold in with a wooden spoon, just until no big lumps of flour can be seen.

4. Pour the mixture into a mixing jug to enable easier distribution, then pour into the cupcake cases until they are about half filled.

5. Bake the cupcakes for 10-15 minutes, until the cupcakes are golden, spring back when lightly pressed, and a skewer entered into the centre of a cupcake comes out clean.

6. Whilst baking, make the lemon syrup. Pour the lemon juice and icing sugar into a small saucepan, and heat, stirring regularly, until the icing has become clear.

7. Once the cupcakes are out of the oven, remove the cupcakes from the tray and place on a wire rack. Poke the top of the cupcakes lightly with a fork, and pour about a teaspoon of lemon syrup onto each cupcake. Leave the cupcakes to cool.

8. Make the berry curd. Add the frozen fruits to a saucepan with about a tablespoon of water . Heat gently until the fruits have softened. Keep an eye on the pan – if it becomes very dry add a little more water (but add as little water as possible to ensure a thick curd).

9. When the fruits have softened (about 5 minutes), press well through a sieve over a bowl to catch all of the juice.

10. Pour the berry juice back into the pan. Add the egg, butter and granulated sugar, and start whisking. Place over a low heat, and whisk until the butter has melted.

11. Switch to a wooden spoon or spatula. Keep stirring the curd until it has thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon. Be careful not to let the curd boil, or the egg may scramble! Pour the curd into a bowl and leave to cool (it will thicken even more as it cools down).

12. Make the buttercream. Cream the butter in a large mixing bowl until very soft. Sift the icing sugar into the bowl, then add the vanilla/lemon juice.

13. Beat the butter and icing sugar together – it will be very stiff at this stage. Add small splashes of milk until the buttercream is smooth and does not require a lot of force to mix. 

When the spoon is lifted, a peak of buttercream should form – making the buttercream the correct consistency requires a bit of trial and error, so I’d recommend having extra butter/icing sugar in, in case you need to make another batch. Also, when you think the consistency is correct, pour some into a piping bag and try piping it – it should hold it’s shape and not require a lot of pressure to be forced out of the hole.

15. Assemble the cupcakes. Cut a small circle in the middle of the top of the cupcake, then use a spoon to remove about a teaspoon of cupcake. In this hole add a teaspoon of the cooled and thickened berry curd.

16. Place the cupcake top back into the cupcake (don’t worry if some curd spills out).

17. Place a 2D nozzle (a large flower nozzle) into a piping bag, and add your buttercream. Cut the end of the piping bag so that the nozzle pokes through half way.

18. Pipe roses of buttercream onto the cupcakes (like in my other cupcake recipe) – hold the piping nozzle vertically over the centre of the cupcake. Pipe down, and then swirl the buttercream around the centre dot. Spray with the gold shimmer spray (optional).

19. Enjoy!



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