Category

Sweet

So much chocolate. So little time!

Dark Chocolate Cheesecake with Wine Macerated Strawberries is really as good as it sounds and looks, and tastes even better. The cheesecake is a chocolate lovers delight – deep, dark, rich, sensuous, indulgent, sinful. With so many superlatives, I might well throw another in. It’s dead S I M P L E too! Make it ASAP and you’ll know just what I mean.It’s a recipe I’ve minimally adapted from Ruchira @ Cookaroo. She’s quite the best ‘chef’ I know. Her recipes are always quick, simple and foolproof. I’ve made this Dark Chocolate Cheesecake before and it was SO GOOD that I couldn’t wait to make it again.The recipe now lives in my head. I go about tweaking it here and there depending on what I have on hand. It’s a keeper!  Minimal fuss, maximum taste! I throw it together in my Thermomix and it takes under 20 minutes to come together. I used digestive biscuits the last time. Didn’t have digestives on hand this time, so I threw in Hobnobs instead. Just as good! I do a lot of chocolate desserts, simple ones mostly. Simple recipes like these leave you a lot of time to think about what more you can do. I could have just gone naked {ahem} with the cheesecake, but a luscious rich chocolate ganache takes this beautiful Dark Chocolate Cheesecake to a delicious new level. How could I skip it. The cake was for a birthday, so now something had to be celebratory, I mean a little more celebratory. Also, so much time on hand makes me fidgety. I just have to do something more!

I thought maybe salter butter caramel and had visions of gooey goodness dripping off the edges. Yet when I opened the fridge, I saw a box of juicy fresh strawberries and I knew I had to have them on some way. Maybe do strawberries in balsamic vinegar? No, no, strawberries in red wine screamed the bottle of Shiraz at me.You might remember these Lamb Chops with Red Wine I made recently, best I’ve ever made. Rosemary, garlic, and a limited edition Shiraz came together ever so beautifully to create this dish with so much character and loads of depth. There was some wine left over, so red wine macerated strawberries it was going to be.Anything on my kitchen counter becomes an ingredient in my recipes. Loads of fresh oranges and star anise sitting pretty on the counter could only mean one thing. They would help flavour my macerated strawberries. In went the zest of an orange and a few star anise. They created delightful undertones as you can well imagine.The result was a flavoursome, beautifully coloured red wine topping which tastes as good as it looks. Here you go, the recipe is a must try. For me, it’s the only chocolate cheesecake recipe I’ll ever need! Thank you Ruchira ♥!

Dark Chocolate Cheesecake Red wine macerated strawberries
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Dark, divine, sinful, creamy, chocolaty and above all, as simple as can be, this Dark Chocolate Cheesecake will leave you wanting for more. Recipe minimally adapted from Ruchira @ thegreatcookaroo.com. You won’t need another recipe ever! Can be made 2-3 days ahead of time.
Servings Prep Time
8-10 people 10 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
1 hour 12 hours
Servings Prep Time
8-10 people 10 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
1 hour 12 hours
Dark Chocolate Cheesecake Red wine macerated strawberries
BigOven - Save recipe or add to grocery list
Yum
Print Recipe
Dark, divine, sinful, creamy, chocolaty and above all, as simple as can be, this Dark Chocolate Cheesecake will leave you wanting for more. Recipe minimally adapted from Ruchira @ thegreatcookaroo.com. You won’t need another recipe ever! Can be made 2-3 days ahead of time.
Servings Prep Time
8-10 people 10 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
1 hour 12 hours
Servings Prep Time
8-10 people 10 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
1 hour 12 hours
Ingredients
Ganache
Red wine macerated strawberries
Servings: people
Instructions
Biscuit base
  1. Whiz the biscuits, brown sugar and cocoa in food processor until you get a fine meal. Add butter, whiz again to mix. Press into 8″ loose bottom tin. Chill in the freezer while you get the filling ready, and the oven preheats.
Dark Chocolate Filling
  1. Preheat oven to 160C.
  2. Place all ingredients of the filling in bowl of food processor, and blend well to mix, 1-2 minutes on medium speed.
  3. Pour into crust, and bake for an hour. Leave to cool in the oven, then cover and chill for 4-6 hours, better overnight.
Red Wine Macerated Strawberries
  1. in a non reactive bowl, put in the strawberries, star anise, orange zest and brown sugar. Stir to mix, then pour in the wine. Stand covered in the fridge overnight.
  2. Discard the star anise, and strain the strawberries. Reserve in a bowl. Place wine in a small saucepan with a quarter cup orange juice, and simmer until thick and syrupy. taste and adjust sweetness if required. Cool slightly, then pour over the strawberries.
  3. Ladle the strawberries over the ganache. If the syrup is thin, reduce it further until nice and thick. Cool and pour over strawberries.
Ganache
  1. Place chocolate and cream in a heatproof bowl. Heat in microwave for 1 minute. Whisk​ with a balloon whisk​ until smooth. Cool about 30 minutes, then whisk​ again​. Chill until a little f​irm. Whisk once again till glossy and smooth, and holds peaks. Spread over​ chilled cheesecake.
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“Creativity is contagious. Pass it on.”
Albert Einstein

Red Wine Strawberry Jelly with orange whipped cream … such a delicious way to end 2016, and ring in the new year! Have a great new year. HNY 2017.

Catch you on the other side. This one’s short & sweet!

Red Wine Strawberry Jelly with orange whipped cream
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Light, fun, easy to make, and a visual delight, the Red Wine Strawberry Jelly with orange whipped cream is a great make ahead dessert. Visually exciting and flavours that pop, berries work really well in this recipe!
Servings Prep Time
6 people 5 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
10 minutes 4-5 hours
Servings Prep Time
6 people 5 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
10 minutes 4-5 hours
Red Wine Strawberry Jelly with orange whipped cream
BigOven - Save recipe or add to grocery list
Yum
Print Recipe
Light, fun, easy to make, and a visual delight, the Red Wine Strawberry Jelly with orange whipped cream is a great make ahead dessert. Visually exciting and flavours that pop, berries work really well in this recipe!
Servings Prep Time
6 people 5 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
10 minutes 4-5 hours
Servings Prep Time
6 people 5 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
10 minutes 4-5 hours
Ingredients
Jelly
Cream topping
Servings: people
Instructions
Jelly
  1. Warm 100ml juice and pour over the gelatin in a small bowl. Stand for 5 minutes for gelatin to soften.
  2. Put the remaining juice and star anise in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Take off heat, and stir in the wine, followed by the softened gelatin.
  3. Divide the strawberries between the serving glasses/bowls. Strain the jelly mixture and pour into the glasses over the strawberries. Refrigerate for 4-5 hours until set and chilled.
Cream topping
  1. Whip the cream, sugar and orange zest at high speed {with sugar if desired} until medium peaks form.
  2. Top the set jelly with piped whipped cream.
  3. Garnish with sliced strawberries and chill until ready to serve.
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“If chocolate is the answer, the question is irrelevant.”
Unknown

Wholegrain Chocolate Buckwheat Sablés … dark chocolate, a mix of wholegrain flours, a little all purpose too, brown sugar, sea salt, of course butter. All these come together to make an eggless cookie, the indulgent sablé,  a quintessential round French shortbread cookie. Crisp, deeply chocolate, buttery, wholegrain, eggless, Wholegrain Chocolate Buckwheat Sablés are the yummiest cookies ever! Even better since the recipe is eggless. The only sablés I’ve tried before were Dorie Greenspans famous World Peace Cookies, ones that I loved. She’s since reinvented them into an even more delicious version that I just discovered.

With wholewheat and buckwheat in this buttery chocolaty shortbread, I didn’t expect things to go so well. Can safely say these are my best chocolate shortbread cookies to date, best eggless cookies too! They’re inspired and adapted from Chocolate Sables @ The Boy Who Bakes, and HE is so good in everything he bakes! These are great for the festive cookie platter, fab for hanging off the tree and make a great gift too.I did a batch for Diwali earlier, and now a cookie cutout one for Christmas. With hand made wreaths using the perennial local ‘Mor Pankhi’, a genus of coniferous trees, it was a lot of fun. Made the wreaths for the Teabox Christmas shoot earlier in November, which was a fun & creative shoot. Here’s a peak of a couple I shot on the side, and you can see more on their website.You could always add some tea leaves into the cookies to make this a chocolate tea shortbread. Now that’s an idea I might work on. Until then, here are Wholegrain Chocolate Buckwheat Sablés, eggless cookies loaded with chocolate, and almost wholegrain, with the goodness of buckwheat {kuttu ka aata}. Great comfort food, great for the holidays.

What is your favourite Christmas cookie to bake?

Wholegrain Chocolate Buckwheat Sablés
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Crisp, deeply chocolate, buttery, wholegrain, eggless, Wholegrain Chocolate Buckwheat Sablés are the yummiest cookies ever! Adapted from The Boy Who Bakes.
Servings Prep Time
2 dozen 10 minutes
Cook Time
15 minutes
Servings Prep Time
2 dozen 10 minutes
Cook Time
15 minutes
Wholegrain Chocolate Buckwheat Sablés
BigOven - Save recipe or add to grocery list
Yum
Print Recipe
Crisp, deeply chocolate, buttery, wholegrain, eggless, Wholegrain Chocolate Buckwheat Sablés are the yummiest cookies ever! Adapted from The Boy Who Bakes.
Servings Prep Time
2 dozen 10 minutes
Cook Time
15 minutes
Servings Prep Time
2 dozen 10 minutes
Cook Time
15 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: dozen
Instructions
Dry Mix
  1. Stir dry ingredients in a bowl to mix. Reserve.
Wet Mix
  1. Place butter, brown sugar and vanilla in bowl of stand mixer with paddle attachment. Whisk on medium speed for 3-4 minutes until smooth.
  2. Add the dry mix and ground chocolate, and mix on the lowest speed just enough for the dough to come together.{You can do this by hand to play safe}. Don’t over-mix else the cookies will become hard.
  3. Bring the dough together, either make a cylinder like roll, cling-wrap and chill for a couple of hours.
  4. Alternatively, you could always use the dough for cut out cookies.
  5. Preheat oven to 170C
  6. Place on parchment lined cookie trays
  7. Bake for 12-15 minutes until just firm to touch.
  8. Cool completely on cookie racks
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