Saturday, March 28, 2015

Strawberry Cheesecake Trifle

I was losing daylight as I started to photograph these trifles and I didn't get a lot of pictures, let alone any good ones.

But that wasn't going to keep me from posting this recipe, because it is REALLY good.

Now it's not the best thing for you health-wise, but what good dessert ever is?

Also, it is stupidly simple to make. You could substitute whatever fruit you like and/or swap the Digestive biscuits for something else, if you prefer.

I cant wait to try this with peaches!

Strawberry Cheesecake Trifle


2 cups crushed Digestive biscuits (about 14 biscuits)
⅓ cup melted butter

4 cups sliced strawberries
¼ water
¼ cup caster sugar

200–250g cream cheese (I used Philadelphia)
1 cup (250 ml) whipping cream
½ cup icing sugar
2 tablespoons milk

  1. Mix together the crushed Digestive biscuits and melted butter. Spread the biscuit mixture evenly in a serving dish (it is best to use a glass bowl/dish so you can see all the layers, but anything will do).
  2. In a small saucepan, add water and caster sugar and cook on low heat until the sugar has dissolved. Bring to the boil and then turn off the heat. Add the sliced strawberries and mix well.
  3. Spoon the strawberries evenly over the biscuit layer.
  4. In a mixing bowl, add the whipped cream and beat with an electric mixer until it doubles in volume and soft peaks form.
  5. In another mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add the icing sugar and milk and beat again to mix.
  6. Fold the whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture.
  7. Spread the cream cheese and whipped cream mixture over the strawberries.
  8. Decorate with crushed Digestive biscuits.
  9. This trifle is best eaten chilled, so refrigerate at least 4 hours before serving.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Carrot Cake

I almost let winter pass by without baking a carrot cake!

Not that making carrot cake in summer is forbidden.

It's just that carrots are at their best in winter and, in my book, a thick slice of carrot cake, spiced with cinnamon and nutmeg, is the perfect accompaniment to your tea or coffee on a cold rainy day.

This recipe is based on one from Paula Deen and requires minimal effort (after you've peeled and grated your carrots, that is). You can bake it in whatever shape you like, but you'll have to adjust the baking time depending on what cake tin you use. This recipe works great for muffins and cupcakes too.

Carrot Cake
adapted from Paula Deen


1 cup plain flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ cup caster sugar
½ soft brown sugar 
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg 
a pinch of salt
2 eggs
¾ cup vegetable (or canola) oil
1½ cups grated carrots
½ cup chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)
  1. Preheat the oven to 350⁰F (180⁰C).
  2. Grease an 8-inch round cake tin and line the base with parchment paper.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, sift in flour and baking soda. Add sugars, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt, and stir to combine.
  4. Add the eggs and oil and mix well. You can do this by hand or using an electric hand beater.
  5. Add the carrots and nuts and stir until combined.
  6. Pour the cake batter into the prepared tin and place in the preheated oven.
  7. Bake for about 1 hour (60 minutes) or until a toothpick inserted in the centre of the cake comes out clean.
  8. Remove the cake from the oven and leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes.
  9. Remove the cake from the cake tin and turn out into a wire rack to cool completely.
  10. Once cooled, frost the cake with Cream Cheese Frosting (recipe below), if desired.

Cream Cheese Frosting 
adapted from Baking Bites

2 oz (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
4 oz cream cheese*, softened (I used Philadelphia)
2½ cups icing sugar, sifted
2 to 4 teaspoons milk
½ teaspoon vanilla

  1. Add the butter and cream cheese to a large mixing bowl and beat with an electric mixer until smooth, about 2 minutes.
  2. Add the icing sugar, half a cup at a time, beating well after each addition.
  3. Add 2 teaspoons of milk halfway through adding the icing sugar.
  4. Continue to beat the frosting until it is light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. It should be of a spreadable consistency. If it is too stiff, add more milk, half a teaspoon at a time, until you get the consistency you want.