Cheesecake Strawberries

The perfect two bite dessert, if you can stop at one that is!

2 punnets large strawberries

1 block Philadelphia cream cheese, softened

1/2 cup icing sugar, sifted

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

5 scotch finger biscuits (or other plain sweet biscuits) crushed

Wash and dry the strawberries. Remove the tops and make a small hole in the top for the cheesecake to go in. In a mixer beat the cream cheese until smooth then add the icing sugar and vanilla and combine until smooth. Taste the cheesecake to see if you want it any sweeter. Using a teaspoon, push the cheesecake filling into the top of the strawberries and smooth over the top. You can use a piping bag for this but I found a spoon easier. Press the top of the cheesecake into the biscuit crumbs and then they are ready to serve. Repeat with the remaining strawberries. If not serving immediately cover tightly with cling wrap and refrigerate until ready to use. 

I have been wanting to make these for a long time now. After reading lots of recipes, I just decided to combine what I though would be the best combination. This is beautiful, nice and sweet and the crumbs on top make it seem like the perfect cheesecake . I made 2 half batches one Thursday night and one Saturday night, both equally delicious. Somehow between Daniel and I we managed to eat the whole half batch each night, so don’t be under any impression that you can just have one and then put the rest in the fridge, because you can’t they are just way too delicious! 

This is just one of those recipes that you must must must try and because it is so quick it is perfect for weeknights. Enjoy!

Love Sonia

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Cheesecake Brownies

If you asked the people you know to list their favourite sweet foods or baked goods I can almost guarantee that both cheesecake and brownies would be on that list. This combination of rich fudgy brownie and sweet smooth cheesecake is the perfect dessert or afternoon tea.

150g unsalted butter, chopped

300g good quality dark chocolate ( i used cadbury old gold)

3 eggs

1 cup caster sugar

1 1/2 cups plain flour

1/4 cup sour cream

250g pack of philidelphia cream cheese, at room temperature

1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract (optional)

Preheat the oven to 180’C. Brush or rub a 20cm square cake tin with butter. Line with baking paper, leaving overhang on all four sides byover lapping through the middle. Combine the butter and chocolate in a saucepan over a low heat. Cook, stirring for 5 minutes or until chocolte melts and mixture is smooth. Remove from heat and set aside for 5 minutes to cool. Whisk two of the eggs togehter in a small bowl. Add whisked eggs and 2/3 cup of the sugar into the chocolate mixture and stir to combine. Add the flour and the sour cream and stir until well combined. Use an electric beater to beat the cream cheese and remaining sugar (and vanilla if wanted) in a bowl until smooth. Add the remaining egg and beat until just combined. Spoon chocolate and cream cheese mixtures alternatively over the base of the cake tin. Use a spoon handle to swirl the mix to create a marbled effect. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. Set aside in the pan for 1 hour and allow to cool. Once cool cut into 16 squares. Store in an airtight container.

I made these for skyfire which is held at Lake Burley Griffin every year. The evening started off with a beautiful clear night, a little breezy but lovely all the same. We had great company, delicous food and the prospect of a spectacular fireworks show at 8.30pm. At about 7.30 the dark clouds started rolling in and soon it was very dark. Not long after that we were under the picnic blankets with umbrellas and tarps held over our heads. The rain continued to come down so that we all had soaked pants, shoes and everything was covered in water. Our saviour, the stash of cheesecake brownies. As we huddled in the rain the sweet, dense, chocolateyness of these cheeecake brownies made it all seem ok.

I do apologise for not having any photos of the process, I made them late Friday night and only once I had cut them I realised I had forgotten to take photos. All the steps are pretty simple. A fairly simple brownie mix with a basic cheesecake mix added together does make a standout dessert. The mix I made for skyfire had half of the cheesecake plain and the other half with a few teaspoons of raspberry jam which I bought from the handmade market last week. This made a nice more decadent change to the plain version. I used to make these, like the muesli bars from last week all the time when Daniel and I were first together, another easy one for a small kitchen and minimal utensils, the hardest part is waiting for them to cool!

I hope that you find an equally suitable occasion for these delicous treats and that they become part of your repertoire as they have mine. Have a lovely week everyone.

Love Sonia xx

 

 

Toblerone Cheesecake

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone! I hope you all had a lovely day filled with surprises and deliciousness. Today’s post is quite fitting considering Cheesecake is in my top 3 loved foods. Toblerone Cheesecake. In no way healthy but that is made up for with its ease and supreme tastiness. A big thank you to my step-mum Debbie for getting me hooked on making this as soon as I realised you could make cheesecake at home. This was a special request from Lauren, so I hope this is what you were looking for and be sure to give some to my Dad when you make it because he loves it!

  • 300g McVities Chocolate Digestive biscuits
  • 80g butter, melted
  • 2x 250g blocks of Philadelphia Cream Cheese (Don’t use the light one or it won’t set)
  • ½ cup caster sugar
  • ½ tablespoon gelatine powder in ¼ cup boiling water
  • 250ml thickened cream
  • 200g Toblerone (chopped or food processed), plus extra for decoration.
  • Bring cream cheese to room temperature; an hour out of the box should do it.
  • Line base and sides of a spring form Place biscuits, broken in a food processor and process to fine crumbs. Melt butter in microwave safe bowl.
  • Combine biscuit crumbs and butter in bowl and press into base of springform pan. Refrigerate until filling is ready
  • Beat cream cheese with electric beaters until smooth, add caster sugar, cream and gelatine into mix and beat until combined, stir through toblerone.
  • Pour over biscuit base and tap to settle.
  • Refrigerate for 3-4 hours or overnight. Sprinkle with grated or pieces of toblerone. Serves 8 (large servings)

Warning: The base of this cheesecake will set very hard because of the chocolate in the biscuits, be careful when cutting. Also it is very addictive!

Having made this cheesecake at more times than I can remember, I would say about 20 times I just had to share it with you. A friend of my Dad’s Lauren asked me for a cheesecake recipe and I knew straight away that this was the one to share with her and all of you. It’s no bake easiness is what draws me to it every time, especially in summer when you don’t want the oven on all day. I have also made this with melted white chocolate and frozen raspberries, but this needs to be eaten within a day otherwise the raspberries bleed through making it a bit soggy and sort of splits the mixture.

For Valentine’s Day this year we decided to stay home and do nothing, a simple dinner and a quiet night watching tv sounded too good to pass up but I decided to do something to sweeten the night up a bit. Mini heart shaped toblerone cheesecakes! I got 8 in total, so they will last a couple of days. I made a half batch to make these as a full batch I use to fill a 23cm springform tin. You could also use the full batch to fill a 20cm springform tin but it would be very deep, so a lot of cheesecake filling to base.

The filling is so light, fluffy and creamy. A completely different texture to baked cheesecake so don’t make this if you are after the dense and smooth filling that you get from a baked cheesecake or you will be disappointed. If I could teach Daniel to make this I would have it for my birthday every year as it is just so delicious and great for a sneaky birthday breakfast (naughty I know, but once it’s in the fridge it’s hard to walk past).

There are no really trouble points with this cheesecake, so long as you get the crumbs fine enough that there are no big chunks which are hard to press down and you don’t process the toblerone for too long (it melts if the machine gets too hot) you shouldn’t have a problem with it. Another option if you don’t have a food processor is to melt the toblerone in the microwave and stir through the mix so the mix is chocolate flavoured with the nougat bits through the mixture. I haven’t tried this but the recipe for toblerone cheesecake on the Kraft website does say to melt the chocolate so it must work that way too.

Alright enough of me saying how wonderful this is because I could carry on forever. But really believe me when I say this dessert will transform dinner parties and the fact that it needs to be made the night before makes serving it up even better, just take it out, slice it up and serve. Scrumptious and delicious!

Love Sonia xx