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A tale of two cheesecakes

Dairy free raspberry cheesecake to go with blueberry cheesecake

It was my daughter’s 7th birthday this week and for her ‘cake’ she wanted a blueberry cheesecake, her favourite dessert. As two of us in the family are dairy free I also had to make a cheeseless cheesecake, so here are my recipes for both. These are adapted from Nigella Lawson’s recipe in ‘Nigella Express‘. I’m not sure the cheeseless one is the best dairy free cheesecake and I would love suggestions on how to improve it but it was edible and a pretty good alternative.

‘Real’ cheesecake

Ingredients

100g digestive biscuits
25g ginger biscuits
300g cream cheese
60g icing sugar
1tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp lemon juice
250ml double cream
Blueberry conserve and fresh blueberries for topping

Method

Whiz the biscuits in a food processor until beginning to turn to crumbs (don’t whizz too hard!) then add the butter and whiz again until the mixture clumps.

Press the mixture into a 20cm springform tin, press a little up the sides to form a slight ridge. (As you can see from the picture I didn’t have two springform tins so I used a heart shaped silicon cake mould for this cheesecake and didn’t try and take it out of it before serving, looked pretty enough in the mould)

Beat together the cream cheese, icing sugar, vanilla extract and lemon juice in a bowl until smooth.

Lightly whip the double cream and fold it into the cream cheese mixture.

Spoon cheesecake filling on top of biscuit base and smooth off. Put in the fridge overnight of for at least 3 hours.

When you are ready to serve, unmould (or not!) and spread blueberry conserve over the top and sprinkle with fresh blueberries.20151007_151857

Serves 6-8 (if you don’t like it as much as my husband does!)

Cheeseless cheesecake

Ingredients

100g digestive biscuits (make sure they are dairy free, most supermarket own are)
25g ginger biscuits (again make sure they are dairy free, most supermarket own are)
255g soya cheddar-like cheese spread
60g icing sugar
1tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp lemon juice
250ml soya yoghurt with almond
For topping I used 1 x 284 jar St Dalfour Rhapsodie de Fruit Raspberry Spread and some fresh raspberries.Dairy free raspberry cheesecake

Method – exactly the same as for cheesecake substituting the cream cheese for the cheese spread and beating the yoghurt in with this mix (it’s not going to whip!).

I find the soya cheese spread revolting on its own so I used the almond plain yoghurt to add flavour and used a whole jar of raspberry spread and lots of fresh raspberries again to counteract the cheese spread. In the picture I had tried to make the raspberry spread look pretty but I ended up spreading it all over and adding fresh raspberries, much like I’d done with the blueberry – was much better but I forgot to take a photo! I think it worked (made a previous version of this without so much added flavour and couldn’t get past the horrible cheese spread taste!)

You can of course use whatever fruit topping you like, these ones worked for us.

I’d love some comments on how to make a cheeseless cheesecake that sets, this goes slightly firm but nothing like a real cheesecake. I use that particular cheesespread as it’s the only one available locally, there may be alternatives near you, and again I’d love to know what works for you.

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Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chocolate Chip Cookies from Linda McCartney recipe, altered slightly

These are the best chocolate chip cookies I have ever come across – Chocolate Chip Cookies from Linda McCartney recipe, altered slightlyI have been using this recipe for the past 20 years, since it was first published in Linda McCartney’s book ‘Linda’s Kitchen‘ 20 years ago. The recipe I use is slightly altered, just to suit personal tastes of added ingredients but these cookies are the most perfectly crunchy on the outside, soft and almost cake-like on the inside and I wouldn’t try anything different now.

Here’s my version of the recipe:

Preheat oven to 180 deg C (fan oven)

4oz (125g) Pure sunflower spread (we’re dairy free in our house, use whatever butter/margarine you prefer)
2oz (50g) Golden Caster Sugar
4oz (125g) Light Soft Brown Sugar
1 free-range egg, beaten
1 tsp vanilla extract
8oz (250g) plain flour (gluten free works but might need a little extra liquid and can be quite crumbly)
1tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp sea salt
4oz (150g) dark chocolate chopped

Method
Cream the Pure with both sugars until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg with the vanilla. Sift the flour with the baking powder and salt and sift into the bowl. Beat again – mixture is quite stiff. Fold in the broken chocolate pieces.

Use an ice cream scoop to drop spoonfuls of the dough on to a greased or silicon baking sheet, they will spread in the oven so leave space.

Bake at 180 deg C (fan oven) for 15 minutes until lightly browned. Cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes to allow to firm up, then, if you can resist, cool completely (rarely happens in our house!).

Lovely on their own or still warm with vanilla ice cream. Can add nuts if you wish but huge blobs of melted chocolate suffice us!

I should add that Linda also has a couple of great recipes for Crispy Ginger Nuts and Oat and Raisin Cookies too.

And if you like these chocolate chip cookies, you might like Chocolate Coconut Oil Fudge!

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Coconut Oil Chocolate Fudge

I found this Coconut Oil Fudge recipe and made it for my butterfly tea party. A few people have since asked for the recipe so here it is. I used a jar of coconut oil (costs about £5 in our local deli) and a little honey but I think it would have been sweet enough without any honey or syrup – but you can taste to see as you make it.

Coconut Oil Chocolate Fudge MARCH 13, 2015 BY THE COCONUT MAMA

Super metabolism boosting coconut oil fudge recipe made healthy with natural ingredients like coconut oil, cocoa powder, raw honey (stevia can be used if you prefer) and vanilla extract. That’s it! No corn syrup, marshmallows, frosting or chocolate chips needed. Enjoy!

Coconut and chocolate is a match made in heaven! They pair well together in many of my popular recipes like my homemade chocolate bar recipe, chocolate coconut butter bars recipe, homemade “Mounds” candy recipe, homemade junior mints recipe and my magic hard shell recipe.

I’ve been working on this homemade fudge recipe for months. I wanted a simple recipe that could be tweaked easily for special dietary needs. I used raw honey to sweeten our fudge but other natural sweeteners can easily be substituted in its place. Raw cacao powder can be used in place of regular cocoa powder and expeller pressed coconut oil can be used in place of virgin coconut oil (some do better with expeller pressed because it’s easier to digest). Add a few drops of Young Living peppermint essential oil or 1/2 teaspoon of peppermint extract for delicious mouth-watering peppermint fudge.

COFudge

Ingredients

1/4 cup Coconut Oil

1/4 cup Cocoa Powder

1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract

Raw Honey (or other natural sweetener like maple syrup or stevia)

Pinch of Sea Salt

Optional: 2 Drops Peppermint Essential Oil

Directions

1. Measure 1/4 cup of coconut oil and scoop it out into a mixing bowl. Whip the coconut oil with a stand or hand mixer until it’s light and fluffy (like this).  Note: If your coconut oil is room temperature and already liquid you can skip this step.

2. Mix the whipped (or melted if you live in warmer climate) coconut oil, cocoa powder, vanilla and salt together. Mix well and slowly add honey or sweetener of choice. Taste as you go to make sure you don’t over sweeten your fudge. Mix in 2 drops of peppermint essential oil if using.

3. Pour fudge into a 9×5 inch pan  (this is a bread size pan). Spread fudge evenly cover the pan with a lid or plastic wrap. Refrigerate until fudge is set and hard, about 4 hours.

4. Cut fudge into small squares and serve.

via Coconut Oil Fudge – The Coconut Mama.

If you like this, you might also like A Tale of Two Cheesecakes

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Birthday breakfast brownies!

20150513_080808OK, so there’s not really anything breakfasty about them except that they contain marmalade and we ate them for breakfast as it was the only time today the whole family would be together. Anyway, as I can’t really share them with you I thought I could share the recipe.

As you can see I got lots of lovely Phoenix birthday cards! I must have my family well trained lol!

Ingredients

350ml pecans/walnuts (optional)

125g butter (we use dairy free Pure)

150g dark chocolate

225ml (or thereabouts – a small jar) of marmalade

1tsp vanilla essence

1tsp orange extract (or extra zest…don’t worry if you haven’t got it, you won’t need it with the marmalade!)

200g plain flour

1/2 tsp salt

4 large eggs

250g golden caster sugar (we use golden cos unrefined is better for you!)

Method (preheat oven to 180 degrees C or 170 fan oven)

  1. Toast the nuts if you’re using them, by laying them on a baking tray in the oven for a few minutes, or toast in a frying pan (no oil!) but watch them! They will go from toasted to burnt very quickly! You don’t have to toast them, you can just add them in as they are.
  2. Melt butter and chocolate together (I do this in a pan on low heat, you could use a double boiler or microwave, make sure the chocolate doesn’t burn but with the butter in as well it shouldn’t)…then take off the heat.
  3. Stir in the marmalade, vanilla and orange extract (if using) in to the melted chocolate mix until marmalade has melted and mixed in.
  4. In a separate bowl beat the eggs (use an electric whisk – it’s just easier!) then add the sugar and beat well until thick.
  5. Add chocolate mix to eggs and sugar and beat on low speed just to combine them.
  6. Sift the flour and salt into the mix and fold in until the mix has just combined (don’t beat!).
  7. Stir in the nuts, or sprinkle on top if using.
  8. Bake for about 30-40 minutes until the top is firm but the mix is still soft.
  9. Allow to cool completely in the tin – no eating straight away – this is the really hard bit!
  10. Cut into squares (when completely cool – honestly – hands off till then!)
  11. Scoff!

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