Sunday, 15 November 2015

Ferris Wheel Cheesecake

So, we have two birthdays this week. My boy turns 12 tomorrow and on Tuesday I turn...well let's just say my 21st was some time ago.

I decided to do a less traditional cheesecake this year and there could only be one flavour.

Can you tell we're Nutella freaks in this house?
Due to a rather hectic weekend we had a small family tea yesterday to celebrate our birthdays. My Ferris Wheel cheesecake turned out to be a major success and everybody loved it. It was a rather large cake and I thought there would be loads leftover but I was wrong.

Here's how to make it.

Melt 150g of unsalted butter over a medium heat. 

Whizz up 24 Digestive biscuits in a food processor to get very fine crumbs. Add the biscuits to the melted butter and stir well to coat every crumb. 

Put the buttery crumb mixture into a 23cm springform cake tin and press down firmly into the base. Leave to chill in the fridge for ten minutes. 

Weigh out 500g of full fat cream cheese. I always use Philadelphia. Give the soft cheese a beat with a wooden spoon to soften it.
Add 85g of icing sugar and stir in. 
Measure out 300ml of double cream.
Pour the cream into a large mixing bowl and  add 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract.
Whisk the cream and vanilla until soft peaks form...

Fold the whipped cream into the soft cheese mixture then add 4 chopped Ferrero Rocher chocolates and 100g of chocolate chips and stir well.

 Spoon over the chilled biscuit base and smooth with a fork.

Chill in the fridge for about 6 hours until set.

When everything has set, put 300g of Nutella in a pan and melt over a low heat until runny.

Anything with Hazel in the name must surely be fab.

Leave the melted spread to cool for a few minutes and then spread it over the top of the cheesecake. I noticed that the Nutella hardens quickly when it hits the cold cheesecake top so act swiftly to get a smooth finish. 

You can decorate your cheesecake any way you like but I wanted mine to resemble a Ferris Wheel so I chose Toffifee chocolates and Ferrero Rocher - 12 of them to represent 12 wonderfully rich and nutty years. I also invested in some of this...Not cheap but worth it for the decadent finish. And there's plenty left for Christmas cookie decoration!

Well, it's not every day you turn 12.
The coloured sweets are supposed to represent the bright lights of the Ferris Wheel.
It's the eyes in case you were wondering. Cheeky rascal.
Twelve little chocolates. Twelve happy years.

Back for seconds.

Happy Birthday, Junior. From the minute I knew you existed you have made every day feel like Christmas Day. Sometimes I wonder how it is possible to love someone so much and still be standing. Be happy, stay safe and always be you because you are awesome. I am so proud of how far we have come together. You are my best buddy.

Here is a poem I wrote for you many years ago but it is still so relevant today. I love you more than ever X

My Sleeping Boy

I stare in wonder at my sleeping boy.
How beautiful he is, like an angel or a portrait in oil.
He has kicked off the covers; long limbs strewn across the sheets.
He cuddles Elmoure, a matted dog he cannot sleep without and who I have to wash in secret.

I step over the paraphernalia of childhood, dodging the loose floorboards that may betray my presence.
During the day he is in perpetual motion, a blur of noise and movement.
Time is impossible to freeze so this is my chance to study him; his liquorice lashes, his button nose and the top lip that forms a perfect heart.
He looks like me from the nostrils down.

I touch his clammy hand and his fingers twitch.
For a moment I am transported back to the night he was born,
That first moment we were together but separate for the first time, a flimsy curtain hiding us from the rest of the world.
Just me and him as it has always been.
I watched him then as I watch him now.

I marvelled at those fingers, the way they curled around mine like little worms.
Such perfectly formed nails, like tiny shells.
I remember the surge of untamed love that told me nothing would ever be the same again.

Now he is too big to sit on my knee and I'm not allowed to kiss him at the school gate.
Soon he will be all but lost to me.
I tenderly tuck him in and close the flimsy curtains that hide us from the rest of the world.


Wednesday, 4 November 2015

Firework Goodies

The days are slipping past at a rate of knots. One minute it's Halloween and the next it's Bonfire Night! Before we know it it'll be Christmas.

Here are some simple ideas for tomorrow night. Remember, remember the 5th of November!

I'll be back around the middle of November with a more structured blog post - I'm thinking Chocolate Ferris Wheel as it's still a 'Realm of the Lost' theme until we move onto the more Christmassy recipes that accompany 'Bree McCready and the Half Heart Locket'. 

It's Junior's birthday soon and he is a Nutella freak so I'm thinking his birthday cake will be a less traditional cheescake affair this year. You'll have to wait and see. Until then wrap up and have fun!

Chocolate Catherine Wheels

Mmm. I wonder what I'll do with that extra Flake?...
I used ready rolled shortcrust pastry
Crush the Flakes inside their wrapper then sprinkle over
Crispy and sweet
Chocolate Banana Skyrockets

These go in the freezer and are delicious - like chocolate covered ice-cream

Chocolate Sparklers

Orange sparkly Matchmakers dipped in white chocolate and sprinkled with sugar strands

Marshmallow Missiles

Preparation - Marshmallows on sticks & melted chocolate
Decorated with Popping Candy and coloured confetti

Stay safe!