Cookie Cheesecake Truffles…

jade.sammons : 30th December 2015 12:15 PM : Bakes, Cooks

These delicious cookie cheesecake truffles are perfect for any upcoming parties, and especially New Years Eve parties you may have…and to add to the deliciousness, they are super simple to make!

Firstly, credit must go to my awesome colleague, Lindsay, who brought a version of these to our office potluck party on our final day in the office before Christmas.

For those of you who might not know wha a pot-luck party is, as I certainly didn’t before I moved over here, it is essentially a buffet – basically everyone brings a dish, or “pot” of something and you all share it.

It also turns out there are two versions of a pot-luck party. One where you all discuss what you’re going to bring, and another where you don’t – at the latter you could end up with everyone bringing a bowl of potato salad, or everyone bringing different things.

The version at Sparks was somewhere in the middle. We had all somewhat discussed roughly what we were going to bring, but had some surprises too…these deliciously rich truffles being one of them!

The recipe for cookie cheesecake truffles Lindsay shared with us used solely Oreo cookies – which were wonderful in their own right, but when I came to make my own I hadn’t got enough Oreos. I switched it up a little, and came up with the version below, which are slightly less decadent, but still very yummy.

And they definitely went down very well at the gathering with my family Matthew and I went to on Sunday afternoon, which you’ll hear about in an upcoming blog very soon!

What would your pot-luck dish be if you were to attend a pot-luck party on New Years Eve?
Are there any other cookies you think would be good in this recipe? I recently saw a version using custard creams…maybe bourbon biscuits would be good too?

Enjoy

J
xoxo

Cookie Cheesecake Truffles Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 box (300g) Oreo cookies
  • 10 regular chocolate chip cookies (I used Chips Ahoy!)
  • 1 package (250g) reduced fat cream cheese
  • Chocolate (melted) for dipping

Method

  • Take the cream cheese out of the fridge and let it soften for at least 30minutes.
  • In ziplock/sandwich bags, crush the Oreos and chocolate chip cookies into crumbs.
    I put about 5 Oreos/cookies into a bag at a time, and gently rolled over it with my rolling pin – the Oreos take a little more effort to crumble because of the cream filling, but they will crush up eventually!
  • Place all the Oreo/cookie crumbs into a large mixing bowl.
  • Break up the now softened cream cheese and place it in the bowl with the Oreo/cookie crumbs.
  • Using a spoon, mix together the crumbs and the cream cheese.
  • Then, using your hands, really mix together and combine the mixture so there are no large clumps of cream cheese showing..
    The mixture should be a dark brown colour.
  • Refrigerate the mixture for about 30minutes.
  • Place some greaseproof paper onto a cookie sheet.
  • Take small pieces of the cream cheese/cookie mixture and roll it into balls using your hands.
    The cookie cheesecake truffles should be no larger than 1inch in diameter.
  • Place all the truffles onto the cookie sheet and put it in the freezer for about 30minutes.
  • In the meantime, melt your chocolate and get a teaspoon and skewer/tooth pick ready!
  • Take no more than 8 truffles out of the freezer at a time (by removing them all it allows some of them to soften and will make them break when dipped!)
  • Using the skewer/toothpick, dip the truffle into the melted chocolate.
  • Use the teaspoon to lift and pour melted chocolate to cover the entire truffle if it doesn’t submerge fully.
  • Pull the truffle out of the chocolate and let any excess drip off, using the teaspoon to encourage the chocolate to drip off if necessary.
  • Place the truffle back onto the papered baking sheet, and remove the skewer/toothpick.
    (Cover up any holes with some more chocolate!)
  • Place the truffles back into the freezer.
  • Repeat until all the truffles are dipped.
  • Ideally freeze the truffles overnight to create a crisp chocolate coating.
Original recipe can be found here
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Chocolate Buttercream Frosting…

jade.sammons : 17th December 2015 12:15 PM : Bakes, Cooks

Who needs vanilla when there is chocolate buttercream frosting to be enjoyed?

Way, way back in February I posted a recipe for simple-but-delicious Vanilla Cupcakes and Vanilla Buttercream Frosting which I made for one of my awesome colleague’s birthdays.

Well today is another colleagues birthday and I decided to revisit my cupcakes for this special occasion.

But this time with a twist!

Teri, my awesome number-wizz colleague, mentioned that she loves both vanilla and chocolate flavours, so I decided to make her some of my vanilla cupcakes, with this delicious chocolatey buttercream frosting!

And you could even flavour the buttercream with different flavours or toppings – coconut, mint, orange, or hazelnut, you name it, it would probably work!

It’s super simple, and very yummy, and I hope you agree!

Enjoy

J
xoxo

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting Recipe

Ingredients

  • 100g unsalted butter (softened)
  • 300g icing sugar
  • 40g cocoa powder
  • up to 40ml milk

Method

  • Beat the half the icing sugar, cocoa and softened butter until smooth.
  • Add in the remaining icing sugar.
  • Add in a splash of milk and mix until smooth.
  • Continue to add splashes of milk until the buttercream is smooth, silky and glossy – you may not need all 40ml.
  • Either use/pipe immediately, or leave to chill slightly in the fridge.
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Orange and Lemon Drizzle Cake…

jade.sammons : 26th November 2015 12:15 PM : Bakes, Cooks

If you hadn’t already guessed, I have a sweet-sweet tooth.
Whilst I would usually go straight for the most chocolatey, gooey and rich dessert on the menu, every now and then I like to enjoy something a little lighter, and with a bit of added zing – this Orange and Lemon Drizzle Cake does the trick!

And it turns out my colleagues would too!

I work with a wonderful group of people, who have come to know (and hopefully love) the sight of my ‘cake carrier’ – which I often bring into the office after a weekend of baking goodies.

Matthew and I are perfectly happy to test, and enjoy any of my recipes, both savoury and sweet – but with it only being the two of us, I would be concerned for our long term health if we double-handedly scoffed everything I make!

Thankfully, my colleagues appear to be happily obliging ‘taste-testers’ for some of my bakes, and I wanted to try this Orange and Lemon Drizzle Cake out on them for sure!

I think this is a lovely, citrusy cake, and because of the orange it isn’t overly lemony, which can sometimes be quite medicinal.

Whilst I made this as a round cake, it would work really well as a loaf, or even individual cakes.

Enjoy

J
xoxo

Orange and Lemon Drizzle Cake Recipe

Ingredients

Cake
  • zest of 1 unwaxed lemon
  • zest of 1 unwaxed orange
  • 175g granulated sugar
  • 175g softened butter
  • 175g self raising flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 3 eggs
  • 50g lemon curd
Glaze/Icing
  • juice from 1/2 lemon
  • juice from 1/2 orange
  • 100g granulated sugar
  • 100g – 150g icing sugar (dependent on how thick you want the icing!)
  • remaining orange zest

Method

  • Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celcius / 350 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Spray a spring form cake pan with spray oil, and line with baking parchment on the bottom
  • Mix together the sugar, lemon zest, 3/4 of the orange zest and butter, until combined
  • Add in flour, baking powder, eggs, and lemon curd
  • Mix together until completely combined
  • Pour the batter into the cake tin, and level the surface
  • Bake for 25-30minutes, until the cake has risen and is a pale golden brown
  • Insert a skewer into the cake, and if it comes out clean – it is done!
  • Remove from the oven and leave in the tin on a cooling rack for 5 minutes

 

  • Mix together the 100g sugar, lemon juice and orange juice to form a syrup

 

  • Remove the cake from the tin and place on a cooling rack which is placed above a ‘caching’ container
    I placed mine above a 1 inch deep baking pan, lined with foil, for easy cleaning!

 

  • Using the skewer, make holes in the cake, going about 2/3 deep
  • Using a spoon, pour the syrup over the cake, so that it seeps into the holes
  • Cover the entire cake in syrup, using about 1/2 of the syrup mixture
  • Let the cake absorb the syrup for 5 minutes

 

  • Add in the icing sugar to the remaining syrup mixture to create an icing
  • Pour the icing onto the Orange and Lemon Drizzle Cake, encouraging it to spread over the top, and drizzle down the sides

IMG_0026

 

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Chocolate Orange Brownies…

jade.sammons : 12th November 2015 12:15 PM : Bakes, Cooks

Boy am I excited to be posting this recipe for chocolate orange brownies..trust me, it’s a good one!

I’ve really been trying to put my own mark on some of the tasty recipes I find either in my array of cookbooks, or on the internet, and this is one recipe that I am quite proud of because I’ve adapted a recipe from one of my favourite TV chefs, The Pioneer Woman – Ree Drummond!

When I saw the original recipe on her TV show for dark chocolate brownies, I knew they would be delicious.

Then a month or so ago when I finally made the recipe, I was able to confirm that they were delicious!

But then I had a brain wave – and it turns out it would be an even more delicious one…

chocolate orange brownies

One of my favourite flavour combinations, so I knew it would be worth trying!

I decided to use Lindt Excellence Orange Intense – my absolute favourite Lindt Excellence flavour. I am lucky enough to be around (and maybe nibbling on every now and then!) a lot of Lindt chocolate as one of my roles at Sparks Event Marketing is to coordinate a lot of the North American Lindt events (you can read more about my job here if you aren’t already in the know!)

I am sure it would work with other chocolate orange brands, but would definitely recommend a dark chocolate over a milk – it just adds some extra richness and flavour.

(edit: And of course, if you’re not keen on the chocolate-orange combination – using just regular chocolate would still make deliciously tasty brownies!)

Also, to make the recipe for these chocolate orange brownies even better – its a one pan recipe!

So why not try it – the full recipe is below ready for you – I promise you won’t be disappointed!

Enjoy

J
xoxo

 

Chocolate Orange Brownies Recipe

Ingredients

  • 5oz orange flavoured dark chocolate (I used Lindt Excellence Orange Intense)
  • 1 cup butter/margarine
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 tbsp orange zest
  • juice of half an orange
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1  1/4 cup plain flour

 

Method

  • Pre-heat the oven to 175 degrees Celsius / 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • In a medium-large saucepan, place the chocolate and butter/margarine.
  • Turn on a low heat to melt the chocolate/butter until smooth.
  • Stir in the cocoa powder, and mix to combine thoroughly.
  • Take the pan off the heat and allow it to cool for 5 – 10minutes.
  • Add in the orange zest, orange juice and sugar.
  • Stir everything together until fully combined.
  • Add and mix in the eggs, one at a time.
  • Add in half the flour, combine well, then add and mix in the other half.
  • The batter will be very thick and gooey at this stage!
  • Line and grease a baking pan with parchment, then pour in the mixture.
  • Bake for around 40 minutes
    • The time depends on the size of pan you picked – an 8×8 will give thicker brownies, which might take a little longer to cook through completely.
  • *important* leave the brownies to cool completely – I’ve made the mistake of being eager and trying to turn out the brownies before they cooled, and whilst still delicious, they certainly weren’t pretty!

 

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(Caramel) Apple Crisp…

jade.sammons : 24th October 2015 10:00 AM : Bakes, Cooks

As this year’s wonderful Summer turns into Autumn, its time to turn to cozy socks, warm sweaters and Autumn inspired recipes, like this Caramel Apple Crisp.

And this was the perfect start!

Canada has just celebrated Thanksgiving – a family filled, tasty food welcome to the Autumn season.

Matthew and I were able to spend a wonderful day with our Canadian family, and enjoyed a delicious meal during the thanksgiving weekend, but more on that in another posting.

On Thanksgiving day itself, Matthew and I spent the day relaxing, and enjoying the crisp weather on a long walk with Karla.

I’d already decided to make a “British-inspired” Thanksgiving dinner, with roast beef, parsnips, mashed potatoes, vegetables, and gravy, but I was still undecided about desert.

That was until I saw this recipe on daytime TV and thought it would inspire me to making something similar of my own, and thats where this delicious Caramel Apple Crisp came to life.

Now this Apple Crisp is actually very similar to a Crumble, but after a length discussion at the family Thanksgiving dinner, we determined that the difference between a Crisp and a Crumble is oats.

So if you fancy a Caramel Apple Crumble just remove the oats from the topping!

You can also remove the caramel sauce, to make a simple apple crisp (or crumble) too!

As either a crisp or crumble, with or without caramel, it sure is yummy!!

Enjoy

J
xoxo

Caramel Apple Crisp Recipe

Ingredients

Caramel Apple Filling

  • Between 6 – 10 tart apples (dependent upon size), peeled, cored, and sliced
  • 1/2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup caramel sauce (if desired)

Crisp Topping

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup butter, chilled

Method

  • Preheat the oven to 350degrees Fahrenheit.
  • In a large bowl, mix the lemon juice over the sliced apples.
  • Separately, mix together the sugar, flour and cinnamon.
  • Pour the sugar/flour mixture over the apples, and mix so the slices are all evenly coated.
  • In a large, non-stick frying pan, melt the butter.
  • Turn down to a low heat, and add the apples.
  • Stir occasionally, and cook the apples until they are soft, and the sauce is thick.
  • Add in the caramel sauce, mix through the apples and remove from heat to cool.
  • Once cool, pour apples into an ovenproof pie or baking dish.
  • Combine all the ‘crisp’ ingredients, except for the butter, together in a separate bowl and mix well.
  • Add in the butter and mix in by hand, rubbing the butter through the flour/oats mixture with your fingertips.
  • Continue to work the butter into the flour/oat mixture until it sticks together in small clumps.
  • Top the apples with the mixture, and spread out into an even layer.
  • Bake the Caramel Apple Crisp for 30-40 minutes, until the top is golden brown, and the apple mixture is beginning to bubble through the topping.
  • Serve warm with vanilla ice-cream.

 

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