Monday, 7 July 2014

Recipes: Crunchie Cheesecake + Choc Orange Brownies

We went to a barbecue on Saturday evening and were tasked with bringing some dessert along. I decided to whip up a couple of homemade puddings instead of taking the easy route and going to Tesco - I'm glad I did because these two treats got so much good feedback from our friends! As always, they were pretty simple to make too!

The Chocolate Orange Brownie is quite dense and fudgey, but really delicious. I would imaging if I'd left it to cool a little longer before adding the egg whites in it would have been a bit lighter... next time I will try to have a bit more patience :)
The original recipe also called for normal cream cheese for the frosting but I decided to go with a tub of Cadbury's Philadelphia spread (double chocolate was a very good choice!!!).

Here's what you will need to make your own Brownies:

  • 200g plain chocolate, broken up
  • 200g dark muscovado sugar
  • 175g butter, plus extra for greasing
  • 3 eggs, separated
  • 140g plain flour
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • zest 1 orange

And for the frosting:
  • 200g tub soft cheese (definitely consider Cadbury's Philadelphia for this!)
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 50g icing sugar
  • Some of the zest put aside from the brownie mix above

How to:
  1. Pop the oven on to 180C and get your cake tin greased and ready - I always use a silicone tin which makes things about a zillion times easier once cakes are cooked.
  2. Put the chocolate, sugar and butter in a pan, put on a low heat for a few minutes and keep stirring so it doesn't burn! Keep going until the butter and chocolate have melted. 
  3. Leave to cool down then beaat in the egg yolks, flour, vanilla and half the orange zest. (This is where I wasn't quite as patient as I should have been, I think!)
  4. You'll need a large, clean bowl to put your egg whites into... then whisk until they make pretty peaks. Stir ¼ of the whites into the chocolate mix to loosen it, then carefully fold in the rest with a metal spoon. 
  5. The mix is now ready for the tin, stick it in the oven and bake for around 25 mins. When it's done, cool in the tin.
  6. Beat together the cheese, vanilla, sugar and remaining zest until smooth and then spread over your brownies and you're done!

If cheesecake is more your thing this one could not be easier. Seriously easy. I adapted this from a recipe for Malteser cheesecake as a bit of an experiment. Next time I will make the honeycomb pieces inside the cheesecake mix a little bigger as tiny bits don't keep their crunchiness as well. Still really tasty nonetheless!

To make your own you will need:

  • 200g digestive biscuits - I used chocolate chip ones this time
  • 75g butter
  • 400g full-fat cream cheese
  • 300g mascarpone
  • 200gicing sugar, sifted
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • A multipack of small Crunchie bars (or other chocolate of your choice) 
How to:
  1. Crush up your biscuits, I used a mixer to do this but a rolling pin and a freezer bag works just as well!
  2. Melt the butter in a larger saucepan and then tip the biscuit crumbs in and combine well. Put the crumby mix into the bottom of a tin (a loose bottom or springform one is best) and press down well - I rolled a tumbler across mine to really pack the base in well. Pop into the fridge and chill while you get on with the rest.
  3. Combine the cream cheese and mascarpone by whisking together until they are fluffy. Add the icing sugar in a bit at a time until it's all blended into a light, airy mixture.
  4. Crush up your crunchie bars (not too much!!) and fold about three quarters into the cheese mix until well combined.
  5. Put your cheesey chocolatey mixture onto your chilled biscuit base and smooth over the top. Next put it all back in the fridge covered with cling film for at least 4 hours (this is a good one to make the night before)
  6. When you are ready for dessert decorate your cheesecake with the remaining smashed up Crunchies, pop out of the tin and slice!

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