Easy no bake coffee and walnut cheesecake

A creamy no bake cheesecake with a coffee flavour and walnut base

Today I am sharing an easy no bake cheesecake recipe. I have made baked cheesecakes before, and although delicious, I rarely turn to them as I consider them too much fuss. Especially when I want to whip something fancy up quickly during my baby’s nap time. I wanted an easy fuss-free no bake option.

A creamy no bake cheesecake with a coffee flavour and walnut base

A creamy no bake cheesecake with a coffee flavour and walnut base

I have made several incarnations of this coffee and walnut cheesecake below. The first attempts did not set properly, and oozed deliciously all over the plate. However, the flavours were immediately charming. I shared my trial runs with my family and as testament to the flavours, it quickly disappeared, even though we had all already eaten dessert and a birthday cake that same night. I must say, my family were fully supportive in assisting with taste testing for further trials!

I have tweaked the final recipe I’m sharing today and it now sits proudly on the plate; jiggly, creamy and delectable.

coffee_walnut_cheesecake_3

Easy no bake coffee and walnut cheesecake

  • Servings: 8
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Ingredients

For the base:

  • 100g Marie biscuits
  • 75g butter, melted
  • 60g walnuts

For the filling:

  • 500g cream cheese
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 300ml heavy cream
  • 2 tsp instant coffee granules
  • 1 tbs gelatin powder
  • Cocoa powder, to serve

Directions

  1. Break the biscuits into a food processor and whizz until they resemble fine breadcrumbs. Add the walnuts and whizz briefly again to chop them coarsely.
  2. Pour into a bowl and stir through the melted butter until well combined. Press into the base of a greased springform tin until well packed and smooth. Place into the fridge to chill.
  3. Whip the cream in a mixer until soft peaks form. Put aside.
  4. Beat the cream cheese and sugar together in a mixer until light and fluffy.
  5. Meanwhile, add ½ cup of boiling water to the instant coffee in a small jug. Add the gelatin and stir until the coffee and gelatin is dissolved.
  6. Pour the coffee/gelatin mix into the cream cheese mixture and continue to beat until well combined.
  7. Gently fold the whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture. Pour into the chilled base and use a spatula to evenly spread the filling over the base. Place in the fridge to chill for at least 4 hours, or preferably, overnight.
  8. When ready to serve, dust with a sprinkling of cocoa powder. Use a sieve to achieve an even, light coating.

Haloumi, olive and sun dried tomato loaf

Salty, crusty and golden haloumi bread with olives and sun dried tomatoes

As I have written about previously, I am always on the lookout for a delicious, easy, on-the-go lunch option, for example, my curry pumpkin muffins. Today I present to you another option: haloumi, olive and sun dried tomato loaf.

Salty, crusty and golden haloumi bread with olives and sun dried tomatoes

There is no kneading, no rising, nothing of the waiting nature. Simply combine the ingredients, stir through your flavour bombs, and bake. That’s the hardest part – waiting for the loaf to be ready to eat!

Salty, crusty and golden haloumi bread with olives and sun dried tomatoes

Crispy edge, dense and tasty interior. Keeps well for a few days in an airtight container. No need for any extra toppings, but you totally could cover it in avocado, or bacon, or a poached egg…you know, the usual.

This was a smash hit with my family. I hope it goes down well with you too!

Salty, crusty and golden haloumi bread with olives and sun dried tomatoes

Haloumi, olive and sun dried tomato loaf

  • Servings: approx. 8 slices
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Ingredients

  • 450g plain flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 280ml water
  • 2 eggs
  • 200g haloumi, diced
  • ¼ cup black olives, sliced
  • ¼ cup sun dried tomatoes, sliced

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 180° Celsius. Grease a loaf tin with spray oil.
  2. Sift flour, salt and baking powder together.
  3. Whisk together the oil, water and eggs.
  4. Combine the wet and dry ingredients, and bring together to form a dough.
  5. Stir through the haloumi, olives and sun dried tomatoes.
  6. Pour into the loaf tin and bake in the oven for 45 mins until golden on top and a skewer comes out clean.

Lemonade Pimm’s scones

A fluffy scone filled with the flavours of a classic Pimm's cocktail: lemonade, strawberries, cucumber, mint and of course, Pimm's!

Pimm’s – the ultimate springtime tipple. I thought I’d try my hand at a scone recipe adapted to include the flavours of an original Pimm’s cocktail. It works – and even my Nanna approves!

To begin with, make a batch of scones. These I have adapted from the classic lemonade and cream recipe that I have been making ever since my childhood. I thought this was the perfect recipe to use, as Pimm’s is made with lemonade. First key ingredient: tick. This recipe is so easy, and I have jazzed them up with some orange zest. Second ingredient: tick.

A fluffy scone filled with the flavours of a classic Pimm's cocktail: lemonade, strawberries, cucumber, mint and of course, Pimm's!A fluffy scone filled with the flavours of a classic Pimm's cocktail: lemonade, strawberries, cucumber, mint and of course, Pimm's!

Serve the scones with whipped cream that has a dash of Pimm’s mixed through (tick), strawberry jam (tick) and a slice of cucumber (tick). You may think this sounds mad, but I promise you that the freshness of the cucumber works for this sweet delight. Not an everyday treat, but leftover scones can be easily frozen for another day.

A fluffy scone filled with the flavours of a classic Pimm's cocktail: lemonade, strawberries, cucumber, mint and of course, Pimm's!

Lemonade Pimm's Scones

  • Servings: approx. 10
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Ingredients

  • 3 cups plain flour
  • 6 tsp baking powder
  • 1 cup lemonade
  • Zest of one orange
  • 600 ml cream
  • 2 tsp milk
  • 2 tsp Pimm’s
  • Strawberry jam, to serve
  • Cucumber, sliced, to serve
  • Fresh mint leaves, to serve

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 200° Celsius. Grease a baking tray with spray oil.
  2. Combine the flour, baking powder, lemonade, orange zest and 300ml of the cream in a mixing bowl using a metal knife. Mix as little as possible and remove onto the work surface as soon as it comes together.
  3. Lightly knead the dough with a little extra flour until the outside of the ball is not sticky. Pat down to make flat (about 3 cm tall).
  4. Dust a scone cutter in flour (so that the dough does not stick) and cut the scones. Place close to each other on the prepared tray. Continue to pull together the scraps of the dough and cut more scones until all of the dough is used.
  5. Brush the tops of the scones with milk.
  6. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes until golden on top.
  7. Whilst the scones are cooking, whip the remainder of the cream until soft peaks form and stir through the Pimm’s.
  8. As soon as the scones are removed from the oven, take off the baking tray and wrap the scones in a teatowel.
  9. To serve, cut the scone in half, spread with strawberry jam, top with a teaspoon of cream, and a slice of cucumber and a sprig of mint.

 

Lemon cream and elderflower tarts

A tangy zesty cream tart filled with lemon and elderflower

One of my favourite desserts is a lemon tart. I love the tangy, creamy texture of the filling. Delicious! With the warmer weather approaching, I was inspired to make a dessert that captured this taste.

As a nod to my time in the UK, I’ve added a flavour that I was introduced to while I lived in Cambridge. Elderflower cordial is so fruity, so light and goes perfectly with lemon. Sure, it is a flavour combination well used (even Prince Harry had a lemon and elderflower cake for his wedding), but there is a great reason for this – nothing beats it!

A tangy zesty cream tart filled with lemon and elderflower

For these tarts, I went even creamier than a traditional lemon tart. They are individually portioned, cute and easy to share. Better for afternoon tea, or picnics that way

A tangy zesty cream tart filled with lemon and elderflower

Lemon cream and elderflower tarts

  • Servings: approx. 9
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Ingredients

For the pastry:

  • 240g plain flour
  • 160g unsalted butter, softened
  • ¼ cup water
  • 2 tbs caster sugar
  • Zest of a lemon

For the filling:

  • 200ml whipping cream
  • 250g mascarpone cheese
  • 4 tbs elderflower cordial
  • 3 tbs store-bought lemon curd
  • Sprigs of mint, to garnish

Directions

    Directions:

  1. To make the pastry, combine the flour, butter, sugar and zest in a mixer with a dough attachment. Add just enough water until the pastry comes together into a ball. Cover with clingwrap and rest in the fridge for 20 mins.
  2. Preheat the oven to 180° Celsius. Grease a muffin tray with spray oil.
  3. Roll out the pastry on a worktop until ½ cm thick. Using a round template approx. 10cm in diameter (I used the lid of a ramekin that I had) cut out circles and line the muffin tray with them. This pastry will make 9 tart cases.
  4. Bake in the oven for 15 mins until golden.
  5. To make the filling, combine the cream, mascarpone, elderflower cordial in a mixer until thick and stiff. Stir through the lemon curd to create a marbled effect.
  6. Fill the tarts and top with a sprig of mint to garnish.

White chocolate and lime slice

A tangy, sweet white chocolate and lime slice

Looking at produce in season at the moment, I noticed limes. We are fortunate to be receiving plenty of these from our local veg box, CERESFairfood. I never seem to struggle thinking up various ways to use them, but more often than not, it is in a savoury dinner dish.

A tangy, sweet white chocolate and lime slice

I wanted to branch out and use lime in a sweet dish. Lemons I use all the time, but limes, not so much. So I experimented and made a slice with limes and white chocolate. Originally, I was envisaging a brownie (or blondie) type concoction, with ooziness and a fudgy centre. But it didn’t turn out that way the first time I made it, it turned out even better!

This slice is crispy, tangy, crumbly and flavourful. This slice is so fresh, so light, it just seems perfect for the weather we’re having at the moment!

A tangy, sweet white chocolate and lime slice

White chocolate and lime slice

  • Servings: approx. 25
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Ingredients

  • 240g plain flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ½ cup caster sugar
  • Zest of one lime
  • 160g unsalted butter, melted
  • 75g white choc chips, melted
  • Juice of one lime
  • 2 eggs
  • 175g white choc chips

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 180° Celsius. Grease a baking tray with spray oil.
  2. Mix the flour, salt, baking powder, sugar and lime zest. Stir to combine.
  3. Whisk together the melted butter, melted choc chips, lime juice and eggs.
  4. Combine dry and wet ingredients, and stir through the remainder of the choc chips.
  5. Spoon the mixture into the baking tray and use a spatula to evenly coat the base of the baking tray.
  6. Bake in the oven for 20 mins or until set. Cut into slices, remove from the baking tray and let cool on a wire rack.

Grapefruit shortbread with marshmallow icing

A tangy grapefruit shortbread with a sticky marshmallowy icingToday I am featuring a recipe that my grandmother was famous for. They are a universal favourite –the melting moment, or yo-yo. A shortbread that always, always receives compliments and requests for the recipe. My grandma used a secret ingredient – that of custard powder, to give the shortbreads a vanilla, soft, melt-in-your-mouth texture.

Usually I save this recipe for the Christmas period. They are simple and quick to make, and so fail-proof, they’re fantastically seasonal. However, faced with some grapefruits gifted to me by my neighbour, and wanting to bake something different with them, I decided to jazz up my grandma’s shortbread recipe with a new twist.

A tangy grapefruit shortbread with a sticky marshmallow icing

An unexpected combination: grapefruit, shortbread and marshmallow, but if you make the recipe below, I think you will find that it works like a charm!

A tangy grapefruit shortbread with a sticky marshmallow icing

Grapefruit shortbread with marshmallow icing

  • Servings: approx. 20
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Ingredients

For the shortbreads:

  • 120g unsalted butter, softened
  • 60g caster sugar
  • 60g custard powder
  • 120g plain flour
  • Zest of one grapefruit

For the icing:

  • 30g butter
  • Juice of one grapefruit
  • 130g marshmallows
  • ¼ cup caster sugar

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 180° Celsius. Grease a baking tray with spray oil.
  2. Cream butter and sugar with beaters or a stand mixer until light and fluffy.
  3. Add custard powder, flour and grapefruit zest, and beat until mixture forms a dough.
  4. Using a rolling pin, roll dough until it is approximately ½ cm thick. You may need to dust the worktop and the rolling pin with a little extra flour so that it doesn’t stick.
  5. Use a 4cm diameter scone cutter to cut the biscuits. Continue to roll out the dough until it is all used.
  6. Place the biscuits on the tray and bake in the oven for 15-20 mins or until golden. Once baked, leave on the tray for 5 mins to cool, and then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.
  7. To make the icing, melt the butter, grapefruit juice and marshmallows in a small saucepan on a low heat. Once melted and combined, add the sugar and continue to cook and stir until sugar has dissolved.
  8. Place the icing into a clean bowl and put into the fridge for at least an hour to cool and set. The icing should become sticky and not run off a spoon.
  9. Once the icing is sticky, spoon it into a piping bag and pipe onto the cooled biscuits. Leave to cool and set completely.

 

Cumquat Tarte Tatin

Sweet, sticky candied cumquat tarte tatinI unfortunately do not have the space for a kitchen garden right now. One day, I would love to be able to grow my own vegetables to cook with. However, I am lucky that my dad has begun to dabble in edible gardening of late and I am occasionally gifted some of the overflow.

This is how I ended up with a bag of cumquats and no idea how to cook them!

Sweet, sticky candied cumquat tarte tatin

Please don’t make this recipe without an action plan for devouring it. Because you could be presented with the problem my husband and I faced when I had finished baking this creation: once you’ve had one powerful punch of a mouthful, you can’t stop. It’s really dangerous.

Sweet, sticky candied cumquat tarte tatin

It’s so tangy and sweet at the same time. Sticky, too. If you’re left with a bag of cumquats off your garden tree, I would highly recommend using them to make this recipe. They’ll be gone in no time!

Sweet, sticky candied cumquat tarte tatin

Cumquat Tarte Tatin

  • Servings: 6
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Ingredients

  • 360g fresh cumquats
  • 180g caster sugar
  • 180g unsalted butter
  • 1 sheet store-bought puff pastry

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 180° Celsius. Grease an ovenproof frying pan with spray oil (or springform tin if you don’t have a frying pan that you can put into the oven. If using a tin, line the outside of the tin with foil).
  2. Slice the cumquats into rounds (about 4 slices per cumquat, depending on size) and deseed.
  3. Place sugar and 45ml water in a heavy-bottomed saucepan on a low heat. Melt without stirring and bring to a simmer, shaking the saucepan occasionally so the sugar doesn’t catch.
  4. Add the fruit and cover, and simmer for 5 mins.
  5. Remove the fruit from the saucepan with a slotted spoon. Bring the syrup to a boil for 5 mins. Shake the pan occasionally.
  6. Add the butter and stir with a wooden spoon constantly, still on a high heat, for 10 mins until the syrup thickens.
  7. Arrange the cumquats on the base of your frying pan / springform tin artfully to provide an even layer. It looks best if you place cut side down.
  8. Pour over the sauce.
  9. Cover with a sheet of puff pastry. Tuck in the edges neatly. Cut several holes in the top of the pastry to allow steam to escape.
  10. Bake in the oven for 30 mins until pastry is golden and puffed. Once removed, flip the tart onto a serving tray so that the cumquats are presented on the top of the tart. Serve with vanilla ice cream.

Curry pumpkin muffins

Deliciously savoury pumpkin muffins with a hint of curry flavour

When I was at school, I overdid it with the sandwiches. Particularly the combination of ham, lettuce and mayo. I just have difficulty getting excited about a sandwich for lunch. So I like to look for other options.

I like to make batches of savoury muffins on the weekend for my work lunches (or at the moment, for my hectic weekday lunches with a baby who needs lunch too). They’re easy to heat up, filling and so moreish.

Deliciously savoury pumpkin muffins with a hint of curry flavour

I have taken inspiration from Stephanie Alexander’s recipe for Allan and Michele’s Asian-inspired Pumpkin Soup from her wonderful cookbook The Cook’s Companion and turned it into muffin form. They have just the slightest hint of curry, and are super light and fluffy. They’re the perfect texture, not too dry or crumbly and they keep well for several days in an airtight container in the fridge. Or, if you’re feeling exceptionally organised, you could freeze them for a busy day.

And they’re so easy to make! So get cracking! If you’re feeling like a sweet muffin, why not go ahead and check out my Custard and sultana muffins.

Deliciously savoury pumpkin muffins with a hint of curry flavour

Curry pumpkin muffins

  • Servings: 12
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Ingredients

  • 225g plain flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 225ml milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 115g vegetable oil
  • 1 tbs Thai curry paste, red or green
  • 400g pumpkin, peeled and chopped into 2cm cubes
  • 30g mix of pepitas and sunflower seeds

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 180° Celsius. Grease a muffin tray with spray oil.
  2. Steam the pumpkin until tender (about 10-15 mins) and mash with a potato masher until smooth.
  3. Combine the flour, salt and baking powder in a medium bowl.
  4. Combine the milk, eggs, oil, curry paste and pumpkin in a separate bowl. Whisk to mix thoroughly.
  5. Combine all of the ingredients together. Spoon the mixture into the muffin tray. Sprinkle the muffins with the pepitas and sunflower seeds.
  6. Bake muffins in the oven for 30 mins or until golden on top. You will know that they are done when a skewer will come out clean when tested.

Pork pasties with chilli, lime and coriander

A comforting pasty filled with pork mince, chilli, lime and coriander

I lived in the UK with my husband for a year. It was a wonderful time – we met lots of friends from all over the world, we travelled around Europe and never stopped learning new things. Also, we tried a lot of new foods!

A comforting pasty filled with pork mince, chilli, lime and coriander

We lived in Cambridge and we were often catching the train into London. When I made my pork pasties below, I couldn’t help but be reminded of the many trains we caught that year. The wafting smell of pastry coming from my kitchen brought back memories of waiting at a train platform, with a little Cornish pasties stand down the way. I’m not sure many would, but I admit the pasties always smelt inviting, no matter the time of day. Warm, flaky, juicy and with so many comforting flavours.

A comforting pasty filled with pork mince, chilli, lime and coriander

My pasty’s flavours are inspired by the ingredients we receive in our veg box each week; an Asian cooking box from CERES Fairfood. They make for a lovely winter’s lunch or a light dinner, with little in the way of preparation.

A comforting pasty filled with pork mince, chilli, lime and coriander

Pork pasties with chilli, lime and coriander

  • Servings: 4
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Ingredients

  • 250g pork mince
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 2cm ginger, finely chopped
  • 2 tbs fresh coriander, finely chopped
  • 1 chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • 1 spring onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tbs soy sauce
  • 1 tbs fish sauce
  • 1 tbs sugar
  • 2 sheets store-bought puff pastry
  • 1 egg, beaten

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 180° Celsius.
  2. Combine all the ingredients except for the puff pastry and egg in a mixing bowl.
  3. On a worktop, cut the pastry sheets in half lengthwise.
  4. Spoon in one quarter of the mixture onto one half of a pastry sheet (mentally divide the pastry sheet lengthwise). Spread it evenly along the half lengthwise.
  5. Fold the pastry over the filling and crimp the edges to seal. They can be baked flat, but I stood mine up with the crimped edge in the middle, because I thought they looked prettier this way.
  6. Place the pasties onto a greased baking tray.
  7. Brush the pasties with the beaten egg.
  8. Bake in an oven at 180° Celsius until golden (approx. 20 mins).
  9. Serve with a salad of lettuce, capsicum and cucumber topped with sprigs of fresh mint and coriander.

Earl Grey Caramel Slice

A sticky, sweet caramel slice with Earl Grey flavour and a chocolate topping

It is hard not to find a caramel slice if you are in a bakery in Australia. And for good reason! I have yet to meet someone who does not love to eat it! For me personally, if a caramel slice is there on display amongst the array of other delicious looking cakes and pastries, it is very hard to order anything else.

For my recipe today, I have taken the traditional caramel slice and added an Earl Grey tea flavour to the caramel layer. I like to eat my caramel slice with tea, so why not combine the two?

This slice recipe was actually my first foray into doing my own thing in the kitchen – I first tried it out a year and a half ago. However, it’s been the hardest one so far to get right. Unfortunately for me, that’s meant a LOT of leftover caramel slice to eat 😛 However, after lots of tinkering I think I’m there! Let me know if you try it out 🙂

A sticky, sweet caramel slice with Earl Grey flavour and a chocolate topping

Earl Grey Caramel Slice

  • Servings: approx. 30 pieces
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Ingredients

For the base:

  • 150g plain flour
  • 50g brown sugar
  • 75g coconut
  • 100g unsalted butter, melted

For the caramel:

  • 100g brown sugar
  • 120g unsalted butter
  • 2 Earl Grey teabags
  • 2x 395g tins of sweetened condensed milk

For the chocolate layer:

  • 200g dark chocolate
  • 1 tbs vegetable oil

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 180° Celsius. Grease a baking tray with spray oil.
  2. Combine flour, sugar, coconut and melted butter.
  3. Press the mixture evenly into the base of the baking tray and bake in the oven for 12 mins until golden. Cool on the bench for 10 mins and then put it into the fridge to cool until needed.
  4. For the caramel, melt the brown sugar with the butter and the contents of the two teabags in a medium saucepan on a medium heat. Whisk together and bring the mixture up to a bubble, and then take off the heat and cover. Leave to infuse for 2 mins.
  5. Add the condensed milk to the saucepan, whisk frequently and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and whisk constantly for 5 mins until the mixture is thick.
  6. Pour the caramel mixture onto the base and cook in the oven for 20 mins at 160° Celsius until the caramel layer is set. Cool on the bench for 10 mins and then place in the fridge until completely cold.
  7. For the chocolate layer, place chocolate in a microwave safe bowl and microwave for one minute. Stir to mix heat evenly and help to melt the rest of the chocolate. Continue heating the chocolate for one minute at a time, until all of the chocolate has melted. Add the oil to the chocolate and stir.
  8. Pour the chocolate over the caramel layer and, using a palette knife, spread evenly to cover the whole slice. Cool in the fridge until set.