The Super Breakfast Smoothie

I don’t do too well with cereals in the morning; I get bored very quickly and so full that I need a nap about ten minutes after.

So you can imagine that when I came across this concoction, I immediately fell in love. Unfortunately, I owe my brother for this one, so I’ll have to bake for him at some point to say thanks, but it’s still worth it.

I generally don’t use milk unless I’m baking, I’m a huge fan of oat milk (see picture below) or almond milk so tend to opt for either. The recipe works just as well with normal milk so swap it round if you prefer.

The smoothie is meant to be quite thick but again, dilute to taste. This is how I make mine…

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 medium sized banana
  • 2 large handfuls of any fruit you like (this time I used strawberries and pineapple)
  • 2 heaped tablespoons of rolled oats
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 200ml of oat drink (or any type of milk you prefer)

RECIPE

  1. Peel and chop all the fruit and bung it in the blender.
  2. Add everything else and blend away.
  3. Add more milk to taste (if you like it thinner)
  4. Drink and enjoy.
I absolutely love this as a breakfast and have had it everyday for ages.  You can literally use any type of fruit (I’ve even used orange segments); it always tastes great and fills you up straight through to lunch time.
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Strawberry Daiquiri Anyone? It’s edible!

It was my birthday recently and apparently there is a rule that all bakers have to bake their own cakes, although I’ve never heard of such a thing.

So I asked ‘what should I bake?’ and the vast majority said Strawberry Daiquiri cupcakes … hmm …  OK! After the great success with my mojito cupcakes last year (also during my birthday – does anyone see a pattern forming?), I was excited about trying these out.

I started by mixing the rum and some of the sugar and letting it reduce by about half; the strawberries were then chopped into small pieces and soaked in the rum for about 30 minutes. I thought I didn’t need anymore more strawberries so took a quick break to munch my way through the rest of the pack. Yum!

Once the strawberries were soaked long enough I started on the rest of the recipe; mixing together the ‘dry’ ingredients with the butter to create a crumb like mixture and whisking together the ‘wet’ ingredients.  These then get mixed together bit by bit.

I then drained the strawberries and put a few into each cupcake case.  The batter went on top they all went into the oven for about 15minutes.

Once out I drizzled the remaining rum reduction over each cupcake and left them to cool while I prepared the icing. This is when I read the ingredients for the frosting and realised I needed the strawberries I had recently eaten. Dammit! Time for a quick run to the nearest shop! My tip of the day therefore is:

Make sure you don’t need any spare ingredients before you start eating them!

With a new pack of strawberries in tow, I started making the icing by mixing the butter, icing sugar and lime zest.  4 teaspoons of rum reduction and 4 teaspoons of milk were then whisked in until it was soft and fluffy. I went for the traditional ‘Hummingbird Bakery Swirl’ with a few slices of strawberry on top. Et Voila! Alcoholic cupcakes that didn’t last 5 minutes in the office.

They were beautifully soft and creamy with a gentle kick of alcohol.  The strawberries also provided a nice difference in texture. I do, admittedly, prefer the mojito version; however I think this is due to my preference to the alcoholic beverage rather than my preference in cake.

Strawberries and Cream … and Cheese … and Biscuits!

It was my dad’s birthday recently and I wanted to bake something special.  Everyone has been getting a bit sick of the constant cupcakes, and I still haven’t managed to find the right pie dishes, so I decided on the Strawberries and Cream cheesecake.

I started off by making the base for the cheesecake; I love doing this mainly because I means there’s digestives in the house, but also because I can bash the living daylights out of them! The crushed biscuits got stirred in with the melted butter, squished into the cake tin and put into the oven for 30minutes.

Then came the hardest part of the recipe – chopping and cooking the strawberries without eating them all. I’d definitely suggest buying and extra box of strawberries for you to nibble on while you work, to save enough for the actual cheesecake.

The chopped strawberries were put into a saucepan with sugar and a little water, boiled and reduced by half.  I think I put in a bit too much water but left it as it was.

While this was cooking, I realised I didn’t put the right measurement of strawberries in… damn.  I let the first batch cook and took out the strawberries once it was done.  I then put in the rest of the strawberries into the simmering sugar water, added a tiny bit more sugar and cooked that.

I then prepared the cheesy bit of the cheesecake by beating the cream cheese and sugar and adding the eggs one at a time.  I stirred in the strawberries but left a little of the juice left, so that the consistency wouldn’t be too runny.  This went into the oven with a water-bath on the shelf underneath for about 30 minutes.

Now my biggest problem with cheesecakes to date have been cracks; cheesecakes are meant to have bit of a wobble in the middle once it’s ready but I always overcook it for fear of it being too wobbly and undercooking.  This time I stuck to the recommended time exactly, and it didn’t crack! Well, that’s a lie, there was a tiny crack but a huge improvement to the Lime and chocolate cheesecake!

This was left out to cool and then to chill in the fridge overnight. The next morning I started on the cream part of the cheesecake.  I whisked together the mascarpone and sugar in one bowl and the double cream in another.  I then folded the two together and spread it over the cheesecake.  This went back into the fridge to chill until after the birthday dinner.

After dinner, I chopped up a few fresh strawberries and added a candle to come out – this year my dad was officially one (we only had one candle!). I was a bit worried it would be too sweet and I’m  not the biggest fan of cream. But I had nothing to worry about, all the different ingredients complimented each other really well and everyone really enjoyed it, especially my dad.

 

Be aware that this is quite a sweet treat so some people might not be the biggest fans. But don’t be put off – this is definately a great dessert and will be something i’ll bake for Wimbledon season. If you want a really nice, indulgent cheesecake that’s not too heavy, then I’d definitely suggest you try this!

The Cheesiest Cheesecake Ever Made

I’ve written quite a few blog posts now and I’m sure most of you that read it have by now realised I’m a tiny bit odd and like to make things difficult for myself.  If you’re a new reader, then I’m sure you’ll figure this out really quickly today.  This week, I not only decided to make my first cheesecake; I decided to make it while on crutches.  Yep, like I said, tiny bit odd and difficult.

Baking a cheesecake takes quite a while, so please be advised to make it a day in advance.  The first part of the ‘process’ is making the biscuit bottom.  I was expecting some McVittie type product to get thrown in the mix and was surprised when the recipe only wanted flour, baking powder, butter and sugar.  Regardless I mixed them all together and pressed them into my pre-greased cake tin.

This went in the oven for 25-30mins to cook.  I had a chair in the kitchen to help me manage and decided to sit through the cooking time and while away the minutes.  Unfortunately, with my luck, the base took quite a while longer to cook and I found out that it’s actually really boring to sit in a kitchen with nothing to do!

The base finally came out of the oven and onto the rack to cool.  This consisted of more sitting around for me; except this time I begged a family member to bring my book downstairs so I didn’t die of boredom.

Once the base was cool enough, I whipped up the second part of the cheesecake, the cheesy bit.  I was taken aback by the amount of cream cheese required (still won’t admit the true amount to my mum!) but put my trust in the Hummingbird Bakery and kept going with the recipe. This is where I had an epiphany of some sort.  I kept wondering why the cooking time for the base took so much longer and found the answer when pouring the cheese topping into the tin…

… My cake tin was definitely too small than the recipe suggested.  Well I’m still not 100% sure exactly how big my tin is, but its not the recommended size.  This is why the base took so long (because it was thicker) and therefore, the topping would take longer.  There was also way too much cheese topping for the cake tin so I left quite a bit of cheese filling out and put the tin in the oven; with the water bath on the bottom shelf.

Quick Tip: If your using a cake tin with removable bottom or anything that can leak water; don’t put it in the water bath as suggested in the recipe.  I’ve read on numerous other blogs that the water got into the tin and ruined the cake.  Put the water bath on the shelf below your cake and it’ll do the same job.

Once cooked, the cheesecake was cooled, covered and put into the fridge and left for a good few hours before serving (couldn’t bring myself to wait overnight). As you can see, my cake had a crack right though the middle and two small areas where it was lighter than the rest of the cake.  When asked, I was told that both these things can happen; the water bath helps prevent it but apparently you will never get a perfect cheesecake unless you put something on top.

So, I hid most of the crack with a few strawberries (hiding the flaws are always the best way to go!) and Tadaaa!

The cheesecake turned out very nice.  Very proud of my first attempt; in my opinion there was a bit too much cheese but I put this down to the wrong size cake tin.  Will definitely invest in a bigger tin to make sure I get it perfect next time.  Definitely recommend this recipe to everyone, especially as it says u can mix brownies or fruit to the cheesy part.