Cheesecake Brownies

Having blogged Banana Cheesecake Brownies the other week, I was shocked to discover that I hadn’t blogged standard cheesecake brownies! These are the brownies I’ve pulled out the bag for over 6 years and always go down a storm. This week has been the last week that I’ve been on my current training rotation at work, everyone has been really lovely and I wanted to do some baking to take in to say thanks. My colleagues really loved these and I even received this review from a colleague:

“Today I tried Holly’s Cheesecake Brownies. At first sight they looked like your common brownie with maybe an extra menacingly delicious look about them. Waiting for my tea to cool I picked up my piece and began my inspection. They were soft and slightly sticky to touch but firm and heavy. Seeing as it was already in my hand, conveniently next to my mouth and my tea taking too long to cool I decided to have a generous nibble. This unfortunately was a dire mistake. As if a creature from a horror movie I felt a feeling inside me which I did not like, I could feel myself turning into a crazed wild animal ready to ravage its prey. Luckily my prey was only a simple brownie and I left the tea and began to devour my chocolatey treat. The texture was smooth, and easy to devour, the taste strong and brilliant. I tried my best to take my time and appreciate the heavenly combo of brownie and cheesecake. As if twins separated from birth the union of flavours seemed to go together as if it was always meant to be. My last bite and I savoured the moment for as long as possible but sadly all things come to an end and my brownie high quickly ended  like being woken from a grand dream.

Taste scale of 1 to 5 – 5

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(Vegan & Gluten Free) Pumpkin Scuffins

Scuffin (noun): A baked good that lives in the dreamy, tasty limbo land of scone and muffin.

The inspiration for this recipe was from a dairy free pumpkin donut recipe, which I adapted to make gluten free and vegan. The result was tasty but definitely no doughnut. They were hard to define and after an office meeting (chat), it was decided they were somewhere between muffin and scone but yummy nonetheless. They are dunked in a buttery, cinnamon topping and smell divine.

Vegan Pumpkin Scuffins

 

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Grandma’s Christmas Cake, Part 2 – The Cake

This weekend I got around to baking my Christmas cake. The fruit had stopped absorbing any more brandy (see Part 1 for that stage) and it was looking plump and smelling delicious. I’m delighted that my cake cooked evenly and took on a lovely golden tone. I used gluten free flour and it appears to have held together perfectly. I find cakes cooked with gluten free flour can be a bit dry but given the amount of moisture in the fruit and also that it will be ‘fed’ with brandy between now and Christmas, I don’t think there’s much to worry about. I shall proceed with the recipe and the tips passed down to me from my Grandma, via my mum. Make sure you’ve got an old newspaper handy!

xmas cake

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Nutella & Salted Caramel Stuffed Double Chocolate Chip Cookies

I stumbled across this recipe and knew that I just had to make it for James, my boyfriend, as it has all his favourite things in one cookie (and mine too, let’s be honest). We had a stressful weekend having remove all the furniture from our room and to deep clean it and treat it; along with having to wash ALL of our clothes, shoes and any other fabric items (bags, scarves, the lot!). Morale was pretty low, despite a wonderful afternoon cycling around the coast to the cinema to watch Hercules (seriously, go watch it now) and finding a navy scarf with pumpkins on (vital July purchase) on Saturday; by Sunday afternoon, things were at an all time low and cookies were required. Now, just licking the spoon (after scooping them onto the tray!) was enough for me to know these would be food coma inducing. I found this recipe on a gorgeous and superbly written (so many photos and demos, check it out) blog called ‘Top With Cinnamon’ (great name).

These cookies are messy, gooey, absolutely delicious and dangerous. Make at your own peril!

Nutella and Salted Caramel Double Choc Chip Cookie

You’ll need to start by making a batch of salted caramel, luckily Top With Cinnamon gives one of the best explanations of making caramel I’ve found. I finally successfully made caramel!

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Basil & Coconut Chicken

If you haven’t discovered Bev Cooks already then I suggest you check her out immediately! Along with being a great food blogger, her instagram is a must follow; she posts adorable photos of her twin babies that come with THE FUNNIEST captions. No one should be that good a cook and comedian, it just isn’t fair. This recipe is one I found on her blog and have been meaning to make for a couple of weeks. I didn’t make the rice part of the recipe (although it sounds gorgeous) and added a load more vegetables, as usual. It was so tasty (we all know I LOVE basil and I am a pretty big fan of coconut too) and I love how colourful (read: green) it is. This is such a nutritious and delicious dish, it is healthy and satisfying and you won’t feel cheated at all. Who wants a greasy takeaway when you can whip this up in way under 30 minutes?!

Basil & Coconut Chicken

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