Lemon Berry No-Bake Cheesecake

Lemon Berry No-Bake Cheesecake | Butter Baking

Growing up, I remember my parents having lots of dinner parties with their couple friends. There was always lots of wine, delicious food and cake!

Lemon Berry No-Bake Cheesecake | Butter Baking

One of my Mum’s loveliest friends, Margaret, would always, without fail, bring dessert when she came over for dinner. And as you can probably imagine, I totally loved her for it.

Her baking was always beautiful, and if I remember correctly, a big, berry-topped pavlova (the only version of that dessert that I’ll eat!) and this cold-set cheesecake were her go-to specialities.

Lemon Berry No-Bake Cheesecake | Butter Baking

I would always have a second slice of this cheesecake, and as a child, my absolutely favourite part was the biscuity, buttery base (and not much has changed!).

Lemon Berry No-Bake Cheesecake | Butter Baking

One day, I sat the lovely Margaret down and asked her to tell me all her cheesecake secrets as I hand-wrote the recipe into my little cookbook.

I haven’t made this cheesecake for years and years, but I’m beginning to wonder why, because it’s so damn delicious. And so easy.

Lemon Berry No-Bake Cheesecake | Butter Baking

After making a few baked cheesecakes for you on the blog (click here and here!), I’ve decided that no-bake cheesecakes are my absolute favourites (ohmygod this recipe!). They just have a beautiful lightness and fluffiness to them that can’t be beat.

Lemon Berry No-Bake Cheesecake | Butter Baking

This one is smooth, creamy and refreshing with the zesty lemon and tangy fresh berries. It’s so easy too! A definite must-try. X

Lemon Berry No-Bake Cheesecake | Butter Baking

LEMON BERRY NO-BAKE CHEESECAKE
 
Ingredients
  • FOR THE BASE:
  • 11 digestive biscuits (or a buttery biscuit alternative)
  • 2 tbsp coconut
  • 100g butter, melted (1/2 cup)
  • FOR THE CHEESECAKE:
  • 300ml whipping cream (11 fl. oz)
  • 1 X 250g packet cream cheese, softened (9 oz)
  • ¼ cup caster sugar (55g)
  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 3 gold strength gelatine leaves (or 1 sachet/3 tsp powdered gelatin)
  • ¼ cup warm water (63g)
  • FOR THE TOPPING:
  • 1 - 1½ cups berries of choice
  • Honey, for drizzling (optional)
Method
  1. Grease and line the base and sides of a 22cm (8½ inch) springform tin with baking paper.
  2. To make the biscuit base, blitz the digestive biscuits and coconut in a food processor until fine (alternatively, crush up in a zip lock bag with a rolling pin). Transfer to a medium bowl and mix in the melted butter.
  3. Press evenly into the base of the prepared tin and refrigerate.
  4. To make the cheesecake filling, use a stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment (or hand beaters) to whip the cream to medium peaks. Transfer to a clean bowl and refrigerate.
  5. Place the cream cheese, sugar, lemon juice and zest in the bowl of the stand mixer and beat with a paddle until smooth and creamy (you can also use hand beaters).
  6. Meanwhile, place the gelatin leaves in a bowl of cold water until soft. Squeeze out the excess water and then place into the ¼ cup warm water. Stir to dissolve (if using powdered gelatin, simply stir gelatin into warm water till dissolved).
  7. Add the gelatin mixture to the cream cheese and beat for 1 minute.
  8. Fold in the whipped cream by hand.
  9. Spread the cheesecake mixture evenly over the base and refrigerate for 8 hours, or preferably overnight.
  10. To serve, remove the cheesecake from the tin and scatter the berries over the cheesecake. Optionally, drizzle with a little honey.
  11. Keep refrigerated. Serves 8.
  12. Happy baking!

Recipe adapted from the lovely Margaret! X

Peach, Blueberry and Apple Crumble

Peach, Blueberry and Apple Crumble | Butter Baking

I’m blogging this recipe in real-time today!

As I type I have a bowl of this lovely crumble sitting next to me, waiting for me to stick my spoon right in.

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Making crumble is such a great way to use up extra fruit you have around the house, or any fruit you have that you think is going to turn.

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I had a bunch of gorgeous apples from Mr Man’s grandmother’s garden that were starting to go a little soft.

I couldn’t bear to throw them away so I cooked them up! I added a few peaches that I had in the fridge and threw in a handful of frozen blueberries from when I went berry picking. Easy!

Peach, Blueberry and Apple Crumble | Butter Baking

Then the whole thing got topped with a lovely, golden, melt-in-your-mouth crumble.

This particular crumble recipe comes from my boss, and is my current favourite! It’s perfectly buttery, crispy, crumbly and not too sweet. And it easily pinches together to form those little chunks of crumble that we all love.

Peach, Blueberry and Apple Crumble | Butter Baking

I love eating this warm, straight out of the oven, maybe with some cream. I also love eating this cold, for breakfast, with a huge dollop of greek yogurt.

Whichever way you like it, and with whatever fruit you have on hand, I hope you love this crumble too! X

Peach, Blueberry and Apple Crumble | Butter Baking

PEACH, BLUEBERRY AND APPLE CRUMBLE
 
Ingredients
  • FOR THE FILLING:
  • 5 medium apples
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • Knob of butter
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 3 peaches
  • 1 cup frozen blueberries
  • 1 tsp cornflour or tapioca
  • FOR THE CRUMBLE:
  • 200g flour (1⅓ cups)
  • 100g unsalted butter (approx. ½ cup), cold and cubed
  • 50g brown sugar (approx. ¼ cup)
  • Pinch salt
Method
  1. To make the filling, peel, core and dice the apples.
  2. Place them in a saucepan with the cinnamon, butter and sugar and cook, covered, over a low heat for about 20 minutes, until tender. Allow to cool.
  3. Preheat the oven to 180 C (350 F).
  4. Dice the peaches, and add them to the cooled apples along with the blueberries and cornflour. Transfer into a medium baking dish and set aside.
  5. To make the crumble, place the flour, butter, sugar and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer and mix on a low speed with the paddle until a chunky crumble forms.
  6. Scatter this over the filling and bake for 35 - 45 minutes until the crumble is golden brown and bubbling around the edges.
  7. Best enjoyed warm, but leftovers are great for breakfast! Serves 6 - 8.
  8. Happy baking!

 

French Chocolate Cake

French Chocolate Cake | Butter Baking

I’m sure I’ve told you all before that I’m not really into eating cake.

So on the odd occurrence that I’m going to go all out and eat a piece of cake, that cake is going to look like this.

Rich, fudgy, and (brace yourselves for the ick word guys!) moist.

French Chocolate Cake | Butter Baking

Flourless cakes tend to be my favourite, because they’re so much denser and moister than aerated cakes and sponges.

And this chocolatey, dense, almost-flourless cake is what my cake-dreams are made of. It’s almost like a brownie, a little like a soufflé, and it totally melts in your mouth.

French Chocolate Cake | Butter Baking

See what I mean? Look at all that moist-cake-goodness right up there.

It’s heavy on the chocolate too, so use the best you can afford, because the flavour will really come through.

French Chocolate Cake | Butter Baking

And I don’t often serve cream as an accompaniment to desserts, but in this case, the rich, decadent chocolate cake goes beautifully with a quenelle of double cream and some fresh, tart berries.

French Chocolate Cake | Butter Baking

But really, this cake is so damn good you can eat it any which way you like. X

French Chocolate Cake | Butter Baking

FRENCH CHOCOLATE CAKE
 
Ingredients
  • 250g dark chocolate, chopped (9 oz)
  • 120g unsalted butter (8 tbsp)
  • 65g sugar (1/3 cup)
  • 4 eggs, separated
  • 2 tbsp plain flour
  • Pinch salt
Method
  1. Preheat the oven to 180 C (350 F) and grease and line a 9 inch loaf tin with baking paper.
  2. Place the chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl, and place this over a pot of simmering water.
  3. Heat, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is melted, smooth and combined.
  4. Take the bowl off the heat. Whisk in half the sugar, followed by the egg yolks. Then fold in the flour.
  5. Using an electric mixer, whisk the egg whites with the salt until they turn white and form soft peaks. Still whisking, rain in the other half of the sugar and keep whisking on high speed until the whites form firm peaks.
  6. Fold a third of the meringue into the chocolate mixture to lighten it. Then gently fold in the remaining whites until smooth and combined.
  7. Pour the batter into the prepared tin and spread out evenly.
  8. Bake for 25 minutes, until the cake feels just slightly firm in the middle. Be careful not to over bake.
  9. Allow to cool completely before cutting. Serves 8.
  10. Happy baking!
  11. NOTE: The original recipe calls for a 35 min baking time, but mine was ready at 25. Be sure to check your cake and adjust the time accordingly.

Recipe adapted from David Lebovitz’s The Sweet Life in Paris.

Strawberry Shortcakes

Strawberry Shortcakes | Butter Baking

Last weekend, Mr Man and I picked our own strawberries!

Berry picking is something I fondly remember doing as a kid. My family used to go every summer, and we would spend hours picking fruit at the farms before going home with very full bellies and kilos of beautiful raspberries and blueberries.

Strawberry Shortcakes | Butter Baking

We would eat the berries fresh for days, ripple them through vanilla ice cream and bake them into lovely desserts.

I hadn’t been for years, and wanted to take Mr Man on a bit of a berry-picking adventure.

Strawberry Shortcakes | Butter Baking

The farm we chose had an abundance of strawberries for picking, and we set to work. It was a lot of fun hunting for the beautifully ruby-red, ripe berries among all the bushes, and there’s just something about the flavour of strawberries that is just so much richer and juicier when they’re eaten freshly picked, still warm from being in the sun.

Strawberry Shortcakes | Butter Baking

In celebration of my beautiful berry haul, I wanted to make a recipe for you that celebrated fresh strawberries, and strawberry shortcakes kept coming to mind.

Strawberry Shortcakes | Butter Baking

The idea of making a leavened “shortcake” dough didn’t really appeal though – I wanted my shortcake to be short, crumbly and crispy, with the creamy chantilly and fresh bursts of berry as a contrast. So I used some leftover sweet shortcrust dough I had in the freezer (from when I made this tart!) to put this dessert together.

Strawberry Shortcakes | Butter Baking

There’s no strict recipe to my strawberry shortcakes! You could make a half batch of the dough I usedMy basic sweet pastry would also work well for the biscuits. But feel free to just use some leftover shortcrust you happen to have in the freezer. And there are so many ways you could arrange the strawberries to make these pretty, so just have fun! X

Strawberry Shortcakes | Butter Baking

STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKES
 
Ingredients
  • A half quantity of sweet short pastry (see links below)
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 2 tbsp icing (confectioner's) sugar
  • ½ vanilla pod
  • 1 punnet of strawberries, washed and hulled
Method
  1. Preheat the oven to 180 C (350 F) and line a large tray with baking paper.
  2. To make the "shortcakes", roll out the shortcrust to about 4mm thick, and use a round cutter (whatever size you like!) to cut out circles from the pastry.
  3. Place these on the prepared baking tray, and prick each a few times with a fork. Refrigerate the tray for 10 minutes.
  4. Bake the shortcrust circles for 8 - 12 minutes, until lightly golden. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
  5. To make the chantilly cream, whip the cream, icing sugar and seeds from the vanilla pod until stiff.
  6. Pipe (or spread) the cream over the biscuits.
  7. Cut the strawberries in half or into slices, and arrange as desired over the cream.
  8. Have fun playing around! It makes around 8 - 12 strawberry shortcakes, depending on how you arrange your biscuits.
  9. Happy baking!

I loved this shortcrust recipe, but this sweet tart dough would also work well.

 

Dulce de Leche Brownies

Dulce de Leche Brownies | Butter Baking

I’m sharing a super delicious brownie recipe with you today!

Mr Man and I couldn’t get enough of these over the weekend and I doubt you’ll be able to, either.

Dulce de Leche Brownies | Butter Baking

These are some of the thickest, fudgy-est, densest (in a gooood way), chewiest brownies I have ever had.

And they have fat swirls of gooey, sticky, soft dulce de leche caramel all through them! Seriously, these have everything I could ever ask for in an amazing brownie.

Dulce de Leche Brownies | Butter Baking

I baked these for Mr Man for Valentine’s day. As I’ve mentioned before, he loves anything that’s “chocolatey and fudgy with a biscuit-y crunch”.

Well, he also loves everything caramel, and when I was trying to think of something new to bake him that combines chocolate and caramel (I’ve baked this, this and oh my gosh these in the past), the dulce de leche brownie recipe from David Lebovitz’s book came to mind.

Dulce de Leche Brownies | Butter Baking

I’m really enjoying baking from his book. I find that David Lebovitz‘s recipes are consistently successful and delicious, and these brownies did not disappoint!

Dulce de Leche Brownies | Butter Baking

They’re particularly good cold from the fridge. And even better chopped up into little cubes and served over ice cream… Oh my. X

Dulce de Leche Brownies | Butter Baking

DULCE DE LECHE BROWNIES
 
Ingredients
  • 120g unsalted butter (8 tbsp)
  • 170g dark chocolate, finely chopped (6 oz)
  • 30g dutch process cocoa (1/4 cup)
  • 3 eggs
  • 220g sugar (1 cup)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 150g plain flour (1 cup)
  • 250ml dulce de leche (1 cup)
  • 6 - 8 digestive biscuits, shortbread cookies or graham crackers
Method
  1. Preheat the oven to 180 C (350 F).
  2. Grease and line an 8 inch square pan with baking paper.
  3. Melt the butter in a medium pot.
  4. Remove from the heat, add the chocolate and stir until it's melted and combined. Whisk in the cocoa.
  5. Whisk in the eggs, one at a time, then whisk in the sugar, vanilla and flour until the batter is smooth.
  6. Roughly crush half the cookies and spread them evenly over the bottom of the pan.
  7. Scrape half the batter over the cookies and spread out evenly.
  8. Drop half the dulce de leche in teaspoon dollops over the brownie and sprinkle over the remaining crushed cookies.
  9. Spread the remaining brownie batter evenly over the top, then drop teaspoonfuls of the rest of the dulce de leche over the brownie.
  10. Using a knife, swirl the dulce de leche, ever so slightly, into the brownie.
  11. Bake for 25 minutes, until the centre is slightly firm (the original recipe says 45 minutes baking time, but mine was ready very early so see how you go in your oven).
  12. Allow to cool completely before cutting. Makes 9 brownies.
  13. Happy baking!
  14. NOTE: I used canned dulce de leche, use what you can find.

Recipe adapted from David Lebovitz’s The Sweet Life in Paris.

Plum and Blackberry Clafoutis

Plum and Blackberry Clafoutis | Butter Baking

I think I jinxed myself last week.

I was talking about how I haven’t been sick forever, for years actually, and how strange that was.

Then when Mr Man and I went away to the beach for a night over the weekend, I woke up – you guessed it – SICK.

And it has really taken it all out of me. I don’t think I ever remember being this sick, or the last time I took a sick day from work.

Plum and Blackberry Clafoutis | Butter Baking

I actually don’t know what to do with myself. I have strict orders from loved ones to keep my behind firmly planted on the couch (I’m not very good at relaxing, you see).

I have been constantly drinking tea, slurping chicken soup and Vietnamese pho, reading books, and catching myself up on all the misery that is daytime TV. All while it’s super warm and sunny outside. Somehow being sick is much more suitable to winter weather!

Plum and Blackberry Clafoutis | Butter Baking

Anyway, I’ve been locked in the house and haven’t been able to do anything. Quite literally. It took all the energy I had for me to just wash my hair. So I haven’t even been able to bake! And the whole time I’ve been sick, I’ve been wishing and hoping that I still had some of this clafoutis leftover! Because how good is warm custard baked over fresh fruit?! So good!

Plum and Blackberry Clafoutis | Butter Baking

I’ve been reading (well, now that I’m sick with nothing else to do, I’ve finished reading) David Lebovitz’s The Sweet Life in Paris. The book is funny, insightful (particularly for anyone planning a trip to Paris!) and filled with recipes at the end of every chapter.

The recipes seem lovely and I’ve got quite a number bookmarked for me “to bake” across the book and this was numero uno on the list!

Plum and Blackberry Clafoutis | Butter Baking

I’ve made clafoutis for you before in the form of a tart, but I have to say this version is better. With the addition of butter in the recipe, it’s a little richer, and the lack of a pastry shell makes the whole thing a lot quicker and easier to put together.

Fruit goes in a baking dish, the batter gets whisked together and poured over the top, and then the whole thing gets baked. It was a quick dessert that I whipped up on Friday, but the leftovers could also serve as a lovely breakfast, straight from the fridge. X

Plum and Blackberry Clafoutis | Butter Baking

P.S. The photos of the scooped serve of clafoutis shows it as being a bit sloppy. In reality it sets firm as it cools a little, and can be sliced and served neatly, like this tart. However I made it last minute and was chasing the light for these photos, so apologies.

PLUM AND BLACKBERRY CLAFOUTIS
 
Ingredients
  • 60g unsalted butter, melted (2 oz), plus more for greasing
  • 450g ripe plums, halved and pitted (1 pound)
  • 125g punnet blackberries (1 cup)
  • 3 eggs
  • 70g plain flour, sifted (1/2 cup)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Pinch salt
  • 100g caster (superfine) sugar (1/2 cup)
  • 330ml milk (1⅓ cups)
  • 30g caster (superfine) sugar (2 tbsp), for sprinkling
Method
  1. Preheat the oven to 180 C (350 F) and use the extra butter to grease a 2 litre (2 quart) shallow baking dish.
  2. Arrange the plums, cut-side up, over the base of the dish, and scatter the berries on top.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs well. Whisk in the flour, butter and vanilla until smooth.
  4. Then whisk in 100g sugar, and finally the milk.
  5. Pour the clafoutis mixture over the fruit in the baking dish and place on a flat baking tray. Place the tray in the oven and bake for 30 minutes.
  6. Carefully pull the rack out from the oven halfway, then sprinkle the extra 30g sugar evenly over the top of the clafoutis. Carefully push the rack back in, then bake for a further 30 minutes.
  7. Allow to cool slightly before enjoying. Serves 8.
  8. Happy baking!

Recipe adapted from David Lebovitz’s The Sweet Life In Paris.

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