Ultimate brownie cheesecake

If you know me, you know the few times I really crave a dessert it’s with chocolate! Brownie tend to get boring over time so why not add cheesecake? Best of both worlds!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 120g chocolate melted and cooled down
  • 130g dark brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 65g all purpose flour
  • 50g cocoa powder
  • 1tbsp olive oil
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • Chocolate chunks (optional)
  • Nuts (optional)
  • 150g Philadelphia cheese
  • 150h Mascarpone cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 2tbsp dark brown sugar
  • 1 vanilla pod

Pre-heat the oven to 180C. It’s a super.duper easy recipe and literally takes minutes to whip up! Combine all the dry ingredients in a bowl: flour, cocoa powder, sugar and salt. Once the butter cooled down start adding all the liquid: butter, eggs, olive oil and whisk! Butter up the tin you are going to use and spread the brownie batter.

Mix mascarpone, Philadelphia, brown sugar, 1 egg and scrape in the vanilla pod.

What you want to do is scoop the cheesecake mix we made on the brownie, take a toothpick or a knife and draw a marbled effect! Bake for around 20mins and because this brownie is moist and fudgy as hell once out of the oven let it rest for 10/15 before cutting so it can set properly!!

Miaomiao!

Almond and apricot babka

As my other half is polish, in these three years together I got to know many dishes and sweets traditional to his culture and loved them so much I couldn’t contain myself to try make my own version of a babka (a sweet yeasty cake that comes from the word babcia=grandmother). I’m quite pleased by the end result although I’m sure with practice it could be even better and there are so many options you could choose, I made a braid in a loaf tin and tried 2 big swirls with the remaining dough.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 7g active dry yeast
  • 125g milk lukewarm
  • 50g brown sugar
  • 40g unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 egg
  • 250g all purpose flour
  • 1pinch of salt
  • Flakes almonds to sprinkle on top

  • 120g brown sugar
  • 100g ground almonds
  • 100g dried apricots

  • 3 tbsp Brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 glass of water

Whisk milk and yeast together and leave for a couple mins while you scale the other ingredients. Flour, butter, sugar and salt can all go into the mixing bowl until the butter is incorporated. Add the milk mixture and the egg last, the consistency should be sticky, kind of wet and soft. Leave covered in a bowl in a warm place to rise for 1 hour.

Cream the butter add sugar and ground almonds for the filling, make sure it’s spreadable. Chop the apricots. Put sugar, cinnamon and water in a little pot, an empty vanilla pod if you have one hanging around the house and bring to a boil once the babka is out of the oven.

The dough should be almost double the size after one our. Use a rolling pin to make it a little less than one inch thickness. Spread butter and almonds, chopped apricots and some flakes almonds. Roll the dough into itself to make a big swirl. Now with cinnamon buns you’d cut it in individual swirls and place it in the tin next to one another but I wanted to try make a braid so I cut the dough length wise and braid it like I would my hair! It’s a little messy and it tends to stick everywhere so make sure you have plenty of flour around you! Place the braid in the tin, cover with cling film and let it rise again for at least 30 mins.

Preheat the over to 180C for 20 mins until golden, once out of the oven brush with the cinnamon syrup and let it rest for a couple of minutes before taking it out of the mould .

Miaomiao

Ricotta and strawberry crostata pie

Was feeling a bit nostalgic today and decided to make this. Crostata tastes like home, it’s breakfast in the garden during summer, it’s an afternoon treat with my friends while we put nail polish on each other and catch up on junk tv shows, it’s the best end to a meal where you don’t exactly want to order dessert but feel like something sweet with your espresso.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 200g flour
  • 100g butter (room temp)
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 50g sugar
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 1 lemon zest
  • 1 whole egg plus 1 yolk

  • 250g ricotta cheese
  • 50g sugar
  • 1/2vanilla pod
  • 1 egg

  • 400g strawberries
  • 1/2 lemon juice plus zest
  • 250g Demerara sugar

If you don’t have much time on your hands just buy jam, but I assure you they jam is gonna be ready by the time you finish your pie dough! Put that on first: strawberries, Demerara, lemon juice and zest all in a pot and bring to a simmer, leave on for about 15min, blitz, put back on the stove and keep boiling and stirring gently until think and shiny.

While the jam is on the stove focus on the crostata dough. Crumble the butter in the flour with your hands until there are no more visible chunks of butter, add salt, sugar, baking powder and lemon zest then the egg and yolk. Work the dough with your hands or a paddle if using a mixing machine. Form a ball and leave to rest wrapped for a couple of minutes while you butter the tin.

The dough has to be rolled quite thin as it grows in the oven and poked in order to avoid bubbles. First layer will be the mix of ricotta, vanilla, sugar and egg then the strawberry jam. It’s up to you if you want the pie to be completely covered or just decorated with extra dough on top.

Bake at 180C for 35mins.

Miaomiao!

Spiced green soup, yoghurt sauce and garlic croutons

Both me and my mum have always been big fans of soup. Filling, tasty and a smart way to eat your 5x day of veggies. There are TONS of ways to make a good soup although I have to admit I really don’t like using dairy or wheat to enrich or thicken it. Legumes like peas, beans, chickpeas or even potatoes are all great options to make a smooth and creamy soup.

INGREDIENTS: (4 servings)

  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/2tsp cumin
  • 1/2tsp ginger
  • 1/2tsp garam masala
  • 4 cardamom pods
  • 1 whole cauliflower (roughly 300g once cleaned out)
  • 240g baby spinach
  • 300g frozen peas
  • 1100ml water
  • Salt to taste

The best you can do with spices is frying them up with oil on a high heat so that the aroma comes out. Throw in the cauliflower and stir until it gets golden, add frozen peas and stir again for a couple of minutes. Add lukewarm water, bring it all to a simmer and leave on low heat for around 20mins. Once the vegetables are soft enough to be cut with a spoon take out of the heat and blitz. Add salt.Pass it through a chinois if you want a perfect consistency, although I like a chewable soup!

With this soup I made garlic and olive oil croutons with some leftover Irish wheaten loaf I had in the house and a yoghurt and coriander sauce. Pan fried pancetta or fried shallots are other very good options! The combinations are infinite!

Miaomiao

Carrot and walnut cake with orange and cinnamon cheese frosting

Nothing better than a square of carrot cake to bring at a picnic in the park right? There’s literally nothing better than picnics at the park in a sunny London for me, and that’s exactly what I’m about to do today on my day off, but FIRST, let me drop this easy and suuuuper moist one-bowl carrot cake recipe.

Depending on what you are using to bake your cake make one time or double batch of this recipe, i wanted more of a flat square piece for carrot cake but if you’re going for a round mould with a thick slice of cake i recommend making it double!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 eggs
  • 150g flour (I used wholewheat but plain flour is perfect)
  • 150g olive oil
  • 200g grated carrots
  • 1tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 150g walnuts
  • 100g Demerara
  • For the frosting:
    • 250g Philadelphia cheese
      100g butter
      150g icing sugar
      1 orange zest
      1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • As I said this is a one-bowl recipe so all you have to do is combine all the wet ingredients and folf the dry part at the end.

    Let’s start with eggs, oil, grated carrots and Demerara in a bowl. Separately scale flour, baking powder, cinnamon and nutmeg. Whisk them well together. Now fold the dry mix in the wet mix with a spatula until smooth. Last but not least chop the walnuts and toss them in. Butter a square or round tin and bake in the oven at 180C for about 30min (if you decide to go for double batch, after the 30 mins check with a skewer, it might need 15 extra mins)

    While the cake is in the oven, combine in a mixing bowl Philadelphia, butter (make sure it’s soft otherwise you’ll have lumps) icing sugar, orange zest and cinnamon. Paddle until smooth and shiny. Add the frosting only when the cake has completely cooled down or it’ll melt and ruin the look!

    Hope you enjoy these sunny days as much as I do!

    Miaomiao

    Keto-friendly, aubergine and courgettes parmigiana

    Parmigiana is a super tasty dish, but traditionally to make it GREAT you’d have to fry the aubergine and that is not exactly healthy or light for your body. After realising just how much carbohydrates and sugars we were consuming we decided to embrace a ketogenic diet, my body had absolutely enough of all of that! I still believe in allowing yourself pasta or cake now and then but changing our lifestyle was much needed for us.

    Enough chitchat, here’s my keto-friendly parmigiana!

    INGREDIENTS: (serves 4)

    • 3 aubergines
    • 3 courgettes
    • 10/15 plum tomatoes
    • Garlic
    • Basil
    • 200g Parmesan
    • 3 mozzarellas
    • 50g roasted pine nuts

    Let’s start making the TOMATO SAUCE : in a pan with olive oil and 2 cloves of garlic throw your tomatoes cut in chunks and Cook them until soft. Blitz and season then put back on the heart and reduce until the watery pats evaporates.

    While your tomato sauce is simmering, pre-heat the oven to 190C. Slice your aubergines and courgettes length wise, brush them with olive oil and a pinch of salt then roast them in the oven until golden and crunchy.

    A quick BASIL PESTO can give a good kick to an otherwise very light parmigiana!!

    Put 100g of Parmesan, 50g pine nuts, 80g fresh basil, one clove of garlic and olive oil in a blender until creamy and there you have it!

    All that’s left is layering and baking! I did aubergines/courgettes, pesto, tomato sauce, mozzarella and parmesan x3 times.

    Bake until the mozzarella and Parmesan form a nice crust and the water from the mozzarella is absorbed. (30 mins roughly)

    miaomiao

    Mango and coconut upside-down cake (gluten and dairy free)

    Anyone that knows me can say that my favourite things in the world are GLUTEN and DAIRY…but my stomach is getting more and more picky and I have to find ways to, you know, bake nice things and not complain all the time!! The traditional pineapple upside-down cake has always been a thing in my family, so my mum gave me my auntie’s recipe and I changed it up a lil bit!

    INGREDIENTS:

    • 250g mango slices in juice
    • 6tbsp juice from the poached mango slices
    • 100g demerara sugar (for caramel)
    • 100g demerara sugar (for cake mix)
    • 2 eggs
    • 150g gf flour
    • 30g desiccated coconut
    • 1tsp gf baking powder
      100g sunflower spread

    Make a caramel with the first 100g of demerara sugar, that is gonna go at the bottom of the cake mold. Spread the mango slices nicely on top of the caramel.

    Now for the cake mix: whisk the remaining sugar and eggs vigorously for a couple of minutes until fluffy then add flour and baking powder, the 6 tablespoons of juice from the can and the melted spread as our last ingredient. Spread the cake mix on top of the mango and bake in the over for 40 mins at 170C.

    Toast some coconut to sprinkle on top if you’d like aaaand that’s it! I hope you but mostly your tummies enjoy this quick and quite frankly cheap recipe! (My cat surely did!)

    miaomiao

    Oats and Peanut Butter Soft Bake Cookies

    Looking for a sweet treat without feeling a massive guilt afterwards? I got you covered. This healthy-ish recipe will satisfy any cravings and make you very popular between your friends. I worked out a vegan version as well and will write the adjustments in the ingredients below.

    INGREDIENTS:

    • 180g brown sugar
    • 220g margerine\vegetable spread softened
    • 2 eggs \ 90g apple sauce
    • 250g brown flour
    • 130g oats
    • 2 tbsp crunchy peanut butter
    • 1 tsp baking powder
    • 100g dark chocolate chunks

    I can’t stress enough how easy this dough is and of course there is no need of any kitchen-aid, as my close friends know, my house is actually a ROOM so all the recipes I work on and photograph are as hand-made as possible!

    Pre-heat the oven to 190C. Place the softened butter, brown sugar, peanut butter and eggs in a large bowl and whisk them until creamy. Now add flour, baking powder and oats and fold with a spatula. I wrote 100g but feel free to add as many chocolate chips as you please, this is a no-judgement zone!

    You can either shape the with an ice-cream scoop, a spoon or simply your hands. Line them on a baking tray leaving enough space between them and bake for 14 mins.

    Now I can’t promise you are gonna be able to contain yourself and eat JUST THE ONE, but as I said they’re healthy-ish and life is too short to not eat sweets!!

    Miaomiao

    Walnut and Raisin Loaf

    To start off our adventure I’d like to share this bread recipe. The process is effortless and so versatile, perfect in the morning for french toasts with caramelised bananas, with coffee, butter and jam and Nutella ,or served at the end of a meal with a cheese selection. The key for the success of this loaf is the proofing, let’s have a look at the ingredients and I’ll guide you through the process with more details.

    INGREDIENTS:

    • 408g strong brown flour
    • 5g dried yeast
    • 1\2 tsp salt
    • 1 tbsp demerara sugar
    • 205g water, lukewarm
    • 50g raisins
    • 50g roasted walnut
    • 1 orange zest

    First things first: Soak the raisins. It’s crucial in order to remove the paraffin. If you want to give your loaf a different flavour, use rum, orange juice or syrup instead of water. While the raisins are soaking place flour, salt, Demerara and orange zest in a big deep bowl. Put the yeast with the warm water, whisk until dissolved and leave for 5 minutes. Add the water and yeast to the dry mix, work it with your hands until you form a shaggy ball. Cover the bowl with cling film or a wet towel and leave it to rise in a warm place for 7\10 hours.

    Now dust the surface and place your dough directly on the table; try to flatten it up and spread it with your fingers to form a rectangle. Scatter the chopped walnuts and raisins and fold them into the dough. Work on it until you feel satisfied, until you see the raisin and the walnut sprinkled through evenly. Cover again and let rest for one more hour.

    Preheat oven to 200C (400F). Bake at this temperature for 25\30 mins and leave it to rest on a rack before slicing.

    I hope you enjoy making this loaf as much as I do! If you end up trying one of my recipes I would love to hear your feedbacks ands see your pictures! Follow me on Instagram!! #thekittchenchronicles

    Miaomiao