Cooking for more than two people always fills me with anxiety and dread – my flat hardly fits two people in it let alone four. Four people?! Where on earth will I put them? Perhaps one of them could sit in the sink?
And what about the neighbours? What if we’re too loud? Last time I spoke to them they were very upset with me and threatened to call the police – still not quite sure why but the thought is very stress inducing – can’t have a bunch of burly police officers ruining my dinner party.
I need to calm down, it’s just a dinner party… NAPKINS! Oh Christ, where are the napkins? Do I even own napkins? You have to have napkins at a dinner party, you can’t just give people toilet paper no matter how smartly you fold it.
Feeling rather hysterical and with time slipping away, I put the thought of napkins, police and police napkins (whatever they are) to the back of my mind and focused on creating this mad dessert. Quick fast and requiring minimum effort, this baklava cheesecake saved my skin and became my crowning glory. Sometimes out of madness comes beauty… and cheesecake.
Baklava & honey cheesecakes Serves 4 / Hands on time 20 mins / Total time 20 mins + chilling /V You’ll need: A food processor
280g mixed baklava, roughly chopped
280g cream cheese
150ml double cream
3 tbs runny honey
1 orange, cut into segments
1. On a chopping board, roughly chop the baklava before tipping into a food processor. Blitz in short bursts until you have a rough and chunky, crumb-like mixture (be careful not to over blitz, you want to keep some of the texture). Distribute the mixture evenly into glasses or large ramekins and press the mixture down to compress it either with your fingers or with a blunt object. Refrigerate.
2. Meanwhile, make the filling. Using a mixer with a balloon whisk or hand-held electric whisk, beat the cream cheese and honey together on a high speed. Once combined, slowly whisk in the double cream bit by bit to allow the mixture to slowly thicken.
3. Remove the cheesecake bases from the fridge and top each one with a generous layer of cream cheese mixture. Decorate with orange segments, cover with clingfilm and continue to refrigerate until ready to serve.
If you’ve had a go at making my baklava and honey cheesecakes or any of my other recipes, I’d love to hear about it @corrieheale firstname.lastname@example.org
Sorry I’ve been a little neglectful food chums, I’ve been on holiday… Okay so I haven’t been on holiday but I’ve been extremely busy sunning myself in pub beer gardens with my boyfriend. Yes I now have a boyfriend, and yes he is real, and yes he is called Jamie, and yes he plays the harmonica. Now enough with your incessant questions!
Anyway, now the weather’s decided to be a bum hole I thought I’d cheer us all up with something lovely and chocolatey, like these chocolate bites Jamie made me a few weeks ago. I loved them so much, I decided to try and pass them off as my own at my friend Rosie’s baby shower. Good job I did, as without them I would have turned up completely empty handed. I know this sounds stupid but I didn’t know you were supposed to bring gifts to a baby shower. I know, I am an idiot. I’ve seen enough American TV to know better but thankfully I was able to hide behind the chocolate until I could redeem myself with a trip to Kath Kidson the following week. Phew!
Jamie’s chocolate nutty bites Makes 1 slab / Hands on time 20 mins/ Total time 20 mins + 2 hours to chill / VGf
300g *Green & Black’s Organic 70% Dark Chocolate
3 egg whites
3 tbs runny honey
200g ground almonds
50g hazelnuts, skins removed
200g icing sugar
Crème fraîche to serve (optional)
1. Line an 18cm round flan dish or cake tin with cling film. Melt the 300g of dark chocolate in a large heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water.
2. Lightly whisk the egg whites in a large clean bowl for 2 minutes – you just want to break them up rather than whisk them to a peak. Add the honey and whisk once more to incorporate.
3. Fold in the ground almonds with a large metal spoon and mix to a paste, then fold in the hazelnuts and walnuts. Stir in the icing sugar before very gently folding in the melted chocolate.
4. Pour the mixture into the tin, fold the cling film over the mixture and press everything down until smooth. Set aside in the fridge for 2 hours.
5. Cut into bite sized chunks, sprinkle with more icing sugar and serve with a cup of tea. Alternatively cut into slices and serve as a dessert with a dollop of crème fraîche.
If you’ve had a go at making Jamie’s chocolate bites or any of my recipes I’d love to hear about it. @corrieheale email@example.com