Baklava & honey cheesecakes

Baklava & honey cheesecakes

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


Method
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.

Baklava & honey cheesecakes

If you’ve had a go at making any of my recipes, I’d love to hear from you. Follow me now @corrieheale and tag your recipe pictures using #corriesrabbitfood.


V – Vegetarian



Fried feta on toast with honey & thyme

Fried feta on toast with honey & thyme
Fried feta on toast with honey & thyme

Out of all the cheeses, I buy feta most regularly. Not just because I love it but because it’s so versatile. I crumble it on top of stews, stir it through pasta and toss it around in my salads but frying it? Not so much, until now.
However, this crumbly tangy cheese may be versatile but its shelf-life is its downfall. Much like the The Little Mermaid, this cheese has just three days (after opening) before it turns bad and loses Prince Eric’s love forever. Well, what I mean is, it starts to smell and taste like a tramps foot and no Prince wants that… (Disney fans click here to reminisce).
Anyway, by day three it’s decision time, I have 100g of the stuff left and have run out of things to do with it. I had pasta for dinner yesterday, I have no salad and I’ve run out of stew – things are getting tense. Maybe I could just stuff it in my mouth? I mean, that’s gotta be better than just binning it, right?
‘No, no, no’ I whisper under my breath, stroking its cold and slimy back with my finger ‘you deserve better than that my friend.’
“Err, what are you doing?” Jamie is standing in the doorway looking confused and slightly horrified at me.
“OH! Um… Just thought it had a hair on it but it doesn’t, phew!” I say slightly too shrilly. “Toast?”
“Yeah go on then” he says as he turns his attention back to The Sopranos.
So I coat the feta in flour, dip it in egg and fry it before serving it on toast drizzled in honey and topped with fresh thyme. ‘It’s what he would have wanted’ I say softly to myself.
“WHAT?” shouted Jamie from the living room.
“NOTHING!” I say hurriedly wiping honey off my chin.


Fried feta on toast with thyme & honey
Serves 1 / Hands on time 10 mins / Total time 10 mins / V
1 piece of sourdough, toasted
100g vegetarian feta, cut into 2 slices
1 heaped tbs plain flour
1 egg
Thyme leaves
1 tbs rapeseed oil
tbs runny honey

TIP: If your honey is a little hard and crystallised, pop the jar in a saucepan and fill with boiling water. This will melt it in no time.  

Method
1. On a small side plate, add a heaped tablespoon of flour. Slice the feta into two even slices and dust well in the flour.
2. Beat the egg in a small bowl, season well with salt and pepper and pour onto a plate. Dip the cheese into the egg and cover evenly.

3. In a small frying pan on a medium heat add a tablespoon of rapeseed oil. Once hot, carefully place the cheese in and fry gently on each side for a couple of minutes or until golden.
4. Serve on a piece of toasted sourdough, drizzled generously with honey and sprinkled with thyme leaves. Yum!

 

Fried feta on toast with honey & thyme
Fried feta on toast with honey & thyme

If you’ve had a go at making any of my recipes, I’d love to hear from you. Follow me now @corrieheale and tag your recipe pictures using #corriesrabbitfood.


V– Vegetarian



Peanut butter, honey & pears on toast

Peanut Butter, Honey & Pears on Toast
Peanut Butter & Pears on Toast

Peanut butter and honey on toast might seem like an odd combination but trust me, it’s a wonderful thing. I was first introduced to it by my old school friend Hina. Hina was (and still is I believe) Japanese and the Japanese like their peanut butter a bit sweeter than us Brits. So after school, we’d often scamper back to her boarding house and eat peanut butter on toast slathered in honey, which I later christened ‘Hinabutter’.
Anyway, so I forgot all about Hinabutter until I purchased an insanely expensive pot of raw honey recently. Apparently the 40p honey I’d been buying all these years was no better than eating filtered dog turds. So did it really taste all that different?
Well no, not really but there’s a quite a significant difference between the two despite tasting very similar. For a start, regular honey tends to be pasteurised and filtered, which is said to destroy the honey’s natural vitamins and nutrients. Whereas raw honey, comes straight from the hive so remains untreated, unheated and unfiltered. This means, unlike regular honey, it retains most of it’s nutritional properties and can even include the odd bit of wax, pollen and a couple of bees knees (literally). Although don’t worry, raw honey is often strained to remove wax/knees so no need to freak out, humans have been eating raw honey for thousands of years. Anyway that’s enough eduction for one day, now where was I?
Oh yeah, so for the past week, I’ve been pouring honey all over my peanut butter on toast like some kind of deranged Pooh Bear which doesn’t exactly make for a balanced breakfast. So I chucked in some pears and a bit of ricotta to help balance it out and to help cut through the sticky sweetness of it all. Bananas I’m sure would work wonderfully too but as I can’t stand the little buggers, I think I’ll stick to me pears thanks guvna… Not sure why I’ve gone all cockney but there you go. Enjoy!


Peanut butter, honey & pear on toast
Serves 1 / Hands on time 5 mins / Total time 5 mins / V
2 slices of bread
Knob of butter
Crunchy peanut butter
Honey, preferably raw or organic
½ conference pear, cored and sliced
1-2 tbs of vegetarian *Ricotta
Sprinkle of pumpkin seeds


Method
Toast the bread of your choice and top with an even layer of butter and then peanut butter. Drizzle the toast with a couple of teaspoons of honey and spread evenly with a knife. Top with slices of pear, drizzle with a bit of extra honey and serve with a sprinkling of pumpkin seeds and a good dollop of ricotta.

Peanut Butter & Pears on Toast

If you’ve had a go at making any of my recipes, I’d love to hear from you. Follow me now @corrieheale and tag your recipe pictures using #corriesrabbitfood.


V– Vegetarian
*Ricotta is traditionally made with animal rennet but you can get vegetarian varieties. UK supermarket home brands tend to be, click here.