Chocolate Pecan Cheesecake

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I don’t have a recipe for this, I kind of threw it together. But cheesecake is pretty forgiving (If not baked) As you can just throw in whatever you want until it tastes good.

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I’ll hopefully get some more posts up soon! Also if this looks particularly enticing please don’t hesitate to ask for a loose recipe!

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Orange Drizzle Cake with Chocolate Buttercream (GF, DF)

This is one of my favourite stand-by recipes, it’s really easy to make and always delicious!
There’s a bit of a disaster story with this, however.
So, last weekend I went to a singing weekend. Every year I bring a cake. This year, I decided to make this one:
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Yup. Doesn’t it look pretty amazing? Sorry. But usually I mess up on cakes, this cake, I didn’t. There was orange drizzle. Rich chocolate icing.
So I put it in a box, clearly labelled “this way up” with arrows pointing in the right direction. I put it on a shelf in the back room.
And the next day, it was upside down.
I don’t know who, I don’t know why. But they missed out on some good cake thanks to their ignorance, as it was virtually crumbs and icingy mush after. At least it was still a bit edible.
So of course, I took it home. Not presentable to anyone else. Ahem. I got to eat a bit more of it than I would have originally thought. On the bright side, my sister got some too 🙂
Also: I am going to Scotland for ten days for a nature camp! I will be camping all week (fingers crossed for the weather to continue) and hopefully it will be awesome. But no posts for ten days! I’m leaving tomorrow. Can’t wait!

Ingredients:
120g butter substitute, I use Pure
120g caster sugar
120g gluten free self raising flour, I use Doves Farm
2 eggs
1 orange
20g icing sugar

for the icing… Just make your usual chocolate buttercream, dairy free or not.

Preheat the oven to 190c
Mix together the butter and the sugar until creamy
Beat the eggs and then mix them in
Zest the orange and juice half of it into the bowl, mix into the egg/butter/sugar
Sift the flour into the bowl, mix.
Put it in a cake tin and bake for 20 minutes, or until golden brown on top.
Mix the other half of the orange with the icing sugar, and when the cake is baked, stab the cake with a fork a few times and drizzle the drizzle all over it 🙂
Ice as needed, chocolate icing tastes amazing on this!
Enjoy!

Apple and Orange Pie

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This is a lovely, simple thing to make. It’s pretty easy, just steamed apple and orange zest and pieces and a bit of sugar thrown into a pie crust.

Ingredients:
3-4 apples, peeled and chopped
Zest of an orange
Chunks of the orange, not too much juice as it has a tendency to make the base soggy
50g sugar
100g shortcrust pastry, I use the pre-made, frozen gluten free DS brand as it is the only decent pastry I can find as making it from scratch doesn’t usually taste to good and tends to crumble

Preheat the oven to 180c
Roll out and put half of the pastry in the pie dish (I used quite a small and shallow dish, so if you want to use a bigger dish, maybe casserole size, you might want to double the recipe) and bake as per instruction
If you are steaming the apples, steam until soft, if you are stewing, you can throw in some of the zest as well to reduce the bitterness, but never worry anyway, it goes away in the baking.
Mix the apples, orange chunks, sugar and remaining zest together in a bowl
Place the apple/orange mix in the baked pie base when it is cooked
Roll out the top layer and flatten over the apples, if there are any leftover bits of pastry you could make some little leaves or something decorative
Bake until golden brown on top and enjoy!

Chocolate orange ganache cheesecake tart

Yes.

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Oops, I just accidentally posted this post without noticing. So for the next 5-10 minutes, people will come onto my blog and just see a picture of tart and just ‘Yes.’ written at the top of it. But in all fairness I have actually done that before when I was just too lazy to write anything or bother putting in a recipe. I’m nearly considering doing that now, as I have a kitchen to clean, instruments long overdue (on the cello side of things) for practice, a ukulele to play, an Ancient Greek book to study, a room to tidy… But ah well. Here goes.
Oh and sorry for not posting much, you know, summer and class trips and laziness… But I have a whole bunch of posts all lined up now. Don’t worry. Although nobody probably even cares…

This is the weirdest yet wonderfulest baking catastrophe/triumph I have made in the last while. Just don’t use any weird flavoured chocolate like I did. I swear. I didn’t see the aniseed labelled on the packet. But all in all, it still tastes amazing.
The cheesecake layer was pretty amazing too…
Ingredients:
(sorry, I didn’t really measure. That’s the way I like to cook…)
200g Dark chocolate
Juice of two mandarins, or one orange
Enough almond milk to mix with the orange juice to make it reach 150 mls… If you understand that…
70g sugar
About 100g cream cheese
some more sugar…
another mandarin orange. Or small orange. It doesn’t really matter.
some flour, cocoa powder, sugar and butter. About enough to fill the bottom of your pan a centimeter thick…

Ok… this is a stupid idea to even try to explain. But…
So boil the juice of the two oranges with the almond milk in a pan. Let it cool a bit once boiled.
Break the chocolate into little pieces and throw them in a bowl.
Pour the milk/orange mixture into this, letting the heat from the liquid melt the chocolate.
Stir well until the chocolate is fully melted and incorporated.
Throw a bundle of the last list of ingredients together. Less butter, sugar and cocoa than the flour. Mix it all together to form fine crumbs and then mix with water to make a dough. Spread this out and put it in the oven for a while until soft but firm on top.
Mix the cream cheese with the juice of one of the oranges and some sugar.
Take the base out of the oven, then spread the cheesecake mixture on top of that evenly, then pour the chocolate mixture on that.
Chill for a few hours and then go crazy. It’s pretty good.

Mint chocolate cupcakes

Yes, again. But this time I have a recipe!!!
I made these earlier, and now I feel unwell from the ridiculous amount of icing I ate… But don’t follow my mistakes. Save your icing, put it on the cupcakes, believe me, it tastes better there.
Basically, these are soft, fluffy, gluten free chocolate cupcakes with a creamily refreshing mint icing on top.
Recipe after the photo!
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Ingredients:
120g butter
120g sugar
2 eggs
100g gluten free self raising flour
20g cocoa powder
(for the icing)
about 1 cup of icing sugar
4 teaspoons of butter
a good few drops of mint essence

Preheat oven to 90c, mix together the butter and sugar, whisk the eggs, throw them in, mix again, put in the flour and cocoa, throw them in the oven, bake for 15 mins, throw everything in the icing together, mix well and decorate.
Sorry for the hastiness, I just have tons of homework I stupidly left for tonight to do…

Mint chocolate birthday cake

I made this for my grandmother as it was her birthday. I multiplied my brownie recipe by 1.5 and then put it in two cake pans.
I used pre-made fondant to make the roses and the leaves, and I made the buttercream icing from scratch (with an element of failure, notice the ‘chocolate chips’? That was because the icing was too hard to spread and it picked up bits of the cake. then my dad magically thought of using a hairdryer to melt the icing a little. It worked a treat, and then I added green food colouring (too much, of course) to disguise the brown-ness)
Overall it was not too challenging, and only took about 3 hours overall (including baking times)
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Delicious Mince Pies

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These are amazing.
I hate raisins. But I love mince pies. My sister hates raisins, and mince pies, but she loved these mince pies.
They are also vegan. Just saying.
Ingredients:
makes 2 jars, 1 jar has enough for about 12 pies.
160g Raisins
80g Sultanas
60g Butter
110g Brown sugar (or white, whatever works)
1 tsp of cinnamon (or more if you wish)
2 tsp of powdered ginger
Zest and juice of a reasonably large lemon
100ml of apple juice (or orange)

First, measure out the dried fruit, butter, sugar, cinnamon and ginger. put these in a saucepan. (just makes it easier to clean up.)
Zest the lemon before squeezing it. if you only have small lemons, use 2. They give the pies a really delicious flavour
Put the zest in and squeeze the lemon into the saucepan, avoiding letting the pips in. Fishing lemon pips out of sugar is not a nice experience.
Heat the pan gently at first just to melt the butter. Once the butter is melted, and everything is mixed together, pour in the apple juice. It will seem watery at first, but gradually increase the heat. Once it is bubbling, turn off the heat and pour into sterilized jars. when it cools it will solidify a little more.
To make pies, simply spoon the mix into pastry shells and cook for about 8 minutes

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Life… And Excuses.

So where have I been, you may ask?
I am sorry, life has just been busy.
I have been crafting, and baking. Honestly.
But I have an excuse for my sorry deficiency of posting. For one thing, the light is so bad when I get home from school that I cannot photograph anything. The other (and this is for the baking) is that my family has stopped buying sugar. I live off baking. I don’t need sugar much, I’m not addicted to sugar, I don’t even really love sweet things. But I love baking so much, I have not been able to bake for a good while.
I am planning to build a lightbox, which will help, for the photography part. But the whole baking thing will have to be solved by me buying myself a few bags of sugar.

I have my grade 5 piano exam tomorrow. I am taking a day off school to meet some old friends and practice my butt off.
It’s quite odd, that when I think of taking a Tuesday off, I am happy about it (triple Irish… Aughgghaugh), but when I think of taking a day off school, I don’t want to. I got into school at the right time, with the right class. I am so lucky to have got the class I got. I don’t think I would be enjoying school as much as I am if they weren’t there. (if there are any of you guys reading, I have entrusted you with the site details and I am probably an idiot. Sorry.)
My transition from home to school is running surprisingly smoothly. I suppose my school is more of an in between space, as there is a ridiculously small amount of students for a city centre school.
But enough of that.
I promise to have some more posts lined up in the future!

Chocolate Orange Brownie Mousse Pie

Yes.
And it is fluffy, gooey, light, rich, and there is not a huge amount of sugar either.
The pastry crumbles and flakes like no other gluten free pastry (usually) does.
There is a thin crust on top, waiting to be broken into.
This is perfection.
(really easy, one hour in all, one bowl, one grater, one spoon, one fork perfection.)

Recipe:
For the crust:
1/2 cup dairy free butter substitute (preferably salted)
1 cup SELF RAISING (very important) gluten free flour blend
1/4 cup icing sugar
For the filling
4 eggs
2 oranges (or 2 lemons, if lemons use 1/4 cup more sugar)
125g dark chocolate
1 teaspoon of baking powder (also very important)
3 tablespoons of flour

Begin by preheating your oven to 180c, 350f, whichever term you like to stick with.
Mix all the crust ingredients together. I tried using a spoon, but as always happens when I bake pastry, it failed and my hands were in there within the minute.
Press the dough extremely thinly onto the sides and base of your pie dish (if you have some left over, DON’T add it in. you should be able to see the base of the dish through the crust.
Bake that in the oven for 20 minutes, until golden brown.
So then, when the crust is baking, beat all the eggs together in the base of the bowl (preferably the same, to save on washing)
Melt the chocolate in whatever way is most suited to you then add it to the eggs, whisking thoroughly. If you dont whisk the chocolate into the eggs it solidifies into a lump at the bottom of the bowl which is a bit of a nuisance.
Zest both of the oranges, and juice ONE of them. if you juice two it will me more gooey than it already is.
Add that, along with the baking powder and flour.
Pour this gloopy, eggy mixture into the freshly baked pie crust.
Bake for 35 minutes, then take out and let cool in the fridge for 10.
Then enjoy!
Mine was very sloppy at first but hardened nicely to a brownie/moose texture