Category Archives: Baking

Caramel Chestnut Cream Cheese Crumble Bars.

Chestnut cream cheese crumble bars.

Caramel Chestnut cream cheese crumble bars.

For the ultimate sweet treat, try these Chestnut cream cheese crumble bars; a sweet nutty cookie base is topped with an unctuous chestnut cream cheese mixture, some puddles of white chocolate and more lumpy crunchy crumble on top. And in case that wasn’t enough,  a caramel drizzle on top.
The nuttiness is elevated by adding toasted Pecans in the crumble. I love these as an afternoon snack with a cup of tea or as a dessert. Chestnuts are so delicious and pair very well with savoury and sweet.
They’re a breeze to make; first you toast your pecans, then to a food processor add all the dry ingredients and pulse, including the pecans, then you add your wet ingredients (including a can of cooked chestnuts) and pulse again. You spread out 2/3 of the crumble onto a cookie sheet and pre bake the base. You make the filling and spread on top, covered by the remaining crumble and bake. That easy. The caramel drizzle is added once the bars have cooled and are cut into squares. So simple, right?
Lusciously decadent but oh so good.

The ingredients are very straight forward, oats (any kind will do), flour, pecans, cream cheese, cooked chestnuts, sugar, butter and some white chocolate chips….

INGREDIENTS:

Crumble:

  • 2 cups / 200 gr. oats (any kind)
  • 1 cup / 120 gr. all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup / 30 gr. toasted pecan halves
  • 2/3 cups / 140 gr. butter
  • 1/4 cup / 50 gr coconut sugar
  • 1/4 cup / 60 gr maple syrup
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon

Filling:

  • 1 cup / 200 gr cooked chestnut drained* (see note)
  • 1 cup / 200 gr cream cheese at room temperature
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup / 60 gr maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup / 50 gr white chocolate chips (more or less)

TOP:

  • Pecans
  • 1/4 – 1/3 cup / 60-70 gr ready made caramel from jar or similar

INSTRUCTIONS:

Pre heat your oven to 350 F / 180 C. Line a 8″x 8″/ 20cmx20cm baking tin.

Toast your in pecans in a dry pan until lightly golden. Transfer to a food processor, add the flour and oats and pulse until very fine crumb. Next add the butter, sugar, maple syrup, vanilla and cinnamon. Run the processor until it comes together and when you take a bit of crumb between your thumb and index finger , it should stick together. Add a little bit of water if it’s still to crumbly.

Press 2/3 of the crumb mixture into the prepared pan and pierce with a fork a few times. Bake for 10 minutes at 350F/180 C.

Meanwhile make the filling. Wipe the food processor clean with a paper towel, and add the chestnuts. Run the processor until the chestnuts are very fine. Next add the cream cheese, vanilla and maple syrup. Process until creamy. Add the white chocolate chips and pulse just once or twice to combine. Spread the filling over the base, and top with the remainder of the crumb mixture. Scatter with some pecans. Place back into the oven and bake for 20 minutes.

Remove from oven and let cool completely. Cut into 16 squares and drizzle with the caramel.

Enjoy!

NOTE: the chestnuts usually come in a tin or in packs, either one is fine as long as they are cooked and drained. Even fresh ones cooked at home is fine too.

If you make this recipe please be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! I love hearing from you.  And please don’t forget to tag me on Instagram so I can see your creations!

Apple Blueberry Maple-Cashew Crumble

With the temperature finally dropping we are really getting in the mood for more comfort food, like this cozy Apple Blueberry Maple Cashew Crumble. This healthy version is made with maple syrup instead of sugar and there’s no butter involved. I have used cashew nuts instead that I blend to a paste, it gives the crumble a nice nutty creamy flavour. The result is so, so good that I don’t think I’ll ever do it any other way.
And since it’s pretty healthy you can even have this for breakfast with a dollop of Greek Yoghurt.
I’ve used frozen blueberries for this recipe because they hold their shape better.
If you can, it is best to soak the nuts for an hour or two, but if you don’t have time to do that, just add two tablespoons of water to the nuts before blending them, this will help them on their way.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 Large Apples
  • 1 cup frozen blueberries
  • 1 tbsp. flour
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp. Maple syrup, for the fruit
  • 1 cup cashew nuts soaked
  • 2 tbsp. soft (coconut) butter
  • 2 1/2 cups oats
  • A pinch of salt
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/2 cup Maple Syrup, for the crumble

METHOD:

  1. Pre heat the oven to 160° C / 320° F
  2. Start by soaking the cashew nuts for about 1 to 2 hours.
  3. Put the oats and salt in a food processor and pulse until it’s flour.
  4. Remove to a bowl.
  5. Drain and blend the cashew nuts in a food processor with the coconut oil until it’s a paste. Add a little water if necessary.
  6. Add maple syrup and vanilla.
  7. Add the oats back to the food processor and pulse to just mixed to a crumble, set aside.
  8. Meanwhile peel the apples, remove the cores and chop them.
  9. Place in a backing dish that you have buttered lightly.
  10. Add the blueberries.
  11. Sprinkle over the flour, cinnamon and the one tablespoon maple syrup and toss to mix.
  12. Scatter the crumble over the fruit.
  13. Place the dish in the oven and bake for about 30-35 minutes or until golden brown on top.
  14. Remove from oven and let it rest for 5 to 10 minutes.
  15. Serve with (half ) whipped cream.


Enjoy!

Healthy Chocolate Chip Blondies

Healthy Blondies? I know, it’s hard to believe right? Although they do have a tiny little drizzle of white chocolate on top, a microscopic amount of sprinkles and a few choccy chips they are still super healthy. I swapped out butter for cashew nuts, the flour for white beans and the refined sugar for agave syrup and coconut sugar. It works perfectly, I always make healthy brownies and honestly I think they taste better than the regular sugar and fat laden brownies. Here are some of my favourites;

As you can see, the possibilities are endless. I make these Healthy Chocolate Chip Blondies in a food processor, it works great and gets the smooth texture just right and more importantly… it saves cleaning up, so it could not be more simple. Just remember to soak your cashew nuts a few hours in advance for easy blending.

Makes 16 squares
Needed: 8 x 8 inch baking dish

INGREDIENTS:

• 1 1/2 C. cooked white beans from a can, drained
• 1/2 C. soaked Cashew nuts
• 2 large eggs
• 11/2 tsp. baking powder
• 1/2 tsp. baking soda
• a pinch of salt
• 1/4 C. coconut sugar
• 1/2 C. agave syrup
• 1 C. flour (you can use spelt, oat or whole wheat)*
• 1 tbsp. vanilla extract
• 1/2 C. chocolate chips (vegan)

FROSTING;
• 3/4 C. cooked white beans
• 1 C. soaked Cashew nuts
• 1 tsp. Vanilla extract
• 2 tsp. Agave syrup

EXTRA:
• 1/4 C. white chocolate melts (or vegan white chocolate)
• sprinkles


METHOD:
1. Pre heat the oven to 180° C / 350° F
2. Line a baking dish with baking parchment and oil lightly.
3. Soak the cashew nuts in advance for a about two hours. Drain before use.

4. Place white beans and cashew nuts in a food processor and blend until completely smooth.
5. Add the remaining ingredients and blend again. * Depending on the flour type you use you may need to add a splash of milk (of choice).
6. Add the chocolate chips and stir thru with a spatula.
7. Pour the Blondies batter into the prepared baking dish, level out with a spatula.
8. Bake for 25-30 minutes
9. Remove from oven and let completely before frosting.
TO MAKE THE FROSTING:
1. Blend all the ingredients for the frosting in a blender until completely smooth.
2. Keep in the fridge until ready to use.
TO DECORATE:
1. Spread frosting over the bars. (I do this after cutting them in squares).
2. Then melt the white chocolate melts in the microwave at 30 second intervals and drizzle diagonally over the frosting.
3. Decorate with sprinkles straight away so they stick to the chocolate.

Enjoy!

Strawberry Cheesecake mini Pies

Simple Strawberry Cheesecake mini Pies, are made with fresh strawberries, a quick cheesecake filling and brushed with a strawberry glaze. They come together in minutes and are so delicious.

You only have to bake the Pastry shells and the rest is done in a jiffy. I have used my Super Simple Pastry dough recipe, so once the shells are baked and cooled you just spread some cheesecake filling on top and layer with fresh strawberries. The shells could be baked the day before and stored in an air-tight container.
Serve as a dessert, snack or at parties. These are always great!

The pastry crust is a no-brainer and you can find the recipe here.

Makes 6 small tarts or one medium 20 cm / 8 inch


INGREDIENTS:

1 recipe super simple pastry crust, prepared all the way.
3 cups fresh Strawberries
2 tubs of cream cheese (400 gr/ about 1 3/4 cups)
3 tbsp. of milk of choice for loosening up the cream cheese
50 grams/ 1/2 cup confectioners sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3 tbsp strawberry jam diluted with water for drizzling on top, or honey.

INSTRUCTIONS:

Remove the crown from the Strawberries and cut them in half.
Place the cream cheese in a bowl and beat until soft, adding the milk to get to process started, add the vanilla extract and the confectioners sugar. Beat until combined and fluffy.
Spread 1/6th of the cream cheese filling in each mini pie, place some strawberries on top.
Mix the strawberry jam with a tablespoon or two of water and drizzle the glaze over the strawberries. You could also drizzle with some honey instead. Assemble the mini pies close to serving time, since the pastry shells might soften if you leave them filled overnight. Serve with whipped cream (optional).

Enjoy!

Quick Quiche with Ham, Broccoli, caramelized Onions and Basil

Quiche ham broccoli

This recipe for a super quick and easy Quiche is one of those recipes you’ll make time and time again.  I love a good fool-proof recipe that you can have on the table in 30 minutes or less.  Add a salad and voila, dinner is served.
I have made this Quiche with pre rolled ready made Puff pastry, which I consider a freezer/pantry essential. So this really comes together in no-time. You can vary the ingredients according to what you have (leftover) in your fridge too, should you not have ham or Broccoli.  Think seafood, meat, poultry, veggies,  cold cuts, you name it. In fact it’s a great way to use up your leftovers.  But for now, this is one of our favourite combos. Try it, you’ll see why.

INGREDIENTS:

1 Sheet ready made puff pastry
2 cups broccoli florets
4 oz/ 100 gr. cooked ham
4 oz./100 gr. grated cheese
2 medium onions
Some olive oil or butter
2 tsp. honey
Salt and pepper
A handful of fresh Basil
1 cup light cream
4 eggs

Quiche ham broccoli

INSTRUCTIONS:

Begin by defrosting your puff pastry if it is frozen.
Pre heat oven to 180C/350F.
Next, peel the onions, slice in half and cut into half rings.
Heat a frying pan to medium heat, add the butter or oil.  Add the onions and cook for 5 minutes,  add the honey and cook for a few more minutes or until golden brown.  Remove from heat and set aside.
Meanwhile cut broccoli into florets and steam in microwave for 3 minutes or in a pan of boiling water,  make sure to drain very well after so that there is no extra water.
Cut ham into cubes,or slice thinly.
Line a baking tin, about 8×8 inch/ 20×20 cm or 9×9 inch/22x22cm. with parchment paper.
Place the puff pastry in the tin making sure you go up the sides as well.
Divide onions, ham, broccoli and basil (reserve some for decorating) over the crust.
In a bowl beat the eggs with the cream, season generously and pour over the filling. Sprinkle  the cheese over the top. 
Bake in the middle of the oven for 30 -35 minutes or until set when you tap the side of the tin. It should wiggle just a tiny bit in the middle.
Serve immediately.
Enjoy!