Oreo Cheesecake

This cheesecake is such a show stopper! Creamy like you’ve never tasted before. Filled with Oreo cookies on an Oreo cookie base. I mean Wow. This Cheesecake is basically my Kryptonite and the wonderful thing about this recipe is that it’s quite straight forward, for the crust you just crush the Oreo cookies with filling and all, add a little melted butter and done.
The filling is really simple too, so creamy and hands down my favourite cheesecake recipe. Unless you don’t want to bake in which case you’d probably be better off with something like this no-bake white chocolate cheesecake with Raspberry swirl , or if you just need a small cheesecake fix you can make these Berry Cheesecake crumble bars instead.
Either way, this cheesecake is thick, rich and dangerously decadent and a must try!

Prep time : 20 min

Baking time : 45-50 min


INGREDIENTS:

• 250 grs / 9 oz / about 22 cookies for crust
• 8 cookies for filling, quartered or roughly chopped
• 3 tbsp. melted butter
• 850 gr. / 3 ¾ cups cream cheese at room temperature
• 3/4 cup sugar
• 2 teaspoon vanilla
• 1 tbsp. all purpose flour
• 3 large eggs plus 1 yolk at room temperature

INSTRUCTIONS: 

1. Heat oven to 350 F / 180 C. Place the cookies for the crust in a resealable plastic bag. Flatten bag to remove excess air, then seal bag. Finely crush cookies by rolling a rolling pin across the bag. Alternatively crush cookies in a food processor by pulsing until completely crumbled. Place in a bowl and add the melted butter, mix well. Press firmly onto bottom of 8 inch/ 20 cm. non-stick spring form pan. Place in the freezer while you make your filling.
2. Beat cream cheese, flour, sugar and vanilla in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until well blended. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating until blended after each addition. Quarter the remaining 8 cookies. Gently stir into cream cheese batter. Pour over prepared crust.
3. Place on a rack in the middle of the oven and bake at 350 F/180 C for the first 20 minutes, then lower the temperature to 320 F / 160 C. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes or until center is almost set. Turn off the oven and open the door just a tiny bit (I put a large wooden spoon in the opening or a folded tea towel), leave the cheesecake in the oven for another hour. This will prevent the cheesecake from cracking*. Cool at room temperature until no longer warm to the touch. Then refrigerate for at least four hours but preferably overnight.
4. When ready to serve, decorate with whipped cream and tiny Oreo cookies if desired. I like to remove the cheesecake one hour before consuming so the cheesecake isn’t too cold.

*the trick to a perfect cheesecake is to NOT remove it from the oven straight after baking, and don’t open the oven door during baking either. This will make it crack. If that does happen any way, it’s not the end of the world, just sprinkle with crushed cookies, or decorate with fruit, Gananche or whipped cream.

Enjoy!
Myra XO

oreocheesecake

berry cheesecake crumble

Berry Cheesecake Crumble Bars

Berry Cheesecake Crumble Bars

These Berry cheesecake crumble bars are an amazing treat. They combine all the things I love in one. Cheesecake being number 1, crumble…because who doesn’t love crumble and obviously the cookie like bottom. And then the layer of juicy fruit. Which of course you can adapt to your favourite fruit.

They are super easy to make and a real crowd pleaser too.

______________________________________________________________________________

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 cup cashew nuts
  • 3 cups oats
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup natural oil or butter
  • 1/2 cup plain sugar or coconut blossom sugar

  • 2 packages (8 oz each) cream cheese, softened and at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose or spelt flour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg at room temperature

————————————————————-

  • 2 cups frozen berries of choice
  • 2 tbsp. corn starch dissolved in two tbsp. water
  • 2 tbsp. sugar (or more to taste)

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C / 350°F . Line an 8-inch baking tray with parchment paper.
  2. In a food processor, combine the nuts, oats, and salt and process until you have a coarse flour. Leave it in the processor.
  3. In a small pot, melt the oil or butter with the sugar over low heat, until the sugar has dissolved.
  4. Pour the wet mixture on top of the oat mixture in the food processor and process until the mixture comes together.
  5. Set aside 1 cup of the crumble mixture for the topping.
  6. Place the remaining oat mixture over the base of the baking tray and push down with your (slightly wet) fingers. Press the dough down tightly. 
  7. Pre bake the crust for 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes.
  8. Meanwhile make the fruit layer by placing the berries in a saucepan and bring to a slow boil over medium heat. Add the corn starch slurry and sugar and cook until thickened. Don’t stir to vigorously , try to leave some berries whole.
  9. Let cool slightly.
  10. Meanwhile, in large bowl, beat cream cheese, sugar, flour, vanilla and egg with electric mixer on medium speed until smooth.
  11. Spread all the cream cheese mixture over the oat base
  12. Spread the slightly cooled fruit in an even layer over the cream cheese.
  13. Crumble the reserved cup of oat mixture evenly over the fruit.
  14. Bake, uncovered, for 25 minutes more, until the topping is lightly golden and firm. Let cool in the pan on a cooling rack for at least an hour, then transfer the pan to the fridge until completely cool and firm (preferably over night). If you can’t wait, put the slightly cooled tray into the freezer for about 30 to 40 minutes. Lift out and slice into squares. Store in an airtight container in the fridge. They freeze well too. 

Enjoy!

Myra XO

perfect chocolate chip cookies

Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies

perfect chocolate chip cookies

There’s a new cookie in town!
These chocolate chip cookies are perfectly soft, chewy, and just all around pretty darn delicious. You’ll never need another cookie recipe again! I’ve made them with Spelt flour and coconut sugar and without butter, does that make them healthy? Let’s say YES.
But really, no. It just doesn’t make them as super unhealthy as regular store-bought cookies. And seriously if you’re gonna be a little naughty, ya better do it right. RIGHT?
And although these do still have some sugar, it’s half of the usual amount. And boy, are they good!  So what are you waiting for go make ’em TODAY!

perfect chocolate chip cookies

TIPS & NOTES!
1. Coconut oil is super healthy!
2. Coconut sugar makes the cookies even chewier and there are also some health benefits in coconut sugar. Coconut sugar contains a fiber known as inulin which helps slow glucose absorption. Coconut sugar also contains small amounts of vitamins and minerals like iron and zinc and phytonutrients.
3. Chill the dough for one hour before baking to prevent the cookies from spreading too much.

perfect chocolate chip cookies

Makes 20
INGREDIENTS:
• 1/4 cup coconut oil, soft-at room temperature
• 1/4 cup baking margarine, soft-at room temperature
• 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp. coconut sugar, tightly packed
• 1 tsp. liquid stevia or more coconut sugar
• 1 large egg (room temperature )
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 1 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp. spelt flour
• 2 teaspoons cornstarch
• 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
• 1/4 teaspoon salt
• 3/4 cup dark chocolate chips

perfect chocolate chip cookies
INSTRUCTIONS:
1. Combine coconut oil and margarine with the sugars in a large bowl. Stir very well.
2. Add egg and stir well.
3. Stir in vanilla extract. Set aside.
4. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together flour, cornstarch, baking soda, and salt.
5. Gradually add flour mixture to wet ingredients — stir well so that all the flour is absorbed.
6. Stir in chocolate chips.
7. Place dough in refrigerator and chill for 30-60 minutes.
8. Pre-heat oven to 177° C / 350° F and prepare cookie sheets by lining with parchment paper.
9. Scoop dough by rounded 1 1/2 Tablespoon onto prepared cookie sheets, placing at least 2″ apart.
10. Bake for 11 to 12 minutes, cookies may still seem slightly soft in the centers, that is OK, they will cook completely on the cookie sheets. Don’t over-bake or your cookies will be too hard.
11. If desired, gently press additional chocolate chips into the tops of the warm cookies.
12. Allow to cool completely. I like to eat them cold from the fridge, they get extra chewy.
Enjoy!
Myra XO

perfect chocolate chip cookies

vegan magnum

Vegan Magnum Ice Cream Bars

This is my healthy take on the decadent Magnum Ice Cream pops. So good and so easy, and a lot healthier than the original, using a cashew and coconut base for the ice cream, date caramel, and a raw cacao shell.

Prep time : 20 minutes plus freezing
Makes : 6


INGREDIENTS ICE CREAM:

  • 1 ¼ cup cashew nuts, raw and soaked preferably overnight, or at least four hours
  • 1 cup full fat coconut milk *
  • 3 tbsp. Light Agave syrup **
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract

INGREDIENTS CARAMEL LAYER:

  • 1 cups pitted Medjool Dates, soaked for 1 hour
  •  2 tbsp. almond butter
  • ¾ – 1 cup unsweetened Almond Milk ***
  • 1/2 tsp. Vanilla extract
  • 1/8 tsp. Himalayan Salt

INGREDIENTS CHOCOLATE LAYER:

  • 1/3 cup coconut oil, melted and cooled back to room temperature
  •  1/3 cup maple syrup or more Agave syrup
  •  1/3 cup (raw) cacao
  •  ½ tsp vanilla extract

INSTRUCTIONS:

Drain the nuts thoroughly, mix all the ingredients for the ice cream in a high speed blender until very smooth. You can add a little more coconut milk if it is too thick.
Pour into ice cream molds and add a wooden stick, freeze for at least 4-5 hours.

Mix the ingredients for the caramel in the high speed blender and blend until you have a thick past. Prepare a tray and cover with cling film or parchment paper.
Remove the ice cream bars from the molds and place them carefully on the lined tray.
With a butter knife or small spatula spread a tablespoon of caramel paste on one side of the ice cream bars and place back on the tray. Keep them in the freezer until you have done each one.
Freeze for an hour and then repeat with the other side.

Make the chocolate;

melt the coconut oil and whisk together with the sweetener, vanilla and cacao. Put the chocolate dip in a mug or other deep glass so you can dip the ice cream pops into the chocolate

Take out the ice cream bars and dip them in chocolate until all covered and lay down on a baking sheet. I also used a spoon to pour the chocolate over the ice cream bars. Sprinkle with some chopped nuts if you like. The chocolate will set immediately so work quickly. Keep them in the freezer, well wrapped.

Enjoy!

Myra XO

*NOTE 1 : do not shake the can of coconut milk before opening and try to scoop out as much of the coconut fat as you can to use for the ice cream, fill up the remainder of the measure with the coconut water.
** NOTE 2: Use more Agave syrup if you like it really sweet.
*** NOTE 3: start with using just ¾ cup of almond milk and look at the consistency. It should be a smooth paste. The more liquid you add, the harder the caramel will freeze. You want the caramel layer gooey.

Peach and Berry Crumble

Since it is pretty much Fall here… yes, this soon. I’m thinking we can all use a little extra comfort.
In the form and shape of crumble, lots of clumpy crunchy comforting lumps of cookie flavoured morsels covering juicy peaches and berries.
To me that is comfort at it’s best.
You can serve it either warm or let it cool and serve it with whipped cream or even ice cream.

It’s simply one of our favourite desserts and we make it all the time with all kinds of fruit, depending on the season, but this particular combo has me running back for more each time, not to mention the cookie like smell coming from the oven during baking.
I actually also love to have this in the morning,  if there are any leftovers and serve it with a dollop of Greek yoghurt. I mean it’s healthy right? Fruit, fibre, yes, I think so.

INGREDIENTS:

Fruit mixture:

2 cups of fresh or frozen berries and/or blueberries
2 -3  roughly chopped fresh peaches, (skin removed)
2 tablespoons honey
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tablespoon flour

Crumble Layer:

1 1/4 cup rolled oats
1 cup (spelt) flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 cup almonds, roughly chopped
pinch of cinnamon
pinch of salt
6 tablespoons almond butter, soft
6 tablespoons cold butter, cut into small piece (or grated)
1/2 cup maple syrup or light brown sugar

Extra:
1 tbsp of butter for pan or baking dish
whipped cream to serve

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Preheat the oven to 350 F / 175 C .

2. Butter a 10-12 inch skillet or a similar baking dish and set a side. This step just adds flavor.

3. Peel the peaches (as best as you can) and remove the stone, cut them into bite size pieces and place them in the skillet.

4. Add the honey and vanilla and stir to combine.

5. Add the raspberries/blueberries and corn starch and stir carefully until all is just combined.

3. To make the topping, combine the oats, flour, cinnamon, almonds, salt and baking powder in a medium-size mixing bowl. Add the maple syrup or brown sugar. Add the butter and almond butter and use your hands to work the butter into the dry ingredients until everything is combined and lumps form. Sprinkle the topping over the fruit.

4. Transfer to the oven and bake for 40 minutes or until the top is golden and bubbling. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly. Serve warm or at room temperature with whipped cream. Enjoy!

XO

Myra

vegan chocolate mocha pie

Vegan Chocolate Mocha Pie

vegan chocolate mocha pie

In for a treat? Guilt free? Let me just go ahead and answer that for you, Yes please…

All things Healthy + Goodness+ Silky deliciousness = Vegan Chocolate Mocha Pie

Math couldn’t get any simpler .

Let me explain something before you get all judgemental about tofu  . There’s tofu and then there’s silk tofu. Silk tofu as the descriptions states is smooth and silky and does NOT have that chalky texture that plain tofu might have. (I don’t think so, but I’ve heard this description before) Mixed into a dessert for instance it becomes a smooth silky mass that can absorb any flavour you add to it, it is quite tasteless on its own but adding, nuts, chocolate or fruit can transform it into flavour heaven.

Since in this recipe I am not using chocolate chips because I want to keep it all natural, I’ve added the cashews to compensate for the lack of fat , which adds even more creaminess to the pie.

It honestly is a Chocolate Dream come true.

The crust is oats, dates, cocoa and coconut oil, simple, healthy and pretty straightforward. You could, some other day perhaps only make the crust recipe and roll it into small balls and serve as is, like Bliss Balls
(just sayin’) .

So put on that apron and let’s get cracking.

Oh , one last thing. Cut into wedges and freeze left overs. Yessssss….

vegan chocolate mocha pie

 


  Prep Time: 15 min. Plus chilling

  Cooking Time :5 minutes

 Serves : 8


INGREDIENTS:

CRUST;

  • 1 C. whole oats, ground to flour
  • 10 medium soft dates, stone removed
  • 2 tbsp. cocoa
  • 2 tbsp. coconut oil

FILLING

  • 1/4 cup unsweetened plain almond milk.
  • 2 tablespoons agar-agar flakes or 2 teaspoons agar-agar powder.
  • 2 teaspoons instant espresso powder.
  • 1 (12-ounce) / 340 gr. package silken tofu, drained
  • 1/2 cup cashew nuts, soaked for 4 hours and drained.
  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup (or more to taste if you like it extra sweet)
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder.
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract.
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt.
vegan chocolate mocha pie

INSTRUCTIONS:

Line a 8″/ 20 cm. cake tin or pie pan with parchment paper. To prepare the crust, combine all the ingredients in a food processor and process until completely fine,   it will be sticky . Transfer the mixture to the lined pan and use your hands to press the dough evenly up the sides of the pan, creating a crust about 1/4-inch thick. The dough is very sticky, so I recommend getting your hands wet with water to help press out the crust.  Place the pan in the freezer to set while you prepare the filling.

Heat the almond milk in a sauce pan and dissolve the agar agar flakes or powder over low heat. As soon as it starts to boil, reduce the heat. Stir well to combine and remove from the heat and allow to cool just slightly (as it will set very fast). Alternatively follow the package instructions of the agar agar.

Drain de cashew nuts and place in the food processor and process until smooth, add tofu, espresso powder, maple syrup, cocoa powder, vanilla extract and salt. Process until completely smooth. Add the agar agar mixture and stir to combine very well.

Pour the filling into the prepared crust. Smooth out the top and place in the refrigerator to set for at least four hours and preferably overnight.

Decorate with (coconut ) whipped cream or fruit if you like, or like these fabulous fake roses 😉

Enjoy !

Myra XO

vegan chocolate mocha pie
the best healthy coffee walnut brownies

The Best Healthy Coffee Walnut Brownies

Prep Time : 5 mins
Cook Time : 25 mins
Total Time : 30 mins

Servings: 16

Ingredients:

• 250 gr. Black Beans, drained
• 1 1/2 tsp. Vanilla
• 2 tsp. Instant Coffee granules
• 2 L. Eggs, room temperature
• 1/2 C. Cocoa
• 1/2 C. Gluten free Flour or All purpose
• 1 1/2 tsp. Baking Powder
• 1/2 tsp. Baking Soda
• 1/4 C. unsweetened apple sauce
• 1/4 C. Canola or neutral oil
• 1 1/2 tsp. Liquid Stevia Extract
• 2 tbsp. Maple Syrup
• 1/3 C. Chocolate Chips, plus extra for sprinkling on top
• 1/3 C. Walnuts, roughly chopped, plus extra for sprinkling on top

the best healthy coffee walnut brownies
Instructions:

Pre heat oven to 180 C / 350 F.
Line a square 20 cm / 8 ” baking tin with parchment paper.
In a food processor add all the ingredients except the chocolate chips and walnuts.
Blend for a few minutes until completely smooth.
Stir in the chocolate chips and walnuts and pour into the prepared baking tin.
Sprinkle with more chocolate chips and some extra walnuts.
Place on a rack in the middle of the oven and bake for about 22 to 25 minutes.
You can insert a wooden skewer to test if they are done, it should come out dry.
Remove from oven and let cool for at least 20 minutes in the tin.
Remove from the tin and let cool completely on a rack before cutting, the colder the better you can cut them.
Will keep in the fridge for up to 5 days

Enjoy!

Myra XO

Cherry Chocolate Chip Bundt Cake

cherry-chocolate-chip-bundt-cake-7

First of all I want to wish you all a very Merry Christmas!

This year we decided to do the food celebration in our home on Christmas Eve, since we won’t be home on Christmas Day.

I am kind of looking forward to having my food prepared for me on Christmas day, I think it might actually be the first time in my life (as an adult) that I am not cooking.

So, on Christmas Eve we are going to have a buffet style dinner  with lots of bites and appetizers and goodies, no real cooking involved and lots of desserts. Of course, lots of desserts.

I am going to put this cake on the table too and I’m kinda hoping there will some left for Christmas morning. Fingers crossed…

It’s a pretty straight forward cake with just some glacé cherries and chocolate chips since kids don’t like to many “things” in their cake.

And the good part is you can make it a day or two in advance.

Ingredients;

  • 1 C. butter, at room temperature and cut into cubes
  • 1 1/4 C. Caster Sugar , packed
  • 3 large eggs at room  temperature
  • 2 C. Self Rising Cake Flour
  • 4 tbsp. Whole Milk
  • 1 tbsp. Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 25 red   Glace Cherries cut in half
  • 1/2 C. Semi-Sweet Chocolate chips
  • 1 tbsp. flour

cherry-chocolate-chip-bundt-cake-1

cherry-chocolate-chip-bundt-cake-3

cherry-chocolate-chip-bundt-cake-4

INSTRUCTIONS:

Pre heat oven to 160° C  / 320° F

Butter your Bundt pan very well and dust with flour. Tap of excess flour.

Beat the butter until light and creamy in the bowl of your mixer.

Add the sugar and beat until pale and fluffy.

Add the eggs one at a time, waiting until fully incorporated before adding the next.

Add the vanilla.

Now add the cake flour in two times alternating with the milk.

Toss the chocolate chips and cherries with the tablespoon of flour, add to the batter. Mix it in with a spatula.

Divide the batter over the Bundt pan and even out with a spatula. Place on a rack, just below the middle in the oven.

Bake for about 60 to 70 minutes,  until a wooden skewer comes out dry.

Remove from oven and let cool on rack for at least 20 minutes before turning over the cake.

Decorate with icing or frosting.

cherry-chocolate-chip-bundt-cake-8

cherry-chocolate-chip-bundt-cake-15

cherry-chocolate-chip-bundt-cake-19

If you try this recipe let me know! Leave a comment below and don’t forget to snap a pic and tag it #thecookingspoonblog on instagram! You’ll make my day.

Not quite what you’re looking for? How about Brownie Cookie Squares with Chocolate Fudge Layer brownie-cookies-squares-43

Oven Baked Churros with thick Spanish Mocha hot Chocolate

churros-with-spanish-mocha-hot-chocolate11

churros-with-spanish-mocha-hot-chocolate21

Churros bring back great childhood memories for me, we used to get them at the weekly market in my village in Spain, they’d be deep fried and sprinkled with lots of cinnamon sugar. Served in a paper cone. Crunchy and warm, and oh so good.

My version is baked instead of fried. Just because it can get a little heavy otherwise and it’s also less calories this way.

Traditionally these are served with hot thick Spanish chocolate but since I love Coffee, I have made us a Mocha Hot Chocolate. Basically the best of both worlds.

I have sprinkled the Churros with a cookie spice mix (pumpkin spice) .

Some people have this even for breakfast but they are great any time of day and even as a dessert .

churros-with-spanish-mocha-hot-chocolate2

Serves 4

Ingredients Churros;

  • ½ cup unsalted butter or cooking margarine
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tbsp. sugar of choice (I use coconut)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 3 eggs at room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 tsp. mixed spice (like pumpkin spice
  • 1/4 C. powdered sugar of choice
  • cooking spray

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 400° F / 200° C

In a medium saucepan combine the butter, salt, sugar and water. Bring to a boil over medium high heat.
Remove from heat add the flour and stir with a spoon to combine. Mixture will thicken…add the vanilla.

Leave dough in the saucepan, but beat it on low with a hand mixer, adding one egg at a time, mixing well before adding another. After adding each egg, the mixture will become wet and glossy, but after mixing on high for a few seconds it will thicken again.

Spoon the dough into a pastry bag fitted with a large star tip. Lightly spray a cookie sheet and pipe 8-inch rows of the dough with at least 1 inch between each Churro.
Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown*, and when a toothpick comes out clean.
Mix spice and sugar in a shallow dish.
Spray Churros lightly with cooking spray, and one at a time, transfer them to the dish and sprinkle with spiced sugar. Serve immediately with Spanish hot Chocolate

churros-with-spanish-mocha-hot-chocolate10

churros-with-spanish-mocha-hot-chocolate22

       

Ingredients Spanish Mocha Hot Chocolate;

  • 1/2 C. hot freshly brewed coffee
  • 3 tbsp. cocoa
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 5 tbsp. coconut sugar or of choice
  • 2 c. full fat milk (or of choice)
  • 2 tbsp. corn starch mixed with a little water
  • Whipped cream to serves
  • golden mini starts to decorate (optional)

Instructions:

Make the cup of coffee and mix in a saucepan with the cocoa, sugar and vanilla. Mix to dissolve sugar and cocoa completely. Add the milk and stir to combine. Heat until just begins to bubble. Add the corn starch slurry and combine well. Keep stirring frequently and heat thru until thickened, for about 5 more minutes.

Pour into cups and serve with whipped cream and dip the Churros in the hot mocha chocolate.

churros-with-spanish-mocha-hot-chocolate15

If you try this recipe let me know! Leave a comment below and don’t forget to snap a pic and tag it #thecookingspoonblog on instagram! You’ll make my day.

Not quite what you’re looking for? How about Cream Cheese Cranberry Chocolate Chip stuffed Cinnamon Rolls or Triple Chocolate Donuts

Chocolate Caramel Birthday Cake

chocolate-caramel-birthday-cake26chocolate-caramel-birthday-cake13chocolate-caramel-birthday-cake8

Every year I ask my daughter what cake she would like for her birthday and the answer is always the same, chocolate.

I can’t even begin to tell how much fun it is to create a cake, a special cake for a special someone. Surprise them and show them through baking how much you care.

This cake has caramel shards on top, that I will explain in detail how to make, then a swiss meringue fudgy caramel buttercream between delicious moist chocolate cake layers. Caramel dripping around the cake.  Then besides the impressive caramel shards  and Unicorn Bark all sorts of chocolate and sweets to make it a decadent feast.

Ingredients Fudgy Caramel:

1 C. plain sugar

3 tbsp. water

1 C. cream

3 tbsp. butter.

1/2 tsp. vanilla

pinch of salt

Method.

In a large pan add the sugar and water, bring to a boil. Cook around 7 minutes, brushing down the sugar crystals that form on the side of the pan with a wet pastry brush. Be careful, sugar is extremely hot!

When the caramel turns light golden remove from the heat, Remove it before it gets too dark because it will continue to cook for a while off the heat. Alternatively use a candy thermometer, when it reaches 180°/356°F remove from heat. Add the butter stirring vigorously with a beater the the cream and vanilla.

The caramel will bubble up like crazy. Stand back, wear long sleeves!!!

Pour into a clean heat proof container. I use a glass weck jar. Cool and store until ready to use. Will keep for about a week.

chocolate-caramel-birthday-cake49

Ingredients Caramel Shards;

1 C. sugar

4 tbsp. water

Method;

Place sugar and water in a pan and cook over medium high heat for about 7-10 minutes or until thermometer reaches 180°/356°F.

Remove from heat and pour onto a baking tray that has been lined with baking parchment. Pour into the desired shape. I pour it into a rectangle like shape so I can break it in to large segments. Let cool for a couple of hours before using.

chocolate-caramel-birthday-cake51

Ingredients Swiss meringue butter cream;

5 large egg whites

1  C.  sugar

2 C.  butter at room temperature cut into little blocks of about a tablespoon
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Method;
Combine egg whites and sugar into the heatproof bowl of a standing mixer set over a pan of simmering water, much like a double boiler.

Whisk constantly until the  sugar has dissolved and reached 160°F on a thermometer, about 15 minutes. Test this by picking some between your thumb and index finger if you don’t have a thermometer, there should be no sugar grains.  Put mixing bowl on the mixer and using the whisk attachment start mixing until mixture cools to room temperature. Begin on low, raising the speed up to medium high. Beat until stiff peaks form, about 10 minutes. Now add your butter, 2 tablespoons at a time.Beating on medium until each addition of butter is added.

Now add your vanilla. Remove the whisk attachment and replace it with your paddle attachment.
Mix with paddle for 2 minutes on low speed working out the air bubbles.

Makes enough frosting to cover and fill one 9.5″ layer cake.

Store airtight in fridge for 3 days.
chocolate-caramel-birthday-cake56
chocolate-caramel-birthday-cake57
Unicorn Bark;
1 C. vanilla white candy melts + 1 tbsp.
edible glitter
Nonpareils
wooden skewers
Method;
Melt the candy melts in a bowl in the microwave at thirty second intervals until melted.
Spread onto a baking sheet covered with parchment paper and form a sort of rectangle.
Sprinkle with the decorations and leave to dry completely.
Break lengthwise into two or three shreds.
Flip them over, melt the remaining tablespoon of candy melts in a little bowl and “glue”on the wooden skewers with the chocolate so you will be able to stick them into the cake.
chocolate-caramel-birthday-cake48
Chocolate Cake;
Yield: 2  10 inch rounds

Ingredients:

butter and cocoa for coating and dusting the cake pan

3 C.  All Purpose Flour

3 C. Granulated Sugar

1½ C.  Unsweetened Cocoa

1 tbsp. Baking Soda

1½ tsp. Baking Powder

1 tsp. salt

4 large eggs

1½ C.  buttermilk

1½ C.  warm water

½ C.   Vegetable Oil

1 tsp. Pure Vanilla Extract
Method:

Preheat oven to 175°/350° degrees.

Butter two 10 inch cake rounds. Dust with cocoa and tap out the excess.

Mix together flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a stand mixer using a low speed until combined.

In a seperate bowl beat the eggs and combine with the buttermilk, warm water, oil, and vanilla.

Add wet to dry. Beat on a medium speed until smooth. This should take just a couple of minutes.

Divide batter among the two pans.

Bake for about 35 minutes until the cake meets the toothpick test (stick a toothpick in and it comes out clean).

Cool on wire racks for 15 minutes and then turn out the cakes onto the racks and allow to cool completely.

Caramel Buttercream frosting (filling);
Mix one cup caramel fudge sauce with one cup buttercream, whip until well combined.
chocolate-caramel-birthday-cake11chocolate-caramel-birthday-cake12chocolate-caramel-birthday-cake8
Assembling and decorating the cake;
 Place a little dab of buttercream on a cake round and place the first cake layer on it. Level the cake with a serrated knife or a cake cutter. Level the other cake layer as well.
Spread with the caramel filling and place the second layer of cake on it. Press a little bit.
Now cover the entire cake with a very thin layer of the Swiss meringue buttercream and place in the fridge for half an hour. After this time cover the cake with an other layer of the buttercream, smoothing it out completely.
Dab some pink food coloring here and there and with your scraper just go alongside the cake to spread out and smooth.
Decorate the cake with the shards of caramel,  the Unicorn Bark and all the pretty Nonpareils you feel like. Let yourself go and use your vivid imaginations.
Note: I used a dummy to make the cake look twice as high, you can get one online.

chocolate-caramel-birthday-cake37

chocolate-caramel-birthday-cake38