Individual Mini Black Forest Cakes

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I have a book called “The best – ever book of cakes” written by Ann Nicol. It’s big, it’s lovely, and full with great recipes of all sorts, yet I only baked twice from it. First time 3 years ago, just one day before my due date with my youngest daughter, and now for the second time, when my little girl is almost 3. Both times the same recipe, the Black Forest Gateau. The only changes I made was that this time I made mini cakes instead of one large. More time consuming, but totally worth it. I have a post about my large cake from 3 years ago, but I wasn’t in the mood to copy down the recipe from the book back then (baby anxiety, I guess), but I’ll do it this time, because I really think that this recipe worth the trouble.

 

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Ingredients:
-75 g melted butter
-5 eggs
-175 g caster sugar
-50 g flour, sifted
-50 g unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
Filling and topping:
-6 Tbsp Kirsch
-600 ml double cream
-425 g can black cherries, drained, pitted and chopped
Decoration:
-plain chocolate curls or shreds
-fresh cherries with stems
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Method:
Preheat the oven. Grease and line a large tray bake tin with baking paper. If you make a round cake then use two 20 cm/8in round deep cake tins.
Put the egg and sugar in a large bowl and beat with an electric mixer for about 10 minutes, or until the mixture is thick and pale and leaves a trail when the beaters are lifted.
Sift together the flour and cocoa powder, then sift again into the whisked mixture. Fold in gently using a metal spoon and a figure-of-eight motion.
Slowly pour in the cooled melted butter and fold in gently.
Pour the batter into the prepared tin, or tins, and smooth level. Bake for 30 minutes, until springy to the touch.
Leave in the tin for 5 minutes, then turn out on a wire rack to cool. Peel off the lining paper.
I used a 6 cm diameter cooking ring/cutter to cut out my mini cake layers. If you bake one large cake, then cut each round cake in half horizontally, so you’ll end up with four layers of cake. Sprinkle evenly with the Kirsch.
In a large bowl, whip the cream until it holds soft peaks. The original recipe tells you to mix the chopped, drained cherries into the whipped cream, but I just put the cherries first on the cake then I put the cream on top. And I did this on every little cake layer before I stacked them.
Finish off with a layer of whipped cream on the sides and on the top. Decorate with chocolate curls. My chocolate curls were not chocolate curls at all, I only made flakes using a vegetable peeler, and since the chocolate started to melt in my hands, they were not exactly what I had in mind, but maybe next time they will turn out better.
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Valentines Day Red Velvet Cheesecake for Two

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Here’s my Valentines Day treat for the family, although we don’t care much about Valentines Day at all. Anyways, as red is one of my favourite colours I was happy to make something to suit this day.

 

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Red velvet cake also fits perfectly, but since lately I was so much into cheesecakes, I thought of combining them into one desert.
This cheesecake though is a bit different from the others I made before. This one is a baked cheesecake, and has eggs as well.
Oh, and is really yummy!
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Ingredients
For the base:
-2 pack of original Oreos biscuits
-50 gr melted butter
For the filling:
-3 pack light Mascarpone cream cheese
-lots of red food colour gel paste
-1 egg
-2 Tbsp sour cream
-1 cup white sugar
-4 Tbsp unsweetened Cocoa powder
-2 tsp vanilla extract
For the icing:
-300 ml double cream
-2 Tbsp powder sugar
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Method
Preheat the oven. Lightly grease the cheesecake pan with butter.
Crush the biscuits using a rolling pin or a food processor. In a bowl mix the biscuit
crumbs and the melted butter, then divide evenly in the mini cheesecake pan. With this recipe I got 10 mini cheesecakes of the size 3 inches in diameter. Press down the crust, then bake it for about 5 minutes.
In a large bowl beat the Mascarpone with powder sugar, adding the vanilla, sour cream, cocoa powder, red colour paste, finally the egg.
Fill the cheesecake pan evenly up to 3/4 full, and smooth the top. Bake for 15-20 minutes.
Let it cool in the pan completely, then cover with cling film and put in the fridge for overnight. Again, I had to argue with my husband about eating or not eating the cheesecakes before the night even started…..eventually I manged to keep him away until next morning.
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Before serving, take them out form the fridge, and carefully push them out from the pan before putting any whipped cream on top.
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Matcha Green Tea Mini Cheesecakes with Double Chocolate Oreos and Coconut Cream Cheese

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I’ve been playing with the idea of using Matcha in my recipes for a long time. But I didn’t rushed things because knowing that Matcha is such a special ingredient which will define substantially the taste and the look of anything I make, I tried to figure out what exactly should I make.

 

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I got my first batch of matcha from my Japanese friends, and tasting it, I instantly loved it. I could get used to eat or drink it regularly, if only would be cheaper.

 

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Finally, I came to the conclusion that cheese cake would be the perfect choice, because it will restore not only the real taste, but the vibrant, healthy green colour of the Matcha as well. Not to mention, that no baking opposed to baking is always a winner ūüôā

 

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I looked up many Matcha recipes. Even though there are hundreds of them out there, I ended up making my own version of matcha cheesecake. I pinched something from here, something else from there, and the final results are Matcha cheesecake with double chocolate oreos and coconut cream cheese.

 

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I only made 6 mini cheesecakes.

Ingredients: 

-200 gr double chocolate oreos
-50 gr melted butter
-500 gr Mascarpone cream cheese
-thick coconut cream (I used the Natco coconut milk, and I only used the thick cream from the upper half of the can, so I didn’t mixed it)
-200 ml double cream
-powder sugar (maybe 2 Tbsp, but depends on your personal taste)
-1 Tbsp Matcha powder
crushed¬†Oreos (optional, but I wanted to have a “dirty” effect, and also the Oreo crumbs tasted good in the cream)
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Method:
1. Crush the Oreos, with the filling left in them, then mix it with the melted butter.
2. Divide evenly in the mini cheesecake pan, then press down firmly. Put in the fridge for about 1 hour.
3. In a mixing bowl, mix the Mascarpone with powder sugar, matcha powder, coconut cream and double cream. Finally stir in the Oreos crumbs.
4. Divide evenly on top of the firm biscuit base, smooth the top, then put back in the fridge for overnight.
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Earl Grey Cupcakes With Honey Lemon Buttercream

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Cup of tea turned into a slice of cake. Hm…..

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Surfing the net for inspiration, I came across a black tea cake. The pictures, the writing got me instantly, and I knew I had to make it happen. The recipe was haunting me for few weeks until I finally decided to give it a try.

 

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I am not a tea drinker, hence my hesitation. Needles to say, my first thing in the morning is to brew a fresh cup of coffee while I warm the milk for the kids. So, I am a coffee lover, and not for the need of caffeine, because I drink decaff most of the time, but purely for the love of the coffee, the taste. I’m not a morning person either, but that first sip of a good coffee makes it all better.

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But, let’s turn back to the tea now. As I said, I saw this cake on the net, and caught¬†my attention immediately. I do not keep black tea at home at the moment, all we have is a few green teas, and we always have peppermint tea, because that is what I like to drink if I don’t feel well. With honey and lemon, of course. Now, that’s the other thing. Whenever I do drink tea, for any reason, it must be served with honey and lemon. With all do respect for the country I live in, I could not drink the tea with milk. It’s a definite no, no from me. Sorry, guys. But, good thing we’re all different, right? Anyways, this cake here is for you, nice tea lover people! Enjoy! I know, I did!

 

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About the recipe. I had some problems with the original recipe, specially with the given measurements, mostly the quantity of sugar used. Eventually I did use as stated, but I was right to assume that this cake will be sweet. And I mean, too sweet, for me anyway. I never put so much sugar, and even though I added fresh lemon zest to this recipe, and lemon juice in the frosting, it was still too sweet for me. So, be aware if you decide to bake it, or use less sugar. I will probably bake it again, and I will adjust the sweetness more to my personal taste. Also, if you follow me, you know that I usually don’t frost my cakes with buttercream, so there comes even more sugar. In the future I will ice this cake with a different frosting, I’m thinking a lemon cream cheese would be perfect…..Nevertheless, this cake was delicious enough to evaporate within 1,5 days from the kitchen, and I had my more than fair share of it…..me, the nonteadrinker-and-toosweetforme….. Well…..

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The tea used in the original recipe was PG black tea, I choose Earl Grey, the Decaff version, so kids could also eat without problem. The smell of this tea is really nice, and as opposed to the PG, at least I know this tastes lovely, whilst the PG I never tried, so I can’t relate to that.

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I made a three layer mini cake in my 5 inch cake pans, and I had leftover batter for 5 cupcakes.
The recipe was using grams and millilitres, but also gave the quantities in cups, which was very confusing and I found it being inaccurate, probably because not all cups measure the same amount, so I choose to only look at the grams and millilitres.

 

Ingredients:

-235 ml milk

-content of 3 tea bags

-55 gr butter at room temperature

-220 gr brown sugar (wohoo….see, told you!)

-2 eggs

-1/4 cup vegetable oil

-1 tsp vanilla extract

-zest of 1 lemon

-175 gr flour

-1+1/2 tsp baking powder

-1/2 tsp baking soda

-1/2 tsp salt

Honey-lemon buttercream:

-125 gr butter at room temperature

-3 Tbsp honey

-250 gr powder sugar (oh, boy, have mercy!)

-fresh lemon juice (depending on personal taste, but be careful, because adding too much liquid will result in needing more sugar to keep the buttercream in good consistency)

-pinch of salt

 

Method:

1. Preheat the oven, then grease the cake pans. If you only make cupcakes, put the cupcake cases in the cupcake pan, you will have about 15 cupcakes, depending of the size.

2. Warm the milk until almost boiling, and add the tea. Cut the bags open and stir the tea powder directly into the milk. Let it cool down.

3. In a bowl beat together the butter and the sugar. (It will not get light and fluffy because not enough butter and too much sugar, but when adding the eggs, the batter will get better.)

4. Add the egg, one at a time, and beating after each addition. Beat in the oil and vanilla, too.

5. Stir in the flour mix (flour+salt+baking powder+baking soda).

6. Pour the milk and stir only until all is perfectly combined, but don’t over mix.

7. Transfer the batter in the prepared pan and bake for about 30 minutes. After baking, let the cakes cool before icing.

8. Beat the butter and honey until smooth and creamy, add the salt and start adding gradually the powder sugar and lemon juice. Keep on like this until you are satisfied with the taste and consistency.

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Mini Strawberry Cheesecakes

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As I promised few weeks ago, here they are. My husband’s absolute favourite, the strawberry cheesecake.

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I found the recipe on Good Food, and as the original recipe is for one large cake, I only made some minor adaptation to it (basically using more biscuits, mascarpone and double cream) and transformed the recipe into 12 mini cheesecakes.
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I highly recommend this particular strawberry cheesecake recipe to any cheesecake lovers out there.
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The only downside to this cakes is the overnight chilling time, it is always a hard job to keep the family (yes, by family I mean my husband and him alone) away from the fridge long enough until it sets properly.
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Ingredients:
-300 gr digestives biscuits
-100 gr melted butter
-750 gr (3 pack) Mascarpone soft cheese
-2 tsp vanilla extract
-100 gr icing sugar
-300 ml double cream
-lemon zest (optional)
-400 gr strawberries
-25 gr icing sugar
Method:
1. Butter the mini cheesecake pan in every hole, or use cupcake cases, like I did here.
2. Put the biscuits in a food processor or plastic food bag and crush to crumbs using a rolling pin. Transfer the crumbs to a bowl, then pour over the melted butter. Can be melted in the microwave.
Mix thoroughly until the crumbs are completely coated. Spoon them into the prepared tin and press firmly down into the base to create an even layer. To do this I used the edge of my rolling pin. Chill in the fridge for about 1 hour to set firmly.
3. Make the filling by mixing the cream cheese and vanilla and 100 gr sugar, then using an electric mixer add the double cream and beat only until is completely combined.
4. Scoop the cream mixture on top of the biscuit base. I used a piping bag to do this. Now smooth the top of the cheesecake down with the back of a dessert spoon or spatula. Leave to set in the fridge overnight. Yeah, this is the hard part…..
5. Next day, or about half hour before serving the cheesecakes, make the topping, and also remove the cheesecakes from the fridge to adjust to room temperature.
6. Puree the strawberries in a blender or food processor with 25 gr icing sugar. If you like, leave a few good ones to decorate. Pour the fresh strawberry pure on your mini cheesecakes.
7. Enjoy! 100% satisfaction is fully guarantied! ūüôā
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Mini Orange Cheesecakes

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I want to share with you today one of the most interesting recipe I made lately.
I bought a new Mini Cheesecake pan recently and I was eager to try it. We just love cheesecakes, our favourite is the strawberry so far, but we don’t want to stop here, (well, I don’t want to, because my husband would be happy to stuck with it forever), and I’m always looking for new flavours and tastes to try. Funny thing though, I haven’t posted any of my strawberry cheesecakes yet, something that will need to be fixed in the near future for sure.
 
 
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Anyways, this time I chose to make Orange Cheesecakes, and the idea came when I saw a pack of Orange and Chocolate flavour Mcvitie’s Digestive biscuits at the supermarket, the ones that have¬†one side coated with¬†chocolate.
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Turns out, it was a very good choice! The chocolate-orange biscuits as a base for this cheesecake added an extra richness and complimented the topping perfectly!
Ingredients:
 
-400 gr Orange-Chocolate digestives biscuits
-100 gr melted butter
-750 gr (3 pack) Mascarpone soft cheese
-2 tsp vanilla essence or 1 vanilla pod
-100 gr icing sugar
-300 ml double cream
-lemon zest (optional)
-a few small to medium size oranges
-1 cup brown sugar
-3/4 cup water
-fresh lemon juice
 
 
Method:
1. Butter the mini cheesecake pan in every hole.
2. Put the biscuits in a food processor or plastic food bag and crush to crumbs using a rolling pin. Transfer the crumbs to a bowl, then pour over the melted butter. Can be melted in the microwave.
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Mix thoroughly until the crumbs are completely coated. Spoon them into the prepared tin and press firmly down into the base to create an even layer. To do this I used the edge of my rolling pin. Chill in the fridge for about 1 hour to set firmly.
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3. Make the filling by mixing the cream cheese and vanilla and sugar, then using an electric mixer add the double cream and beat until is completely combined.
4. Scoop the cream mixture on top of the biscuit base. I used a piping bag to do this.
 
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Now, smooth the top of the cheesecakes down with the back of a dessert spoon or a spatula. Leave to set in the fridge overnight.
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5. Next day, or about 1 hour before serving the cheesecakes, make the topping, and also remove the cheesecakes from the fridge to adjust to room temperature.
With a sharp knife, slice orange into thin rounds , discarding the seeds.
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In a deep frying pan or pot over medium-high heat, stir sugar, 3/4 cup water, and lemon juice until sugar is dissolved. Add orange slices and bring to a simmer. Cover and simmer 5 minutes. Uncover and simmer gently, keeping slices in a single layer and turning occasionally, until they’re slightly candied and translucent and liquid has consistency of a thin syrup (about 20 minutes), there should be about 1/2 cup liquid in pan. Let it cool in the pan. Cover and chill at least 15 minutes.
 
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6. Place an orange slice on top of each individual cheesecake and drizzle some syrup on top as well. Alternatively, just drizzle the orange syrup on top of the cake and place a slice of orange next to it.
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Raspberry Cream Cheese Cakes

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Recently I bought three little cake tins and this is how I tested them. They worked perfectly so I am more than happy with my purchase.

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I made a chocolate sponge and to fill the cakes I whipped 300 ml Double cream with a pack of Mascarpone cream cheese and few tablespoon of Raspberry conserve. I also put in the middle a layer of natural whipped Double cream.

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For decoration I used artificial flowers, which saved me a good amount of time….again ūüôā I usually have fresh, real flowers in my kitchen, but not this time.

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Coffee And Walnuts Mini Cakes

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There is a lovely magazine called Daphne’s Diary where I found these pumpkins. I enjoyed cutting out and putting them together.

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Since lately I don’t make cake toppers from fondant too often (which means less sugar intake for my kids, so overall is not a bad thing), I thought I will use the pumpkins on something because they compliment autumn so well.

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Now about the cake. For a change I didn’t bake these, but bought a finest quality Coffee and Walnut cake from the store and using a round food ring I cut out four identical mini cakes and placed the paper pumpkins on top. I chose coffee and walnut cake because the flavour and colours fits this season perfectly.

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Gerbaud Cupcakes – Authentic Hungarian Zserbo transferred into cupcakes

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Hmm… this cake, THIS cake is my top nr.1 of ALL the cakes I have ever had in my life. No kidding here, honestly the Gerbaud (Zserbo) is my all times favourite. I know it from ever, my Mum makes it every year, for every special occasion, and sometime she just makes is because I ask her ūüôā It’s moist, it’s full of flavours, it’s the best! Unfortunately not everybody can make it right, I had tasted here and there the Gerbaud which did not come even close to what I was used to, but it’s not a difficult cake to make. I think the secret to a really good Gerbaud is quality ingredients and generosity. So, if anyone fancy to have a go, please take my advise and don’t try to be cheap on this cake, because you will end up disappointed.

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I made these weeks ago in June, when my Mum was visiting us. I couldn’t post it sooner though for several reasons. One is that my laptop broke down, and for the time being we share another computer with the family. Then it’s summer holiday, and we’ve been away for weeks. Also the old oven broke down, we replaced it with a new one, but so far I’m not too happy with it…..

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So, the original Gerbaud is a tray bake cake. But, since I’m into cupcakes most of the time I was planing to try to make it as individual mini cake for a long time. You can find lots of Gerbaud cupcakes on the Internet (well actually you will find Zserbo Muffins), as this is a traditional Hungarian cake and many had tried to bake a cupcake from it, but I must say these attempts doesn’t even come close to the original recipe. You can not bake Gerbaud by mixing few ingredients into a bowl then pour it in the cupcake cases. You just can’t! Trust me on this.
You need to make a daugh first adding yeast and let it rise in a warm place. Then roll out and make the layers. I used cookie cutters to make my mini cake layers, and I put 3 layers in each cupcake. Between these layers you add the filling, which is a generous amount of ground walnut and apricot jam! The top layer stayes naked and you finish the cupcakes with melted dark chocolate. Yeah….good guess, it took me some time (but my Mum was helping me)!
Ingredients:
To make the daugh:
-500 g flour
-200 g vaj butter (cold, from the fridge)
-2 egg yolks
-1 full egg
-2 g of fresh yeast
-2 tbls of lukewarm milk
-pinch of salt
-2 tbls of sugar
 
To make the filling:
-250 g ground walnuts
-2 tbls of sugar
-zest of 1 lemon 
apricot jam (at least 1 jar)
-200 g of dark chocolate on top
 
 
Method:
 
Make the daugh by cutting the butter into small cubes and work it into the flour. 
Dissolve the yeast with 2 tbls of sugar and milk, and let it rise. Then add it to the flour together with the eggs. Knead it then place it in a bowl and cover it with a clean cloth, and let it rise for about 30 minutes. In the meantime mix the walnuts with the sugar and add some lemon zest. This is optional, but in my opinion lemon zest works like magic here! (As a matter of fact you can add vanilla or raisins to the walnuts too, if you like.)
 
When it’s done divide the daugh into 3 equal parts. Take the first part, roll it and cut the circles with a cookie cutter. Place the first layers into the cupcake cases.¬†
Spread the first layer of jam, then sprinkle the first layer of walnuts too. Remember to be generous with the jam and the walnuts.
You follow with the second layers of daugh, jam and walnuts, then put the last layer of daugh.
Bake it, then let it cool completely before coting with melted dark chocolate.
I actually made step-by-step photos to this cake, but my laptop has broken down since, and I have no access to the content at the moment, but I hope I can add them later.
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