Degustabox Review – Foodies’ Surprise Box of Delights

degustabox surprise food parcel

I love knowing that I’m going to get a treat – who doesn’t like nice surprises? I’m working with Degustabox for the next couple of months to help promote their secret food boxes. Each month, recipients get a selection of food – the intrigue is that you never know what you will get.

I received my first box a couple of weeks ago for the October batch. I really wasn’t sure what to expect (and secretly hoped I wouldn’t get a load of rubbish to fill my already bulging cupboards!) Here’s what I got:

sweet chilli dipping sauce

Blue Dragon Original Sweet Chilli Sauce – I can’t tell you how many bottles of this, we will get through this Christmas.

What we do with it: Dips for all manner of battered nibbles, spring rolls, prawn crackers and even my coconut battered prawns

degustabox products

Solo Toasted Marshmallow Creme

What we do with it: I can feel another Battenburg coming on with this as the filling – Or maybe just straight off a spoon!

Jelly Belly Jellybeans

What we do with it: Apart from the most obvious game of guess the flavour, these make cracking speedy cupcake decorations or even all over a frosted cake.

Kelloggs’ Special K Barbeque Cracker Crisps

The Salt & Vinegar flavour packs of these are my most favourite low fat alternatives to crisps ever! I don’t feel cheated or am left wanting more (probably because the bags are huge). The barbecue flavour are just as strong and flavourful – perfect snack for after my 5 mile walk next week!

Alpha Bites Bear Cereal

What we do with them: Mini boxes of cereal are perfect for caravanning or even making more Puppy Chow

dr oetker chocolate

Dr Oetker 90% Dark Chocolate – Would you just look at the shine on the cake pictured on the packet? This is going to make an amazing chocolate cake this weekend!

Dr Oetker Dark Cocoa Powder – I love that this packet contains 3 small sachets. I always have cocoa powder in the cupboard but its not an ingredient I use great quantities of – Great that this will keep fresh instead of a huge tub.

degustabox

Enhance Apple & Blackcurrant juice for adding to water – Millie has already snaffled this for school – There’s not a Year 8 without one apparently!

Paws Strawberry & Apple pieces – These disappeared in record fast time. They are known as sweets in our house which suits me as they are so much healthier than other sweet alternatives.

Get Buzzing – Orignal Nutty Energy bar – I’m not normally a fan of anything ‘energy’ but these bars really are delicious and now I have a mild addiction to walking, I feel all virtuous when I eat one after exercise. What has happened to me?

pasquier brioche

Brioche Pasquier‘s Pain au lait with chocolate chips and Sliced Brioche Loaf – Its like the box was made especially for us. We go through mountains of brioche on Sunday mornings to and fro from synchro training.

What we do with it: The sliced brioche is fabulous for chocolate bread & butter pudding or even Eggy Bread with a sweet cinnamon twist.

bengal meal kit

Bengal Meal Kit

What we do with it: I believe any food box should contain an element of stretching yourself/ trying something new – I’ve never tried a curry kit like this one from Bengal Meal Kit but relish the thought of it. I love the packaging which displays the oil and spices so clearly.

Degustabox is very simple to set up – To find out more about registering please visit their website
The normal price per box is £12.99 including delivery with a promise of containing around double the value of products (Around 12-14 items in each box).

Casa Costello readers are entitled to a £3 discount when ordering their first Degustabox with this code:

OT9WF

Let me know if you try out Degustabox and what you do with your products!

Marzipan Puppy Chow/Christmas Crack Recipe – Foodie Friday

Please Note: Not to be shared with dogs!

marzipan puppy chow

I have no idea why this sort of snack is called Puppy Chow – All I know is that it is delicious and very addictive. I have numerous combinations of Puppy Chow – The original version should contain peanut butter but I much prefer my almond version.

Perfect for when you have guests over Christmas but make sure you make double! The idea for puppy chow originates in the US and uses Chex cereal – These look like Shreddies but are not malted. I find that Golden Grahams taste just right. There is no need to be exact in your weighing of the ingredients – This recipe is meant to be fun, quick and easy and different with every delightful mouthful!

Marzipan Puppy Chow

Serves 4-6
Prep time 5 minutes
Cook time 5 minutes
Total time 10 minutes
Meal type Snack
Misc Child Friendly, Serve Cold
Occasion Barbecue, Birthday Party, Casual Party
Almond Puppy Chow snack recipe with toasted marzipan

Ingredients

  • 3 cups Cereal such as Golden Grahams
  • 150g Milk Chocolate
  • 50g Flaked Almonds
  • 100g Marzipan (Lightly toasted under the grill for 2 minutes until just turning golden)
  • 100g Icing Sugar

Directions

Melt the chocolate in a glass bowl over a pan of boiling water - Remove from the heat when runny
Add the cereal and nuts to the chocolate and mix through
Chop the toasted marzipan into tiny cubes and mix through into the chocolate cereal mix
Pour the icing sugar into a large strong food bag
Add the chocolate cereal and shake until all cereal/nuts/marzipan are covered by the icing sugar
Serve immediately

Very quiet week last week for Foodie Friday – don’t forget that even if it isn’t Friday any more, the link is still open until the next Thursday evening. For Otilia’s week we have these 3 entries:

foodie friday

From left to right :
Melt in the Mouth Churros from Truly Madly Kids. I’ve made Churros and know how hard they can be to keep their shape so massive well done!
Slow Cooked Beef in Red Wine Sauce from Dragons and Fairy Dust. Cor! How inviting does this look?
And last but not least this delicious looking Marinated Flank Steak Recipe from Broward Saves

The linky for this week is now open – I’m going to be sharing like mad so you will all be sick of seeing me. The theme is a super easy one …SWEET!! Yes all things sweet, cakes, chocolates, sauces, dips, sugarcraft – Remember you don’t have to include a recipe – just a post (or more than one!) about sweet food is fine. As usual, all entries will be commented, tweeted, pinned and shared on Google+. Here is the badge to include in your post – Feel free to spread the word about Foodie Friday. Otilia will be back next Friday to do the roundup and open a new theme.

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I’m joining in with the following: Emily’s Recipe of the Week, SupergoldenBakes’ Cook,Blog,Share

Gluten Free Angel Cake – Bake of the Week

gluten free angel cake

I’m not going to pretend this is the prettiest cake you’ll ever see – it is so light and refreshing though. Even with heaps of cream. Very quick to bake although you really must take your time whisking the eggs and combining the rest of the ingredients. This cake is all about the air. Fat free (until you add the cream obviously) and Gluten Free – I used Doves Farm Potato Flour which was part of a pack of Gluten Free Flours sent by Doves’ Farm. The flour was so much lighter than traditional flours – felt very corn floury and I did query whether the cake would work. I shouldn’t have worried though, the inside was a white and delicious as every other Angel Cake I’ve made.

Angel cakes are so versatile – Not only quick to prepare and handy as a gift to take to a friend’s but they suit so many different flavours. Soft fruit like strawberries and raspberries are the obvious choice but most types of Jam go equally well. I used some Duerrs Rhubarb & Custard Baking Jam Again, I was pleasantly surprised by the taste of the Jam – I thought it may be too ‘Rhubarby’ but the combination of fruit and custard was really smooth and perfect for the light Angel Cake.

I think it is testament to how good this cake was that it disappeared within a couple of hours – and we didn’t have any visitors!

Gluten Free Angel Cake

Serves 8+
Prep time 20 minutes
Cook time 50 minutes
Total time 1 hours, 10 minutes
Dietary Gluten Free
Meal type Dessert, Snack
Misc Child Friendly, Serve Cold
Occasion Casual Party
Light and airy Gluten Free Angel Cake

Ingredients

  • 4oz Potato Flour
  • 3oz Icing Sugar
  • 8 Egg Whites
  • 5 1/2oz Caster Sugar
  • 1 pinch Salt
  • 1 teaspoon Cream of Tartar
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract

Directions

Preheat the oven to 180C and grease and line with baking parchment 2 x 9" cake tins
Sieve the flour and the icing sugar - This is one of the only recipes that I honestly sieve
Using an electric hand whisk, whisk the egg whites until they are stiff peaks - Best to be done when at room temperature
Very very slowly, add one teaspoon of the caster sugar at a time whilst still whisking on a slow speed - the mixture should keep its stiff texture
Fold in the vanilla, salt and cream of tartar then slowly add the flour/icing sugar mixture - stirring through using a figure of 8 motion
Separate the mixture between the 2 tins and bake for 40 minutes. Turn the oven off and keep the tins in the oven for another 10 minutes.
Remove from the oven and allow to completely cool in the tins before removing.
Spread with jam and lashings of double cream and enjoy huge chunks!
Eat the same day x

While I’m on a Gluten Free roll, I have chosen the Free From Fairy’s Gluten Free and Dairy Free Christmas Cake as my featured Bake of the Week. I admire people who consistently cater for GF and DF diets.

gluten free dairy christmas cake

Brilliant entries as usual from everyone last week – I am still working my way around everyone’e fantastic bakes – Thanks so much for joining in.

bake of the week

1. Another incredible baker that caters for special diets, Garden Tea Cakes and Me with her Vegan Peanut Butter & Banana Cookies
2. How gorgeous do these Quadruple Chocolate Cupcakes look from Domestic Gothess?
3. Super creative Chocolate & Peanut Butter Oat Bars from the lovely Winnie’s Blog – One of my new favourite blogs.
4. I always forget how much I love to make (and eat) Madeleines until I saw these Cranberry & Orange Madeleines from Baking Queen 74
5. I love how versatile these Chocolate Hazelnut Jumbles from Baked Potato Mummy are. Perfect for baking with the kids.
6. Almond Meringue Cookies from ET Speaks From Home – Just can’t get enough of the taste of almond. So pleased its nearly marzipan season!
7. I’d Much Rather Bake Than waited a huge 3 YEARS to make these Tunis Cupcakes and aren’t they pretty?

So they were the individual portioned bakes for this week – If you fancy a huge chunk of a bake, try these:

bow2

8. Oh wow! to this Apple Halva Cake with Caramel Glaze from Winnie’s Blog. Just gorgeous!
9. Eileen at ET Speaks From Home made this Olive Oil Bread for dinner guests – Hope I’m invited one day!
10. I thoroughly agree with Hey Cakes that sharing is caring – and I wish they would share some of this delicious Blueberry Crumble Pie!
11. The perfect solution to my husband not liking quiche problem, make one of these Neapolitan Potato Gateaux from My Little Italian Kitchen instead.

I’m going on a very exciting blog trip to Ireland next week so Bake of the Week will run until the Tuesday after (2nd December – DECEMBER!! When did that happen?) If you bake more than one thing between now and then, feel free to add as many bakes as you like. All types of bakes (cakes, biscuits, pies, tarts, bread etc) are welcome – I comment on them all and share across twitter, pinterest & google+. Here’s the badge:

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Disclosure: Many Thanks to the following brands who supplied me with products for review purposes : Doves Farm, Duerrs & Happy Egg Company.

gluten free flour

I’m sharing this post with some favourites and some new links too this week … Recipe of the Week, Cook, Blog, Share & Brilliant Blog Posts

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Rooted In Thyme

Ox Pasture Hall Hotel – The Perfect Mini Break

ox pasture hotel entrance

I’m making no apologies for this photo heavy post – A couple of weeks ago, we were invited to spend a couple of days at the most wonderful, scenic place, Ox Pasture Boutique Hotel near Scarborough. The pictures will mainly speak for themselves how incredibly beautiful and calming this place is.

scenery hotel review

We were hoping for a child free break but life rarely goes that smoothly – When I asked the people at Ox Pasture if it was ok to bring a 3 year old – they couldn’t have been more flexible.

bedroom ox pasture hotel review

We were put in one of the newer suites which has the most incredible bathroom and enormous bed – There is a pull out sofa which can easily sleep 2 – Tara loved it and insisted on getting in at 5pm!

bathroom ox pasture

The bathroom was enormous and super high quality – I’m not one for baths but couldn’t keep Tara out. She’s a superb hotel reviewer – tests everything! An enormous walk-in shower, luxurious bath and Jack & Jill sinks – My only addition would be a blind for in the morning when people are using the courtyard and walk past the frosted window, but this is such a tiny matter.

bathroom hotel

The countryside and land at Ox Pasture is just breath-taking – Tara ran for hours and disturbed no-one. We stayed on a Tuesday during term-time so the hotel was fairly quiet but still comfortably busy considering the time of year. We were the only couple with a young child but I can imagine there would be plenty more during school holidays and weekends.

ox pasture scenery

Even the other patrons were welcoming – Lovely and friendly (One man even said we should enter Tara to be the face of Pears soap!). It was lovely to hear so many tales of when people have previously been to Ox Pasture and we even heard one group booking for a Christmas Break as it would be their 3rd time of visiting. The true sign of a hotel that is consistently good.

landscape ox pasture hotel review

One of Ox Pasture’s selling points is their food – I’m going to talk more about that in tomorrow’s post, with more of a look around the inside of the hotel.

Disclosure: We were invited to Ox Pasture Hotel for review purposes – We were given free reign about what to include in our write up. We thoroughly enjoyed our experience and would love to go back again one day.

Ox Pasture is set just a few miles away from Scarborough – More information about their location, prices and packages can be found on their website

ox pasture hall hotel gardens review

Family Fever

Gousto – Home Recipe Kit Box Review

home recipe box review

A couple of weeks ago we were sent a box from Gousto containing all we needed to make 3 different meals for 2. We didn’t get to choose which meals we had as we were reviewing the box but that added to our surprise of how much we enjoyed our experience. I will admit to being a bit nervous – What if I really didn’t like the choice of meals? What if the instructions on how to prepare the dishes were really difficult?

I needn’t have worried though – in fact, we were thrilled by how successful the whole box was and are even considering making a periodic order for ourselves.

baked chicken tikka

We were incredibly lucky that all 3 meals were exactly what we like to eat – Good, healthy food, plenty of fresh ingredients that are easy to come by in ‘normal’ shops for when we make the dishes again and very tasty choices:

Our 3 meals were:

  • Pork & Mushroom Stroganoff
  • Mediterranean Burger
  • Spicy Chicken Tikka

gousto menus

We were also surprised how often Mr C & myself find ourselves eating separately to the children – Not sure why we were surprised at this, we are running about with swimming most nights of the week. Therefore, it was absolutely no problem that the meals were only for 2 people – in fact, the portions were generous enough that if we had had to, we could have shared a little with one of the girls (But we were glad we didn’t have to!) If you prefer though it is possible to order meals for 4 people.

Mr C said he would do the majority of the cooking to see how someone relatively new to cooking found the menu cards to follow. He was very impressed and had no trouble at all. Absolutely everything came out as should be.

what you get in a recipe box

All the fruit and veg that comes with Gousto is organic. The meat is British meat and high quality. Each week recipients can choose 3 out of the 10 meal choices – All the nutritional information is available on the Gousto website about the meal plus how long it will take to prepare and cook. Some more about the Gousto boxes:

  • Delivery is free.
  • If you are not going to be in, you can tell the delivery driver where to keep the box – i.e. with a neighbour, in the porch – The packaging will keep your food safe until the end of the day.
  • Some meals are specially invented with kids in mind – Hidden vegetable but high in nutrients. Gousto realise how fussy children can be sometimes.
  • You can skip a week or two whenever you are on holiday – in fact, there is no tie in period so you can cancel your subscription at any time.

Prices of the boxes are as follows:

  • Meat box for 2 people – £34.99 per week
  • Meat box for 4 people – £49.99 per week
  • Veggie box for 2 people – £33.99 per week
  • Veggie box for 4 people – £47.99 per week

preparing the food

Dsiclosure: We were sent a complete Gousto box for review. All our findings are genuine and we were extremely pleased with the whole experience.

pork mushroom stroganoff

Family Fever

Apple & Cinnamon Palmiers – Bake of the Week

I’ve been practising for our WI Cake & Bake Night this week – Our theme for next week’s get-together is Pastry. To be honest, there’s no shortage of ideas that I could use but once I started mooching in my recipes I came across Palmiers – The trouble I had was choosing Plain Sugar, Plain Cinnamon but Apple & Cinnamon won!

apple cinnamon palmiers

Another crazily easy recipe but if you are as busy as I am at the moment, you may be glad of it. Mr C came home from work and said “wow’ when he saw these. He obviously doesn’t remember watching how easy and quick they are to make from last time.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pack Chilled Puff Pastry
  • 1 Large Apple -I like tangy so use a Braeburn
  • 3/4 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp Caster Sugar

Method:

  • Peel the apple and grate it.
  • Squeeze all of the juice out of the grated apple and dab with kitchen roll – you need it to be quite dry for this recipe.
  • Roll out the pastry and sprinkle the apple evenly all over it.
  • Mix together the sugar and the cinnamon in a small bowl and sprinkle this over the pastry and apple evenly too.
  • Roll the long sides of the pastry in towards each other so they eventually meet in the middle.
  • Cut into 1cm pieces and lay down on the oven trays – leave 2-3cm gap to allow for room to spread.
  • Place back in the freezer for 20-30 mins.
  • Bake at 200C for 12-15 (turning after approx 9 mins) until each side is crispy and golden.

 
Wow! So many entries into last week’s Bake of the Week – I’m still getting round to you all and sharing, sharing, sharing – Love you all for joining in, my wonderful Bake of the Week family!

chocolate nutella frosting mint ganache chiffon cake

There was one bake that really caught my eye this week – A newbie to the Bake of the Week gang, I am The Dream Baker shared with us her Vanilla Chiffon Cake with Nutella Buttercream Frosting & Mint Chocolate Ganache. Cor! We eat so much minty stuff around here – Mint Ice-Cream last barely hours in this house so this cake will be a huge hit with my girls. Thanks loads for taking part!

teacakes3-225x300

I can’t only choose 1 though – I have to give a nod toward Jaisee Mummy for her magnificent Chocolate Tea Cakes – I have been meaning to make my own for months now. I like to think they are not as time consuming and fiddly as I first thought, but actually from the pics, they look even more so! Fair play to you for doing such a brilliant job!

bake of the week linky

1. I’ve never thought to bake using Milo – We used to drink tons of it when I was a kid. Great Milo Almond Cookies from ET Speaks From Home.
2. I’d Much Rather Bake Than has had a busy old week with her trips to London and made a special Speculaas purchase – Speculoos Spiced Shortbread is the result.
3. Beautiful photography and Baked Gingerbread Friands from Baking Queen 74
4. Oh My Goodnes, I bet this Salted Dark Chocolate Licorice Fudge tastes heavenly from MisPlacedBrit

bake of the week roundup

5. Perfect alternative to rich Fruit Christmas Cakes – Chocolate Piñata Cake from Mummy Whiskers
6. The Ultimate comfort food from All You Need Is Love and Cake with her Jam Roly Poly
7. More Apple goodness from My Little Italian Kitchen with her delicious sounding Soft and Moist Simple Apple Cake
8. Chocolate Log Blog just had this recipe hanging around her drafts folder – Like you do! What a crime ;-) Gorgeous Chocolate Treacle Cake
9. And providing us with some savoury baking is Farmers Girl with her stunning Muesli Rolls

As usual, please add your posts to the linky below and the badge is here for you to add to your posts:

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Joining in with A Mummy Too’s Recipe of the Week as usual, SupergoldenBakes Cook, Blog, Share and Honest Mum’s Brilliant Blog Posts

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Hotel Chocolat Advent Calendar Giveaway

hotel chocolat giveaway

I’m not going to beat about the bush – I’ve got a brilliant giveaway for you. Who doesn’t like a chocolate Advent calendar – especially a Hotel Chocolat Advent Calendar? – Even my Mum has been known to partake (although she still has a traditional Advent calendar too!)

I’ve worked with Hotel Chocolat on quite a few occasions and have always been really impressed with the quality of their chocolates. This calendar contains the obligatory 24 cut chocolate sculptures in luscious 40% milk chocolate – perfect for all the family.

This calendar has a RRP of £12.50 but you can win one just in time for advent by following the Rafflecopter instructions below:

The Terms & Conditions: Sorry UK entry only. The Rafflecopter widget will close at 11.59PM on Tues 25th November 2014. I will contact the winner within 48 hours to get your postal details.

hotel chocolat advent calendar

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: I was sent some Mulled Wine Minidomes as a thank you for hosting this competition. We are half way through the box and absolutely love them – Wonderfully strong taste of port – There is no way these will last until Advent!

mulled wine mini domes hotel chocolat

SuperLucky Blog Giveaway Linky

Win A Perfect Night In with Sainsbury’s

lego blocks

My younger self would despair if she could see how much I enjoy a rare night in now. I used to work with plenty of mothers who used to talk about what made their perfect night in. I swore I would never stay in, if there was the chance of a good night out. Well, guess what? 3 kids later and 5 trips to Manchester every week plus numerous other after school activities, I crave my home and my sofa.

The 2 nights that I tend to stay in are a Friday and a Sunday. Dermot works early on a Saturday, so we are not exactly wild. I do love the company of my kids, but like most parents LOVE that moment when they all go quiet and snuggle down for the night.

So what do we do? Prepare to be thrilled bored rigid …

The Entertainment:

Pre-Kids Bedtime … Its all about the Lego and Building Blocks … probably last week’s X Factor – Yep it really does take us 5-6 days to catch up!

Post-Kids Bedtime … Casualty of course (Has anyone else watched it right from the beginning?) and MasterChef Professionals (Marcus Waring is actually growing on me)

 

The Outfits:

Onesies for the girls obviously! I haven’t succumbed to owning a onesie yet so PJs it is. (Told you we are riveting!) How cute are these little wee slippers though?

onesie

She’s having a great night – Can’t you tell?

The Food:

The lazier, the better – Sorry, if you were hoping for an exotic home cooked meal – this is not the post for you! We’re talking ready meal & more often than not, there will be dips – A recent favourite is my Chocolate Orange Dip (recipe coming soon)…

  gin cointreau cocktail

The Drink

Hot Chocolate for my girls, Gin Cocktail for me & Mr C …

Gin Cointreau Cocktail

  •  1 Tbsp Cointreau
  • 2 Tbsp Gin
  • Cloudy Lemonade – Filled until 1cm from the top of the glass
  • 1 Tbsp Mandarin Sorbet
  • 3 Cocktail Cherries

Directions: Add the spirits to the bottom of a tall wine glass, Fill up with lemonade then add the sorbet. Allow to melt slightly and drop 3 cocktail cherries into the glass – They taste amazing once the drink has gone.

Sainsbury’s are offering one lucky household the chance to win their own perfect night in. Here’s what you could win:

  • A 40″ HDTV
  • £250 Sainsbury’s vouchers
  • Sainsbury’s Top 10 bestselling DVDs

Its super simple to enter – All you have to do is visit http://www.sainsburysbank.co.uk/money-matters/perfect-night-in-prize-draw.shtml and describe your perfect night in. Go for it everyone – Its a fantastic prize.

Terms & Conditions Apply – Entries close this Friday 14th November. The winner will be chosen at random by Sainsbury’s on Monday 17th November.

This is a sponsored post – I was commissioned by Sainsbury’s to highlight this competition and received payment for the post.

White Chocolate Cheesecake – Foodie Friday

white chocolate baked cheesecake

Well, its soon come around to my turn to host Foodie Friday again. This week it is all things CHOCOLATE! One of my favourite subjects to discuss, I’ll be honest. To mark the occasion, I’m sharing my White Chocolate Baked Cheesecake which is just a joy to eat. A fairly quick bake to prepare and cook – I made this yesterday afternoon 25 minutes before leaving the house and got it in the oven (and washed up!) The slow part of this recipe is leaving it alone in the fridge for a minimum of 3 hours (preferably overnight). Its worth it though, the texture really solidifies and makes it fantastic to eat with a spoon.

The real beauty of this recipe is that so many flavours, sauces and toppings can be matched with it. Raspberry coulis is a favourite but chopped hazelnuts, dark chocolate sauce, blueberries are all wonderful too. Or eat it on its own! I went all retro with memories of boxed cheesecakes with some mandarin sorbet.

White Chocolate Cheesecake

Serves 10+
Prep time 3 hours, 20 minutes
Cook time 45 minutes
Total time 4 hours, 5 minutes
Meal type Dessert
Misc Child Friendly, Freezable, Serve Cold
Occasion Barbecue, Birthday Party, Casual Party
Creamy luxurious baked white chocolate cheesecake

Ingredients

  • 8 Shortbread Biscuits
  • 100g Butter (Melted)
  • 3 Eggs (whole)
  • 1 Egg Yolk
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 150g Good quality White Chocolate (I used Green & Blacks Baking White Chocolate)
  • 1 tablespoon Plain Flour
  • 200g Caster Sugar
  • 600g Full Fat Soft Cheese

Note

This can be frozen by wrapping up with foil when still in the tin for up to 1 month

Directions

Preheat the oven to 160C and line a solid bottom cake tin - I used an 8" square tin and lined it with a disposable cake liner
Bash the biscuits until really small crumbs and mix the melted butter in while it is still hot.
Pour into the base of the tin and press down really firmly
Melt the chocolate in a glass bowl over a pan of boiling water - Take care not to let the water touch the base of the bowl or the chocolate will burn
Scoop out 3 tablespoons of the chocolate and spread over the biscuit base in a very thin layer. Allow to set.
Using an electric whisk and a paddle attachment, mix together the flour, soft cheese, vanilla and sugar until well combined
Add the whole eggs and egg yolk one at a time - scrape down after each addition
Stop the whisk and stir the remaining white chocolate through the mixture
Pour over the biscuit base and bake for 45 mins on 160C. I put the tin inside another big tin and fill will 200ml boiling water to use as a water bath. The top should just be starting to turn golden and it should have stopped wobbling.
Remove from the oven really carefully as the water bath can easily topple over and leave to cool on the side for approx 1 hour.
Transfer the cheesecake to the fridge and cool for at least another 3 hours - preferable overnight
Serve with a choice of toppings

There were some truly marvellous Halloween creations for our last FoodieFriday linky. I had a job choosing a favourite but in the end Dragons and Fairy Dust just pipped it with their Mummy Pizzas and Mummified Hotdogs. My kids will have me making those hotdogs all year round.

Mummified-hotdots-3

Thanks so much to everyone else who shared their Halloween treats – I couldn’t show every entry but decided to showcase a selection featuring body parts!

halloween body parts ideas

1. Dream of Leaving gave us a run down of the Creepiest Halloween food ever especially these Fingers. Ew!
2. I have GOT to make this witches jelly hand next year – in fact, I don’t think I’ll even wait that long. Chez Maxima, that is just brilliant!
3. Even a fiery chilli can be spookified at Halloween with addition of Olive Eyeballs – Love this idea from Given to distracting others.
4. You can still be healthy and scary at Halloween with Monsieur Frankenstein aka A Pepper. Genius! Motherhood Diaries.
5. These Cheerio Frankenstein Monsters make me smile – I can imagine my kids loving assembling them – Mad House Family Reviews
6. Some Spooky Zombie Fingers from Eileen at ET Speaks From Home – These still spook me out every time I see them!

The link is now open for this week’s entries – Remember it is anything that contains chocolate. Doesn’t have to be a new recipe or post but please add the badge to your post and link to me at Casa Costello & Otilia at Romanian Mum

If you tweet, why not tag @CasaCostello and/or @RomanianMum and we will Retweet you.

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Joining in for the second time this week with Emily Leary and her Recipe of the Week linky

Peach & Clementine Bundt Cake with Drizzle Syrup – Bake of the Week

peach clementine bundt cake

I needed to use up some peaches and clementines this week so there was only one option for Bake of the Week – My Peach & Clementine Cake. I love my Bundt tin and every time I use it, tell myself to use it more regularly. If you don’t have clementines handy, of course you can use oranges, tangerines and instead of peaches, I’ve been known to throw a few nectarines in. Hey, its home baking – lets be relaxed! The idea for this cake originally came from the blog, Week of Menus but of course, I had to mess around with it.

bundt sponge cake

 

Peach & Clementine Bundt Cake

Serves 10+
Prep time 20 minutes
Cook time 50 minutes
Total time 1 hours, 10 minutes
Meal type Dessert
Misc Child Friendly, Freezable, Pre-preparable, Serve Cold
Occasion Birthday Party, Casual Party
Light airy sponge cake with hidden peach and nectarine - finished with delicious peach/nectarine drizzle syrup. Just gorgeous!

Ingredients

  • 4 Peaches (Peeled and chopped into very small cubes)
  • 2 Clementines (Peeled and Chopped finely)
  • 8oz Butter
  • 12 + 6oz Caster Sugar
  • 4 Eggs
  • 14oz Self Raising Flour
  • 1 Small Pot of double cream
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 2 tablespoons Fresh Orange Juice
  • Icing Sugar or Royal icing to decorate

Directions

Bundt Cake
Preheat the oven to 180C and spray a bundt tin with Cake Release (If you don't have some, grease with butter then dust with plain flour)
Separate 3/4 of the peaches and 1/2 of the clementine and keep to one side
Using an electric whisk with a paddle whisk, beat the butter and the 12oz sugar until pale and fluffy
Add in the eggs whilst still whisking on a medium speed, scraping down regularly. Add the vanilla and 1 Tbsp OJ.
Alternately, add 1 tbsp flour and Double Cream whilst still mixing on a slow speed until all added. Use a spatula to make sure fully combined.
Bake for 50 minutes until a skewer comes out clean.
Remove from the oven and leave in the tin for 10 minutes.
Drizzle Syrup
Meanwhile, using a hand held mixer, mash together the peach and clementine until very smooth. You can push through a sieve if you don't want any bits but I don't bother.
Add to a small pan with the remaining sugar and OJ then heat up until just starts to boil, Remove from the heat.
Bundt Cake Decoration
Turn the cake out of the tin onto a wire rack and spoon over the syrup - I used more icing sugar sprinkled over it and cornelli icing to finish.

 

My eldest daughter, Millie picked the winner of this week’s featured bake – All You Need is Love and Cake’s Giant Triple Chocolate Cookie Pizza – Not much gets your excited when you are 12 and doing your homework, but this did!

chocolate cookie pizza

bake of the week linky

1. My kids would adore me if I baked these White Chocolate & Oreo Blondies from Baking Queen 74
2. The Lass in the Apron is giving Nigel Slater a run for his money with his Chocolate Beet Cake. If Nigel himself would like to come and bake for me that would be very acceptable!
3. How beautiful is this Vanilla and Pomegranate Panna Cotta from My Little Italian Kitchen
4. Super Christmas Spice STar Biscuits from new member, Gluten Free Alchemist – Welcome!
5. Massive fan of loaf cakes and this is definitely going on my list – Cinnamon Apple Sauce Loaf Cake from I’d Much Rather Bake Than
6. Another warm welcome to a new member, Alice Megan with her Chilli Chocolate Kick Pots – Bet these are super heart warming!
7. And still up for baking even after all her Great Blogger Bake Off exertions we have Mummy Mishaps’s Orange & Pumpkin Cake – Yum!

A quieter week last week but now the kids are safely back in school, I’m on a mission – Lets get sharing the word about Bake of the Week as people get on with their Christmas Baking. Have you started yet? I’ve bought my fruit for the famous Costello Christmas Cakes so there’s a start!

AS usual all bakes are welcome, Pies, Cakes, Biscuits, Tarts, Meringues, Flans and are shared on Twitter, Commented On, Pinterest, Google+ and linked to here – Tons of exposure for your blogs. Please include the badge somewhere in your post – If you would like to include it in your sidebar to let people know you are an important part of BOTW then even better.

Link tool will remain open until next Wednesday morning and Roundup will be posted Wed PM

Casa Costello
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