Posted in Biscuits & Cookies, British Cuisine, Cakes, Cheese, Chocolate, Mediterranean, Oven, Uncategorized

Chocolate Orange Cheesecake

slice cheesecake

Living in Bodrum, a once small Aegean town in Turkey, which is growing rapidly each year, you cannot miss the abundance of orange and mandarin trees.  With not only the Christmas season upon us, but with it being the season to harvest all those sweet fruits, I thought it would be the perfect time to make a chocolate orange cheesecake, to remind me of my favourite Christmas treat, Terry’s Chocolate Orange which I can’t get here.

The recipe is quite simple to follow so you do not need to be a master chef to bake this cake.

Ingredients

Base

250 g digestive biscuits

100 g melted butter

Filling

200 g labne (mascarpone)

200 g soft white cheese (Philadelphia)

200 g suzme peynir (a type of soft white cheese in Turkey)

150 g thick cream

3 whole eggs and 1 yolk

75 g sugar

3-4 tablespoons orange flavouring

Zest of one large orange

100 g chocolate chips

Topping

200 ml bitter chocolate

300 ml thick whipping cream

2 tsps sugar

2-3 tblsps orange flavouring

Sliced baby oranges and a star anise for decoration

Method

First of all prepare your baking tray.  Line a spring release cake tin (approx. 20 cm) with baking paper.  Cover the underneath with aluminium foil to seal it.  If you have a release tin with a lipped tray that holds the water you don’t need to use the foil or submerge in another dish of water.

For the base

Break the biscuits in a bag, then using a rolling pin roll over them until finely crushed. Alternatively you can use a blender.

Mix into the melted butter and mix well until all combined.

Place into the cake tin and spread out pressing down firmly with the back of a spoon.  If you have too many you can press against the sides too.  (This may be the case if your tin is a little smaller) Place the cake tin in the refrigerator to chill for around 30 minutes.

Now pre-heat your oven to 180°c.

For the filling

Place the eggs in a bowl and whisk.  Then add the sugar and the cream and whisk together.

Place the labne (mascarpone), soft white cheese (Philadelphia) and the suzme peynir (a type of soft white cheese in Turkey) into a separate bowl and mash together until smooth.

Now add this to the first bowl containing the eggs, cream and sugar along with the orange zest and then add the orange flavouring and whisk together until smooth.  Finally, add the chocolate chips and stir gently to spread evenly.

Pour onto the cheesecake base and level out with the back of a spoon.  Make sure to get into the corners if not a round tin. Place the tin into another larger bowl or tray with water about one third of the way up the sides in order to stop the cake from cracking.

Place in the oven for 55-60 minutes.  Remove and allow to cool then cover with stretch film and place in the fridge over night for best results.

Topping

Break the bitter chocolate into small pieces and place in a bowl.  In a small saucepan, heat the whipping cream until it almost comes to a boil.  Pour the hot cream over the broken chocolate and stir continuously until all the chocolate has dissolved and you have a smooth chocolate topping.  Add the orange flavouring and decorate with the sliced oranges and star anise.

 

 

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Posted in British Cuisine, Cakes, Chocolate, Halloween

Double Chocolate and Banana Devil’s Cake (with chocolate ganache)

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With Halloween fast approaching, there is nothing better to appease that devil inside than a good old chocolate cake.  As I happen to be surrounded by banana trees in this beautiful place I live in the south of Turkey, I thought why not chuck a few of those delicious bananas in too.  Top it off with some chocolate ganache and there you go, one devilishly delicious cake!!

Ingredients (for the cake)

175 g sugar

175 g flour

1 sachet bicarbonate soda (5 ml)

1 sachet baking powder (5 ml)

4 tbsps cocoa powder

100 ml sunflower oil

175 g very ripe bananas (mashed-blacker the better)

3 eggs (1 whole and 2 with yolks and whites seperated)

50 ml milk

100 g chocolate chips

Ingredients (for the ganache)

100-150 ml double cream

A large handful of chocolate chips or bitter chocolate broken into small pieces

2 tbsps desiccated coconut (optional)

Method

Pre-grease and line a cake loaf tin with greaseproof paper or liner.  Preheat oven to 160°c.

You will need 2 bowls. In the first bowl place the sugar, flour, bicarbonate soda, baking powder and cocoa powder. Gently stir to combine.

In the second bowl pour the oil, mashed bananas, the whole egg plus the 2 yolks and the milk. Stir well.

Add to the dry ingredients in the first bowl and combine until evenly mixed.  Add about half of the egg whites and mix well.  Now add the rest of the egg white and the chocolate chips and fold in gently.

Pour into the loaf tin, and bake at 160°c for 1 hour and 10 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean when inserted.  Allow to cool in the tin for about 15 – 20 minutes then remove from tin and place on a cooling rack until cold.

To make the ganache, warm the cream over a very low heat and add the chocolate chips stirring continuously until thickened and all chocolate has melted.  You can add more or less cream/chocolate chips as you prefer.  Add the desiccated coconut (if using) and stir to combine.  This also helps it thicken.

Pour over your cake allowing it to drip over the sides.  Place in the fridge for at least 1 hour for the ganache to harden.  It is now ready to serve.

Suggestion

Sprinkle with desiccated coconut or crushed almonds (or both) to decorate (before refrigerating).  Goes well with cream or ice cream.