Big Bake Off – Toffee & Crunchie Baked Cheesecake

Englishmum has set a bake-off competition which is open to everyone and anyone who can bake! All you need to do is make and bake a cake, tart, pie or bun and take a photo and then email it to her. The best photo wins a hamper filled with Green & Blacks chocolate.

I am also entering this cheesecake (along with my Strawberry & White Chocolate cake) because it is ever so naughty but ever so nice!!

I kind of made this cheesecake recipe up but it works!

For the base (20cm diameter spring form dish)
200g of crushed biscuits eg. shortbread or digestives – I used the new Cadbury’s Crunchie biscuits
50g melted butter
mix together and place in dish and allow to cool

For the cake:
600g cream cheese or curd cheese
100g golden caster sugar
3 tbsp plain flour
2 tsp vanilla extract
3 eggs
150ml pot toffee flavoured yoghurt
chocolates of your choice – eg. crunchie (as used by me but it would work with malteasers, dime bar etc…)
225g jar caramel or dulce de leche or the Carnation toffee sauce in a tin

Heat the oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4.
Crush the biscuits in a food processor, stir in the butter and press the mixture into the base of a 20cm spring-form tin.
Bake for 10 minutes then cool. Turn the oven down to 140C/fan 120C/gas 1.

Beat the cream cheese with the sugar, flour and vanilla.
Add the eggs, yoghurt and chocolate and combine. Pour 1/2 the cheesecake mixture carefully on top of base and then sprinkle your chocolates of choice over mixture and then top with rest of cheesecake mixture.
Bake for 60 minutes, the filling should still have a slight wobble when it is cooked.
Cool and then spread a layer of caramel on top and decorate with the chocolate you used

* Note – best to make this the night before ideally or several hours before you require it to allow it plenty of time to cool down and then set in the fridge before you add the toffee sauce.

** Enjoy!!!! Mmmmm 😉
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The Gallery – Nature

This weeks The Gallery theme is Nature and as an extra incentive Tara over at 
Sticky Fingers has a prize!! Yes a prize! Not any old thing to give away, but a hamper filled with Green & Blacks chocolate nom nom nom!!

I love taking nature photographs there is such an abundance of beautiful things to appreciate with the lens. In fact it was hard choosing which photo/s to use because I have a lot covered by this theme within my collection.

In the end I have decided to go with Sunsets.

Remember the old saying:

Red sky at night, shepherds delight

I always think of this when I am witness to a beautiful setting sun and the sky it leaves behind once it has been absorbed by the horizon.The colours that the sky displays are so beautiful and vivid.

 I wrote a piece of poetry (for the Writing Workshop for Josie at Sleep is for the Weak) back in May where I describe a setting sun:

The glowing sun starts to set
and the twilight sky erupts,
ablaze with vibrant colours
its final incandescence unveiled.
Like a work of art hung in a gallery,
it paints the beauty of mother nature.
The world seems a better place
when the golden sun luminates!

This first photo of the twilight sky could be a painting I think. If it were, I imagine it to have been inspired by an artist with a tormented soul who is expressing so many emotions, as it seems to me to be so fiery and full of anger and  yet also showing love and beauty – just so dramatic. I love it!

This next one is again another example of the many different colours the post sunset sky reveals: purple, salmon pink, pink, lilac, grey just gorgeous! I was driving home one night and just had to pull over and capture it.

However, I do think that to witness a sun setting over the sea is an amazing sight and when you are on holiday or after a day in this country, it makes a perfect day in the sun end on a high aswell. Indeed as the dying rays reflect across the ripples and waves, it is almost giving you two sunsets for the price of one! 

I will stop writing anymore now and let you enjoy the photos I took at Westward Ho! beach here in North Devon, one cold January afternoon just as the golden sun was setting.

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Cupboard Love!!

Right time for another Burton moment. 🙂

Earlier I popped to the kitchen to fetch his water and when I returned the little monkey was climbing into his toy cupboard!

Here let me show you

Iggle Piggle there you are!

Quick Iggle Piggle before Mummy sees me!

Oh you have caught me!

Yes, can I help you with something?

Easy does it

He thought it was funny as well!
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Big Bake Off – White Chocolate & Strawberry Cake

Englishmum has set a bake-off competition which is open to everyone and anyone who can bake! All you need to do is make and bake a cake, tart, pie or bun and take a photo and then email it to her. The best photo wins a hamper filled with Green & Blacks chocolate. 

So as I am always open to an excuse to bake a cake, I decided to take up the challenge and on Saturday I made a Strawberry & White Chocolate Cake. It comprises of a vanilla sponge with white chocolate chunks, sandwiched together with strawberry jam and vanilla buttercream and decorated with pink vanilla buttercream, fresh strawberries and white chocolate shavings.

Here it is

If you would like to recreate this yummy cake here is how you can!

Strawberry & White Chocolate Cake

You will need:

For the sponge:

225g unsalted butter, at room temperature
225g caster sugar
225g self-raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
4 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 tbsp milk
12 squares of good quality white chocolate

For the filling & topping:

125g unsalted butter, at room temperature
250g icing sugar
3 tbsp milk
1 tsp vanilla ext rat
Red food colouring
Good quality strawberry jam
White chocolate shavings
A handful of fresh strawberries sliced (keep 1 whole)


Pre-heat oven to 160oC (fan) 180oC/350oF/gas mark 4
Grease and line two 20cm cake tins

Cream the butter and sugar together until pale in colour.
Put all of the dry sifted ingredients in a separate bowl
Add 1 egg at a time with a 1/4 of the dry ingredients and mix for a few minutes after each addition until all mixed.
Finally add the vanilla extract and milk beat again but do not over beat
Divide the mixture between the two tins. Then divide the white chocolate squares between the tins and sink each square just below the cake mixture surface.
Bake in the oven for 25-30 mins or until golden brown and cooked.

For the buttercream, whisk together the sifted icing sugar, milk, vanilla extract and butter until smooth and creamy.

Once cooled down put half the buttercream on the underside of one of the cakes and on the other cake add enough strawberry jam to generously cover the surface.
Sandwich the two cake halves together. Then add a squirt of the red food colouring to the remaining buttercream and once well mixed in add to the top of the cake. Then decorate with the fresh strawberries and white chocolate shavings.

Strawberry & White Chocolate Cake – done!

Recipe loosely based on a recipe taken from the book Cupcakes from the Primrose Bakery by Martha Swift and Lisa Thomas, but with my own added extras!
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Sleepless in Barnstaple

Despite almost falling asleep before he had his bath, and being to put to bed at 7pm because he seemed so tired, tonight Burton just did not want to go to sleep!

Usually when he is put to bed we have the same routine whereby he has to kiss the four cuddly toys hanging off his mobile – sometimes repeating the kissing just to delay going into his cot for a few more seconds! Then I have to reach in to the cot to pick up Penguin (his favourite cuddly friend whose poor beak is always sodden!) and he puts his beak in his mouth with a muffled “aaaaaaah” and hugs him and then he lays down with the other toys that are in the cot. These are Disney’s Simba and Roo, Burton Bulldog, Ducky and Little Giraffe.

However, tonight he did not bother with the kissing of the mobile animals, as he went straight to Penguin. I figured this is because he napped at his grandmas earlier and had missed his friend. As soon as I walked out of his room I could hear the squeals of delight at being reunited with his cot friends, and he was babbling away to them for ages. Fifteen minutes later he was sat upright pointing at the three cuddly toys sat up on the shelf opposite his cot, waving and talking to them. Another quarter of an hour passed by and he was crying unable to sleep so I let him come and sit downstairs and play for a bit while ate my tea. I put him back to bed and he was pointing at the toys on the shelf again, but I just passed him Penguin and left him again. Then he started crying and screaming again!

Well, within twenty minutes he was sat upstairs with me on my bed watching the last half an hour of Toy Story 2 pointing and commenting in babble speak at the animated toys appearing on the screen. No signs of any yawns!! Film ended and he starts channel hopping and laughing – I am yawning but he is having a lovely time! Anyway, by 9.30pm I took him back to his cot and oh how he screamed while pointing to the toys on the shelf. So in order to keep him quiet, and hopefully send him off to sleep, I took those two Teddy Bears and Humphrey (the elephant) and placed them in his arms. Straight away he started ‘talking’ to them and within ten minutes he was fast asleep.

So when I popped back in his room to take out some of the toys this is what I found. Can you spot the baby amongst the menagerie that is the contents of Burton’s cot?

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