JimJams’ Chocolate Hazelnut Cheesecake

JimJams’ Chocolate Hazelnut Cheesecake

Anyone who knows me know’s I have a weakness for chocolate spread. I think its one of those foods that turns me a bit greedy to be honest. In fact, I often think if I had to eat my way out of a vat of food I would definitely hope it was some sort of chocolate theme spread..anyway I was very kindly sent some JimJams chocolate spread it was love. With 83% less sugar, this is kinder on children’s (and 28 year old lady’s) teeth than the leading brand. (Which I know also makes it a bit lower in calories but I believe it was developed with dental care in mind).

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Anyway, I was also sent some recipes to try out along with milk chocolate and hazelnut spreads to try so I think it was only polite to test one of them out.

To make a a Chocolate Hazelnut Cheesecake you will need:

200g rich tea biscuits

80g softened butter

350g JimJams Chocolate Hazelnut spread

500g cream cheese

200ml double cream

Any decoration you fancy – I used chocolate stars

Serves 8

Break the biscuits into crumbs in a food processor and blend in the butter. Press this mixture down into a loose bottomed tin measuring approx. 9 inches in diameter. Set this aside to chill in the fridge.

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Whisk your cream until it forms stiff peaks. Melt the chocolate spread in a microwave and whisk into the cream along with the cream cheese. Spread this into a thick, smooth layer over the buttery biscuit base (you can’t write a cheesecake recipe without using this term!)

Decorate as desired. Place in the fridge for 4 hours to set before serving.

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I actually enjoy cheesecake best on its own, but it would also taste great with some fruit, cream or ice cream.

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As mentioned above I was very kindly sent JimJams to try, but it is available in Holland and Barrett, Tesco and Ocado. See other retailers here. I will certainly be buying more.

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Malteaser cake

Malteaser cake

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If you’re anything like us you’ll probably have received a glut of chocolate over Christmas, or you’ll have vastly overestimated the number of Malteasers you’ll realistically be able to consume.If this is the case, this recipe is for you. This cake used one of those giant boxes of Malteasers to decorate it, but if you have a few blank spaces I’m sure you can add some other chocolates. The cake and buttercream icing have less cocoa in them than most chocolate cake recipes which makes it more child friendly. Perfect for family parties or for baking with younger children.

To make a Malteaser cake you will need:

For the sponge

3 large eggs

170g caster sugar

170g butter

160g self raising flour

10g cocoa powder

For the buttercream

120g softened butter

220g icing sugar (approx.)

1tbsp cocoa powder

1tbsp milk (again I used coconut milk and it was fine)

To decorate

1 large box of Malteasers (approximately)

Preheat your oven to 170°C and line 2 10 inch cake tins. Whisk together the eggs and sugar until the mixture is thick and frothy and leaves a trail on top of the mix. Sift in the flour and cocoa powder. Melt the butter and slowly add to your mix while you’re whisking in the flour. Once the mixture is smooth separate this into the two cake tins. Bake for about 12 minutes, until a skewer comes clean when poked into the sponge. Set aside to cool.

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While your sponged are cooling prepare your buttercream by whisking together the ingredients. The whisking will make the buttercream light and airy.

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Remove the paper from the cakes and sandwich together using a thin layer of the buttercream. Then cover the cake with the remainder. Once the cake is covered add the Malteaser chocolates as desired. I put mine on in a compact manner, but you can do it in a patter or dot them around a bit more if you wish.

This cake is a great crowd pleaser. I made it when we had friends at our house and it was very popular. Perfect to make in the lull between Christmas and New Year.

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Milk chocolate and Bailey’s truffles

Milk chocolate and Bailey’s truffles

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So this is a last minute recipe and its an absolute dream to produce for a crowd. I actually made these for my brother’s 30th birthday back in October but I thought, for many of us, the time we need to feed a lot of people delicious items is over the festive period. I hope you enjoy my last minute Christmas blogging and now you will have another festive recipe set aside should you need it.

These truffles are a dream as they only require 4 ingredients:

200g milk chocolate, broken into pieces

190ml double cream

10ml Baileys

Chopped hazelnuts

(This recipe can be scaled up or down as required)

In a heavy pan heat your cream and Baileys. Once it starts to simmer add the milk chocolate and allow to melt in. Once the ingredients are combined pour the mixture into a glass bowl and cover with cling film.

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Freeze this mixture for a couple of hours until it is solid. Once it has hardened use a teaspoon to make mouth sized pieces (technical term). Use the warmth of your hand to round the truffles – there is no photographic evidence of this as I was covered in chocolate!

Once you have the truffle shape roll this in the chopped nuts to decorate. These keep best if stored in the fridge. Serve with the Christmassy themed drink of your choice.

Chocolate tempering – any excuse to make truffles

Recently I was approached by Something Sweet magazine and asked to write a post where I followed the chocolate tempering guide as featured in their first issue. In addition they sent me all of these wonderful things:

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Note my running shoes in the background.

To be honest I’d never really bothered going out of my way to temper chocolate before but as I realised earlier this week this was a big mistake. Tempering chocolate causes the fat crystals to form in a specific way which gives chocolate an attractive sheen. It also means that the chocolate melts at just below body temperature so the chocolate literally melts in your mouth.

Anyway, I decided to take the opportunity to make some more truffles in different flavours this time. This made me extremely popular with my work colleagues and housemates (although I did manage to get chocolate around almost the entirety of my kitchen).

I went for 2 kinds of truffles; white chocolate ganache with milk chocolate coating and Nutella and cream cheese ganache with dark chocolate coating.

To make the white chocolate ganache truffles you will need:

200ml double cream

200g good quality white chocolate

200g milk chocolate

To make the Nutella cream cheese ganache truffles you will need:

200g light cream cheese (you can use full fat but lower fat versions make the texture lighter)

200g Nutella

200g dark chocolate

I also made some of the chocolate hearts as featured in the magazine to practise my chocolate tempering using some dark chocolate I had in from brownie making.

Anyway for the truffles with the white chocolate filling you need to break up your white chocolate and heat it gently with the cream until the chocolate has fully melted into the cream and the whole thing has slightly thickened. Cool this in the fridge for an hour and then transfer to the freezer for several hours as white chocolate ganache tends to be more challenging to handle than milk or dark chocolate ganache.

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Remove this from your freezer and use a spoon and your hands to shape this into mouth sized pieces. yes, mouth sized is a technical term.

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In order to temper your milk chocolate melt 2/3 in a glass bowl over a gently simmering saucepan and heat to between 45 and 47°C. Wrap the bowl in a tea towel,add the remaining 1/3 of the chocolate and once it is between 27 and 28°C its ready to work with. Dip the truffles into the chocolate (be quick or the white chocolate will melt into the milk chocolate).

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To make the Nutella truffles melt your Nutella in the microwave or in a glass bowl over simmering water. Stir in the cream cheese and mix well. Cool in the fridge for an hour and then put into the freezer for several hours.

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Using a teaspoon and your hands shape your truffles into what you consider an appropriate truffle size and shape (you could make one big one but you might get a stomach ache).

To temper the dark chocolate melt 2/3 in a glass bowl over a gently simmering saucepan and heat to between 48 and 49°C. Wrap the bowl in a tea towel,add the remaining 1/3 of the chocolate and once it is between 28 and 29°C its ready to work with. Dip the truffles into the chocolate (be quick or the white chocolate will melt into the milk chocolate).

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P1040667Dip your Nutella chocolates in the dark chocolate to decorate. Allow to cool.

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Something Sweet magazine provided an absolutely fantastic guide for me here. I think that even for more experienced cooks this magazine provides an excellent guide to making different types of confectionary. There are plenty of other recipes in each of the magazines and guides to making all types of sweet thing; perfect for every type of sweet tooth.

I hope this post shows how you can take skills such as chocolate tempering and then use this as a jumping off point to improve other recipes. I will definitely be taking the time to temper chocolate in the future as it really improved the chocolate tasting experience for all involved.

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You can buy Something Sweet Magazine from all good quality newsagents. I would like to thank everybody involved for the opportunity to do this post.