New York Cointreau flavoured cheesecake – gluten free

This cheesecake is very heavy because of the amount of cheese in it, and I put just the teeniest amount of cointreau in it so that it was very delicately flavoured, I didn’t want the liqueur to overpower the cake.  You could of course experiment and add your favourite liqueur.  This will serve about 8 to 10 people with ease.

New York Cointreau cheesecake (gluten free)

New York Cointreau cheesecake (gluten free)

150g gluten free ginger biscuits

75g butter, melted

750g cream cheese (take out of fridge and allow to come to room temperature before using)

1 cup caster sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 tbsp gluten free plain flour

4 eggs

300ml sour cream

 

Crush biscuits and add to melted butter, press into base of 23 cm springform (greased and lined) or silicone tin and put in fridge for at least 30 minutes to chill.

Preheat oven to 140 celcius fan forced (160 if not fan forced).  Beat cream cheese, sugar and vanilla in a bowl until smooth and combined.  Mix in the flour, then add the eggs one at a time, beating until smooth again.  Stir in the sour cream.  Pour the mixture into prepared pan and bake for 90 minutes or until just set in centre.  Either allow to cool in oven once it is turned off, or leave on the bench in the pan until cooled.

Sprinkle cake with icing sugar and decorate as desired.

Nutella cheesecake – gluten free

This is so easy – there is no baking involved, the only ‘cooking’ is melting the butter, the rest is just chopping and mixing.  It is great for if you are having a gathering and you have a few other things to do – such as making lots of fresh salads for the barbeque – because it looks like you spent a lot more time on it than you did!

Nutella cheesecake

Nutella cheesecake

205g gluten free arrowroot biscuits, crushed

60g butter

100g hazelnuts, chopped varyingly – some roughly chopped, some finely chopped

400g nutella or other hazelnut spread – room temperature

500g light cream cheese

60g sifted icing sugar

 

Melt the butter in a large microwave safe bowl, mix in the crushed biscuits and 1/4 of the hazelnuts, then stir through a tablespoon of the nutella until well mixed.  Press firmly into the base of a greased 23cm springform pan and chill until required.

Beat the cream cheese and icing sugar until well mixed and smooth, then add the remaining Nutella.  Smooth over the base of the cheesecake.  Sprinkle the remaining hazelnuts over the top, and press in gently.  Refridgerate as long as possible (at least four to five hours, but overnight is best).

 

For interest I also found a jar of a crunchy hazelnut spread (Kraft I think) and used that in the base, and the smooth Nutella in the cheese mixture.

Frog in a pond mini cheesecakes – gluten free for Halloween

I made the mistake of going into a lolly shop to get some inspiration (unusual type of lollies) and couldn’t stop myself buying these blue marshmallows.  Then I got them home and didn’t know what to do with them.  So, I used some of my last Freddo heads to make these little treats, they looked unusual, but they tasted nice!  I made 6.

Frog in a pond mini cheesecakes

Frog in a pond mini cheesecakes

80g gluten free biscuits

50g melted butter

125g softened cream cheese

2 tbsp caster sugar

1 egg

3 tbsp thickened cream

1 tbsp lemon juice

3 blue marshmallows, cut in half with wet scissors (to stop the marshmallows sticking to the scissors)

6 freddo heads

Blue coloured sugar

 

Preheat oven to 160 celcius fan forced, 180 if not.

Crush the biscuits and combine with the melted butter.  Press into bases of a 6 hole muffin pan firmly.  (I use a silicone one as they come out easily, if you are using a metal tin, line it with muffin papers first).  Put in fridge until required so they get a chance to firm a little.

Combine cream cheese and sugar and beat until well combined.  Add egg and mix well.  Mix in cream and lemon juice until all just well blended, then spoon onto bases.  Bake for 20 minutes.

When the cheesecakes have cooled a little, press the cut marshmallow in a little, cut side down.  Leave to cool (if you put the frog on now, the weight of the frog will force the marshmallow right down into the cheesecake when it is warm, if you leave it to cool and set, the marshmallow won’t sink any further).  When completely cold, put the frog on top and sprinkle the sugar around.

An unexpected barbeque

We recently had relatives visiting from interstate, and although it isn’t really warm enough for outdoor barbequing at the moment (and who doesn’t love a good barbie?) it was still warm enough to cook one and bring everything in for a leisurely lunch.

As well as the obligatory snags (why is it that a sausage cooked outdoors smells and tastes so much better than one cooked inside?), chops and seasoned chicken skewers, we had a couple of salads and a yummy cheesecake.  Normally I do more, but there weren’t that many of us, so I restrained myself and only made two salads and one dessert.  The good news is, although there was plenty to go around, I wasn’t left with lots of leftovers to find space for in the fridge (anyone for Food Tetris?)

 

Curried Bean and Noodle Salad.

Curried Bean and Pasta Salad

Curried Bean and Pasta Salad

This must be the easiest salad in the world to throw together, no cooking (unless you count steeping some noodles in boiling water for a minute as cooking, which even I don’t!).  I often vary this depending on what I have in the pantry.  Sometimes I put in corn niblets, sometimes baby corn spears, or water chesnuts, or champignons, but this time I didn’t have any of that, so it was very basic.

Salad:

One green capsicum, diced finely;

Three to four spring onions, cut on the diagonal into pieces about 1-2 cm long;

One 420g tin of four bean mix, drained;

One 420g tin of red kidney beans, drained;

One packet of ready to serve rice noodles, cut with scissors into small lengths, steeped for a minute in boiling water, then drained.

Dressing (all approximate, vary depending on how much salad you have in the bowl):

2tbs olive oil;

2 tbs white vinegar;

1 tsp white sugar;

1 tsp curry powder;

2 tsp dried parsley flakes.

Assemble salad ingredients.  Shake dressing ingredients in a shaker, pour over salad ingredients and mix to blend.

 

Potato salad with creamy mustardy dressing.

Potato salad with creamy mustardy dressing

Potato salad with creamy mustardy dressing

Everyone has a preferred method of preparing their potatoes, some like to cook them whole, then cut them, I prefer to buy smaller potatoes that don’t need peeling, cut them into bite sized chunks then cook them until just soft enough to eat, then drain them.  Whichever way you prefer, prepare about 1kg of potatoes, then stir through this dressing , preferably when potatoes have cooled a little, but are still warm to touch.

½ cup good quality (preferably gluten free) mayonnaise;

½ cup thickened cream;

1 tbsp wholegrain mustard (the type from a jar, not powder);

2 tbsp chopped fresh chives if available, 1 tbsp dry if not. (optional)

Mix together the dressing ingredients and stir through the salad.

 

Caramel cheesecake (serves 8-10).

Caramel Cheesecake

Caramel Cheesecake

This is a little fussier than my favourite recipes, but the end result is worth that little bit of extra effort.

If you can source gluten free biscuits, then the cheesecake is gluten free as the caramel is ok.  I usually make the base and the filling the day before, and just top it the morning that I require it as it should be cool before the topping is put on.

Cooking time – 1 hour approximately in a 160 celcius oven.

Base:

250g biscuits;

125g melted unsalted butter.

Filling:

750g cream cheese (at room temperature if you have time);

1 cup dark brown sugar;

4 free range eggs;

½ cup thickened cream;

¼ cup gluten free plain flour.

Topping:

380g can caramel top’n’fill;

½ cup thickened cream;

2 tbsp golden syrup;

2 tsp gelatine;

1 tbsp hot water.

Method:

Crush biscuits by whatever method you prefer – either a food processor, in a bag with a rolling pin, or in a hand crusher.  Mix with melted butter, press into the base of a 22 cm springform cake pan, I line the base of mine with baking paper as shown:

Lining the springform tin

Lining the springform tin

Chill while preparing filling.

Beat cream cheese and sugar in an electric mixer until smooth.  Add eggs, one at a time.  Beat in cream and then flour, mix well.  Pour over biscuit base, cook in a slow oven for around one hour, or until centre is firm to touch.  Switch off the oven, and cool in the oven with the door open (if it cools too quickly it will crack).  Refridgerate until cold, preferably overnight.

Place top’n’fill, cream and golden syrup in a small saucepan, whisk over a low heat until smooth.  Sprinkle gelatine over water and dissolve, combine with topping mixture.  Cool at room temperature for about 20 minutes.  Pour over cheesecake, refrigerate until set.

To get it out of the springform without it breaking up, I first take the side off, then loosen the paper on one side.  I then use a pizza slice (pictured against an egg slice for scale) and slide this between the paper and the cake.  You should then be able to transfer it to your serving plate and then decorate as you wish.

Pizza slice

Pizza slice