This is the second time I've made this cheesecake, and the first time, whilst tasting divine, it looked like a truck at hit it. This time I adjusted a few things, and it looked slightly better. Nothing like the recipe picture said it would look like, but it still looked good. And most importantly it tasted amazing, and thats what the SYV critics said :-)


250g plain chocolate biscuits
150g butter, melted, plus 20g butter extra
300ml thickened cream (full fat)
2 tablespoons brown sugar
50g milk chocolate, finely chopped
3 and 1/2 teaspoons gelatine
1/4 cup (60ml) boiling water
2 x 250g packets cream cheese (room temperature)
1/2 cup (120g) caster sugar
3 x 60g Mars bars, finely chopped

1. Crush the biscuits in a food processor until they resemble coarse breadcrumbs.

2. Combine the crushed biscuits with the melted butter.

3. Press this mixture into the base and sides of a 20cm springform tin, and put in the fridge to chill and set for at least half an hour.

Butterscotch Sauce:
4. Place the extra butter, brown sugar and 2 tablespoons of the cream in a saucepan and combine over the stove until the sugar is completely dissolved.

Chocolate Sauce:
5. Place the chocolate and 2 tablespoons of cream in another saucepan and again combine the ingredients over the heats until the chocolate has melted.

6 Place the cream cheese and castor sugar in a bowl and beat using an electric beater until the mixture is smooth.

7. Add the chopped Mars bars to the cheese mixture and combine.

8. In another bowl, whip the remainder of the cream until soft peaks form.

9. Bring the water to the boil and take off the heat. Add the gelatine and stir until all the gelatine is dissolved. Let the mixture cool slightly, but do not let it set.

10. Add the gelatine mixture to the cheese mixture and stir well.

11. Fold in the cream.

12. Layer in half this cheese-cream mixture into the biscuit base prepared earlier.

13. Drizzle in half the chocolate and butterscotch sauces.

14. Repeat this process for the remainder of the cheese-cream mixture and sauces.

15. Cover the springform tin and place in the fridge to set. Leaving it overnight gives the best results.


Photo courtesy of one of my awesome brothers... blame him for the DOF issues :P
This is a recipe I stole from Sathya. She has an awesome blog which I often steal recipes from, plus I recently discovered she is a Gossip Girl fan, which I've decided makes her even more cool :-) Anyway, this was one of her recipes I had made numerous times before. This time, I had a few extra ingredients I needed to get rid, plus I was missing a few things, so I decided to do a little improvising, and it worked!

Ingredients (serves 4):

250g pasta (I usually use macaroni or elbows)

2 cloves of garlic, crushed or sliced

1 cup of sundried tomatoes, chopped and kept in their oil

1/2 cup sliced olives

2 tbs olive oil

1/2 tsp chilli flakes (I tend to go a bit overboard, coz i like it hot...)

1 can beans (Sathya recommends cannelini beans, but I replaced this with 4 bean mix)

1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp oregano
fresh pepper

1/2 cup grated parmesan

1. Cook the pasta according to directions.

2. At the same time, heat the olive oil together with the sundried tomato oil in a pot and add the garlic. Sautee for a minute and then add the chilli flakes.

3. Add the sundried tomatoes and make sure they are spread over the pan. Let them cook for a minute and then add the olives and ladle in a cup of the pasta water. Let this mixture cook until the liquid reduces by half.

4. Drain the can of beans and add it to the mixture, together with the salt and about 1 and a 1/2 more cups of pasta water. Mix well and let the sauce simmer for about 5 minutes.

5. Add a sprinkle of oregano to this mixture.

6. Once the pasta is done, combine it with the sauce mixture and mix throughly.

7. Remove from the heat, stir through the parmesan cheese and serve!

The apple crumble was a disaster; I needed to follow up strong, so I reverted back to my trusty pasta dishes. Generally when I make pasta dishes I tend to use whatever is left over in our fridge. Infact the whole exercise revolves around me trying to finish up various bits of items left over from other recipes. Last night was no exception.

We had a jar of sundried tomato pesto in the fridge which had been there for about a month. That needed to be used. We had tomatoes that we had bought in bulk from the market that were going soft. They too needed to be used. There was a piece of capsicum in the vegetable drawer of the fridge left over from a random curry my mum had made. There was a lonely zucchini and an eggplant. Funnily enough there was also half a bag of spiral pasta in the pantry, so I decided to put it all together.

Ingredients (serves 2):

  • 250 grams of pasta (whatever sort you have handy)
  • Enough water to cook the pasta

  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • ½ an onion, sliced finely
  • About 3 tbs of sundried tomato pesto (I’m sure basil pesto would work just as well)
  • 1 large, well ripe tomato, diced
  • 1 side of capsicum, diced
  • ½ of a large zucchini, diced
  • 1/3 of a large eggplant, diced
  • ½ cup milk
  • Oregano to taste

Bring water to boil and cook your pasta according to directions. I have no idea how pasta is meant to be cooked properly, but I’ve heard that adding about 1 tsp salt and about 1 tbs oil to the boiling water prevents the pasta from sticking. It seems to work.

While your pasta is boiling away, heat the olive oil in a pan and lightly brown the onions. Once this is done add in tomatoes and sautee for a minute or two. Then add zucchini and eggplant and continue for another two minutes. Finally add in the capsicum. The tomatoes should have made the vegetable mixture go reasonably gluggy.

To this, add the pesto and stir a bit longer. Once everything is mixed nicely, add the milk and let it simmer for about 3 minutes. Before you think adding milk is a ridiculous idea, bear in mind I was exactly the same. But D convinced me otherwise. Apparently he thinks its normal to simmer everything in milk because it makes it more creamy, rather than water which will thin it down. It seems logical enough, so I do it.

Anyway, by this time the pasta should be about done, so add a few generous ladles of the pasta water and let it simmer some more until the consistency is nice. In the meantime drain the pasta also.

Add a sprinkle of oregano (and chilli flakes, which I totally forgot about, grrr), give it a quick stir and mix it into the pasta.

And so began my year in the kitchen. I had long been meaning to make apple crumble. It's such a warm, homely recipe, that goes down a treat with custard or ice cream, so I thought I'd start the year off with it.

Surprisingly, the last and only time I had made apple crumble was in my Yr 8 Home Ec class, and I had no idea what the recipe was then, so I needed a new recipe. Who better than to turn to but Google who promptly directed me to this recipe. But be warned, pictures can be deceiving. My picture is much more accurate..

Had I been smart enough to read the reviews of the recipe before I started making it, I would have known it was a disaster waiting to happen, but clearly I wasn't that organised.

And so began my adventure:

Ingredients (serves 4)

  • Melted butter, to grease
  • 115g (3/4 cup) plain flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 180g butter, chilled, cubed
  • 140g (2/3 cup, firmly packed) brown sugar
  • 35g (1/3 cup) rolled oats
  • 4 apples
  • 2 tbs fresh lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 tbs caster sugar
The first step was to grease the pan. So far so good.

Step 2 - Rub the butter into the flor so that the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. This is where it all fell apart. Rather than breadcrumbs, I ended up with a paste.

Not one to quit, I continued, adding the brown sugar and rolled oats. Didn't help much, Now I had semipaste with bits of oats sticking out of it. Nevertheless, I perceviered and continued on, preparing the apples, spreading the semi paste mixture over it and then sticking it into the oven.

Thirty minutes later, out came this gooey, bubbling, buttery mess. You could literally see the fat oozing from it. I was brave enough to eat it, after I tried to scoop out all the excess melted butter... It was no crumble, but rather apple goo. Admittedly, it didn't taste too bad, but was nothing like what I had hoped for.

Moral of the story? If you're stealing recipes off the internet (which I always do) make sure you read the reviews...