Orange, Vanilla & Lavender Cheesecake

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This recipe is for a 19cm round cake mold with a detachable bottom.

Ingredients:

For the lavender cookie crust:

180grs of Bastogne cookies, you can also use graham crackers

3 tablespoons of butter

1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

1 tablespoon of dried lavender

For the cheesecake:

400grs of cream cheese, at room temperature

100gr of sour cream

2 eggs

¾ cups of sugar

Pinch of salt

1 vanilla bean or 1 tablespoon of vanilla essence

2 tablespoons of orange zest

1 tablespoon of cacao powder, sifted

 

Preheat your oven to 160C/325F. Line the bottom and sides of your cake mold with parchment paper.

Start by making the crust. Melt the butter in a pan over medium heat with the dried lavender.

Place the cookies and vanilla essence in the food processor, and pulse until you get crumbs. Then slowly add the lavender butter. Once everything is mixed through, put the crumbs into the bottom of your cake mold. Press with your fingers or the back of a spoon so that there is a nice even layer on the bottom of the mold.  Set it aside.

Using an electric mixer, whisk the sugar with the orange zest to release the oils. Then add the cream cheese, vanilla and sour cream. Whisk until everything is well combined.

Then add the eggs and salt. Whisk until everything is mixed through. Reserve about 1/3 of a cup of the cheesecake batter to make the swirls later.

Pour the rest of the cheesecake batter into your prepared cake mold.

Whisk one tablespoon of cacao powder into the reserved cheesecake mixture. Using a spoon, drizzle the chocolate batter over the cheesecake. Using a toothpick or the tip of a knife, start making swirls.

Bake the cheesecake for 30 minutes. The center should still wiggle a bit.

Allow it to come to room temperature. Then place it in the fridge for at least 4 hours, better if it is overnight.

For more foodie inspiration, you can follow me on Instagram and Facebook.

 

Blueberry Cheesecake Brownies + Chocolate Giveaway

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My favorite desserts usually involve chocolate and I was lucky enough to get to try this limited edition Australian Snapper 110% cocoa chocolate bar before it hit the stores. At first, I was a bit puzzled. How can it be 110%, but after I opened the package I realized how! It’s a 200gr package, which is composed of two 55% chocolate bars of 100grs each. Two chocolate bars with caramel sea salt & almond nougat. It’s a rich chocolate bar with a crunch. The sea salt enhances the chocolate flavor and makes it an addictive combination. I decided to incorporate this chocolate bar into this dessert. You can find out more about this chocolate bar by clicking here.

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By now, you guys know how much I love to make swirl brownies. I chose to add blueberries this time, to take advantage of the season before they are gone. Besides great flavor, they add such a bright color and really make these cheesecake brownies pop.

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I have a cool Instagram giveaway for you guys; unfortunately it’s only for people living in the Netherlands. In collaboration with Australian Homemade, I am giving away 2 Snapper 110% chocolate bars to 5 lucky chocoholics. Since in those 2 bars, you get a total of 4 bars; you can choose to share it with your friends or family. Here is what you have to do:

  1. Follow Australian Homemade on Instagram.
  2. Follow Cravings in Amsterdam on Instagram.
  3. Leave a comment under the Instagram post of this giveaway saying that you want to win, and tag a friend who you think would enjoy some chocolate as well. You can find the post by clicking here.

This giveaway ends Thursday (20/Aug/2015) at midnight. On Friday morning, I’ll pick 5 winners at random.

This recipe makes 16 small squares.

Ingredients:

For the blueberry compote:

½ cup of blueberries

1/3 cup of sugar

¼ cup of water

1 teaspoon of corn starch

1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

For the brownie:

57gr butter

110gr of Australian Snapper Dark 55% chocolate, chopped

½ cup of sugar

2 eggs

½ teaspoon of vanilla extract

¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon of all-purpose flour

1 1/2 tablespoons of cocoa powder

Pinch of salt

For the cheesecake:

300gr of cream cheese at room temperature

1 egg

1/3 cup of sugar

1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

 

First make the blueberry compote:

In a small bowl, mix the water with the corn starch. Place the blueberries, sugar and vanilla in a medium pan. Add the corn starch mixture. Let it cook for 3 minutes on medium heat. Stir from time to time. Transfer to a bowl, and set aside to cool down.

To make the cheesecake:

Place the cream cheese in a bowl and whisk it until smooth. Then add the egg, sugar and vanilla extract. Whisk until smooth and everything is combined. Set aside.

To make the brownie:

Preheat the oven to 180C/350F and line a small square baking dish (22cm) with parchment paper.

Melt the butter with the chocolate over a water bath. Once it has completely melted, set aside and allow to cool down a bit.

In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs with the sugar and vanilla. Then add the chocolate and mix. Finally add the flour, cocoa powder and salt. Mix until it is all combined. Pour the brownie mixture into the prepared baking dish.

Carefully spread the cheesecake mixture over the brownie. Then spoon the blueberry compote over the cheesecake mixture. Use a toothpick or a knife to make the swirls. Make sure you only touch the cheesecake part, not the brownie part.

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Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until the cheesecake starts to get golden.

Leave it at room temperature until it cools down. Once it has cooled down, place in the fridge for 2 hours. After the 2 hours are up, slice it into squares. You can keep them in the fridge for up to 5 days.

 

 

Strawberry Cheesecake Stuffed Chocolate Cookies

Strawberry Cheesecake Stuffed Chocolate Cookies

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I’ve been a bit addicted to the new strawberry cheesecake Lindt chocolate bar for the last 2 months.  Whenever I get my hands on one of those chocolate bars, it just disappears within minutes. My hubby doesn’t really like those bars, so I don’t really have to share. Nom nom nom. I wanted to make a cookie version of it. I was testing the recipe yesterday with a friend of mine, who was also my hand model.  I baked the rest of the cookies today and had them for breakfast with my hubby. It was a nice way to start a very chilly Saturday morning. This recipe makes about 11 cookies.

Ingredients:

For the cookies:

57gr butter, softened

50gr sugar

50gr brown sugar

1 small egg

1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract

½ cup of all-purpose flour

30gr of cacao powder

½ teaspoon of baking soda

Pinch of salt

1 tablespoon of milk

For the filling:

50gr cream cheese, softened

1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon of icing sugar

1 tablespoons of strawberry jam

2 drops of vanilla extract

 

To make the filling, just mix all of the ingredients in a bowl until combined. I mixed it with a fork and then blended it to make it smooth.  Cover with plastic wrap and leave it in the freezer until ready to use. It is better if you leave it there overnight.  The next day it will have an ice cream like consistency and will be easier to fill the cookies.

To make the cookies, first cream the butter and then add the white and brown sugar.  Mix until it is light and fluffy. Then add the egg and the vanilla. Mix well and add the rest of the dry ingredients. Finally add the milk. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and leave it in the fridge for at least 2 hours. This dough is quite sticky so the longer it is in the fridge the better.  You can also just leave it in the fridge overnight and the next day assemble the cookies and bake them.

Preheat the oven to 180C/350F. Line a baking tray with parchment paper.

Take the dough out of the fridge and grab a bit more than a teaspoon of the dough and start making a ball. Repeat for all of the dough. You will need 2 balls to make one cookie.

Take the filling out of the freezer.

To assemble the cookie, flatten 1 ball with the palm of your hand (this will be the base of the cookie).  Then flatten another ball. Grab the first flattened ball, place a bit of the filling in the middle. Then cover the cookie with the other flattened ball.  Finally seal the edges using your fingers and place the stuffed cookie in the prepared baking tray. Repeat for all of the dough.

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Bake the cookies for 10 minutes.

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