I’m sorry. The puns get worse every week. I feel like that’s authentic GBBO though, because Mel and Sue definitely whip out progressively more terrible puns as the weeks go on too.
So it was dessert week. I am a dessert fiend. I’ve definitely been known to skip dinner and go for two desserts instead. I can’t physically understand the people that go for a starter and a main when they’re given the option of two courses.
When it comes to desserts, the one I physically can’t say no to is Sticky Toffee Pud. My boyfriend and I once spent 2 hours walking around the city trying to decide where to go for dinner, based solely on whether they sold sticky toffee pudding or not.
There were some amazing creations and flavour combination on this week’s GBBO- I am dying to try apple and tarragon together, or a cream soda cheesecake.
We learnt that Mary is a coconut-phobe, or at least Mat did after both his Signature bake and Showstopper included coconut. Her face at the prospect was amazing.
Ian got star baker again, and while he definitely deserves it and is obviously amazing- it’d be a bit more interesting if there was a bit more competition at the top.
One problem I have with this series is that everyone is around the same level, so you aren’t waiting for the slightly crap ones to get chucked out. It means nobody is safe. One minute you’ve decided on your favourite, the next they’re away home. RIP Sandy. 😥
Although Flora definitely won a few people over when she had her crisis over her cheesecakes being too simple. It’s terrible isn’t it, how we enjoy seeing people do badly? Or at least I do…
Trying to decide what to make for dessert week was a bit of a challenge. Every week, I bring my bakes into Uni the next day (dental students LOVE sugar, the secret is out).
So the prospect of trying to bring a dessert into Uni was a bit daunting. How do you share around creme brulee? As for a Spanische Windetorte, I once brought a cake to Uni and ended up serving everyone handfuls of crumbs (carrot bundt cake crumbs to be precise). There was no way a meringue confection was ever going to survive.
Baked cheesecake though, that could work? So long as I didn’t just turn up with a whole cheesecake.
So these little brownie base cheesecakes, with brulee topping came into existence. The darkly chocolately, fudgy brownies pair deliciously with the smooth and tangy cheesecake, and the crispy crackly top just makes it. Seriously, I had eaten the brulee topping off two of them before I could stop myself.
Not that it was all smooth sailing- using paper cupcake liners meant that when I put my cheesecakes under the grill to brulee, they bloody well decided to catch fire (paper is apparently highly flammable, especially when it’s covered in sugar, who’d have thought?).
Obviously this set off the fire alarm, which was a pleasant surprise for my neighbours at 11pm I’m sure, especially when they have young children.
Even better! The fire alarm broke and wouldn’t stop going off. And taking out the batteries didn’t stop it (I think it was possessed). Several panicked phonecalls to my Daddy, and I decided I should maybe brulee in the morning…
But I got there in the end. This is a fairly lengthy recipe, but it isn’t difficult. Rainy day baking.
My only final word of advice would be to avoid using paper cupcake liners if at all possible, and just cook these desserts in ramekins.
Unless you enjoy the sweet dulcet tones of your fire alarm.
Brûléed brownie cheesecake cups
-1/2 cup vegetable oil
-1 cup sugar
-1/2 cup cocoa powder
-1/2 cup flour
1. These 5 ingredient brownies are a cinch, you don’t need to get the mixer out, just mix the oil, sugar and eggs together until they form an even mix.
2. Add the cocoa powder and sugar and mix until the batter is completely combined.
3. Spoon your mix into your desired containers (hint, don’t use paper cupcake liners) until half filled. If using ramekins then ensure they are greased.
4. Pop into the oven at 170C until a shiny top has formed. This will take from 5-10 minutes, depending on the size of your containers. It shouldn’t be cooked through at this point, as it’ll be going back into the oven to cook the cheesecakes.
Cheesecake (adapted from http://sallysbakingaddiction.com/2013/11/18/salted-caramel-chocolate-chip-mini-cheesecakes/)
-2 X 200g full fat cream cheese (softened at room temperature)
-3/4 cup granulated sugar
-1/4 cup plain yoghurt
-1 tsp vanilla extract
1. Beat together cream cheese, yoghurt, vanilla extract and sugar until smooth with no lumps.
2. Add eggs, 1 at a time and ensure they are evenly mixed into the batter. Try not to mix too much air into the batter or it will cause the cheesecakes to rise like a souffle, then drop back down, giving you a sunken middle.
3. Spoon the cheesecake batter onto the partly cooked brownie mix, filling the container nearly to the top.
4. Pop back in the oven (still at 170C) and cook the cheesecakes for 10-20 minutes (depending on the size of your container). They will be ready when they begin to brown at the edges, and when you poke the cheesecake and it doesn’t leave any sticky mix on your finger (Mrs Precision I know, but it works for me!)
-Sprinkle a thin, even layer of granulated sugar on the sugar of each mini cheesecake, and place under a preheated grill. Watch extremely closely- everyone’s grill is different so test one cheesecake to begin with to give yourself an idea about how long it will take. It should only be around a minute or so. The topping will be done when brown spots appear on your topping, and you can no longer see the sugar granules.
-It literally takes seconds to burn. So don’t walk away from your brulee to e.g. fix your screeching fire alarm.