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Strict Standards: Declaration of Walker_Comment::end_el() should be compatible with Walker::end_el(&$output) in /home/dish/public_html/wp-includes/comment-template.php on line 0 » Dessert

Posts Tagged ‘Dessert’

Baked Pear Cheesecake

Sunday, March 29th, 2009

After eating some yummy cheesecake at Pearl Cafe I decided to do some cheesecake baking of my own. Pears have just come in season so what better way to celebrate than with cake. This turned out to be a really nice cake. It wasn’t too dense but I really should have had more pear. The base was nice but I wanted it more crunchy, so maybe I’ll use less butter next time.

This receipe was adapted from Stephanie Alexander’s Best Cheesecake Ever receipe on


100g butter (melted)
300g butternut snap cookies
500g cream cheese, at room temperature
200g caster sugar
1 tbsp cornflour
3 eggs
2 tbsp lemon juice (I think that the cake could have been improved by substituing half of the lemon juice with pear juice)
few drops of vanilla extract to taste
pinch of salt
2 cups sour cream
2 pears (I Used only 2 pears for this receipe but I recommend increasing this to at least 3)

Preheat oven to 180ºC.

Brush the base and sides of a 22cm x 6cm deep springform tin with a little of the melted butter. Remove the base from the tin. 

Cut a round of baking paper to fit the base of the tin, brush the paper with a little butter and set aside.

Tear off an 80cm sheet of foil and double it over so it measures 40cm in length. Lay the foil over the base of the tin, then put the buttered round of paper on top. Sit the springform tin over the base and lock the sides into place, leaving excess foil outside the tin. Draw up the excess foil around the tin and fold the top out of the way. You now have a watertight container.

Pear Cheesecake Tin

Crush the biscuits in a food processor. Add the remaining butter and process. Press the crumb mixture into the base of the tin, tapping firmly with the base of a glass tumbler or similar as you go. I pressed some of the crumb mixture into the sides but later I realised that I had left the base quite thin. Next time I will put all the mixture in the bottom for a thicker base.

Pear Cheesecake Base

Beat the cream cheese and sugar in an electric mixer until smooth.

Pear Cheesecake Sugar Cheese

Beat in the cornflour, then add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating each time just until smooth.

Pear Cheesecake Batter

Add the lemon juice, vanilla and salt.

Add the sour cream and beat briefly to combine.

Peel the pears then halve and remove core. Slice into small slices.

Pear Cheesecake Pears

Pear Cheesecake Sliced Pears

Pour the batter into the tin to fill about 1/3 of the way up. Add 1/3 of the pears.

Pear Cheesecake Batter

Pear Cheesecake Batter and Pears

Add another third of the batter and again top with pears.

Pour the remaining batter and top with the last of the pears.

Pear Cheesecake

Stand the tin in a large baking dish. Pour boiling water into the dish to come halfway up the sides of the tin.

Bake for 50 minutes, then turn off the oven but do not open the door for a further hour.

Lift the tin from the water bath and flatten the foil away from the sides just in case there is any water trapped inside. I used paper towel to soak up some of the excess water.

Pear Cheesecake

Allow to cool completely in the tin on a wire rack and then refrigerate for several hours or overnight before serving.

Pear Cheesecake

Eat it!

Dark Chocolate Brownies with Walnuts

Thursday, March 19th, 2009

I recently read about muscovado sugar (unrefined cane sugar) which is similar to brown sugar except with a more rich taste and has a deeper colour. There are light and dark varieties and they are more “sticky” than brown sugar.

Then as if it was a sign I was walking through the specialty food section of my local fruit and vege shop and found a box of muscovado sugar sitting very close to a container of Lindt Ecuador Dark chocolate pieces. Without really knowing what I was going to make I found my arm reaching out and grabbing both ingredients to put into my shopping basket.

Once home I decided it was time to make some brownies and here is the result. The recipe is adapted from Recipe by Chrissy Freer, published in the August 2003 issue of delicious (page 135).


140g unsalted organic butter
200g good quality dark chocolate
200g light muscovado sugar (or brown sugar)
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs
1 egg yolk
85g plain flour
75g walnuts chopped
Cocoa powder or icing sugar to dust

Preheat the oven to 160°C.

Grease and line your baking pan. I used a 32cm x 16 cm x 3.5 cm pan but you can use a square or rectangle cake pan.

Melt the butter and chocolate (I used Lindt Ecuador Dark Chocolate).


The best practice for this is apparently in a double boiler or in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water. I used a small metal bowl over a small saucepan but because I used a metal bowl I had to watch the chocolate mixture to make sure it didn’t burn. Do not let the bowl touch the water in your pan as it will be too hot and can burn the chocolate.

Once this has melted, remove it from the heat and let it cool slightly.

Add the light muscovado sugar, vanilla and a good pinch of salt to the chocolate mixture and beat until well combined.

Whisk in the eggs one at a time, and beat well after each addition.

Add the egg yolk and flour and beat until smooth.

Fold in the walnuts. You can buy pre-chopped walnuts or buy whole nuts and chop yourself if you would like bigger pieces (pre-chopped nuts can be quite small). If you like, you can lightly toast the nuts (they don’t take long to toast so make sure you don’t burn them!)

Pour the mixture into your pan and smooth the top.

Bake for 40 minutes or until a skewer comes out with only a few moist crumbs on it, not batter.

Allow the brownies to cool and then turn it out onto a wire rack to peel off the lining paper.

Cut into squares and dust with cocoa or icing sugar before serving.

These go down a treat with some vanilla ice-cream and are especially delicious served warm.

The brownies can be kept for 2 to 3 days in an airtight container in the fridge or they can be frozen for up to 2 months.