Croissant Cinnamon French Toast

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I absolutely adore French Toast, or eggy bread as some people prefer to call it. For this recipe though you have to call it French Toast as I used croissants instead of bread. It is super quick and easy and a cheap recipe to make, and your tasty treat will be on it’s way to your mouth just a few minutes after opening the croissant packet!

I received a pack of 8 croissants from Brioche Pasquier as part of the May Degustabox (review of that coming very soon).

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I do love croissants but wanted to try something different with these. I wasn’t sure if they would work as French Toast but I can definitely now say they do! The addition of cinnamon sugar after they have cooked just takes them to another level and you can then top them however you want, or just eat them as they are. I topped one half with strawberries and the other I left with just the cinnamon sugar. Both were sooooooo good. They’d also be amazing with ice cream on top. And chocolate sauce drizzled over. And…… I’m getting carried away! Eat them as a tasty elevenses treat, or a delicious dessert. However you eat yours, I am sure you’ll love them.

The recipe is enough for 3 croissants, so just double it if you want to make more.

CROISSANT CINNAMON FRENCH TOAST

3 Croissants

1 egg

2 tbsp milk

1 tbsp vanilla extract

knob of butter

50g caster sugar

Half tsp ground cinnamon

  • Split the croissants in half horizontally.
  • Beat the egg, milk and vanilla extract together and then pour on to a large plate.
  • Arrange the croissant halves on the egg mixture with the cut side facing down. Leave for a couple of minutes to soak up some of the mixture. Carefully turn the croissant halves over so the top and bottom gets covered in the mixture too.
  • Gently melt the butter in a frying pan. Fry the croissants cut side facing down, gently pressing with a spatula or fish slice, until golden. Flip them over and fry for a minute or so more until this side is also golden.
  • Mix the caster sugar and cinnamon together in a small bowl then spread this cinnamon sugar on to a plate. Place a croissant half on to the sugar to coat one side, turn it over to coat the other side, then repeat with the other croissants.
  • Serve warm as they are, or add any toppings of your choice. I used sliced strawberries mixed with a spoon of strawberry syrup for one half.

This is a lovely sweet recipe and I found it to be very moreish so make sure you have plenty of croissants to go round!

No-Bake Rose and Pistachio Cheesecake

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With Christmas already becoming a distant memory, thoughts turn to Valentine’s Day. Whether you’re single or in a relationship, you just can’t escape it. The lovely people at Monin UK asked me if I would like to come up with a recipe suitable for this romantic day, and I immediately knew what I would make. People often say that oysters are the food of love. Well they’re wrong. It’s cheesecake! Fluffy, creamy, indulgent cheesecake. Not the baked ones either. You just can’t beat a no-bake cheesecake. And if you’re going to make something so heavenly, you don’t want to settle for a thin, easily crumbled base and an inch of cheesecake topping, oh no! You need a thick base you can taste, and you need lashings of creamy topping. If this looks too much for you, you can just half the ingredients to make a more delicate version, but I’d recommend going the whole hog and trying it this way. Or you could just use a bigger tin than I used.

As you all know by now, rose is my absolute favourite flavour and perfect for Valentine’s day. Don’t give someone a single red rose. That’s too cliché! Make them a beautiful rose cheesecake instead. Decorate it with rose petals, and you’ve just won my heart 🙂 I didn’t just want rose on its own though. I wanted another delicate taste, and pistachio pairs beautifully with rose. I’ve included pistachio nuts in the base and the topping but you can leave them out if you want. The pistachio syrup flavour is gorgeous. I only added the actual nuts for a bit of yummy texture. You could make this cheesecake using different flavoured syrups if you prefer but be careful if you do… not all are suitable as some of the more sour ones (such as pomegranate and cranberry) can curdle the mixture. I was toying with the idea of delicately colouring the layers (green for the pistachio and pink for the rose) but decided that if you accidentally add too much you’ll be left with a very garish looking dessert. So I’ve kept it simple this time, but feel free to colour the layers gradually if you want.

NO-BAKE ROSE AND PISTACHIO CHEESECAKE

FOR THE BASE

250g digestive biscuits

110g unsalted butter

30g pistachio nuts

FOR THE TOPPING

2 x 280g tubs full-fat cream cheese (I used Philadelphia)

100g icing sugar, sifted

300ml double cream

50g pistachio nuts

3 tbsp Monin Pistachio Syrup

3 tbsp Monin Rose Syrup

Rose petals, to decorate

  • To Make the Base: line a 7 inch loose-bottomed deep cake tin or springform cake tin with foil, carefully making sure you press as many bumps out as possible. Gently melt the butter in a saucepan, making sure it doesn’t burn. Blitz the biscuits and pistachios in a food processor until they become crumbs. Alternatively, place them into a ziplock bag, and bash them with a rolling pin.
  • Pour the crumb mixture into the pan with the butter and mix until well combined. Tip this mixture into the cake tin, cover the bottom completely, and then use the back of a spoon to press the mixture down firmly. Place into the fridge for at least 1 hour to firm up.
  • To Make the Topping: Place the cream cheese into a large bowl, or the bowl of a stand mixer, and gently whisk it to loosen it up a bit. Add the sifted icing sugar and whisk until combined.
  • In another bowl, whip the double cream until it reaches soft peak stage. (When you lift the beater or whisk,  the cream will form a slight peak but the tip of it will fold back down).
  • Add the cream to the cream cheese mixture and fold in with a spatula until well combined. Place half of this mixture into another bowl (or back in the bowl you whipped the cream in to save dishes).
  • Place the pistachio nuts into a food processor and blitz until roughly chopped. Alternatively chop by hand with a sharp knife. Tip these into one of the bowls of cheesecake mixture, along with the pistachio syrup. Fold in well with a spatula until completely combined. You’ll notice it thickening as you fold it. Pour this on top of the cheesecake biscuit base, and smooth it down until level. Place into the fridge until the next part is ready to use.
  • Pour the rose syrup into the bowl with the remaining cheesecake mixture and fold in well with a spatula. Again, you’ll notice it thickening. Remove the cheesecake from the fridge and gently spoon this layer on top. Spread until it has covered the first layer and is smooth and level. Place back into the fridge for at least 5 hours to set (overnight would be perfect).
  • Remove from the fridge. Gently remove from the tin and peel off the foil very carefully. It should hold it’s shape easily by now. Place onto a serving plate and scatter rose petals around the top. Serve and enjoy!

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I used a range of large and small petals but you can use whichever you prefer. Or you can use pistachios or even chocolate curls if you prefer. Although I made this with Valentine’s Day in mind, it is perfect for any occasion really.

I’d recommend buying Monin Syrups either from Udal Supplies Ltd or from Next Day Coffee. Just click on their names to go straight to their websites.

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!

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No Bake Peanut Butter and Jelly Cheesecake Recipe with Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups

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I was lucky enough to receive another yummy Degustabox in September and one of the scrumptious food items was Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. (We’re still getting through the other items but my box review will be up when we’ve tried it all).

I was lucky enough to receive 2 packets of these peanut butter cups, and each packet contained 3 cups. I must admit, I had never tasted them before so was excited to try them. Chocolate covered peanut butter… heaven! Well, I liked them so much I had to buy more for this recipe!

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I was wondering what I could make with them and decided that as Reese’s is an American company, I wanted to try the favourite American combination of peanut butter and jelly. I had to spend some time Googling this… should it be jelly like we eat in trifles, or jelly as in jam? What flavour should it be? I discovered that it is jamlike, and traditionally grape flavoured. However I couldn’t find grape jelly/jam anywhere here so I used strawberry. I think any berry jam would work just as well. In this recipe I used 8 peanut butter cups and the peanut butter taste was strong but delicious. If you want a more subtle taste I would use 5 or 6. You can always add more if you want it stronger. Also, I like quite a deep cheesecake as it’s a really indulgent creamy dessert, but if you like a thinner one, just use half of the ingredients. I made this in an 8 inch deep cake tin. Anyway, enough waffling, here’s the recipe:

NO BAKE PEANUT BUTTER AND JELLY CHEESECAKE

250g digestive biscuits

80g unsalted butter

1 tbsp caster sugar

560g cream cheese

250ml double cream

80g icing sugar

5 to 8 Reese’s peanut butter cups, depending on how strong you want the flavour

3 tbsp strawberry jam

  • Line a deep cake tin with foil, getting rid of any big creases by pressing them down. Blitz the digestive biscuits in a food processor, or crush in a sandwich bag until there are no big chunks left. Mix in the caster sugar.
  • Melt the butter and then pour on to the biscuit crumbs. Mix well and then transfer to the foil lined tin. Spread it all over the base and press down firmly with the back of a metal spoon. Place in fridge for 30 minutes to harden.
  • Place the Reese’s peanut butter cups in a heatproof bowl and either melt over a pan of barely simmering water making sure the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water, or heat in the microwave checking every few seconds so they don’t burn. Stir the chocolate and peanut butter mixture well until it is all combined and is one colour.
  • In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add the icing sugar and continue to beat. Add the melted Reese’s cups and beat well until it is all combined. Add the cream and beat until the mixture thickens. Alternatively you can beat the cream in a separate bowl until soft peak stage, then fold it into the peanut butter cheesecake mixture.
  • Pour the mixture on top of the biscuit base and spread evenly.
  • Very gently heat the jam until it just starts to go liquidy, then sieve to remove any lumps of fruit. (You just want the “jelly”). Use a teaspoon to drop little blobs of the jam on top of the cheesecake, then use a cocktail stick or skewer to make a swirly pattern. Place in fridge and chill for at least 4 hours until set.
  • To remove, gently lift the foil out of the tin, peel away from cheesecake and serve.

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Chocolate and Baileys Mousse

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Do I have a treat in store for you today!! A friend gave me this recipe a long time ago and I added a bit more Baileys and a bit more chocolate to make it extra indulgent. It is very rich so you probably wouldn’t eat as much as I put in the wine glass in the picture. Obviously I wouldn’t either of course, I just put that much in to show you…erm… what a piggy portion would look like. Ok so I might have eaten that much. Alright, alright, I did! I couldn’t resist.

This is a perfect dessert for dinner parties, or just something delicious to share with friends. It has been the sweet accompaniment to quite a few girls nights in, along with the rest of the bottle of Baileys 🙂 Here is the recipe. Using the cream and yoghurt at room temperature allows the gelatine to mix in perfectly. If you use them straight out of the fridge, the gelatine will set in stringy lumps as you fold it in, as cold temperatures strengthen it. I can tell you from personal experience, that doesn’t taste nice!!

CHOCOLATE AND BAILEYS MOUSSE

2 tsp gelatine powder/granules

2 tbsp boiling water

300 ml plain Greek yoghurt, at room temperature

300 ml double cream, at room temperature

55 g caster sugar

2 eggs, separated, and at room temperature

3 tbsp Baileys

3 chocolate Flakes, crumbled roughly, plus extra to decorate if desired

  • Place the gelatine and boiling water in a small bowl over a pan of barely simmering water. Make sure the bowl does not touch the water in the pan. Stir until the gelatine has dissolved. Leave to cool slightly but do not let it set.
  • Pour the yoghurt, cream, sugar and egg yolks into a large bowl and whisk together until it has thickened and the whisk leaves a soft pattern in the mixture.
  • In a clean bowl, whisk the egg whites until stiff. Very gently fold into the cream mixture with a large spoon or spatula. Use the lightest touch possible to keep as much air in as you can.
  • Add the Baileys and the Flakes, and fold in gently. Pour the gelatine into the mixture and fold in until all combined.
  • Spoon into a large serving dish or individual glasses and chill in the fridge until set. Decorate with extra chocolate or enjoy as they are.

I know what you’re thinking… you’re welcome 🙂