University of Birmingham graduate with a passion for food & cooking as part of a healthy lifestyle

Twitter: @EatRainbowLove
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Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Marbled chocolate cheesecake

I wish I could say that I created this recipe but unfortunately, the triumph goes to Mary Berry. I made this for an anniversary party and was nervous because I'd never made a chocolate cheesecake before and didn't know how the marbled effect would turn out, but it was a massive success! Everyone loved it and it turned out to be the most popular dessert. It will definitely impress - super rich, creamy and chocolatey will always be a winner - people didn't believe that it was home-made! Don't shy away from making this because it's baked and more effort than just whacking it in the fridge, baked cheesecakes have a much more velvety texture and are just to die for. You have to make this, and it will be a recipe you are passing on for years, I just wish it was my own!

(I did change the measurements slightly - the original recipe only had 100g biscuits and I found that this just wasn't enough to fill the 8 inch tin)

Quick tip: use only the best ingredients when making a luxury dessert - for me this means McVitie's biscuits, lurpak butter, philadelphia cheese and proper belgium cooking chocolate!

Serves 8-10
- 150g plain chocolate digestive biscuits, crushed
- 75g butter, melted
- 150g plain chocolate
- 700g full fat soft cheese
- 225g caster sugar
- 1/2 tsp vanilla essence
- 2 eggs, beaten

1. Grease an 8 inch spring bottom cake tin and pre-heat the oven to 160 degrees / gas mark 3.
2. Mix together the melted butter and crushed biscuits and press firmly into the bottom of the cake tin.
3. For the cheesecake mixture, beat the soft cheese in a large mixing bowl until smooth. Stir in the sugar and vanilla essence and beat until glossy, then gradually stir in the beaten eggs until fully combined.
4. Melt the chocolate in a separate bowl.
5. Meanwhile, spoon half of the cheesecake mixture onto the biscuit space in separate blobs with gaps in between.
6. Add the melted chocolate to the other half of the cheesecake mixture and mix together until smooth and silky.
7. Spoon the chocolate mixture in between the cheesecake mixture already in the tin, then swirl the top to give a marbled effect.
8. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes or until the cheesecake is puffy round the edges but still soft in the middle. Turn off the oven but leave the cheesecake in there to cool. 
9. Once fully chilled (best overnight in the fridge), run a knife around the edge to loosen the cheesecake then gently remove and you are ready to serve!
Enjoy :)

Friday, 8 November 2013

Apple and Cinnamon Muffins

These are a little bit of heaven. They smell and taste just like autumn - you've got soft apple chunks, 'chewy' dried cranberries, crunchy pumpkin seeds and the warming cinnamon flavour. These muffins are perfect for this time of year - they are super moist and crisp on top just the way I like them. They kind of taste like Starbucks pumpkin spiced lattes which are so yummy, I think it must just be the cinnamon.These are honestly one of my favourite baking creations to date, I will be coming back to this recipe every autumn now. If you make them please have one straight from the oven for me! mm mm

Makes 8 muffins
- 200g plain flour
- 50g soft brown sugar (plus extra for the topping)
- 100g caster sugar
- 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
- pinch of salt
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon (plus extra for the topping)
- 100ml milk
- 80ml sunflower oil
- 1 large egg, beaten
- few drops of vanilla essence
- 1 large cooking apple, peeled, cored and chopped
- 75g dried cranberries
- 50-75g pumpkin seeds (optional)

1. Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees / gas mark 6.
2. Mix together all the dried ingredients in a large mixing bowl (flour, sugars, baking powder, salt and cinnamon)
3. In a jug, mix together the milk, oil and beaten egg until combined.
4. Gradually stir in the mixture in the jug into the dry ingredients until combined, then add in the apple chunks and mix together.
5. Next, stir in the dried cranberries and pumpkin seeds, if using, and mix until well combined.
6. Line a muffin tin with muffin cases and spoon the mixture into them.
7. Fill them quite full, then place in the oven for around 20 minutes or until golden grown on top.
8. When they are done, take them out of the oven but leave them in the tray for a few minutes while you mix together some brown sugar and ground cinnamon in a small bowl, for the topping.
9. Sprinkle the sugar and cinnamon mixture over the top of each muffin whilst still hot, this just makes them look nicer and gives extra flavour and sweetness! Place on a wired tray to cool or enjoy warm from the oven.
I accidentally ate one when it was hot out of the oven (don't worry, it was a mis-shapen one because it didn't fit in the muffin tray). It was so delicious - this is what it looked like inside, of course the other muffins looked better because they weren't flat and squished.  

Enjoy :)

Thursday, 7 November 2013

Spaghetti Carbonara

I was craving creamy pasta so bad the other week that I had to whip up a classic carbonara. It was so delicious it didn't stay on my plate for very long. This dish is right at the top of my favourite comfort foods, and is great for a special occasion if you don't have much time but want something that will impress. Perfect served with some oozing garlic bread.

Serves 2
- 100g pancetta, cubed
- 150g mushrooms, sliced
- 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
- 200g spaghetti
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 150ml double cream
- pepper
- fresh parmesan, grated

1. Fry the pancetta in olive oil or butter until it starts to crisp, then add the mushrooms and garlic and cook until softened.
2. Meanwhile, in salted boiling water, cook the spaghetti according to packet instructions (about 10 mins).
3. Mix together the beaten egg and cream in a jug and add as much black pepper as you like. Stir in a generous amount of grated parmesan.
4. When the spaghetti is cooked, drain and add to the pan with the pancetta and mushrooms.
5. Pour in the egg and cream to the pasta and stir until combined over a low heat for a few minutes.
6. Serve immediately and grate a generous amount of parmesan on top and some more pepper, et voila!

Be sure to follow me on instagram if you like to look at pictures of food and see what I've been eating! 'lottierainbow'

Enjoy :)

Smoothie & pumpkin seed hype

So I am a massive fan of making smoothies and although they're not always super 'healthy' since they are loaded with sugar from fruit, they are still a great way to get some good nutrients in and I love that you can put absolutely anything you want in them!

Below I have linked two smoothie recipes I have posted before, the pineapple and spinach one I particularly love and it is nearly always the one I go for when making a smoothie. It has such great, tangy flavour from the pineapple and you get all the goodness from the spinach and oooof just is too good.

My boyfriend has got a new blender recently which he is obsessed with so we've been making a lot of great smoothies. One of our favourites has had pumpkin seeds in which I've recently discovered and love (what have I been doing this whole time!?) - they make smoothies more filling and add a new dimension of flavour. Plus they are a great source of fibre so you can't really go wrong. I also expected them to be quite pricey since nuts and seeds tend to be, but I got these from Lidl and they weren't bad at all and they seem to last ages so I would definitely pick some up. You can also use them in baking, add them to cereal or yogurt etc.

Makes 2
- 2 bananas, broken into smaller pieces,
- big glug of almond (or soya) milk 
- 4 heaped tbsp of low fat natural yogurt
- big handful of frozen berries
- big handful of pumpkin seeds
- big handful of spinach (optional)

(Sorry nothing is very specific - the good thing about smoothies is you can add as much of anything as you want)
Another one we tried was a garlic smoothie which was a shock to the taste buds as you can imagine. Lets just say it kept the vampires away... But, garlic is really good for the immune system as well as many other things, so eating it raw is the best way to benefit from it. We used the same recipe as above but just added two cloves of garlic (one each) and a bit of honey as well. It was so strong! So I wouldn't recommend it if you want to sit back and enjoy your smoothie, but if you want a good detox, health-kick smoothie then that is the one!

I also made a garlic smoothie recently but replaced banana with pineapple hoping it would mast some of the garlic flavour but I was very wrong...

Hope you try out some of these ideas and jump on the pumpkin seed bandwagon! Just to prove how much I love them, here is a picture of the breakfasts I've been having
It's bran flakes, dried fruit (raisins, sultanas and cranberries), pumpkin seeds and soya milk - so delicious!

Enjoy :)

Halloween cupcakes

Sorry this post is so late - I'm going to try and post more frequently now although I am quite busy but I will do my best!

I thought I would share with you my Halloween cupcakes anyway, I made chocolate chip cupcakes with chocolate buttercream and they went down a treat. I have posted this same cupcake recipe time and time again so I will link it below for you to follow if these take your fancy and you want to indulge in some delicious, home-made chocolate cupcakes! The only difference is obviously the decorations on top (from Lidl) and that I put milk chocolate chips in the sponge. 

To make the chocolate buttercream just follow the same recipe above but add 100g dark cooking chocolate (I used Sainsbury's Belgium dark cooking chocolate) for a rich, chocolatey flavour. Never stint on ingredients when making buttercream - always use good chocolate and butter, for me, that's always Lurpak!
I just piped on the buttercream using a disposable piping bag and a large star piping nozel. I started to run out of icing though so I just spread the rest on but it still looked good!
Oh and the gold cupcake cases are from Sansbury's.

Enjoy :)