Archive for » January 27th, 2008«

Rich Caramel Cheesecake
Here is another competition entry, this one comes from Vanessa in Canada. I have to say this cheesecake was super rich, very fattening and naughty, but oh so delicious.I had a little trouble with this one, nothing major, my toffee did not work so you will see from the decoration I could not use it. Also the caramel worked very well, but I found that it really didn’t swirl through the cheesecake. As I said very minor things that did not affect the flavour.We all thoroughly enjoyed it, although we will be doing some exercise today to burn off those extra calories. I will be posting the winner within the first week of February just in case I get any last minute entries. I will be able to make those recipes over the first few days of February, good luck and thanks for entering.


4 Tablespoons melted butter

1 1/2 Cup digestive biscuit crumbs


1 Cup sugar

1/4 Cup water

1/2 Cup whipping cream

Crunchy Toffee Pieces

1 Cup sugar

200g Butter


4 Packages (8 oz. each) cream cheese, softened

1 Cup packed brown sugar

1/2 Cup granulated sugar

1 Tablespoon vanilla

1/4 Teaspoon salt

4 Large eggs, at room temperature


For the crust

1. Combine butter and crumbs, mixing well with a fork.

2. Press into the bottom of a 10-inch springform pan.

For the caramel

1. Combine sugar and water in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir well. Cover with a lid and cook until sugar turns a medium amber color, about 3 1/2 minutes after
mixture comes to a boil.

2. Remove from heat and stir 30 seconds. Slowly stir in cream, being careful to avoid
spatters. Set aside.

For the crunchy toffee

1. Combine the sugar and butter in a saucepan over a medium-high heat. Stir to combine and let it come to the boil for approx. 15-20.

2.Pull of heat and let it stand for another 5 Min’s to cool slightly. Pour into
a flat dish and put it I the freezer to harden.

3. When hard break into pieces with a mallet. Set aside for final decoration of the cooled cheesecake.

For the cheesecake

1. Beat cream cheese and both sugars at medium speed of an electric mixer until soft and fluffy. Add vanilla and salt. Add eggs one at a time, beating on lowest
speed of mixer just until incorporated.

2. Pour two-thirds of batter over crust. Beat caramel mixture into remaining batter. Pour caramel batter over plain batter in pan and swirl mixtures with a rubber spatula.

3. Bake at 175 C. (I did this at 180c.) for about 50 minutes, or until edges are firm but middle still wiggles. Remove from oven and cool. Chill. Decorate with crunchy toffee pieces just before serving.

All photo’s taken by me unless otherwise stated.

Soy-Braised Spiced Lamb Shanks with Asian Greens

I made this the other night it was an experiment, it turned out really great. I will say with all the ingredients it could have been quite a salty dish depending on what brands you buy. I did use low sodium soy sauce and I will list the brands below on the other sauces. If you can’t get these brands just taste what you have and change amounts listed, so no one flavour becomes the dominating flavour of the dish.

It was a wonderful dish the lamb was juicy and tender and I had to hold it together when I was dishing up, to stop it from falling off the bone altogether.


2-3 Large lamb shanks or 4-6 french trimmed (I allow 1 large per person and 2 french trimmed per person.)
1-2 Tablespoons green curry paste (I use Thai kitchen brand.)
1 Onion, finely chopped
1 Tablespoon peanut oil
3 Cloves garlic, crushed
2 Teaspoons fresh ginger, grated
75ml Low sodium soy sauce
21/2 Cups water
1/2 Cup Chinese rice wine
1/2 Teaspoon Chinese 5 spice
3 Tablespoons Hoisin (I use blue dragon brand.)
1 Tablespoon oyster sauce
11/2 Teaspoons chicken stock powder
2 Star anise
1 Cinnamon stick
1 Tablespoon brown sugar
6-7 Teaspoons cornflour

Asian Greens

1/2 Cup chicken stock
40ml Oyster sauce
1 Teaspoon sesame oil
1 Teaspoon sugar
800g Baby bok choy, trimmed
500g Gai lan, trimmed
12 shiitake mushrooms, sliced thinly
3 Asian string beans, chopped 2-3 inches in length

This should be the right amount for 3 people.

I only made enough veg for myself and my hubby, but I did do 3 shanks as we love them and I can’t get them all the time where I live, so when I can we tend to be a bit piggy. If you want to do it for 4 people the sauce should be plenty to cook 4 shanks in and just up the veg a bit.


1. Spread curry paste over the surface of the lamb, Heat some olive oil in large pan, add shanks and turn to brown them all over. Remove and set to one side.

2. In a large saucepan with lid or crock pot, heat the peanut oil, add onion cook for a few minutes, add garlic and ginger and cook until onion is soft.

3. Add soy, water, wine, spice, hoisin, oyster sauce, stock, cinnamon and star anise, stir to combine. Return lamb to pan and turn the heat down (I have an electric stove top and leave my temperature on 2 1/2.) Place lid on pan and cook lamb for 21/2 to 3 hours, turning a few times during cooking, cook until lamb is done and falling off the bone.

4. Remove lamb from pan and wrap in foil to keep warm, discard cinnamon stick and star anise.

5. Add sugar, turn the heat back up, mix a little water with cornflour and add to sauce, stir until mixture boils and thickens.

Asian Greens

1. Combine stock, sauce, sugar and oil in a wok or pan, bring mixture to the boil.

2. Turn the heat down slightly, add beans, mushrooms and gai lan, cook for a few minutes, add bok choy, cook until leafy greens are just wilted, mushrooms soft and beans are just tender.

To Serve: Place greens on a plate top with shanks and pour some sauce from lamb over.

All photo’s taken by me unless otherwise stated.