Thursday 1 January 2015

A Scrummy Start To The New Year!

Happy new Year to you all!!!
I hope that the first day of the brand new year was a good one for you all? 
I unfortunately am all bunged up with a cold, quite ironic really, as I chose not to have a crazy New Years Eve last night. I wanted to wake up felling healthy and energised, rather than hungover and tired. I think I'd much rather have a hangover than a stinking cold! Oh well...hopefully it will shift in a day or two!

With the plan to start the year off being healthy, I of course had to have one final unhealthy meal, as a  mark to the end of the year (and to stock up on calories!)
Dennis and I decided to spend the afternoon making some extra special treats to accompany our final naughty meal of 2014. 
We thought we'd make a nice crusty loaf and something extra indulgent for desert! 
As I had the day off from work, it was nice to spend the whole afternoon in the kitchen. getting messy and spending a few hours creating something together made a nice change to our usual afternoon at home.

We started by measuring out all of the ingredients: 

Then mixed the yeast with some sugar until nice and runny:

We added salt to the flour and mixed in the yeast:

Followed by some oil and water to make the mixture bind and form a thick dough:

We spent a good amount of time kneading the dough until it became nice and smooth and easy to work. Not an easy job, I must say!!
We formed the dough into a nice ball shape,  popped it in a cling film covered bowl and left it to rise for a an hour or so.

I'm always totally amazed out how much the yeast makes the dough rise, its soooo cool!!!
Once the dough had risen we kneaded it a little more.....

and added our delicious filling of olives, sun dried tomatoes.....

and fresh rosemary:

MMMMMM MMMMMM MMMMMMM!!! It makes my mouth water!!

We rolled our dough to form a nice long baguette.

We left our rolled baguettes to rise again, before popping them in the oven for half an hour. After patiently staring through the oven door our bread was finally cooked and looked delicious! Isn't the smell of freshly cooked bread pure heaven!!

Whilst the bread was in the oven cooking, we got to work on our rather indulgent dessert, a white chocolate and raspberry cheesecake! A recipe by

We started with some speculoos biscuits.

We smashed them up and mixed them with some melted butter.

We placed a layer of the buttery biscuit mix into some jam jars, this would form the base to our cheesecakes. 

Next, we mixed together the cream filling. Philadelphia cream cheese, white chocolate, sugar, thickened cream and gelatine. 

We defrosted some frozen raspberries:

and blitzed them in a blender to form this lovely vibrant raspberry puree. Isn't that colour to die for! 

Finally we layered the cream cheese filling with the raspberry puree and topped our cheesecakes with fresh raspberries and grated white chocolate!!!

I have to say both the bread and the cheesecake were delicious and accompanied the rest of our Spanish tapas meal rather splendidly.
It was a rather indulgent meal, but a great way to celebrate the end of a fantastic 2014.
Not to mention, spending time in the kitchen was a delight and something I must remember to do more often.
Perhaps thats something else to add to my resolution list for 2015..... become a culinary genius!

Until next time.....

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  1. That is so cool! The recipe for the yummy cheesecake comes from a local Australian supermarket called Coles - and one I shop at quite regularly. They produce great recipe booklets which you can get free at the supermarket - full of good things like the cheesecake. A delicious way to see in the NY!

  2. Happy new year!AriadnefromGreece!

  3. Yum that looks soo good! I saved the recipe straight away!

    I have a nasty cold myself - there are certainly better ways to start a new year but we shall survive, ey? :P

    Take care
    Anne (Crochet Between Worlds)

  4. Hi Matt, hope you'll be feeling better soon...

  5. Happy new year :) looks yum xx

  6. Look how beautiful the layers of the cheesecake look! Just gorgeous. The photography really did this meal justice. The bread. Omg. xx

  7. I am going to make your wonderful granny square afghan blanket from Oct 2012 and I have a couple questions. What was the weight of the yarn and what size crochet hook did you use? The link to the original pattern wouldn't work for me so I am sort of going into it blind with only your amazing picture to go by. Thanks for any help. Stacie


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