Saturday, 13 October 2012

No Bake Very Berry Cheesecake

Cheesecake is one of those desserts that everyone enjoys, right? And when you make it on the counter without using the oven is even more awesome. Yep, that's right... While other things are cooking, you can whip this cheesecake up and I promise everyone will love it.

Serves 10-12

Ingredients and process:


- 400g biscuits, crushed in a ziplock bag with a rolling pin
- 250g butter
- 3tbs honey
- 1/2tsp cinnamon

- Place the biscuits and cinnamon in a mixing bowl. Melt the butter and honey together, pour over the biscuits, mix until everything is coated and place it in a foil-lined cake tin. Pat and even it well.


- 400g plain cream cheese (room temperature)
- 250g sugar
- 1 lemon, zest and juice
- 2 sachets gelatin powder
- 8tbs cold water
- 500g heavy whipping or double cream

- Mix the cream cheese, sugar, lemon zest and juice together and set aside.
- Cover the the gelatin with the 8tbs cold water, let it sit for 10min, then warm up to liquidise and set aside.
- Whip the double cream until stiff peaks, add the gelatin and fold in the cream cheese mixture.
- Spoon it over the biscuit layer and place in the fridge for 5h to set.
- After it's set, carefully place it on serving plate.


- 43g vanilla custard powder
- 5tbs sugar
- 300g frozen berries in juice (any other fruit works too)
- 300ml water

- In a small bowl mix the custard powder with 5tbs water spooned out from the 300ml water. Stir until well mixed. Put the rest of the water in a pot, add sugar and bring it to a boil. Add the berries together with their juice and stir. Slowly start adding the custard mix and stir for about a minute until the mix starts to get thick. Let it cool completely, then spoon and spread it over the cake. Enjoy!

Monday, 8 October 2012

Baked Beans (Tavce Gravce)

Tavce Gravce is one of the most traditional Macedonian meals! It's been cooked for centuries, can be eaten as a main or a side dish and goes with pretty much anything. There is something super delicious and very comforting about it and can certainly be eaten all year round. The recipe can't be any simpler, so let's get going :-) 

Serves 2


- 250g butter beans (cannellini beans are also fine)
- 2 medium-sized onions, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 chili peppers
- 6tbs olive oil
- 2tsp smoked paprika (regular paprika is also fine)
- salt and pepper to taste
- fresh marjoram (any fresh herbs work)


- Soak the beans in water over night.
- The next day bring the water to a boil, drain the beans, cover them with warm water again (don't put too much water, just enough to cover them) and bring back to a boil.
- Add 1 onion, 1 garlic clove, the chilis, and 2tbs olive oil. Give it a good stir and let the beans cook.
- Every 15min taste one of the beans to make sure they are soft. Once soft (after about 30-40min), preheat your oven to 200 C degrees. Take the beans off the stove.
- In a sauce pan, over a medium heat, add the other onion, garlic clove, smoked paprika, 4tbs of olive oil and turn the heat off. Stir the mixture until it becomes a sauce.
- Transfer it to a casserole dish, add the beans together with the water they cooked in, give them a good stir, check for seasoning and adjust.
- Place in the oven, and once you see the beans bubbling (it will happen pretty quickly), turn the oven off but leave the dish in.
- After 30min, take it out, sprinkle some fresh herbs and serve. Enjoy!

Thursday, 4 October 2012

Boozy Bolognese

How many Bolognese Sauce recipes are out there? Thousands! Maybe even more than that. Every family probably has it's own recipe. I've made this sauce for years and I've heard advices like "use beef broth instead of wine", "use Worcestershire Sauce instead of wine", "wine is really not necessary"...
So today I figured maybe I should add some red wine to the sauce and decide by myself whether it plays a relevant role or not. And trust me, it does! It gives that deep flavour, that's so indulgent and addictive (no worries, the alcohol cooks out). So here it goes...

Serves 4


- 500g minced beef
- 1 medium-sized onion, finely chopped
- 1 generous glass red wine
- 2 cans of chopped or crushed tomatoes
- 3tbs olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste


-  Place a sauce pan over a high heat and add the olive oil. When the oil is hot add the beef, break it up with a wooden spoon and cook for about 4-5min.
- Add the onions, and cook for a few minutes so they soften up.
- Add the red wine and cook for 2min, so the alcohol cooks away.
- Then add the tomatoes and give it a stir.
- Partially cover the sauce pan, set the temperature to as low as it can go and let it simmer for about 2h. This allows for the flavours to "marry".
- Add your favourite pasta to it and enjoy!

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Rum Chocolate Truffles (Bombici)

My mum used to make these a lot when we were growing up and now all of a sudden I had a craving for them. Of course as kids we had the rum-free version, but now I thought rum and chocolate as a combination sounds amazing. 
The fun part of this recipe is that you can involve your kids in the shaping and dipping process and have a fun family night.

Makes 24 truffles


- 100g milk
- 125g butter
- 200g sugar
- 1tbs cocoa powder (plus a little more for garnishing)
- 3tbs rum (optional)
- 150g digestive biscuits, finely crushed
- 100g chocolate chips*


- In a saucepan add the milk, butter, sugar, and cocoa powder. Bring to a boil, then turn the heat off and set aside.
- Add the crushed biscuits to the mixture and give it a stir. Add the rum, let the mixture cool, then put it in the freezer for 45min.
- Using your hand or an ice-cream scooper, form the truffles (any shape or size). Put them on a plate and place them in the fridge for 20min. Take them out, roll them between your hands again and put them back in the fridge for another 10min. This will give them that smooth look.
- A few minutes before you take the truffles out, place the chocolate chips in a bowl, microwave them for about 40sec and when they are melted, give them a good stir. Then start dipping the truffles. Shake off the excess chocolate, put them back on the plate, and sprinkle some cocoa powder on top.
- Place them in the fridge to cool and take them out when needed. Enjoy!

* You could also dip them in shredded coconut or crushed nuts.