Coffee Flavoured Bliss

Well…I hope you have not overindulged too much over the last day or two. I am really hoping you might have room for dessert. I am making this and another dessert for my family as I have made them for friends and they went down a treat!

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I made this for Jack a while back, the first time he stayed over at the little nest with me, and of course, he loved it! It’s a winner!! So I am going to share with you my baking journey in trying to recreate this fabulous Donna Hay recipe! Her COFFEE CHEESECAKE WITH COFFEE SYRUP – yuuuuuuuuuummmmmmmmy!!!

I chose quadruple chocolate cookies, because you can never have too much chocolate!

If you know anything about making cheesecake, you will know that we start with the base. When I first read Donna’s recipe it said to use dark chocolate biscuits for the base. I didn’t know what kind of biscuits to use. In the end I had a good look in the biscuit section at the local supermarket and chose these babies!

225gr dark chocolate biscuits, 50gr ground hazelnuts, 60gr unsalted butter, 1 tablespoon of coffee beans finely crushed

So I put 225g of my dark chocolate cookies, 60 grammes of melted unsalted butter and 50 grammes of pecan nuts (Donna’s recipe says hazelnuts, but I am not a fan of hazelnuts with chocolate – I know I’m weird, but i’ts my cake!) into the food processor and whizzed until they were a coarse crumby mixture. Then I added one tablespoon of coffee beans which I had already crushed with the back of a spoon.


I took the mixture for the biscuit base and pressed it down firmly into a 20cm spring release tin which I had already lined with baking paper. Then into the fridge it went. The recipe said to chill for fifteen minutes, but I left it in for longer.

295gr caster sugar, 320gr cream cheese (I used Philadelphia) 480gr ricotta cheese 5 eggs (at room temperature) 1.5 tbsp cornflour 1 tsp vanilla extract 80mil coffee liqueur

Then I had to wash the food processor out (those blades are so scary sharp) so I could crack on with the filling, I placed 295 grammes of caster sugar, 320 grammes of Philadelphia cream cheese and 480 grammes of ricotta cheese into the food processor (Yes this cake is not for someone with a dairy intolerance, unless you can find dairy free alternatives!) I whizzed those ingredients until they were smooth. Then I added the five eggs (I don’t how important it is but Donna’s recipe said these must be room-temperature eggs, so I took mine out of the fridge a few hours before I made the cake.)

In a seperate little bowl, I mixed one and half tablespoons of cornflour, one teaspoon of vanilla extract and 80 millilitres of coffee liqueur (I used Tia Maria) together. Then I added this to the cheesy mixture sitting in the food processor and blitzed again.


Then I poured this mixture over the biscuit base and as the recipe instructed, I tapped the tin a few times (gently), until I couldn’t see any air bubbles. Donna’s recipe also said to place the spring release tin onto a baking tray. I released how important this was because there was some “leakage” onto the baking tray during the baking.


Now as you probably know, the cooking of a cheesecake is important, and you must be patient and not do anything foolish! With the oven set at 150 degrees celsius (apparently that is Gas Mark 2) I baked the cake for a whole hour. Do not open the door at any point in baking. After the hour is over – do not open the door to check the cake is set. Just turn the oven off and leave the cheesecake in the cooling oven for another half hour. Now although Donna’s recipe doesn’t mention this, my advice is to open the oven door a little, just a couple of inches, and leave the cake in the oven for another half an hour or so. Then bring the cake out and let it continue to cool at room temperature. Patience is both a virtue and a perfect cheesecake!


You have almost a whole bottle of coffee liqueur to get through while you are waiting for the cheesecake. But remember to save some for the coffee syrup!

60ml coffee liqueur, 55gr caster sugar, 2 tbsp water

While waiting, you can be preparing for the topping. The coffee syrup is fairly simple. Over a medium heat, mix 60 milliliters of coffee liqueur with 55 grammes of caster sugar and 2 tablespoons of water.


(All straight in a little saucepan, you don’t need a bain-marie.) It should only take five minutes or so to thicken. Then let it cool before it is to be used.

500ml whipping cream

Whip up 500 millilitres of whipping cream (I always use double cream).


Now that the cheesecake is completely cool, remove the springform tin and stand it on a serving platter.

Now…I would recommend waiting until the cake is cold cold cold – you might even want to chill it in the fridge until the next step. If the cheesecake is not cold, the cream is going to melt into a big cream waterfall and then surround the cake like a moat.


Dollop the whipped cream over the top and drizzle with the coffee syrup. I ended up making some extra coffee syrup because everyone wanted extra on their cake.

Et voila! For a coffee lover…this is sheer bliss! Don’t even ask me how many calories are in a slice of this decadent. Hey, it’s a new year next week…you can take up running or gymnastics or something.

Ok, ok….I know mine doesn’t look anywhere bear as amazing as Donna Hay’s…but it tastes absolutely delicious!!!!

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Could It Be Sweeter Than This?

Is there any sweeter way to start a Monday morning than knowing that Goldfinch is on his way?

What to bake? I am torn between the honey cake I trialled on friends at the weekend (they were all raving about it) or salted caramel brownies (I have made brownies many times for Goldfinch). Or something with caramel and apples like last time? He did eat a lot of the caramel apple cake I baked not long ago.

It is so hard deciding what to make for someone who you absolutely love to bits, but are preparing for THE BIG GOODBYE. Any disastrous bake might hasten his departure to Australia. It is way more pressure than any of the Great British Bake Off contestants face, in my opinion.

At this point, please feel free to make any suggestions of bakes that are sure to impress the most gorgeous man on the planet! I would be more than happy to add something new and delicious to my repertoire.

Is it possible for a Monday morning to be sweeter than this?

I Am Spending A Fortune On Feeding My Goldfinch

When I do my own food / grocery shopping, I usually go to the local Sainsburys supermarket.  For years I went to ASDA or Aldi, but there is no ASDA and no Aldi near here.  Nor is there a Lidl, an Iceland, or a Farmfoods.  When I first moved to London I lived a five minute walk from an enormous 24-hour Tesco Supermarket.  But there is no Tesco near here.  So instead I now shop for myself at Sainsburys.

The nearest supermarket to my little abode, at only two minutes walk away, is an organic supermarket named Bayley & Sage, but everything there costs a fortune…I went shopping there once, just after I moved here, and nearly started choking with the shock when the cashier told me the price of the small basket of items I had collected. So I don’t go there unless I want to buy a treat for Goldfinch or to buy sandfire (it’s the only shop near here where I can buy it).

When Goldfinch is coming I switch to shopping at Waitrose…because in my head, (if not reality) I think I will find better produce.  But it also costs more.  I just like to feel I am giving the best to Goldfinch.  One of the things I love about shopping at Waitrose is the chance to collect a free Waitrose magazine (along with my free coffee).

The Waitrose magazine has some fantastic recipes.  I have always been a big fan of supermarket magazine recipes.  I like them because they normally don’t have a ridiculous amount of ingredients and you don’t have to have been a contestant on Masterchef to be able to follow their recipes.

I like to bake…and I especially like to bake for Goldfinch. This weekend I made a traditional favourite savoury dish which I have made many times before.  But for pudding I thought I would turn my hand to trying a couple of recipes from last month’s Waitrose magazine.

ice cream.pngFirst of all I made the toffee-apple ice-cream…which involved making caramel – a messy job but somebody has to do it!  It has ripples of caramel soft golden apples, crumbly biscuit bites and creamy vanilla ice-cream…oooh la la!

upside down cakeThen I made the upside down. maple, walnut and apple cake, which was warm and ooooozing with caramel.

It is a pleasure cooking and baking for my Goldfinch.  But I spend twice as much money on my food shopping when I know he is coming to visit.  I am spending a fortune on feeding my gorgeous Goldfinch.  But I love it.  I love him you see.  I love any chance I have to give something to him that shows him how I feel and how happy he makes me.


Food For The Brain

Food For The Brain

  • Blueberries
  • Avacadoes
  • Dark chocolate
  • Green tea
  • Apples

Apparently these are the top five foods for the brain… well, this is what Dad keeps telling me over and over again.

I am having all of them…..except I am really not in the mood for apples.

I love fresh, juicy, crisp apples in the summer.  But this time of year the only way I can get my head round apples is in a crumble.  I have to admit, I am super-duper fussy with my apple crumble.  I mean I would always be polite when someone with a proud grin sets before me their prized apple crumble.

But in reality…..I only like it my way!!!!!!!!!

Apples sweet cinnamon perhaps some sultanas thrown in.  And then a huge deep layer of crumble.  Crumble being the main event.  Sometimes oats thrown in or some brown sugar to give a bit of a crunch.

Then thick custard.  Hot or cold I don’t mind which. For extra indulgence a caramel sauce. But I respect apple crumble tastes differ.

When I lived in the countryside I was forever coming home to find a kind friend or neighbour had left a box of apples from their trees on my doorstep.  So I made a lot of crumble each autumn and had a lot of friends round on cold evenings for hot toddies and crumble.  Some had the same preference for crumble over fruit as me and my youngest sister.  But other friends complained vehemently “where is the fruit?”

Actually……I really wished I had perfected a blackberry crumble.  I used to use blackberries in an oatmeal cakey scone recipe.  It was yum but very tricky to make.

But the yummiest has to be cherries…..but in a pie.

This is just fruit.

Don’t get me started on pecan pie, banana bread, bakewell tart, carrot cake, choco cheesecakes, black forest roulades, melting choco puds with butterscotch sauce……I am hungry.

I am remembering all the dinner parties I threw in the past.  I miss that.  Living in a tiny bedsit in London means no huge dinner parties.  Although, I have squeezed up to twelve friends in…most had to sit on the floor…it was rather cosy!  One of the guys knocked a glass of red wine all over my white curtains.  I have been happy here….but now I am thinking of all the things I miss.  Memories are dominating me and devouring my contentment.

Maybe I am eating too many blueberries, my memory seems to be sharper than ever.  Perhaps I have had too much food for the brain.  Need to switch off for a bit.

The Great Bloggers’ Bake-Off Round-Up

By now I think everybody will know the results of


Our STAR BAKER  was Sheree Sheree the creator of View from the Back

with her wonderful Gâteau Au Chocolat Framboise Spectaculaire

which you can read more about in Sheree’s post:

Great Bloggers’ Bake-Off

2019 star baker.png

A huge thanks to all of the bloggers who took on the challenge set in this year’s GREAT BLOGGERS’ BAKE-OFF and to all who cheered our baking bloggers on with your lovely comments and likes.

Thank you to Gary who thought of the idea to begin with and to our special judge Jeanne. It has been an absolute delight to work along with these two on THE BAKE-OFF.

This is the round-up post where you will find the cakes that were baked during our BAKE-OFF and links to their posts on the BAKE-OFF CAKE PARADE  and links to the posts that our bloggers created themselves.


The Strawberry Queen

Reina de Fresa – Let’s Celebrate!

Queen of strawberries


Suze’s Failcake

black hole cake


The Messy Blogger’s Chocolate Cake

The Messy Bloggers Cake


Sophie’s Almond Buttercream Cake

fiesta cake


Naked Cake!

My naked cake recipe

My naked cake for the Great Bloggers’s Bake-Off

Naked Cake!


The Tiramisu Cake

the tiramisu cake


Ginger Lime Sponge Cake

Ginger & Lime Cake


The Gorgeous Guinness Cake

The Great Bloggers’ Bake-Off — Perfect St. Patrick’s Day Cake

The Guinness Cake


They Won’t Forget This Birthday Cake

The Great Bloggers’ Bake-Off (aka: Why I Will Never be Top Chef)

disaster cake


Thanks to the very talented daughter of

The Lemon Meringue Cake With White Chocolate Ganache Drip

hello and wow


The Mandarin Mocha Chocolate Sponge Cake

bob cake


The Orange Almond Sponge Cake

WP Bake Off Entry

Orange Almond Cake


The Strawberry Mango Cake

The Tropical Cake


The Gluten Free Dairy Free Summer Fruits Ginger And Lime Sponge Cake Smothered With Dairy Free Chocolate 


Chococcino – Caramel Style

The Crushed Caramel Cake

I Love Summer Cake


And that is the last you will hear from me about



They think it’s all over…

…it is now!

In Case You Missed It!

bake together 3

We had a wonderful day yesterday hosting


Just in case you missed the fun, here is an idea of the amazing cakes that were baked by our fellow bloggers:

We had some cakes from first time bakers or those who had never made a sponge cake before! Thank you so much for bravely taking on the challenge for THE GREAT BLOGGERS’ BAKE OFF! You are wonderful! 

A few of us had some challenges during our time in the kitchen! But it only added to the fun on Sunday and a huge thanks goes to those bloggers who were great sports and brave enough to submit bakes that won a special NOD FROM GARY! 

We had some very special party cakes: 

Cakes for chocoholics and coffee and booze enthusiasts: 

Spectacular fruity cakes: 

We had a naked cake! The perfect sandwich cake:

Naked Cake

And we had a cake that belongs in a special category all of it’s own

– it’s beyond all words to describe it:

Gary's Cake 1

As you may know our special judge A Jeanne in the Kitchen has published a post announcing the STAR BAKER of THE 2019 GREAT BLOGGERS’ BAKE-OFF as you can see in her post below:

And the Winners Are ……..

Later on we will publish the final round-up including the cake created by our STAR BAKER! And then we will promise there will be no more mention of cake for another year or so (well…not from me anyway!!)

Thank you so much for joining int the party and making

THE GREAT BLOGGERS’ BAKE-OFF soooooo special!!!