Chocolate Orange Baked Cheesecake

Chocolate crust, orange topping.

It’s been every kind of winter weather today. Crisp sunshine, sleet, windy gusts, calm and then driving rain. A “spend time in the kitchen” kind of day.

The lovely mandarins I bought for zesting and freshly purchased cocoa seemed the perfect combination for cheesecake.

I was surprised to see how cracked the cheesecake turned out and learned that overbeating is the cause. It’s odd, because when I poured it into the cheesecake pan I thought, ooh!, what a wonderful light mix. Using a whisk is apparently the answer to a perfectly smooth, heavier more settled mix and smoother top. I did use an electric beater, so lesson learned. Be sure to let all your cream cheese come to room temperature if using a whisk, otherwise you’ll be tired out mixing until smooth. Letting ingredients get to room temperature is a challenge for me as my recipes are usually impromptu whims!

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A Case for Xmas Cake (more cake … fresh fruit! )

I’m not a fan of glacé fruit of *any* kind and I dislike traditional compressed glacé Christmas fruit cake intensely. It’s the worst! Sticky sickly sweet, weird texture, the glacé fruit has no resemblance of fruit flavour whatsoever, and yucky to eat … and barely a trace of cake. I fall firmly into the non- fruitcake group.

But. I’ve been baking this LCHF cake for Xmas for a few years now. It’s based on a friend of my parents, Kathy, who lives in South Africa. I wrote her recipe up in 1987(!) and have used it as a base since then. It’s evolved into a more keto friendly cake, still a tad high in carbs if you’re on serious keto, but fine for an annual holiday treat. I never ever made the icing though! Not a fan.

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Hot Salad with Pork Chops

When we’re having guests to dinner, I think I go a little bonkers sometimes. I scramble for crazy complex recipes online and get so anxious and stressed about cooking. I was thinking about it tonight while I cooked our supper and the fun I was having winging it for just the two of us. Imagining the flavours, experimenting and then being so happy with the adventure of trying out my musings and the flavourful outcome. It’s my favourite way of cooking.

Tonight was one of those nights. I’m sure you’ve done it too. You’ve experimented and and created a meal that wove the flavours together delicately and delightfully. It’s so satisfying. Then I thought … why don’t I trust my instincts like this when having friends over, and just wing it like I do when it’s just the two of us? It’s so much more fun!

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Saffron and Ginger Celery Cauliflower Soup

I love soup. I’m also a little puzzled by people who don’t! Admittedly, I’m not a fan of chilled soup, but I’m sure in the heat of a hot mid summer day I could be persuaded. Just serve it in a tall wineglass with ice and celery sticks!

It’s almost winter here so the theme for the next few months may get a bit soupy. We receive a bi-weekly box from a business called Imperfect Produce. I have it listed in my password keeper as Perfect Produce. I feel that if you can eat it and it has a blemish here or a peculiar carbuncle there or looks different, it’s still a miracle born of the earth and is beautiful, it just has personality! If it was my company I’d rename it I’mPerfect Produce!

Anyhoo.

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Apple Sauce Bundt Cake with maple icing

When I woke up yesterday, if you had have told me I’d be baking that evening … in a brand new and much desired and longed for bundt cake tin, I’d have not believed you. Yesterday my partner texted me from a kitchen store where he was acquiring a cheesecake springform pan as he is The Maker of Delicious Cheesecakes in this house. “Anything you need?”, he asked. Just as well it was raining. I’d planned on walking over to meet him, but it was pouring down.

I’m a pushover for two things, plant nurseries and … kitchen shops. It’s bad. Really bank balancing breaking bad.

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Orange Cardamom Thanksgiving Cake

Omgosh, the flavours of this LCHF cake are fabulous. Good to serve with coffee, as dessert after a meal or freshly baked and still warm with either mascarpone cheese or sour cream too. I kind of like sour cream or Greek yogurt with dessert!

What ingredients should you expect to have to bake this?

You’ll need one fresh orange for the zest and juice for sure, ground cardamon and vanilla paste to get the full flavours. Definitely almond flour and buttermilk. If you don’t like cardamom, ground ginger would work great too!

This was dessert after our Thanksgiving dinner of roasted veggies and duck with keto cranberry sauce.

I’m truly humbled, grateful and thankful for the many blessings we have, loving family and friends, and your sincerely appreciated visits. Thank you!

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Keto “English” cream tea Scones

I woke up this morning and needed a cream tea scone. It was that simple. Necessity being the mother of invention I created this recipe just now and holy cow, it worked. I’m recording it right now before I forget the quantities, and my future self can bake them again. They are truly delicious. We had them with butter, raspberry and strawberry keto jam and whipped cream. I’m pretty sure they would be fabulous topped with a good sharp cheese of your choice too. Though not everyone likes cheese with their scones I suppose, I might be in the minority!

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