Monday, 8 September 2014

Lj's Black Velvet Cheesecake

My friend Tanya asked me to make her a cake for her birthday based on a cake she had in Hawaii which was a Red Velvet Cake with a layer of Cheesecake. The theme for her birthday was black and white so we she asked for the red velvet cake to be black to fit in with her theme..

Basically I made a Red Velvet Cake but used Black Gel Colouring instead of the traditional Red. Sliced the cake in 3 and layered it with cheesecake and then iced with a Cream Cheese Icing. See pic below... I sliced the cake in 3 and using the same pan I made the cake in, layered the cheese and let it set in the fridge before removing from the pan and icing it and then made chocolate curls for the top.

For the Black Velvet Cake...

2 Cups of Plain Flour
1 Teaspoon Baking Powder
1 Teaspoon of Baking Soda
2 Cups of Caster Sugar
1 Teaspoon of Salt
1 Cup of Vegetable Oil
2 Free Range Eggs
1 Cup of Buttermilk  if you don't have butter milk see below..
(I used 1 Cup of Skim milk and 1 tablespoon of Lemon Juice)
2 Teaspoons of Vanilla Extract
1 Teaspoon of  Apple Cider Vinegar ( I used organic)
1/2 Cup of freshly brewed coffee ( I used a few shots of coffee using my coffee machine)
2 Tablespoons of Cocoa
Black Gel Food Coloring

In a large bowl add the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda and Cocoa. Stir to combine. In another bowl add the vegetable oil and caster sugar. Stir to combine, add the eggs and whisk to combine. Add the buttermilk, vanilla, apple cider, coffee and food colouring. Mix until really well combined and smooth. Add the wet mix slowly to the dry mix and fold until combined. Pour into 2 or 3 9 inch baking paper lined tins depending on whether you want a 2 or 3 layered cake. Bake at 170 C for  approx 35 mins or until a skewer comes out clean. Let them cool on a wire rack. I leave them in the tins for approx 10 minutes to cool.

For the Cheesecake...

500 Grams of Cream Cheese (I used low fat)
2/3 Cup of Caster Sugar
2 Teaspoons of Vanilla Extract
300 ml Cream (I used reduced fat)
3 Teaspoons of Gelatine dissolved in 1 1/2 Tablespoons of hot water

Beat the cream cheese until soft, add the sugar and beat until well combined. Add the vanilla and cream and beat until thick. Add the gelatine and beat again until well combined.

Too assemble the cake use the same tin you cooked the cake in. I used a 9 inch for this recipe. Add one layer on cake to the bottom, add half of the cheesecake mixture and then top with another layer of cake, add the rest of the cheesecake mixture and then top with the top layer of cake. Glad wrap and put into the fridge to set for a few hours. Carefully remove the cake and then coat with the cream cheese frosting. I did this in 2 parts. Coated with a thin layer and then popped into the fridge for it to set a little before adding the final layer. Let the icing set completely in the fridge before topping with homemade chocolate curls.  To make the curls I melt chocolate and pour into baking paper, let it set then run a knife down it to make the curls then pop them into the freezer, if you are unsure how to do this best option is to find a tutorial on you tube, its just takes a bit of practice.

Cream Cheese Frosting..

500 Grams of Cream Cheese (again I used low fat)
150 Grams of Icing Sugar
1 Teaspoon of Vanilla
225 ml of Cream

Beat the cream cheese until smooth and then add the icing sugar. Beat until well combined and add the vanilla. Add the cream a little at time beating in between each addition until thick and creamy.

Saturday, 23 August 2014

Lj's Skinny Gluten Free Bacon & Portabello Alfredo


2 Rashers of Bacon diced (fat & rubs removed)
1 Large Portabello Slices
2 cloves of fresh Garlic Crushed
3 Tablespoons of Gluten Free Plain Flour
1 Cup of Chicken Stock ( I use Vegteta Chicken Stock Powder and boiled water)
1 Cup of Skim Milk
1 Tablespoon of butter
1/2 Cup of Parmesan Cheese
2 Cups of Gluten Free Pasta ( I've used a Garlic & Parsley Spirals
Splash of Olive Oil

What to do...

Heat a large non stick fry pan and add a splash of olive oil. 
Sauté the garlic, bacon and mushrooms. Boil the water and cook your pasta. 

Add the flour and butter and stir thoroughly until the butter is melted. Let the flour cook for a few minutes. 

Add the Chicken Stock and stir continuously until smooth
 ( you don't want lumps in your sauce) add the milk and stir to combine until smooth. 

Add the Parmesan Cheese! And give it another good stir. Season with cracked pepper and Rock Salt. 
(I love the Murray River Salt)

Finally add the cooked pasta! 


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Sunday, 10 August 2014

Lj's Ham & Cheese Stuffed Chicken

This really is a simple easy recipe! Perfect Sunday night dinner! No real recipe as such, the picture ^^^ says it all! I have made these plain because I have really fussy eaters. You can literally stuff them with whatever you like... my faves being sundried tomatoes, kalamata olives and camembert being one! Paremsan and pesto, gorgonzola and chopped walnuts even... Use your imagination and flavours you enjoy.

I have not included measurements here, you can make this for 2 people or 20 people!


Chicken thighs without the bone
Tasty Cheese cut into squares weighing approx 20 grams (half the size of a match box)
Bacon with the rind and fat removed (Parma Ham or proscuitto is also delicious)
Lean thinly sliced ham

Here is what I do... Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C. Remove all fat from the chicken thighs and lay flat on the top of a slice of bacon long ways. Wrap the cheese in the ham and then lay that on the chicken thigh in the centre. Wrap in the bacon and secure with a toothpick. Place into a baking dish and pop into a preheated oven until golden and cooked through. This will depend on how many thighs you are cooking. I have only cooked 6 and used a dish just big enough for them. I baked these for 45 mins - an hour, turning half way during the cooking process. Pop under the grill for only a few minutes right at the end to crisp up the bacon if you like it that way. (Make sure you have a sturdy baking dish that can handle the heat)

I have served with steamed veggies and a low fat potato bake...

EASY huh! ENJOY =)

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Thursday, 7 August 2014

Pumpkin, Leek & Parsnip Soup

I came up with this soup recipe whilst cleaning out my crisper yesterday! Just had some for lunch today and it's so much yummier after sitting overnight :-) it's fresh, healthy, low in fat and just simply delicious!!


1 Parsnip (200 grams)
Kent Pumpkin (300 grams)
1 Clove of crushed fresh garlic
1 Teas Butter
3 Cups of Water
2-3 Teas of Veggie Stock  Powder ( I use Vegeta )
Rock salt and cracked pepper

What to do :

Sauté the leek and garlic in the butter until soft. 

Add the veggies, water and stock powder, rock salt and cracked pepper. 

Cook until the veggies are tender and blend with a stick mixer.

Enjoy with a piece of toast, I'm having some homemade multigrain bread with pumpkin, chia and sesame seeds..... YUM!

Thursday, 24 July 2014

Lamb, Spinach & Sweet Potato Curry

Love a good Curry! 
This is one is very subtle so my daughter would eat it. 

You could easily double of spices in this recipe! (Which I would have done had I only have been making it for myself)  I have thrown this one together with left over roast lamb!
Great for lazy days and to use up leftovers. I usually use left over Roasts in pies but wanted to do something different so I used the curry recipe I generally use adding the cooked meat  at the end. If you want to make this curry with fresh meat, marinate the Lamb in the yoghurt and spices for 2 - 4 hours or overnight. Heat a non stick pan and cook the brown the meat first, then simply add the rest of the ingredients and cook until tender.  To make it with leftovers follow my recipe below.


350 Diced Cooked Lamb
50 Grams of Baby Spinach
1 Teas Ground Coriander
1 Teas Ground Cummin
1 Tablespoon of Lemon Juice
100g No Fat Greek Yoghurt
1 Onion diced
1 Clove of Garlic Crushed
1 Tin of diced Tomatoes
2 Tablespoons of Tomato Paste
200 Grams of Sweet Potato diced

What to do:

Heat a non stick pan and add a splash of olive oil. Add the diced onion, garlic and spices. Saute until the onion is tender. Add the yoghurt and lemon juice and give it a good stir to combine. Add the tinned tomatoes, tomato paste, cooked lamb and diced sweet potato. Simmer until the sweet potato is tender. By this stage the meat will also be tender. Add the baby spinach just before serving, it will take only moments to wilt. Serve with steamed rice or Naan Bread.

 I made Garlic Naan Bread... YUM! ENJOY!

Thursday, 10 July 2014

Lj's Chilli Penne Pasta Bake

I wanted to do something really simple tonight so I could just relax and enjoy the evening. I had a scratch around the fridge and freezer and came up with this pasta bake recipe. So easy and quick to prepare and it was really delicious! I love the combination of Chicken & Choritzo!!


1 large Chicken Breast diced
1 Onion diced 
1 Garlic clove finely diced
1 Chorizo Sausage
6 Button Mushrooms sliced
3 Shallots sliced 
125 grams of cooked pasta of choice ( I have used a gluten free chilli penne)
125ml of Extra light Cream
500 grams of pasta sauce ( use a jar if you like to make it even easier. I've used homemade that I make and freeze for convenience) 

What to do: 

Heat an oven proof cast iron frypan. Add a splash of olive oil and add the onions, garlic and mushrooms. 
Sauté until golden. Add the chorizo and chicken and cook until the chicken is golden brown. 

Add the shallots, pasta sauce and cream and stir to combine. 

Finally stir in the cooked pasta. Top with grated cheese and pop into the oven until the cheese is golden. 


Cherry Ripe Brownies


85 g plain flour
1/2 teaspoonBaking Powder
85 g dark chocolate, chopped fine
85 g unsalted butter, chopped
1 cups sugar
2 large Eggs
1 teaspoons Vanilla extract
1/6 cup ofvery strong coffee
115 g of Cherry Ripes (or more if liked)

Pre-heat oven to 165C (that was fan forced, allow about another 10C for normal).

Line a slice tray with baking paper.

Chop up cherry ripes roughly.

Sift together flour, salt and baking powder in 1 bowl, set aside.

Melt chocolate and butter together in a large bowl over heat, stirring occasionally until smooth. Add shots of espresso. When completely smooth, remove from heat and gradually whisk in sugar.

Add eggs one at a time, whisking in between until completely combined.

Whisk in vanilla.

Add flour mixture in 3 separate batches, folding with rubber spatula until completely smooth.

Add in cherry ripe pieces, stir gently.

Pour in to tray, cook for approx 30 mins, or until skewer comes out with a few crumbs still attached. Cool in tray for minimum of 2 hours (until room temperature). Cut in to pieces and serve.

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Friday, 4 July 2014

Cream Cheese Pastry

Easy pastry, no rolling! Press straight into a pie dish. 

Process 125 grams of butter and 125 grams of low fat cream cheese. 

Add 1 cup of plain flour and a tablespoon of dried herbs and parmesan cheese. Pulse until it forms a dough.

Done. Blind baking this one for a quiche....

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Easy Bacon & Mozarella Pull Apart Bread!

Basic Bread Dough..
Bread Machine Method

300ml Water
1 1/2 Teas Salt
3 Cups Bread Flour
2 Tbs Powdered Milk
1 Tbs Caster Sugar
1 1/4 Teas Dried Yeast

Place the water, oil and salt in the bread pan. Place the bread flour, milk powder, caster sugar and dried yeast on top. Set the bread machine to dough setting. 

Mean while saute 4 Rashers of Bacon and 1 onion. Let it cool on a tray and then add 1/2 Cup Tasty Cheese and 1/2 Cup Mozzarella slightly chopped and some chopped fresh chives.

Cut the dough into 12 even pieces. Roll each piece in the bacon mix and place into a bread tin. Let it rise in a warm place for 30 minutes. Bake at 200 degrees for 15 minutes, place foil over the top and bake for a further 20 mins. Nom Nom Nom!

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