Tag Archives: birthday

Lemon and Raspberries Layer Cake

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I made this for Mr Greedy Frog’s birthday. We gathered a few friends and relatives and had a lovely, relaxed barbecue in our garden. This cake was the perfect conclusion to the meal: it is special enough to be a Birthday cake, yet it isn’t too fussy. And it is also very easy to make, which is always a bonus when you are entertaining. I made the sponge the night before, then made the filling and assembled the cake on the day. Easy, peasy!

You will need:

For the sponge:

225 g self-raising flour

1 tsp baking powder

200 g caster sugar

200 g butter

4 eggs

2 tsp vanilla extract

1 tbsp milk

Zest 1 lemon

For the filling and topping:

400 g medium-fat soft cheese

Zest and juice 1 lemon

100 g icing sugar + 1 tbsp for dusting

4 tbsp lemon curd

200 g raspberries

Method:

Preheat your oven to 180ºC/fan 160ºC/gas 4. Line a deep, well-greased 18cm round tin.

Put all the ingredients except the milk into a large bowl and whisk until well combined (or use a stand mixer). Add the milk and gently stir it through.

Pour the batter into the tin, and bake for 50 to 60 min or until a skewer comes out clean.  Cool in the tin for 10 min, then turn out onto a wire rack and cool completely.

When the cake has cooled down, make the filling. Beat the cream cheese, zest, juice and 100 g icing sugar until smooth. Reserve.

Cut the sponge into 3 layers of equal thickness. Spread the bottom layer with a third of the filling, top with the middle layer and more filling, then the top layer. Spread the remaining filling over the top of the cake, dollop the lemon curd all over, and finish with the raspberries. Dust with icing sugar.
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Mr Greedy Frog’s Birthday Cheesecake (Peach, Honey and Vanilla Cheesecake)

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It is Mr Greedy Frog’s birthday. I asked him a few days ago if he had any request for his birthday cake, and the answer was immediate: Mr Greedy Frog wanted cheesecake.

To be honest, I don’t know why I bothered asking. Cheesecake is a favourite of his, he ALWAYS orders it if it is on the menu when we eat out, and when I bake one at home, it disappears faster than you can say “cream cheese”.

I fancied something summery, so opted for peaches, and I had some lovely orange blossom honey which I thought would taste great with the fruit. You can of course use almost any type of honey in this recipe, although I would probably avoid strong-flavoured ones like eucalyptus.

You will need:

For the cheesecake:
150 g biscuits (I used oaty ones, but you can use any plain biscuits you like)
70 g butter + extra for the tin
600 g cream cheese
170 ml double cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp plain flour
150 g caster sugar
2 eggs + 1 yolk
1 peach
2 tbsp honey

For the peach glaze:
2 peaches
1 tbsp honey
1 tsp vanilla extract

Method:

Butter a 20 cm springform tin, line the bottom with baking paper, then butter again on top of the paper. Preheat the oven to 180 C/ fan 160 C/ gas 4.

In a food processor, blitz the biscuits to fine crumbs. Gently melt the butter over a low heat, and mix with the biscuit crumbs.

Press with your hand into the prepared tin to create a base. Refrigerate until your filling is ready.image

In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese and cream together. Sieve the flour over the mixture, and whisk it in. Then add the sugar, vanilla and eggs, beating thoroughly.

Peel the peach, then chop into small pieces. Don’t make the pieces too big or they will sink to the bottom of the cheesecake. Stir into the cream cheese mixture, along with the honey.

Pour into the tin, and bake for 30 to 40 min, or until set and golden on top but still wobbly in the centre. When done, turn the oven off, leave the oven door slightly ajar, and leave to cool completely.*
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Make the glaze: peel and dice the 2 peaches, and cook on a low heat with the honey and vanilla. It is ready when the fruit is breaking down slightly and the juices are starting to reduce.image

Pour the fruit and juices into a blender and pulse until smooth. Strain the purée to make sure it is nice and glossy, and reserve until the cheesecake has cooled down to room temperature.

Spread the glaze on top of the cheesecake, and refrigerate in the tin overnight. image

When ready to serve, carefully remove from the tin and discard the baking paper.
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*cooling the cheesecake in the oven prevents cracks from forming on the surface. I didn’t do it this time, because I needed to use the oven for something else; and lo and behold, a crack appeared…

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