Baked Pear & Amaretto Cheesecake with Del Monte

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If you’re of my generation (40 something and rapidly heading towards 50) you’ll probably remember the Sunday tea time treat of tinned fruit and evaporated milk that you used to have.  It’s not something you tend to see too often now though.  However tinned fruit is not just tasty and convenient, but it’s a good source of vitamins and minerals.  A product no longer confined to just grabbing the tin opener, opening the tin and pouring the contents into a bowl before smothering it with evaporated milk or ice cream; or simply just placing a ring of pineapple on to your gammon steak; you can use it in many different recipes, to prepare delicious food without the faff and fuss of having to peel, slice and prepare it yourself.

Del Monte canned fruit

I’ve adapted a baked cheesecake recipe that I use and have incorporated a tin of Del Monte pears which pair perfectly with almonds and Amaretto for an added depth of flavour.

Del Monte canned fruit

Base:

  • 50g Unsalted butter
  • 8 Digestive biscuits, crushed

Cheesecake:

  • 400g Philadelphia Cheese
  • 250g Mascarpone Cheese
  • 410g Del Monte tinned pears, drained
  • 3 Eggs
  • 60ml Amaretto
  • 15g Ground almonds
  • 75g Caster sugar
  1. Heat the oven to 190ºC (170º Fan).
  2. Line a 20cm / 8” spring form tin with baking parchment.
  3. Melt the butter, add this to the crushed biscuits and mix together thoroughly.

Del Monte canned fruit

  1. Pour this biscuit mixture into the base of your prepared tin and press down evenly.

Del Monte canned fruit

  1. Place in the fridge to cool whilst you prepare your cheesecake filling.
  2. In a food processor, add 150g of the drained pears, the Philadelphia and mascarpone cheeses, the eggs, Amaretto, almonds and the sugar.  I find that using my Kenwood food processor makes this an incredibly easy and quick process
  3. Blitz these together until smooth.

Del Monte canned fruit

  1. Drain the remaining pears from the juice and cut into approx. 5mm pieces.
  2. Stir the pear pieces into the cheesecake mixture to evenly distribute.
  3. Pour this mixture over the biscuit base in the tin.

Del Monte canned fruit

  1. Bake in the oven for approx. 40 mins until the top has started to colour and there is still a very slight ‘wobble’ in the middle of the cheesecake.

Del Monte canned fruit

  1. Turn off the oven, but leave the cheesecake in there, with the door slightly open until it’s cooled completely. (Leaving the cheesecake to cool slowly in the oven allows it set fully and prevents it from cracking).
  2. Remove the cheesecake from the tin and serve, cut in to small slices.

Del Monte canned fruit

I was sent a selection of canned fruits from Del Monte along with a gift voucher to purchase additional ingredients with to develop this recipe. 

Typically Tropical Bundt© Cake

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When you’ve been sent some bottles of refreshing Grace Foods Aloe Drink to try and you want explore what you can do with it, apart from enjoy drinking it, then what else can you do, except make a deliciously moist and tasty cake?

Grace Foods Aloe Refresh Aloe Vera Drink

Well, this is exactly what happened recently and exactly what I did. So, read on, get your apron on, your ingredients out and enjoy some time in the kitchen before tucking into a slice (or two) of this deliciously moist cake.

Typically Tropical Bundt© Cake

Cake:

Glaze:

Icing:

Typically Tropical Bundt© Cake

  1. Heat the oven to 160ºC (140º Fan).
  2. Butter and flour a 6 cup Bundt© tin.  I used the Nordicware Anniversary tin that you can find on Amazon.
  3. In a stand mixer, or using an electric whisk, cream the butter and sugar for 4-5 minutes until light and fluffy.
  4. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, until fully combined.
  5. Add the vanilla extract, coconut milk, rapeseed oil and 120ml of the mango purée and beat thoroughly for 4-5 minutes on a medium speed until it has increased in volume and is creamy.
  6. In a separate bowl, sieve together the flour, salt, bi-carbonate of soda and baking powder.
  7. Mix half of the flour into the wet mixture until just combined.
  8. Add the remaining 60ml of the mango purée and fold together.
  9. Fold in the final half of the flour gently.
  10. Pour the mixture into your Bundt© tin and smooth the surface level.
  11. Bake for 65-70 minutes until the cake has just started to shrink from the edges of the tin and a skewer comes out clean when inserted into the thickest part of the cake.
  12. Allow to cook in the tin for 5 minutes, whilst you make the glaze.

Typically Tropical Bundt© Cake

  1. In a small saucepan, heat the caster sugar and Aloe Vera Drink until boiling, then reduce the heat to a rolling boil and the syrup has reduced by half.
  2. Using your skewer, make a series of small holes in the flat surface of the cake and slowly spoon half of the glaze over the cake, allowing it to soak in fully.
  3. Invert the tin onto a wire cooking rack and prick the top with your skewer all over then, gently and slowly spoon the other half of your glaze over the top of the cake, again allowing it to soak in fully.

Typically Tropical Bundt© Cake

  1. Leave the cake to cool completely.
  2. Mix together the Aloe Vera Drink and mango purée, then sieve the the icing sugar into it, mixing thoroughly until you get a thickish icing.
  3. Gently pour the icing over the top of the cake, allowing it to drizzle down the outside edge and into the centre hollow.

Typically Tropical Bundt© Cake

You can find mango purée and coconut milk in the international food aisle of your local supermarket.  I tend to use my Kenwood Major Titanium stand mixer to make cakes in if it involves beating the mixture for several minutes as it leaves me to get on with setting up the next stage of my preparation.  If it’s something that only needs a very quick mix, then I use my Kenwood K-Mix hand mixer instead.

Grace Foods sent me some bottles of their Aloe Refresh Aloe Vera Drinks to sample.  I was under no obligation to develop any recipes or provide a review of their products in return for these drinks. 

Rosewater, Pistachio, Cranberry, Blueberry & White Chocolate Oat Cookies

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Wow! That’s a mouthful of a recipe title for sure! However, it does tell you exactly what’s in the cookies I made, doesn’t it?

Inspired by the original recipe by the finalist of the Great British Bake Off, Holly Bell, which is incredibly versatile and can easily be altered, depending on your mood and fancy.  Last night, I decided to go a little Persian with some wonderfully fragrant Nielsen Massey Rosewater, some delicious green pistachios from Sainsbury’s, along with some cranberry & blueberry mix which I’d bought from Holland and Barratt and some creamy chunks of Callebeaut white chocolate.  The recipe made about 21 cookies (I forgot to count before we started eating them, still slightly warm from the oven, sorry!)

 

  • 250g Butter, room temperature
  • 150g Soft brown sugar
  • 1½tsp Nielsen Massey Rosewater
  • 150g Self Raising flour
  • 230g Quaker Porridge Oats
  • 100g Cranberry & Blueberry mix
  • 100g White chocolate chunks
  • 100g Pistachios, chopped

Rosewater, Pistachio, Cranberry, Blueberry & White Chocolate Oat Cookies

  1. Preheat your oven to 160ºC.
  2. Line your baking sheets with parchment paper (I used 4 baking sheets and baked them in pairs).
  3. Cream the butter and sugar, along with the rosewater until light and fluffy. (I was watching The Fall on BBC iPlayer as I was baking, can you tell?!)  It’s much easier to use a hand mixer when creaming your butter and sugar, and I use my Kenwood K-Mix one.

Rosewater, Pistachio, Cranberry, Blueberry & White Chocolate Oat Cookies

  1. Add in the flour and oats and stir to combine fully.
  2. Gently stir in the cranberries, blueberries, chocolate chunks and chopped pistachios.

Rosewater, Pistachio, Cranberry, Blueberry & White Chocolate Oat Cookies

Rosewater, Pistachio, Cranberry, Blueberry & White Chocolate Oat Cookies

  1. Take out plum sized balls (I used a level table spoon measure for my cookies).
  2. Place the cookies on to your baking tray and flatten them out roughly to about 1cm thick.  You need to leave about 2cm between them to allow them to spread a little.

Rosewater, Pistachio, Cranberry, Blueberry & White Chocolate Oat Cookies

  1. Bake for 16 minutes.
  2. The cookies will still be soft when you remove them from the oven, so allow them to cool on the baking sheet for about 5 minutes.

Rosewater, Pistachio, Cranberry, Blueberry & White Chocolate Oat Cookies

  1. Remove the cookies to a cooling tray and leave until cold.
  2. Store in an airtight container, but you won’t be able to resist them for too long!

Rosewater, Pistachio, Cranberry, Blueberry & White Chocolate Oat Cookies

This recipe uses Nielsen Massey rosewater which had previously been sent to me as a gift, along with other vanillas and flavourings.

Cottage Pie

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The summer is at an end, the nights are drawing in and it’s getting darker slightly earlier each evening.  You can see the leaves turning their amazing hues of yellow, gold and red almost in front of your eyes, and there’s a distinct nip in the air to be felt.  Shortly we’ll be putting our clocks back and that will signify the real start of the dark nights ahead until the promise of spring joins us once more.

At this time of year, what better meal to enjoy then a hearty Cottage Pie?  Good quality, lean minced beef. Thick and delicious gravy enrobing the meat, topped off with a delightful, buttery soft mashed potato.  It’s not a pretty dish for the eyes to behold, but it sure is a tasty one! Am I making you hungry yet?

Cottage pie with Albert Bartlett potatoes

I used 5% lean Angus Steak mince from Lidl and British grown Albert Bartlett potatoes (which I love for their taste and light, fluffy texture when cooked.  Both of which have the Red Tractor mark of quality.  To enjoy a meal as tasty as this, you’ll need:

  • 15ml Rapeseed oil
  • 1 large red onion, chopped
  • 500g Lean minced beef
  • 1 Knorr onion gravy pot
  • 200ml Boiling water
  • 50ml Red wine
  • 10ml Worcester sauce
  • 10ml Dried parsley
  • Salt & Pepper to season
  • 4 Large Adrian Bartlett Potatoes, peeled & cut into 2-3cm pieces
  • 100g Butter, cubed
    1. Heat your oven to 200℃.
    2. Gently heat the oil in a large frying pan and fry the onion until soft, but not browned.
    3. Add the mince and cook until browned.
    4. Mix the stock pot with the boiling water, red wine and Worcester sauce, then add this to the mince along with the parsley.
    5. Bring to the boil and season to taste.
    6. Turn the heat down low and simmer, stirring occasionally, whilst you cook your potatoes.

Cottage pie with Albert Bartlett potatoes

  1. Add your potatoes to a pan of cold water, bring to the boil and cook until soft.
  2. Drain the potatoes, add the cubed butter, season and mash them really well (no lumps are welcome in this recipe!).
  3. Pour the minced beef in to an ovenproof dish, then scoop the potatoes on top.
  4. Spread out the potatoes to an even layer and rough the surface with a fork to allow parts of the potato topping to brown more than others.
  5. Place the cottage pie in the oven and cook for 20 minutes until the top is a rich golden brown, and the gravy is just oozing up between the potatoes and the dish.

Cottage pie with Albert Bartlett potatoes

  1. Remove from the oven and serve with generous amounts of vegetables.

Cottage pie with Albert Bartlett potatoes

Don’t forget, that when dinner tastes this good, it’s perfectly OK to go back for seconds.

This recipe was not sponsored or endorsed by either Lidl UK or by Adrian Bartlett potatoes.