No-bake cheesecake is a real crowd-pleasing dessert and it’s exceptionally easy to make!
I don’t think I need to tell you how much I adore no-bake cheesecake, that’s pretty clear with the sheer number of cheesecake recipes already on my blog.
With the summer and warmer weather on the way, I figured a no-bake recipe would be greatly appreciated. In the kitchen during the summer it can get unbearably hot and when it’s sweltering outside the last thing you want to do is stand over a hot stove. That’s when no-bake recipes come to the rescue.
My cheesecake recipe repertoire is forever growing and I’m always happy to share my latest cheesecake creation. The cheesecake recipe I’m sharing with you today is inspired by my No-Bake White Chocolate Cheesecake, which went down a treat with readers of my blog.
This is the first recipe I’ve named as the “best”. I don’t normally throw that word around a lot, but I do believe this cheesecake truly deserves its title.
For all the no-bake cheesecakes I have made for my blog so far, they all have incorporated candy/sweets or chocolate into the mix. I was looking through my cheesecake recipes and realised I am yet to share a simple and plain no-bake cheesecake. As much as I enjoy cheesecake with different flavours added to it, I still do just prefer a basic and plain cheesecake.
I’ve made this no-bake cheesecake a handful of times already testing it out for family members or friends coming over for dinner. The feedback I have received has been really positive and after being asked for my recipe on many occasions, I knew it was about time to document the recipe.
I prefer my no-bake cheesecake without sweetened condensed milk or gelatine added. The latter of which is important for me with desserts as I’m vegetarian and I’ve lost count of the amount times I’ve been disappointed that I can’t eat a dessert because it has gelatine added and no-bake cheesecakes in particular are the usual culprit.
Once your cheesecake is completely set, slice it up and serve it on its own or decorate with homemade raspberry sauce (recipe included below). If you’re not a fan of raspberries, you can swap them for blueberries and make a delicious blueberry sauce instead.
Here it is, my perfect no-bake cheesecake. It’s the best no-bake cheesecake recipe in my opinion, but I’ll let you be the judge of that!
300g digestive biscuits
140g unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
500g full-fat cream cheese, softened – I leave mine out at room temperature for 30 minutes until soft
150g icing sugar, sifted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon lemon juice
300ml double cream, chilled
300g fresh or frozen raspberries
2 tablespoons icing sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
To make the biscuit base: Melt the butter in a small saucepan. Blitz the biscuits in a food processor or in a ziplock bag with a rolling pin to a fine crumb. Add the melted butter and mix until moistened. Tip the biscuit crumbs into a 23cm springform cake tin and press down until compact. Use the back of a spoon or a glass to smooth over, place in the fridge to chill whilst you make the cheesecake filling.
To make the cheesecake filling: In a large mixing bowl beat together the cream cheese with the icing sugar, vanilla extract and lemon juice until smooth and thoroughly combined. In another mixing bowl whisk together the cream until soft peaks form. Fold the cream into the cream cheese mixture and incorporate fully. Then whisk until the mixture holds soft peaks, be careful not to over mix otherwise the cheesecake mixture will curdle. Spread over the biscuit base and smooth over with a spatula or palette knife.
Now cover the cheesecake and leave to set for at least 8 hours or preferably overnight.
To make the raspberry coulis: Place the raspberries, icing sugar and lemon juice in a small saucepan. Heat gently and continue to cook until the raspberries break down and you’re left with a thick and glossy sauce. Take off the heat and pass the coulis through a fine mesh sieve into a clean bowl. Discard the seeds. Leave the sauce to cool before refrigerating.
To serve slice up, top with raspberry coulis, fresh fruit or simply enjoy as it is.
This traditional sponge cake tastes great decorated with a choice of fillings such as vanilla buttercream, whipped cream, lemon curd or jam. This recipe proves that you needn’t be an experienced baker to make a bakery-worthy cake.
Today I wanted to share a layer cake recipe that’s popular in bakeries, coffee shops and tea rooms.
Victoria sandwich is a classic British recipe and a firm favourite cake for many. It’s a popular cake for celebrations like birthdays and can be as dressed up or down according to the occasion.
Over the last few weeks I’ve lost count of the number of sponge cakes that have been baked in my kitchen. Luckily I don’t mind as sponge cake is my favourite cake and I wanted to make sure this cake was good enough for sharing.
I worried that the recipe was too simple, but sometimes you don’t want to bake anything too elaborate or requires more than a handful of ingredients.
If you feel like adapting the recipe you can add different flavours like fresh lemon, lime or orange zest or fold through some fresh/frozen berries or even some chocolate chips into the cake batter before baking – there are so many derivatives of this basic sponge cake recipe.
Once the cakes are completely baked all the way through, allow them to cool and then decorate as you want. Traditionally the cake has a raspberry jam filling, but strawberry jam or even homemade lemon curd are both delicious alternatives. As well as a curd or jam filling, you can also fill the cake with vanilla buttercream or whipped cream.
However you decide to decorate this cake, I hope you enjoy baking (and eating) it as much as we do!
225g (8 ounces) butter (salted or unsalted), softened – I leave mine out at room temperature overnight to ensure it’s soft enough
225g (8 ounces) caster or granulated sugar
4 large free-range eggs, at room temperature
225g (8 ounces) self-raising flour
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 tablespoons milk or water
3-4 tablespoons raspberry or strawberry jam (try not to use too much otherwise it might spill out)
Preheat oven to 190°C / 170°C Fan / 375°F / Gas Mark 5. Line the base of two 20cm / 8-inch cake tins with parchment paper and grease the sides of the tin.
In a large mixing bowl cream the butter and sugar together for about 2-3 minutes until light and fluffy.
Add the eggs one at a time and beat well after each addition – if the mixture looks curdled, add a bit of the flour. Next mix through the vanilla extract.
Now gently fold through the flour and mix until no lumps of flour remain. Add enough water/milk to loosen the cake batter slightly (I added 4 tablespoons of water to my cake batter. We’ve found adding water instead of milk produces a lighter cake).
Evenly divide the cake batter between the cake tins, leave a small dip in the centre of each cake to encourage even rising.
Bake the cakes for 20-30 minutes (it takes around 25 minutes in my oven) or until the tops have turned a light golden colour and a cake tester comes out clean when inserted into the centre of one of the cakes. Only test one cake as this will become the base layer and the other cake will be the top layer on show.
Leave the cakes to cool in the tins for 10 minutes, then carefully run a knife around the sides of the tin and release the cakes from their tins. Peel the parchment paper carefully off the base of each cake and leave the cakes to cool completely on a wire rack, base side down. (The side you have peeled the parchment paper from).
Once cool, fill the cake with raspberry jam and sandwich the two cake halves together. Dust the top with icing sugar and serve. The cake will keep at room temperature covered for up to 3 days. Generally this cake only lasts a day or so in our house!
This elegant English dessert requires only three ingredients to make. Garnish each posset with fresh berries and serve with crumbly shortbread biscuits.
Lemon posset is a popular dessert on many restaurant and pub menus and if I spot lemon posset on a menu I will always pick it over anything else without a second thought!
For something so simple, this stunning dessert wows with its beautiful citrus flavour and luxuriously smooth texture. Possets are no-bake and can be prepared several hours ahead of time.
Today I’m checking back in with this divine lemon posset recipe. This traditional English dessert is a magical concoction of cream, lemons and sugar. Acidity from the lemon is what sets this dessert, without the need for any gelatine. That means this dessert is gluten-free (as long as you serve it with a gluten-free biscuit) and vegetarian.
I thought about which other recipe in my repertoire I wanted to update and I eventually decided after much deliberation that I would make my favourite lemon posset.
This recipe was originally shared in April 2015.
Lemon posset will take you about ten minutes to prepare and be ready to set in the fridge. The hardest part really is waiting for it to set, but it’s certainly going to be worth the wait! This recipe also doesn’t need any specialist equipment, all you’ll need is a lemon juicer and zester/grater for zesting the lemons, a large saucepan and a spoon for stirring. You can serve your posset in any receptacle you like. I have used vintage tea cups, glasses and small ramekins, but it’s up to you what you serve them in. Aways remember be creative and put your own twist on anything you make and most importantly, have fun!
Once you’re ready to serve, decorate the tops by garnishing with fresh berries (I love blueberries and raspberries) and serve with homemade shortbread biscuits. Feel free to swap the shortbread for another biscuit of your choice, I think gingernuts would also pair fantastically with this dessert.
These creamy lemon pots will be perfect to welcome the arrival of spring next week, or dessert for Easter Sunday lunch and upcoming St. George’s Day in April, but they’re wonderful for all occasions.
600ml double cream
Zest and juice of 3 lemons
150g caster sugar
125g unsalted butter, softened
55g caster sugar
180g plain flour
1. To make the lemon posset: Place the double cream, lemon zest and sugar in a large saucepan and on a medium heat gently bring the mixture up to the boil. Boil for 3 minutes. After 3 minutes take the pan off the heat and stir through the lemon juice. Now sieve the creamy mixture into a jug. Pour into 6 ramekins or small serving dishes/glasses and cover. Leave to set in the fridge for at least 4 hours or overnight if you want to make these in advance. Serve the lemon posset chilled.
3. To make the shortbread biscuits: Preheat your oven to 190°C / 170 Fan / 375°F / Gas Mark 5. Cream the softened butter and sugar until smooth. Fold in the flour and mix into a soft dough. Now roll the dough out to approx. 1cm thickness on a lightly floured surface. Using a biscuit/cookie cutter of your choice, cut the dough into rounds or a shape of your choice. Sprinkle the top of each biscuit with extra caster sugar and then spread the biscuits out evenly on two large baking trays that have been lined with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Chill the biscuits in the fridge for 20 minutes.
3. Once chilled, bake the shortbread for 15-20 minutes or until lightly golden. Watch the biscuits closely nearing the end of the baking time as they can colour quickly. Allow the biscuits to cool on the trays for a few minutes and then transport them to a wire rack to finish cooling completely.
Be careful when boiling the posset mixture, make sure you’re using a large enough saucepan as this mixture could erupt and boil over if you take your eye off it.
I recommend transferring the posset mixture into a jug when pouring into the serving dishes, this makes sure they’re really clean and neat. Allow the posset to cool a little at room temperature before chilling in the fridge – I left mine for about half an hour before refrigerating.
This shortbread recipe yields approx. 20 biscuits, but this will depend on the size of your biscuit/cookie cutter. If you make smaller biscuits, baking time will be a few minutes less. The baked shortbread biscuits will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up 5 days and the lemon posset will keep for 3 days stored in the fridge.
Master homemade chocolate chip cookies with this simple recipe. You’ll love the crisp outside and chewy centre!
Finding the perfect chocolate chip cookie can be a difficult task for many bakers to master. But don’t fret, I have this easy chocolate chip cookie recipe ready to share with you just in time for the start of the festive season. Everyone has their idea of the perfect cookie, but if you’re a fan of crispy, yet soft and chewy textured cookies, then you’ve come to the right place.
You can never have enough chocolate chip cookie recipes in your life. I’ve already shared a basic CCC recipe with you and I wanted to share this new recipe I recently discovered and ended up thoroughly enjoying because of its ease and amazing taste.
As soon as these cookies leave the oven you’ll be reaching for one almost straight away! There is nothing more tempting than the aroma of a freshly baked cookie!
But hold on, before you go ahead and devour the cookies, for a pretty presentation that’s easy on the eyes as soon as the cookies have finished baking and are out of the oven I like to press a few extra chocolate chips on the tops. The reason for this is sometimes when you’re rolling the cookie dough you can’t choose how the chocolate chips are dispersed, so to guarantee every cookie has a generous helping of chocolate I decorate the top of each cookie with even more chocolate chips.
I also thought I’d share some of my tips for freezing and making the cookie dough in advance. Rolled cookie dough freezes well in a sealed sandwich/ziplock bag for up to 3 months. The perks of having cookie dough in the freezer is you can bake how ever many cookies you want ready for unexpected guests or for when a craving for cookies strikes! When you’re ready to bake the frozen cookies just take how ever many you want out, then once your oven has heated up all you’ll need to do is to bake the cookies for a couple of extra minutes more than the recipe states.
Lastly, if you have ever had any problems occur when baking cookies, below I’ve rounded up some of my top tips, which I hope you’ll find helpful.
Tips For Baking Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies:
Always use room temperature butter. I use room temperature butter in most recipes, having the butter nice and soft will make creaming it easier. I tend to leave my butter out at room temperature for one hour before using, however, in the summer months when it gets really hot it doesn’t take that long to soften up! To test your butter is soft enough and ready to bake with, it should still be cool to the touch, but when pressed using little pressure your finger will leave an indentation. Please don’t be tempted to microwave butter to soften it!
Use two different types of chocolate. I love all kinds of chocolate, so I like to use a mix of dark and milk chocolate in my cookies. You’ll love the rich, slightly bitter flavour of the dark chocolate in contrast to the creamy, sweet milk chocolate.
I’ve found since testing out several cookie recipes that chilling the cookie dough for a length of time isn’t always necessary. I don’t personally believe it changes the flavour too much, only the texture very slightly. Chilling will produce a slighter thicker cookie, but not much more than that. I like that this recipe only requires an optional 15 minutes chilling time, which is great over the busy holiday period! I’ve baked many cookie recipes which have suggested the dough should be chilled for a minimum of 24 hours, however, there’s never been any instruction on what you do when you need to roll the dough ready for baking, as after overnight chilling it’s usually rock hard and impossible to roll.
Try shaping the cookies by hand. I used to use an ice cream scoop, however, I now prefer to individually divide and then roll the dough into balls, shaping between my palms to get a nice round shape.
You’ll be able to tell the cookies are ready as they’ll brown slightly around the edges. Cookies often appear uncooked, however under baking is the secret to a soft centre.
150g butter (salted or unsalted), softened
80g light brown sugar
80g caster sugar
1 large free-range egg, at room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
225g plain flour
Pinch of salt (add 1/4 teaspoon if using unsalted butter)
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
200g chocolate chips (I use a mix of dark and milk chocolate chips and chunks), plus extra for decoration
Preheat oven to 190°C / 170°C Fan / 375°F / Gas Mark 5. Cream the butter, brown sugar and caster sugar together until pale and creamy.
Add the egg and the vanilla extract and beat until completely incorporated.
Sift the flour, salt and bicarbonate of soda together over the top of the mixture and gently fold in until a few specks of flour remains.
Now add the chocolate chips and fold them through until evenly distributed throughout the cookie dough.
Cover and chill the dough for 15 minutes (this is an optional step).
Divide the cookie dough into 24 equally sized pieces, roll into balls between your palms. Evenly spread on two to three large baking trays lined with parchment paper or silicone baking mats (leave a gap between each cookie to allow for spreading).
Bake the cookies for 8-10 minutes until they’ve turned a light golden colour. When the cookies come out the oven they will appear under baked, however, as they cool they will firm up.
Allow the cookies to cool on the baking trays for a few minutes. As the cookies cool you can press a few extra chocolate chips on the tops if desired, then gently transport the cookies to a wire rack to finish cooling completely. The cookies will store in an airtight container for up to one week, but they’re best eaten on the day of baking or the day after.
Crunchy granola with flaked almonds, dried cranberries and creamy white chocolate chips. A sweet breakfast or snack to pack up and take to work with you.
I’m constantly on the search for new granola recipes. Granola is something I often bake, not just for my blog, but I will try to make it almost weekly if I get the chance.
Lately I’ve been going back to older granola recipes I have shared on previous occasions and I’ve been updating a few of those recipes. I based this new granola on my favourite vanilla almond granola, which I add a whole tablespoon of vanilla extract. I’m fully aware that all of our taste buds are completely different from one another, so feel totally free to adjust the amount of vanilla in this recipe to your own taste.
My latest granola marries flaked/slivered almonds with dried cranberries and white chocolate chips. Another addition I like to add to my granola is ground cinnamon, I absolutely can’t get enough of the warming spice flavour especially during autumn or wintertime. Again, if you don’t enjoy spices you can omit the cinnamon and if you’re not a fan of dried cranberries you can swap those for a different dried fruit instead, you could also choose to leave them out entirely or add even more chocolate chips.
So you’re wondering, how is this granola made? It couldn’t be simpler, grab yourself a large mixing bowl and give the oats, almonds and ground cinnamon a good mix together. In a small saucepan, gently heat together honey or maple syrup with oil and vanilla. Add the wet mixture to the dry ingredients and stir until moistened. Transport the granola mixture to a large lined baking sheet/tray and leave your oven to do the rest of the hard work.
After allowing the granola to cool, the last step is adding the dried fruit and the chocolate chips. It’s important to remember to add the chocolate chips after the granola has finished baking and has cooled otherwise the chocolate will melt!
This granola is fantastic as it requires minimal effort and the result is divine, toasty deliciousness. I’m not sure why I ever bought pre-made granola in the first place as it’s pumped full of odd ingredients (most of which I can’t even pronounce), has more fat and sugar added than needed and doesn’t taste anywhere near as good as homemade does.
I love keeping a jar of this on the kitchen countertop, sprinkle your homemade granola on ice cream or Greek yoghurt and top with fruit or simply just serve it with milk of your choice. If you’re on the lookout for some edible Christmas gifts then I think this granola will make a tasty present for someone special at Christmas, pop the freshly baked granola into jars and tie with ribbon for a sweet gift.
200g (2 cups) old-fashioned/rolled oats
100g (1 cup) flaked or slivered almonds
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional)
75ml (5 tablespoons) honey or maple syrup
75ml (5 tablespoons) vegetable oil
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
80g (2/3 cup) dried cranberries
100g (1/2 cup) white chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 150°C / 130 Fan / 300°F / Gas Mark 2.
Weigh the oats out into a large mixing bowl along with the almonds and mix together with the cinnamon (if using).
In a small saucepan, gently heat together the honey/maple syrup, oil and vanilla until warmed. Don’t boil this mixture.
Stir together the honey/maple syrup mixture with the oats until moistened. Spread the granola out evenly on a large lined baking sheet/tray and bake for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, give it a stir and return the granola to the oven for a further 15 minutes. After the second lot of 15 minutes is up, again remove the granola from the oven and give it a stir. Pop the granola back in the oven for another 15 minutes more to finish baking. (Granola will have baked for a total of 45 minutes before it’s ready.)
Once the granola has finished baking, take it from the oven and leave it to cool. As it cools, it will get crisp, once cooled completely stir through the dried cranberries and white chocolate chips. This granola will store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.
Use old-fashioned/rolled oats to make this granola, unfortunately porridge oats will not work as the consistency is too powdery.
This time I used vegetable oil to make the granola, however, I sometimes make this granola with rapeseed oil, but coconut oil can also be used in this recipe. Honey could be substituted with maple syrup.
If you prefer, you can swap the cranberries for more almonds or chocolate chips. The white chocolate chips could be switched for dark or milk chocolate chips instead.
The baked granola will store in an airtight container or a jar for up to a fortnight (2 weeks).
Crispy cereal treats made using Chocolate Flavour Marshmallow Mateys. This is sponsored content.
Chocolate crispy treats have been one of my favourite recipes to make since I was little and had first stepped into the kitchen. My mum would always allow my sister and I to make crispy treats as they’re easy and fun to make. These chocolaty treats are great to make with kids because the ingredients don’t cost too much and don’t require any need to switch on an oven. The latter of which is always convenient in summertime when it’s too hot and all you want to prepare is no-bake recipes.
I recently received a few Malt-O-Meal cereals to taste test and create a recipe with. Included were Marshmallow Mateys, Chocolate Marshmallow Mateys and Waffle Crisp. I’ve tasted all three cereals I was sent and they were all really wonderful in their own way. The Marshmallow Mateys and Chocolate Marshmallow Mateys consist of cereal puffs and have rainbow coloured marshmallows added. The Waffle Crisp cereal tasted exactly like crunchy mini waffles soaked in maple syrup.
Chocolate Flavour Marshmallow Mateys
When considering different recipes and ideas, I decided that I wanted the cereal to be the star of the show. Using the chocolate cereal to make crispy treats sprung straight to my mind. This is a great recipe to do with the kids before heading back to school and is a good idea for picnics or lunch boxes.
This recipe is so simple, so here goes:
Once you have the cereal in a large mixing bowl, melt the chocolate over a bain-marie (double boiler) or in the microwave in 20-second intervals. Be careful and make sure you keep a watchful eye on the chocolate until it has melted. I don’t tend to add any butter, golden syrup or marshmallows to my crispy treat mixture as I don’t really think you need to add them. I prefer my crispy treats to be crunchy and chocolaty and taste purely of chocolate. I’ve never had any problem with them being too hard by not adding any of the additional ingredients I mentioned above.
Once the chocolate is melted, add that to the cereal and stir until all the cereal is fully coated. Evenly distribute the chocolaty cereal mixture into 12 paper cupcake cases/liners – I picked pretty polka dot cases, anything patterned looks really nice when you’re presenting these crispy treats. You’ll find using the cupcake cases/liners makes removing the cakes far more easier too.
Before the chocolate sets, finish by decorating each cake with as many Marshmallow Mateys as you like. Set them in the fridge and then devour them!
200g dark or milk chocolate (or a combination of both)
150g Chocolate Flavour Marshmallow Mateys cereal, separated from the marshmallows
Marshmallow Mateys, for decoration
Line a 12-hole cupcake/muffin tin with 12 paper cases/liners. Break the chocolate into pieces and melt gently over a pan of gently simmering water (make sure the bottom of the bowl doesn’t touch the water) or melt in the microwave in 20-second intervals, stirring until the chocolate is melted and smooth.
Mix the melted chocolate with the cereal until the cereal is completely coated in the chocolate.
Divide the mixture between the paper cases and decorate with the marshmallows. Chill in the fridge for an hour until set. Crispy treats will store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days, however they’re best eaten fresh.
I’ve just recently got back after spending a fortnight holidaying in the Mediterranean on the island of Cyprus. This wasn’t my first visit to this beautiful country, I’ve previously shared a blog post with pictures from our last visit two summers ago and before that I’d already visited Cyprus on two other occasions before starting this blog. Here I’ve put together a collection of my favourite snapshots from my time away. It was yet another fun and memorable trip to a destination that’s very close to my heart.
Panorama viewpoint looking down on Paphos
Our journey to Cyprus started early (wakeup call was 1:45am), I only managed a few hours sleep before we headed to the airport and I think this was due to excitement! Once we boarded our flight, four and half hours later we landed in Cyprus to be welcomed with predicted sunny and warm weather. After collecting our suitcases and sorting out our car hire and we departed the airport and drove to our villa.
We stayed in Argaka, a small village located near the town of Polis. This is my third visit to Argaka, the village is barely touched by tourism and that’s what appeals most to me. It’s a great place to get an experience of Cypriot life.
Before arriving at our villa we stopped off at Limni Pier where we ate lunch and took in some breathtaking views and the deep blue sea. Upon arrival at the villa we were totally blown away, we had our own private beach just outside the villa (the perks of not saying in a complex), a pool and even a tennis court – my sister and I both made good use of these to work off the ice cream we ate and the scrumptious galaktoboureko (Greek semolina custard pie with syrup) the villa owner, Savvas, brought round for us on the first night. The sweet pie was very delicious and successfully devoured in less than 24 hours!
For a food lover like myself having a bakery right next door to us was fantastic, but as you can guess there was always temptation from all the delicious Cypriot and Greek treats like cakes, loukoumades (fried pastry balls soaked with honey), sweet and savoury pies such as tiropittes (flaky pastry cheese pies) and spanakopittes (cheese and spinach pies) – imagine a mini bitesize version of spanakopita.
On this trip we travelled around a bit more and visited some of the attractions we didn’t get to see previously. Below I’ve added some snapshots of what we got up to and saw this time around!
Harbour at Agios Georgios
Agios Georgios is a village situated in the Paphos (Pafos) district of Cyprus. The church and stunning views are just a few reasons why this is one of the best places to stop off. There’s also a pottery stall which sells lovely hand-painted bowls and plates among many other things.
Stone built church of Agios Georgios in the village of Pegeia
You might already know this, but Cyprus is known as the island of love. Aphrodite was the Greek goddess of love and Cyprus was her place of birth. Aphrodite’s Rock is also known as Petra tou Romiou (“Rock of the Roman”). Located between Paphos and Limassol, it’s well worth a visit and popular with tourists visiting Cyprus. A swim around the rock is definitely something you might like to tick off your bucket list, but a warning, the water is very cold!
Views at the Kourion Archaeological Site
Kourion (Curium) is an archaeological site located on the west coast of Limassol in the town of Episkopi. Here you can see an expansive collection of mosaics and monuments that date back to the Roman period and the remains of the ancient city of Kourion. Just make sure you plan a visit here before the midday heat and sun arrive and come prepared for the walk around with a hat, lots of water and sun cream!
The Troodos mountains are the largest mountain range in Cyprus. As you drive through you can see lots of different wildlife like snakes slithering across the road and you can even visit a mouffalon enclosure. Mouffalon are wild sheep native to Cyprus and other Middle-Eastern countries. The first time we went we weren’t lucky and didn’t manage to spot any mouffalon, however this time luck was on our side and I captured this picture above!
Next I’m moving onto one of the best parts of travelling to a different country, the food. Cypriot and Greek are two of my favourite cuisines. Both cuisines are similar, but they do have some differences. Cyprus is famous for halloumi, a cheese that’s made from either goat’s or ewe’s milk. It’s eaten raw or cooked in Cyprus, but I prefer it either grilled or fried and garnished with oregano and fresh lemon juice.
Cyprus is also home to several yummy treats, kattimeri is a sweet crêpe-style pancake that’s traditionally filled with sugar or honey and cinnamon. We bought these almost daily when we visited the supermarket to stock up on groceries. The pancake is quite big so we’d cut it into quarters and topped with Greek yoghurt and fresh sliced peach – I don’t think that’s how Cypriots serve the pancake, but the flavours worked well together and we turned it into a great dessert. I love these pancakes so much that I even packed one to eat on the plane journey home!
Naturally coloured and flavoured strawberry buttercream made with freeze-dried strawberries. Your summer isn’t complete without a taste of these cupcakes!
Recipe originally shared July 2015, updated June 2017.
Fruit based buttercream is a summer favourite of mine and the yummy addition of freeze-dried strawberries creates the beautiful pink colour in this buttercream recipe I’m sharing with you. I’m personally not really into unnaturally coloured foods so often when I want to make a buttercream that’s coloured, I’d rather look for alternative ways of naturally colouring mine.
This recipe is based on a classic buttercream recipe except freeze-dried strawberries are ground to fine powder in a food processor and then the strawberry powder is incorporated into the buttercream. Incorporating freeze-dried strawberries into buttercream adds amazing natural strawberry flavour and it also tints the buttercream a faint pink colour.
To allow this strawberry buttercream to be the star of show I sat it atop a basic vanilla cupcake. Strawberry and vanilla happen to be my two favourite flavours, so combing the two had to happen sometime! My vanilla cupcake recipe is easy to make as it doesn’t require any out of the ordinary ingredients such as buttermilk or yoghurt, which are ingredients you might not happen to have in your kitchen. This vanilla cupcake recipe however uses your everyday baking store cupboard essentials such as butter, sugar, eggs, vanilla and flour.
You might be wondering about why I choose to use freeze-dried opposed to fresh strawberries? Fresh fruit is great to use in some buttercream recipes, but strawberries in particular have a high water content so using fresh could produce a runny buttercream that’s impossible to pipe. The fruit and moisture levels are more concentrated in freeze-dried fruit compared to fresh, so when following this recipe you won’t have to be concerned that your buttercream will curdle or won’t be able to be piped.
What better way to celebrate summer and the strawberry season than with these cupcakes! They’ll be a hit at summer picnics, parties or barbecues or even served as part of an al fresco afternoon tea.
150g (2/3 cup) butter, softened
150g (3/4 cup) caster or granulated sugar
3 medium or large free range eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
150g (1 and 1/4 cups) self-raising flour, sifted – you can sub with 150g plain flour plus 2 teaspoons baking powder
170g (3/4 cup) butter, at room temperature
12g (1 cup) freeze-dried strawberries
2 tablespoons double cream (heavy cream), chilled
230g (2 cups) icing sugar, sifted
Preheat oven to 160 degrees C Fan / 180°C / 350°F / Gas Mark 4. Line a cupcake tin with 12 paper cupcake liners and set aside.
To make the cupcakes: Cream the butter and sugar together until smooth and fluffy. Add the eggs one by one along with the vanilla and mix to combine. Using a spatula or large metal spoon, gently fold in the flour and mix until just combined and no lumps of flour remain. Be gentle and try to not over mix the batter.
Now evenly distribute the cupcake batter among the cupcake liners. Bake for 20 minutes until the cupcakes are a light golden colour and firm to the touch. Leave to cool in the tin for a few minutes, then remove from the tin and transport the cupcakes to a wire rack to finish cooling completely.
To make the buttercream: In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter on a medium-high speed for 3 minutes. Stop the mixer and using a spatula scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl, continue to mix the butter for a further 3 minutes until it’s creamy and pale. In a food processor pulverise the freeze-dried strawberries until finely ground (wait for a moment to allow the air in the powder to settle). Add the strawberry powder to the creamed butter and stir through until combined. Now add the cream along with the icing sugar and again mix until incorporated. Whip the buttercream on medium speed for an additional 2 minutes, then stop the mixer and scrap down the sides and bottom of the bowl and continue to mix for another 2 minutes.
Fit a large disposable piping bag with a piping tip. Fill the piping bag with the buttercream and decorate the cupcakes as desired.
Butter will need to be at room temperature for both the cupcake and buttercream recipes. Take butter out from the fridge and allow it to sit at room temperature for an hour. You’ll know your butter is ready to start baking with if when you press your finger gently into the butter it leaves an indentation. Either salted or unsalted butter can be used, typically I always use unsalted, but this time I used salted and it worked just as well.
Please note humidity can affect the outcome of your buttercream. The best way of avoiding your buttercream curdling is making sure your butter isn’t too soft (follow my tip above when softening butter).
Freeze-dried fruit can usually be located down the baking aisle of most supermarkets or sometimes, they can also be found in some specialist bakeware shops, but if you’ve had no luck looking in store you can order over the internet.
If you don’t own a food processor you can crush the freeze-dried strawberries in a resealable bag using a rolling pin until they’ve reached a fine powdery consistency.
Cupcakes will store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days. If it’s humid where you live I’d recommend storing these cupcakes in the fridge and when ready to serve take the number of desired cupcakes out and allow them to sit a room temperature for a few minutes.