Creme Egg Cheesecake

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Creme Eggs are without a doubt one of my favourite parts of Easter – they rival marshmallow eggs for the coveted spot as my most loved Easter egg. While marshmallow eggs narrowly win out on that front, nothing beats baking with Creme Eggs come Easter – anything with Creme Eggs in it is a guaranteed crowd pleaser!

Last Easter I created some rather indulgent Creme Egg cupcakes that are decadent enough to make any Creme Egg lover weak at the knees – and judging from the response it got after I posted it, you definitely seemed to love the recipe!

With such a success under my belt, the pressure was on to come up with something equally delicious this time around… but I’m pleased to say I have just the recipe. Crème Egg cheesecake. Yip – this year we’re taking Creme Eggs up a level and incorporating them into an already delicious dessert.

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Salted caramel & chocolate tartlets

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In case you couldn’t tell from all the pink, hearts and roses popping up in shops, Valentine’s Day is just around the corner – only two sleeps away in fact!

I must admit, Valentine’s Day kind of crept up on me this year – blame it on our wedding – so my window for making themed treats was pretty short. So short in fact, that I decided not to bake anything pink or heart shaped at all!

But that doesn’t mean I didn’t do some Valentine’s baking. Instead of going down the themed route, I decided I would be better off spending my time making an absolutely decadent treat that Kevin would absolutely love. That means a treat made from caramel and chocolate – that’s where these salted caramel and chocolate tartlets come in.

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Guest Post: Chocolate Pecan Pie

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Hi everyone!  It’s Melissa from Baking Makes Things Better here; I’m beyond honoured to be guest posting on High Tea with Dragons today. Congratulations to Kirsten and Kevin on their wedding and I hope they are having an amazing time on their honeymoon!

Pecan Pie is one of the first things I made and posted about back when I started up Baking Makes Things Better (and I really should re-visit the post and take some new photos for it, I think the photography skills have evolved a little since then).  I love Pecan Pie – it’s not that common in New Zealand but it is a delicious dessert that comes from the cuisine of the Southern United States, and boy do I think they know their desserts (I still need to try Kirsten’s Key Lime Pie)!

I’ve always wanted to try a chocolate version of Pecan Pie so this is a slight variation on my original recipe.  This pie would go great with cream, custard or ice cream, but is also amazing on its own.

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Vanilla & Strawberry Tart

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Strawberry season is well and truly upon us – and I couldn’t be more thrilled. Strawberries are one of the few things in the world that I can eat (and eat and eat and eat…) forever without getting sick of them – there’s just something about them that I never get sick of.

With punnets of strawberries lining the shelves in every supermarket and fruit store you visit, Kevin and I have totally given in to strawberry temptation and stuffed our fridge full of the things. So when the working out what dessert to make for when we had friends over for a BBQ there was no question it would be something wonderfully packed with strawberries!

After a bit of fiddling with my dreadful oven I succeeded in getting in a workable state, leaving me with the first opportunity I’d had in weeks to actually bake something! What goes better together than strawberries and vanilla? Not a lot! So I decided to combine the two in a beautifully light, creamy summery vanilla and strawberry tart.

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Key Lime Pie

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Now that Spring is here it’s time to start thinking about summer desserts – well, at least it is around here! I don’t know about you, but the last thing I want on a stinking hot summer’s day is a warm, stodgy  dessert.

Obviously, we’re not quite at that stage yet – we’re only four days into Spring – but there’s no harm in getting a bank of fail proof summer recipes prepared ahead of time! So that’s exactly what I’ve been doing – coming up with a list of delicious summer recipes that can be made super quickly!

And I’m in love with the first one – a delicious key lime pie!

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Moro & bailey’s cheesecake

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Last weekend Kevin and I finally got around to unpacking the last of our boxes – you know, the ones hanging around from when we moved into our new place back in early February. They were the three boxes we just couldn’t handle unpacking on moving weekend, so have sat in a pile in the corner for the past three or so months.

Then came the last box. What was in this one? Alcohol. Bottles and bottles of brand new alcohol. The trick is, Kevin and I aren’t big drinkers – we’ll have a glass of wine or something stronger every once in awhile, but that’s about it. But at Kevin’s old job he used to win bottles and bottles of the stuff in social club raffles, leading us to acquire quite the liquor cabinet.

So I decided we should slowly work our way through the liquor bit by bit in the best way I know how – by using it in some baking! My favourite thing about a visit to Lonestar is their fabulous Moro and Kahlua cheesecake, so I decided to try making something similar at home. Similar is the keyword here – the base is chocolate rather than shortbread, the topping is different and we didn’t have any Kahlua so… really the similarities end at it being a cheesecake with Moro bar pieces!

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Chocolate & caramel Easter egg cheesecake

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I don’t know about you, but it doesn’t really feel like autumn at the moment – we still have a fan going all night long, the days are still boiling and our house still gets so hot that it feels like we’re in the tropics (less the sandy beaches and cocktails). Some days it feels like autumn might be making an appearance, but then it vanishes as quickly as it came.

In this kind of weather, cheesecakes are the perfect sweet treat. Not only do you not have to touch the oven (assuming you make a bake-less variety), but the finished dessert is cool and refreshing – exactly what you want on a warm evening. Perfection.

With Easter on the horizon I decided to make an Easter-y version of a chocolate cheesecake, packing it with some of Kevin’s favourite eggs – mini caramel ones! Imagine a chocolate base (good enough to eat by itself) topped with a rich and fluffy cheesecake stuffed with caramel egg pieces, finished with a layer of dark chocolate ganache and garnished with a halo of caramel eggs. Sounds good, right?

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Lemon meringue pie

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Recipe amended from Treats from Little & Friday (pastry) and All Recipes

Ingredients

Pastry

  • 2 ¾ cups plain flour
  • 1 cup icing sugar
  • 250g butter, chopped
  • 1 egg, medium
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 2 tsp vanilla essence

Filling

  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 Tbsp flour, plain
  • 3 Tbsp cornflour
  • 1 ½ cups water
  • 2 lemons, juiced and zested
  • 30g butter, chopped
  • 4 egg yolks, lightly beaten

Topping

  • 4 egg whites
  • 6 Tbsp white sugar

Method

Pastry

  1. Combine flour and icing sugar in food processor and pulse to aerate and combine
  2. Add butter and pulse until mixture resembles breadcrumbs
  3. Add egg, lemon juice and vanilla essence and pulse until mixture looks dry and crumbly
  4. Turn onto work surface and shape into ball. Wrap in glad wrap and chill for 2 hours.
  5. Lightly dust work surface with icing sugar and roll pastry to 3mm thickness. Use pastry to line loose bottomed tartlet tin and trim excess. Allow to rest in fridge for 30 minutes.
  6. Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Place prepared tartlet pans on oven tray. Line pastry with baking paper and cover with rice. Bake for 15 minutes.
  7. Remove tartlets from the oven and carefully remove rice/baking paper. Reduce heat to 150 degrees Celsius and bake for a further 10 minutes. Allow to cool completely.

Filling

  1. In a saucepan, whisk together sugar, flour and corn flour.
  2. Stir in water, lemon juice and lemon zest. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring frequently until mixture comes to boil. Stir in butter.
  3. Place egg yolks in a small bowl and gradually whisk in ½ cup of the hot sugar mixture. Whisk this mixture back into remaining sugar mixture.
  4. Bring back to the boil and stir until thick. Remove from heat and pour into prepared tartlet pans.

Meringue

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Place egg whites in a large bowl and whisk until foamy.
  2. Gradually add sugar, one tablespoon at a time until thick and glossy with soft peaks.
  3. Scoop or pipe onto prepared tartlets. Place on oven tray and bake for 10 minutes or until meringue is golden.
  4. Allow to cool before removing from tartlet tins.