Reaching the final of Masterchef 2007 was a rollercoaster of emotion, with huge highs and lows, but I loved every minute and learnt a huge amount. I owe a great deal to John and Gregg who had faith in my ability when I did not believe in myself. Since competing on the programme my life has changed considerably. I now write cookery columns for two magazines, give cookery demonstrations and am just working on my 13th cook book - unlucky number for some but not for me!!! I love all forms of country cooking, using seasonal and locally sourced produce. This blog is to enable me to share with you a few of my recipes and baking ideas. Enjoy Hannah xxxx

Thursday, 10 January 2008

A baked cheesecake makes a perfect gift for a friend - nicer than a box of chocolates or a bottle of wine and it is easy to transport. Next time you have some spare time why not make one! I know this one was gratefully received by the recipient.

Praline Flapjack Cheesecake
For the base
175g porridge oats
3tbsp golden syrup
50g butter
For the cheesecake
250g cream cheese
3 eggs separated
100ml double cream
25g plain flour
2oz caster sugar
3 tbsp hazelnut butter
1 tsp vanilla essence
For the nut topping
200g mixed unsalted nuts
4 tbsp caramel sauce, warmed
For the Caramel nut shards
500g caster sugar
200g mixed unsalted nuts (brazils, hazelnuts, cashews, macadamia etc)

In a small saucepan heat the butter and golden syrup and then stir in the oats, mixing well to ensure that all the oats are coated. Press the oat mixture into the bottom of a greased and lined 10inch spring form tin. Place the cream cheese, cream, egg yolks, caster sugar, flour, hazelnut butter and vanilla in a food processor and blitz until smooth. Whisk the egg whites to stiff peak and then gently fold into the hazelnut mixture. Pour over the flapjack base. Place the tin on a baking sheet and bake in a low oven (160oC/325F/Gas Mark 3/Aga roasting oven below a cold shelf) for 1 1/2 hours until the cheesecake is firm to touch. To make the topping, warm the caramel sauce (you can make your own using brown sugar, cream, butter and golden syrup in roughly equal quantities) and stir in the nuts. When the nuts and cheesecake have cooled, pour the nuts into the centre of the cheesecake. If you wish, make caramel nut shards to decorate the cheesecake. Lightly grease a baking tray with a flavourless oil (sunflower or vegetable oil are ideal) and pour the nuts over. In a heavy based saucepan heat the sugar gently until it melts. Do not stir very much as this causes the sugar to crystallise and be very careful that the sugar doesn't burn. If you are worried, just take it off the heat for a few minutes. When the sugar has melted and is a light golden brown colour, pour over the nuts and leave to cool. Break into pieces and use to decorate.


Rita said...

What a creation! If my brother lived closer I would have made him one today - he loves cheesecake and he loves nuts! Thanks for the recipe.

sparky said...

I like your new index system to find the recipes.Most efficient!!
Well done Hannah.

Magic Cochin said...

What a useful recipe index!


milhan said...

The cheesecake looks wonderful. I also think the recipe index is a great idea. Thank you!

Marie said...

Oh gosh that looks decadently delicious! Loving the new recipe index. I really need to do that on my page as well.

Amanda at Little Foodies said...

You're inspirational! The recipes are great but you also make everything look so good!