You Baked A Cheesecake In A Pressure Cooker?

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Yes, I did.

We recently purchased a multi cooker with a pressure cooker setting and we are loving it. I am using the term we because Mr has got on the Pressure Cooker bandwagon and has perfected a chicken and cashew dish. The most interesting thing I have made is the cheesecake.

This cheesecake is the best I have ever made. It is a thing of beauty, well not when it first comes out and looks a bit like the moons surface, it defiantly needs some form of decorating to make it look fab. It certainly tastes fab.

The recipe I used is a mash up of a couple. I combined my favourite biscuit base from Hummingbird Bakery and the cheese part is from Great Big Pressure Cooker Book : 500 Recipes For Every Day And Every Make Of Machine.  I tweaked and made it mint flavoured with nice layers effect. One layer was chocolate mint and the the top was mint chocolate chip.

Right, the recipe. If you don’t get any of my bumbling let me know and I will clear anything up. The most important thing is to have the sour cream and cream cheese at room temperature, I said ROOM TEMPERATURE. My plan is to keep the basic recipe the same but use different types of chocolate. I see a future where I add cherry in some form.

Above you can see the foil sling, the cheesecake in the cooker with the handles folded back and the final result. If you look closely at the final result you will see a few finger dents. I tested it by touching it and feeling it was solid.

 

Chocolate Cheesecake In The Pressure Cooker - Muffinmum.com

A 20cm (8 inch diameter) spring-form cake tin (check fits in pressure cooker) lightly oiled – butter is fine.

About 50 cm length of foil folded in to 1/3 length ways

Base

220g (8oz) digestive biscuits (I used Wine biscuits)

100g (3½oz) unsalted butter, melted

Filling

2 packets of cream cheese (Philadelphia)

1/4 c packed dark brown sugar

1/4 c white sugar

1 egg plus 2 egg yolks (at room temp)

250g Whittakers Ghana Dark Peppermint

1/4 c sour cream

1 tablespoon all purpose flour

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Put 2 cups of water in the pressure cooker and put the rack in too (should come with cooker)

Crush biscuits and stir in melted butter, leave for a few minutes for the butter to absorb

Put crumbs mix in base of prepared pan and press gently with a glass, craft the biscuits up the side of the tin so there is a lip of 2/3cm up the side

Place in fridge for a minimum of 1/2 hour

Break off 2 rows of the chocolate and set aside

Gently melt remaining chocolate in microwave or over a double boiler, allow to cool for 10 mins

In a food processor with a blade process the cream cheese and sugars until smooth

Scrape down the sides, add the whole egg and process.

Add yolks one at a time processing in between

Scrap sides again and add , sour cream , flour and vanilla

Process again until kind of soft and fluffy

Remove 1/3 of the mix and put into a bowl, cut the 2 lines of chocolate into chunks and stir through this mix

Add the melted chocolate  in to the remaining  2/3 of mix

Place prepared tin onto the centre of your foil sling , you are going to use it to take the pan out of the pressure cooker

Pour  chocolate mixture onto the biscuit base and then top with the chocolate chunk mix

Give it a gentle wobble to level

Using the sling, lower the pan into the pressure cooker. Try to make sure the foil is pushed away so it doesn’t cover the pan at all but you can unroll to use as handles

Cook on High for 25 mins

Unplug the pressure cooker at the wall and allow to release pressure naturally

Remove using the sling

There may be water on the top, don’t panic just blot with a piece of kitchen roll

Run a knife around the outer edge/tin to loosen

Allow to cool on a rack for 1 hour, refrigerate for a few hours before eating.

Decorate the top with whatever takes your fancy, sorry but it isn’t pretty. I grated a Whittakers Mint Sante Bar over the top

Enjoy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Comes and Goes- Shut Me Up

Sorry, this photograph has to be big. Just look at that.

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The Nest- Pumpkin seed crumbed soft boiled egg , filo pastry nest , beetroot ketchup, feta and mesclun salad.

 

This is not something I normally say but, I was wrong.

I have been laughing about how Insta/Snapchat the food at Comes and Goes in Petone is and being rather judgemental about how it could not taste as good as it looks. It sure does taste as good as it looks and my mind was blown by this dish, The Nest.

The Nest is two pumpkin seed crumbed soft boiled egg , filo pastry nest , beetroot ketchup, feta and mesclun salad. Just look at that, it is a plate of beauty and the taste was amazing.

I do have to warn you, we had to wait for a table on a Friday early lunch time. I am so pleased we did wait, it sure was worth it.

So I eat my words, not only is the food Insta/Snap worthy it tastes mighty fine too.

One more photo……….

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Shared Lunch- Jalapeño Popper Pies?

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Friday was a sad day at work, we said goodbye to a friend. In the grand tradition of our branch we had a shared lunch. Said friend is a spice fiend and rather than do my predictable sweet baking, I opted for something with jalapeños in. After getting lost in Pinterest for a few hours I settled on a recipe for the above pies. They were good and a big success.

I made them the night before, let them cool and stored. Some of my pies burst a bit and while they were still warm I pushed the cheese back in. I will be making these regularly for bring a plate events.

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The original recipe is here and I adapted it to suit me. Now these are not a quick thing to but I did enjoy myself with a Luke Cage Spotify music fest and a dance.

Jalapeño Popper Pies- Muffinmum.com

  • Servings: enough for a group
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1 egg

1 tablespoon water

150g cream cheese

1 cup grated cheddar

2 tablespoons plain flour

1/3 cup jared jalapeño peppers chopped (we use Delmaine)

1 packet frozen puff pastry with 5 sheets

Lay pastry  sheets out to defrost.

Heat oven to 200°

Cover 2 baking trays with greaseproof paper.

Mix cream cheese, cheddar, flour and jalapeño peppers.

Cut pastry with a fluted 5cm cutter.

Place heaped teaspoon of cream cheese mix in centre of pastry circle.

Moisten edges with egg/water mix.

Put another circle on top and crimp shut with a fork.

Lightly prick tops with a fork.

Place on a greased baking tray.

Continue until all circles have been used.

Brush finished pies with egg/water mix.

Bake until golden, about 15-20 minutes.

Allow to cool on tray.

 

Lunch- Couscous, Roast Vegetables and Halloumi .

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I love the squeaky halloumi cheese, really love it. Just thinking about it makes my mouth water, yes, really. It is a bit strange as I hate anything that squeaks when touched and am not a big salt fan. Nobody else in my house likes the squeaky cheese so it has become part of my work day lunch. I have experimented with the best ways to cook, store and reheat it and keeping it in small slabs. It is best microwaved in the slab too and then cut up for eating.

I am not going to write out a recipe for this lunch as it is pretty simple. Just roast some of your favourite vegetable with a hint of seasoning ( I like piri piri) and olive oil. Remember they shrink down a fair bit, so do plenty. I have been eating this weeks veg with couscous, halloumi and beetroot added after it is warmed. It is rather delicious and keeps me happy.

So my recent lunches are-

Roast Vegetables, couscous and halloumi.

Black Bean Stew.

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Lunch Always Attracts Attention. This Week Black Bean Stew.

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I have recently moved branches ( I work on the counter of a major bank). This move has brought lots of interest in my lunch and what I have brought. I have been making for pretty decent lunches for a long time now and don’t really think about it and it has never occurred to me that others might want to know how to make what I have. I cook while doing dinner, I find that it doesn’t feel like a chore.

I am a vegetable lover  and also a healthy eater. I love to have a good serve of vegetable at lunch time. I make a portion of whatever I am cooking that will last three days. I find that the best amount of time for food to stay fresh and not drive me crazy. I often have the main component in different ways. A stew like the one below can be served with rice, put in wraps or any other way that takes your imagination.

Talking of healthy, I am also embarking on a new adventure. For about 18 months I have been walking for exercise and I have made a big leap and signed up with a personal trainer, the marvellous Tim at Studio72 . This leap has lead me to think about keeping up my healthy eating and sharing my ideas.

This week I will mostly be eating …….

 

Black Bean Stew - Muffinmum.com

  • Servings: 3-4
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1/2 tbsp neutral oil

1 medium onion chopped

1 clove garlic chopped

1/2 tsp ground coriander

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp paprika

2 tsp honey

1 tin black beans in spring water drained

1 tin of tomatoes (I like Wattie’s crushed and sieved)

A splash or two of hot sauce (optional)

Salt and pepper to taste

Method

Heat oil in a medium saucepan or fry pan.

Add onion and cook until just getting soft.

Then add garlic and cook until onion is translucent.

The spices go in next, add and stir.

When they are fragrant add the honey and cook for a minute, stirring continually.

Add the beans and mix.

Tip in roughly a 1/4 c of the tomatoes and cook until liquid reduces.

Add the rest of the tomatoes, splash of optional hot sauce and salt and Pepper.

Cook with the lid off for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

When it has thickened cover and cook for another 10 minutes.

Allow to cool in the pan, this will help the beans soften.

When you are ready to eat it, heat covered for around 1 1/2 minutes in a microwave.

It is good with sour cream, sprinkle of cheese or coriander . You can eat it as a soup too.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Israeli Couscous, roast vegetables and haloumi ~ another lunch.

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One of the things I have come to realise is that I really love my ‘Emma’ lunches. I get to make food that I really like and I get to eat it at work in peace. There is no dog looking longingly, no cats wanting the cheese and no kid. Not even a husband sorting through the pile and looking for the meat, there isn’t any meat either.

At my work place we have Hari Krishna food, it is great but I like to keep it as a treat. With my lunch made I have 3 days food, I find it doesn’t taste so nice after that and I have picked all the best bits out. I think the best bits is the key to your own personalised lunch, make it with the bits you love, let yourself have all the bits you like and enjoy.

My new favourite thing is Israeli Couscous or Pearl Couscous, you should be able to just see the little balls of lovely in the above picture. There are various ways to cook it and I have found that I like to brown it a little, like when you cook risotto. Then I cook it in vegetable stock, adding more stock as it boils off. I used about 1 cup of couscous here and about 1 1/2 c of vegetable stock. I don’t flavour the couscous as there is enough going on  elsewhere.

This Wiki page is a good guide.

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I also roasted some vegetables in olive oil , yes, you have guessed it, the veg I love. I am also a seasonal buyer and do not purchase anything not grown in New Zealand unless I have to. I check the origin of all fruit and vegetables along with the price. I find that price is a good way to figure out if it is locally grown. Anyway, back to the roast veg, when it is all nicely good I add it to the drained and slightly al dente couscous along with a bit of the residual veg/olive oil juices,

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To this lunch I added one of my favourite things, Haloumi. I know I harp on about the company but I love The Collective Dairies cheese because it keeps it shape when fried and heats up nicely in the microwave. I cook up a whole block in slices for my lunch, a couple of bits vanish into my mouth straight out the fry pan.

When it comes time to eat, I chop the cheese up, put it in first, top with the couscous and veg. I microwave it for around a minute, I like it room temperature or just warm and find everything stays together nicely. I also add salt and pepper and any fresh herbs I happened to bring with me. Mint or coriander are favourties.

I think I may have said this before, embrace your lunch, make it yours and enjoy.

More lunch- I had a taste for this and it came out perfectly, Pasta Salad with Haloumi

This lunch was so easy and so useful for that little bit of pasta in the bottom of the packet. It was also filling, tasty and good for me.

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Pasta for one

Olive oil

Haloumi (I like The Collective Dairy)

Garlic

Spinach

Cherry tomatoes

Cook the pasta until al dente, you want it to be a bit hard still. Drain.

Cut the halloumi into rectangles and brown in a little olive oil in a fry pan.

Remove and drain the cheese on some kitchen roll.

Add a splosh more olive oil to the pan and then some garlic (I used my garlic crusher so it was nice and small)

When you can smell the garlic starting to soften add a handful of cherry tomatoes (0r wedges of larger ones) and a fistful or two or the spinach.

Cook until just warm and the spinach has just started wilting.

Stick the pasta in your container first and top with the frying pan yummy stuff.

I left mine out on the side at work so it didn’t get fridge cold.

I will be having this again tomorrow with three handfuls of spinach.

Chickpea, tomato and capsicum stew – another lunch idea for work

 

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This time I went for a tomato based lunch with more chickpeas. I took basmati rice and sour cream to go with it. It has been a rather tasty lunch and I will be eating the last portion in a minute. I added a handful of spinach at the end of cooking as it needed using up.
Ingredients
Splash of olive oil
½ of each- red, green. yellow capsicum (pepper) cut into chunks
1 med white onion thinly slice
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 tin chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 tsp honey
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp cumin
1 tin of tomatoes
Worcestershire sauce (leave out if vegetarian)
Salt and pepper to season
Directions
Heat enough olive oil to cover the saucepan you are using
Add onion and when beginning to be transparent add garlic and capsicum
Stir regularly until softened
Add chickpeas
Add honey, smoked paprika, cumin and stir until coats all
Add tomatoes, a couple of shakes of Worcestershire sauce and season
Leave to cook for around 10-15 minutes uncovered to reduce, stir occasionally
Cook for a further 15 minutes with the lid on
I turn off the heat and leave the stew to cook further  15 minutes.
Leave to cool with lid kept on, using residual heat.

A decent lunch for work, roast vegetables and chickpeas with quinoa and brown rice

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It isn’t as hard as it looks, honest. I have been regularly taking enough lunch to last three days and I always feel so much better for it. I am not a natural meat eater and always have a homemade vegetarian lunch. I only do three days as I find that is how long it tastes good for and I take it all in in one go and heat it only for 1 minute in the bowl I eat from.

Store the vegetables separate from any other additions otherwise everything ends up tasting the same and get olive oil on it. Every week I think, should have blogged that but never do and have decided that I will try to give some lunch inspiration.

This week’s meal is pretty easy-

Choose your favourite vegetables to roast, remember it is for you so you can pick ones no one else likes. This week I have kumara (sweet potato) , carrot, pumpkin, white onion and red capsicum.

I chop enough vegetables to cover my medium roasting pan and I have found keeping them medium size (around 3cm square) means you can tasteeach veg. After a few times you will figure out what you need and what you like.

I drizzle the veg with olive oil and a sprinkle of  MasterFoods Tuscan seasoning, it is a great seasoning and I have to take it to the UK for my parents. These were roasted until browned and soft. When they are done let them cool in the tin for a good while before transporting to your chose vessel. When completely cool, put the veg in the fridge.

To go with my roast veg this week I have cooked rice and quinoa to go with it. I use the SunRice mix and cook it according to instructions. I leave this to cool and stick in the fridge.

One of the secrets to a good lunch is the little extras. This week I have also taken along coriander, tomatoes, a nice juicy lemon and some roasted chickpeas that I stuck in the oven as I had a moment of inspiration. The chickpeas are so easy and so good, I used one tin and will do these regularly. I also have a pepper grinder at work and some salt.

It may read like hard work and I may sound vague, it really is about you eating a decent lunch that you like. Too often we adjust our cooking to suit others and lunch can be a moment where you get to claim a meal for yourself. You might not like my way but I might inspire you to find yours.

No lunch, what is a girl to do? Sweetcorn Fritter

This morning I had a crisis, I had no lunch prepared and didn’t fancy a pie (I know, I do have moments when I don’t want pie). After much cupboard browsing I landed on the idea of a corn fritter. This was spurned on by the sour cream I had in the fridge at work. I whipped one up quick and tootled off for my day as a bank lady.

At lunch I microwave it for 45 seconds and enjoyed it with the sour cream and sweet chili sauce I brought from home.

It made a good change and a lovely easy lunch. Way better than sandwiches but then, so are most things.
My fritter is very yellow because I used a friends free-range eggs.

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Ingredients
splash of olive oil
1 egg
1/2 c SR flour
1 tsp curry powder
1/2 c Sweet corn- I used frozen
salt and pepper to taste
May need a splash of milk to thin
Heat a medium fry pan and olive oil
Break egg into a bowl and whisk lightly
Stir in flour, curry powder, salt and pepper
Stir gently until you have a thick batter consistency – add milk if needed
Plop into a pan, it should go pancake shaped
Fry gently, turning when brown
Remove when cooked through and doesn’t feel doughy in the middle
I let mine cool for a bit. At work I kept it out of the fridge.
You can vary the veg, I have used cauliflower and onion before
I know curry powder isn’t the most fashionable but when you find one you like, it should be a cupboard staple. I use Countdowns Own Brand