These mini cheesecakes are definitely for those who love maple syrup. A creamy maple flavoured cheese filling is topped with crunchy maple glazed pecans and then drizzled with maple syrup.
Individual Maple Cheesecakes
Preparation time: 35 minutes
Cooking time: 18 minutes
Chilling time: 2 hours
For the base
6gingersnap biscuits/cookies OR
⅓cupgraham cracker crumbs
14g(½ oz) butter, melted (1 tbsp)
For the filling
200gPhiladelphia cream cheese, in block form
21g(¾ oz) granulated sugar (1½ tbsp)
1egg, small (U.K.)/medium (N.A.)
For the topping
28g(1 oz) chopped pecans (¼ cup)
Extra maple syrup for pouring.
You will also need a 6-hole bun tin/muffin pan lined with 4 large paper baking cases.
Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F) (gas 4).
For the base
If you are using the gingersnap biscuits/cookies, place them in a plastic food bag and crush using a rolling pin.
Now mix together the crumbs, melted butter, and sugar in a small bowl.
Divide equally amongst the four paper baking cases and press down to form a firm base.
For the filling
In a medium sized bowl, using a hand-held electric mixer, beat the cheese until soft and smooth.
Beat in the sugar, maple syrup, and yogurt.
Now add the egg and beat again until the mixture is smooth.
Spoon the mixture into the paper cases.
Bake for 18 minutes, or until the filling is set and slightly puffed.
Cool the cheesecakes in the tin/pan on a wire rack. Then refrigerate for 2 hours.
For the topping
Meanwhile the topping can be prepared. First have a sheet of baking parchment ready on a chopping board.
In a small frying pan/skillet, over a medium heat, toast the pecans, tossing them frequently. This will take 2–3 minutes. You will begin to smell the nuts when they are ready. Immediately remove from the heat as they can burn very quickly.
Now stir in the maple syrup to coat the nuts.
Over a medium-high heat cook for about 1 minute until the nuts are glazed and most of the syrup has been absorbed.
Then spread out on the baking parchment.
Leave to cool completely.
Break up any pecans that have stuck together.
Remove the paper cases from the cheesecakes and put them on serving plates.
You will also need a large wide-based pan with lid.
*Chantenay carrots are very sweet, small carrots which I can’t get in Canada and so I substitute them with baby carrots, about 16.
In a large bowl, toss the chicken in the flour with a little salt and pepper.
Heat the oil in the pan and add the chicken in a single layer with the bacon. Brown over a medium heat for 5 minutes, turning the chicken halfway through. Remove the chicken and bacon from the pan with a slotted spoon and put to one side.
Reduce the heat and add the onions, mushrooms, and carrots to the pan. Cook for 5 minutes, tossing frequently. Then add the garlic and cook for a further minute.
Return the chicken and bacon to the pan. Add the stock, wine, bay leaves, and thyme. Season. Now bring the sauce to the boil and then simmer for 15 minutes, partially covered with the lid.
This easy beef casserole is made from chunks of steak, braised slowly with carrots, onions and potatoes in a tomato-based beef stock. Once prepared and in the oven there is nothing more to do!
One-Dish Beef Casserole
Preparation time: about 35 minutes
Cooking time: 2 hours 45 minutes
700g(1½ lb) stewing steak
28g(1 oz) flour (3 tbsp)
2medium onions, sliced
450g(1 lb) carrots, sliced (6 medium)
700g(1½ lb) potatoes, peeled and sliced (4½ medium)
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1x 400 g tin whole tomatoes (½ x 28 fl oz can)
good beef stock
225g(8 oz) peas (optional) (1½ cups)
You will also need a lidded casserole dish and a frying pan/skillet for this recipe.
Preheat the oven to 170°C (325°F) (gas 3)
Place the flour in a medium-sized plastic food storage bag and add salt and pepper. Shake the bag to mix. Cut the steak into 2.5cm (1 inch) cubes and add to the bag. Shake again so the flour coats the steak. Remove the steak from the bag but reserve any remaining flour.
Heat the oil in the pan/skillet over a medium heat and, when just beginning to smoke, add the steak. Toss the steak so it will sear on all sides. This will need to be done in a few batches as you don’t want to overcrowd the pan or the cubes of steak will steam rather than sear. Put to one side.
Now reduce the heat in the pan/skillet and add the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil. When it is hot add the onions and carrots and gently cook for 5 minutes.
Now layer steak, onions, carrots, and potatoes in the casserole dish, sprinkling each layer with a pinch of nutmeg and some seasoning as you go.
Sprinkle the remaining flour from the bag over the meat and vegetables and then add the tomatoes.
Finally pour over enough hotstock to come just over halfway up the ingredients.
Cover and cook for 2½ hours.
Peas can be added 15 minutes before the end of cooking.
I call these Cheat’s Crêpes Suzette because they aren’t flambéed just before serving. The crêpes with orange segments in orange sauce flavoured with Cointreau still make them sublime. (To flambé them, just follow the last steps of the method.)
Cheat's Crêpes Suzette
Preparation time: About 30 minutes
Standing time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: About 25 minutes
For the crêpes
115g(4 oz) plain/all-purpose flour (1 cup less 1½ tbsp)
You will also need a 25cm (10 inch) heavy gauge aluminium frying pan/skillet.
Sift the flour and salt into a large mixing bowl.
Make a well in the centre of the flour and break in the eggs. Using an electric whisk or a balloon whisk, whisk the eggs into the flour, gradually adding the milk and incorporating the flour from around the edge of the bowl. Scrape any remaining flour down from the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula and whisk again until all the mixture is smooth. It should be the consistency of thin cream. Set aside for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile prepare the sauce. Squeeze the juice from one orange into a small pan and add the icing/powdered sugar. Stir to dissolve and then add the butter. Gently heat to melt the butter and then simmer for 2 minutes. The mixture will thicken slightly. Set the pan to one side.
Zest the two remaining oranges and put the zest to one side.
Now remove all the pith from the 2 oranges, separate into their segments and remove any pips. Cut each segment into three.
Preheat oven to 130°C (250°F) (gas ½) and place five plates in the oven to warm.
Meanwhile melt the butter. Spoon 2 tablespoons into the batter and whisk it in. The remainder will be used to smear the pan/skillet between cooking each pancake using a wodge of kitchen paper.
To prepare for cooking the crêpes:
Get the pan really hot, then turn the heat down to a medium setting.
Use about 2 tablespoons of batter for each crêpe. It is easier to measure this into a ladle or measuring cup first and use this to tip the batter into the pan/skillet in one go. Using the ladle or cup, hold it so that the base is very close to the bottom of the pan/skillet in the centre and then pour it in. As soon as the batter hits the hot pan/skillet, lift the pan/skillet and tip it round from side to side to get the base evenly coated with the batter. If there are any holes, just fill them in with extra batter using a teaspoon. It will take less than a minute to cook. Lift the edge with a palette knife to check the underside is golden.
Now flip the crêpe over. The other side will need less time to cook. Then slide it out of the pan onto a warmed plate.
Continue until there are 12 crêpes. Overlap them on the warmed plate as you go, keeping them warm in the oven, covered loosely with foil.
Pour the sauce into the pan/skillet and warm through. Add the zest and 1 tablespoon of the liqueur.
Then fold the crêpes into quarters, placing a few orange segments in each one. Add the crêpes to the pan along with any remaining orange segments.
Cook for 2 minutes to heat the crêpes through.
If you want to flambé the crêpes just follow the steps below.
To flambé the crêpes
This is done just before serving the crêpes. First mix together 3 tablespoons of Grand Marnier and 3 tablespoons of brandy. Then pour them into the pan and set the sauce alight. This has to be done very quickly or the alcohol will evaporate and won’t light. Carefully swirl the pan around so that the sauce flames evenly. Serve when the flames have extinguished. Be very careful when doing this.