Chocolate Hazelnut Cheesecake with Cherry Compote

IMG_2540IMG_2533‘What shall I make this week?’ Is probably the question I ask most to family and friends.

Sometimes I sit for hours scouring the internet, desperately clawing for an idea that might take my fancy. I flick through practically new cook books I’ve never used. Shut the book, empty-handed and empty minded, only to remember why I didn’t ever use them before.

Other times, like this sweet time, an idea drifts out of nowhere and flutters into my lap. I stumble upon a thought or, most likely, my appetite leads me to something I don’t often eat. I love creating something I haven’t made in a while. I’m struck with a new feeling of vigour and I relish in my precious time in the kitchen. My little escape.

Nothing makes my mouth water more than an indulgent slice of sugary temptation.

Sitting there like bait. Something that has a humble, rustic quality to it. Something that I don’t worry about eating and basically ruining because it’s too pretty. I read a quote recently that resonated with me; a quote I couldn’t agree more with.

‘Real food means big-flavoured unpretentious cooking. Good ingredients made into something worth eating. Just nice, uncomplicated food.’ – Nigel Slater Continue reading “Chocolate Hazelnut Cheesecake with Cherry Compote”

Chocolate Bark: A Lesson In Tempering Chocolate

IMG_1228When I first started training as a Pastry Chef, I was terrified of everything. I could happily make a batch of brownie at home but as soon as I was faced with this simple task at work, I would over think it as if it were a science experiment. The batches were 12kg big… that may have had something to do with my irrational fears. Continue reading “Chocolate Bark: A Lesson In Tempering Chocolate”

Pistachio and Hazelnut Baklava

baklava 2Baklava is one of those foods which I discovered in my mid teens. I didn’t even know it existed until then.

I can remember eating my first sweet piece thinking it was both delicious and weird. It was unlike anything I had ever had. Flakey, nutty and sticky. It was just so… turkish! Never would I have thought I could possibly make this dreamy treat at home. Continue reading “Pistachio and Hazelnut Baklava”