Monday, 22 December 2014

Gingerbread Ice Cream

Well, it's only another three sleeps until Christmas Day, and following a busy week of a concert rehearsal, a concert itself, a meeting and a Christmas meal/theatre trip, then a week of not really doing much other than watching Christmas DVDs and continuing to make a scrapbook, the Christmas week, although less busy than two weeks ago, is starting to fill up with things to do.  Yesterday was the church Nativity production, I'm going out carol-singing on Christmas Eve, and then there's the church service on Christmas Day.  The recipe for today is a vegan-friendly Christmassy gingerbread ice cream, inspired by this vanilla ice cream recipe from The Rawtarian and Ally Sheehan's banana and blueberry ice cream recipe.  It only needs three ingredients (plus toppings) and a blender, and is rather easy to make, so even if you can't really cook, this is one dessert you can make this Christmas.  And on that note, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!


4 bananas
2 teaspoons vanilla essence
2 teaspoons ground ginger


  1. Cut bananas into slices and freeze in a Ziploc or freezer bag for a few hours or overnight.
  2. Put the bananas into a high-speed blender and pulse until it reaches a smooth, ice-creamy texture.
  3. Before you finish blending, add 2 teaspoons of vanilla essence and 2 teaspoons of ground ginger.  Blend the mixture for a bit longer.
  4. Serve into bowls, top with sultanas and candied peel (if you have any) and enjoy!

Sunday, 7 December 2014

Rose and Violet Chocolate Drops

We are now officially a full week into December, and with that has come a string of events that you'd find around Christmas or at the end of the year.  For example, on Friday night I attended the inaugural New Bradford Playhouse Awards, and on Saturday night I attended my dad's choir Christmas concert.  This week, I'm booked every night until Friday with a Christmas/winter concert dress rehearsal, the concert itself, a main show meeting, and a Christmas meal and theatre trip.  In addition, I have an essay deadline and a user-testing lab for a website I've built.  I'll be glad when it's Friday when I'm free to do a bit more of this other website I'm starting to build, read, and watch the pile of films I've been wanting to watch for several weeks (mainly Rent).  I found the following recipe for rose and violet chocolate drops in the most recent (Christmas 2014) edition of the Tesco Food and Living magazine.  It could be an ideal gift for friends!

Ingredients (to make 20)

100g (3 1/2 oz) plain chocolate, broken into pieces
1/2 teaspoon rose water
1/4 sunflower oil
1-2 tablespoons violet crystals


  1. Put the chocolate into a heatproof bowl set over a pan of shallow, gently simmering water.  Stir occasionally until melted and glossy.
  2. Remove from the heat and stir in the rose water and sunflower oil.  Set aside to cool for 2-3 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, line 2 baking trays with non-stick baking paper.  Using a teaspoon, drop small rounds of chocolate onto the trays.  When the rounds are just beginning to set, scatter over the violet crystals.  Leave to set in a cool, dry place (but don't chill).

Friday, 28 November 2014

Homemade Gingerbread Latte

It's now very almost December, and for the next few weeks, my posts will involve Christmas-related recipes.  Last year just before Christmas, my dad bought a couple of bottles of 1883 de Philibert Routin gingerbread syrup and made me gingerbread lattes for a few months.  To me, this was more the taste of Christmas than hot chocolates (which are just wintery).  I now can't wait until he buys some more for this Christmas.  In the meantime, while I was looking for things to put into my Christmas scrapbook last year, I found this recipe for homemade gingerbread latte on  I definitely think this is a good recipe for making gingerbread syrup from scratch.  Next week, I'll be getting even more Christmassy so stay tuned!


For Gingerbread Syrup:
2 cups water
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

For Gingerbread Latte:
1/2 cup milk of choice (or more if using an espresso machine)
8oz coffee or a shot of espresso (about 30ml)
3-4 tablespoons gingerbread syrup (according to taste)
whipped cream (optional)
ground cinnamon


For Gingerbread Syrup:
  1. Combine the water, sugar, ginger and cinnamon in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil, whisking constantly.  Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes, stirring frequently.  Remove from heat when the syrup has thickened a bit.  Stir in vanilla extract and allow to cool slightly before using.
  2. Once cooled, you can store the syrup in a Tupperware container or bottle in the fridge for about 2 months.  Shake well before using after the syrup has been refrigerated.

For Gingerbread Latte, Makes 1 Serving:
  1. Pour milk into your coffee mug.  Stir the syrup and add desired amount to mug.
  2. Heat milk-syrup mixture in the microwave for about 1 minute until hot.
  3. Pour in the brewed coffee or shot of espresso.
  4. Top with whipped cream (optional) and a sprinkle of ground cinnamon.

Friday, 21 November 2014

Veggie Samosas

We're now yet another week closer to Christmas, and although there's still just over 30 days left until Christmas Day, there's a packet of mince pies in our kitchen, I saw some boxes of Christmas crackers in Sainsbury's while my friends were buying their dinner last week, and we've just started rehearsals for our Christmas concert.  It's probably still a little bit early to set in with the Christmas recipes, so for this week, it's more of a recipe for all year round, but can also be very useful for Christmas parties.  This recipe for veggie samosas is one of the many that I found in the index of The Great British Bake Off Learn to Bake book that I received for my birthday earlier this year.  I think they would make a great contribution to the food table at a Christmas party.

Ingredients (makes 16 samosas)

3 spring onions
2 x 2cm chunks fresh root ginger
1 medium potato (about 200g)
½ teaspoon mild curry paste, or to taste
200ml vegetable stock (made from a cube) or water
200g frozen mixed vegetables (from a pack of peas, sweetcorn, diced carrots and green beans)
8 sheets filo pastry, each about 25.5 x 48cm (250g box), thawed if frozen (take out of the fridge but keep in its wrapping so it doesn’t dry out)
3-4 tablespoons rapeseed or vegetable oil, for brushing


  1. Put the spring onions on the chopping board and carefully trim off the hairy roots ends and the dark green coarse tops.  Rinse the onions under the tap to get rid of any grit and dirt.  Give them a good shake in the sink so they are not too wet, then slice them into rounds about 3mm thick.  Push them to one side of the board.
  2. Use a small spoon to scrape the beige peel off the root ginger so you can see the yellow inside.  Carefully grate the ginger onto the board using the fine-hole side of the grater.  Push to the side with the onions.  Peel the potato, then cut it on the board into 1cm chunks.
  3. Put the spring onions, ginger and potato into the frying pan.  Add the curry paste and stock or water, then set the pan over medium heat and stir gently with a wooden spoon until the mixture starts to boil.  Turn down the heat so the liquid is just boiling gently with tiny bubbles (this is “simmering”) and cook for 15 minutes, stirring every few minutes.
  4. Carefully lift the pan off the heat and set it on a heatproof surface.  Wait for the bubbling to stop, then gently add the frozen vegetables and stir them in to mix.  Return the pan to the heat and bring back to the boil.
  5. Cook for about 5 minutes until the vegetables feel soft when you prod them with the wooden and all the liquid has evaporated.  If the vegetables still feel hard or you can see liquid in the pan, cook for 2-3 more minutes.  Once the vegetables are soft and look fairly dry, remove from the heat and leave to cool.
  6. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius / 400 degrees Fahrenheit/ gas mark 6.  When the vegetable mix is cold, taste a small amount on a teaspoon.  If you think it needs more spice, stir in ¼ teaspoon more curry paste (or you could add a few grinds of black pepper).
  7. Carefully unwrap the filo on a clean worktop.  Have the vegetable filling close by.  Peel off the top sheet of filo and lay it in front of you (cover the rest of the filo with a clean and slightly damp tea towel or a large sheet of clingfilm so it doesn’t dry out).  Brush the filo sheet very lightly with oil, then cut it lengthways into 3 long strips using kitchen scissors (take care as filo tears easily).
  8. Spoon 2 tablespoons of the mixture in a heap near the top of one strip, leaving about 2cm of pastry uncovered at the top and on either side.  Fold the pastry strip into a triangle: take the top right hand corner and fold it down diagonally to the left so it covers the filling.  Push in any escaped vegetables then take the point at the top left and fold it down diagonally to the right.  Keep folding the pastry over like this until you get to the bottom of the strip of filo.
  9. Set the triangle on the prepared baking sheet and lightly brush with oil.  Fill and fold the other 2 strips in the same way, continuing until all the filo and vegetables have been used.
  10. Place in the heated oven and bake for about 20 minutes until golden brown.  Wearing oven gloves, remove the sheet from the oven and set on a heatproof surface.  Leave to cool for 5 minutes.  Eat warm as soon as possible.

Friday, 14 November 2014

Blackberry Compote

In the last few weeks, my views about breakfast have become so much stronger.  I find it so important to have breakfast in the morning.  Every morning, within ten minutes of waking up, I'm always in the kitchen pouring myself a glassful of tap water and preparing myself either a bowl of cereal (without milk) or a slice of marmalade toast.  I'll then be dancing around my bedroom to some CD or other to rev up my energy for the morning.  But I'm now learning that although breakfast is so important, a lot of my friends seem to skip it.  They wake up too late to have breakfast before lectures, they prefer to have breakfast later in the day, they're too busy for breakfast, other reasons.  It shouldn't bother me so much, but it does.  I see breakfast as one of those foundation blocks for staying healthy as it gives you energy to concentrate for the morning, especially if you have 9am lectures like I do.  I know that what I described above for breakfast is quite small, but that's what suits me.  However, sometimes at the weekend or in the holidays, I might have a larger breakfast of crepes as a treat.  Usually, I'll eat them with sugar and lemon juice or with honey, but this blackberry compote, which I found in the September 2013 edition of the Tesco Food and Living magazine, also seems like a sweet and fruity choice to spread onto my crepes, pancakes or even on my toast.

Ingredients (to serve 4)

100ml (3 1/2 fl oz) orange juice
1 teaspoon cornflour
100g (3 1/2 oz) caster sugar
200g (7 oz) blackberries, some left whole
a pinch of ground cinnamon
a pinch of ground cloves


  1. In a small bowl, combine 1 tablespoon of the orange juice with the cornflour.  Stir until smooth and set aside.
  2. Put the caster sugar, berries, spices and the remaining orange juice in a medium pan and heat on low until simmering (this should take about 1-2 minutes).
  3. Stir in the cornflour mixture, lower the heat and cook for another 3 minutes.  Remove from the heat and allow to cool.  The compote can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 4 weeks.

Monday, 10 November 2014

Harissa Roasted Veg Flatbread

As I start writing this, it has just turned to Monday morning, and so we're now so far past Friday that I'll be soon writing a post for this Friday.  Last week was also a busy one, with Monday running until just after 3am on Tuesday so that I could finish my Media Ethics essay for a Tuesday 5pm deadline (I'm glad that's over an done with), Tuesday being a dress rehearsal running til almost 11pm, having to wait at uni until 9pm on Wednesday because my parents and brother were at an information evening, and Thursday running from the start of a 9am lab session to the end of The Merry Old Scratch of Oz in the evening. I was definitely glad to come home on Friday lunchtime after my lecture and just spend the rest of the day listening to music and doing my work with no pressure whatsoever. This week is a lot less busy with the only evening for me to be late home being Thursday when my brother has lifeguard training, during which I'll be finishing my SQL lab and then meeting up for a catch-up with one of my friends (I say catch-up - I see this person regularly anyway, but we were both so busy with deadlines and rehearsals and stuff that we barely saw each other all week). I also feel like, for the first time in a month, I'm in a position to finally try to get back into a regular reading routine. I've chosen a selection by Irish writer Cathy Kelly called Christmas Stories. I know that it's only still early-ish November, but this weekend has been when I have seen so many Christmas films come up on television guides, and with at least two Christmas books to read this season, I think I'd better get started on one of them now. In the next week or two, I'm also going to update my iPod to include all my Christmas songs! In another week or two, I'll also start to include festive recipes, but for now, I'll share a recipe for harissa roasted veg flatbread that I found in the October 2014 edition of the Tesco Food and Living magazine and then modified slightly to exclude ricotta cheese.


1/2 cauliflower, cut into florets
1/2 broccoli, cut into florets
2 tablespoons harissa paste
4 tortilla wraps
1 x 375g jar tomato and basil sauce


  1. Preheat the oven to gas mark 6, 200 degrees Celsius, or 180 degrees Celsius fan-assisted.  Put the cauliflower and broccoli in a bowl and mix with the harissa paste, until coated.
  2. Lay the wraps flat on two large baking trays.  Spread each wrap equally with the tomato sauce.
  3. Top with the broccoli and cauliflower.  Bake for 15 minutes, until the edges have crisped up.  Serve immediately.

Sunday, 2 November 2014

Hot Chocolate

This week has been a bit busy: at the beginning of the week (from the Friday to the Monday night), I was in Cambridge.  Then it's been media week at uni, so I was manning the stall and trying to attract people to learn about the media areas (student radio, newspaper, cinema, and video production) between my lectures on Wednesday.  There was also the media Halloween social on Wednesday evening, and I'd been planning to dress as a goth fairy, but I realised when I went to my friend's to get changed that I'd left my headband and choker at home, so I ended up with only a black top and tights and a gold skirt.  While I was in Cambridge, I decided to catch up with one of my friends who is at uni there.  There was only an hour available to us, but we ended up in a little café called Benet's, located next to a shop full of bear-related items including several Steiff bears and a Winnie the Pooh chess set.  Unfortunately, the time was not available to us for us to have the chance to enjoy any of Benet's savoury or sweet pancakes or crepes (which you could choose two toppings for, including Nutella or banana with peanut butter), but I had a rather tasty hot chocolate topped with mini marshmallows and whipped cream.  This recipe is from Nigella Express, and originally the recipe called for 4-5 tablespoons of Kahlua and 4 cinnamon sticks, but I've opted to leave those out and add mini marshmallows.


500ml full-fat milk
6 x 15ml tablespoons hot chocolate mix, or enough to make 500ml of hot chocolate (according to packet instructions)
squirty whipped cream from a can
mini marshmallows


  1. Heat the milk in a pan and make the hot chocolate according to packet instructions.
  2. Take off the heat before the mix boils.
  3. Serve with a topping of mini marshmallows, and top with the squirty whipped cream.

Friday, 24 October 2014

Banana and Date Smoothie

Similarly to a few of the recipes that I’ve included, this banana and date smoothie recipe has come from agirlnamedally.  Although I won’t eat as many bananas in a day as Ally does, my love of dates could possibly almost match hers, and a mixture of the two is fantastic.


3-7 bananas
7 dates


  1. Cut bananas into slices and remove seeds from dates.
  2. Adding slices of banana and dates to blender gradually, pulse until mixture reaches a smooth liquid consistency.

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Double Chocolate Cookies

This is rather late (it's now Sunday, not Friday), but I've had a more busy and interesting week than usual, and I'm now trying to catch up with everything before my next placement talk (where CVs and interviews will be discussed) on Tuesday morning.

This week, I've been attending some of the films shown at the National Media Museum's Media and Conflict Interchange as part of my Media Ethics, Compliance and Sustainability module.  The three films I saw, The Wind Rises (a Studio Ghibli film), Leave to Remain (a drama about young asylum seekers applying to stay in England), and Still The Enemy Within (a documentary about the miners' strike of 1984-85), were all excellent, and I'm looking forward to probably watching them again as I write my essay on them for my coursework.  I would definitely recommend these films even if you don't have to study them.

Also, at the end of last week, I took part in a 24 hour show performance of the Rocky Horror Picture Show.  This means that auditions, all rehearsals, costumes and set-building were completed within 24 hours.  I only had 4 hours sleep (between 2am and 6am), and most of the rest of the time, we were rehearsing different songs (including the Time Warp) and running through lines (I was one of the four narrators), and most mealtimes were much later than I'd normally aim to have them.  In any case, it was so much fun with all my friends.  I'd have expected to have felt a lot more tired (I did just before bedtime though), but I think I'd had much more energy than usual because I'd taken a LOT of fruit, chocolate and other goodies with me.  One of those goodies was a packet of double chocolate cookies grabbed from Morrisons at the last minute.  I'd had to take a couple of beauties with me to one of the rehearsals due to the rest of my food being in a different part of the theatre.  The following recipe is a double chocolate cookie recipe from Susie Theodorou's Coffee & Bites.

Ingredients (to make 15 cookies)

225g (8oz/1 cup) unsalted butter, softened
225g (8oz/1 1/4 cups) soft light brown sugar
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
275g (10oz/2 1/2 cups) plain (all-purpose) flour
2 tablespoons cocoa powder (i.e. Bournville)
3/4 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
175g (6oz/1 1/4 cups) plain (bittersweet) chocolate (i.e. Bournville), roughly chopped
butter for greasing


  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius, 160-170 degrees Celsius fan-assisted, 350 degrees Fahrenheit, or gas mark 4.
  2. Cream together the butter and the sugar until smooth and fluffy in texture and light in colour - it will be faster using either a food processor or an electric mixer.  Then, gradually beat in the eggs and vanilla extract.
  3. Sift the flour, cocoa powder and bicarbonate of soda (baking soda) into a large bowl, then fold into the cookie mixture.
  4. Fold in the chocolate pieces, using a plastic spatula to scrape well along the sides of the bowl to ensure that all of the ingredients are mixed together.  Chill the mixture for 20 minutes.
  5. Grease 2-3 large baking sheets with butter.  You will have to bake in batches as the cookies expand a lot - 3 cookies per baking sheet.  Roll the cookie mixture into 15 golf-ball-size balls and place well apart on the baking sheets.  Press them down gently with the back of a greased spoon.
  6. Bake the cookies for 12-15 minutes until the edges are firm, but the centres are still just soft when gently pressed.
  7. Cool for a minute or two before transferring to a wire rack.  Serve warm or cold.

Friday, 10 October 2014

Raw Chocolate Cake

I previously mentioned this treat a few weeks ago in an edition of What Katie Wants to Eat (WWKE, which should return once I have seen more things to show you).  This chocolate cake is completely raw and does not need to be cooked in an oven.  It’s a cake full of fruity, nutty and chocolately goodness, from the recipe of Laura-Jane the Rawtarian, that is perfect for small birthday parties!  I thought I might make this for my brother's birthday this weekend, but when I'd have made it this afternoon, I'll be preparing to go to and then participating in a 24 hour show between this evening and tomorrow, so I intend to make it when I can after that - by the way, nobody in my family is a vegan, I just think it'll be fun and easy to make!


Ingredients (makes 10 servings)

1 ½ cups walnuts
1 ½ cups pecans
1 ½ cups dates
1 ½ cups raisins
1/3 cup raw cocoa powder  
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract


  1. In a food processor, process nuts until they are very well blended, so that they look like chunky flour.  Basically, you should just see little chunky bits of nuts.
  2. Then, add everything else to the food processor and continue blending.  You’ll probably want to add the ingredients one at a tie otherwise your food processor might get a bit stuck.
  3. Keep on processing until your mixture looks like a big ball of dough.  There shouldn’t be big chunks of anything.  You will probably see small flecks of nuts though.  Once you’ve got a giant raw chocolate cake dough ball, you do not need to dehydrate the cake or anything, but just need to decide on the presentation of the cake (i.e. the shape of the cake and icing).
  4. Press the dough into the desired shape for whatever you want to make.  For example, take a nice cake plate and press the dough into a cake shape.  Ice the cake, if desired.
  5. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour to allow the cake to firm up.
  6. The cake can be stored in a fridge for up to 5 days.


Friday, 3 October 2014

Watermelon Sorbetto

Rumour has it that after a record dry September, it's supposed to start to get a lot colder (and wetter) as October settles in.  In fact, when going for a walk on Wednesday (1st October), the first thing I noticed was a light shower of rain on my skin.  Talk about being prompt and getting down to business!  I, however, wish to feel like it's still summer for as long as possible.  I spent my weekend in short overalls, and have been carrying my inter-seasonal coat over my arm while I've been outside.  I'm also still managing to find my favourite summertime fruits, strawberries and blueberries.  This week's recipe contains a new fruity favourite of mine, which I've used in a recipe or two already this summer - WATERMELONS!  This time, the watermelon is being brought to you in the form of a light pink, ice-cool sorbetto, once again from Matt O'Connor's The IceCreamists.  Who said that you have to let go of summer?


125ml (4 fl oz) water
125g (4 oz) caster sugar
750g (1 ½ lb) seedless watermelon flesh, chopped
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 tablespoon lime zest plus extra to decorate


  1. Pour the water into a saucepan and add the sugar.  Place over a low heat and bring to the boil, whisking often, until the sugar dissolves.  Reduce the heat and allow to simmer for 5 minutes, continuing to whisk until the liquid turns into a syrup.
  2. Pour the syrup into a heatproof bowl and set aside for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until cooled to room temperature.  For more rapid chilling, half-fill a sink with cold water and ice and place the bowl of mixture in it for 20 minutes.  Cover and refrigerate, ideally overnight, until thoroughly chilled (at least 4 degrees Celsius).
  3. Add the watermelon, lime juice and zest into the syrup and mix with a stick blender.  Pour the chilled mixture into an ice cream machine and churn according to the manufacturer’s instructions, or churn by hand.
  4. When the churning is completed, use a spoon or spatula to scrape the sorbetto into a freezer-proof container with a lid.  Freeze until it reaches the correct scooping texture (at least 2-3 hours).
  5. Decorate each portion with lime zest before serving.

Friday, 26 September 2014

Mint Ice Cream and Gluten-Free Chocolate Brownies

Following on from last week's WKWE post which featured my visit to Frankie & Benny's and my dessert of chocolate brownies and mint ice cream, I promised a post with recipes inspired by this.  The chocolate brownie recipe that I'm going to include here is the second of many I hope to share, and is a flourless brownie that I found in Nigella Express, which makes it good for those who have gluten-free diets.  The mint ice cream recipe is from The IceCreamists by Matt O'Connor.

Flourless Brownies

Ingredients (to make 16 squares)

225g dark chocolate, 70% cocoa solids
225g butter
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
200g caster sugar
3 eggs, beaten
150g ground almonds (optional)
100g chopped walnuts (optional)


  1. Preheat the oven to 170 degrees Celsius or gas mark 3.  Melt the chocolate and butter gently over a low heat in a heavy-based saucepan.
  2. Take the pan off the heat, mix in the vanilla and sugar, and let it cool a little.
  3. Beat the eggs into the pan along with the ground almonds and chopped walnuts.  Turn into a 24cm square baking tin or, most sensibly, use a foil one.
  4. Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes, by which time the top will have set but the mixture will still be gooey.  Once cooler, cut carefully, four down, four across, into 16 squares.

Mint Ice Cream


250ml (8 fl oz) full-fat milk
125ml (4 fl oz) double cream
2 egg yolks
88g (3 1/4 oz) caster sugar
120g (3 3/4 oz) dark chocolate fondant mints, such as After Eight Mints, roughly chopped


  1. Pour the milk and cream into a large saucepan and heat gently, stirring occasionally, until the mixture begins to steam but not boil.
  2. Meanwhile, whisk the egg yolks in a heatproof bowl until smooth.  Add the sugar and whisk until pale and slightly fluffy.  Gradually and slowly, pour the hot milk into the egg mixture whilst whisking continuously to prevent the eggs scrambling.  Return the mixture to the saucepan and place over a low heat, stirring frequently until the custard thinly coats the back of a wooden spoon.  Do not allow to boil.
  3. Pour the mixture back into the bowl and set aside for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until cooled to room temperature.  For more rapid chilling, half-fill a sink with cold water and ice and place the bowl of mixture in it for 20 minutes.  Never put the hot mixture into the fridge.  Meanwhile, melt the fondant mints in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water.
  4. Once the ice cream mixture is cooled, add the melted chocolate mints to the bowl, along with the mixture, blend with a stick blender and refrigerate, ideally overnight, but at least for 6 hours, until thoroughly chilled (at least 4 degrees Celsius).  Pour the chilled mixture into an ice cream machine and churn according to the manufacturer's instructions, or by hand.
  5. When the churning is completed, fold in the After Eight mints with a spoon or spatula, and scrape the ice cream into a freezer-proof container with a lid.  Freeze until it reaches the correct scooping texture (at least 2 hours).
  6. Decorate each portion with fresh mint leaves before serving.

Saturday, 20 September 2014

What Katie Wants to Eat - week ending 19/09/14

For me, this week has been Freshers Week at uni, and for Freshers Fayre, I was going in circles around the student union building for the majority of Wednesday and Thursday, trying to recruit people to join the uni's musical theatre society, BUSOM, until we realised that a couple of people were stopping at our stall to sing along to songs from Frozen with us, so then we sang through the whole Little Shop of Horrors soundtrack (which we did for our main show earlier this year) together until Freshers Fayre finished.  I've also eaten a lot of sweets from the stalls at Freshers Fayre because they were free, so there was a lot of sugar involved.  On Thursday evening, I caught up with a couple of old school friends to go bowling (I was 2nd with 96 points, only one point behind the leader) and for dinner at Frankie & Benny's.  Anyway, although there are a lot fewer photo links this week, here's what food goodness has been tickling my tastebuds or made me hungry this week:
  1. Chocolate brownies with mint ice cream - this is what I had for dessert at Frankie & Benny's on Thursday evening.  The brownie was soft and gooey, while the ice cream was cool and smooth in comparison to the whipped cream that the dish was also served with.  I might post a recipe I found for gluten-free chocolate brownies and mint ice cream in the next few weeks, so stay tuned for that.
  2. Candyfloss - unfortunately, my society's Freshers Fayre stall was around the corner from a free popcorn and candyfloss stall that had been set up by an external business, so every few minutes, we would see people coming past with either bags of popcorn or sticks holding a giant cloud of pink candyfloss.  Having not really had candyfloss myself for a few years, I took the opportunity to get myself a stick of free candyfloss on both days after lunch.  Although it was slightly inconvenient as I was having to keep the sticky candyfloss in one hand away from the society info cards in the other hand as I walked around to recruit people, I'd like more of this pink, fluffy cloud of sweet awesomeness!
  3. Raw soft-serve ice cream at The Rawtarian - this recipe is super-easy and only needs frozen bananas, a couple of teaspoons of vanilla extract and a blender.  I think I'll use it to create a vegan-friendly version of the affogato recipe I posted a few weeks ago.
  4. Ally's watermelon fruit-bowl is making me jealous.  Like strawberries and blueberries, I don't think watermelon will be sticking around here much longer this year in the UK, and will be flying south (to Australia, in fact) to wish Ally a very happy summer indeed.  Also, do we have Finn Cold Press juices here?  They look tasty.

So that's all for this week.  I'll be back next week with more food and possible post-Freshers Fayre news!

Friday, 19 September 2014

New York Cheesecake

This is the cheesecake that I made for my birthday earlier this year.  The recipe is from Delicious 5 of the Best by Valli Little, and has a very creamy filling and a sprinkling of cocoa powder on the top surface of the cake.

Ingredients (to serve 10-12)

200g nice biscuits
75g unsalted butter, melted
800g cream cheese
190g caster sugar
4 eggs
3 egg yolks
3 teaspoons vanilla extract
30ml lemon juice
300ml sour cream
good-quality cocoa powder, to dust


  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius / 350 degrees Fahrenheit / gas mark 4.
  2. Grease a 23cm round springform pan.  Place 2 layers of aluminium foil on the outside of the pan (this prevents water seeping into the pan while cooking in the water bath).
  3. Crush the biscuits in a food processor.  Combine the melted butter with the biscuit crumbs and press into the base of the pan.
  4. Put the cream cheese, 170g of the caster sugar, eggs, egg yolks, 2 teaspoons of the vanilla extract and the lemon juice in a food processor.  Process until smooth, then pour over the biscuit base.  Place the cheesecake in a large roasting pan and pour boiling water into the roasting pan to come halfway up the sides of the springform pan.  Bake in the oven for 1 hour.
  5. Beat together the sour cream, the remaining sugar and vanilla and pour over the cake.  Return to the oven for a further 10 minutes.  Remove from the oven and set aside in the pan to cool, then refrigerate for 4 hours.  Serve dusted with cocoa powder.

Friday, 12 September 2014

Chickpea Hummus

Recently, I went to Cyrus Mediterranean Restaurant in Bradford (a street or two away from Great Horton Road) with some friends for a party. For my main course, I had a rice dish with lamb and vegetables (that I can’t remember the name of), but the best part for me was the starter that three of us had chickpea hummus! I spent most of the meal, dipping slices of cucumber and pieces of naan bread into the very delicious-tasting plate of hummus, and over 3 weeks later, I have found myself craving the taste of that hummus. It’s very easy, of course, to go and find pots of hummus in a supermarket, but why not try making it at home from scratch? I found this recipe in the Food section of, and it has been given as an option for making hummus without tahini dressing.



1 can (approximately 200g-250g) chickpeas
¼ cup olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon cumin


  1. In a food processor, blend all ingredients together until smooth and creamy.
  2. Serve immediately.  Ideal with pita bread, celery sticks, carrot sticks or slices of cucumber.
  3. Store in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 days.


What Katie Wants to Eat - week ending 12/09/2014

Here's an idea: why don't I, in addition to the weekly recipe, share a few links to dishes that I've seen each week on my rounds of the Internet.  These dishes all look delicious from the pictures shown, and I'm sure they'd taste even better.  I might make one or two of these myself soon.
  1. This raw chocolate cake recipe from The Rawtarian looks so easy to make, is fruity and nutty as well as chocolatey, takes virtually no time at all to prepare, and doesn't need to be cooked! - I think I'll make this in a few weeks when I have some time after a lecture.
  2. One of many raw chocolate slices that I've seen on the Instagram of the Coco Bliss Superfood Bar in Australia.  These delicious-looking treats are secretly good for you - I'm so jealous that Coco Bliss is currently only in Australia.  I would love to have one really close to me, so that I can visit it all the time and try all the things that I've seen on their Instagram.  Can somebody please get on that really soon for me?  Thank you.
  3. Vegan dumplings from the Instagram of Australian sisters Alyssa and Taylan at veganopia.  This recipe is a fine example of something savoury and vegan-friendly to eat, and seems reasonably easy to make.  It would probably make a fine contribution to a Chinese-themed food table, and shows that there needn't be just stir-fried veggies and rice or noodles!
  4. Ally's big bowl of her homemade version of Cold Rock ice cream also looks rather inviting, especially when alongside Finn Cold Press veggie juice.

More of what deliciousness I've seen and want to try next week!

Friday, 5 September 2014


An affogato (meaning "drowned" in Italian) is a coffee-based pudding in which a shot of hot espresso is poured over a scoop of vanilla ice cream or gelato.  The espresso gives the ice cream a slightly bitter flavour, but I felt that the heat of the espresso was mainly drowned out by the cold ice cream.  This recipe for affogato and the vanilla ice cream used to make it are from Coffee and Bites by Susie Theodorou, but shop-bought vanilla ice cream could be used instead (as I did), which would be a lot faster when being made in a hurry.


300ml (10fl oz / 1.25 cups) milk
300ml (10fl oz / 1.25 cups) double (thick) cream
1 vanilla pod (bean)
6 egg yolks
150g (5oz / 2 thirds cup) caster (superfine) sugar
A shot (approximately 25-30ml) of espresso


  1. Ensure the bowl of the ice cream machine is well chilled for the required time in the freezer before you start (follow manufacturer's instructions).
  2. Pour the milk and cream into a saucepan.  Split the vanilla pod (bean) lengthways and add to the pan, then heat the mixture to just below boiling point.  Simultaneously, whisk the egg yolks with the sugar.  Set the vanilla pod to one side, then pour the warm milk and cream onto the eggs and stir.
  3. Clean the pan and return custard mixture to the pan, straining it first through a sieve.  Return the vanilla pod to the custard mixture and cook over a gentle heat for 5-8 minutes, stirring constantly.  At no time should the custard boil - it is thick enough when it coats the back of a large metal spoon.  Immediately pour the custard into a large clean bowl so that it does not continue to cook in the pan.  Remove the vanilla pod, scrape out the seeds into the custard, then discard the pod.  Allow the custard to cool, then chill for at least 30 minutes.
  4. Pour the custard into the ice cream machine and churn for about 10-15 minutes (the time varies between machines).  Transfer to a freezer-proof container and freeze.
  5. Put single scoops of ice cream into espresso coffee cups or bowls and pour a shot of espresso coffee over the ice cream.  It may be useful to remove the ice cream from the freezer about 10 minutes before serving to soften the ice cream slightly.  Serve immediately.

Friday, 29 August 2014

Summer Berry Salad

One late Saturday morning, I ended up in the kitchen about half an hour before lunchtime, filling a bowl with delicious fruits, taking them back to my bedroom with me, sitting on my bed in my denim shortalls, and eating them while reading an old Lizzie McGuire book. I think I then filled my plate with a rainbow-coloured assortment of fruits for my lunch – more strawberries, oranges, slices of Golden Delicious apple, green grapes, more blueberries, and purple grapes. The salad below is bliss. Quantities of ingredients are not given because I just wash however much fruit I want without measuring it out – just eat however much you want!  This was several weeks ago now, and I'm dreading having to give up these fruits for the winter again ... why can't they be available at a good price all year round?




  1. Remove stalks from strawberries and cherries, wash all fruit (it may be a bit easier to do this using a sieve and running water over the fruit) and dry.
  2. Cut the strawberries into halves.
  3. Throw all the fruits into a bowl and enjoy!

Friday, 22 August 2014

Bread Rolls

For my birthday this year, I received The Great British Bake Off Learn to Bake as a present from my family, possibly in an attempt to persuade me to start learning to cook. I took the book on holiday with me to see if I could try a few of the recipes out. The one that jumped out at me to be the first to try to bake was this bread roll recipe, which needs nothing but flour, salt, yeast and water to make. It took me the majority of a morning (with breaks inbetween while waiting for the dough to expand), however, so this is probably something that would be better to make on weekends when more time is available.


500g strong white bread flour, plus extra for sprinkling
1 teaspoon salt
1 x 7g sachet fast-action dried yeast


  1. Gently warm 300ml water until it is lukewarm. Put the flour, salt and yeast into the mixing bowl and mix with your hands.
  2. Pour in the lukewarm water. Press and squeeze everything together to make a soft but not sticky dough. If the dough feels sticky, and sticks to the sides of the bowl, sprinkle over more flour a tablespoon at a time and mix it in; if there are dry crumbs in the bottom of the bowl and the dough won’t stick together, sprinkle over more water a tablespoon at a time and mix in.
  3. Sprinkle the worktop and your hands with a little flour, then scoop out the dough. Now start to knead it using both hands one to hold down one edge of the dough, and the other hand to stretch out the other end and then gather it all back into a ball again. Alternatively, a dough hook may be useful for if available.
  4. Turn the ball around and stretch the dough out again, then gather back into a ball and turn it around. Carry on kneading like this for 4 minutes set the timer.
  5. Cover the dough with an upside-down bowl (so it doesn’t get dry and hard) and leave it for 10 minutes. Uncover the dough and knead for at least another 4 minutes. This time, the dough will feel much smoother and more stretchy.
  6. Put the ball of dough back into the bowl and cover the top with clingfilm so the dough keeps warm and moist while the yeast produces lots of tiny bubbles of air that will make the dough expand to double its original size (this is called "proving"). Leave it for about an hour during this process.
  7. Sprinkle the worktop and your hands with flour again, and scoop out the ball of dough. As you touch it, it will start to collapse this is not a problem as you want to have millions of very small gas bubbles instead of a few bigger ones (this is called "knocking back").
  8. Divide the dough into 12 equal portions. You can do this by rolling it into a sausage, then cutting across into 12 equal slices with a tables knife. Or you can weigh the ball of dough, then divide it by 12 (this would be easy if using digital scales).
  9. Roll each piece into a neat ball in your hands (you could also make sausage shapes). Put them on the lined baking sheet, spacing them about 3cm apart.
  10. Cover the sheet loosely with clingfilm, then leave for about 45 minutes they will expand again to double the size. Towards the end of this time, preheat the oven to 220 degrees Celsius / 425 degrees Fahrenheit / gas mark 7.
  11. Uncover the rolls and place in the heated oven. Bake for 15-20 minutes until golden brown. Wearing oven gloves, remove the sheet from the oven and set it on a heatproof surface. Transfer the rolls to a wire rack and leave to cool. Store in a covered container in a cool spot. Best eaten the same day, or split in half and toasted the next day.

Sunday, 17 August 2014

Vegan Marshmallows

Here's a quick post, although it's on a Sunday - I've been away for a couple of weeks, so there's now more recipes to share.  While I was on holiday, I bought Home Sweet Home, a publication from The Hummingbird Bakery, to experiment with recipes and find new things to make. I found recipes for both vanilla and chocolate fudge, a sparkling array of different cupcakes, and yet another chocolate brownie recipe, this particular one having a toasted marshmallow topping. I also found a recipe for marshmallows. Unfortunately, this is not the recipe that I will share with you because as well as wanting to experiment with using a vegetarian alternative to gelatine and wanting to know how to make vegan marshmallows, it was recommended to me to avoid this recipe’s use of uncooked eggs. Therefore, the following recipe is from a relative’s collection of recipes, but using a vegetarian alternative instead of normal gelatine. Remember that the recipe below is just a guide and to follow packet instructions. In addition, I am yet to perfect making this – the first time I made this, it ended up having the consistency and taste of some kind of fudge. So even if I failed at making a vegan marshmallow, here’s a passable recipe for making vegan fudge.


1 lb caster sugar
2-3 6.5g sachets of vegetarian alternative to gelatine, i.e. powdered Vege-Gel
1 pint cold water
(for 1 ½ times recipe) – add ¾ teaspoon vanilla and 1 ¼ dessert spoons lemon juice


  1. Put ½ water into a bowl and sprinkle gelatine alternative.
  2. Put ½ water and sugar in saucepan and heat until sugar is dissolved.
  3. Add water/powder mixture and boil until the whole mixture reaches a sticky, honey-like consistency, in which droplets will form when dripped from a wooden spoon.
  4. Beat the mixture. Add lemon juice and vanilla and continue to beat.
  5. Leave to set in a baking tray for at least two hours.
  6. Cut marshmallows into pieces and roll in icing sugar to serve.

Friday, 1 August 2014

Polenta Chips

A couple of weeks ago, I was having a quick catch-up meal with one of my friends.  Following a visit to this restaurant last year with a party group, I chose Pesto in a Pub, an Italian restaurant down a country lane in Wilsden, Bradford.  As we were eating before 7pm and there was only two of us, we were still able to use the lunchtime menu, which was £7.95 for any three dishes listed.  As someone who can eat just about anything (within reason), I decided to do something different and go for three of the vegetarian dishes on the menu - tagliatelle pasta, mushrooms, and polenta chips.  While tagliatelle and mushrooms are things that I eat at home often (with mushrooms often in curries), I don't think I'd ever had polenta before.  It was delicious.  It had the crispy outside and soft inside texture of normal potato chips, but much healthier.  Better still, it would be suitable to make for vegans (or even just friends with lactose and gluten intolerances, polenta being naturally gluten free).  I found this recipe for polenta chips at, and I hope to use it quite a bit in the future.

Ingredients (to make 4 servings)
Olive oil, to grease
2 litres (8 cups) vegetable stock
1 x 500g pkt instant polenta (cornmeal)
Vegetable oil, to deep-fry
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
Sea salt flakes & freshly ground black pepper

  1. Lightly grease two 22 x 30cm baking pans with olive oil with a brush.
  2. Bring the stock to the boil in a large heavy-based saucepan over medium-high heat. Use a balloon whisk to stir the stock. Gradually add the polenta in a thin steady stream, whisking constantly until all the polenta is incorporated into the stock. Reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, for 2 minutes or until mixture thickens and polenta is soft. Remove from heat.
  3. Pour the polenta mixture evenly over the bases of the prepared pans and use the back of a spoon to smooth the surface. Cover with non-stick baking paper and set aside to cool. Place in the fridge for 4 hours or overnight to set.
  4. Turn polenta onto a clean work surface. Use a sharp knife to cut off the curved edges. Cut lengthways into 2cm strips. Cut each strip into 8cm-long pieces.
  5. Add enough oil to a large heavy-based saucepan to reach a depth of 6cm. Heat to 180°C over high heat (when oil is ready a cube of bread will turn golden brown in 15 seconds). Add one-sixth of the polenta chips and deep-fry for 5 minutes or until golden brown. Use a slotted spoon to transfer chips to a plate lined with paper towel. Repeat, in 5 more batches, with the remaining polenta chips, reheating oil between batches.
  6. Sprinkle polenta chips with rosemary and season with sea salt flakes and pepper, and serve immediately.

Friday, 25 July 2014

Breakfast Salad

It's always fun to try out new things, so instead of having my usual bowl of cereal for breakfast this morning, I chose to make myself a slight variation of this breakfast salad that I found at Natural Delights.  Although this salad is very simple, preparing it took much longer than preparing my typical bowl of cereal, but it's the summer holidays for me and I'm glad that I used that bit more time to make an enjoyable breakfast.

2 oranges
1 banana
6 dates

  1. Peel both oranges and separate into segments.  Places orange segments into bowl.
  2. Remove the seeds from the dates and chop the dates into pieces.  Add to bowl.
  3. Top with slices of banana and enjoy! 


Friday, 18 July 2014

Watermelon and Raspberry Cooler

It's summertime in the UK, and from what I can tell, it is either reasonably warm or raining heavily (at the time of writing this, it's not raining, but from where I am inside, I can't feel the sun on my arms or anything).  In any case, one of the things that you do when it's hot in summer is to keep cool and hydrated.  According to a few DIY blogs that I've read, watermelons are supposed to be the new "it" (i.e. fashionable) fruit to be seen in design, and I've actually come across watermelon necklace pendants and how to make a watermelon serving tray during my glancing through blogs for things that I might want to make (not food), and of course, I've recently posted a watermelon ice lolly recipe that I found in a book (which can be found here).  I found this recipe for making watermelon and raspberry coolers in the Tesco Food and Living magazine for July/August 2014, which would be perfect for a summertime picnic or dinner.

Ingredients (to make 12 glasses)
1 kg (2lb) watermelon (about half a large watermelon), flesh sliced into triangles
300g (10oz) raspberries
2 tablespoons caster sugar
2 tablespoons mint leaves, plus extra to serve
ice cubes
sparkling water, to taste

  1. Put three-quarters of the sliced watermelon into a blender and add 200g (7oz) raspberries, the sugar and mint.  Blend to a purée, then pass the mixture through a sieve.  Chill until needed.
  2. Add enough watermelon purée to fill half of each glass, add a couple of ice cubes, a few of the remaining raspberries and a reserved watermelon slice.  Top up with sparkling water and decorate with extra mint leaves to serve. 

Friday, 11 July 2014

Bircher Muesli

Over the past month or so, I have become a regular reader of the wonderful Australian blogger Ally Sheehan's adventures on Tumblr and Instagram at agirlnamedally. My first post on this blog was one for her vegan-friendly banana and blueberry ice cream (Ally has been a vegan since late 2013, and she often offers advice about being a vegan to her readers on Tumblr), and I have learned through reading her posts that she loves bircher muesli and breakfast in general. So, adapting her recipe as a guest on this blog Happy Little Veganmite, I made a bowl of bircher muesli with what I could find in the kitchen at 11pm at night (when grocery shopping hasn't yet been done ...)

Ingredients (these have not been measured, but just poured into a bowl)
Rolled oats
Sesame seeds
Dark chocolate, chopped

  1. Pour the desired amount of rolled oats into a bowl.
  2. Top with sultanas, sesame seeds, chopped chocolate and anything else as desired.
  3. Pour water over the mixture in the bowl and leave to soak for a few hours or overnight.
  4. Top with dates, grapes, blueberries or anything else, and eat!

Saturday, 5 July 2014

Spiced Apple Smoothie

Last week, I found this recipe amongst several other delicious-looking smoothie recipes in Smoothies and Juices from The Marks & Spencer Essentials Collection, published in 2002.  I chose Spiced Apple Smoothie as the recipe to try as I already had the available ingredients at home.

Ingredients (serves 2)
250ml/9 fl oz apple juice
1/2 teaspoon powdered cinnamon
2 teaspoons grated fresh root ginger
2 bananas, sliced and frozen
slices of fresh banana on cocktail sticks to decorate

  1. Pour the apple juice into a food processor.  Add the cinnamon and ginger and process gently until combined.
  2. Add the banana and process until the mixture reaches a smooth consistency.
  3. Pour the mixture into tall glasses and decorate with slices of fresh banana on cocktail sticks. 
  4. Serve immediately. 

Friday, 27 June 2014

Rocky Road Crunch Bars

This recipe from Nigella Express is one that I was introduced to by one of my friends a few years ago when she had made it for our class.  It is chewy and chocolatey and crunchy and delicious.


125g soft butter
300g best-quality dark chocolate (minimum 70% cocoa solids), broken into pieces
3 x 15ml tablespoons golden syrup
200g Rich Tea biscuits
100g mini marshmallows
2 teaspoons icing sugar for dusting


  1.  Melt the butter, chocolate and golden syrup in a heavy-based saucepan.  Scoop out about 125ml of this melted mixture and put to one side.
  2. Put the biscuits into a freezer bag and then bash them with a rolling pin.  You are aiming for both crumbs and pieces of biscuits.
  3. Fold the biscuit pieces and crumbs into the melted chocolate mixture in the saucepan, and then add the marshmallows.
  4. Tip into a foil tray (24cm square); flatten as best you can with a spatula.  Pour the reserved 125ml of melted chocolate mixture over the marshmallow mixture and smooth the top.
  5. Refrigerate for about 2 hours or overnight.
  6. Cut into 24 fingers and dust with icing sugar by pushing it gently through a tea strainer or small sieve.
Makes 24.

Friday, 20 June 2014

Boston Fudge Brownies

I didn't do a post for last week, but there was one for this week that I found and quite enjoyed.  This isn't my favourite brownie recipe, but there is an aspect of this brownie recipe that made me want to share it.  That is because it was a chocolate fudge brownie recipe that was in The Miele Cook Book, which gave it a sweeter taste and gave me the feeling of there being icing on the cake with the chocolate fudge topping.  However, the brownie recipe itself led to a batch of brownies that had a consistency more similar to that of a chocolate cake than to the gooey brownies that I normally have.  Due to this, the chocolate fudge topping used in this recipe may be added to my usual chocolate brownie recipe, instead of this one.


Fudge Topping
200g (7 oz) caster sugar
110g (4 oz) plain chocolate, grated
275ml (1/2 pint single cream
110g (4oz) butter, cut into pieces
Few drops of vanilla essence

250g (9 oz) butter, softened
250g (9 oz) plain chocolate, grated
250g (9 oz) soft dark brown sugar
250g (9oz) self-raising flour
4 eggs, lightly beaten
175g (6 oz) chopped nuts (such as cashew or hazelnuts)
60-90ml (4-6 tablespoons) milk


  1. For the fudge topping, place the sugar, grated chocolate and cream in a saucepan.  Melt over a low heat and bring to the boil, stirring well, until the mixture thickens and a small amount dropped into cold water forms a soft ball.
  2. Remove from the heat, add the butter and vanilla essence, and stir until smooth.
  3. When the mixture has cooled a little, beat vigorously until it has thickened.  Leave to cool completely.
  4. Meanwhile, lightly oil a baking tray.  Melt the butter and chocolate in a bowl over a pan of simmering water.  Stir in the sugar and leave to cool.
  5. Sift the flour into a large bowl, make a well in the centre, and pour in the chocolate mixture.  Gradually mix together, bringing the flour into the chocolate mixture until well blended.
  6. Beat in the eggs and add the chopped nuts.  Stir in enough milk to give a soft dropping consistency.
  7. Spoon the mixture into the prepared tray and bake for about 25-30 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
  8. Spread the chocolate fudge topping over the cooled brownies and cut into squares.

Friday, 6 June 2014

Salted Caramel Cheesecake

This is a Betty Crocker recipe for Salted Caramel Cheesecake that I found following wanting to know how to make salted caramel cheesecake because I really liked it when I had eaten it at restaurants such as Frankie and Benny's and at a party earlier this year.  Chocolate curls also go well with this recipe.


1 3/4 cups graham cracker crumbs               
1/4 cup packed brown sugar                        
1/2 cup butter, melted                        

3 packages (8 oz each) cream cheese, softened                        
1 cup packed brown sugar                        
3 eggs                        
3/4 cup whipping cream                        
1/4 cup caramel-flavoured coffee syrup                        

Caramel Sauce
1/2 cup butter                        
1 1/4 cups packed brown sugar                        
2 tablespoons caramel-flavoured coffee syrup                        
1/2 cup whipping cream                        
1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt flakes                       


1. Heat the oven to 350°F. Wrap the outside bottom and side of a 9-inch spring-form pan with heavy-duty foil to prevent leaking. Grease inside bottom and side of pan. In a small bowl, mix the ingredients to make the crust. Press this mixture into the bottom of the pan. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until set.  Reduce the oven temperature to 300°F and cool the crust for 10 minutes.                            
2. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, beat the cream cheese and 1 cup of brown sugar with an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Beat in eggs, one at a time, just until blended. Add 3/4 cup whipping cream and 1/4 cup coffee syrup and beat until blended. Pour filling over crust.                            
3. Bake at 300°F for 1 hour 10 minutes to 1 hour 20 minutes or until the edge of the cheesecake is set at least 2 inches from edge of pan but the centre of the cheesecake is not fully set. Turn oven off and open the door slightly.  Let the cheesecake remain in oven for 30 minutes. Run a small metal spatula around edge of pan to loosen the cheesecake. Cool in pan on cooling rack 30 minutes. Refrigerate at least 6 hours or overnight.                           
4. In a 2-quart saucepan, melt 1/2 cup of butter over medium heat. Add 1 1/4 cups of brown sugar and 2 tablespoons coffee syrup. Heat to boiling; cook and stir 1 minute until sugar dissolves. Stir in 1/2 cup whipping cream; return to boiling. Remove from heat. Cool 10 minutes.                            
5. To serve, run a small metal spatula around edge of the spring-form pan; carefully remove foil from the outside bottom and side of pan. Cut cheesecake into slices. Drizzle caramel sauce over slices; sprinkle with salt. Cover; refrigerate any remaining cheesecake.