Muesli Rusks

Muesli RusksThere is nothing like some rusks with a hot cup of tea or coffee, and I always feel a little better having rusks with a bit of healthy muesli and seeds. For anyone who doesn’t know what rusks are, they are sort of bigger versions of biscotti, but they are not quite as sweet. They are made for dunking in a cup of tea or coffee and were actually started by being a way to preserve bread in the hot climate of South Africa. Give the recipe a go, it’s really easy and completely worth it.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 cups Buttermilk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla essence
  • 500g Butter, melted
  • 1 cup wheat germ
  • 3 cups plain flour
  • 4 teaspoons Baking Powder
  • 1 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons bicarbonate of soda
  • 4 cups muesli
  • 1/2 cup sunflower seeds

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C
  2. Beat the eggs and sugar together until light and fluffy
  3. Add the buttermilk, vanilla essence and melted butter to the eggs and sugar mixture and mix well.
  4. In a separate bowl add all the dry ingredients (including all the seeds and raisins) and mix together well.
  5. Make a well in the dry ingredients and then add the wet ingredients and mix. Do not over mix.
  6. Pour mixture into a greased baking dish with deep sides (about 5cm) and cook for +-45 minutes at 180°C
  7. Once cooked, take the pan out of the oven and turn the oven heat down to 75°C.
  8. Cut in half whilst in the pan.
  9. Lay a bread board over top of both halves and flip so that you have it right side up.
  10. Using a finely serrated knife, cut into the hardening crust just to break the crust. Cut strips about 1 inch wide.
  11. Using a smooth, sharp knife, cut right through following the tracks of the serrated knife.
  12. Cut the cross strips in the same way and place the rusks with space between them into 2 baking sheets.
  13. Dry rusks out for about 4-5 hours in the oven (you may need to do a few batches to get them all done.

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Strawberry Cheesecake

Strawberry CheesecakeI dropped a packet of chocolate digestives under all a bag of groceries, so I decided to save them by turning them into a cheesecake. I have always wanted to make a cheesecake, just so I know how. I found this recipe via Pinterest, but I halved the recipe for a smaller crowd.

Ingredients

Crust

  • 2 cup dark chocolate digestives, crushed
  • 30g butter, melted

Cheesecake

  • 2 300g packages cream cheese, room temperature
  • 200g sugar
  • 30ml plain flour
  • a pinch of salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 5ml pure vanilla extract
  • 30ml double cream

Strawberry Top

  • 1/2 cup frozen strawberries, thawed
  • 1/2 pint fresh small strawberries, washed and hulled
  • 45ml water
  • 30ml sugar
  • 2.5ml corn-starch
  • red food colouring, optional

Method

Crust

  • Position oven rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 325º F/160ºC. (I almost baked this at 180ºC which is why I’ve highlighted it)
  • Put a tea kettle or large pot of water on the stove to boil for the water bath.
  • Mix together the crust ingredients and press into 7” springform pan. You can press the crust just into the bottom, or up the sides of the pan too – baker’s choice. Set crust aside.

Cheesecake

  • In a large bowl, beat together the cream cheese, sugar, flour, and salt until smooth. If using a mixer, mix on low speed.
  • Add the whole eggs and the egg yolk, one at a time, beating well (but still at low speed) after each addition.
  • Beat in the vanilla and sour cream.
  • Place the spring-form pan in a larger roasting pan.
  • Fill the roasting pan with the boiling water until it reaches halfway up the sides of the cake pan. If your cheesecake pan is not leak-proof, cover bottom securely with foil before adding water.
  • Bake until the cheesecake is firm and slightly golden on top, 70 to 80 minutes.
  • Remove the cheesecake from the water bath and cool to room temperature.
  • Cover the cheesecake with plastic wrap and refrigerate until very cold, at least 3 hours or overnight.

Strawberry Top

  • Puree frozen strawberries in a small food processor or with an immersion blender.
  • Press blended strawberries through a fine mesh strainer in to a small saucepan. Add water.
  • In a small bowl, mix together sugar and corn starch. Stir into the puree in saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly.
  • Continue cooking and stirring until thickened and clear. Add food colouring, if desired. Cool to room temperature.
  • Arrange strawberries in a single layer around the cooled cheesecake.
  • Drizzle cooled glazed evenly over strawberries on cheesecake.
  • Store, covered, in refrigerator.

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