Michelle’s Muck-Up of the Month

Right. Let’s just cut straight to the chase, shall we? Some days in the kitchen are magical. Everything whips, folds, beats and bakes itself to utter perfection, and you can strut around with a smile on your dial knowing you ruled the kitchen that day.

Then there are the days when the kitchen rules you. I’m not going to pretend that it’s all sunshine and rainbows and delicious baked goodies in my kitchen (there have been some very dark days indeed!) and so I’d like to introduce you to the first “Michelle’s Muck-Up of the Month” post.

I know we’re still 2 days out from the end of June, but I’m calling it.

It all started when I decided to make a delicious baked cheesecake. A buttery, biscuity base with a deliciously unhealthy, smooth, creamy top. What could possibly go wrong?

Apparently, quite a lot.

Firstly, my local supermarket didn’t have the biscuits that I’d normally use for a base so I took a punt on another type. This turned out to be a bad decision.

Secondly, unlike traditional New York baked cheesecake recipes, this recipe calls for egg whites to be whisked and folded into the cheesecake mixture. While this makes for a deliciously light top (which also makes you feel slightly less guilty about going in for a second slice), it also means your initial cheesecake mixture has grown in quantity by a sizeable amount.

Thirdly, I didn’t take the other shelf out of the oven (I’ll get to this one later).

Now, let it be stated on the record that I have rather bad depth perception. Not something that often comes in handy, and this instance was unfortunately no exception.

In my pre-cheesecake haze, I was so excited by the fact that in the not too distant future I would be feasting on this beauty I overfilled the tin. I didn’t know it at the time, but I certainly did when I check on my cheesecake towards the end of it’s stint in the oven.

Much to my surprise, the mixture rose. Quite a lot. To the point where that oven shelf that I forgot to take out of the oven was now an unfortunate feature as it was being engulfed by my greedy monstrosity of a cheesecake.

I also should note this recipe requires a significant time commitment. I’m talking almost 5 hours from start to finish. This includes 1 1/2 hours for baking, 2 hours standing in the turned off oven post bake, and a further hour sitting with the oven door open.

So, after waiting for what felt like half a day, to add insult to baking pride injury, the cheesecake also decided to crack open mid-bake resulting in a fully fledged disaster of a bake.

And so, the first “Michelle’s Muck-Up of the Month” was made.

Cheesecake CrumbsCheesecake and Egg WhitesCheesecake UncookedCheesecake CookedCheesecake Slice

Not even a sprinkling of icing sugar could save this cracked calamity (though the filling was delicious!)

Snickerdoodles. Funny name, seriously tasty.

I think I’ve found my new favourite bikkie. In the whole world. If you’ve ever had a Snickerdoodle, then I know you’ll know what I’m talking about.

For those of you who haven’t, it’s like if a delicious cinnamon donut and a delicious buttery cookie fell in love and had a biscuit child, the Snickerdoodle would be it.

Starting with a soft, buttery beginning this dough was then expertly mixed by Bruce (my trusty assistant/KitchenAid) until it was light, fluffy and deliciously fragrant – not to mention very tasty (I tested this dough for quality control purposes….and also because I find it nigh on impossible to resist a taste of uncooked cookie dough).

After rolling out tablespoon-sized balls of these buttery beauties, these endearingly light bikkies then take a quick dip in a scrumptious cinnamon/sugar mix before being baked, making all my biscuit-y, donut-y dreams come true.

After a quick stint in the oven, these bikkies are crunchy  and golden on the outside and light and crumbly inside.

And not only are these Snickerdoodles (I will never tire of saying their name!) a breeze to make, with the addition of nutmeg to the biscuit dough mix as well, your kitchen will smell as delicious as these beauties taste; making them the perfect treat to whip up before visitors pop over. You watch them try and resist a bikkie that smells that good!!

This recipe comes courtesy of Nigella Lawson and can be found in her book How to be a Domestic Goddess, which you can buy here

Snickerdoodle PlainSnickerdoodle Cinnamon BathSnickerdoodle Close UpSnickerdoodle TraySnickerdoodle Baked

Though the batch makes about 30-odd, be sure to set some aside for yourself if sharing with others because they will be gone in a flash!!

Bikkies, but not as you know them…

So, after baking a batch of biscuits for a dear friend’s pre-birthday party for her soon-to-arrive bubs, I thought I’d share this kitchen adventure with you.

“Why all the fuss”, you ask? After all they’re just bikkies, right? WRONG!!! These tasty morsels were…wait for it…savoury bikkies. That’s right. Savoury!!

In a sea of baby shower sweeties, these savoury delights were a welcome sight. There they sat; in all of their flaky, cheesy, buttery glory, piled high and ready for the taking.

And by golly were these things tasty! Totally moreish. And made to a small enough size that you (and by “you” I mean “I”) could easily justify eating several. In very quick succession. Before going back for more (don’t judge).

The reason I’m raving about these cheesy champs is that they are an absolute cinch to make. They literally have just 5 ingredients:

  • Blue Cheese
  • Unsalted Butter
  • Plain Flour
  • Eggs
  • Salt

That’s. It.

They begin with crumbly (and slightly stinky) blue cheese and, after a quick stint in the oven, are transformed into a buttery, flaky, golden masterpiece that are cripsy outside and a mouth-wateringly soft inside.

These blue cheese beauties involve minimum input with maximum belly satisfaction, making them perfect for bringing along to any shindig.

I find these bikkies are at their peak-tastiness on the day they’re made, so are best eaten then, though they do keep well for a few days.

This recipe comes courtesy of Nigella Lawson and can be found in her book How to be a Domestic Goddess, which you can buy here

Crumbed Blue CheeseBikkie DoughBikkies on TrayBikkie Close UpFinished Bikkies

These. Are. Seriously. Yum.