Recipe: Chocolate and caramel no bake cheesecake

One of my new year goals - a post of them later! - is to cook four new recipes a month. I have so many cookbooks that I really need to get stuck in to. When Wing Yip sent me over some caramel sauce, a cheesecake immediately came to mind. because obviously I haven't eaten enough sweet things during the festive period...

Their absolutely delicious caramel sauce is extremely addictive. Made from coconut milk, the sauce is vegan, gluten and dairy free. So this recipe can easily be adapted into what suits you best.

Recipe adapted from Good Food

Serves 8 people

1 pack of lotus biscuits
45g melted unsalted butter
110g caster sugar
120g whipping cream
200g full fat cream cheese
100g 80% dark melted chocolate
2 tablespoons of cocoa powder
1 jar of Wing Yip caramel sauce*
1 pack family pack of Rolos to decorate

1. Put all the biscuits in a sandwich bag and bash with a rolling pin until they are crumbs.

2. Mix the crumbs with one tablespoon of the sugar then pour in the melted butter. Give it a good mix before packing it down into a 18cm springform cake tin. Pop it in the fridge.

3. Melt the chocolate.

4. Using an electric whisk, whip the cream until soft peaks appear. Pour in the melted chocolate and cocoa power before mixing in.

5. In a separate bowl, beat together the remaining sugar and cream cheese. Then fold into the chocolate mix and ensure all ingredients are fully mixed together.

6. Get the biscuit base from the fridge and pour on the caramel sauce, ensuring that it covers the whole base.

7. The pour the chocolate mix on the top. Once again ensuring it covers the whole base.

8. Stick it in the fridge for at least two hours. But overnight would be best.

9. Once the cheesecake has set, decorate with the roles. Then tuck in and enjoy!

Please do send me a tweet if you make it, I'd love to see a picture!


Where to eat in Glasgow

I'd heard good thing about the food scene in Glasgow thanks to Hannah so knew my belly was in for a good trip. Boy was she right! We ate so well during our trip and here are a few of my favourite places. Annoying, I never managed to get any pictures of all-time favourite place - Mother India Cafe -  so you'll just have to take my word for it!

The Hyndland Fox
Located in the West End, this cool Instagrammable eatery offers a great brunch option. And dessert if you fancy both... If you can tear yourself away from swooning over the interiors, make sure you go for the light and fluffy French toast topped with a mountain of berries and a very generous drizzle of yogurt. It's the perfect way to set you up for a day of sightseeing. Go for the sticky toffee pudding if you still have some room left.

Mussel Inn
I saw this on Ayden's blog and knew I had to visit while I was in Glasgow. I'm a huge fan of seafood and in particular mussels - despite a bad case of food poisoning in Bulgaria... I enjoyed a delicious starter of gin-cured salmon and a massive bowl of mussels in a flavoursome roasted red pepper sauce with pesto, mopped up with oodles of crusty white bread. The meal was such great value for money and we came up happy with full bellies thanks to the generous portion sizes. Make sure you book in advance as it seems to get very busy!

Bread Meats Bread
Even after the burger craze has been and gone, I still love to get my hands on a big juicy burger. After lusting over this burger joint on many an Instagram accounts, I was very much looking forward to visiting. Let me introduce you to the Great Western Wolf above. This bad boy is made up of a beef patty topped with American cheese, crispy bacon, BBQ pulled pork, crispy fried onions and 'Nduja with Siracha mayo. It didn't have as much of a kick as I had hoped but it was still pretty good. The poutine topped with cheese curds, bacon and grated cheese was sent from heaven. I'm still dreaming about them now!

Mother India Cafe
Located just across the road from Kelvingrove Art Gallery, this little restaurant is like taking a step back in time. Be prepared to queue but it is 100% worth waiting in the cold for. The menu offers sharing plates with a good selection for meat eaters and veggies. My favourites? Both the dals, saag chicken and the gorgeous fluffy garlic naan bread. I wish I could have smuggled a few out in my bag... It was by far my stand out restaurant of the trip.

Hanoi Bike Shop
Vietnamese is one of my favourite cuisines and I was intrigued to try the tapas style dishes at the only Vietnamese restaurant in Glasgow. I normally only opt for Pho or a noodle based dish so was keen to explore a little. Stand out dishes for me were the sweet potato fritters on the specials menu, the honey glazed chicken and the pheasant curry. It was great to try new dishes that I hadn't even heard of and made me fall in love with the cuisine even more!

Porter & Rye
Admittedly I'm not a huge fan of steak but everyone is my group is, so each trip I try to book us into a steak restaurant. Located in trendy Finniesten, this steak restaurant specialises in serving premium meat to the people of Glasgow. And it is delicious! I pumped for the braised pig cheek to start. Tender meat on a bed of corn, charred pineapple and wild rice. Then for my steak I opted for the cut of Onglet. Looking back I should't have been adventurous and stuck to a cut I knew well. It was nice but not mind-blowing. My boyfriend sirloin was so much nicer. But the bone marrow mac and cheese side I had? I could have happily have eaten that all night.

2016 goals - how did I get on?

As I've mentioned before, last year was an odd and sometimes very tough year for me. As we are now head first into 2017, I thought I'd take a look back at the some goals I set myself last year to see how I got on. I feel like I started the year strong yet got lazy as the months went on. But at least I tried eh? Even if I didn't quite succeed.

1. See even more of the world
This one I absolutely smashed with flying colours. Yeah it skinted me quite a few times but it was 100% worth it. The more of the world I see, the more desperate I become to see more. I've fallen even more in love with Europe and sometimes can't quite believe that I live on such an incredible, diverse continent.

2. Put more of my passion into my blog
So for the second year running I have kinda failed at this goal. I can't imagine never having this little piece of the internet but I guess my motivation isn't quite as high as it should be. I absolutely adore putting my words down in a post but it's not high on my list of priorities at the minute. I struggled to find the time this year thanks to a long commute. Opening my laptop isn't always the first thing on my mind when I get home from work. But I'm so proud of everything this blog has achieved and it's without a doubt one of the best things I ever did.

3. Spend more time with those I've known the longest
Well I didn't do very well at this one either. I didn't see some of my oldest friends as much as I would have liked. But the older I'm getting, the more I'm realising is that this just happens. We all work such longs hours and lead such 100 mph lives that it's natural to not see people as often as you liked. But I have realised that the friendships I do have are pretty special. Even if I don't see them for six months, five minutes into a conversation it's like we have seen each other yesterday.

4. Look after my skin
I really noticed my troublesome skin last year as the commuting took it's toll. Some nights I was lazy and just used a wipe and other nights I spend 20 minutes pampering my skin with my lotions and potions. I wasn't very consistent and it showed if my breakouts and dry skin are anything to go by. I have gotten out of the habit of sleeping in my make up which is a bonus. Small steps...

5. Learn to have more self confidence
2016 was the year that I began to really trust my instincts. The year I stopped being so unsure and just went for things. Sure I had little wobbles but the mantra 'fake it till you make it' really does work. I just winged certain situations and to my surprise, I pulled them off. The one thing I'm enjoying about getting older is my confidence growing in myself. I feel so much more sure of what I want and what I won't put up with.

So, last year didn't quite go to plan as I would have liked given at how many of my goals I failed to hit. But that's ok, sometimes life just gets in the way. That's the fun thing - you never know what will be around the corner. Stay tuned for my goals for 2017. I'm determined to tick them all off this year. *She says*

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