Cinnamon and Vanilla Bean Cheesecake Apple Pie with a Cheddar Cheese Crust

You know it’s going to be good when you and Dr B have to sit down and map out the plan for your dad’s birthday dessert. As a born and raised Canadian boy he loves his fruit pies. He and his siblings are big believers in the saying “An apple pie without cheese is like a kiss without a squeeze.” As a child I could never understand the appeal but over the years I have become a little more adventurous with my food combinations so was willing to give it a chance. The sweet and savoury combination is always a good idea.

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Buttermilk Scones with Mascarpone Whipped Cream and Jam

Lets keep things short, just like this recipe. Scones are the best thing to make when you have that last minute panic of “I am supposed to take something and forgot” less than an hour before you are supposed to go out (or are expecting people soon). Perfect at any time of day and great for the kids and adults.

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Dark Chocolate Guinness Mousse Éclairs with Baileys White Chocolate Ganache

St Patrick’s Day is just around the corner. I have never really celebrated it in the traditional way but I am all for finding new fun ways to put alcohol into baking. These cupcakes are the most popular flavour (at any time of year). Another alternative involving a white chocolate Bailey’s ganache can be found here. Or if you prefer try this tart or these doughnuts :)

This year it’s éclairs. I love choux pastry, light and crispy on the outside and it loves being a vessel for whatever tasty filling you have prepared.

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Cherry and Custard Danishes

I am a planner. I love knowing ahead of time exactly how things will go and to make sure I have everything organised. When it comes to dreaming up ideas to bake I like to have the idea fully formed, go to the supermarket to make sure I have everything I need and then begin. This time I did everything the wrong way around. It started with these.

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Dark Chocolate Guinness Tart with Mascarpone Whipped Cream

While Dr B will happily drink a pint of Guinness I must confess that I much prefer it baked into some form of sweet treat. Sacrilegious I know but there it is. This tart combines some lovely dark and bitter notes with a light, fluffy and sweet mascarpone whipped cream which turns out to be the perfect balance. It was one of those moments where trying each element individually had me worried that my flavours were all slightly off but that first forkful of dessert proved me wrong.

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Fresh Strawberry Waffles

So I thought things could get much better than these French cruller waffles. Super light and fluffy waffles with a crisp crunch that are just begging to be topped with all sorts of delicious things. We love waffles here but often find them so heavy that after one or two you feel like you need to be rolled away from the table (in all fairness this could also be due to the fact that I had to have a Belgium style waffle maker that makes beautifully deep waffles). I realised as I was making a huge batch of waffles for the last morning of our recent family holiday that I hadn’t even bothered making any other waffle recipe since coming up with the cruller waffles.

Strawberry Waffles - PhDBaker

That just didn’t feel quite right, in the PhD kitchen and household we are always dreaming up new combinations and crazy ideas. I love my tried and true favourites but there is nothing like the excited nervous wait as you try something that sounds delicious but could equally flop. Adding fresh fruit to what is essentially a choux pastry seemed like the worst idea ever to be honest. You try to cook as much liquid out of the batter before you add the eggs, it is a temperamental dough that needs just the right amount of egg white to give a light fluffy interior but still get the outer crunch of the shell. However three containers of the most beautiful strawberries were sitting on the bench and they didn’t just want to be sliced on top of a plain waffle, they didn’t want to be turned into a syrup to be poured on the waffle. no they wanted to be slowly cooked in the waffle iron turning into little pockets of sweetness. I had to try it.

Would the waffles just flop and go mushy in the middle? Would they not get that beautiful crisp shell that I have come to love? Would I regret using 5 eggs and half a punnet of strawberries on a breakfast fail?

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Black Sesame and Salty Caramel Popcorn

OMG life has been so busy! There has been so much baking happening in the PhD kitchen but no time to write about any of it :( Those of you who know us may have seen the recent video of our toddler making her way under the baby gates. Needless to say this means that most of Mommy’s downtime has become “Where on earth is that girl?” time.

Thankfully today’s is a quick and easy recipe. This is the easy version of caramel popcorn that I have been making for the past few years. It doesn’t involve making a toffee so you don’t have to be so scared about burning it. I do have plans to post another version soon which my friend kindly shared with me which used the toffee method and doesn’t require any baking time.

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