Category Archives: sweets

m&m’s cheesecake

m & m cheesecake with pop tart base

The in-laws recently returned from the States laden with ‘candy’. I had to resist the urge to cram it all down my throat in one go, and decided to turn some of it into a cheesecake.m&m cheesecake

There was all sorts in there. Pop Tarts (are they still around over here? The most absurd excuse for breakfast ever), Baby Ruths, random chocolates and quirky flavour M&Ms: peanut butter; and pretzel. Both were interesting and the peanut butter ones have that moreish salt/sweet character.

I thought I’d whack some of the Cookies ‘n’ Cream Pop Tarts *COUGHoreoCOUGH* in the base and was surprised how well they worked. With the aforementioned peanut butter M&Ms providing a little burst every so often, the peaches were helping offset some of the guilt and help cleanse the mouth.

Not an everyday treat, but very enjoyable.

M&M cheesecake (serves 6 – 8):

For the base:

Cookies & Cream Pop Tarts

50g Bourbon biscuits

15g butter, melted

For the filling:

150ml double cream

150g cream cheese

1 tablespoon caster sugar

2 bags Peanut Butter M&M’s

To finish:

1 tin of peaches, drained

  1. Whizz the Pop Tarts and biscuits together to dust and stir in the butter. Pack into an 18cm springform tin and place in the freezer.
  2. Whisk the cream, cream cheese and sugar together until completely smooth, then stir in the M&M’s. Pour this on top of the biscuit base, cover and leave in the fridge for at least two hours.
  3. Before serving, arrange the peaches on top.

full english breakfast cookies

full english breakfast bacon cookies

I love the Great British Menu. There’s plenty wrong with it – enforced friction between the chefs, pointless “out and about” sections, and we all know it should be 1 x 1 hour show a week but the chance to see the top tier of British chefs cooking their guts out is always fascinating. This year’s show has a Comic Relief theme.

One chef was new to my radar this year, Mary-Ellen McTague. A Fat Duck graduate, her influences were clear to see. I found her bath of beans particularly amusing, and am sad to see it won’t feature at the final banquet.

When Sainsbury’s asked me to come up with a Red Nose Day cookie, this playful starter was at the forefront of my mind. Picking up a recipe for “bacon and banana cookies” from her mentor’s book Heston Blumenthal at Home the idea of a play on a Full English was there.

Topped with sweets this is a silly biscuit – that’s the point – but the bacon element is genuinely interesting. Go for a sweet cure bacon and it’s not so jarring, but it’s really worth a go.

Full English breakfast cookies (makes about 20):

5 rashers smoked bacon

120g butter, diced

260g caster sugar

220g plain flour

½ teaspoon baking powder

¼ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

2 large eggs

Fried egg sweets and orange jelly beans, for decoration

  1. Preheat the oven to 190°C. Line a baking tray with baking paper and lay the bacon on top. Bake for 10 minutes, then pat dry with kitchen paper. When cool cut into tiny pieces.
  2. Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Sift in the flour, baking powder and soda with a pinch of salt until mix until a smooth dough is formed. Mix in 1 egg at a time, then stir in the bacon pieces.
  3. On a greased tray spoon out small blobs 10cm apart and bake for 8 – 10mins or until the the cookies are browned. As soon as they are out of the oven press a fried egg and a few jelly beans into the surface to melt in. Leave to firm up on the tray for a couple of minutes then transfer to a cooling rack.