all things kai

all things kai

Posts tagged dessert

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This pudding shall have theme! Cheesecake Brownie with Chocolate Streusel Topping

Winston Churchill loved his food (one of many vices), and he once famously rejected a dessert saying “this pudding has no theme.”

I refuse to cast the same dire fate on you and instead I’ll give you a pudding with multiple themes. 

It all started with a trip to Berlin where I met a very charming struesel at a bakery near our hotel. I haven’t been able to erase it from my mind since and haven’t been able to hunt down anything similar in London, so I decided to take matters into my own hands and make something similar at home.

It was shortly after this that I discovered the Whittaker’s recipe competiton on Facebook and wanted to come up with something a little bit creative and original.

After giving it some thought, my third and final inspiration came from the fact that I really love brownie and Si really loves cheesecake and from all of this, a dessert collaboration was born.

Let me introduce you to: Fudge brownie with a caramel cheesecake layer and stuesel topping. It’s a very long name, so if you can come up with something a little bit more clever than I’d love to hear your suggestions. Please leave me a comment below.

Here’s the recipe debut! I hope you’ll make it, try it and enjoy eating it, at least in Churchill’s honour.


For the Brownie:

- 1/2 cup flour

- 2/3 cup cocoa (preferably dutched but normal is fine)

- 200g butter

- 1 and 3/4 cup caster sugar

- 3 eggs, lightly beaten

- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence

- 330g Whittaker’s Dark Block Chocolate (or any other good quality dark chocolate if you don’t live in New Zealand)

For the cheesecake filling:

- 300g cream cheese

- 1/3 cup of sugar

- 1 egg

- Half a can of Nestle Caramel Condensed Milk (This is optional, if you’d like to give the cheesecake a caramel flavour) 

For the chocolate streusel topping:

- 2/3 cup of sugar

- 140g butter, softened

- 2 and 1/3 cups of flour

- 1/2 cup cocoa (preferably dutched, but normal is fine)

- 1 teaspoon baking powder

- 1 egg

(NB: This makes quite a lot of streusel so I used approx one third of it to sprinkle over the top of the cheesecake brownie and then froze the rest to use another time - it could be used a cheesecake base.)


Grease the sides and bottom of a large baking dish (I used a lasagna sized dish).

Melt butter and sugar in a pot over low heat until the butter is melted and the sugar is dissolved.

Take off the heat, add chocolate and stir until chocolate is melted. 

Cool slightly. 

Add egg and vanilla and stir until well combined.

Sift in flour and cocoa. Mix well, until fully combined.

Pour mix into your baking dish and set aside.

Next, make your cheesecake layer by using an electric mixer/beater to combine all of the ingredients together in one large bowl.

Carefully pour the mixture over the top of your brownie.

Now is the time to preheat oven to 180.

Next, make your struesel topping.

Put all of the ingredients, except the egg, into a large bowl and use your hands to combine until the mixture resembles fine bread crumbs. 

Add the egg and use your hands again to combine. The dough will come together to form larger crumbs, that look like those in the picture below. 

Sprinkle these crumbs evenly over the top of your cheesecake layer in the baking dish.

Bake on the middle shelf of the oven at 180 for 40 minutes. Insert a knife to check that it comes out clean - both the brownie and cheesecake layers should be cooked. If they’re not, increase the cooking time, inserting a knife to check the progress every five minutes.

Remove the brownie from the oven and allow to cool on the bench. Once it has cooled you can cover and store in the fridge. This is best after it has been in the fridge for a few hours and the cheesecake is completely cooled.

Filed under this pudding shall have theme allthingskai all things kai food blog recipe blog restaurant reviews dessert ideas chocolate streusel recipe cheesecake brownie caramel cheesecake cheesecake slice Whittaker's chocolate nestle condensed milk

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And So This Is Christmas

Christmas has come and gone as quickly as it does every year and I’m now looking forlornly at the empty space where just days ago there was a pile of wrapped gifts, and at the ample and delicious Christmas day food that now only exists inside my digital camera (and perhaps my thighs).

This year was considerably different to previous Christmases for as far back as I can remember, in the sense that I didn’t get to do the traditional yearly get together with family. Instead, a bunch of us Kiwis (and one Argentinian) that are currently residing in London set off together for what we’ll call an Orphan’s Christmas in a quaint seaside town up North. We were lucky enough to be offered a beautiful, big house (previously known as The Ship Inn) right on the coast of Wells-Next-The-Sea in Norfolk. And after just two hours of trains, tubes and mini-vans we were there for four whole days.

So while our families were sunbathing, swimming, playing cricket and enjoying outdoor Kiwi barbecues in the Southern Hemisphere we were huddled around the fire with mulled wine, puzzles, Scrabble and plenty of comfort food for our very first “White Christmas”.

We divvied up the food duties and I was half responsible for dessert which suited me fine. In the theme of trying new things this Christmas I went with a recipe for Chocolate Cheesecake; something I hadn’t made before as I usually prefer fruit versions. Having watched some of Anne Thornton’s Dessert First TV show recently I decided to use her recipe for “Deepest Darkest Chocolate Cheesecake”. However, I did use my own base recipe (which can be found here) as I prefer a thick, crunchy cheesecake base. It was very, very chocolaty and rich - something I wouldn’t usually complain about - but I do love the taste of cream cheese that usually shines through in most traditional baked cheesecake recipes, and in this one I felt that was lacking. When I make it again I’ll experiment with the ratios of chocolate and cream cheese, and as it was quite dry I’ll perhaps add a cup of sour cream to the mix.

Also on dessert duty was Melina and between us we made sure the spread was plentiful. Melina brought to the table (pun intended) a traditional Argentinian dessert of baked shortcake tarts made with Dulche de Leche. And, oh man, it was so so good! She also had a couple of boxes of Havanna Alfajores to share around; a soft, cakey biscuit that I can’t quite describe and they were just as delicious (I actually managed to weasel a few more out of her for the trip home). They’re like nothing I’ve tried before and definitely something everyone should try at least once in their lifetime. I’ve had a look online and it seems like you can order them internationally from Amigo Foods. Go on, dooooo it!

And because it’s the festive season; I love baking; I love to feed people; and I felt we needed more calorie-laden treats to get us through the days surrounding Christmas I also made Nigella’s Black Beer Gingerbread (recipe at the bottom of this post) and Pioneer Woman’s Cinamon Rolls. The gingerbread was a massive favourite (I even caught a few people sneaking pieces first thing in the morning) and as Nigella described, it was “like Christmas in a bowl”. Just like her Guinness Chocolate Cake it was very rich and very moist. I definitely recommend this for the next time you’re looking to make something to share at a morning/afternoon tea or picnic lunch. In comparison, the cinamon buns weren’t so great and I won’t bother making them again - I can think of much better ways to fill up my daily calorie quota.

To all ATK readers - a very Merry Christmas, Feliz Navidad, Merry Secular Holiday… Regardless of your background or deity, I hope you all had fantastic Christmases and I wish each of you a happy and healthy 2012.

Nigella’s Black Beer Gingerbread


150g butter

300g golden syrup

200g dark muscavado sugar

250ml Guinness

2tsp grounder ginger

2tsp ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

300g plain flour

2tsp bicarbonate of soda

300ml sour cream

2 large eggs


Preheat oven to 170c.

Put the butter, syrup, muscavado sugar, Guinness, ginger, cinnamon and ground cloves into a pam and melt gently over a low heat.

Take off the heat and whisk in the flour and bicarb. You will need to be patient and whisk thoroughly to get rid of any lumps.

Whisk the sour cream and eggs together in a measuring jug and then beat into the gingerbread mixture, whisking again to get a smooth batter.

Pour this into a lined rectangle tin, or into a barbecue-type foil tray, and bake for about 45 minutes; when it’s ready it will be risen at the centre, and coming away from the tin at the sides.

Let the gingerbread cool before cutting into slices or squares.

Filed under Christmas food alfajores havanna argentinian sweets dulche de leche dessert wells-next-the-sea Dessert First Anne Thornton Nigella Lawson Black Beer Gingerbread Guinness Gingerbread recipe recipes Amigo Foods Pioneer Woman Cinnamon Buns allthingskai All Things Kai Food Blog cinnamon rolls chocolate cheesecake deepest darkest chocolate cheesecake

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1. I’ve finally finished off two big reports that have resulted in a few early mornings and late nights over the past week. It’s so good to be back onto a more regular work schedule.

2. Thanks to #1 I was actually able to take a proper lunch break today (where you move away from your computer and do something other than work for half an hour - you know the ones?) and went and bought myself a coffee. All of the major coffee chains have latte specials for the festive season and they’re just soooo good. I love AMT’s gingerbread and Starbucks’ praline but today I went for the creme brulee from Costa. It went down pretty well as I read the last few pages of We Need to Talk About Kevin. Well worth a read if you’re looking to buy a new book for the holidays.


Dinner: Mediteranean Vegetable Pie. This recipe came from one of my favourite famous foodies: Andy Bates. You can find the recipe here. It’s in no way a quick or easy dinner meal so only make this if you’re in the mood to spend some time in the kitchen. However, it is something you can make the night before, or during the day, as you can reheat it again later. It is worth the time it takes to make though - it’s absolutely delicious. If you’ve got friends or family coming over for a weekend lunch this is a perfect dish to make and serve with salad and warm, crusty bread.

After we demolished huge slices of the pie we treated ourselves to a dessert of homemade mint Oreo icecream. I used my basic homemade icecream recipe, which you can find here, but switched the vanilla essence for mint and crumbled in a whole packet of Oreos at the end (optional: add a few drops of green food colouring). Yum!

Filed under homemade icecream recipe mint oreo easy dessert we need to talk about kevin AMT Starbucks Costa Praline Creme Brulee Gingerbread Andy Bates mediteranean vegetable pie allthingskai food blog all things kai

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The BEST Passionfruit Curd Cheesecake Recipe

I found the original of this recipe on a few years ago and after a few of my own tweaks it has become my absolute favourite cheesecake - and it’s received just as much accolade from anyone I’ve ever fed it to. Best of all, it doesn’t take too much preparation (it’s easier than baking a cake), it’s pretty hard to mess up and it can be prepared in advance if you’re having guests over for dessert.

The homemade passionfruit curd in this recipe is delicious, but if you’re having a lazy day (we all have em!) and want to opt for a shortcut, Barkers Passionfruit Curd is just as good a substitute. One whole jar is just the right amount.

I hope you will all enjoy this recipe just as much as I do. I’d love to hear your feedback.



Passionfruit Curd

  • 2 passionfruit
  • 50g butter
  • 2 medium eggs, lightly whisked
  • 1/2 cup (100g) caster sugar 
  • 1 tbs lemon juice


  1. Line the base of a 20cm (base measurement) springform cake tin with baking paper. Place the biscuits in a food processor and process until finely crushed (or put em in a plastic bag, cover that with a tea towel, and whack it with a rolling pin). Add the butter and process until well combined. Transfer mixture to the pan and use a glass to press the crumb mixture firmly over the base and sides of the tin (upwards, cover about 90% of the sides). Place in the fridge for 30 minutes to set.

    (TIP: Don’t pack the crumb mixture too tightly into the tin - give it a little room to breathe. That way, the base won’t be too hard to cut into when you eat it - you don’t want pieces of cheesecake base flinging off your fork and around the room!)

  2. Meanwhile, as your cheesecake base is setting in the fridge, make the passionfruit curd. Place passionfruit pulp, butter, eggs, sugar and lemon juice in a saucepan over low heat. Cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until mixture boils and thickens. Remove from heat and set aside for 30 minutes to cool.

  3. Preheat oven to 160°C. Use an electric mixer to beat cream cheese and sugar in a bowl until smooth. Add the sour cream and beat until smooth. Add eggs and lemon rind and beat until just combined.

  4. Pour half the cream cheese mixture into the biscuit base. Dollop spoonfuls of half the passionfruit curd over the cream cheese. Pour over remaining cream cheese and dollop half of the remaining curd. Use a bamboo skewer to gently swirl passionfruit mixture and cream cheese to make a marbled pattern.

  5. Place on an oven tray. Bake in oven for 45 minutes or until centre is just set (use your bamboo skewer, or knife, to test this - if it comes out clean then it’s ready). Turn oven off. Leave cheesecake in the oven, with the door ajar, for 1 hour or until cooled completely. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and place in the fridge to chill. Spread over remaining curd just before you serve it.


Filed under baking cheesecake curd dessert easy passionfruit recipe food blog recipe blog passionfruit cheesecake recipe easy dessert recipe best dessert recipe

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Thesaurus Legend:  Synonyms Related Words Antonyms


 noun (NZ informal) food, grub (slang), provisions, fare, board, commons, eats (slang), feed, diet, meat, bread, tuck (informal), tucker (Austral. & NZ informal), rations, nutrition, tack (informal), refreshment, scoff (slang), nibbles, foodstuffs, nourishment, chow (informal), sustenance, nosh (slang), daily bread, victuals, edibles, comestibles, provender, nosebag (slang).

Hi! Welcome to my blog.

I’m Melanie, a cooking (and eating) enthusiast who’ll bring to you an array of posts on all of the above - whether it be recipes, photos or reviews.

What’s the reason for my sudden desire to blog? Well, given that my line of work has recently ventured into the social media realm, I figured it would be rude not to. The truth is, I’m a foodie and I’ve always had a passion for writing, so blogging is the perfect way to combine my two favourite past times and hopefully pass on some useful advice to anyone who’s interested.

I love eating out at cafes and restaurants. My idea of ‘window shopping’ is to spend a morning pouring over menus before making the all important decision of where to have lunch.

My favourite meal of the day is dessert and I love to bake, so I promise you there’ll be ample reference to all things sweet and sugary.

If you haven’t already figured it out from the name, I’m a kiwi. However, I’m currently in London on my big OE so you’ll be joining me in my discovery of the city’s culinary delights.

I hope you’ll enjoy reading All Things Kai and that you’ll be brave enough to attempt a few recipes every now and then.

I’m starving - let’s go have some kai! xx

Filed under cafes dessert food kai recipes restaurants reviews social media all things kai