Caramelised Banana & Ginger Cheesecake (NF)

IMG_1859 Banana Ginger Cheesecake

This weekend will marks the arrival of my best friend, N,  who is over from Sydney for the holidays and I'm so very excited!

You see, each year N, her Mum & her sister hold a BIG Christmas party for 60 or so of their closest friends. As a previous member of their household I am always invited. You see, there was the four of us, our ages spanning a few decades, living in one character home in the inner suburbs of Perth and we had a blast! There was me, the admin assistant constantly cooking and dancing, N; the uni student and fellow dancer, her Mum, C, who worked full time AND was studying and finally Bell,a fantastic trainee chef (leftover pate at 2am anyone?) and who was certainly at the middle of a number of arguments thanks to some sneakywardrobe 'borrowing'. Apart from the very occasional moments of hormones gone mad (and wardrobe borrowing) we all got along and had many a wonderful Sunday morning round the kitchen table recounting our previous night's shenanigans over multiple coffees and bacon sandwiches. Yes, they were grand times!

So, as a live-in guest, housemate, best friend, cleaner, baker and DVD-buddy, I always help out at this rather large (and totally fabulous) festivity. The evening usually has all of us some kind of tizz with orders taken earlier in the month for sushi platters, local pizza orders - 20pizzas please! -runs to the grog shop for more bubbles and of course the letter to all the neighbours stating there will be a party on, so feel free to dance to the tunes in your loungeroom.

It is an evening spent under a few hundred fairy lights with music blaring from the speakers and the area, reserved as the dancefloor, often being filled with us girls in floaty dresses and high heels that generally, are not suited to dancing on brickwork, so yes, there is a 'dancing carpet' laid out for us!

Last year I made 50 or so gluten free rice paper rolls for guests (and myself!) to munch on throughout the evening amidst the huge tubs, yes tubs, of punch that N makes up. Let me just say, that, as someone whose been on the receiving end of her (multiple) Vodka/Coke pouring - these punches certainly do pack a punch ! This year, I'mdelighted to be manned with desserts (which will gluten free of course!) and after so much good food I'm thinking definitely 'little'. In fact,  I'm thinking bite sized, as it's just somuch easier to have champagne in one hand and a tiny gluten free cupcake in the other, rather than a plate and fork which means that you have to put down the champagne - which just won't do! So this year, not only will there be platters of delicious nibbles and lots (and lots) of punch but there will also be many, many teeny, tiny, sweet gluten free red velvet cupcakes. The perfect size to just pop in to your mouth and enjoy!

So, whilst I'm in the kitchen baking up a storm of red food colouring & cream cheese frosting I suggest that you go ahead and make these divine little caramelised banana & ginger no-bake cheesecakes to enjoy with your friends!

If you missed out on my Top Ten Tuesday post in Aubree's absence, check it out here and get your last minute gift baking apron on and impress your gluten free friends and family this christmas with a little home baked cheer.

IMG_1882_Banana Ginger Cheesecake

Caramelised Banana & Ginger No-Bake Cheesecake

makes 4 mini cheesecakes

For the Gingerbread Base

150g Gluten Free Gingerbread , crushed

1/4tsp ground ginger

50g butter, cold, chopped

In a food processor combine the gluten free gingerbread, ground ginger and butter until a fine crumb forms.

Line the bases of 4 small, round springfrom tins. Divide the crumbsevenly amongst the tins and press evenly into the base only. Refridgerate.

For the No Bake Cheesecake

1 old blackish banana (do not use fresh yellow ones!)

knob butter

1tblspn brown sugar

pinch mixed spice

250g cream cheese, softened to room temperature

50g castor sugar

1/3cup sour cream

1tsp powdered gelatine, dissolved in 2tblspn hot water*

In a small fry pan melt the butter and brown sugar till disolved. Add the quartered banana and fry on low until golden. Remove from heat and allow to cool completely.

Once cool place all remaining ingredients and the banana (and juices!) whiz in a food processor until smooth.

Pour evenly into the 4 tins. Smooth the top and return to the refridgerator for 6hrs or overnight.

To serve remove from tins and sprinkle with a pinch nutmeg and enjoy!

*Note, you can leave out the gelatine mixture, however the cheesecake won't set properly, so make them in small glasses that you can serve them in (like these little cheesecakes pots ) and your guests won't even notice!

Nutella Cheesecake Pots (EF)

Gluten Free Scallywag_Nutella Cheesecake pots

Sometimes, you want to bake something sweet but you are out of inspiration. A few days later you're sitting on your best friends sofa and you are laughing at her because her husband is giving her grief for buying a 1kg jar of nutella! She loves nutella, but I've never seen her with a 1kg jar before. It is just the two of them. However, she has a fabulous excuse, apart from 'they didn't have any smaller jars at the store' which is what she swears to, oh no, she is heavily pregnant! If ever there was an excuse to have a 1kg jar of nutella in a house of only two adults - this is it!

Well, I went home to my own house of only two adults (where no one is expecting) and opened my pantry door. Oh, yeah, I think.... yep! One half eaten jar of nutella, most likely from baking a recent batch these chocolate cupcakes , is there, just waiting, wishing for its chocolatey, hazelnutty, goodness to be used. What better reason than to bake something for your pregnant best friend than your own half eaten jar of (her favourite) nutella!

Note: It's taken me a week to finish this post (and it's not even properly finished yet) and I'm proud to announce that (one of) my best friend's delivered a healthy baby boy less than 48hours after the nutella cheesecake pots landed on her & her husband's doorstep. Welcome to this amazing world JJ!

Gluten Free Scallywag_Nutella Cheesecake pots_Spoon

Recipe to come Saturday morning, prior to the overindulgence that I will be partaking in at the Good Food & Wine Show in Perth that is on all weekend!

No-Bake Gluten Free Nutella Cheesecake Pots

Makes approx 6-8 pots*, depending on size

Base:

150g Dry Gluten Free Cookies, such as

graham crackers

50-60g butter, melted

Cheesecake:

390g cream cheese, at room temperature

50g light brown sugar

90g Nutella

40g gluten free chocolate chips

In a food processor whiz the cookies and butter until crumbs are formed. Scoop spoonfuls into base of pots, press down lightly. You want the crumb lightly compressed, but not as much as a regular cheesecake.

Make sure you clean your food processor before making the cheesecake or you'll have crunchy cheesecake!

For the cheesecake whiz together the cream cheese, sugar and nutella until smooth. Stop procesor and check taste, you may add more nutella if you desire. Add the choc chips and whiz on high for a minute or two until the chocolate chips are chopped into fine pieces.

Divide cheesecake between the pots. Cover and refrigerate for 6hours, or until set.

Remove from fridge approx 20minutes before serving so that they aren't fridge cold.

* For the pots I used small glasses, however, plastic cups would be fabulous for children's birthday parties or small ramekins would be good. I simply like seeing the cheesecakes through the container, hence my choice was glass.

No-Bake Lemon (or Vanilla) Cheesecake (EF + NF)

Gluten Free Scallywag_Gluten Free No Bake
Lemon Cheesecake

Of late I've been having a bit of fun testingno bake cheesecake recipes and I think this is 'the one' (just to confirm, I'm talking cheesecake here, not men). I mean I've had my fair share of no bake cheesecakes Growing up these light (not in fat), zingy, sweet desserts with their crunchy crusts were always requested for my brother's birthday, that's quite a few now!

I took this particular cheesecake on a couple of trips before returning with an empty spring-form pan.

Firstly, to a girlfriends place for dessert and received rave reviews covered in fresh raspberry coulis after a fabulous mexican mains...this is what happens when you don't coordinate the menu!

The remainder was shipped into work the next day and was loved there as well. I believe there was one who wasn't a huge fan, and he, needless to say will not be receiving any more baked goods from me in the near future. Oh, ok I'm only kidding! (maybe)

Although, I prefer no bake cheesecake, or any cheesecake for that matter, as vanilla my taste buds are growing to appreciate citrus (very slowly I might add unlike my citrus fiend of a boyfriend!) and so this recipe is a zesty lemon one. It is oh so creamy and light with a fabulous crunchy crust thanks to some home made gluten free graham crackers!

I hope you enjoy it as much as we did.

Gluten Free Scallywag No Bake Lemon Cheesecake

Serves 10

Not a lemon fan? Switch the lemon juice and rind for 2tsp vanilla essence.

250g Gluten Free Graham Crackers (recipe here) or a gluten free equivalent of Milk Arrowroot biscuits *use egg free biscuits if required

75g butter, chopped into 2cm pieces

450g Philadelphia Cream Cheese (I used half full fat and half light cream cheese) at room temperature

100g castor sugar

250ml whipping cream

1Tblspn lemon juice

1Tblspn lemon rind

Break the gluten free crackers into a food processor and pulse until fine crumbs are formed. Add butter and pulse a few times until butter is dispersed.

Line the bottom of a 20cm spring-form pan with baking paper. Pour crumbs into pan and press into base and up sides with fingers. Cover and refridgerate.

In a stand or hand mixer whip cream until thick (as you'd serve with cake.) Add cream cheese and sugar and beat until combined. Add lemon rind and juice and beat for a minute or two.

Pour cream cheese into base, cover and refrigerate overnight, or for at least 6hours.

Cut into wedges and serve immediately with raspberry coulis (and a smile).