No-bake Cheesecake

Snickers Cheesecake

Caramel and Chocolate Cheesecake

When life is so busy, I’m all for taking a few cooking shortcuts… and you’d need not feel guilty about it. Especially when the results are so delicious that your guests ask for the recipe!

So without further ado, may I present the recipe for one of my favourite desserts, the wickedly good, no-bake Scnickers Cheesecake. Chocolate, salty caramel and nuts – YUM! What’s not to love?

Ingredients – Base

  • 250g chocolate biscuits
  • 1/4 cup of desiccated coconut
  • 100g butter – melted

Ingredients – Filling

  • 3 teaspoons powdered gelatine
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons boiling water
  • 500g cream cheese – softened
  • 300ml thickened cream – whipped
  • 1/2 cup of good quality caramel sauce – adjust amount according to your taste preferences
  • 1/4 cup of dark brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup of roasted, lightly salted peanuts – washed to remove excess salt, dried and roughly chopped
  • Melted milk chocolate – to serve


  1. Grease a 20cm-round (base) springform pan and line the bottom with baking paper.
  2. Using a food processor, process biscuits and coconut to resemble a fine crumbs. Add butter. Process until combined. Press the biscuit mixture over base and side of prepared pan. Refrigerate for 10 minutes. Note: to keep the rustic look and feel of the cheesecake, don’t make the edges of the biscuit base uniform.
  3. Sprinkle gelatine over boiling water in a small heatproof jug. Whisk with a fork until gelatine has dissolved. Set aside to cool.
  4. Meanwhile, using an electric mixer, beat cream cheese and caramel sauce until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in gelatine mixture until combined. Fold in whipped cream and 1/2 of the peanuts into the mixture.
  5. Scatter the remaining peanuts over the biscuit base, pour mixture into the prepared pan, levelling top with a spatula. Cover. Refrigerate overnight or until set.
  6. Remove the cheesecake from pan. Decorate top of cheesecake with melted chocolate and serve.



Lemon and Blueberry Sponge Cake

Lemon Sponge Cake

Lemon and Blueberry Sponge Cake

This delicate Lemon Sponge Cake is layered with Anathoth Farm Lemon Curd and fresh berries to make a luxurious dessert, that is perfect for little hands to recreate this Mother’s Day.

The inclusion of Lemon Curd in the frosting makes the icing light and fluffy with a hint of  tart lemon for bite. Finished with fresh berries, this Lemon Sponge Cake is truly something special.

Also, f you’re pressed for time, or baking experience, why not purchase an unfilled double layer sponge cake to use.

Ingredients – Sponge Cake

  • 1/3 cup of cornflour
  • 1/3 cup of plain flour
  • 1/3 cup of self-raising flour
  • 4 eggs, at room temperature
  • 2/3 cup of  caster sugar
  • ½ pottle of Anathoth Farm Lemon Curd – to fill
  • Mixed berries – to serve and fill. I used blueberries but raspberries and strawberries are wonderful to use too!

Ingredients – Lemon Curd Frosting

  •  90g cream cheese
  • 30g butter – cubed, at room temperature
  • 30g Anathoth Farm Lemon Curd
  • ¾ cup of icing sugar


  1. Grease 2 x deep, 20cm round cake tins (or different tins, as directed in individual recipes) and line bases with baking paper. Sift flours and 1/4 teaspoon salt together three times to aerate.
  2. Preheat oven to 180C. Using an electric mixer, beat eggs and sugar in a large bowl on medium-high speed for 6 minutes, or until mixture is thick, pale and tripled in volume.
  3. Gradually sift flour mixture over egg mixture while simultaneously folding in with a large metal spoon until just combined. Divide mixture between prepared tins. To level batter, gently spin tins on kitchen counter. Bake for 20 minutes (or as directed in individual recipes), or until cakes have shrunk away from the sides slightly and spring back when gently touched.
  4. Turn out on to baking paper-lined wire racks. Carefully peel away baking paper, then leave to cool.
  5. Meanwhile, Using an electric beater or kitchen mixer beat the cream cheese, butter, Anathoth Farm Lemon Curd and icing sugar until pale and creamy.
  6. When the cake is cooled, top one half with ½ a pottle of Anathoth Curd Lemon Curd and a selection of mixed berries, place the remaining half on top and place in the fridge to set for ten minutes.
  7. Remove the cake from the fridge, top with a the Lemon Curd frosting, decorate with mixed berries and serve.


Orange Syrup Cake

Orange Syrup Cake with Cardamom Cream

Orange Syrup Cake

My Orange Syrup Cake served with Cardamom Cream is moist,  crumbly and super moreish. The addition of sour cream to the cake batter, along with the syrup pour makes for a wonderfully soft and creamy centre that will keep you coming back for seconds and thirds.

Made with a scrumptious Orange, Barley and Passionfruit Syrup from NZ’s Barker’s of Geraldine, it couldn’t be easier to whip up in your kitchen mixer and with a never-fail recipe it’s perfect for even the most inexperienced of cake bakers.


  • 125g butter – cubed, at room temperature
  • 1 cup of caster sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 300ml of sour cream
  • 1 cup of plain flour
  • 1 cup of self-raising flour
  • 2/3 cup of Barker’s of Geraldine Orange, Barley and Passionfruit Syrup
  • 200g of double cream
  • 2.5 tsp of ground cardamom


  1. Preheat a fan-forced oven to 180C and grease and line a 22cm round cake tin with non-stick baking paper.
  2. Using an electric beater or kitchen mixer beat the butter and sugar in a large bowel until pale and creamy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating until just combined. Add the sour cream and 1/3 cup of Barker’s of Geraldine Orange, Barley and Passionfruit Syrup, reserving the remaining syrup for cup for later use.
  3. Sift the flours into the mixture and stir until just combined. Spoon into the prepared cake tin and smooth the surface. Bake in the oven for 50 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
  4. Meanwhile, place the double cream into a small bowl, add ground cardamom and stir well to combine.
  5. Remove the cake from oven and while hot use a bamboo skewer to prick the top of cake all over, pour over the remaining 1/3 cup of Barker’s of Geraldine Orange, Barley and Passionfruit Syrup allowing the cake to absorb the syrup as you go. Set aside for 15 minutes to cook slightly, remove from tin, cut into slices and serve warm with cardamom cream.

Strawberry Cheesecake Jars

AF Strawberry Cheesecake Jar 3

Unless you’re a Michelin-star Chef, Valentine’s Day probably isn’t the occasion to be ambitious in the kitchen. Attempting your first soufflé under pressure is sure to leave you with egg on your face, pun intended. Instead, I recommend choosing simple, food-assembly recipes that you are confident in being able to complete, even if your mind wanders off a little….

Invoke your inner love god or goddess by adding a dash of the aphrodisiac ingredient, Strawberry, to your Valentine’s Day meal with this quick, simple, make-in-advance Strawberry Cheesecake Jar. Pop them in your picnic basket, grab the bubbly and it will be a Valentine’s Day to remember!

Strawberries have long been touted as one of Mother Nature’s best aphrodisiacs. Known, as the symbol of Venus, the goddess of love, strawberries have been portrayed as a symbol of love and seduction for centuries. They boost energy by providing the essential vitamins and minerals needed to keep fires burning, long into the night.

These Strawberry Cheesecake Jars sure to set hearts a blaze this Valentine’s Day with a White Chocolate and Macadamia Nut crumble base, topped with Strawberry Cheesecake mix and finished with a velvety layer of Anathoth Farm Strawberry Jam. As, French folklore would have it, if you share strawberries with your Valentine you will soon fall in love with one another. So, you had better grab two spoons!


  • 1 jar of Anathoth Farm Strawberry Jam (or flavour of your choice)
  • 1 packet of White Chocolate and Macadamia Nut Cookies
  • 250g Mascarpone
  • 220g Cream Cheese


  1. Crumble cookies into a small mixing bowl to resemble a fine crumb and set aside.
  2. Add ½ a pottle of Anathoth Farm Strawberry Jam, Cream Cheese and Mascarpone into a large mixing bowl; stir until well combined and smooth.
  3. Evenly distribute the cookie crumble among serving jars, setting aside a small amount to top each cheesecake with, top with strawberry cheese cake mix, add a layer of Anathoth Farm Strawberry Jam, top with cookie crumble and serve.


AF Strawberry Cheesecake Jar 1

Berry Sponge Cake

Frozen Berry Sponge Cake

Frozen Berry Sponge Cake 1

This cake is easily one of my favourite cake creations . It’s simple and utterly delicious. Studded with  plump and juicy berries and refreshing raspberry ripple ice cream it’s sure to be a Christmas hit and a summer classic.

Ingredients – Cake

  • 1 x store-bought double unfilled sponge cake
  • 600ml softened Raspberry Ice Cream
  • ½ packet of Season’s Choice Three Berry Mix
  • ½ packet Season’s Choice Three Berry Mix – thawed, to decorate and serve

Ingredients – Raspberry Coulis

  • 2 cups of Season’s Choice Raspberries – frozen
  • 1/3 cup of caster suagr
  • 1 tbs of lemon juice

Ingredients – Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 125g of cream cheese – room temperature
  • 30g of butter – softened
  • 1 tsp of vanilla essence
  • 1 ½ cups of icing sugar

Frozen Berry Sponge Cake 2


  1. Place 1 layer of sponge cake on a freezer suitable tray, spread with raspberry ice cream and top with ½ packet of Season’s Choice Three Berry Mix. Top with remaining cake layer and place in the freeze overnight, or for at least 4 hours.
  2. Place cream cheese, butter and vanilla in a bowl and using an electric mixer beat until pale. Gradually add icing sugar mixture and beat until combined.
  3. Transfer frozen cake to a serving plate. Top with cream cheese frosting and decorate with Season’s Choice Three Berry Mix. Refrigerate 30 minutes to soften slightly before serving.
  4. Meanwhile, place frozen Season’s Choice Raspberries, lemon juice and sugar into a large non-stick frying pan and stir to combine. Heat, stirring often over medium heat until bubbling and reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes or until berries are very tender. Using a wooden spoon, crush raspberries until pureed. Remove from heat and set aside to cool. Pass Raspberry mixture through a fine sieve to strain and discard seeds.
  5. Serve Frozen Berry Sponge Cake with Raspberry Coulis and thawed Season’s Choice Three Berry Mix.

Frozen Berry Sponge Cake 3

Spiced Pear Cake

Recently my family came for a trip to the country to celebrate my Dad’s Birthday, eat, drink and be merry. Being a birthday, a birthday cake was a must and given the recent Malteser Cake I made for Ben the stakes where set pretty high. Which I didn’t mind, until I remembered the mass of food allergies that were coming with them – no chocolate, no coffee, no nuts, no ginger and no berries. YIKES! Can you even bake without these?!

So I put my mind to it and after some major research the Spiced Pear Cake was born, or developed might be more apt. And… it was delicious!


  • 3 cups of water
  • 1/2 cup of wine – I used a spicy Shiraz
  • 1 cup of caster sugar
  • 1 lemon – juiced and rind peeled
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 tsp Queen vanilla bean paste
  • 2 William Bartlett pears – peeled, cut into thirds and cored
  • 1 1/2 cups of wholemeal self raising flour, sifted – plain would work too
  • 200g brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tbs of all spice
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 150g butter – melted and cooled – the cooling is important so your cake batter doesn’t include scrambled eggs
  • 3 eggs – lightly whisked
  • 1/4 cup of milk
  • Maple syrup to brush


  1. Preheat oven to 180C and line a 20cm cake tin with baking paper.
  2. Place water, wine, caster sugar, lemon rind + juice, cinnamon stick and vanilla bean paste in a saucepan over a medium heat and stir for 2-3 minutes until the sugar dissolves.
  3. Bring to the boil, reduce heat to low, add pears, cover surface with a cartouche and allow to simmer for 10-15 minutes or until pears are tender.
  4. Transfer pears to a plate and allow to cool completely then thinly slice to fan.
  5. Meanwhile, combine flour, brown sugar, spices and vanilla in a large bowl and mix to combine.
  6. Combine butter, milk and egg, pour into dry mixture and combine.
  7. Pour cake batter into the lined cake pan, arrange the pears on the top of the cake in fans. Bake for 45 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.
  8. Set aside to cool for 5 minutes, then transfer to a serving plate. Brush with several coats of maple syrup allowing each coat to absorb into the cake.
  9. Serve with reduced pear poaching liquid and good quality vanilla ice cream.

NOTE: a cartouche is a circle of grease-proof or baking paper used to cover a dish while poaching or simmering.


Black Forest Muffins

Australian Good Taste - October 2006, Page 55, Recipe by Sarah Hobbs. Photography by Ian Wallace.

Australian Good Taste – October 2006, Page 55, Recipe by Sarah Hobbs. Photography by Ian Wallace.

These Black Forest Muffins are one of the tastiest, simplest and easiest treats you will ever come across. This recipe is an on-the-run/cheats recipe that is designed for those times when you forget you have guests coming for dinner, people drop in OR you might just be really bad at baking and you want to wow people… and trust me these will!


  • 4 good quality double chocolate chip muffins
  • 1 tin of pitted cherries
  • 1 tbs of amaretto, brandy or kirsch
  • 200ml of double cream
  • 2 tsp of cornflour
  • ¼ cup of caster sugar
  • 1 flake bar – crumbled


  1. Drain the cherries and reserve the syrup.
  2. Combine the syrup, sugar and cornflour in a saucepan over high heat. Bring to the boil. Cook, stirring, for 2-3 minutes or until sauce boils and thickens. Remove from heat and set aside for 2 minutes to cool slightly.
  3. Use a small serrated knife to split each muffin crossways into 3 layers. Place the bottom layer of each muffin on serving plates. Brush with a little of the kirsch. Top with half the cream, then half the cherries. Continue layering with remaining muffins, kirsch, cream and cherries.
  4. Drizzle the cherry syrup over the top of the muffins and sprinkle with the flake.
  5. Serve and lap up the compliments.


Malteser Cake

Let me start this by confessing that I am in no way a baker. I dread the thought of having to accurately measure quantities, sit by the oven until the skewer comes out clean and pace the kitchen nervously wondering if it that flour was self-raising or plain.

So when my hubbies birthday rolled around I knew that along with it came the birthday cake. With the infrequency of my baking I decided to go hell for leather and make a version of Good Taste Magazine’s Amazing Maltesers Cake.

Cue sweaty palms and heart palpitations. Now as much as I love Maltesers and the malt flavour I knew there was no way we would use enough malt powder to warrant buying an entire jar. Coffee on the other hand is a completely different story, as was the prospect of including delicious coffee cream as the layer filling. I also couldn’t bring myself to include the three layers of cream in the cake, though I am sure my arteries would have found it delicious so I opted for a mere one layer of heaven. Although, if you feel like adding the full three layers I am sure the cake would be polished off in one sitting.

Without further ado the recipe for the best cake I have ever made, or had for that matter is below. This comment was seconded by my hubby, although I guess he kind of had too, and by the ladies at work who are avid cake bakers and eaters with the recipe requested and made on the same day – so hey, I must have done something right.

photo (2)



  • 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 125g butter, chopped
  • 3/4 cup self-raising flour
  • 1/2 cup plain flour
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 3 eggs, lightly whisked
  • 2 x Jumbo bags of Maltesers – I had some leftover for snacking


  • 1 tbs instant coffee granules – add more or less depending on how strong you would like your coffee. I am not a regular drinker or fan of instant coffee, however I have recently found Maccona Gourmet Range – Indulgence which I don’t mind. 
  • 2 tbs boiling water
  • ½ tbs cocoa powder
  • ½ cup icing sugar – add more or less depending on how sweet you would like it
  • 300ml of thickened cream


  • 300g dark cooking chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup thickened cream
  • 30g butter


  1. Preheat oven to 160°C. Grease a 20cm round cake pan with butter and line base and side with baking paper. I did’t use a 20cm cake pan so you will notice mine isn’t as tall as the Good Taste cake, however this wasn’t a problem as I didn’t need to cut it into four layers.
  2. Place the brown sugar, milk and butter in a microwave-safe bowl. Cook in microwave on high, stirring every minute, for 3-5 minutes or until the butter melts and the mixture is smooth.
  3. Use a balloon whisk to whisk the combined flour and cocoa powder into the butter mixture. Whisk in the egg. Pour into the prepared pan. Bake for 55 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Set aside in the pan for 5 minutes to cool before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
  4. To make the ganache, place the chocolate, cream and butter in a microwave-safe bowl. Cook in microwave on high, stirring every minute, for 2-3 minutes or until the chocolate melts and the mixture is smooth.
  5. Place the boiling water, coffee granules and cocoa powder in a bowl and mix until smooth.
  6. Pour in the cream and icing sugar. Use an electric beater to beat the mixture until fluffy.
  7. Set the ganache aside for 1 hour 30 minutes or until thick, glossy and spreadable.
  8. Meanwhile, use a large serrated knife to cut the cake horizontally into layers. Place the cake base on a platter. Spread the layers with the cream. Cover and place in the fridge for 1 hour 30 minutes to chill.
  9. Spread the ganache evenly over the top and side of the cake. Decorate with Maltesers. To get even rows when decorating, first make a strip of Maltesers straight down the centre of the cake, then add in rows on either side.