chocolate swirl cheesecake slice

I've recently discovered that cheesecake is popular at social gatherings but as it is hard to cut into lots of pieces, it can be difficult to serve. And besides, it is so rich that most people only want a taste. So cheesecake slice fills that little niche.I wouldn't use cooking chocolate in this, it will be nicer with good quality eating chocolate. Doesn't have to be green and blacks, just whatever is on special that week.

cheesecake slice


  • 2 x 250g packet of arnotts chocolate ripple biscuits (not plain brand)
  • 250g of melted butter

I crush my biscuits inside a cloth bag with a rolling pin, but if you have a food processor, that would make it a whole lot easier. Just don't crush them too fine. Or your crust won't have texture. Stir in the melted butter. Line one or two slice tins with baking paper, letting the edges hang out. I use two tins, each about 23cm square but a larger slice tin would be fine. Pressed down the base should be about 2-3 cms. Place biscuit mixture into tin and press down with back of spoon, then cover with a sheet of baking paper and roll with a flat sided glass. This will make the base nice and firm. Place in fridge while you make the filling.


  • 2 x 250g blocks of Philadelphia (or similar) cream cheese softened (back in the day when we had a microwave, I would cut it into chunks and zap briefly)
  • 200ml pure cream
  • 1 tablespoon of gelatine dissolved in 1/2 cup of boiling water and cooled
  • I cup caster sugar (I have used plain white sugar and it works fine, you just have to beat it for longer. Brown sugar would also work fine and taste lovely)
  • the juice of 1 orange, strained
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract (the one from the supermarket is fine but get the extract not the essence)
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon powder
  • 100g dark chocolate
  • 100g white chocolate

Beat the cream cheese in an electric beater until there are no lumps. Add the sugar and dissolved gelatine and beat until the sugar is dissolved. Add the cream and vanilla and mix gently. Beat the mixture on medium speed until very soft peaks form. Melt the white and dark chocolate over simmering water or in the microwave. Divide the cheesecake mixture and add the dark chocolate and cinnamon to one and the white chocolate and orange juice to the other. The white chocolate mix might need some more time in the beater to come together. Spoon big dollops of each mix onto the crust and then make swirling patterns with a knife or a skewer. Place in fridge to set for at least four hours. To serve, lift out of the tray by the baking paper and cut into squares with a heavy knife.

NB - I put this in the on New year's eve as it wasn't quite firm enough to cut. It was delicious frozen too. Nice on a hot night.

can't be stuffed banana bread

This has to be the easiest, and I mean really, really easy, easiest baked good I have ever made. Seriously the hardest bit is peeling the bananas (which I guess can be almost tricky if they are frozen or very black). I do believe Grace could make this recipe pretty much by herself if she was keen, except she told me she doesn't like it because it has too much banana in it. Everyone else has said it is very nice. This bread also keeps very well in the fridge (and would freeze well), so I tend to double the quantity and make two loaves. Perfect for using up very ripe bananas. It is quite sweet, so I reduced the sugar quite a bit from the original recipe and I think you could reduce the sugar even more depending on how sweet the bananas are.

Last time I made this, I included some vanilla, some fresh nutmeg, some cinnamon, sultanas and a few leftover walnuts we had floating around the cupboard. The time before I put the scant remains of a packet of chocolate chips in. Sultanas are always good. But the optional extras are entirely optional, the bread still tastes lovely without them.

can't be stuffed banana bread



2 bananas
2 tablespoons of golden syrup
1/2 cup of brown sugar
1 egg
1 cup self raising flour (I use wholemeal)
pinch salt

4 bananas
tablespoons of golden syrup
1 cup of brown sugar
2 eggs
2 cups of self raising flour
pinch salt

possible optional extras

vanilla extract
nutmeg - best cut from a whole nutmeg with a sharp knife - a whole different taste experience
orange zest
chocolate chips
chopped walnuts

To make

  • Line two small loaves with baking paper or grease well. Preheat oven to 180C.
  • Using a good size mixing bowl, mash the bananas.
  • Add golden syrup and sugar. Stir. Add egg, flour and pinch of salt. Mix well. Add in any optional extras. Mix well.
  • Pour into loaf pans and bake for about 30 minutes or until skewer tests clean.
  • Rest in tin before turning onto a rack to cool. Store in fridge wrapped in the baking paper and a plastic bag or tea towel.

How easy was that! The perfect snack as it is or with a touch of butter.

ps - it is called "can't be stuffed banana bread" because the weekend I first made it, G was suggesting (quite strongly) that I make something with the rotting bananas we had. They were so awful I thought it wouldn't work so I used the most basic recipe I could find. Because I really couldn't be stuffed. And lo it was good. A few adaptions and changes, and there we have it.