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Delicious Bites: Chocolate Cheesecake Brownies

Ready for a delicious recipes for brownies? Why not, right? Hi everyone, it’s Jillian here with this month’s Delicious Bites post. With Easter just around the corner, my initial thought was to do something chocolately, then my thoughts turned to cheesecake, as they often do. I try to keep my chocolate consumption down to a bare minimum but sometimes nothing else but chocolate will do. Do you feel the same way? With both chocolate and cheesecake on my mind I decided to put the two together and came up with this, a recipe for chocolate cheesecake brownies. These little squares are an absolute favourite with my workmates and when I take them into work for morning tea they disappear in a flash.

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There’s something about the combination of cheesecake with just set chocolate brownie that’s irresistible. The secret ingredient is the potato flour (starch) which helps keep the brownie mixture moist and squidgy while the cheesecake part is cooking. The swirl is important but you do need to do it gently to keep the 2 mixtures separate. I used the closest thing I had at hand to do this, which in this case was a chop stick.

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The brownies are very rich so I normally cut them into squares but if you’re brave, then cut them into bars.

Here’s the recipe for you and trust me, you’ll be glad you made them.

Brownie Ingredients:
125g (4 oz) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
185g (6 oz) dark chocolate, chopped
2/3 cup caster sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1/4 cup plain flour
1/4 cup potato flour (starch)
1 1/2 (20 ml) tbs cocoa

Cheesecake Ingredients:
250g (8 oz) cream cheese, at room temperature
1 large egg
1/4 cup caster sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Grease and line the base and sides of a 8 inch (20cm) square pan with baking paper or aluminum foil, making sure the paper goes up all four sides. Preheat oven to 180°C/350°F (conventional). Sift the flours together with the cocoa into a small bowl. Melt the butter and chocolate in a bowl placed over a medium saucepan filled with simmering water, stirring until smooth. You could also do this in the microwave. Remove the bowl from heat and mix in the 2/3 cup sugar, then the eggs. Mix in the flour and cocoa mixture and beat vigorously with a wooden spoon until the batter becomes smooth and glossy. Spread half the brownie mixture evenly in the prepared pan. In a separate bowl, beat together the cream cheese, the egg, 1/4 cup of sugar and vanilla extract until smooth. You could also do this step in a food processor. Dollop the cream cheese alternately with the remaining brownie mixture over the batter in the pan, then take a knife or spatula (or even a chopstick) and gently swirl the cream cheese mixture with the chocolate batter.

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Bake in the preheated 180°C/350°F oven for 35 to 45 minutes, or until the batter in the centre of the pan is just set. Leave the brownie in the switched off oven with the door slightly ajar for a further 15 minutes. Cool on a wire rack, then lift the brownie out of the tin and peel away the foil. Cut the brownies into squares or bars. These will keep in an airtight container for a couple of days. They also freeze well.

 

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Wishing all of you a vert Happy Easter and Passover! I’ll see you all again next month with some more Delicious Bites for you, Bye for now – Jillian

(images/text: jillian lieboff)

Posted in Delicious Bites, uncategorized on April 02, 2014

Blogging Your Way e-course Winners!

Did you win? You’re about to find out! It’s April 1st so for those of you who entered our contest you know what that means! Time to announce the 3 (I changed my mind, I’m giving away 5 seats!) lucky winners who will win a free seat in our April/May blogging e-course! But first, I want to thank everyone who entered, it was so encouraging to see the excitement this contest generated online and to read your comments and tweets. I’m so pumped and inspired to really rock the upcoming course with Tina Fussell so watch out! :) For those of you who haven’t registered yet, we are nearly sold out so please don’t delay if you want in since once we close registration, it’s closed for good, since we only reserved a set amount if seats for this particular class so the group is smaller. If you want to learn about our class, beginning online April 18, CLICK HERE. If you want to join in on the fun, CLICK HERE.

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Okay…. Drum roll and envelope pahleeseee!

The winners are… Click here.

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read more…

Posted in uncategorized on April 01, 2014

Micro Trend: Creative Floors Combining Wood and Ceramic Tile

There is so much going on in the field of flooring! Hi this is Gudy and I’m here with another trend post for the month of March. Let’s talk about floors. I have seen beautiful ceramic tiles for floors that have become a highly valued option with the much seen white subway tiles, beehive or hex shapes and the herringbone pattern. If you are much more into a material that feels and looks cosy, you’ll probably go for parquet but for those who want to try something new, mixed flooring options such as ceramic tiles AND wood are really trendy now.

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Est Magazine | Paola Navone

I started seeing this material combo last year when Paola Navone’s residential project in Italy was published. Still until now there is no other space I have seen that beats it. The color and shape remind me of a sea of clouds where the wooden tiles are perfectly cut to fit into the ceramic pieces. The contrast of the warm wood and cooler colors chosen for the tiles is really working here.

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Here’s another look (above) shown over at 41zero42 in Italy that I love, it’s a beautiful look in a kitchen/dining space. What I like about this trend is you are defining your own style. Combining the two materials in a single room creates a customized look where you can work your design skills and get a unique look & feel. You decide on the shape, colors and pattern.

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Patrycja Domanska

Kitchens and bathrooms are ideal locations to combine hardwood and ceramic flooring because the materials are durable and easy to match to counters and cabinets. And it looks great!

Kitchen-diner

Livingetc | Photography Jake Fitzjones

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And then you have the ‘high traffic’ areas. Hallways and entryways receive traffic that can wear down natural hardwood floors over time. Plus, many times your wipe your (wet) shoes of in this area. It is not just a question of trend but a practical solution for certain areas in your home too.

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read more…

Posted in Top Trends, uncategorized on March 29, 2014

Happy Friday

Hello everyone and happy Friday! I am so excited to tell you that our new apartment renovations are underway! The wood flooring is going in (in the back part of the house, the front has original wood floors – see the below photo) and then, we’ll have a team of painters work on all of the walls and ceilings for 10 days. We may be finished sooner than we imagined, which is very exciting! This pregnant girl will be able to move in, unpack and DECORATE before the baby arrives end of January. Monday begins week 30 of my pregnancy, so only 10 weeks left, and boom! The baby arrives!

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Above is a glimpse of our living room. The apartment is actually the same floor plan as our current one (it’s in the same building after all, just two flights up), but more of the original details are in tact like the windows and doors shown in the living room above. Our current living room is the same but the doors are brand new glass and metal. Boring and generic. The doors and glass above are wooden and just gorgeous. So I’m really happy about this! Next week, the painting crew will begin on Tuesday. We also have to install a few new toilets, a vanity, 16 pendant lights, some wall lights and a new kitchen in addition to lots of other “little” but BIG things – like have custom window treatments made because none of the windows are standard size. Yes, really. I don’t want to even think about the expense so we’re going to tackle the most important rooms first (front room, baby room, our bedroom) and then move on to the other rooms over time. We hope to have all renovations complete by December 15th so we can start to slowly move upstairs. I am feeling total girl power and a massive adrenaline rush at the moment – let’s hope this sticks because my pregnancy has been so up and down. I’m throwing up one minute and out with my girlfriends the next like nothing happened.

This weekend we’re going to finalize paint colors, look for a new bed for our bedroom and try to find a dresser for the nursery. I’ve already ordered a baby stroller, chair, crib, throw rug, bookcase and a few other things for the nursery, including this wonderful ceramic owl lamp that arrived today – I’m in love!

This move will be a run for the finish line!

Luckily we’re not on our own and so we’re hiring out for the big jobs — we’ll survive it. Plus we have good friends and a lot of motivation with our baby on his way very soon. I like the idea of keeping busy until the end of my pregnancy because normally when January 1st rolls around each year, I feel depressed. Maybe you get this too? I feel like all of the holiday and new year fun is over and I suddenly miss the hustle bustle. The gray weather sets in, the cheer of Christmas markets are over, and you just sort of sit there trying to sort your year out. This year, that’s not going to happen. I’ll be moving, unpacking, decorating and then giving birth to our first child which will then mean my life will become a non-stop circus/roller coaster ride. This excites me. I don’t like a lot of stillness or “quiet” in my life. As much as I love Kinfolk magazine, I get 10 pages in and need to take a break from the silence for a little imperfection, excitement and noise. I suck at yoga because I always want to flip the switch and start a disco party amidst all of the ommmmmm’s. I usually lay there and think about blogging or decorating or cupcakes. I scan the room and try to figure out what everyone does for a living. I lose my balance because I nearly break into mini fights of laughter. It’s just not for me. Neither are January’s. Too quiet, nothing happening, bleh. But now, with a baby to be born in the same month, I will finally feel a shift and go from despising January to actually liking it. We will have a new year to honor with our little boy. How nice. Suddenly cold, dark January feels warm and bright. I like that.

I wish you a wonderful weekend filled with love and happiness. And hot cocoa.

(photo: holly becker)

Posted in uncategorized on November 16, 2013

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