Orange Chocolate Olive Oil Truffles

Dark chocolate enriched with extra virgin olive oil is associated with an improved cardiovascular risk profile, according to research presented  in 2017 at the ESC Congress.

So of course I had to create a recipe! I just happened to have this really fabulous Orange Extra Virgin Olive Oil from California. I have been using this Orange Olive Oil from Bondolio in my donuts and a sweet orange Panettone and now these truffles.

They are so easy to make and how great its this that they are also good for your heart as well as your chocolate SOUL!!

You will need:

  • 8 oz of best quality dark chocolate chopped
  • 1 tsp finely grated orange zest
  • 1 tbsp Cointreau or other orange flavored liqueur
  • 1/3 cup Orange Olive Oil – I used Bondolio from California
  • a pinch of sea salt -I used Maldon Flaked Sea Salt
  • 1/2 room temperature Mascarpone Cheese
  • 1/3 cup good quality cocoa powder to roll in

Step 1: chop 8 oz of the best quality dark chocolate you can find. The better the quality chocolate the better the truffle. I had a few kinds in my pantry so I chopped them all up as well as a few chocolate chips.

Step 2 : add all ingredients except the Mascarpone cheese and melt in a bowl over a pot of gently boiling hot water.

Step 3: once melted and still warm add the Mascarpone cheese and whisk until smooth.

Step 4: remove from bowl and place in shallow dish. Let chocolate come to room temperature and then place in fridge for 30 minutes to harden. Scoop small balls and roll in your hands to make into neat balls. You may need another small spoon to get the chocolate mixture out of the scoop as it is sticky.

Step 5: sift good quality cocoa powder into another shallow dish and place balls in cocoa- moving bowl to roll and coat. Tap off excess cocoa and place in a pretty dish to serve or place in a candy cup – like a muffin paper cup only smaller.

They are very rich with a beautiful subtle hint of orange from the zest, the oil and the Cointreau. They make a very nice gift or are perfect served with coffee after dinner. 

Flourless Chocolate Almond Ricotta Cake

This is a simple, flourless cake made with olive oil, ricotta cheese and a hint of orange. It is great with some fruit and a spoon of whipped cream if you like.

You will need:

  • 1-2 tsp of butter -softened for greasing the pan
  • 3 tbsp dark cocoa – divided
  • 1/4 cup mild buttery olive oil – I used a Bozzano from California (do not use anything that says LIGHT – this is poor quality oil)
  • 3 oz of your favorite dark chocolate chopped
  • 300 grams of whole ricotta cheese -its just over 1 cup if you don’t have a scale
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup almond milk (or any kind you like)
  • 1/2 tsp orange extract
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla paste
  • 2 cups ground almonds
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds to top
  • whipped cream & berries to serve (if you like! and I do!)

Step 1: pre-heat oven to 375 F. I like to line a 9 inch spring form pan with parchment paper and then butter generously. Using a sieve dust 1 – 1 1/2 tbsp of cocoa powder onto the pan and then tap to get all areas covered with cocoa. Tap out any remainder cocoa to a small plate or piece of wax paper and set aside to be used in the cake later.

Step 2: in a small bowl add the chopped chocolate and the olive oil and melt in microwave for 1 minute. Stir and leave to cool.

Step 3: in a mixer add the ricotta with eggs and mix for 2 minutes until smooth, Scrape down sides at least once. Add the cooled chocolate mixture and sugar and combine for 20 seconds.

Step 4: Add milk, orange extract and vanilla. Mix for 20 seconds until combined.

Step 5: in a small bowl add the ground almonds, remainder of the cocoa, baking powder and stir to combine. Add in 2 batches and stir only to combine.

Step 6: Spread batter into prepared pan, sprinkle sliced almonds on top and bake 55-60 minutes. It will fall slightly when it cools. Let cool in pan and serve warm or completely cooled.

Salted Chocolate Cheesecake Bites

I just wanted a bit of something decadent and these came to mind. I created a half batch but it can easily be doubled. You can freeze them for a perfect frozen bite when you get a hankering for a little something!…OK maybe you might want 2!

What you need:

Small Batch

  • 1 8 oz package of cream cheese – room temperature
  • 1 egg – room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla paste (or pure extract- the paste is worth looking for!)
  • 1 tsp cornstarch


  • 3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 4 tbsp melted unsalted butter
  • 1 tbsp vanilla sugar (or just regular sugar)
  • pinch of salt

*use a loaf pan used for baking a loaf of bread


Full Batch

  • 2 8 oz packages of cream cheese – room temperature
  • 2 eggs – room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tbsp vanilla paste (or 2 tsp vanilla extract)
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch


  • 1 1/2 cups of graham cracker crumbs
  • 6 tbsp melted unsalted butter
  • 2 heaping tbsp vanilla sugar
  • pinch of salt

*use a small brownie pan 7 x 11 or 8 x 8 square pan

  • 1 4 oz bar of dark chocolate (or 2 for full batch)
  • 1 tsp of coconut oil (or 2 for the full batch)
  • Maldon sea salt

Heat oven to 325 degrees F

Step 1: in a stand mixer place softened cream cheese – using the paddle attachment mix for a minute, then scrape the paddle and bowl to mix well and avoid lumps.

Step 2: add sugar and mix again for another minute, then scrape down bowl and paddle to avoid lumps. Add eggs, vanilla paste and cornstarch and mix again for 3 minutes -scraping  once to make sure it is a smooth mixture.

Step 3: in a large bowl add graham cracker crumbs, melted butter, sugar and pinch of salt. Mix with a wooden spoon.

Step 4: place parchment paper in the pan so that there is an overhang as you will be lifting the baked cheesecake out and onto a cutting board to slice. Press crust mix into the pan in an even layer.

Step 5: Pour cheesecake mix over crust and bake 30-35 minutes or until the centre is slightly wobbly – the parameter  will puff and get slightly browned. The centre should be only slightly wobbly – no longer liquid.

Step 6: let cool, then slice into small squares, mine were 1 inch approx. If you want to cut off the uneven edges you slices will be perfect. Use a large knife dipped in hot water and then dried on a tea towel -for each smooth cut. Place separated squares on a cookie rack over a sheet pan to scrape up extra chocolate.

Step 7: Melt dark chocolate bar or two (small batch big batch!) and 1 or 2 tsp of coconut oil – you can use a double boiler to melt chocolate or just do it in a microwave in 20 second increments until melted.

Step 8: pour slowly over the squares to coat as much as you like -reusing the excess. Let set for 20 minutes or so and then add a sprinkle of flaked sea salt. You can keep in the fridge or freeze them for a frozen 1 bite treat.

OK, I might just need 1 more!

Cinnamon Kouign Aman

 The smell of warm pastries and cinnamon sugar is the way I woke up Big Pete this Sunday morning!

Get the coffee and be prepared to be dazzled!

Kouign Aman (pronounced Queen Aman) are a French lacquered pastry from Brittany. I have always wanted to try making them. They do require a bit of effort over 2 days but, they are well worth it. It is like making a typical croissant dough and then when you roll them out the last time you roll them in sugar instead of flour. Once they cool slightly, they are flaky and crunchy and definitely buttery. Kouign Aman literally translates to butter cake.

You will need:

  • 1 1/2 cups of warm water
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 envelope of dry yeast
  • 4 cups of all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 2 tbsp melted butter
  • 4 sticks of unsalted best quality butter – let come to almost room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups of sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp cocoa powder

Step 1: In a bowl add warm water, honey and yeast. Let bloom for 5 minutes to make sure yeast is active.

Step 2: in a stand mixer with a dough hook add flour, salt and melted butter. Mix for a few seconds then add yeast mixture. Mix until well combined approximately 2 minutes. The dough should literally clean the bowl when it is done.

Step 3: Cover the dough and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.

Step 4: On a large sheet of parchment  spread the butter to form a square which is  8 inches x 8 inches. Fold up and place in fridge to get firm for 30 minutes.

Step 5: on a floured surface roll out dough to a 12 inch square.

My square was too large- if you make it 12- 13 inches it should wrap the butter with very little over lap.

Step 6: place the cold butter on top of the dough in a diamond fashion, then fold like an envelope to enclose butter.

Step 7: pound the hard butter gently to start rolling without breaking through the dough. Roll out the.  dough to roughly 24 inches x 8 inches. Fold into thirds. Brush off excess flour and pinch ends. The goal is to roll out and fold to evenly distribute butter.

Step 8: wrap in plastic wrap and put in fridge for 20 minutes.

Step 9: roll out again and fold into three again.

this is your second fold – mark it so you remember. Wrap and pt back in fridge for another 20 minutes. Do this 4 times. After the 4th roll wrap dough and leave in fridge 6-8 hours or overnight.

Step 10: heat the oven to 425 degrees F and remove your dough for the final roll out. This time instead of flour you will roll out the dough in sugar or cinnamon sugar.

Step 11: roll out to a 16 inch x 16 inch square. Cut off edges to make even 4 inch squares (use a clean ruler)

I used 4 inch cheesecake pans as a mould -you could just place right on parchment paper or you could use a large muffin mould. I prefer the bigger ring as the muffin pan makes the pastry rise up instead of outward. The outward spread makes the pastry more flaky and crunchy.

Step 12: Pinch each point to the center of the square and then take each new point and fold to the center again. I also made a few with just one fold. I like the traditional double version better.

You can even roll into croissant shapes. Let rise one final time for approx 20 minutes.

Bake approx 20 minutes or until browned and crunchy.

Let cool slightly then dig in! They are very buttery and crunchy…then go do a workout!

Chocolate Zucchini Cake

This easy slab cake is delicious and moist and has zucchini and olive oil in it…don’t worry you would never know it was anything but chocolate cake!

You will need:

  • 1 stick of unsalted butter (1/2 cup) at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup mild extra virgin olive oil- I strongly encourage you to buy really good quality EVOO and use it lavishly!!
  • 1 tsp vanilla (or maybe 2 if you like!)
  • 1 1/4 cups buttermilk
  • 2 cups finely grated zucchini
  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup dark cocoa
  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips or 1 great 80 gram chocolate bar – chopped
  • 2 cups whipping cream
  • 1 tbsp good vanilla extract or vanilla paste
  • 1 tsp gelatin (unflavoured)
  • 3 tbsp cold water
  • 4-5 tbsp vanilla sugar
  • fresh berries

I used a 3quart/2.8 Litre glass baking dish – its easy to cut on the glass and stores easily in the fridge because the toppping is whipped cream.

Heat oven to 325.

Butter and flour your glass baking dish. Set aside.

Step 1: add room temperature butter and sugars to a stand mixer. If you don’t have a stand mixer you can use a hand mixer. Mix until it resembles wet sand.

Step 2: add 3 eggs and mix on medium high for 3 minutes until pale in color.

Step 3: add vanilla ( I make my own) and olive oil and mix until incorporated.

Step 4: add buttermilk and mix well, scrape down bowl at least once.

Step 5: add finely grated zucchini and any liquid that it has into mixer.

Step 6: add dry ingredients to a large bowl and mix with a whisk. Add flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cocoa. Whisk to blend and make sure cocoa doesn’t have any clumps.

Step 6: add dry ingredients to a large bowl and mix with a whisk. Add flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cocoa. Whisk to blend and make sure cocoa doesn’t have any clumps.

Step 7: chop chocolate (or just use good quality chips)

Step 8: add dry ingredients to wet and  mix on low speed until just incorporated.

Step 9: I like to mix in the chopped chocolate by hand. This also allows me to scrape the bowl a few more times.

Step 10:  spread and level batter in pan.

Step 11: bake for 50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Let cool completely.

Step 12:  Sprinkle gelatin over water and let bloom for 3-4 minutes then microwave for 10 seconds. Whip whipping cream with vanilla and sugar and slowly drizzle the gelatin in to the cream. This will stabilize your topping so this can last a day or 2 without getting runny.

Step 13: spread cream over cooled cake and arrange berries as you like and then cut yourself a big slab!!

and don’t forget to share with friends!! feed it to kids you will get some vegetables and olive oil in them and they wont even know it!

Chocolate Babka and Jalapeno Garlic Cheese Babka

Chocolate Babka

Jalapeno Garlic Cheese Babka – its like the best spicy garlic cheese bread!

This is a tale of two Babkas, one sweet and one savoury. You can  easily swap out filling to make it your own version. Add chopped nuts and cinnamon sugar, pesto and Parmesan or what about adding olive tapenade to create your delicious speciality. With this one receipt you can divide the dough in half to create 2 small babkas or one large.

You will need:


  • 4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 pkg yeast (instant or regular)
  • 1 egg and 1 egg yolk
  • 1 stick butter room temperature =soft
  • 2 tbsp Extra virgin olive oil

Chocolate filling

  • 2 tbsp best extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract or vanilla paste
  • 1-2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 3 oz semi sweet chocolate chips or milk if you prefer
  • 4 oz of best quality dark chocolate chopped finely
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup butter room temperature =soft

If you want to make a savoury version

leave out the vanilla and sugar in the dough

Jalapeno Garlic Cheese Bread

  • 1 1/2 cups grated mozzarella
  • 1 finely chopped fresh jalapenos
  • 1/2 can sliced canned jalapenos
  • 3-4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 cloves garlic finely chopped
  • 2 green onions

Step 1: in the bowl of a stand mixer add warm milk, 1 tbsp of the sugar (I heat in the microwave for 20 seconds)and vanilla paste. (this is an exceptional product and worth the effort to find in any gourmet speciality shop) Sprinkle the yeast on top and mix for 5 seconds. Let yeast bloom to make sure it’s active -wait 5 minutes.

Step 2: add the rest of the sugar, flour, eggs, butter, olive oil and lastly the salt. Mix with the dough hook attachment for 5 minutes until the dough pulls away from the bowl and is a smooth dough. If you find it is too wet you can always a 1/4 cup more flour at a time. Humidity can affect how much flour is necessary so you may need a bit more. The perfect dough should be smooth and not sticky to the touch once it has absorbed as much flour as necessary.

Step 3: remove the paddle and I for some reason always knead the dough a few turns on the counter to feel it in my hands and know that it has enough flour or not. Place the ball back into the bowl and cover to let rise at least 2 hours or overnight in the fridge if you prefer.

Step 4: once the dough has risen, remove from bowl and on a lightly floured surface roll out a large rectangle roughly 10 inches wide facing you (this doesn’t have to be exact)

Step 5: the butter should be very soft and I just spread it evenly over the dough leaving a half inch border around the edges. Sprinkle a few tsps of cinnamon over the butter, then add the brown sugar and two types of chocolate.

Step 6: then roll up the dough into a long log.

Step 7: with a sharp knife slice the dough lengthwise. Join the two ends together and create a criss cross pattern with the exposed layers on top.

Step 8: carefully place into a parchment lined loaf pan. If you are making 2 loaves you can slice the long log in half. If you are making one loaf I suggest baking on a cookie to ensure the bread cooks properly in the middle.

Step 9: let bread rise for a further 30 minutes in the pan as the oven heats up to 350 degrees

Bake approximately 35- 45 minutes in a 350 degree oven.

Let cool….that’s the hard part!

Savoury Cheese Babka filling: I take all ingredients (except cheese) and mince finely in a food processor, add cheese and mix all ingredients together then spread onto dough the same as above roll up the dough the same way.

Slice lenghtwise

Criss Cross

Let rise


Honey Wheat Chocolate Cinnamon Buns

These are not too sweet and are perfect for a lazy Sunday afternoon! Don’t even think that one will be enough!!

You will need:

  • 1 1/4 cups warm water -I heat in micro 40 seconds
  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 3 tbsp of mild extra virgin olive oil – I used Uliva from the Garda region in Italy
  • 6 tbsp honey
  • 2 pkgs – 4 1/2 tsp active dry yeast
  • 2 large eggs beaten
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 4-5 cups all purpose flour
  • 6-8 tbsp very soft unsalted butter
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped dark chocolate
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped milk chocolate *always buy best quality chocolate
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup powdered/icing sugar
  • 1 tbsp milk

Step 1: In a large measuring cup heat the water. Add butter, lovely olive oil and honey. Whisk to combine.

Step 2: add the 2 packages of yeast, mix and leave 5 minutes to get foamy and activate.

Step 3: Whisk in eggs and salt. Pour liquid into a large bowl and add the whole wheat flour and 4 cups of the all purpose flour. Mix with a wooden spoon until the mixture becomes too stiff to continue mixing in the bowl.

Step 4: Turn out contents onto a clean counter and knead with your hands adding the last cup and even a bit more flour as necessary. Once the dough turns into a soft dough and your hands are no longer sticky you have added enough flour. It is a nice soft dough when done.

Step 5: place dough in a lightly oiled bowl and cover to seal with plastic wrap. Leave in a warm place to double in size for approximately 1 1/2 hours.

Step 6: punch down dough and remove from the bowl onto a floured surface to role out into a rectangle approx 15 x 20 inches -with the longer edge face you.

Step 7: Spread very soft butter evenly all over the surface of the dough. I take the cinnamon, finely chopped chocolates and brown sugar and mix together in a small bowl. Sprinkle the chocolate, cinnamon sugar and sprinkle over the layer of butter leaving a bit of a clean edge to seal the dough.

Step 8: With the long edge facing you, roll up the dough. Slice the dough into even slices. I always cut in half, then keep cutting those in half to get the size of bun you like. Approximately 1 1/2 inches is good but, you can make them as large as you like!

Step 9: place 1/2 inch apart in a pan so they have room to rise once more before baking. I also freeze them at this point. I froze half this batch for later.

Step 10: heat oven to 350 degrees F. Let rise another 30-40 minutes. Bake for 25 minutes until golden brown.

Step 11: let cool then make simple glaze by mixing a bit of milk with icing sugar. Drizzle over buns and eat soft and slightly warm with a big mug of coffee!! Don’t even think you can just eat one!

Chocolate Almond Olive Oil Biscotti

I always try to replace butter with Olive Oil when I can and most times the swap works out quite well. These rich, deep chocolate, almond biscotti are not too sweet but, the addition of the chocolate drizzle on top made them perfectly decadent. They can be sliced thin for a very dry, hard biscotti, which is perfect for dipping into steaming mugs of hot coffee or make a thicker slice wrapped in pretty cellophane for a special treat.

These are Big Pete approved which is saying something since he is pretty picky.

You will need:

  • 2 cups of all purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder -best quality
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt – I used a chocolate sea salt but you can use plain as well
  • 1/2 cup Mild Extra Virgin Olive Oil – I used a Oltremonti from Corsica, France
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla paste (or pure vanilla extract)
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips (the best quality you can get)
  • 1 cup whole almonds
  • an additional 1/2 cup chocolate chips for melting drizzle topping
Heat oven to 350 degrees F.


 Step 1: in a large bowl combine all dry ingredients. Add flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt. Sift the cocoa powder into bowl to remove any lumps. Combine all dry ingredients with a whisk.

Step 2: in another bowl add olive oil and sugar and mix until it resembles wet sand. Add 2 eggs and  vanilla paste if you can find it (regular real vanilla extract if you can’t find the paste) Whisk hard for a full minute. You can of course use a hand mixer but, I like to make it an arm workout!

Step 3: add the dry ingredients and stir with a wooden spoon until it gets too stiff then turn out the whole mess and incorporate on the counter.

Step 4: when the flour is added add the chocolate chips and almonds. I basically roll them and press them into a dense paste. Form a log and press top to make a long log. You can make this thicker or thinner depending on whether you want thin slices or think logs.

Step 5: place log onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. You can form the log directly on the paper if you do not wish to move it. If it sticks you can use a spatula to loosen it for moving onto cookie sheet.

Bake for 30 minutes and remove from oven for 5 minutes. (this is what is looks like after 30 minutes)

Step 6: with a very sharp serrated knife saw the logs into individual biscotti. If you do not have a good sharp knife you may want to use sliced almonds in the recipe.

Place the slices on their sides and bake another 10 minutes, then flip over and bake an additional 10 minutes.

In a small bowl over boiling water melt final 1/2 cup of chocolate chips. Place melted chocolate in a bag, slice off end and drizzle over tops.

Coffee optional but definately recommended!

Chocolate Bar Brownies

These are your simple brownies with the addition of some chopped chocolate bars. I have added some little salted caramel chocolates, some dark chunks of chocolate and a sprinkle of pecans to top it off.  Yummy, chewy and chocolatey!

You will need:

  • 1/4 cup mild buttery Extra Virgin Olive Oil – I used Texas Hill Country Olive Oil
  • 3 oz chopped semi-sweet chocolate
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs plus 1 egg yolk
  • 2 tsp vanilla paste (or pure vanilla extract)
  • 1 cup flour (all purpose)
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3-4 oz chopped salted caramel chocolate bars
  • 1/2 chopped pecans

Heat oven to 350 degrees F.

Step 1: line and butter or oil and flour an 8×8 baking pan.

Step 2: in a small bowl over gently boiling water melt, chocolate, olive oil and add cocoa. Mix to combine. I used some dark chocolate with almond bits in it.

Step 3: add eggs, sugar and vanilla paste. Whisk until smooth.You can always use pure vanilla extract.

Step 4: add your warm melted chocolate to the sugar and egg mix.

Step 5: add your flour, baking powder and salt. Mix with a spatula only until combined. Do not over mix.

Step 6: for a bit of contrast I added chopped some milk chocolate chunks into pieces. These ones have salted caramel in them. Add the kind you like.

 Step 7: Pour your mix in the prepared pan and add some more chopped chocolate pieces and a sprinkle of pecans on top.

Bake at 350 degrees F for 35 minutes  for a gooey center or an extra 5 minutes for a drier center.

Let cool. Cut and share with someone you love!!

get the milk!

Strawberry Cream No Bake Cheesecake

This is a cheesecake that you can make with any pureed fruit you like best. I made this one for a woman who said she didn’t like the texture of fruit in a dessert. I said what if I made it all smooth and pink and she said yes she would try it. She ate 2 big pieces and said it was great….she did however remove the big strawberries on top as I expected.

This is a great dessert that will feed a crowd but, it doesn’t keep long so enjoy a BIG  piece!

You will need:

  • 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs or vanilla wafers or Oreo crumbs
  • 3 tbsp melted butter or my choice of mild buttery extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 2 x 1 lbs containers of fresh strawberries- room temp
  • 2 x 8 oz packages of cream cheese – room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tbsp vanilla paste (or pure extract)
  • 1 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp lime juice
  • 2 envelopes of non flavoured gelatin
  • 2 cups whipping cream
  • 2 tbsp icing sugar

Step 1: brush a 9 inch springform pan with melted butter or olive oil.

Step 2:in a medium bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs with melted butter or my favorite mild buttery extra virgin olive oil and sugar. Mix to combine and press into bottom of springform pan evenly. I press into place with an ice cream scoop.

Step 3: Bake at 350 degrees F for 8 minutes. Remove to cool.

Step 4: Clean strawberries(leaving 12-15 berries for topping) and puree in a food processor to make a smooth puree, add 2 tbsp icing sugar and set aside.

Step 5: In a large bowl at room temperature cream cheese with sugar and vanilla paste. You can whisk it by hand or use a hand mixer to blend until smooth, Set aside.

Step 6: In another bowl whip cream to stiff peaks. You can do it by hand with a whisk or use a hand mixer. Set aside.

Step 7: Take 1/3 cup of pureed strawberries in a small bowl and sprinkle gelatin on top – wait 1 minute, then mix and place in the microwave for 30 seconds. Wait 1 minute to slightly cool then add the warm gelatin into the rest of the strawberries (do not wait until it is cool or it will turn into hard chunks and the mixture you are adding the gelatin to must not be too cold or it will turn into hard jelly when you try to mix in)

Step 8: Add the whipped cream to the cream cheese mix and whisk until incorporated.

Step 9: Add the strawberries to the cream mix and mix well. Pour into the pan with the cooled crust.

Step 10: cover and place in fridge to set for 4-6 hours.

Step 11: whip the balance of the 1/2 cup of whipping cream with 2 tbsp icing sugar. Place cream on top of cake, place strawberries in a nice pattern as you like on top.

To serve run a, knife that has been heated under hot water to warm and then wiped dry with a clean cloth, around the edge of the pan to loosen the cake from the pan. Release spring and remove outer edge of pan. Slice each slice with a hot knife to make clean cuts.