Red Velvet Cheesecake Brownies

Red Velvet Cheesecake Brownies

Hello Everyone! First off, I’d like to apologise for not posting a recipe over the weekend – reason being just that I haven’t had the time to sit down and write one, and even better, my laptop charger decided that it was time for it to die. Also, another heads up, I will be leaving Lucena tomorrow and back to Bulacan where I will once again have no connection, so this will be the last post for March! I will see you again in April when I come back from my vacation!

Red Velvet Cheesecake Brownies

Moving on, today’s recipe is a belated one as it was meant to go up on Valentine’s Day. But for those who have been following for a while, you would’ve known that that was a busy week for me. I spent late morning/early afternoon of Valentine’s Day with a few of my very close friends over brunch at Cuckoo Callay for their Bacon Festival. I spent the rest of the day finalising my packing, moving all my things to a friends house, and having dinner with Vidhya that night. I left Sydney the next day.

I’ve made these a total of 3 times now. The first two were a complete fail and the third time was ALMOST a fail but worked out in the end. The first time I filled my square pan right to the top. I forgot how deep that pan was but nevertheless the brownies were too thick. The top started to brown a lot and it was nowhere close to being halfway done. The second time I tried it, I made the same mistake, but it wasn’t that I didn’t learn from my first mishap, it was another miscalculation on my side. I used a bigger dish this time, but one recipe wasn’t enough to fill it, do I doubled the quantities. It didn’t fill up all the way to the top, but it was still too thick. The brownie cooked about 3/4 of the way and the bottom was still batter. The second time I made it, I had planned on bringing it to office as a treat for my boss and managers, but because I didn’t want to bring in underdone brownies, I waited until my next day off to make the brownies again and finally bring them in on my last day of work.

Red Velvet Cheesecake Brownies

Now for the third batch, I used 1 and a half recipes this time and it was just the right thickness, FINALLY. When I said that it was an almost fail, it was because it was taking three times as long as it should to bake in the oven. The reason is because firstly, the oven at the lodge in Sydney is just unreliable. Secondly, I noticed that the top was starting to brown and the brownies aren’t all the way cooked yet, so I resulted to having to cover the top with foil so that it’d stop browning any further. Anyway, it got there in the end and it was a huge hit in the office! And Vidhya loved it as well, even though the had some from the first batch.

The original recipe can be found on Sally’s Baking Addiction. As stated before, I used 1 and a half recipes (just for the red velvet batter, I stuck to the same quantities for the cheesecake mix) from Sally’s so that my brownies were of the right thickness for my baking dish (about 8″ x 13″). Also, since at that time I was in midst of clearing out my pantry, I only had about a half cup of plain flour left, and quite a bit of self rising. I didn’t want to use self rising because I didn’t want it to rise, and Vidhya wasn’t home so I couldn’t borrow her plain flour. So I ended up using what’s left of Jialing’s wholemeal flour that she left at my place. I don’t exactly know if using wholemeal changes the texture or the taste, but it worked out in the end.

Red Velvet Cheesecake Brownies Ingredients



For the red velvet brownies

  • 1 & 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup wholemeal flour
  • 170g unsalted butter
  • 3 large free range eggs
  • 6 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 & 1/2 tbsp liquid or gel red food colouring
  • 1 tsp white vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

For the cheesecake mix

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 large free range egg, yolk only
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract


  1. Preheat oven to 180C. Grease an 8×13 baking dish with a little butter. Set aside.
  2. Red Velvet Brownie Mix: Beat the eggs together in a small bowl and set side. Then melt the butter in a large microwave safe bowl in 30-second increments until fully melted.
  3. Stir in the sugar, vanilla extract, cocoa powder, salt, food coloring, and vinegar, mixing each of the ingredients into the batter in that order.
  4. Whisk in the eggs, then fold in the flour until completely incorporated. Do not overmix.
  5. Pour the brownie batter into prepared baking pan. Leave about 3 or 4 tablespoons to top the mixture later for the top.
  6. Cheesecake Mix: Beat the softened cream cheese, sugar, egg yolk, and vanilla extract in a medium-sized bowl using a hand-held electrical mixer on medium speed. Make sure that the mixture is completely smooth (about a minute or so).
  7. Dollop spoonfuls of the cream cheese mixture on top of the prepared brownie batter and top with the remaining tablespoons of brownie batter. Glide a knife through the layers, creating a swirl pattern.
  8. Bake the brownies for 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Once down, allow the brownies to cool completely before cutting into squares.
  9. Cover the brownies and store at room temperature for 3 days or in the refrigerator for up to 6 days.

Red Velvet Cheesecake Brownies

Red Velvet Cheesecake Brownies


– Ally xx

Meat District Co. - Sydney - Roasted bone marrow

Meat District Co. – Sydney

Hello Everyone! And a happy first day of Autumn to all my dear Aussie friends. Welcome back to an all new Review Sunday. Today, I have a selection of cocktails, entrées, mains, and a dessert to share with you from Meat District Co. Sydney. If I am not mistaken, Meat District Co. started in the United States? And branched out to Sydney in late 2014. How I came to know about this place was through my internship – Meat District Co. Sydney is a client of Hello Social and I worked on a few graphics for them, one of which included their #mdcburgerselfie competition that ran earlier on this year.

The first time I came here my boss Max treated lunch for everyone in the office. I had the lamb loin then. The second time I came here, I came with a bunch of close friends for my farewell dinner. We went on a Friday night and even Darling Harbour had fireworks on later that evening. Normally fireworks only happen every Saturday, so Edison cheekily said that he had arranged for fireworks that night for my farewell (obviously he didn’t). Nevertheless, the fireworks were a great touch to a wonderful evening sharing food and exchanging laughters with close friends.

Inspired by the paddock to the plate, Meat District Co. aims to bring a NEW kind of dining to Sydney. Meat District Co. works in partnership with some of Australia’s most sustainable producers delivering an experience & dishes that tick all the boxes when it comes to quality & taste, leaving you wanting more each & every time: an ADDICTION waiting to be savoured. We remember a time when beef came from a farm & not a factory – when ‘100% beef’ was actually from a cow. Meat District Co. has decided it is time to bring the farm to your doorstep.


Meat District Co. - Sydney - ASSORTED HOUSE COCKTAILS

CUCUMBER MULE: Traditional Moscow Mule with Smirnoff Vodka, lime juice, ginger beer & cucumber slices; served tall over ice ($10.00)

MANGO TANGO: A sweet & fruity mix of Zubrowka Bison Grass Vodka & Mohala Mango Liqueur, cloudy apple juice & mango purée ($10.00)

PIMMS ‘N’ PONY: Fortified ‘any occasion’ classic; Pimm’s No. 1, tuned with Gordon’s Gin, served tall with lemonade, strawberries & mint ($10.00)

HAVAIANA: Pleasant flavour of the tropics; a blend of Malibu, Midori, banana liqueur, pineapple juice & coconut cream ($10.00)

FRUIT NINJA COMBO: Sweet with subtle fruity hints of mixed Passoa & Malibu strengthened up with Smirnoff Vodka, finished with pineapple juice, passionfruit & dash of raspberry cordial; served tall & garnished with fresh fruits ($10.00)

I only had sips of the other cocktail drinks that my friends ordered, but from what they all had to say, their drinks were all refreshingly tasty. The alcohol flavour did not dominate which I quite like. I had the Fruit Ninja Combo cocktail, and obviously I’m going to be biased, but it was probably the best cocktail drink from the others that we ordered that night. It was absolutely yum. Tough I couldn’t really taste much of the other fruits that were incorporated into the drink, the passionfruit taste really stood out from the rest.

Like most reviews I do, I mentioned that I could not comment on some (most) of the dishes because I wasn’t able to have a bite of it. But overall, my friends were really impressed by the flavours of the dishes that they ordered, which were mainly the burgers and the fries. They also commented that the prices were well worth money.


Meat District Co. - Sydney - Fries with rosemary & thyme salt
Fries with rosemary & thyme salt ($5.00)

Meat District Co. - Sydney - Truffle fries, truffle salt, truffle parmesan & truffle aioli
Truffle fries, truffle salt, truffle parmesan & truffle aioli ($7.50)

Meat District Co. - Sydney - Crispy battered onion rings with truffle aioli
Crispy battered onion rings with truffle aioli ($7.50)

Quite possibly the BEST onion rings I’ve ever tasted ANYWHERE in the world. Nothing can top this. The crispy, light batter that wrapped around a generous thick slice of onion was simply to die for! And that truffle aioli! I really wished I hadn’t shared this dish with others.

Meat District Co. - Sydney - Roasted bone marrow
Roasted bone marrow with garlic, parsley, mustard seeds, chilli, served with bread ($8.50)

Unfortunately this dish was more bone than marrow. A little disappointing to find half a slice of bone with little marrow on it. I felt that there were more mustard seeds than the marrow itself, and I’m not a fan of mustard myself! Would’ve been a great dish if the marrow spoke for itself because that’s how I like it.

Meat District Co. - Sydney -  Grilled watermelon salad
Compressed, grilled watermelon salad, sumac, goat cheese, and hazelnut ($8.50)


Meat District Co. - Sydney - OLD FAITHFUL BURGER
OLD FAITHFUL BURGER: MDC beef patty with mixed greens, tomato, caramelised onions, pickles & house sauce ($12.00)

Meat District Co. - Sydney - TRUFFLE BURGER
TRUFFLE BURGER: MDC beef patty with truffle parmesan, rocket, roasted peppers, tomato & truffle aioli ($14.00)

Meat District Co. - Sydney - CHICKEN BURGER
CHICKEN BURGER: Crumbed chicken breast with sesame seeds, almond flakes, tomato, coleslaw & horseradish mayo ($14.00)

Meat District Co. - Sydney - SPIDER CRAB BURGER
SPIDER CRAB BURGER: Battered soft shell crab, coleslaw & lemon caper aioli ($16.00)

Meat District Co. - Sydney - SLIDERS FLIGHT
SLIDERS FLIGHT: 3 mini burgers, an Old Faithful, Crumbed Chicken & Lamb Pull ($15.00)


Meat District Co. - Sydney - CLASSIC DOG
CLASSIC DOG: Pure beef hot dog with caramelised onions, mustard, pickles & ketchup on a baked roll ($11.00)


Meat District Co. - Sydney - SLOW ROASTED PORK
SLOW ROASTED PORK: Spiced & roasted pork shoulder, coleslaw & apple jam on a bun ($12.00)

Meat District Co. - Sydney - SLOW ROASTED LAMB
SLOW ROASTED LAMB: Spiced & roasted lamb shoulder, cucumber, rocket, BBQ mint dressing on a bun ($13.00)


Served with your choice of chips or salad

Meat District Co. - Sydney - 220G LAMB LOIN
220G LAMB LOIN: Sous vide lamb loin with an olive & pistachio crust, truffle mash, and lamb jus ($33.00)

This was overall an okay dish to be honest. I know a lot of people have certain preferences of how they like their mash; I like mine smooth, creamy, and rich, which unfortunately was not what I got on my plate. I got chunky mashed potatoes, which I don’t mind, but would’ve preferred it the way I like my mash to be. The lamb loin looked a bit small on the plate, but nonetheless was quite flavourful. Was it worth the $33.00? Probably not.


Served in two sizes with your choice of fries or a side salad

Meat District Co. - Sydney - HALF PORK RIBS
HALF PORK RIBS with a side of rosemary & thyme salt fries ($31.00)

This was my highlight of the night for this main dish was the absolute bomb dot com. Way much better than the ribs you find at Hurricane’s Grill in my opinion. Tender pork ribs with a lovely barbecue flavour. I only wished they had given a truffle aioli dip for the fries on the side because the dip that I got seemed like it was barbecue sauce if I’m not mistaken? Yes that’s right, only real women order fries with their ribs… I mean, a salad? Really? Anyway, barbecue on barbecue was a bit much to handle. Nevertheless, this dish is seriously melt in the mouth, and the TRUE definition of finger licking good. I mean honestly, who eats ribs with a knife and fork? Not me that’s for sure!


Meat District Co. - Sydney - COOKIE & CREAM CHEESECAKE
COOKIE & CREAM CHEESECAKE: with white chocolate ganache, chocolate soil, and white chocolate gelato ($12.00)

This wasn’t my first choice at dessert actually for I had my eyes (or more like my friend Simon who wanted to share dessert with me) on the Caramel Tart, but they had unfortunately just run out of it when we placed our order – so it was either the cheesecake or gelato. It didn’t disappoint though for it was a nice, light, and airy dessert, which was perfect to top off the half rack of ribs I had that night. My gelato on the side unfortunately melted quite quickly, but MDC aren’t to blame here for I got caught up saying goodbye to a few friends who were ready to go home that night. Overall, I lovely dessert to end the night on.

Overall, the food is about a 7 to 7.5 out of 10 for me. There are a few dishes that I had minor issues with, and some that were top notch for me. Then again, I haven’t had the range of dishes that they have to offer so I can’t give an honest score. Service was good, and the ambience, I’m not too sure because both times I dined outdoors and haven’t had the chance to see the indoor seating area yet. Value for money is variable, I don’t know about spending $33.00 for a small piece of lamb loin, but the ribs was definitely worth it. For a total of 14 people that night at my farewell, the total bill came to almost $450.00!!!

Meat District Co. – Sydney
R3/11 Lime Street
Sydney, New South Wales
Australia, 2000

White Chocolate Cheesecake with Mango & Passionfruit (Constructed)

White Chocolate Cheesecake with Mango & Passionfruit

Hello Everyone! Yes I know, it’s only Sunday, but I thought that I’d write up a Sunday Special post to share with everyone. I’ve been resting this past week after what I thought wasn’t such a tiring trip to the Outback, but I think the after effect just came crashing down on me when I got back to Sydney. My body clock hasn’t quite adjusted to my regular sleeping/waking patterns, which kills me because then I feel tired the whole day! Yesterday was somewhat productive but lazy at the same time. Besides an early wake up to send Lydia off at the airport and a gym session with Jialing, I lazed off the whole afternoon/evening. I practically did nothing besides eat and sleep. Hopefully I’ll snap out of this and feel refreshed after the weekend passes – after all, I did not have a weekend for myself as last week I was walking around the base of Uluru and scaling Kata Tjuta (and of course followed by a climb/hike/trek at Kings Canyon on the Monday after that weekend – much tiredness indeed).

Anyway, about a few weeks ago, Lydia asked me to teach her how to make a cake because she wanted to be able to make one for her mother’s birthday when she leaves to go home. She told me she didn’t have an oven though. “Easy!” I said to her as a no-bake cheesecake came into mind. She was a very good student and I am confident that she will be successful in making this for her mother on her birthday!

White Chocolate Cheesecake with Mango & Passionfruit (Constructed)

White Chocolate Cheesecake with Mango & Passionfruit (Deconstructed)

If you’ve been following my blog for a while, or have searched through my archives, you may have seen a post for no-bake mini blueberry cheesecake. So I decided to teach her how to make that but instead with my favourite summer fruit since it’s summertime! I’ve actually made this cake before, 2 years ago I think, when I used to live up in the Lower North Shore together with my old housemate Vanessa. We made this cake together with my friend Edison and Valerie whom we had over for our Annual Easter Dinner. We had a whole leg of lamb and other eats, included this yummy yummy cheesecake. We made a full sized one though, but since I actually only have mini springforms, we decided to make miniature cheesecakes (also easier to eat in small bits and store in a limited space fridge). Before I get onto the recipe, please do take the time to visit where I got the original recipe from.

Besides making whole mini cheesecakes, I also decided to whip up a deconstructed cheesecake and use the stemless wine glasses that I got for free from Coles a while back. At the time, there was a special where if you bought two blocks/tubs of any of the Philadelphia Cream Cheese range, you get a set of 2 stemless wine glasses for free (worth $14.95).

White Chocolate Cheesecake with Mango & Passionfruit Ingredients


*Add 4-5 hours extra (overnight preferably) for chilling time


  • 1 large mango, sliced
  • 2 passionfruit
  • 2 x 250g packets cream cheese, softened
  • 300ml thickened cream, whipped
  • 200g white chocolate chips, melted
  • 100g ginger nut biscuits
  • 60g butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup caster sugar
  • 1/4 cup boiling water
  • 3 tsp gelatin powder


  1. Prepare the springform pans by lining the bases with baking paper and greasing the edges with butter. In a food processor, process the ginger nut biscuits until mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. If you don’t have a food processor handy, add the biscuits into a ziplock bag and use either a metal or wooden spoon to smash the hell out of it! Tip it into a medium sized mixing bowl, add the melted butter a mix until well combined. Press the mixture over the base of the prepared pans. Place in the refrigerator for 20 minutes or until firm.
  2. Next, sprinkle the gelatine powder into a mug and add the boiling water to it. Whisk with a fork until the gelatine powder fully dissolves. Set aside to cool for 15 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, whip the thickened cream in a small mixing bowl using the electric mixer – be careful as to not over whip the cream otherwise you will end up with a lumpy cheesecake mixture. Set aside. Beat the cream cheese and sugar in a large mixing bowl using the electric mixer until smooth and creamy.
  4. Fold the melted white chocolate and whipped cream into the cheesecake mixture, then, gradually beat in gelatine mixture until combined. Pour the cheesecake mixture into the prepared pans and wrap each with cling film. Place in the fridge for at least 4-5 hours to set (preferably overnight). Top the cheesecakes with the sliced mangoes and passionfruit before serving.

White Chocolate Cheesecake with Mango & Passionfruit (Constructed)

For the deconstructed cheesecake, basically just layer the biscuit base and cheesecake mixture and top with your favourite summer fruits!

White Chocolate Cheesecake with Mango & Passionfruit (Deconstructed)


– Ally xx

Red Velvet Cheesecake

Red Velvet Cheesecake

Hello Everyone! I just want to start off by saying that I AM FINALLY DONE WITH MY DEGREE! Well, more like I am free from formal classes FOREVER for my Bachelor of Design degree! I’m still not entirely free as I still have my internship to complete until mid-Fenruary next year. This just means that I will have more time to spend in the kitchen, cooking up meals and experimenting with recipes. It will also give me more time write up these recipes for my blog, which makes me happy! So to keep this blog up to date on a regular basis, I have decided to run an upload schedule every Tuesday & Thursday nights. Tuesday posts will feature Muffin Making Monday recipes every two weeks, while Thursdays will predominantly be for other recipes and reviews.

Yesterday was Muffin Making Monday, but I will save that recipe for Thursday’s blog post as today will be a special one. For those of you who don’t know me personally, my birthday was 2 days ago. I celebrated my 23rd with my closest friends from uni, from primary/highschool friends from Brunei, and old/new housemates. On the Saturday I hosted a high tea & water balloon party just at the lodge – cheese & deli platters, quiches, salads, sangria, scones, and tea! Oh and of course, how could I fail to mention Red Velvet Cheesecake? Despite that everything went well, we probably spent close to 4/5 hours making water balloons that only lasted less than two minutes. Barely any of us got wet, well, I was soaking because I took a bucket of water to the head and got sprayed with the hose after stupidly approaching Marissa to genuinely lend her my slippers because ‘her feet hurt’.

On Sunday, which was my actual birthday, I celebrated with more friends at the Potting Shed at the Grounds of Alexandria. We had drinks, lots of food, and always room for some self-saucing chocolate pudding! Afterwards, we roamed around the grounds, looking at more food stalls and the on-going markets. We visited Kevin Bacon (the pig) as well and apparently it was also his birthday weekend! After the Grounds, Zargham, Jialing, and I went to the Ritz Cinema Randwick to watch Interstellar – 10/10! Brilliance is all I can say. Yvonne then join us afterwards for dinner in Kingsford and that was basically the end of a perfectly sunny spring/summery birthday weekend.

Though the weekend was perfect, can’t say the same for the week that led up to it. I had a photography assignment due the Monday of that week. Pretty much all the photographing was done – it was coming up with a bloody concept that took forever – but in the end, I got there and was able to convince my tutor for my choices. On Thursday afternoon, I decided to get a start on making my Red Velvet Cheesecake, basically just the sponge so that I would have it ready and cooled to layer with the cheesecake the next day. On the night before my celebration at home, I had a 2000w essay that needed finishing. I also had work that morning so it was indeed a stressful day/night. Once I was done and over with that essay, I submitted it online at 11:57pm and contemplated on whether I should start my Red Velvet Cheesecake or do it early morning. Knowing that I would probably end up sleeping in until very late, I decided to make my cheesecake right after submitting. And so I did. I probably started at around 12:30am and didn’t finish until an hour later (considering I had to be quiet as to not disturb my the other tenants in the house). Placed it in the fridge and went to bed happy that the cheesecake was done and setting (kind of) overnight in the fridge. The next day, Jo Yee helped me make the frosting while Jialing frosted and decorated the cake while I was busy preparing all the other foods, setting up, and lending my face to Daniel to make me pretty (not that I wasn’t pretty to begin with). But enough babble, as I’m pretty sure Vidhya has read enough to last her until Thursday, let’s get on with the recipe!

The original recipe can be found on Jamie Oliver’s Foodtube that features Eric Lanlard & Donal Skehan. I stumbled across this video on Youtube about 2 months ago and bookmarked it for I instantly knew that this was the cake I wanted to make for my birthday.

Red Velvet Cheesecake Ingredients

Red Velvet Cheesecake Ingredients

Red Velvet Cheesecake Ingredients


*Add extra 4 hours (or overnight) for chilling and assembling


For the red velvet cake mix (double quantities if you want to make a 2-layer cake)

  • 185g butter, at room temperature, plus extra melted, to grease
  • 125ml buttermilk
  • 2 large free range eggs
  • 2/3 cup caster sugar
  • 1/2 cup self-raising flour, sifted
  • 1/4 cup plain flour, sifted
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 2 tbsp red food colouring
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda

For the cheesecake filling

  • 300ml double cream, whipped
  • 250g cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup caster sugar
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp hot water
  • 1 & 1/2 tsp gelatine powder

For the cheesecake frosting

  • 250g cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 60g butter, at room temperature
  • 1/3 cup icing sugar, sifted
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract


  1. Preheat oven to 180C. Prepare cake tin by slightly greasing the bottom and sides, and adding a piece of baking paper at the bottom of the tin.
  2. Red Velvet Cake Mix: Sift the baking soda, cocoa powder, plain flour, self-raising flour into a medium-sized bowl and set aside. Meanwhile in a large bowl, cream the butter and the sugar using an electric handheld mixer. Mix until pale and creamy. Add the eggs and beat on slow speed, making sure that it’s all blended in. Add the flour mixture into egg mixture and gently fold it in. Finally, add in the buttermilk and red food colouring. Mix together. Transfer the mixture to your prepared cake tin and bake in the oven for 35-40 minutes or until cooked through. Once done, remove from the oven and allow to cool down for about 20 minutes. Trim the tops of the sponge cake, saving the trimmings to decorate with later.
  3. Cheesecake Filling: Combine the cream cheese and caster sugar using a handheld electric mixer until it is nice and smooth. Add in the lemon juice and combine further. In a small bowl, add the gelatine powder to the hot water and mix through until it is well dissolved. Straight away add the gelatine mix to the cream cheese mix and combine. Fold the whipped cream into the cream cheese mix until well combined.
  4. Assembling: Line a springform cake tin with cling film. Take one layer of the red velvet sponge and gently press down. Add about a quarter of the cheesecake filling to the tin, pushing it all the way to the sides to get a nice edge. Add the second layer of sponge, again pressing down gently, and add the remaining cheesecake filling. Fold in the cling film to give it a nice smooth edge, and place in the fridge to fully set (minimum 4 hours, but preferably overnight so that it is nice a firm).
  5. Cream Cheese Frosting: Smooth the butter, cream cheese, and vanilla together using an electric handheld mixer. Fold in the icing sugar, and then use the mixer again to beat it until it is light and fluffy.
  6. Assembly & Decoration: Gently remove the cake from the springform and place the cake on a plate. With a palette knife, push the icing on top of and around the edges of the cake to make a nice thin layer of frosting. To bring some colour back to it, take your sponge trimmings and crumble it on the top and edges of your cake. Lightly dust some icing sugar on the top of the crumbs and it is ready to serve!

Red Velvet Cheesecake

Happy Birthday to me (Allison)


– Ally xx

Breakfast Muffins: Pumpkin & Cheesecake with a Brown Sugar Streusel

Breakfast Muffins: Pumpkin & Cheesecake with a Brown Sugar Streusel

Hello Everyone! First off I just want to say that I was meant to write up and post this recipe last night, but with interning all day, going for my first boxing class, preparing my pictures to print for photography class, and preparing for my visual communication class all in one day yesterday, it was hardly possible to squeeze blogging in.

It’s been a while since my last post, and we should all know why by this time as I mention it in almost every blog post, especially if I haven’t posted in a while. But before I get onto today’s recipe, I just want to let you all know that I am officially done with formal classes! Not just for the semester, but for my whole degree as well! Yay me! I only 2 more assignment submissions, one for photography worth 40% and the other an essay for my visual communication class worth 50%! After that, I have my internship to power through until mid-February and if all is good, I can kiss uni goodbye (unless I decide to come back for Masters or a second degree in Culinary Arts) and graduate from my Bachelor’s Degree in Design!

Also, once the assignment wave is over, I hope to upload more regularly. I hope to cook more often too but because I will still be interning, I can’t guarantee that I’ll be cooking and experimenting much, as sometimes after spending the whole day in front of the computer and a workout at the gym, I just want to lie down. Now, this doesn’t mean not eating at all, it just means that on days like this I either have a very quick and simple meal, or I prepare and make dinner for the next few days or so and store it in the fridge so that it’s just ready for consumption.

Breakfast Muffins: Pumpkin & Cheesecake with a Brown Sugar Streusel Ingredients

Anyway, as the title states, 3 days ago was yet another Muffin Making Monday with Jialing. For those of you who don’t know, every 2nd Monday my friend Jialing and I bake muffins for ourselves to take to work with us in the mornings. It started off as Jialing just wanting/needing to come over to bake muffins because she doesn’t have an oven at her place. I also remember saying to myself that I wasn’t just going to sit around and watch her bake, so I decided to bake muffins that day too, and now it’s become a tradition for us. I also asked Jialing on Monday, what we would do if we started interning full time? Would we move our Muffin Making Mondays to the weekend? She was actually quite sad at the idea that it wouldn’t be called Muffin Making Mondays anymore – so she said that we should just work from Tuesday-Friday and take our Mondays off! Hilarious; but not a bad idea.

Okay, enough story time (Vidhya). Let’s get onto today’s recipe where the original cane be found on Sally’s Baking Addiction. I am seriously in love with her recipes. I think I’ve attempted a fair share of recipes from her, and this one just called out to me. Also, in spirit of Halloween, I decided to make her Pumpkin and Cheesecake Muffins with a Brown Sugar Streusel. Today’s recipe has three components to it, which doesn’t seem a lot but it can be a handful especially for inexperienced bakers. But don’t be frightened about the amount of work it will take to make these muffins because trust me, they are so worth the effort! This is probably my favourite muffins to date, and even Lydia’s (maybe; she actually cannot decide between my Banana Crumb Top Muffins and this). If you had to pick a recipe to follow from all the muffin recipes that I have posted, pick this one for sure. Happy Baking!

Breakfast Muffins: Pumpkin & Cheesecake with a Brown Sugar Streusel Ingredients



For the crumb topping

  • 1/2 cup plain flour
  • 1/4 cup dark or light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 tsp cinnamon

For the pumpkin muffin batter

  • 1 & 3/4 cups plain flour
  • 1 cup pumpkin purée (canned or from scratch, I used a butternut pumpkin)
  • 2 large free range eggs
  • 1/2 cup dark or light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 & 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice*
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp salt

For the cheesecake filling

  • 1 block (8oz.) cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 1 free range egg yolk
  • 3 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

*If you can’t find pumpkin pie spice at your local grocers, you may use 1/4 tsp ground cloves, 1/2 tsp ground allspice, and 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg.


  1. Preheat oven to 180C. Line a 12 hole muffin pan with paper cases.
  2. Pumpkin Purée: Cut the butternut pumpkin into small chunks and distribute onto a baking tray lined with aluminium foil. Drizzle with a bit of olive oil and season with salt. Roast in the oven for about 20-25 minutes or until soft and tender. Once done, remove from the oven and set aside to cool before puréeing (purée just enough pumpkin chunks to make a full cup and save the rest for a nice roasted pumpkin salad). Turn the oven heat up to 220C.
  3. Crumb Topping: Add the brown sugar, flour, and cinnamon to a small bowl and mix until combined. Add the melted butter and mix until crumbs form. Set aside in the fridge so that it stiffens up a bit.
  4. Pumpkin Muffin Batter: Toss the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice together in a large bowl until well combined. Set aside and then, in a medium bowl, whisk the brown sugar and eggs together until combined. Whisk in the pumpkin, oil, milk, and vanilla extract. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir until just combined, being careful as to NOT overmix the batter.
  5. Cheesecake Filling: In a medium sized bowl, beat the cream cheese with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until creamy. Add the egg yolk, vanilla extract, and sugar in, and beat until combined.
  6. Spoon about a tablespoon of pumpkin muffin batter into the cups and layer another tablespoonful of of cheesecake filling. Top with another tablespoon of muffin batter, filling the cups all the way to the top. Sprinkle each muffin evenly with crumb topping and press the topping down into the muffin so it sticks.
  7. Bake the muffins for 5 minutes at 220C. Then lower the temperature down to 180C and bake for an additional 15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean (try not to overbake though; mine needed an extra 8 minutes or so). Allow the muffins to cool for 10 minutes in the muffin sheet, then transfer to a wire rack to cool until ready to eat.

Breakfast Muffins: Pumpkin & Cheesecake with a Brown Sugar Streusel

Breakfast Muffins: Pumpkin & Cheesecake with a Brown Sugar Streusel

I say again, yes it does look like that there are a lot of ingredients to handle, but most of them are repeated through each layer. You won’t regret these super-moist spiced pumpkin muffins stuffed with cheesecake filling and topped with brown sugar cinnamon streusel! Muffins taste best on the same day, though they may be stored covered tightly at room temperature for 3 days or in the refrigerator for 5 days.


– Ally xx

Mini No-bake Blueberry Cheesecake

Mini No-bake Blueberry Cheesecake

Hello Everyone! Very sorry indeed for the lack of updates! I’ve been quite busy the past two weeks almost since my last post upload. I haven’t had the time to really get into the kitchen and cook up a new dish, or try a new recipe. For starters, uni was hectic last week. I also had a high school friend from Brunei visit me last weekend, ate out lots so expect a few café reviews soon.

And finally, I started my graphic design internship this week with Hello Social, a social media marketing agency that is based in Sydney that works with a variety of businesses to assist in achieving their marketing objective’s, through social media. I am basically now at uni twice a week, and at my internship 3 times a week, which really means that I only have the weekends to really enjoy my cooking. So I’m letting you know now that my posts will not be as regular as they used to be, but I will still upload whenever I take on another culinary adventure in the kitchen. Thank you for understanding.

All that aside! Let’s get on with today’s recipe shall we? So I actually made these (not-so) mini no-bake cheesecakes last week Monday – I just never had the chance to do a write up and post it immediately. Also, I said not-so mini because when I gave one to Marissa, she struggled to eat the whole thing herself in one go. To quote her, “Dude, this is not mini okay?!” She loved it never the less! I honestly wasn’t expecting you to finish the whole thing in one go, even I could only eat half and the other half a bit later!

What actually happened that day was that I had a 9am-12pm Photography class, and interview for my internship straight after, and then a cheesecake bake-off with my food lover Jialing. Well more or like she asked me in advance if she could use my oven (since she doesn’t have one at her place) to bake a cheesecake for her boyfriend and their two-year anniversary! Of course I wasn’t just gonna sit back and watch her make a cheesecake that wasn’t for me to eat as well – so I decided to make a (few) cheesecake(s) too!

Please check out the original recipe here at Now, this recipe as you can see makes one 6cm-deep, 20cm-round base cheesecake, which equates to about 5 mini tins (I only had 4 with me on hand, so I made the remaining one in two small ramekins and ate it straight out of it – with Jialing of course!

Mini No-bake Blueberry Cheesecake Ingredients


*Add 4-5 hours extra for chilling time in the fridge


For the cheesecake

  • 2 x 250g packets cream cheese, softened
  • 300ml thickened cream, whipped
  • 250g ginger nut biscuits
  • 125g butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
  • 1/2 cup caster sugar
  • 1/4 cup boiling water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Icing sugar mixture, to serve

For the blueberry compote

  • 2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
  • 1/4 cup caster sugar
  • 3 tbsp water
  • 2 tsp lemon juice

Mini No-bake Blueberry Cheesecake


  1. To make the blueberry compote, combine 1 cup of the blueberries, water, sugar and lemon juice in a small saucepan. Cook over a medium heat for about 10 minutes. Add the rest of the blueberries and cook for 8 minutes more, stirring frequently. Set aside until needed.
  2. Prepare the springform pans by lining the bases with baking paper and greasing the edges with butter. In a food processor, process the ginger nut biscuits until mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Tip it into a medium sized mixing bowl, add the melted butter a mix until well combined. Press the mixture over the base of the prepared pans. Place in the refrigerator for 20 minutes or until firm.
  3. Next, sprinkle the gelatine powder into a mug and add the boiling water to it. Whisk with a fork until the gelatine powder fully dissolves. Set aside to cool for 15 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, whip the thickened cream in a small mixing bowl using the electric mixer – be careful as to not over whip the cream (this is what I did and ended up with a lumpy mixture, managed to fix it but it still wasn’t a smooth and silky in texture). Set aside. Beat the cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla in a large mixing bowl using the electric mixer. Then, gradually beat in gelatine mixture until combined. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold the whipped cream in.

Now for the fun part! This is where you can get creative with your cheesecakes – and of course, typical me, why make 4 cheesecakes exactly the same when you can use the same ingredients but incorporate them differently into the mixture? But first, let’s separate the cheesecake batter into 2 mixing bowls. Here’s my take on no-bake blueberry cheesecake 4-ways:

Mini No-bake Blueberry Cheesecake
Cheesecake #1: Add the cheesecake mixture into one of the springform pan as is and top with the 1/2 cup of blueberries.

Mini No-bake Blueberry Cheesecake
Cheesecake #2: Same as the first cheesecake, but instead, top with the blueberry compote

Mini No-bake Blueberry Cheesecake
Cheesecake #3: Same as the first two cheesecakes, but instead, marble in the blueberry compote.

Mini No-bake Blueberry Cheesecake
Cheesecake #4: Pour the blueberry compote into the cheesecake mixture and using the electric mixer, beat until well combined. Add the mixture into the last springform pan.

Lastly, remember to wrap each springform pan with cling film and place in the fridge for at least 4-5 hours to set. Top the cheesecakes with a sprinkle of icing sugar before serving.


– Ally xx