Bake like you mean it Recipe Shed Stuff that doesn't fit in another category

Brown Bread Ice Cream Cheesecake

Most of my best baking has been done following a conversation with my wife. I got in to baking New York Cheesecakes following a request from her to bake one for her birthday. Last night we were talking about family favourite recipes and, as it seems no cookery blog is complete without a long introduction to the recipe, here goes. My late father-in-law loved brown bread ice cream. Such a gorgeous malty taste with a nice bit of crunch from the breadcrumbs. Could I replicate that taste and texture with cheesecake? Probably…

Quick bit of research and it turns out the breadcrumbs aren’t that difficult to do, the malty taste can come from the Horlics (*Other malt beverages are available), and I reckon Malted Milk biscuits will make the perfect base.

Right. Quick spin around the ingredients, Clive, then back to me.

The breadcrumbs…

Oven to 180C.

  • 250g brown bread. I’ve a really good deli a couple of miles away, their date and walnut bread hit the spot perfectly. Blitz it up into largeish crumbs. Not a fine powder, not chunks.
  • 50g butter. Melted. Then cooked a bit more so it goes brown and nutty, just like they needed for the Financiers on the Bake Off last night.
  • pinch of salt
  • very generous pinch of cinnamon.

Melt the butter in a largeish pan, once it’s foamed and started to go nice and nutty, stir in everything else. Mix well, spread on a baking tray, bake it for half an hour, stirring every 10 minutes so it doesn’t go burnt on the top, uncooked on the bottom. Leave to cool while you get on with…

The base

  • 175g (ish, err on the side of generous) Malted Milk biscuits, crushed to an even, breadcrumb consistency.
  • 50g butter, melted.

The usual cheesecake base here, no tricks, nothing unusual. Though you could sling in some more cinnamon if you wanted. Mix butter with biscuits, spread across the base of your 23cm diameter, spring-sided cheesecake tin, bake for 10 minutes at the 180C the oven is already set to.


The Mix

And this is where the story really starts…

  • 720g Philadelphia cream cheese. Full fat. No substitutions, alterations, swap-outs, or store’s-own-brand-alternatives. This is the good stuff, this never fails.
  • 250g marscapone. Any old marscapone will do. No elitism here.
  • 300ml soured cream.
  • 75g each of
    • Caster sugar
    • Soft dark brown sugar
    • Horlics or other malted beverage powder
  • 4 eggs
  • Half the breadcrumbs you made earlier

I’ve been doing this a while now, and I think this is about the right order

Put the Philly, the marscapone, the sugars, and the Horlics in a bowl and mix. You might have some lumps of soft dark brown sugar in the mix, don’t panic about that. All adds to the texture of the cheesecake in the end.

Crack in the eggs, all at once, then mix – carefully so you don’t over-mix it – until they’re blended in. Go around the edge of the bowl with a spatula, make sure you’ve got everything. Add the soured cream and mix that in. Finally, add in the breadcrumbs, stir so they’re evenly distributed, then pour onto the base.

Bake for 45, 46 minutes at the aforementioned 180C. Open the oven a crack, switch it off, let the cheesecake cool in there for a while before transferring to a fridge to chill overnight.

Serving tip? Run your knife under boiling water before making each cut. They’ll be razor-smooth.

The Verdict

I don’t know whether it tastes like brown bread ice cream, but it is wonderfully caramelly, slightly crunchy from the breadcrumbs, and is just plain delicious.

Share and enjoy!

Stuff that doesn't fit in another category

Thai Green Paste

There are a lot of advantages to making the base pastes for Thai curries yourself. Firstly, you know what goes in them, secondly they’re going to be as fresh as can possibly be, thirdly you get to adjust the ingredients to make them your own. I’ve done this for years, cutting the chilli content down when my kids were younger, now starting to bring it back up to a full-heat version as they’re all getting a lot more tolerant!

There’ll be a lot of recipes out there on the internet for this, this is the one I use when making it for the family.


  • 1/2 tsp White peppercorns
  • 2 tbsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 tsp shrimp paste
  • 1tsp salt
  • 4 sticks lemon grass (trim off the dry green bits and the root-ends)
  • 2tsp ginger (galangal if you can get it)
  • 1 kaffir lime leaf
  • 1 tbsp chopped coriander stalk (never have been able to get the root, if you can then go for it – and tell me where you got it)
  • 1 small onion or 5 shallots
  • 1 head of garlic, peeled to give you all the cloves you could possibly want (and then add a couple more, just to be safe)
  • Chillies to taste (see below)


Dry-fry the peppercorns, coriander seeds, cumin, and shrimp paste (wrap it in a little foil first) for a couple or three minutes in a frying pan over a medium-high heat. You should be able to move the seeds around with your fingertips and not get burned. This stage smells divine. Really, you should do this with whole spices whenever you’re using them, before you grind them. Makes a difference! Allow to cool and then crush the seeds to powder. Don’t try and crush the shrimp paste, you only make that mistake once!

Now for the really complicated bit. The chillies. If you want this a full-heat, no-holds-barred, toilet-paper-in-the-fridge paste, whack in ~15 long green chillies. Want less heat? Use less chillies. I substitute green bell peppers or poblanos if I’ve got them with a ratio of 5 hot chillies = 1 poblano or 1/2 a bell pepper. Right now, I’m usually making this paste with 2 or 3 long green chillies and 1 green pepper (de-seeded)

Put everything in your blender (or go old-school and use a pestle and mortar) and turn it into a smoothish paste.

Job done. Freeze what you don’t use in an ice cube tray, that way when a recipe calls for a tablespoon of Thai green paste you can chuck in a couple of ice-cubes’ worth and you’re golden.

Stuff that doesn't fit in another category

I am the very model of a trainee pedagogical…

I found this in my notes today…

With apologies to Gilbert and Sullivan, who’s Major-General’s Song I have done better justice to using their lyrics, and grateful thanks to Nikki Benjamin and everyone on the Deepings SCITT.

To the tune of “The Major-General’s Song” from G&S Pirates of Penzance… Sort of… If you squint…

I am the very model of a trainee pedagogical
I’ve knowledge differentiated, scaffolded, and practical
I know my Blooms Taxonomy, Growth Mindset, and Pia-a-get
With learner progress at the heart of lesson planning every day

I’m very well acquainted too with Pavlov, Dweick, and Vygostsky,
I understand assessment both the formative and summative
About the latest research I am teaming with a lot of news…
…With many cheerful facts from TES, the DofE, and Twitterverse

I’m very good at thinking hard and assessment for lear-er-ning,
I know my HPAs need lots of higher order questioning,
In short with differentiation, scaffolding, and AFL
I am the very model of a trainee pedagogical.

I’ve observed others teaching and I’ve cherry picked their best ideas,
I’ve powerpoints and handouts that should keep me sweet for several years,
I’ve watched behaviour management and witnessed both the good and bad,
and year 9’s lack of interaction very nearly drove me bad.

When I no longer quake in fear when presenting to those in Year 4,
And whistle up a lesson plan for a subject I’ve not taught before,

But still with differentiation, scaffolding, and AFL
I am the very model of a trainee pedagogical!

slow tempo…

In fact when I know what is meant by questioning and plenary,
When I can tell on sight an HPA from G and T,
When such affairs as questioning and starters I’m more wary at,
And when I know precisely what is meant by proximal development.

When I have learned what progress has been made in classroom ICT,
When I know more assessment than both Ofsted and the D of E,
In fact when I’ve a modicum of behavioural strategy,
You’ll say a better trainee never passed their PGCE!

back to speed

For my subject knowledge audit though I’m plucky and adventury,
it’s only up to date around the end of the last century.

But still with differentiation, scaffolding, and AFL
I am the very model of a trainee pedagogical.

So yeah. It’s not perfect, and I think there’s a couple of lines missing. And there’s some very creating rhyming in there! Suggestions for improvements probably welcome!