Category: Baking

Chocolate Caramel Cheesecake

Chocolate Caramel Cheesecake

This baked cheesecake has a trio of decadent flavours. Deep, rich chocolate; smooth caramel and the warmth of roasted hazelnuts. I first made it over a decade ago, and from that moment it’s become my “famous” cheesecake, often requested at parties and events. It has a professional finish, yet it is so easy to make and it’s one of my most used recipes from the Hummingbird Bakery’s “Cake Days”.

The Instant Pot is one of the best ways to bake a cheescake, and using the waterbath method will ensure that your cheesecakes bake evenly and don’t crack.

For a quick video tutorial, you can check out my instagram here.

Recipe as follows:

yields aprrox 8-12 slices
equipment: 20cm/8 inch round cake tin (preferably springform pan), deep roasting tin, aluminium foil


220gr digestive/tennis biscuits (for an extra decadent cheescake you could crush lotus biscuits)
100gr unsalted butter

700gr full-fat cream cheese
120gr caster sugar
3 eggs
50gr Nestle tinned caramel
50gr dark chocolate broken into pieces

4 tbsp tinned caramel
50gr hazelnuts, roasted and chopped into halves

1. Line the base of the cake tin with baking parchment.

2. Place the biscuits in a plastic bag and crush the biscuits with a rolling pin.

3. Melt the butter, add to the biscuit crumbs in a bowl and stir together. Tip the biscuit mixture into the tin and press it firmly in with a spoon. Place in the fridge and chill for 20-30 minutes.

4. If you are baking in an oven, preheat to 160C at this point (alternatively, Instant Pot requires no pre preperation) Preheat the oven to 160C.

5. Cream the cream cheese and sugar with an electric whisk until smooth. Add the eggs, one at a time mixing at medium speed, scraping the sides of the bowl after each addition. Make sure not to overmix, as this can cause cracks in the cheesecake when baked.

6. Set a third of the cheesecake mixture aside in a separate bowl. Stir the tinned caramel in the remaining two thirds and spoon into the cake tin onto the biscuit base.

7. Melt the chocolate, leave it to cool slightly and stir into the cheesecake mixture that you’ve set aside. Spoon this mixture onto the caramel cheesecake mixture in the tin and smooth over. 

8. Wrap the cake tin in aluminium foil so that no water can enter the tin, folding it slightly over the sides of the tin. Place a cup of water at the bottom of your Instant Pot and close the lid and set valve to seal. Select pressure cook function and choose 40 minutes. Let it do a natural release for about 20 minutes and then open valve to venting. Once your metal popper has gone done, safely open up you lid and take your cheesecake out. It should have a slight wobble in the middle. (If Baking, fill a roasting tin until the water is about 5mm(1/4inch) from the top of the tin. Place the cheesecake in and bake in the oven for 35-45 minutes).

9. Once baked, allow cheesecake to cool in the tin (to room temperature). Then place it in the fridge for at least a few hours, but preferably overnight.

10. Remove the cheesecake from the spring-form tin, then top with the tinned caramel and sprinkle with hazelnuts.

Trust me, this cheesecake is well worth the wait, the flavour, and presentation, is amazing!

Orange Infused Creme Caramel

Orange Infused Creme Caramel

An orange scented custard, floating in a sea of toffee coloured sauce, topped with a deep rich caramel. Learn how to make this smooth, creamy caramel and fall head over heels with the combination of flavours. This easy pressure cooker dessert is sure to wow your guests and bring a touch of flair to the Christmas table.

There are few things in life that are better then a really good Creme Caramel, or Creme Brulee and one of the things I have been enjoying the most in my Instant Pot is experimenting with these custard desserts. From my white chocolate “Pot du Creme” last year, to Creme Brulee and now this Orange Infused Creme Caramel, Instant Pot has really made preparing these decadent desserts an easy task.

Queue endless dessert options for gatherings… (post COVID of course).

Christmas time in our house always features oranges for some reason, whether its an orange at the end of your stocking, or dried oranges in garlands or potpourri, we have always featured citrus. When I was thinking of a unique take on the Creme Caramel, gently infusing it with orange just made sense.

The whole thing is cooked from start to finish in the Instant Pot. From the toffee coloured caramel to the orange infused milk. This is a great addition to any festive table and can be ready in under 30 minutes (with overnight refrigeration). This recipe is a keeper and one I will turn to time and time again!

Orange Infused Creme Caramel

Creamy, orange infused Creme Caramel, made from start to finish in an Instant Pot. Wow your guests with this incredible simple, yet show stopping dessert this festive season.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: French
Keyword: Creme Caramel, Custard Desserts, Instant Pot Creme Caramel, Instant Pot Flan, Orange Infused Creme Caramel
Servings: 5


  • Pressure Cooker


For Caramel:

  • 3/4 cup (150g) white sugar
  • 80 ml water

For Custard:

  • 1 cup (250ml) full cream milk
  • 1 cup (250ml)  double thick cream 
  • 1/4 cup (50g) sugar 
  • 2 teaspoons (10ml) vanilla extract 
  • Zest of one orange
  • 3 large eggs, lightly beaten 
  • Pinch of salt
  • Summer Berries to top


  • For the caramel: Switch on your Instant Pot and set to Sauté, wait until you see the "hot" display. Add the sugar and water and stir once to combine. Allow the sugar to caramelize and then gently swirl until everything is an even dark golden brown, careful not to burn it!  As soon as the golden colour has been achieved quickly remove the inner pot and carefully pour the caramel equally across your ramekins (you should get between 5 and 6). Allow the caramel syrup to cool.
  • Wash out your Inner Pot and once clean, set to Sauté once again. Heat up 1 cup (250ml) full cream milk and 1 cup (250ml) double thick cream. Add in your sugar, 2 tsp (10ml) vanilla extract, the orange zest and a pinch of salt to the warm milk. Stir until the sugar fully dissolves. Remove from the heat and strain through a sieve.
  • Beat 3 eggs in a medium bowl. You are going to temper the eggs, so slowly bring the eggs' temperature up by pouring the warm milk mixture in little by little. Continue to whisk as you pour the remaining milk, make sure you are slow in this step, you don't want to "cook" your eggs.  Pour the mixture in the caramel-filled ramekins through a strainer. Cover each ramekin tightly with foil. 
  • Into clean inner pit, pour 1 cup cold water. Insert the steamer rack and put the covered ramekins on the rack. Secure the lid and move the vent to Sealing Position. Set to Pressure Cook on High for 9 minutes then allow a Natural Release.  
  • Once the valve drops, open lid carefully, try to make sure no water falls onto the foil.  Remove ramekins from Instant Pot and aside to cool, then refrigerate overnight.  When ready to serve, dip your ramekins into a bowl of warm water to allow them to invert easily, flip onto a plate and serve with some mint, berries and a touch of orange!
Milk Tart Flavoured Creme Brulee

Milk Tart Flavoured Creme Brulee

Creme Brulee has never been quicker than this! Cooked in an Instant Pot Pressure Cooker, this uniquely South African flavoured Creme Brulee is silky, flavourful and oh so easy to make. No messy water baths in sight!

Milk Tart and Creme Brulee both have to be right up there in my top 5 desserts of all time. Creamy, delicious and sweet, for this heritage day I decided to combine my two favourite dishes. It’s easy enough to whip up as a weekday treat, or fancy enough to serve at a dinner party, this may just be the ultimate dessert.

I cooked up two batches, one on high pressure and one on low pressure and the results were good on both. If you prefer a slightly firmer custard then go with the high pressure option, if you want a thinner texture opt for the low pressure cook.

I instantly fell in love with this way of cooking brulee and will definitely be making it again! Recipe below, let me know your thoughts!

For a full video check out my Instagram page here.

Milk Tart Flavoured Creme Brulee

Silky, smooth Creme Brulee with a uniquely South African twist
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time13 mins
Total Time28 mins
Course: Dessert
Keyword: creme brulee, milk tart, milk tart creme brulee
Servings: 6 people


  • Instant Pot
  • Pressure Cooker


  • 500 ml Heavy Cream
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 6 large Egg yolks
  • 2 sticks Cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp Nutmeg
  • Pinch Salt
  • 6 Tbsp Castor Sugar
  • Extra Castor Sugar for topping


  • Using an electric beater, whisk up the egg yolks and castor sugar.
  • Bring the heavy cream, vanilla extract, cinnamon sticks and nutmeg up to a warm heat in a pot (DO NOT BOIL).
  • Temper the egg yolks and sugar by pouring a small amount of the warm cream mixture into the large mixing bowl. Mix well. Then, pour and the remaining cream mixture into the eggs.
  • Pour the cream mixture into 6 ramekins until about 3/4 full. Remove any air bubbles on the surface with a spoon. Wrap the ramekins tightly with foil.
  • Add 1 cup of water and steamer rack in your Instant Pot. Place the wrapped ramekins on steamer rack (4 at the bottom with 2 stacked on top).
  • Pressure Cook at Low Pressure for 13 minutes, and 15 minutes Natural Release.Then, release remaining pressure. IF you choose to go for a thicker brulee then Pressure Cook on HIGH for 7 minutes, with a NP release of 5 minutes.
  • Unwrap and refrigerate your brulee for a minimum of 4 hours, preferably overnight.
  • Before serving, sprinkle the remaining castor sugar over the top and use your blow torch to achieve that beautiful hard, crackled caramel top!
Classic English Scones

Classic English Scones

You cant get much better then a quintessential English scone. Except when it’s a scone served the day before Ramadan begins, knowing that its your last afternoon tea for a while. The last time I had a proper English scone was sitting in the prettiest Tea Garden at Watersmeet House in Devon, surrounded by the most glorious green forest. So I thought we should recreate a classic English Tea.

There are so many different variations of scones, the debate is not only whether you put your cream or your jam on top, but its also e on whether you use buttermilk or not. My gran (and mum) make scones with soda water, which adds to the rise and produces a soft and fluffy texture. I adore the buttermilk scones as well, it creates such a moist cake. Lock-down however, had other plans.

There are some tips to getting the perfect scone:

  • The trick to a good scone is to not overwork your dough at all.
  • Crumble the butter in, either using the tip of your fingers or a butter knife and then mix it with the softest touch. Love your scones.
  • Make sure your cutter is nice and sharp, a clean edge helps it rise nice and high.
  • By using buttermilk, your scone will have a higher rise. I didn’t have any so made do with what I had.

Alright, I’ll get on with the recipe, because I know that’s the real reason you are here. This recipe is adapted from the Queen of English baking, Mary Berry.

English Scones

Scones make the perfect afternoon tea treat. Soft, fluffy and best served warm.
Cook Time15 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: English
Keyword: Cream Scone, English scone, scone
Servings: 4


  • 450 grams self-raising flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 75 grams ice cold butter cut into cubes
  • 50 grams castor sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 250 ml fresh cream (you can use full cream milk as well)
  • pinch of salt
  • egg to brush the top
  • clotted/ whipped cream to serve
  • strawberry jam to serve


  • Preheat Oven to 200 Degrees Celsius (205 to be exact)
  • Sift together flour, baking powder and salt.
  • Add in the chopped butter, and rub butter into the flour mix using your fingertips until a fine breadcrumb consistency. You can also "cut" the butter through with a knife.
  • Beat the eggs into a measuring jug, then add the milk. Make a well in the center of the flour and stir the egg and milk into the flour – you may not need it all – and mix to a soft, sticky dough.
  • Turn out onto a lightly floured work surface, knead very lightly to form a thickness of about 2 cm.
  • Cut into as many rounds as possible with a a 5 cm cutter and place them on the prepared baking trays. Brush the tops of the scones with a little extra milk, or any egg and milk left over.
  • Bake for 12–15 minutes, or until the scones are well risen and a pale, golden-brown colour.
  • Serve with your choice of cream and jam.
Banana Muffins

Banana Muffins

Banana Muffins are a firm favourite in our house and the perfect way to use up bananas that are a little over ripe. I love this recipe because it is so versatile and you can add in additions as you please. It’s the perfect spin on classic banana bread.

Baked in just under 30 minutes, these banana muffins are the perfect teatime or lunchbox treat. Add in some nuts and you have a healthy version or go with decadent chocolate chips for an indulgent treat. I normally divide my mixture into two and do half and half. You could even add in some blueberries or strawberries to make a banana berry muffin! YUM YUM!

Some tips when it comes to making Banana Muffins:

  • Don’t skimp on your butter
  • Mash your bananas well
  • Don’t over bake

You can easily print out the recipe below to try at home! Enjoy xx

Banana Muffins

Soft and Moist Banana Muffins so versatile that you can add either chunky chocolate chips, or nuts A firm favourite in our house and the perfect way to use up bananas that are a little over ripe. It's the perfect spin on classic banana bread.

Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Dessert


  • 120 grams softened unsalted butter
  • 2/3 cup granulated light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 over ripe bananas
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • pinch salt
  • 1 cup chunky chocolate chips/ nuts of choice


  • Preheat Oven to 180 Degrees Celsius.
  • Cream together softened butter and sugar and gradually add in the eggs.
  • Add in mashed bananas and vanilla extract and mix until well blended.
  • In a separate bowl sift all the dry ingredients together.
  • Fold in the dry ingredients into the wet until well incorporated.
  • Fold in your chocolate chips or buts (or both), leaving a few to sprinkle on top.
  • Pour muffin mix into well prepared tins and bake for 25-30 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean.


TOP TIP: Don’t skimp on the butter. This is the only liquid in this mixture so if you feel the batter comes out a little too thick add in a little more or a tablespoon of oil.
Celebrating Our Heritage With Instant Pot

Celebrating Our Heritage With Instant Pot

There sure has been a lot of negative talk and feelings about South Africa recently, a string of bad news, crime and a tumbling economy has left more than just a few South Africans wondering about their future here. The one thing South Africa will always do right however, apart from a braai, is being a fiercely proud nation. Wherever you go around the world you are bound to bump into a fellow Saffa, and you are more than likely to receive an invite for a braai. We are a proud rainbow nation, and with such a melting pot of cultures, its no wonder our cuisine is voted among the world’s best!

For Heritage Day this year, why not spend more time with the people that are close to you, and less time in the kitchen? We have been experimenting with our Instant Pot recently and when we were challenged to come up with perfect Heritage Day meal plan, we jumped at the chance to create a full menu in this life saving appliance. Head on over to our IGTV to see the video, or read on for the full menu plan.

Heritage Day Menu

  • Tender Lamb Curry Served with Sticky Jasmine Rice
  • Decadent Peppermint Crisp Baked Cheesecake

Lamb Curry Ingredients:

  • 800g/1kg chopped stewing lamb
  • 1 tin crushed tomato OR 3/4 grated tomato
  • 1 medium onion finely diced
  • Handful of fresh coriander to garnish
To Marinade:
  • 1 cup plain yoghurt
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 1 tbsp coriander
  • 1 tsp cracked black pepper
  • 1 tsp fine cinnamon
  • 1 tsp red chilli powder
  • 1/4 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1 tbsp ginger/garlic masala
  • salt to taste

Start off by mixing together the yoghurt and spices and marinade your lamb for a minimum of 2 hours (trust me, the longer the better). While that is sitting, get on with your Jasmine Rice (this can also be done in the Instant Pot).

Jasmine Rice
  • Using a ratio of 1:1. Rinse your rice under water until clear (when using a pressure cooker this is a must).
  • Take two cups of Jasmine Rice and two cups of water and put into your Instant Pot
  • Place cover on and turn valve to seal.
  • Set on a manual setting of 5 minutes on high pressure. Do a natural release for 10 minutes and then switch to vent to open.
  • Perfect sticky jasmine rice.
  • Saute the onions with ginger/garlic until they begin to get a bit golden.
  • Add in your marinated lamb and saute for about 1 minute and then add 1/4 cup of water and your tin of tomatoes.
  • Optional to add in potatoes if you wish (I did).
  • Switch off saute and select meat/stew function and cook for 27 minutes. I did a natural release for about 10 minutes. If you want to thicken up your sauce a little, when you remove the lid switch to saute function again for about 3 minutes.

That’s it. Its literally that easy to create a lamb curry that tastes like its been simmering for hours!

Now it wouldn’t be a Heritage Day lunch without some dessert and tea so here is my take on the traditional “Peppermint Crisp Dessert”; how about a Caramel Peppermint Crisp baked cheesecake? Yes, done in an Instant Pot!

Peppermint Crisp Baked Cheesecake


For the base:

  • 1 packet peppermint chocolate chip biscuits, crushed
  • 100 g butter, melted

For the filling:

  • 250 g cream cheese
  • 250 g mascarpone
  • 125 ml sugar
  • 30 ml cake flour
  • 80 ml cream
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 100 g Peppermint chocolate, finely chopped

For the topping:

  • Half a tin of Caramel Treat
  • 100 g finely chopped mint chocolate


  • Start by measuring a spring form pan to your Instant Pot, make sure it fits in the Instant Pot, on the metal trivet with the handles up. Then grease your pan and place baking paper on the bottom.
  • Mix your crushed biscuit and melted butter into the bottom of the pan and chill in the freezer while you get on with the filling.
  • Cream together the mascarpone, cream cheese, sugar, four and cream together until smooth. Add in the egg and egg yolk and then fold in the chopped chocolate. Pour into the chilled biscuit base.
  • Pour 250 ml of water into your instant pot and place the metal trivet inside with the handles facing up. Cover your cheesecake with a double layer of foil and carefully lower onto the trivet.
  • Close the lid and set valve to seal. Select pressure cook function and choose 40 minutes. Let it do a natural release for about 20 minutes and then open valve to venting. Once your metal popper has gone done, safely open up you lid and take your cheesecake out.
  • Take out of the foil and chill in the fridge, for a minimum of 1 hour, preferably overnight.
  • Once chilled top with your Caramel Treat and chocolate.

There you have it! A proudly South African meal to celebrate your Heritage Day, all cooked in an Instant Pot with under an hour of total cooking time! If you had to buy one “extra” kitchen appliance, this should be it! Happy Heritage Day to all, what will you be making?

Recipe adapted from Cooked Inc.

*Disclaimer – this is a collaboration between Instant Pot SA and In these Stilettos.

Best Ever M&M Cookies

Best Ever M&M Cookies

Is there anything better then a freshly baked cookie? I am a sucker for a soft, chewy cookie, add in my favourite chocolate treat and I’m in heaven. Whether its classic choc chip, Cadbury chocolate cookies, or good old M&M’s, cookies are a favourite to make (and eat) in our house. These soft, chewy, chocolate filled cookies taste like they came straight from a top baker and are utterly addictive!


  • 227 grams butter , at room temperature
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup castor sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 3 cups cake flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cup M&M’s (or one cup M&M’s and one cup choc chips)


  1. Preheat oven to 180°C and line baking tray with baking paper or a silicon mat.
  2. Cream together butter and sugar in a large bowl until pale. Add in eggs and vanilla and mix.
  3. Next add flour, baking powder and salt and mix until just combined. Fold in the M&M’s. Refrigerate dough for about 10 minutes. (This is the secret to a chew center)
  4. Scoop cookie dough onto a baking sheet, using the either an ice cream scoop or a teaspoon and form into a ball shape. Place extra M&M’s on top.
  5. Bake M&M cookies for 8-10 minutes, until tops are just golden. Leave to set on the tray for about a minute and then transfer onto your tray to cool

Top Tip:

You cant have too many M&M’s in them. Initially I was a little stingy, wanted to spread out them out evenly, as I got towards the end though, I realised the more M&M’s the better! These cookies are thick and chewy, yet super soft on the inside with beautifully crisp edges. You can swap out one cup of M&Ms for chocolate chips if you like, but I double dosed on my colourful candies 🙂

Classic Vanilla Sponge Cake

Classic Vanilla Sponge Cake

This is one of those recipes where you really cannot go wrong. A perfect bake every single time and you can mix it up as much as you like. Add a little cocoa to make it chocolate, ice with a ganache or a layer with traditional jam and cream, this sponge recipe is so versatile! Its not your quintessential sponge, mine has a twist to it, which in my opinion, makes it even softer and lighter. This tea time treat can be ready for the oven in 15 minutes or less!


  • 4 eggs separated
  • 1 cup all purpose cake flour
  • 1 cup castor sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • Pinch of Salt
  • Generous teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon melted butter
  • 1/2 cup hot water


Preheat Oven to 180 Degrees Celsius.

Beat the egg whites and castor sugar together until peaks form, and its nice and thick and glossy. Add in the egg yolks, extract and beat until just combined.

Sift together the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, salt) and fold into the mixture gently until well incorporated, keeping it light and fluffy.

Add in the melted butter and lastly the hot water, and fold.

Pour the mixture into a tray of your choice. I used a tray here but you can use two 8 inch round trays too.

Bake for approx 20-25 minutes until well done.

For the Icing:

You can choose your preferred icing. I have made this cake a number of different ways. Sometimes I fill it with caramel and cream and dust it with a little icing sugar, other times I go the traditional Victoria Sponge route. In this particular instance I used a white chocolate ganache. Melting 2 bars of white Cadbury “Dream” chocolate together with some Nestle tinned cream (about half a tin).

This cake is perfect for a weekend treat or if you have last minute guests arriving. Perfect every time!

Baking with the boys – Easy “Funfetti” Cookies With Pillsbury

Baking with the boys – Easy “Funfetti” Cookies With Pillsbury

Soft, chewy cookies out of a Cake Mix? Yes you absolutely can!

I’ve mentioned before how I wished Pillsbury brought in their pre-mix cookie doughs and ready to bake croissants into South Africa before. While we may not be able to produce instant, oven fresh chocolate chip cookies (without making them from scratch), we can have a little fun with the cake mixes avaliable!

I’d seen pictures of these soft, cakey cookies on the internet and have been dying to give them a try. They make the perfect lunch box treat!

Heres how we made ours:

Funfetti Cookies


1 x Box of Funfetti Cake Mix

2 Eggs

1/3 Cup Oil


Vanilla Supreme Frosting Mix


Heat oven to 180 Degree Celsius

In large bowl, stir cake mix, oil and eggs with spoon until well mixed. Shape tablespoonfuls dough into 1-inch balls.

Bake for 6 to 8 minutes or until edges are light golden brown. Cool 1 minute; remove from cookie sheets to cooling rack.

Stop your kids from stealing them all!

OPTIONAL: Use Vanilla Supreme Frosting and spread frosting over warm cookies for a glaze effect. Immediately sprinkle each with candy sprinkles from frosting. I chose not to do this as I feel the cookies are sweet enough, but this would be great for an extra treat. Store in airtight container.

You are literally using a tiny amount of liquid to wet the dough.

Friday Lunchbox treats have never been easier, this made the perfect amount of cookies in such a quick amount of time! Theres no reason to never have a jar filled with rainbow sprinkled goodness now! I am sure I can adapt this recipe with other cake mixes, I’ll post the recipe up as soon as I try! Have fun baking and experimenting, but more importantly, have fun doing it with your kids!

Thank you to Pillsbury South Africa for Sponsoring this post!