Posts Tagged ‘Dessert’

Cheesecake of the Month – February 2017!

February 15, 2017

I was perusing Pinterest the other day and ran across a recipe that sounded positively wonderful.  It is technically a pie, but a pie that incorporates a bit of cheesecake into the recipe.  I can’t wait to try it.

Upside Down Cheesecake Apple Pie

Ingredients
2 pie crusts
2 packages (8-ounce each) of cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup of sugar
1 teaspoon of vanilla
2 eggs
6 large apples, peeled and thinly sliced
2 teaspoons of lemon juice
1/2 cup of sugar
2 Tablespoons of flour
2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon
Caramel sauce (garnish)

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Line a pie pan with a pie crust.

2.  Beat the cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla on high speed until fluffy.  Add in the eggs and the milk and mix until combined.  Pour the mixture into the pie crust.

3.  In a large bowl, combine the apples, lemon juice, sugar, flour, and cinnamon.  Place the apples on top of the cream cheese mixture.

4. Top the apples with your second pie crust, turning the crust inward.  Cut a few small slits into the top of the pie.

5.  Place the pie on a cookie sheet, cover loosely with foil, and bake for 30 minutes.  Remove the foil and bake for an additional 30 minutes or until the apples are soft.  Remove from the oven and cool for 10 minutes.

6.  Place a large plate over the top of the pie and flip it upside down onto the plate.  Cool for one hour  then refrigerate at least four hours.  Serve cold with caramel sauce.

Source: Recipe by Spend with Pennies at http://www.spendwithpennies.com/upside-down-cheesecake-apple-pie/

Gluten-Free!

February 5, 2017
In the course of my bringing treats (baked goods and sweets) to the office from time to time, it became apparent that not every one could enjoy the desserts I was making (gluten-free, lactose intolerant, allergies, etc.). So, I’ve begun exploring other “options” and found a couple of delicious gluten-free cookie recipes (below).  Enjoy!
Chocolate Pistachio
3/4 cup + 2 Tablespoons of almond flour
2 Tablespoons of cocoa
3 Tablespoons of softened butter
3 Tablespoons of Confectioners’ sugar
1/8 teaspoon of espresso powder
1/8 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1/3 cup of chopped pistachios
Beat the first seven (7) ingredients together on low speed until a “dough” forms.  Mix in the 1/3 cup of chopped pistachios.  Place a piece of plastic wrap on the counter.  Transfer the dough to the plastic wrap and form it into a log shape (about 7-8″ long and 2″ in diameter).  Wrap the log in the plastic wrap and place it in the refrigerator to chill (for at least 60 minutes).
When the dough feels firm and chilled, remove it from the fridge and place it on a flat working surface.  Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Unwrap the cookie dough and slice it into 1/4″ slices (a very sharp knife really makes a difference). You could slice them a little thicker and adjust your cooking time accordingly.  Place the cookies on the baking sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes or until they start to brown (but watch them closely after 10 minutes or so to ensure you don’t burn them).  Remove them from the oven and allow them to cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes before transferring the cookies to a rack to cool completely.
Orange Cranberry — same instructions as above, add the orange zest and cranberries at the same point you added the pistachios above.
1 cup of almond flour
3 Tablespoons of softened butter
3 Tablespoons of Confectioners’ sugar
1/8 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon of orange zest
1/4 cup of dried cranberries
Happy baking!

Cheesecake of the Month – January 2017!

January 15, 2017

I found a UK recipe, so I’m having to convert from metric to US measurements.  This may take a little “fiddling” with to get just right, but here’s my best guess.  Regardless, the flavors sound delicious and I can’t wait to give it a try.

Fresh Ginger Cheesecake

Ingredients
1 cup of crushed gingersnap cookies
1/4 cup of butter, melted
3 (8-ounce packages) of cream cheese, softened
1 cup of sugar
1 Tablespoon of flour
2 teaspoons of fresh ginger, grated
1 teaspoon of lemon juice (I may try lime juice just to be different)
1 teaspoon of vanilla
1/8 teaspoon of salt
1/4 cup of whipping cream
3 eggs, slightly beaten
1 (8-ounce) carton of sour cream
2 Tablespoons of sugar
1/3 cup of caramel topping
Crystallized ginger, cut into strips (optional)

Directions
1.  Preheat your over to 350 degrees.  Stir together the crushed gingersnap cookie crumbs and the butter.  Press onto the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan.  Bake for 5 minutes.

2. In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese with an electric mixer on low to medium speed until smooth.  Beat in the sugar, flour, ginger, lemon juice, vanilla, and salt.  Beat in whipping cream just until combined.  Stir in the eggs, one at a time (do not overbeat).  Pour over crust and place in a shallow baking pan.

3.  Bake about 45 minutes or just until the center is set.  in a small bowl, stir together the sour cream and the 2 Tablespoons of sugar.  Spread this mixture over the top of the baked cheesecake.  Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes.  Loosed the crust from the sides of the pan.  Chill in refrigerator for at least four hours.

4.  Just before serving, warm the caramel topping and spoon over the top of the cheesecake (allow some to drip down over the sides).  Top with strips of the crystallized ginger is you desire.

Cheesecake of the Month – December 2016!

December 15, 2016

This month I will be doing a variation on a theme.  I have previously posted a recipe for a chocolate toffee cheesecake, but I’m going to change it up a bit to make a more “festive” holiday version (courtesy of Epicurious.com, thank you).

Christmas Cheesecake with English Toffee

Ingredients
Crust
1-1/2 cups of graham cracker crumbs
1/2 cup of toasted almonds (chopped)
1/2 cup of English toffee bits
2 Tablespoons of dark brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon of salt
6 Tablespoons of butter (melted)

Filling
4 packages (8 ounce each) of cream cheese
1 cup of brown sugar
4 eggs
1 Tablespoon of vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon of almond extract
8 ounces of chocolate-covered English toffee, diced

Topping
16 ounces sour cream
1/2 cup of sugar
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
Assorted candies (holiday colored M&Ms, gumdrops, etc.)

Directions
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Mix the first five ingredients for the crust in a medium bowl.  Add the butter and stir until evenly moistened.  Press the mixture over the bottom and up the sides of a 10″ springform pan.  Bake the crust for 5 minutes and set aside.  Reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees.

2. Beat the cream cheese and the sugar in a large bowl until blended.  Beat in the eggs (one at a time).  Add the two extracts.  Pour half of the mixture over the crust; sprinkle the toffee pieces over the batter; pour the remaining mixture over the toffee.  Bake until the edges done but the middle is still jiggly (approximately 55 minutes).  Remove the cheesecake, but keep the oven on.

3. Mix the sour cream, the sugar, and the vanilla in a medium bowl until smooth.  Pour the topping over the hot cheesecake and return to the oven to cook for an additional 5 minutes.  Cool on a wire rack, run a knife between the cake and the sides of the pan and refrigerate overnight.

4. Remove the pan, slice, garnish with the candies, and serve.

Seasonal Holiday Tart!

November 29, 2016

If you are looking for something new this holiday season, here is a recipe for an amazing tart (courtesy of Sqirl’s pastry chef, Meadow Ramsey).

Hazelnut-Rosemary Caramel Tort

Ingredients
Pastry
1 cup, plus 2 Tablespoons of all purpose flour
1/4 cup of confectioners’ sugar
3/4 teaspoon of baking powder
1/2 teaspoon of fine sea salt
1-1/2 sticks of cold butter, cubed
2 large egg yolks
Ice water

Filling
1-1/2 sticks of butter
1 Tablespoon of chopped rosemary
1-1/2 cup of hazelnuts
3 large eggs
3 large egg yolks
1 cup of packed light brown sugar
3/4 cup of brown rice syrup
1/4 cup of honey
1 teaspoon of fine sea salt
2 Tablespoons of heavy cream
1 Tablespoon of all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
Flaky sea salt (for garnish)
Whipped creme fraiche (for garnish/serving)

1.  Make the pastry.  In a food processor, pulse the flour with the confectioners’ sugar, baking powder, and fine sea salt.  Add the butter and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse meal.  Ad the egg yolks and 1 tablespoon of ice water and pulse until the pastry just comes together; add another tablespoon of ice water if it seems dry.  Turn the pastry out on to a work surface and pat into a disk.  Wrap in plastic and refrigerate until chilled (about an hour).

2.  On a floured work surface, roll out the pastry to a 12-inch round.  Ease the round into a 10-inch fluted tart pan with a removable bottom, pressing it into the corners and up the side.  Trim off any overhang.  Freeze the tart shell for 30 minutes.

3.  Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Line the tart shell with parchment paper and fill it with pie weights.  Bake in the center of the oven for 20 minutes before removing the pie weights and parchment; bake for an additional 10-15 minutes longer, until it is lightly browned.  Allow to cool completely.

4.  Make the filling.  In a small saucepan, melt the butter over moderate heat.  Remove from the heat and add the rosemary (allow to steep for 20 minutes).  Strain the butter into a small bowl and let cool.

5.  Spread the hazelnuts on a rimmed baking sheet and toast in the oven  until fragrant and golden (the skins should just be starting to split, about 12 minutes or so) .  Let them cool slightly then transfer the nuts to a kitchen towel and rub together to remove the skins; let them cool completely.  Coarsely chop the hazelnuts and spread them in your cooled tart shell.

6.  In a large bowl, beat the whole eggs and yolks with the brown sugar, brown rice syrup, honey and fine sea salt.  Gradually whisk in the rosemary butter then whisk in the cream, flour, and vanilla.  Pour the filling into the tart shell and sprinkle the flaky sea salt on the top.  Place the tart shell on a rimmed baking sheet and bake the tart for 50 minutes at 375 degrees (until the filling is set at the edge, but slightly jiggly in the center).  Remove from oven and cool completely.  Store in the refrigerator.  Serve at room temperature (or just slightly chilled) with a dollop of whipped creme fraiche (or plain whipped cream).

Source: the November issue of Food & Wine magazine, p. 98.

Cheesecake of the Month – November 2016!

November 15, 2016

Here’s a recipe supplied by a friend of mine (thank you Martha) that may take a bit of experimenting (as I’m forced to convert from metric [grams, centimeters, and milliliters] and centigrade).  But if I can get it close, this one sounds marvelous!

Lemon and Sultana Cheesecake

Ingredients
500g cream cheese
150ml heavy cream
125g sugar
3 medium eggs (separated)
grated zest of 2 lemons
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 Tablespoon of cornflour mixed with the juice of 1 lemon
100g sultanas (white raisins)

For the “crust”
1 medium egg
40g sugar
grated zest of 1/2 lemon
40g flour
15g butter, melted and cooled

Preheat the oven to 170 degrees (C).  Grease and line a 20 cm springform pan with parchment.

Make the crust: whisk the egg and sugar together until the mixture becomes soft and moussey (it should leave a ribbon-like trail when the beaters are lifted).

Fold in the lemon zest, flour, and butter very gently using a large metal spoon.  Spoon into your pan and bake in the oven for 15 minutes or until the cake is golden.  Press it lightly in the middle  and it should spring back.  Remove from the oven and cool.

Beat together the cream cheese, heavy cream, sugar, egg yolks, lemon zest vanilla, and cornflour mixture until thoroughly combined.

Whisk the egg whites in a  clean, bowl until stiff peaks form.  Fold one large Tablespoon of egg white into the cream cheese mixture to loosen it then gently fold everything together.

Carefully spoon the mixture into the pan on top of the crust.  Bake in the oven for 45-50 minutes until it is set but still has a slight jiggle in the middle.  Cool in the pan, then chill overnight before serving.  Remove from the refrigerator 30-60 minutes prior to serving.

Source: “Tea Fit for a Queen,” by Lucy Worsley (London: Ebury Press, 2014)

Cheesecake of the Month – October 2016!

October 15, 2016

Here’s a new recipe that I will be trying out this week that was forwarded to me by a friend (thank you Justin).  I’m sure it will be just as delicious as it looks! (And, super easy to make!)  I may have to make these for next week’s event . . .

Snickers® Cheesecake

This visual “how to” video has been circulating on facebook . . . https://www.facebook.com/buzzfeedtasty/videos/1810535682532406/

Or, if you prefer the printed word (an actual recipe) over a video representation, check out an actual recipe at: http://www.handletheheat.com/snickers-cheesecake/

Chocolate, Brownie, and Mousse!

September 20, 2016

What’s not to like?  This sounds like a truly decadent dessert that I will just have to give a whirl one of these days.   I don’t remember where I ran across this recipe (so my apologies for not  providing proper attribution).

Triple Chocolate Brownie-Mousse

BROWNIES
Cooking spray
¾ cup of butter
1 (4-oz) bittersweet dark chocolate baking bar, chopped
1-1/2 cups OF sugar
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
4 large eggs
1 cup of all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon of baking powder
¼ teaspoon of salt

MILK CHOCOLATE MOUSSE
1/2 a package (12-oz) of milk chocolate morsels (1 cup)
¼ cup of creamy peanut butter
1 cup of heavy cream

WHITE CHOCOLATE MOUSSE
1 cup of white chocolate morsels
1-1/4 cup of heavy cream, divided

ADDITIONAL INGREDIENTS
8 large paper clips
Heavy-duty aluminum foil
Garnish: shaved chocolate

DIRECTIONS
1. To prepare the brownies: preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line the bottom and the sides of a 13×9-inch pan with aluminum foil (allowing 2-3 inches to extend over the sides); lightly grease the foil with cooking spray. Microwave the butter and the bittersweet chocolate in a large bowl on high for 1-1/2 to 2 minutes or just until melted and smooth, stirring every 30 seconds.  Whisk in the sugar and vanilla.  Add the eggs, one at a time whisking just until blended after each addition.  Stir together the flour, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl.  Whisk the flour mixture into the chocolate mixture until blended.  Pour mixture into your prepared pan.

2. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs. Cool completely on a wire rack (about 1 hour).  Lift the brownies from the pan using the foil handles.  Cut 8 circles using a 3” round cutter.

3. To prepare the milk chocolate mousse: microwave the milk chocolate morsels and the peanut butter in a small glass bowl on medium power for 1-1/2 to 2 minutes or until melted and smooth, stirring every 30 seconds.  Cool 5 minutes.

4. Beat 1 cup of heavy cream at medium speed with an electric mixer until soft peaks form; fold the whipped cream into the milk chocolate mixture. Chill while you make the white chocolate mousse.

5. To prepare the white chocolate mousse: microwave the white chocolate morsels and ¼ a cup of cream in a small glass bowl on medium power for 1-1/2 to 2 minutes or until melted and smooth, stirring every 30 seconds.  Cool 5 minutes.

6. Beat the remaining 1 cup of cream at medium speed with an electric mixer until soft peaks form; fold the whipped cream into the white chocolate mixture. Chill while you prepare the foil molds for step 7.

7. To assemble the stacks: wash and dry your paper clips.  Cut heavy-duty aluminum foil into 8 strips (6 x 10-inch each) .  Fold each piece in half to form a 3 x 10-inch strip.  Wrap each strip around a 3-inch diameter can (this helps create a smooth curve).  Wrap 1 curved strip around each brownie and secure with a large paper clip.  Immediately spoon the milk chocolate mousse into a ziplock bag (do not seal).  Snip 1 corner of bag to make a small hole (about ½ inch).  Pipe the mousse onto brownies, dividing the mixture evenly.  Use a small spoon to gently level them.  Repeat the procedure with the white chocolate mousse.  Chill for at least 2 hours before removing the foil and serving.

Cheesecake of the Month – September 2016!

September 15, 2016

Here is a recipe that was forwarded to me by a friend (thank you Martha).  I actually made this one last month and it was phenomenal!

Blueberry-Lavender White Chocolate Cheesecake

Crust
40 vanilla wafers
1 Tablespoon of dried culinary lavender
1/4 cup of butter, melted
1 Tablespoon of sugar

Filling
2 bars (3.5 ounces each) of white chocolate, chopped
1 Tablespoon of dried culinary lavender
3 packages (8 ounces each) of cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup of sugar
3 eggs
3 Tablespoons blueberry jam
Fresh blueberries and fresh sprig of lavender for garnish

Directions
1. For baking the crust, preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

2. In a food processor, grind vanilla wafers and lavender until you have fine crumbs.  Add the butter and the sugar and pulse until the mixture is combined and crumbly.

3. Spread the crumb mixture onto the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan and press down evenly.  Bake until firm and fragrant (8 to 10 minutes).  Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.

4. Reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees.

5. For the filling, put the white chocolate in a heatproof bowl and set it over a saucepan of hot (not boiling) water.  Stir occasionally until the chocolate is almost completely melted.  Remove the bowl from the heat and stir until the chocolate is completely melted and smooth.  Set it aside to cool slightly.

6. Grind your lavender until a fine powder forms and set aside.

7. In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese and sugar until light and fluffy, scraping the bowl occasionally.

8. Add the melted chocolate and lavender. Beat on low speed until combined.

9. Beat in the eggs (one at a time) on medium speed.

10. Pour the filling over the crust.  Drop small spoonfuls of the blueberry jam evenly over the filling and swirl decoratively with the blade of a slim knife.

11. Bake the cheesecake until the center is almost set (50 to 55 minutes).  Do not overbake.

12. Remove the cheesecake from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool.  Run a thin spatula around the edge of the pan to loosen.  Let cool for one hour and then refrigerate until chilled (at least 3 hours).  Cover pan tightly and refrigerate overnight.

13. Remove the cheesecake from the pan and transfer to a serving plate.  Cut into wedges and garnish with blueberries and sprig of lavender.

Source: Food & Drink, Summer 2016, p. 155.

Cheesecake of the Month – August 2016!

August 14, 2016
Here is a delicious-sounding cheesecake that I ran across on http://www.finecooking.com (courtesy of Abigail Johnson Dodge).  I can’t wait to try this one.

Crème Brûlée Cheesecake

Ingredients
2 cups of vanilla wafers crumbs
3 Tablespoons of sugar
7 Tablespoons of butter, melted
3 packages cream cheese (8-ounces each), softened
8 ounces mascarpone cheese
2 Tablespoons flour
Salt
1-1/4 cups sugar
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
4 large eggs, room temperature
2 Tablespoons sugar
Directions
Preheat your oven to 375°F.

In a medium bowl, stir together the vanilla wafer crumbs and sugar. Mix in the melted butter until the crumbs are evenly moist and clump together slightly. Transfer the mixture to a 9-inch springform pan and press evenly onto the bottom and about 2 inches up the sides of the pan (to press, use plastic wrap or a flat-bottom measuring cup). Bake 9 to 12 minutes or until the crust is slightly dark and fragrant. Let the pan cool on a rack. Reduce the oven temperature to 300°F.

In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese, mascarpone, flour, and a pinch of table salt on medium speed, scraping down the sides of the bowl frequently, until very smooth and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Make sure the cheese has no lumps. Add the 1-1/4 cups granulated sugar and continue beating until well blended and smooth.

Add the vanilla and beat until blended, about 30 seconds. Add the eggs one at a time, beating just until blended. (Don’t overbeat the eggs, this could cause the cheesecake to crack as it cools.) Pour the filling into the cooled crust and smooth the top.

Bake at 300°F until set on the edges and the center jiggles slightly, 55 to 65 minutes. The cake will be slightly puffed around the edges, and the center will still look moist. Set on a rack and cool completely. Cover and refrigerate until well chilled, at least 8 hours.

Remove the side of the springform pan and run a long, thin metal spatula under the bottom crust of the cheesecake. Carefully slide the cake onto a flat serving plate. Sprinkle the 2 Tbs. granulated sugar evenly over the top of the cheesecake and slowly pass a hand-held kitchen torch over the sugar until melted and caramelized.

Source: recipe courtesy of Abigail Johnson Dodge (www.finecooking.com)