Wednesday, April 28, 2010


I love the French. Strictly for inventing this cookie. I'll admit, I'm finding it a bit difficult to share with you how good these pastries are after I just confessed my undying love in the previous post about Florentines. How do I boast about how delicious these cookies are after I basically favored another just prior? Well, I'm going to have to find a way because these pretties are just as delightful. Surpisingly that Italian Cantinetta I mentioned earlier also made these, everyday. Yes, I know I said and quote, "Out of all the things I got to nibble on each day, these (florentines) were my favorite." Don't let that discourage you from the deliciousness that these palmiers really are. Think of it this way. It's kinda like a new mother, she has just had twins, ask her which one she loves the most and what's her answer? Precisely. Florentines and Palmiers are like my twins, who I love both unconditionally. Being with just one of these babies at a time makes you realize just how much pure joy and sincere love you have for that single cookie, and how much devotion you can give to that little ball of bliss. Then, realizing when you spend time with the other, you have that same unconditional love and you just could never choose a favorite. That's kinda what this love triangle between me, Palmiers, & Florentines looks like. Got it? On the same page? Ok, on with the recipe then.

You really can't go wrong in the kitchen with these. Theres 2 ingredients, yes I said 2. It's the small uncomplicated things in life that really make you happy, or hungry. You can add cinnamon to these if you'd like, it gives it sort of a "baked apple pie" flavor. I guess when you combine butter, with dough and cinnamon, you get apple pie, I don't know how it works out just see for yourself. :) I prefer it without the cinnamon but get creative, you can add basically whatever spice you'd like, even make them savory! I think the next batch I make will be with Cardamom. Use a store bought dough, especially if your short on time, or not too keen on the rise, punch, fall, roll routine. I do think these would be even more phenom with a homemade dough. I will have to try to make one next time and let you know how it goes. Take note that these are tagged as cookies, pastries, & breakfast. Don't second guess that last one. Make a batch of these the night before and bring them in to work with you. Your co-workers will love you and there really GREAT paired with your little blended frappachini thingy thats giving you all that caffeine every morning. Didn't your momma tell you not to drink coffee on an empty stomach? Okay then, its settled.

i found this recipe here

1 sheet store bough puff pastry or 1 completed recipe puff pastry (I recommend the recipe in the book Baking with Julia, written byDorie Greenspan)
1 cup sugar

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Spread out 1/2 cup of sugar onto a large silicone baking sheet. Place the puff pastry on the sugar and dust 1/2 cup more sugar on top. roll it out into a rectangle 24"X12". (your wanting to press the sugar into the dough with the rolling pin). Turn the pastry so that it is facing you horizontally. Fold the bottom edge of the dough up so that it lies in the middle and the top edge of the dough down so that it lies in the middle. The two edges should now touch each other in the middle. Next, fold the left side in halfway so that it lies in the middle. Fold the right side in halfway so that it lies in the middle. Both sides should now meet in the center. Next, take what remains and fold it in half so that the left side meets the right side, like you're closing a book. Chill for 20 minutes.

 Slice along the short end into about 1/2 inch slices and place flat on cookie sheets lined with silicone baking mats. Fan out slighly at the top and pinch at the bottom to create a heart shape. 

Remember to allow room on your baking sheets because each cookie will triple in size. Because the dough needs to stay cold before it is baked, you may want to only work with a few slices at a time. Bake for about 8 minutes and flip. If there is not enough carmelization on the back, bake for a few minutes longer. Cool on baking rack.

Monday, April 26, 2010


I found my love for florentines in highschool when I worked for an Italian Cantinetta. I swear that was the best job; tasting and sampling new goodies everyday. It was a brand new restaurant/cafe so the chefs and pastry chef were experimenting in the kitchen all the time. I was lucky enough to be a guinea pig, mmmm. Of all the many delightful things I was able to nibble on each day, florentines were always my favorite. Something about the delicate crunch you get when you take that first bite, the brittleness of the almonds, the nuttiness of the butter, and tangy zest from the orange. I simply can't find enough words to describe what it is like to bite into one of these cookies. After the cafe closed, I cried, for weeks. Not really, but close. Anytime I had the opportunity to find one of these pastries and buy one it was done, in bulk. It didn't even cross my mind once I took up my nack for baking to try and make some. Until....the much mentioned foodgawker came into my life. I saw a post for a divine looking florentine and HAD to check it out. I was soon in shock, because the much beloved, insanely rich and decadent cookie, had mainly 6 ingredients, whoa. I almost cried, again, for the second time over these cookies, but tears of sweet joy! (literally) I had everything in my fridge and pantry already, I was ready to rock. I can't quite remember what happened next, from what I recall, I woke up in bed with a tummy ache, crumbs all over my face, and a half eaten cookie in hand...I apparently had passed out from eating the entire batch. Like the Blue Ridge Baker states, if you have yet to try one of these, put it at the top of your list! But be careful, there so good they may cause memory lapse. ;)

original recipe here

adapted from Giada De Laurentiis

1 cup finely chopped almonds
1 tablespoon unbleached white flour
2 teaspoons orange zest
heaping 1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup sugar
4 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons heavy cream
1 tablespoon agave nectar
2 oz semisweet chocolate

Combine almonds, flour, zest and salt in medium-sized bowl and set aside. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, mix together sugar, butter, cream and agave and stir continually until mixture comes to a boil. Pour over almond mixture and stir to combine. Let cool for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, meanwhile, preheat oven to 350. When dough is cool enough to handle, place 6 tablespoon-sized mounds of dough on a parchment lined cookie sheet, and press them into relatively flat disks. These cookies spread a lot, so give them as much space as you can. Bake for 10-14 minutes, or until the edges of the cookies are caramel in color and the centers are tinged with golden but still look a little moist. Cool on baking sheet for about 2 minutes, then transfer to rack to cool completely. In the meantime, melt chocolate in a heat-proof bowl placed over a pot of simmering water. Transfer cool cookies to paper towel and blot any butter residue from them. Drizzle melted chocolate over cookies, dip cookies in melted chocolate, spread chocolate on the backs of cookies and make them into sandwiches (or leave them as chocolate-backed single cookies). Go wild!

I did all of the above AND decided that homemade ricotta whipping cream would be great paired with these. I was right. 

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Homemade Donuts

Where do I begin to share with you my love for doughnuts? Let's start with the fact that at least once a week I beg my boyfriend to drive me to Krispy Kreme in the middle of the night (he usually gives in). Or how about when I drove around 3 hours one Saturday from town to town looking for "Ma & Pa" donut stores (I ended up finding 1, so disappointing). Or even that EVERYTIME I make a trip home I buy a dozen apple fritters from my absolute FAVE doughnut shoppe and eat them within a few days (oh, not all 12 by myself : P )  Am I donut obsessed? Or just donut deprived here in Utah? Either way everything added together = one gi-normic donut lover. I researched how to make homemade donuts for quite some time but shied away from the process due to intimidation (and not wanting to have such a terrible experience that I'd, *don't say it*, end up not liking donuts anymore-gasp!). I gave in after I couldn't control my craving one friday evening for that fluffly, chewy, homemade Ma&Pa donut (don't get me wrong I love me a Krispy Kreme, *see note above* but I wanted the real deal). I came across Ree's recipe for her homemade donuts on her amazing blog. She had a step-by-step picture tutorial that gave me enough confidence to jump into the recipe. I honestly was surprised at how easy these beauties actually are to make! A long, and at first daunting task, turned into a great experience, and DOUGHNUTS were the outcome! yah! So without further ado, all you crazy donut lovers like myself, here is my first try at homemade donuts.

Homemade Donuts
  • Doughnuts
  • 1-⅛ cup Whole Milk, Warm
  • ¼ cups Sugar
  • 2-¼ teaspoons (one Package) Instant Or Active Dry Yeast
  • 2 whole Large Eggs, Beaten
  • 1-¼ stick Unsalted Butter, melted
  • 4 cups All-purpose Flour
  • ¼ teaspoons Salt
  • Canola Oil
  • 3 cups Powdered Sugar
  • ½ teaspoons Salt
  • ½ teaspoons Vanilla
  • ½ cups Cold Water Or Milk
Preparation Instructions
To Make the Dough
1. Make sure milk is nice and warm, but not overly hot.
2. Add sugar to milk. Stir to dissolve.
3. Add yeast into a small bowl.
4. Pour milk/sugar mixture over yeast. Stir gently, then let sit for 10 minutes.
5. Melt butter in separate bowl until butter is almost melted. Stir to finish melting so butter won’t be overly hot.
6. Add beaten eggs to melted butter, stirring constantly to make sure the butter’s not too hot for the eggs.
7. Add the egg/butter mixture to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the dough hook.
8. With the mixer on 3 or medium-low speed, pour in the yeast mixture.
9. Allow the dough hook to stir this mixture for a couple of minutes, making sure it’s thoroughly combined.
10. With the mixer still going, add helpings of the flour mixture in 1/4 to 1/2 cup increments until all the flour is gone.
11. Stop the mixer, scrape the bowl, then turn the mixer on the same speed for five whole minutes.
12. After five minutes, stop the mixer and scrape the bottom of the bowl.
13. Turn on the mixer for 30 seconds.
14. Turn off the mixer and allow the dough to sit in the bowl undisturbed for 10 minutes.
15. After 10 minutes, transfer dough to a lightly oiled bowl. Toss the dough to coat, then cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place straight in the fridge.
16. Refrigerate dough for at least 8 hours, or overnight.
To Make the Doughnuts

1. Remove bowl from fridge and turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface.
2. Roll out to 1/4 to 1/3-inch thickness.
3. Using a 3-inch cutter, cut as many rounds as you can, then roll out remaining dough and cut as much as you can, etc.
4. Cut holes out of each round using a 1 1/2-inch cutter. If you don't have one of these, be creative. A used a circular cookie cutter for the donut and both a square and heart shaped fondant cutter for the "holes"!
5. Place both doughnuts and holes on a floured baking sheet.
6. Cover with large tea towel and place in a warm place in your kitchen; I actually turned on my fireplace and set the pans on stools all around, worked great.
7. Allow doughnuts to rise undisturbed for at least 1 hour; 1 hour 15 minutes if necessary. Doughuts should be visibly puffier and appear to be airy.
To Fry the Dougnuts

1. Heat plenty of canola oil in a large pot until the temperature reaches 375 to 380 degrees—do not let it get hotter than 380 degrees! 375 is ideal; keep the thermometer in the pan to continually monitor.
2. One to two at a time, gently grab doughnuts and ease them into the hot oil. Allow them to cook 1 minute on each side; they will brown very quickly.
3. Remove doughnuts from the oil with a slotted spoon, allowing all oil to drip off.
4. Place doughnut immediately on several layers of paper towels. Count to five, then flip it over onto a clean part of the paper towels. Count to five, then flip it over again; the purpose, obviously, is to drain as much grease as possible before it soaks into the doughnut.
5. Repeat with remaining doughnuts and holes. The holes will cook more quickly than the doughnuts; about 30 seconds per side.
6. Allow doughnuts to slightly cool.
To Glaze

I actually made 4 total "frostings" for these bad boys. The glaze did, in the end, wind up being my favorite. 
1. Mix all glaze ingredients in a bowl unil completely smooth.
2. One by one, dip doughnuts into the glaze until halfway submerged. (Note: completely submerge doughnut holes, then remove with slotted spoon.)
4. Remove from glaze, then turn right side up on a cooling rack over a cookie sheet (to catch dripping glaze.)
5. After the glaze has somewhat set, double dip the donuts, completely optional (but who wouldn't want a double dose of glaze?) 
6. Serve warm if possible, or room temperature.

You can find the chocolate glaze recipe here.

The cinnamon & Sugar ones are simply a mixture of 1cup sugar and 2 tsp, cinnamon.

The maple glaze I used is the same as the one from my homemade cinnamon rolls, with an extra tbsp. of maple syrup and tsp. of maple extract.

Happy Doughnutting!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Watermelon Cooler

Here's a nice little spritz for a hot summer day. Super simple, super refreshing. My boyfriend and I got the idea to make this after attending a late summer wedding a couple years back. They had 2 huge bowls full of this yummy stuff. I'm pretty sure we split one bowl between the 2 of us it was that addicting! Anyway here's a post for something similar (the caterers wouldn't tell me the ingredients dag nabbit!) and just as good. You should definitely whip this up, it only has a few ingredients and is a great accompany to your summer BBQ.

Watermelon Cooler

1 ripe watermelon (seeded)
2 quarts water
1-2 c sugar
1 can coconut milk
1 c grated coconut
2 tbsp mint leaves (roughly chopped)

Spoon out the watermelon flesh and mash with a fork. You want it to still be fleshy. Put watermelon in a large bowl. Make a simple syrup with a 1-2 ratio of water to sugar (depending on how much sugar you want to use; example 2cups water to 1 cup sugar) by placing water and sugar in a medium sized sauce pan and heating until sugar is dissolved, cool completely. Once cooled, add to watermelon along with the rest of the water and other ingredients. Chill before serving or add ice cubes. 

Cupcakes for a Fireman's Birthday!

Ooh boy this was a fun one! I had a request from a friend for birthday cupcakes for her husband! I always get so excited when they tell me to "be creative." Basically she wanted something super delicious, and matching her theme of red, black, & white. Her husband is a fireman so I figured I'd try and tie something in along those lines. I had SO much fun making these! I love walking through the over packed isles of Michael's and searching for inspiration and cute ideas. I've yet to leave that store empty handed. I found these cute little styrofoam fireman cut out's - adorable! They looked a little elementary but it was for a guy, you know how they are; really could care less. Since she left it up to me on flavor of the cupcake I wanted it to be something simple but undeniably delicious. I chose to do a classic yellow buttermilk cake with the BEST chocolate buttercream. The end result: whimsical red, white, and black cuppies that tasted GREAT!

Martha Stewart's Buttermilk Cupcakes
From Martha Stewart's Cupcakes

egg yolks 6
Milk 1 cup
Vanilla Essence 2 tsp
Flour 3 cups
Caster sugar 1 1/2 cups [original recipe used granulated but i could feel granules of sugar on top so next time I use caster]
Baking Powder 1 tbsp + 1 tsp
Salt 3/4 tsp
Butter 12 tbsp

1. This method is also called one bowl method as opposed to cream method which calls for creaming butter and sugar first.
2. Lightly beat egg yolks, 1/4 cup milk and vanilla.
3. In a large mixing bowl, beat all dry ingredients on low speed.
4. Add in butter and remaining milk and mix until all combined on a low speed for about 2 minutes.
5. Add in egg yolks mixture in three steps beating for 30 seconds after each addition.
6. Scoop into muffin tray about 1/2 full.
7. Bake in a pre-heated oven at gas mark 4 for about 20 minutes until golden brown.
8. Cool completely before frosting.

Chocolate Buttercream
original recipe here

Shortening 1/2 cup
Butter 1/2 cup
Icing sugar 4 cups
Cocoa Powder 3/4 cup
Vanilla 1 tsp
Milk 3-4 tbsp

1. Cream shortening and butter.
2. Add in vanilla and cocoa powder.
3. Add icing sugar, one cup at a time.
4. Continue beating, adding 1 tbsp milk.
5. Beat until mixture is light and creamy.
6. Pipe swirls with 1M tip on cooled cupcakes.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Lemon Poppyseed Strawberry Shortcake

SORRY! I swear I haven't completely abandoned my blog! I've been super busy with orders and planning a trip to, drumroll please...MAUI ! I'm so excited it's only 2 weeks away! But back to this here blog. This was actually the accompanying cake to the chocolate peanut butter pie I made for Easter dinner. Fresh, light, but full of flavor. This is a great summer treat! I took a classic recipe and stepped it up a notch with poppy seeds and lemon! Try this for your next BBQ! (maybe I will make this is Maui) ;)

Lemon Poppyseed Strawberry Shortcake
Original recipe here
For the Cake
1 ¼ Cups (175g) All-Purpose Flour
2 ½ tsp (10g) Baking Powder
1/8 tsp Sea Salt
5 Large Eggs, separated
1 ¼ Cups Granulated Sugar (I used 1 Cup (210g))
5 Tbsp Boiling Water
1 ½ tsp Vanilla Extract
Grated zest of 2 Lemons

1tbsp Poppy seeds
1/2 c chopped pecans

For the Strawberry Cream Filling
2 Cups Fresh Strawberries, hulled and thinly sliced, plus more for garnish
1 tsp Fresh Lemon Juice
4 to 6 Tbsp Granulated Sugar
2 Cups Crème Fraiche
2/3 Cup Heavy Whipping Cream
1 tsp Vanilla Extract

Confectioners’ Sugar for dusting


Preheat oven to 350˚F (180˚C). Line the bottom of a 9-inch spring form pan with parchment paper.

To make the cake, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip together the egg yolks and sugar on high speed until thick; the mixture will be grainy. Reduce the speed to medium-low and add the boiling water. Turn off the mixer and scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl. Increase the speed to high and whip again until thick. Stir in the vanilla extract, lemon zest and poppy seeds. Reduce the speed to low and stir in the flour mixture.

In a separate bowl, whip the egg whites on medium-low speed until frothy. Increase the speed to medium-high and whip until thick and smooth; the mixture should not look dry. Fold half of the whites into the batter, and then fold in the remaining whites.

Gently spread the batter in the prepared pan. Bake until a wooden skewer inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Let the cake cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Run a knife around the inside edge of the pan and remove the ring. Invert the cake and remove the base of the pan. Carefully peel off the parchment. Transfer the cake to a wire rack and let cool completely. Using a serrated knife, cut the cake horizontally into 3 layers.
To make the filling, place the 2 cups strawberries in a bowl. Stir in the lemon juice and 2 Tbsp of the granulated sugar. Taste for sweetness; depending on the berries’ ripeness, you many need to add additional 1 to 2 Tbsp more sugar.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, combine the crème fraiche, cream, vanilla and the remaining 2 Tbsp granulated sugar. Whip on medium-high speed until soft peaks form and the cream hold its shape.

Place 1 cake layer on a cake stand or serving plate. Arrange 1/3 of the strawberries and their juices over the cake. Spread 1/3 of the cream over the berries. Sprinkle 1/3 of the chopped nuts. Repeat the layering process with the remaining 2 cake layers, berries and cream, ending with a layer cream and nuts.

Before serving, dust the top of the cake with confectioners’ sugar and garnish with additional berries. Cut the cake with a serrated knife.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie

I debated what dessert I wanted to make for  Easter dinner with my boyfriend's family for a couple days. I'll whip up whatever I feel like when I'm baking or cooking for myself, no real thought process needed. When I know more than Harley and I will be eating what I bake,  a little more effort goes into the mix. So, I explored online for hours, ogling at all the drool worthy pictures on foodgawker. For some reason everything  peanut butter was hinting to me. Through all the different cupcakes, tarts, tortes, cakes, you name it, peanut butter kept whispering sinfully convincing words into my ear. So it was finalized; I was going to make SOMETHING with peanut what do I make? I saw what looked like an amazing recipe for a chocolate cake with peanut butter filling and peanut butter buttercream,  but hesitated. That was a lot to make in 4 hours time. I decided on a peanut butter pie. I studied a couple different recipes, some with cream cheese, some without.  Why is it that anyone who makes a peanut butter tart without cream cheese has so much animosity for those people who do? Anyone? Anyway, I had a block of cream cheese in my fridge I needed to use so I opted fort this recipe I found that called for it...DON'T HATE you non-cream cheese peanut butter pie-ers! I promise I'll try a recipe without it, and let you know how it goes. :) I'm usually not the biggest fan of peanut butter..."GASP!" I know, crazy as it is, I prefer chocolate or berries, or almost anything else. Regardless, I know how much men LOVE it...who else prefers a P.B. & J. sandwich to a 5star meal in their 30's? (grown men.) All in all I actually liked the tart more that I thought I would. Everyone else almost died and went to P.B. heaven when they tried it,I guess that makes this recipe a "keeper." This is truly a decadent dessert, you only need a TINY slice to satisfy your sweet tooth. The rich ganache brings this tart together with it's  salty-sweet combination. If you like peanut butter (which is probably about 99.9% of you) you really have to try this.  

Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie
adapted from Once Upon A Chef
Serves 10

Chocolate Crust
4 ounces semisweet chocolate (I use Callebaut semisweet discs) ;)
4 tablespoons (½ stick) unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons
8 ounces (2 cups) chocolate graham crackers (the original recipe calls for chocolate wafers which would be delicious but I haven't been able to find them anywhere, this substitution works great)

1/2 cup toasted coconut
2 tbsp. cocoa powder

Peanut Butter Filling
8 ounces cream cheese, softened (1 small tub)
1 cup peanut butter (I used Skippy chunky but creamy would be a lovely choice as well)
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup well-chilled heavy cream

Chocolate Topping with Peanuts
4 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
½ cup heavy cream

1 tsp. salt
¼ cup salted roasted peanuts, chopped (optional- I obviously didn't use them)

Make the chocolate crust: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Process crackers, coconut, & cocoa powder in a food processor until crumbly. In a medium glass bowl, combine the chocolate and butter and microwave at high power in 20-second intervals until the chocolate is just melted. Stir well, then stir in the cookie crumb mixture. Press the cookie crumbs evenly over the bottom and up the rim of a 10-inch tart pan with removable bottom.* (Be sure not to make the crust too thick in any one spot, especially around the rim. Keep it thin throughout, otherwise it will come out too hard.) Bake the crust for 10 minutes, then cool on rack. 

Meanwhile, make the peanut butter filling: 
In a large bowl, using a hand-held electric mixer, beat the cream cheese with the peanut butter, sugar and vanilla extract until blended. In another large bowl, using an electric mixer, whip the chilled cream until firm. Fold one-third of the whipped cream into the peanut butter mixture to loosen it, then fold in the remaining whipped cream. Spoon the filling into the crust, smoothing the surface. Refrigerate uncovered for about 1 hour.

Make the chocolate topping: In a medium glass bowl, combine the chocolate with the heavy cream and salt and microwave at high power in 20-second intervals until the chocolate is just melted and the cream is hot. Stir the chocolate topping until blended, then let cool to barely warm, stirring occasionally. Spread the chocolate topping over the chilled peanut butter filling and sprinkle the chopped peanuts around the edge of the pie. Chill uncovered in refrigerator for 3 more hours.

To serve: 
Carefully remove the rim from the pan by gently pressing upwards on the bottom while holding the rim in place. (If using a springform pan, run a thin knife around the crust to loosen it, then remove the springform ring.) Use a sharp knife to cut the pie into wedges. Run the knife under hot water and dry it between each cut. Serve chilled or slightly cooler than room temperature.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Raspberry White Chocolate Yesplease(cheese) Cake

This is one of the first cheesecakes I ever made, and still one of my favorite. It just makes sense to pair white chocolate and raspberries together. Combine that in a cheesecake and you have a simply decadent dessert. This is always a crowd pleaser because it looks absolutely beautiful and tastes unbelievable. I have tried many cheesecakes and this recipe is hands down the best ever. Yes, there are better cheesecakes than what the Cheesecake Factory produces, PROMISE! And a heck of a lot less expensive, A whole cheesecake costs around $45 from the Cheesecake Factory. This recipe costs about $20, no brain surgery here. If you really want to impress your friends, family, or that special someone, try this recipe, you will knock their socks off : P

Raspberry White Chocolate Cheesecake

Preheat your oven to 325 degrees.

For the Crust
1/4 cup nuts (any kind you like)
6 graham cracker wafers
1 (Oats & Honey) cereal bar
2 tbsp. sugar
1 tbsp. flour
2-4 tbsp. butter-melted

Combine all ingredients in a food processor and process until mixture becomes crumbs. Slowly add 2 tbsp. of the butter and pulse until blended. (Crust should hold together when pressed between your fingers. If it does not, add more butter until you reach this consistency.) Press into a 9' springform pan firmly with the back of a spoon or your palm. Place into refrigerator while you make the cake.

Sometimes I want a 1-1 ratio of crust to cheesecake. If this is what your going for double the crust ingredients and press excess crust up on sides of springform pan.

For the Cheesecake
5 (8 oz. packages) Cream Cheese
1 3/4 cups sugar
2 tbsp. flour
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
5 eggs
2 egg yolks
1/3 cup whipping cream
1 tsp grated lemon zest
1 cup white chocolate chips

In an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream together cream cheese, sugar, flour, and vanilla until fluffy. Add the eggs and egg yolks one at a time on low speed, to combine. Stir in whipping cream, lemon rind, and white chocolate chips. Pour into pan with crust. Bake for 1 1/2 hours. (I would check your cake at about 1 hour to see how it looks. When it's done the top will be golden brown, and the middle will be slightly jiggly still.)

Let the cake cool on a wire rack completely, about 3 hours. When cool, use a butter knife to loosen sides of cake from pan carefully. Remove sides of springform pan and place cake on a cake stand or cake decorator.

If you want a swirl of raspberry throughout cake:
Heat 1/2 cup of raspberry preserves (seedless if you can get it looks prettier) and 1 tbsp. lemon juice in a microwave for 30 seconds. Stir until smooth. Pour 1/2 of the cake batter into the pan, drizzle 1/2 the preserves, then poor the rest of the batter on top, drizzling the other half of the preserves. Using a knife, create a swirl like appearance by running it back and forth through the preserves.

For the Topping
2 cups fresh raspberries
4 oz. melted white chocolate
1 tbsp. sugar

Wash raspberries, dry, then place 1 1/2 cups on top of cheesecake. With the remaining 1/2 cup of raspberries, puree in a food processor and strain through a sieve. Once strained from seeds, combine juice with 1 tbsp granulated sugar and stir to combine and dissolve. Poor sweetened juice on top of raspberries. Heat white chocolate slowly in a microwave safe bowl in 20 second intervals, stirring between each heat. Once the white chocolate is completely melted transfer into a plastic zip lock bag and cut the tip off of one end (this is a VERY small cut, if you cut too big of a whole your cake will look messy). Be careful because the chocolate will start to ooze out the whole. Start to drizzle chocolate over raspberries using quick back and forth motions until you achieve the look you want.


Wednesday, April 7, 2010

No-Fail Caramel Sauce

The title says it all. This is a great caramel sauce for topping ice cream, cheesecake, cupcakes, cereal, what? I'm kidding but kind of serious. It really is delicious and tastes like it took you all day to make. You know, that down home, warm you from the inside out kind of feeling? Yep that's what you'll get here with this recipe. Trust me, write this recipe down you'll be using it on almost everything.

No-Fail Caramel Sauce
1/2 c butter
1c brown sugar
1/3-2/3c heavy cream

1tsp. vanilla

Melt butter, add brown sugar whisk 2 min, add cream whisk 2 min, mix in vanilla. (Make sure you test the consistancy and be sure the sugars are completely dissolved, otherwise you can end up with a grainy caramel. )

"Everything is better caramel..." - me.

Matcha Green Tea Cupcakes with Strawberry Buttercream

I was given the opportunity to bake for a cafe/art gallery here in Provo, The F Stop Cafe  (250 n. Univ. Ave.) a little while back. These are the cupcakes I made for them that got me the gig. ;) I wanted to make something fun, spunky, and fitting to the feel of their place. I'd been wanting to try Martha Stewart's strawberry buttercream recipe for a while and thought this the perfect opportunity to do so. A local coffee joint gave me a sample of their matcha green tea powder just a few days earlier and instantly knew the combination was gonna rock. It obviously did . ;) The candies I used to decorate made these so fun and inviting. Who wouldn't want a cupcake covered in pop rocks I mean come on! I used Billy's Vanilla Cupcake recipe and just added the green tea powder to the batter, which made the color a faint green, totally awesome.

Billy's Vanilla, Vanilla Cupcakes

Makes about 30 cupcakes
1 3/4 cups cake flour, not self-rising
1 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder

(2 tbsp. matcha green tea powder) my addition
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch cubes
4 large eggs
1 cup whole milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 325°. Line cupcake pans with paper liners; set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine flours, sugar, baking powder, and salt; mix on low speed until combined. Add butter, mixing until just coated with flour. (This is where I added 2tbsp. of green tea matcha powder)

2. In a large glass measuring cup, whisk together eggs, milk, and vanilla. With mixer on medium speed, add wet ingredients in 3 parts, scraping down sides of bowl before each addition; beat until ingredients are incorporated but do not overbeat.

3. Divide batter evenly among liners, filling about two-thirds full. Bake, rotating pan halfway through, until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, 17 to 20 minutes.

4. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat process with remaining batter. Once cupcakes have cooled, use a small offset spatula to frost tops of each cupcake. Decorate with sprinkles, if desired. Serve at room temperature.

Martha Stewart's Strawberry Meringue Buttercream

4 large egg whites
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups (3sticks) butter-room temperature, cut in tablespoons
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups (12 oz.) strawberry jam, pureed in food processor


In the heatproof bowl of an electric mixer set over a saucepan of simmering water, combine egg whites and sugar. Cook, whisking constantly, until sugar has dissolved and mixture is warm to the touch (about 160 degrees).

Attach the bowl to the mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat the egg-white mixture on high speed until it holds stiff (but not dry) peaks. Continue beating until the mixture is fluffy and cooled, about 6 minutes.

Switch to the paddle attachment. With mixer on medium-low speed, add butter several tablespoons at a time, beating well after each addition. (If frosting appears to separate after all the butter has been added, beat on medium-high speed until smooth again, 3 to 5 minutes more.) Beat in vanilla. Beat on lowest speed to eliminate any air bubbles, about 2 minutes. Stir in strawberry jam with a rubber spatula until frosting is smooth.

(Now you can frost these by hand or fill a pastry bag and use a tip, but just a tip for you: if your strawberries aren't very finely pureed you will have a hard time when your using a tip while frosting.) 

Decorate however you like, the crazier the better!!

Lemon Blueberry Cheesecake Bites

Why is it that when you have 100 little pieces of something it always feels better than having 1 large piece? I'm talking specifically about dessert of course. Put a whole piece of cheesecake in front of me and in about 1.2 seconds I'll feel really guilty I ate the whole thing, not only because I ate it in record time, but because I feel like I just polished off the whole cake. But...put 5 bite size pieces of cheesecake in front of me and I'll be asking you for more. I don't have the answer to this on going mystery, and to be honest I'd like to keep it that way frankly just for these little delights. I don't need to start feeling guilty after I eat the whole batch (cut into bite size pieces of course). I saw this recipe on Tyler's Ultimate on the Food Network one day and have made them countless times. So incredibly easy to make, and a definite crowd pleaser. This is one of those recipes that looks like you spent more time than you actually did when in reality you probably will spend more time eating them than preparing them. So plus-es all around for this recipe, you gotta try it!

Tyler's Ultimate Lemon Blueberry Cheesecake Bars
original recipe here


For the base:

  • Butter, for greasing
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 9 graham crackers
  • 1/2 stick unsalted butter, melted

For the filling:

  • 16 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 lemons, zested and juiced
  • About 1/2 cup sugar, eyeball it
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries
  • Powdered sugar, for dusting


Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

For the base:

Grease the bottom of a 9 by 9-inch baking pan with butter. Then place parchment paper over the top, pressing down at the corners. In a food processor, process the sugar, cinnamon and graham crackers until you have the texture of bread crumbs. Add the melted butter and pulse a couple of times to fully incorporate. Pour into the lined baking pan and gently pat down with the base of a glass. Bake in the oven for 12 minutes until golden. When done set aside to cool.

For the filling:

Add cream cheese, eggs, lemon zest, lemon juice and sugar to the food processor and mix until well combined. It should have a smooth consistency. Pour onto the cooled base and then cover with blueberries. They will sink slightly but should still be half exposed -- as the cake bakes they will sink a little more and break down.
Bake in the oven for 35 minutes or until the center only slightly jiggles. Remove from the oven and cool completely before refrigerating for at least 3 hours. Once set, remove from pan using the parchment lining and slice into 10 rectangular bars. (bite-size pieces if your serving it to a large crowd or if you don't want that guilty voice screaming at you the rest of the week) ;) Dust with powdered sugar.

p.s. sorry for the low quality pics, I have a point-and-shoot camera and it was the middle of the night when I made this batch, promise they look tastier in person ;)