Sunday, March 29, 2015

Key Lime Cheesecake with Mascarpone Whipped Cream and Key Lime Macarons



I can't believe it is my Mom's birthday already.  This year has just flown by and it seems like I just make the decadent chocolate cheesecake for her 86th birthday.  Well here we are again...my Mom's birthday and I always make the cake. She loves cheesecake and I know that she loves key lime pie, so is there a better thing to make than a Key Lime Cheesecake?  
I think not!


This recipe had a wonder key lime glaze on top that really added to the flavor of this cheesecake.  And of course, since I have been trying to perfect my macaronage I made Key Lime Macarons to decorate the top!!  I nestled them in the mascarpone whipped cream.
Heaven!






I used fresh key lime juice...zesting and squeezing those little buggers is time consuming, but I think it tastes better.  I also put almonds in my graham cracker crust...that's just the way I roll.




This cake was hit!  Everyone loved it. 
Happy 87th Birthday Bebe!
Love you to the moon!

Until next time..
Be sweet and enjoy!



Key Lime Cheesecake 
recipe adapted from Food Pusher.com
  

Ingredients:
Crust
  • 1 cup graham cracker crumbs

  • 1/4 cup blanched almonds, ground
  • 1/3 cup butter, melted

  • 1 tablespoon sugar
Filling
  • 2 1/2 sticks (20 oz. total) cream cheese at room temperature

  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup sour cream at room temperature

  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 3 eggs at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 3 tablespoons key lime juice
Glaze (adapted from Creative Culinary)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons key lime/lime juice
Topping/Garnish
  • 2 cups heavy cream, whipped with 1/4 cup powdered sugar and 8 oz. mascarpone cheese
  • Sliced key limes/limes
Directions:
Crust
Mix graham crackers, melted butter, and sugar in a medium bowl or plastic bag. Pour into a 7-inch spring form pan that's been coated with non-stick cooking spray. Carefully spread crumb mixture evenly over the bottom and press firmly all over.
Filling
Put a layer of heavy duty aluminum foil on the bottom and up the sides of the spring from pan as a protective barrier to keep the water from getting into the cheesecake. I also like to put my pan into an oven-proof plastic turkey bag (top open) and then put it in the water bath, just to ensure I don't get a soggy cheesecake.

Preheat oven to 475 degrees Fahrenheit. Place a large shallow pan filled with 1 inch of water into the oven to create the water bath. 

In a large bowl (or the bowl of a standing mixer), beat the cream cheese with an electric mixer on low speed. Gradually beat in the sugar, sour cream, flour, and vanilla until smooth. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the eggs, 1/4 cup heavy cream, and lime juice and continue to beat until the mixture is smooth and creamy. 

Pour the cheesecake filling into the spring form pan. Place the pan into the water bath in the oven. After 8 minutes, reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake for another 40 minutes, or until filling is puffed, set, and light brown. Remove from oven and from the water bath, and allow to cool on a wire rack. Once cooled to room temperature, take the foil off, put a paper towel over the pan, and then cover with the foil (you can use a new piece of foil, but reusing is just as good).  Refrigerate overnight.

For the glaze, combine the sugar, cornstarch, water, and lime juice in a small pan. Mix until smooth. Bring to boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Cook for 3 minutes. Cool/chill until cool, but not set. 
Glaze
Pour cooled glaze into the center and spread evenly with an offset or rubber spatula. Refrigerate until glaze is cold and firm. 
Topping
Place the mascarpone cheese in mixer bowl fitted with the whisk attatchment, add 1/4 cup powdered sugar until incorporated.  Add heavy cream and whip on high until stiff peaks form.Pipe whipped cream around the top of the cheesecake, Garnish with lime slices. 
Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Makes about 8 servings


Saturday, March 28, 2015

Light & Lemony Jelly Roll with Raspberry Cream Filling: Baked Sunday Mornings




With the baking luck I have been having lately, I was a bit hesitant to try this recipe.  The last lemon recipe I did was a huge disappointment, but normally, all the Baked recipes I try end up to be a success.  This was no exception.  I have to say that this is the first time I have made a jelly roll.  I was quite surprised with the quick bake time of the cake and how easy it all was to put together.  Yay!  A good recipe and good result!  That makes my heart sing!



The brightness of the lemon complimented the raspberry cream perfectly.  The cream filling is delicious and not overly sweet.  The cake was light and moist and flavorful.  I was a little bit afraid that the zests of 5 lemons would be too much, but it wasn't at all overpowering.  It was just perfect!


Another beautiful dessert that could be used for your Easter 
dinner and one that is not at all hard to prepare.
It looks like Spring time and tastes so fresh and light it would be 
the perfect end to any meal!  This one is going over to my Mom's house.  It is her 87th birthday tomorrow and I am bringing this along with a 
Key Lime Cheesecake.



This one gets 2 big thumbs up from me!  Please take a look to see what the other bakers did here.  And of course you want to make this!  
Get the recipe right here!

Next in the oven for the Baked group is Easter Coconut Sheet Cake.  I probably won't partake in that one...or perhaps I will go rogue 
and make something else!

Until next time...
Enjoy!
Have a wonderful and blessed Easter!

Sunday, March 15, 2015

ABC: Lemoniest Little Lemon Loaf....NOT!



Perhaps it was the gluten free flour I used but I this loaf was dry and not lemony at all!  It tasted like cornbread with just a hint of lemon flavor to it.  I was extremely disappointed in this one!   

The Avid Baker Challenge bakers are cooking from Scientifically Sweet, and quite frankly, I have not yet been impressed with the recipes.  But again, I did use gluten free flour instead of just all purpose flour so that might be the reason for the dryness, but I used just as much lemon as the recipe called for and I didn't get a huge lemon flavor at all.  The the other bakers seem to have been pleased with the flavor and this recipe.
All I can say is.....Meh!

Oh well, hopefully the brownies will be better!
Next up is Fudgy No Butter Brownies.

Until next time
Be Sweet!
and Enjoy,

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Brooksters


The best of two worlds rolled up into one cookie-brownie concoction that will knock your socks off!  You will go back to this recipe and bake it over and over again because everyone will request it!


This recipe is found in the Baked Elements cookbook which I think just may be my favorite Baked cookbook.  It is found in the chocolate chapter along with many other tempting chocolate treats.


 You make a simple chocolate chip cookie dough with flour, salt, baking soda,  sugar, dark brown sugar, butter, eggs, vanilla and chocolate chips.  The recipe makes way too much and you always have loads left over...which is okay if you want to make chocolate chip cookies.  But I half the cookie part of the recipe and I still end up with extras so I made some kitchen sink cookies with it.  My hubby loved it!  He always complains he never gets any of the stuff I bake so I baked those especially for him.  I just threw in some oats, coconut and pecans...he said they were really good and has eaten over half of them already...lol!  Then you make this lush chocolatey brownie batter and put that in a cupcake pan then you chill both for 3 hours.  You then top the brownie batter with the cookie dough, bake and magic happens!


I make these Brooksters every year for our annual Pig Roast...along with many other treats.  The chill time takes a long time so you have to plan 
ahead and really read the recipe well before starting to 
make them, but that they are really quite easy.


I also bake them in cupcake pans...I do have some 4 inch tart pans but I just think that they would be too large so I like to make them in nice little easy to handle portions.  But I would imagine the 4" tart pan version would be great with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and hot fudge sauce!


So here they are all packed up and ready to go.  We have a visit at work from some higher ups and I always bake them some kind of treat.  I know, I am a real brown noser....but, hey baking is what I do and it makes me happy 
 to make people smile and I kinda think they have come to 
expect some kind of treat from me.


Until next time...
Stay sweet and as always,

Enjoy!

Get the recipe HERE

Monday, March 2, 2015

Chocolate Sprinkle Sandwich Cookies


The perfect cookie to celebrate a 6th birthday! 




These are great as sandwich cookies or not!  They are equally as good just
as a cookie without the frosting.  I liked them both ways.


I wanted to make them festive.  So I sandwiched them and put a 
lollipop stick in them!  Looks like a celebration to me!
Happy Birthday Syringa!


Chocolate Sprinkle Sandwich Cookies
adapted from sprinklesbake.com

12 sandwich cookies

Cookies:
 2/3 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened dark cocoa powder 
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp kosher salt
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 cup rainbow sprinkles 
12  6-8-inch lollipop sticks, optional
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Line two large cookie sheets with parchment paper.  Set aside.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter on medium speed until creamy.
  3. Add granulated sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt.  Mix well until combined.  Mix in the egg and vanilla extract. Scrape the sides of the bowl down with a rubber spatula as needed.  Beat in the all purpose flour.  Dough should not be sticky.
  4. Fill a small bowl with the sprinkles.
  5. Measure out dough by the level tablespoons.  Roll into a ball between your palms and roll dough ball in sprinkles until completely coated.  When all of dough has been rolled into balls and sprinkle-coated, place in refrigerator for 30 minutes.
  6. Bake for 12 minutes.
Filling:
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1-1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
  1. Beat butter and powdered sugar in a large bowl with a hand mixer on low speed.  When almost incorporated, add vanilla and beat on high speed until light and fluffy.
  2. Transfer to a piping bag and fill cookies, or fill by spreading frosting on cookies with a small spatula.


Enjoy!



Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Coconut Raspberry Cupcakes


I have not made cupcakes since my nephews wedding.  I volunteered to bring something sweet to a meeting for all the managers in the district for the company I work for.  Through a process of elimination...I went for these coconut cupcakes. I found a recipe for both the cupcakes and frosting and went at it!   The recipe I found paired lemon curd and vanilla whipped cream with the coconut cupcakes and as good as that sounds I wanted to pair it with raspberries instead.  So I did!  I filled them with raspberry jam and topped them with a pretty fresh raspberry.


The cupcake recipe was quick and easy and came out very moist with a beautiful crumb.  I really like the addition of vanilla bean in them.


So pretty!  These would be a lovely Easter dessert.


The buttercream had butter (of course), coconut milk and confectioner sugar with vanilla and coconut extract.  It whipped up light and fluffy and compliments the cupcake perfectly.


This recipe is a keeper!  Going to add it to my cupcake favorites!


Coconut Raspberry Cupcakes
adapted from Cooking for Keeps
Coconut Cupcakes with Lemon Curd, Vanilla Whipped Cream and Toasted Coconut

Cupcakes
makes approximately 16 cupcakes

2 cups cake flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoons salt
2 sticks softened butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
Seeds of one vanilla bean
3/4 cups plus 1/8 cup coconut milk
1 egg
4 egg whites
1 cup shredded, sweetened coconut
raspberry jam
fresh raspberries

Instructions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a regular muffin tin with liners.
2. Sift flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl.  Set aside.
3. Cream butter an sugar in the bottom of a stand mixer until creamy, about 2 minutes.  Add vanilla bean.  Mix until combined.  Add egg yolk, mix until combined.
4. With the mixer on low, add in the flour and coconut milk alternating each in three batches beginning and ending with the flour.
5. In a separate bowl, with a hand mixer, beat the egg whites until medium stiff peaks form.
6. Fold the coconut in the batter until combined
7. Fold in the egg whites carefully being sure not to deflate.
8. Fill liners 3/4 full and bake for 25-25 minutes turning cupcakes halfway through. They are done when a wooden skewer comes out with a few crumbs attached.

Frosting
adapted from Paula Deen
this made more than enough frosting, I had leftovers

9 ounces of coconut milk
2 cups, (4 sticks) unsalted butter, room temp
1.5 pounds (about 5 3/4 cups) confectioners sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon coconut extract

Instructions:
1. Place the coconut milk into a medium saucepan with high sides.  Over medium heat, bring the coconut milk to a boil, stirring occasionally.  Turn the heat down to medium-low and reduce the coconut milk for about 20 minutes.  Turn the burner off and allow the milk to cool completely.  Cover and chill (about an hour), this will cause the coconut milk to thicken up a bit.
2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter and reduced cooled coconut milk on medium-high speed for about 5 minutes. 
3. Turn mixer down to low speed and gradually add in the confectioners sugar until it is completely incorporated.  Add the extracts and mix until incorporated.  Turn off the mixer and check the buttercream for taste and texture.  Turn the mixer back up to medium-high speed and beat the mixture for about 3-4 minutes or until light and fluffy.

Assembly:

1. Cut out a small circle in the center of the cupcake and fill with raspberry jam replace the cake on top of the jam.  
2. Pipe the frosting onto the cooled and filled cupcakes as desired.
3. Sprinkle with coconut and top with a red raspberry.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Toffee Coffee Cake Surprise: Baked Sunday Mornings



Here we go again, the Baked group is baking a coffee cake this week.  
It was an odd way to make it...anyway, I thought so...you took the butter, sugars, flour and vanilla and put it in your mixer and mixed it until it resembled sand, then added the eggs and sour cream.   


 My batter was very thick but I went ahead with it anyway...I greased the pan really well and layered in the batter and the filling. It looked really good. I got it out of the oven, It still looked great so I let it sit for 30 minutes then ran a knife around it to loosen it, as instructed. 


 I flipped the bundt pan over and only 2/3rds of the cake came out.  
ARGH!  
I dug out the remainder of the cake and patched it up the
 best I could but it was not a pretty sight. 

 so sad


Yeah, I got a surprise alright! 
 Sooooo....
it was drizzle time! 

Instead of just dusting it with powdered sugar,  
 I made a brown sugar glaze and drizzled it with that then melted some chocolate and gave it another drizzle.

It made it look a whole lot better!  



I also took the time to make the toffee no surprises there!  


Turned out nice


The cake? Well, it tasted good... it was nice and moist with a rich caramel flavor.  I cut a few pieces and wrapped up the rest and put it in the freezer to use for later...hopefully it freezes well! 


Until next time...
Enjoy!
Hopefully the other bakers had better luck! You can check it out here.

Next up is Cherry Almond Crisp!  
Now that sounds like my kind of recipe!