Streusel Overkill is Good – Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Streusel Crumb Cake with or without RaspberriesFebruary 4, 2013 at 11:59 am | Posted in Breakfast, Cakes, Dessert, Fruit, Giveaway, SRC | 78 Comments
Tags: baking, Brown Butter, chocolate chips, Pecans, raspberries, Recipe, streusel, Streusel Cake
I love warm rainy days in the spring and summer. I love the scent of lilacs. I love the smell of Fall. I love when someone brushes my hair. Are you gagging yet? Well you won’t be when I tell you what I love next.
I love streusel..lots and lots of streusel. Who doesn’t? I don’t think I’ve ever met a person who doesn’t love streusel. However, I know plenty of people who hate the scent of lilacs, abhor rainy days, despise Fall because it’s the official end of summer, and can’t stand someone else brushing, much less touching, their hair.
Tags: #getbaking, Chocolate, malted loaf, Malted Milk Powder, quick bread, strawberries
Remember when I announced that there was a new bread baking challenge in town called The Bread Baking Society and I participated in the focaccia theme last May? Well that new bread baking challenge is now a NEWER bread baking challenge. My friend, Lora, of Cake Duchess, the brainchild behind The Bread Baking Society, has decided to give The Bread Baking Society a small makeover and has invited me, her Mom, Elizabeth of food and thrift, Barbara of Creative Culinary, and Jamie of Life’s a Feast along for the ride. Say hello to Twelve Loaves, and below is what it’s all about and the rules – beautifully written by Jamie and beautifully copied and pasted by me!
Twelve Loaves was created to inspire you to bake more from scratch at home, in your kitchen. Bake along with us every month and discover and rediscover the joys of home baking for your family and friends. We know it’s not an easy task and we are here to inspire you along the way. A Baking Revolution!
Tags: battenberg Cake, Black Sesame, Cashew Marzipan, Chocolate, Fondant, Ginger, Japanese, Matcha Powder, Modeling Chocolate, Sakura
Would you like a spot of matcha tea with your black sesame – ginger scones? By golly, I’ve done it again! I’ve taken something traditional, and went completely barmy on it! OK, I wrote a whole entry in ‘Brit’ lingo back in ’09, and I’m not going to make any of you who remember, suffer through it again.
However..I’ve taken a thoroughly British cake called a Battenberg Cake, first created to celebrate the marriage of Queen Victoria’s granddaughter, Princess Victoria to husband Prince Louis of Battenberg, and infused it with Asian, mainly Japanese, flavors, and decorated it in kind. I know one thing for sure..as tasty and pretty as it is, it would probably shock the tickety-boos out of the Queen if it was served to her at any tea or special event.
Tags: baking, Cake, Chocolate, First Love, vanilla, Zebra Cake
Dear Readers ,
First off, the above is a transitional header and name (desserts and line drives was too long). I still haven’t decided where I’m going to go with this, but I got sick of looking at that ugly, old header.
Secondly, please excuse these old photos, but love this cake. Not only is it cool to look at – but it’s moist, delectable and easy to make.
Love ‘n stuff,
Back in January of 2011, my computer crashed. The hard drive was annihilated. I lost all of my photos. Some of those photos were of several amazing and somewhat laborious, treats, two of the treats that I especially mourn to this day. One was a beautiful Tourte Milanese – layers of colorful, roasted vegetables, serrano ham and softly scrambled, herbed eggs encased in golden puff pastry. The other was a Gateau Basque, best described as a mix of a cake, cookie and pie, from the Basque region of France, filled with luscious almond pastry cream and homemade cherry jam. They were both so lovely, aesthetically, and exquisite in flavor, that I did everything I could with the dead hard drive, bringing it from place to place, to see what they could retrieve from it.
Caramelized Banana Pudding Cheesecake with Salted Cashew Praline – Vanilla Wafer Crust, for My Guest Post at The Gingered WhiskMay 24, 2012 at 10:56 am | Posted in Cakes, Cheese, Dessert, Fruit | 41 Comments
Tags: baking, Banana Cheesecake, Banana Pudding, Bananas, caramel, Cashew Nuts, Cheesecake, Guest Post, The Gingered Whisk, Vanilla Wafers
Last March, Jenni, of the beautiful blog, The Gingered Whisk, asked me to do a guest post. Naturally, I jumped in, and wanted to get to work on it immediately. Jenni and I have been friends since 2009, and we hosted the Daring Cooks Cassoulet Challenge together at the end of 2010. Then, some not so great stuff happened on my end, and Jenni found out she was moving. Several times, between us, the date changed. Now that things have calmed down here, and Jenni is all settled into her new home..it’s finally happening.
I made a lot of commitments prior to life semi-combusting, and now those commitments are piling up all at once. I like it, though – it feels great to get back into the kitchen a little more. I still don’t have much time due to work, but I squeeze it in as best I can.
SO, do you love banana pudding, the kind with the vanilla wafers (is there any other kind?)? Do you love caramel? If so, you’ll love this twist on banana pudding and vanilla wafers in a cheesecake. It’s gooey, it’s rich, it’s sinful, it’s worth the calories. Portion control are my key words for this cheesecake. In this case, TWO big slices equals one portion, k? Bananas are good for you! Potassium!
To get the recipe and see more photos, although I really couldn’t gussy it up due to rain and muggy weather melting ev-er-y-thing, click HERE and please check out Jenni’s blog. This chick can cook and bake like nobody’s business. She could make the tar on a beaten path in NYC in 98 degree heat taste good!
That said, a note. Not all of the caramelized bananas will look beautifully caramelized inside of the cheesecake once baked. The cheesecake batter dilutes a lot of that golden beauty. I had to cut through the whole cheesecake to find one slice where some of the bananas remained that beautiful color after baking, for photo purposes. If you look closely at my slice photos, you’ll see the washed out color of some of the caramelized bananas. But, no effect on flavor or texture, and in the end, that’s all that matters.
On another note, I was nominated for a Food Stories Award by Maureen of The Orgasmic Chef. To say I’m surprised is an understatement. I’ve just been journaling a memory from a happy, innocent time to soothe my aching grown-up soul during a difficult period the past few months – I guess you could call it my own personal therapy. Glad some have enjoyed it. However, before my Bad Boy First Love memoir, there are loads of mile long food stories, so I hope those are taken into consideration. Who could forget the squirrels that ate my joconde paste?
As part of this nomination, they’d like a random fact about me. Here goes …..
As much as I wax poetic about baking and cooking from scratch, I’m a slave to the occasional fluffernutter sandwich, and it must be marshmallow cream from a jar. Also, sometimes I scrape the cream from oreos with my teeth, and ditch the cookies. Lovely, huh? I’m a vanilla gal to the bone.
They’d also like me to nominate 5 other food bloggers for this award. This was so tough to narrow down because there are SO many great food story writers out there, but I finally managed to choose 5. Here they are;
Lifes a Feast – Her memories intertwine with the food effortlessly. Not only can Jamie tell a story , but she does it with such flair, amazing imagery and love..happy or sad. A fabulous, gifted writer in every way.
Bibberche – Lana’s stories have made me laugh, cry, literally feel her every emotion. A beautiful writer and storyteller.
Creative Culinary – I love reading Barb’s posts because she flows….her writing is breezy, not to mention, she never holds back when it comes to controversial issues. She tells it like it is – no sugar-coating.
A Few Rotten Vegetables and Moldy Cheese – A friend linked me to her site, and I read the whole damn blog in one sitting. I can identify with most everything she talks about – been there/done that. She doesn’t know me, so I guess I’m her stalker – huge crush. I wish she would post more. Oh, she is NOT a food blogger, just a chef who writes – she makes that very clear.
La Mia Cucina – Lis, the founder of Daring Bakers, doesn’t blog anymore, but I wish she would. Go read her blog now. You will be spewing all kinds of matter all over your computer screen. Not only great writing/story telling, but ‘effin HILARIOUS! THIS post still brings on wheezing, tearing laughter.
To accept your nominations, click HERE to read about it.
Oh, one more thing. My 4-year Blogiversary is coming up on the 28th. I’ll be celebrating it with a HUGE giveaway. Be sure to check back since you won’t want to miss this one – seriously.
Tags: Buttermilk, Cheesecake, Farmers Cheese, First Love, Graham Crackers, Skinny Cheesecake, Weight Watchers Fresh Meals
For this months Secret Recipe Club, I decided to keep it skinny, since I also happen to be reviewing a few new Weight Watchers Fresh Meals in this post. When I saw this Cheesecake with Sour Cream at Cook Book of Trial and Error, the blog I was assigned for March, I knew I had to try it. Look at how creamy and decadent it looks! Would you believe it has almost 5 times less calories than a full fat cheesecake? Trust me, you’d never know it. It’s lighter in texture, more like a a mix between a ricotta cheesecake and full-fat cheesecake, but the flavor is closer to fatty the cheesecake, I was pleasantly surprised.
I was a bit devious, though. I had a few questions about the recipe and since it’s supposed to be a ‘secret’ when you have someone’s blog, I left an innocuous comment asking those questions. When she quickly responded with the answers (less butter and crumbs in lieu of powder), she asked me to let her know how it turns out. I told I would definitely let her know – 100%. Now, I’m letting her know – It turned out amazing and everyone who tried it cannot believe it’s a skinny cheesecake! 2950 calories for thole cake..245 calories per slice!
Then again, I didn’t post as Guest or Anonymous, so I’m sure she put two and two together and figured it out. Also, I tried to emulate the cinnamon zigzag in her photo, freehand, but it didn’t quite work out – so excuse the strip that looks like dirt.
That said, please be sure to visit her blog, she’s got some really fantastic recipes!
On another skinny note..
Remember last September when I reviewed Weight Watchers Fresh Meals and Deli Salads? Well, Catherine Bowen Brophy of Greencore/Weight Watchers sent me 5 new fresh meals to try and tell you about. Like I mentioned in the previous review, I like Weight Watchers because it’s a sensible way to diet and the food is delicious and filling. The meals I received, in order from favorite to least favorite, are;
Photos above courtesy Weight Watchers
Beef Steak Tips with Potatoes and Vegetables – This was my favorite of the 5. I wanted to lick the carton clean when I was finished. 20 minutes later I realized I was full and satisfied. This is what I love about Weight Watchers.
Southwestern Style Turkey Chili – I loved the heartiness and flavor of this chili, but it needed a bit more spice. But, again, it filled me up, so that’s a gold star.
Teryaki Chicken – The sauce was really good, and it tasted pretty close to what you might get at a good Japanese restaurant. However, it needed salt and teryaki should never,ever need salt.
Chicken Curry – Again, like with the chili, I felt it needed more kick, but I love really hot and spicy food, so maybe it’s just me. Nice flavor and the sauce was silky.
Wild Alaskan Salmon – This was the least of my favorites. The salmon was bland, dry and the texture not pleasing at all, but, what do you excpect from pre-frozen packaged fish? That’s a tough one to pull off. I wanted to dredge each side in cajun seasoning and give it a quick sear, THEN, smother it with some kind of sauce, but that kind of defeats the purpose, doesn’t it? They need to rework this one.
You can always add extra spice to kick up the heat, so I’m giving these 5 new Fresh Meals a 7.5 out of 10, the main caveat being the salmon. You won’t get 5-star caliber food here, but you will get tasty food that fills you up, without deprivation . My favorite diet plan out there, by far.
Before I get to the cheesecake recipe, I’d like to thank my friend, Mandy, from What the Fruitcake?! – for converting the measurements in this recipe from metrics to US for me. Also, to see all the delicious dishes my fellow SRC’ers made from their assigned blogs, click on the blue frog below.
You can make this cheesecake using farmer's or cottage cheese for a ricotta like cheesecake, or yogurt cheese for a creamy NY like cheesecake.
- 4.6 ounces animal or graham cracker crumbs (I forgot to measure after I weighed, but I will do that later with remaining crumbs)
- 3 to 5 tablespoons melted butter (it could get too greasy with 5, so start with 3, which worked for me)
- 1¾ cups Farmers or Cottage cheese or 2 cups Yogurt Cheese (recipe linked in notes) *
- ⅓ cup + 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon Buttermilk or Yogurt *
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 eggs
- ⅔ cup sugar
- 1⅓ cups sour cream
- ⅓ cup sugar
- Place the animal or graham crackers in a food processor and pulse until you get fine crumbs. Transfer the crumbs to a clean bowl and drizzle in the melted butter, stirring, until it holds together somewhat. As mentioned above, you shouldn't need all 5 tablespoons, the cheesecake filling will bind it together when baking.
- Press the crumbs into a greased 9-inch cake or springform pan – just the bottom. Use the bottom of a glass to really pack it in. Place in the freezer while you make the filling. You can also use a 5”x7” square Pyrex pan, if you want to make cheese cake squares. I used an 8-inch springform pan, which doubled the baking time (see notes)**. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- In a food processor, combine all the ingredients for the cheese filling until uniform and silky. Remove the graham cracker crust from the freezer, and pour the filling on top of it.
- Place in the preheated oven and bake for 5 minutes. Lower the oven temperature to 350 degreees F and bake for 15 minutes.
- Combine the sour cream with the sugar. After the cheesecake has baked for 15 minutes at 350F, remove it from the oven and spread the sour cream on top evenly - be gentle, as it will be slightly jiggly in the middle. Bake for another 5 minutes.
- Let the cheesecake cool to room temperature, then chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours before serving. I topped my mini cheesecakes (I cut them out of the leftover large cheesecake with a round biscuit cutter) with a melange of cut up fruits and honey.
** I used a 7½ to 8-inch round springform pan. The baking time was 10 minutes at 400 degrees F, then 30 to 35 minutes at 350 degrees F, and another 10 minutes with the sour cream topping.
I was not compensated monetarily for my Weight Watchers Fresh Meals review, only sent the meals free of charge. All opinions expressed are my own.