Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Another Cake Story: Lemon Curd Cheesecakes!

I actually made these about 2 weeks ago but never got a chance to post it...so here it is. For some reason I'm on a lemony kick recently and anything relating to it sounds so good so I thought its time to marinate my specialty of cheesecakes with my new obsession of lemons and the results:

Lemon Curd Cheesecake!

Surprisingly the lemon flavor was very subtle letting the natural cheesecake flavor shine through. I also made some mini ones in a mini cupcake pan.

Lemon Curd Madness:
Ingredients:
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
  • 3 large eggs (at room temp)
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 4 tbsp butter (at room temp)

Steps:
  1. Whisk together eggs, sugar, lemon juice in a double boiler and once it thickens strain into another bowl
  2. Stir in butter
  3. Cover. I make sure the top of the curd is touching the plastic wrap in order to avoid the skin to form. Once that is done, it's okay to place into the fridge.
Cheesecake Delight:
This should fill 1 standard 8" spring foam or 4 mini 4.5" spring foam pans.
Crust ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 package of crushed graham crackers
  • optional: a little bit of butter so its slightly crumbly
cheesecake ingredients:
  • 3 8oz packages of cream cheese
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs (slightly beaten)
  • 2 tbsp of flour
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 cup of milk (skim, low fat, or whole)
  1. Combine and mix the crust ingredients together and line the bottom of the pan (spring foam is best) with it.
  2. Combine cream cheese, vanilla, sugar, and flour together. This can be done by hand (which is a pain) or with a hand mixer.
  3. Mix the milk into the batter with the mixer (or stir in by hand)
  4. This is where I get lazy, I make a small ditch in the batter, crack the 3 eggs in there and pop the yolks, stir it around (aka my version of slightly beaten eggs) before incorporating it into the rest of the batter. This last step can be done without the mixer or be careful of over-beating if you are beating with a mixer. Stir in the lemon curd.
  5. Toaster oven: bake for 30 minutes at 325 degrees. Regular oven: 375 degrees for approx 40-50 minutes. I've only baked it in a toaster oven so for big ovens I suggest 45 min bake time and then leave it in the oven until the oven is completely cooled before removing. This also helps with preventing cracks.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Delicious Easy Guacamole!!

Guacamole!!
4 simple ingredients, 5 quick minutes!
I made this the lazy person way because I like to avoid having to wash extra utensils at all cost...which means I turn to my favorite kitchen tool: the kitchen shears! Cuts like a knife but no cutting board to deal with!

ingredients:
1 avocado (cut using this method)
1 roma tomato (diced, I sliced and then used shears to cut them into diced cubes...roughly)
1 tbsp of onions (approx 2 thinly sliced pieces and then chopped into finer pieces, I used a pair of shears to cut the slices)
1 tsp salt (for taste)

Throw everything into a bowl and mix. If the avocado is perfectly ripe, everything will blend right into each other. No blender needed. This method allows you to enjoy all the individual ingredients as well as the blended concoction.



I learned this from a college roommate (who is Mexican) who told me that real guacamole is never mixed in a blender; everything is suppose to be mixed by hand and you just let the avocado work its magic naturally. Super fast and easy to make and so GOOD!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Brazilian Cheese Bread REVISTED

I think at this point I should probably give the bread a different name since I've begin to change the recipe here and there. I haven't even had REAL Brazilian cheese bread so how do I know whatever I made is even consider that or even close.... One of the things I get bothered by is people calling foods that aren't even what it is... like vegan cheddar... um it's not exactly cheddar anymore...its not even cheese nor does it, in my opinion, come close to tasting like cheese. Now don't get me wrong, there are some vegan recipes and foods I absolutely love! I'm just a bit picky on names and specifies... so I guess that's a personal issue more than anything.


Gluten-Free Cheese Bread (aka Brazilian Cheese Bread revised)

Moving on before I create a huge issue out of nothing. Point is, perhaps I should just call this a gluten-free cheese bread from now on. Love that tapioca flour! I didn't even know you can bake with it! At home, my mom only use it as a thickening agent but baking, didn't even cross my mind! It makes a very interesting bread, when it comes straight out of the oven, the insides of the bread is very starchy and chewy but after it's cooled down for a few hours, its puffy/airy and more bread-like losing much of that extra crew (still delicious either way!).


Now this weekend after having found this wonderful recipe, I decided to make some variations from the original just to see how things turn out. I wanted to try and incorporate different ingredients into the batter to enhance the cheese flavor in the bread or to compliment the wonderful cheese flavor. Therefore, my trial #1 included chives and spinach.

Original Recipe HERE

For Spinach: I followed the recipe exactly as described and after I blended the ingredients together in the blender, I added a handful of spinach into the batter and blended the batter some more until the spinach is well incorporated and the batter is a nice light green.


For chives (or green onions) this is more of an Asian twist because we like to use green onions in our dishes a lot and I just love the flavor green onions brings to anything! In Chinese bakeries we have breads that have green onions baked right into it, obviously one of my favorites, so I thought why not here. Instead of blending the green onions in with the batter, I chopped up about 2 bunches and after the batter is well mixed, I poured the batter into a bowl and stirred in the green onions instead.


Both versions turned out great! For the spinach version, you can barely taste the spinach so it's a great way to somewhat incorporate something nutritious into the recipe without compromising it. I love spinach (still in a spinach craze right now) so I actually wouldn't mind tasting more of it. Green onions version: absolutely DELICIOUS! That's all I have to say. I'd probably eat all of it if I'm not careful.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Mango Coconut (Lassi) Smoothie!!

Mango Coconut (Lassi) Smoothie

My delicious Sunday morning breakfast! Original plan was to make a Lassi but I guess I didn't use enough yogurt and it didn't come out as thick as I had hope so I'm sort of renaming it a smoothie instead.

Super easy to make and the result is a cup full of nutrients that tastes fantastic!
Over 30% of your daily intake of calcium; mango alone provides 50% of daily value of vitamin A and enough vitamin C for the rest of the day, who wouldn't love that!?

So here's what you'll need:
  • 1 mango
  • 1 cup of soy milk (or 1/2 cup if you want a thicker consistency)
  • 1/2 cup of coconut flavored Greek yogurt (or any Greek yogurt and up the amount to 1 cup if you want it to be thicker)

Put everything into a blender, mix, and serve!

My patience got the best of me when I was blending, so I stopped it premature and ended up with some chunks of mango pieces in my smoothie which actually gave the drink a little bit of a bite. Just food for thought.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Another Cake Story: Chocolate Nutella Cake Pops

CHOCOLATE NUTELLA CAKE POP

I've been a busy bee in the kitchen this week and this is the last of the cake from the other day when I baked too much. I can't ever send out food I make without testing it for myself...and let's just say...too much sweets this week isn't agreeing with my system. I'm going to gravitate towards more savory recipes after this.

Picture steps:
crumble cake and instead of using frosting, I'm using nutella.mix, form, and place into freezer to cool.
after the pops have cooled for a bit, melt some candy melt, dip and watch the candy coat form.
and then ENJOY!Follow this link for troubleshooting if needed, an entry I made in the past when I first played with the idea of cake pops/cake balls.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Brownie Pops for the Pops To Be!

It's been a massively crazy week. I love crafting and baking and when the opportunity for both arises, I just take it by the arms and go with it...results: fatigue, sleepiness, dark circles under the eyes, but well worth it in the end!

Project #2 for this week:
Brownie pops for a baby shower held for 2 first time daddies at work.

I originally made them for everyone at work to enjoy but then hey, what about the mommies, this technically should've been for them. So instead the basket of brownie pops I left for the guys to take home for the ladies and I'll just bring more to work on Monday (I baked too much and didn't have time to finish so I have a bunch of stuff to put together over the weekend too).