Dairy Free Japanese Cheesecake

This is for all of my fellow lactose intolerant comrades. This is a great alternative to regular cheesecake, it is light and fluffy and nicely coconutty. Please let me know in the comments section if you have any non soy based dairy free cream cheese options. I generally try to avoid it when I can.

IMG_6151Ingredients

14 oz. (400g) non-dairy cream cheese like Tofutti, at room temperature
1/4 cup (50g) sugar
1/4 cup (60g) coconut oil, at room temperature
6 large eggs, divided
7 oz. (200g) coconut milk, at room temperature do not use lite
2 tsp. lemon juice
2/3 cup (80g) all-purpose flour
1/2 cup (100g) sugar
confectioner’s sugar for dusting

Directions

  1. Grease a 9 inch (23cm) cake pan (I used a 8in and a 6in cake pan) and line with parchment paper (bottom and sides). The baking parchment should go at least 2 inches (5cm) over the edge of the form, because the cake rises a lot. Start boiling water. Preheat the oven to 325˚F (160°C).
  2. Divide the eggs and place the egg whites in the fridge.
  3. In a large bowl mix the non-dairy cream cheese until lumps are gone
  4. Add the coconut oil and mix until well combined.
  5. And sugar (the 1/4 cup) on medium speed until combined.
  6. Add the egg yolks one at a time.
  7. Add the coconut milk and lemon juice and mix until the batter is smooth.
  8. Sift the flour into the bowl and mix well.
  9. In a second bowl mix the cold egg whites on medium speed until they foam up. Increase the speed and slowly add the sugar (the 1/2 cup). Continue mixing on high speed for about 3-4 minutes until stiff peaks form. You should get a thick and glossy meringue – the volume should have doubled. Fold in about meringue to the non-dairy cream cheese mixture in 3 parts. Transfer to the prepared cake pan or pans 😉 and smooth out the top. Let drop on your counter once or twice to get air bubbles out of the batter.
  10. Place the cake in a larger baking pan and add boiling water to that pan – the water should go up at least half way up the side of the pan. Place in the middle of the oven and bake for 55-65 minutes. Test with a toothpick inserted in the center – if it comes out clean the cake is done. Be careful – do not move the cake too much or it will collapse. Carefully remove from the oven and let cool down completely on a wire rack before removing from the cake plan. When cooled place in the fridge for 2-3 hours. Carefully remove from the pan and dust with confectioner’s sugar before serving – the cake is very delicate, so use a warm knife for cutting slices.
  11. Enjoy this wonderfully delicate and fluffy cheesecake!!!
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Japanese Cheesecake aka Cotton Cheesecake

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I had been wanting to try making Japanese cheesecake for a while now, but to be honest after reading multiple recipes I was really intimidated. Every post I read said it was difficult and a lot could go wrong, but I was really glad I finally took the plunge. If you can whip egg whites and make a cheesecake then you can make this.

This has become my new go to cheesecake recipe… actually I never had a go-to cheesecake recipe…but anyway it is awesome! It has a similar flavor to cheesecake but with a light airy, almost mousse texture. This would be great topped with fresh fruit. I am excited to try it with fruit on the inside like my co-worker’s aunt does.

 

Stay tuned for my next post which is a dairy free version for all of you lactose intolerant folks out there. It is coconut heaven.

 

I modified this recipe from Bake to the Roots

Ingredients

14 oz. (400g) cream cheese, at room temperature
1/4 cup (50g) sugar
1/4 cup (60g) butter, at room temperature
6 large eggs, divided
7 oz. (200g) heavy cream, at room temperature
2 tsp. lemon juice
2/3 cup (80g) all-purpose flour
1/2 cup (100g) sugar
confectioner’s sugar for dusting

Directions

  1. Grease a 9 inch (23cm) cake pan (I used a 8in and a 6in cake pan) and line with parchment paper (bottom and sides). The baking parchment should go at least 2 inches (5cm) over the edge of the form, because the cake rises a lot. Start boiling water. Preheat the oven to 325˚F (160°C).
  2. Divide the eggs and place the egg whites in the fridge.
  3. In a large bowl mix the cream cheese until lumps are gone
  4. Add the softened butter and mix until well combined.
  5. And sugar (the 1/4 cup) on medium speed until combined.
  6. Add the egg yolks one at a time.
  7. Add the heavy cream and lemon juice and mix until the batter is smooth.
  8. Sift the flour into the bowl and mix well.
  9. In a second bowl mix the cold egg whites on medium speed until they foam up. Increase the speed and slowly add the sugar (the 1/2 cup). Continue mixing on high speed for about 3-4 minutes until stiff peaks form. You should get a thick and glossy meringue – the volume should have doubled. Fold in about meringue to the cream cheese mixture in 3 parts. Transfer to the prepared cake pan or pans 😉 and smooth out the top. Let drop on your counter once or twice to get air bubbles out of the batter.
  10. Place the cake in a larger baking pan and add boiling water to that pan – the water should go up at least half way up the side of the pan. Place in the middle of the oven and bake for 55-65 minutes. Test with a toothpick inserted in the center – if it comes out clean the cake is done. Be careful – do not move the cake too much or it will collapse. Carefully remove from the oven and let cool down completely on a wire rack before removing from the cake plan. When cooled place in the fridge for 2-3 hours. Carefully remove from the pan and dust with confectioner’s sugar before serving – the cake is very delicate, so use a warm knife for cutting slices.
  11. Enjoy this wonderfully delicate and fluffy cheesecake!!!

 

 

 

World’s Best Chocolate Chip Cookies

This recipe was given to me by a friend of mine in high school and I tweaked it to turn these into the legend they are today.

I am not really sure how this recipe ended up with this name but it is pretty accurate. These are the one cookie that everyone loves. I have received marriage proposals over these cookies; the cookie I have taken on every school trip and make for almost every function. I could probably make them in my sleep at this point.

The real secret to these cookies is using two different types of chocolate chips. Feel free to play around with the amount of chips or add other mix-ins but always use milk chocolate chips and a semi-sweet or dark chocolate. I honestly think it makes any type of chocolate chip cookie better.

Ingredients

1 cup Shortening

1 cup Sugar

1 cup Brown Sugar

2 eggs

2t Vanilla

2 cups AP flour

2t Baking Soda

1t Salt

2 cups Oatmeal (I like old fashioned)

6oz milk chocolate chips

6oz semi sweet chocolate chips

 

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Cream shortening and sugars. Just cream until combined.
  3. Add one egg at a time and add vanilla.
  4. Add dry ingredients and mix until combined.
  5. Stir in chocolate chips.
  6. I use a red scoop (1 1/3oz) to portion these cookies. Most people make smaller cookies though. Bake for 7 minutes, rotate, 7 minutes more. They may take more or less time depending on how big you scoop these. Look for lightly golden brown edges with slightly gooey centers. If they are evenly golden brown they are over cooked. Let cool on pan and transfer to cooling rack once they have firmed up. Usually about 7 min.

Stephanie’s Kahlua Chocolate Cookies

These cookies remind me of the old Who Needs a Brownie cookies from Saint Cupcake back in the old days. However this recipe doesn’t have nuts in it. Though they would be pretty great with nuts. Sort of crackly on the outside and gooey on the inside as any good brownie should be.

Ingredients

1# Bittersweet Chocolate chips (this should be good chocolate, not chocolate chips)

2oz Butter

4 oz AP flour

3/4t Baking Powder

1/4t Salt

12oz Sugar

3 1/2 Eggs

1/2t Vanilla

1/2t Coffee extract/Kahlua

8oz Chocolate Chips

 

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Melt together bittersweet chocolate and butter.
  3. Sift AP flour, baking powder, and salt and set aside.
  4. Whip sugar and eggs on high speed until light and thick.
  5. Switch to a paddle attachment and stream in butter/chocolate mixture. Mix until combined.
  6. Add in flour on low speed, scrape bowl.
  7. Stir in chocolate chips.
  8. Scoop immediately. These will set up at room temp and dough should be shiny. If it isn’t, it will be ok, they just won’t be as pretty looking. Portion with level blue scoop.
  9. Bake at 350 for 7 minutes, rotate and bake for another 6-8 min. Try a couple test cookies based on the size you scoop them. They should be crackly on the outside (like a meringue) and slightly gooey on the inside.

 

Bourbon Pecan Banana Bread

IMG_6175

1 loaf about 2# 4oz 2x loaf 3x loaf Ingredients
3 6 9 Bananas
1/3 cup 2/3 cup 1 cup Melted Butter
3/4 cup 1 1/2 cup 2 1/4 cup Brown Sugar
1 2 3 Eggs
1t 2t 1T Vanilla
1.5oz 3oz 4.5oz Bourbon
1 1/2 cups 3 cups 4 1/2 cups AP Flour
1/4t 1/2t 3/4t Salt
1t 2t 1T Baking Soda
1t 2t 1T Cinnamon
1/8t 1/4t 1/8t+1/4t Clove
1 cup 2 cups 3 cups Bourbon Candied Pecans, chopped

Directions:

  1. Butter loaf pans.
  2. Mix first 6 ingredients together.
  3. Whisk dry ingredients together in a large bowl.
  4. Mix wet ingredients into dry ingredients until just combined.
  5. Stir in bourbon candied pecans.
  6. Bake at 350 degrees for 50-60 min or until a tooth pick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Bourbon Candied Pecans

1 cup Pecans

3T Brown Sugar

1 pinch Cinnamon

1 pinch Salt

Heavy Splash Bourbon

Directions:

  1. Stir all ingredients in a sauce pan over medium heat until sugar recrystallizes. Allow to cool on a parchment lined sheet pan before chopping. Can make ahead and store in an airtight container. But you should make extra, these have a tendency to disappear.

 

 

Hey… yeah it’s been a while…

I started this blog as a school project while in culinary school and for a while it was fun; but I eventually grew tired of it and then actually got to the point where quit baking at home. I have been baking 6 days a week professionally for over two years now. I love it, don’t get me wrong, but I get a bit burnt out on all of the sugar (in spite of my raging sweet tooth). For some reason I have had the desire to bake at home lately, I am not sure what has changed, but I am taking advantage while it’s there.

Any hoo, some of the recipes will have pics and some won’t. It mostly depends on whether I remembered to take a picture before I cut into it.  I am the type that can’t wait for pastries to cool before I devour them.

These are all recipes that I love and want to be able to share and have an easy reference anywhere I go. I hope you try and love them as much as I do 🙂

White Cake Recipe

I have spent years looking for a white cake recipe that I liked; every one I had encountered had been either dry, flavorless, or had a strange texture. This recipe is out of Martha Stewart’s Cupcakes and is about as close to wonderful as I think I will come across. The cake is snow white, soft, fluffy, perfectly moist, and most importantly sweet but it doesn’t taste like a boxed cake mix.

I am also going to include the Fluffy Vanilla Frosting recipe out of this book because it is very easy to work with. It is sort of a cross between a meringue buttercream and a simple buttercream in that it is sweet like a simple buttercream recipe but it stays soft like a meringue buttercream. Simple buttercream tends to form a thin shell making it hard to sprinkle if you don’t do so soon after frosting.

White Cake

yield: 24 cupcakes

Ingredients

3 1/4 cups sifted cake flour

1 1/2 tbsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

1 cup plus 2 tbsp milk

1 tbsp real vanilla (it’s the predominant flavor so splurge)

1/2 cup plus 6 tbsp (1 3/4 sticks) unsalted butter, room temp

1 3/4 cups sugar

5 large egg whites, room temp

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin tins with paper liners. Sift together cake flour, baking powder, and salt. Stir vanilla into milk.

2. With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, cream butter until smooth. Add sugar and beat until pale and fluffy. Scrape.

3. Reduce speed to low and add flour mixture in three batches, alternating with two additions of milk, beating until just combined after each.

4. In another bowl, with electric mixer on medium speed, whisk the egg whites until stiff peaks form (do not over mix).

5. Fold one-third of the egg whites into batter to lighten. Gently fold in remaining whites in two batches.

6. Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each three-quarters full. Firmly tap the tins once on the countertop to release any air bubbles. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until a toothpick inserted in the centers comes out clean, 18 to 20 min.

7. Transfer tins to wire racks to cool 10 minutes; turn out cupcakes onto racks and let cool completely. Cupcakes can be stored overnight at room temp, or frozen for up to 2 months in air tight containers.

 

Fluffy Vanilla Frosting

Yield: 4 cups or about 12 cupcakes if you ice like a bakery does (meaning a fair about of frosting)

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temp

1 lb (4 cups) powdered sugar, sifted

1/2 to 1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Directions

1. With an electric mixer, beat butter on medium-high speed until pale and creamy, about 2 minutes. If your butter isn’t quite to room temp it is fine, it will just take longer to reach this stage.

2. Reduce the speed to medium or low. Add the powdered sugar in 3 additions, scraping well after each addition. Raise speed to high and beat until very pale and fluffy.

3. Add vanilla, and beat until frosting is smooth. If not using immediately, frosting can be refrigerated for up to 10 days in an airtight container. Before using, bring to room temperature, and beat on low speed until smooth again, about 5 minutes.

 

Banana Toffee Crunch Ice cream

When I,  like most people have a lot of ripe bananas, I make banana bread. But even after I made banana bread I still had several bananas left. So I started searching through my cook books and found this recipe in The Perfect Scoop. After I tasted the base I was in love. It had a strong roasted banana flavor and it wasn’t too sweet. And if you have ever mad ice cream before, you know that once the ice cream is churned it lessens the intensity of the flavor; which is just what I had planned on.

However once I churned it I realized that it had hardly changed all and to top it off it was too rich for my taste. Meaning I had some really strong banana ice cream, which wasn’t really what I had been looking for. I decided to give it a chance and see what it tasted like in a day. The next day it was just as strong and I realized it needed some crunch. So I decided to melt it down and mix in vanilla ice cream base and add homemade toffee pieces. The results were amazing. The ice cream had a nice amount of banana flavor but it wasn’t over whelming and the pieces of toffee added crunch as well as a little bit of chocolate. Listed below are the recipes for the roasted banana ice cream, altered vanilla base, and homemade toffee. I didn’t combine the two ice cream base recipes because they are made differently.

IMG_2015

Roasted Banana Ice Cream

Makes about 1 Quart

Ingredients

3 medium-sized ripe bananas, peeled

1/3 cup packed light brown sugar

1 tbsp butter, salted or unsalted, cut into small pieces

1 1/2 cups whole milk

2 tbsp granulated sugar

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1 1/2 freshly squeezed lemon juice

1/4 tsp course salt

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Slice the bananas into 1/2 in pieces and toss them with the brown sugar and butter in a 2 quart baking dish. Bake for 40 minutes (stirring half way through baking) until the bananas are browned and cooked through.
  3. Scrape the bananas and the thick syrup in the baking dish into a blender or food processor. Add the milk, granulated sugar, vanilla, lemon juice, and salt, and puree until smooth.
  4. Chill the mixture throughly in the refrigerator, then freeze in your ice cream maker. Or mix with the following Vanilla ice cream base, and mix to your ice cream maker. Once churned, hand fold in broken up pieces of toffee. They should be small pieces, about the size of a dime, if not smaller.

I removed the vanilla bean from this recipe

IMG_2003

Vanilla Ice Cream

Makes about 1 quart

Ingredients

1 cup whole milk

3/4 cup sugar

2 cups heavy cream

pinch of salt

6 large egg yolks

3/4 tsp vanilla extract

Directions

  1. Heat the milk, sugar, 1 cup of the cream, and salt in a medium sauce pan over medium heat until the sugar is dissolved. Take milk mixture off the heat and allow to cool for 30 min.
  2. Pour the remaining 1 cup of cream into a large bowl and set a mesh strainer on top. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks. Slowly pour the warm mixture into the egg yolks, whisking constantly, then scrape the warmed egg yolks into the saucepan.
  3. Stir the mixture over medium heat with a heatproof spatula, scraping the bottom as you stir, until the mixture thickens and coats the spatula.
  4. Pour the custard through the strainer and stir it into the cream, and add the vanilla extract, and stir until cool over an ice bath.
  5. Chill the mixture thoroughly in the refrigerator. Then churn the base in an ice cream maker. Or mix with the roasted banana ice cream base, and then churn in an ice cream maker. Once churned, hand fold in broken up pieces of toffee. They should be small pieces, about the size of a dime, if not smaller.

IMG_2002

Toffee

Makes 2 cups

Ingredients

1 tbsp water

4 tbsp butter, salted or unsalted, cut into pieces

1/2 cup granulated sugar

2 tbsp packed light brown sugar

1/8 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 cup chocolate chips or 3 oz bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped

Directions

  1. Create an outline of 8 in circle on a parchment lined baking sheet. I use a cake pan to make the outline.
  2. Fit a small, heavy-duty saucepan with a candy thermometer, then add the water, butter, granulated sugar, a brown sugar, mixing them together. Have baking soda and vanilla measured and ready.
  3. Cook the mixture over medium heat, stirring as little as possible. (you may need to tilt the pan to get an accurate read on your thermometer. When the mixture reaches 300 degrees, remove the pan from the heat and immediately stir in the baking soda and vanilla. Mix just until combined; don’t over-stir.
  4. Right away, pour the hot toffee mixture and spread to cover the circle.
  5. Scatter the chocolate pieces over the toffee and wait 2 minutes to allow them to melt. Use a spatula to spread the chocolate into an even layer. If you’d like sprinkle the chocolate with finishing salt or with coarse salt. Cool completely, until the chocolate is firm. Depending on the temperature of your kitchen you may need to cool it in the refrigerator. Remove it once the chocolate has hardened.

Storage: The toffee can be stored in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks in the freezer or at room temperature.

Creme Brulee

Creme brulee is one of the quintessential restaurant desserts. You’ll find it in just about any restaurant you go to, yet it still has a reputation that oozes class. It is silky smooth custard covered in caramelized sugar. You can’t get better than that. Sounds hard to make right?

Wrong!

You couldn’t be further from the truth and it is inexpensive to boot! The sad part is most restaurants’ creme brulee ranges from bad to down right inedible. In all of my years of eating dessert I have yet to taste a lusciously creamy (you can’t forget flavorful) creme brulee with the perfect amount of caramelized sugar on top that creates that wonderful *crack* sound when you take the first spoonful.

Once I found this recipe (which I found in a publication of Cooks magazine) I actually stopped eating creme brulee in restaurants because I was tired of paying so much for a dessert that I could make for pennies on the dollar and I knew would be impeccable. The following recipe is actually less than a dollar per serving, and is quite a show stopper. My parents have told me on numerous occasions that I have “spoiled them” and whenever they brave trying creme brulee at a new restaurant, it never compares.

I mean and who doesn’t like playing with a little fire now and again? It’s honestly my favorite part of making this lovely dessert…well besides eating it of course.

*note*

To serve this dessert you will either need a blow torch or to use the broil setting on your oven. I personally don’t trust my oven to do an even job of caramelizing, so I have never tried this method. You can purchase a little torch at most stores that sell kitchen gadgets. However I would recommend purchasing a real blow torch from your local hard ware store. The last time I bought one, the propane canister cost about $5 and the head (the part the flame comes out of) cost around $15, and they last a long time. I have had mine for two years and I use it several times a year and I am maybe a 1/3 of the way the way through the container. Invest in one that self ignites, trust me it will save you time and effort.

Creme Brulee

Creme Brulee

Serves 8-10

Ingredients

4 cups chilled heavy cream.

2/3 cup granulated sugar

pinch salt

1 vanilla bean, halved lengthwise

12 large egg yolks

8-12 tsps cane sugar

Directions

  1. Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 300 degrees.
  2. Combine 2 cups cream, sugar, and salt in a medium saucepan; with paring knife, scrape seeds from vanilla bean into pan, submerge pod in cream, and bring mixture to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally to ensure that sugar dissolves. Take pan off heat and let steep 15 minutes to infuse flavors.
  3. Meanwhile, place a kitchen towel in the bottom of a large baking dish or roasting pan and arrange *8-10 4-5 oz ramekins (or shallow fluted dishes) on *towel. Bring a kettle or large saucepan of water to boil over high heat.
  4. After cream has steeped, stir in remaining 2 cups of cream to cool down mixture. Whisk yolks in large bowl until broken up and combined. Whisk about 1 cup cream mixture into yolks until loosened and combined. Add remaining cream and whisk until evenly colored and throughly combined. Strain through a fine mesh strainer into a 2-qt measuring cup, or a pitcher (or clean medium bowl); discard solids in strainer. Pour or ladle mixture into ramekins, dividing it evenly among them.
  5. Carefully place baking dish with ramekins on oven rack; pour boiling water into dish, taking care not to splash water into the ramekins, until water reaches 2/3 the height of ramekins. Bake until centers are just *barely set and are no longer sloshy and a digital instant-read thermometer inserted in the centers registers 170-175 degrees, 30 35 minutes (25-30 minutes for shallow fluted dishes). Begin checking temperatures about 5 minutes before recommended time.
  6. *Transfer ramekins to a wire rack to cool to room temperature, about 2 hrs. Set ramekins on a rimmed baking sheet, cover tightly with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until cold, at least 4 hrs or up to 4 days.
  7. Uncover ramekins; if condensation has formed on the custards, place a paper towel on surface to soak up moisture. Sprinkle each with about 1 tsp *cane sugar; tilt and tap ramekins for even coverage. Ignite torch and caramelize the sugar. I recommend (if you can handle it) holding the ramekin at a 45 degree angle and slowly rotating it in your hand while you are caramelizing the sugar. It will help the sugar melt more evenly. If you are afraid to hold the ramekin while you are caramelizing the sugar you can put it on a lazy susan and slowly turn it. If you are using a real blow torch keep the flame approx 8-10in away from the surface.  This will allow you to evenly caramelize the sugar without getting burnt spots. If you are using a little torch keep the flame approx 1-4in away from the surface. I recommend to serve *immediately. However they may be kept refrigerated for up to 30 minutes uncovered.

Variations

Tea infused creme brulee-(you can use any kind of tea you’d like, I prefer chai or green tea)

  • Knot together the strings of 10 tea bags. Follow the recipe above, substituting tea bags for vanilla bean; after steeping, squeeze bags to extract all the liquid. Whisk 1 tsp vanilla extract into yolks in step 4 before adding cream.

Add fresh fruit or a layer of chocolate

  • Follow the recipe above; but before pouring the custard into the ramekins put fresh fruit in the bottom such as raspberries, sliced strawberries, blueberries, or blackberries. Or you could put pieces of chocolate down. I would recommend melting it a bit so they don’t float. Yum!

Tips and Tricks

  1. I say 8-10 because it depends on how full you fill them. I can get 10 portions out of this recipe, however if you are looking for hardier portions just fill 8 ramekins. Try to make the ramekins as level as possible; it will help to prevent spilling and improve the presentation.
  2. I consider it a firm giggle like jello.
  3. I use tongs with rubber bands wrapped around the pinchers.
  4. I think it melts better than beet sugar. I recommend serving immediately because I love eating the two different temperatures. Warm from the caramelizing process and cold from it being recently refrigerated.

The Wedding

 So here it is my first wedding cake!

Sorry this is so so sooooo late! I took a little break from baking, I think I got a little burnt out. But then work got really crazy and the n I really didn’t feel like baking after working 45hr weeks. But I have gotten to do some fun things at work recently so I will post those soon!

Bottom tier:

Vanilla cake with raspberry filling

Middle tier:

chocolate cake with caramel buttercream filling

Top tier:

Red velvet with cream cheese filling

I iced the whole cake in vanilla buttercream.

Over all I am pretty happy with it and it received lots of woo’s and ahhh’s but being the perfectionist that I am there are a lot of things that I would change for the next time I make a cake.