Monday, April 28, 2008

Cheesecake Pops

I first have to apologize for the lack of posts lately, but our kitchen remodel has been keeping us very busy (not to mention challenged to cook post worthy items). I think if it weren't for the Daring Bakers I probably would have even fewer postings in the last month!
This month's theme was Cheesecake pops. The recipe can be found here. This recipe is an adaptation of from a book by Jill O’Connors called ”Sticky, Chewy, Messy, Gooey.” These are a little time consuming to scoop and roll into balls, but a fun way to eat cheesecake. These are great for parties because the portioning is taken care of and I think the sticks lend themselves to creative serving ideas. In my picture I had a cup filled with rock salt, and stuck them in the salt. I always love small portions of food because I usually find myself satisfied after a few bites, and this was definitely the case with the cheesecake. It was also a nice ratio of chocolate to cheesecake. On the outside I rolled them into two different toppings. The lighter more fine coating was some leftover candied peanuts that were finely crushed and the other was Feullitinne - a somewhat speciality item, but essentially the same as a ground up sugar ice cream cone. These were a lot of fun, and the cheesecake recipe came out very creamy and subtle which makes it the perfect base for all sorts of fun toppings!

Please be checking back to my blog, as our kitchen is almost finished and I will be cooking a lot more now (and posting more items).

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Carrot Cake

This is a recipe I have been developing overtime, a mix of a few recipes with a few of my own additions. This is becoming a cake served at a lot of our family functions. I think I still need to make a few tweaks before I am happy with it but it’s still good as it is! I have two different pictures posted here, one of a birthday cake that I did for my Grandma Ruth in early March, and then one recent picture taken so the inside could be seen as well.

Carrot Cake
Makes 1 9-10” square or round about 1 ½ inches high

2 eggs (room temperature)

4 oz browned butter*

½ tsp vanilla

¼ cup white sugar

½ cup brown sugar

2 oz AP flour

2.25 oz whole wheat pastry flour

¼ cup almond meal (finely ground up almonds sometimes called almond flour)

1 tsp baking soda

¾ tsp baking powder

¼ tsp salt

1 ½ tsp cinnamon

¼ tsp nutmeg

¼ tsp ground ginger

4 oz grated carrot

½ cup golden raisins

½ cup unsweetened coconut

4 oz crushed pineapple (or finely diced fresh)

* browned butter is made by melting butter slowly in a pan until you see all the milk solids turn to a dark brown color. The butter will look fairly dark and the browned bits will stick to the bottom of the pan. Be careful to not let it burn at this point. This is what is referred to as browned butter (beurre noisette). It has a great nutty flavor and aroma that works really in this cake. This can also be replaced by regular butter (using the creaming method) or oil.

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a square or round pan and line it with parchment and set aside. Whisk the eggs through brown sugar together until frothy. Sift the dry ingredients (and put back all the pieces of almond meal that didn't make it through the sifter). Mix into the wet then fold in the carrots, raisins, coconut and pineapple. Bake until a skewer comes out clean and when pressed in the middle, the cake bounces back.

White Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

I like this frosting because it is not too sweet, but with the addition of all the white chocolate it is so easy to work with.

9 oz white chocolate (must be good- the flavor does come through)

12 oz cream cheese – room temp

6 oz butter

1 ½ TBS lemon juice

Melt the white chocolate and mix into the cream cheese. You can do this by hand or on a mixer using the paddle attachment. Once all mixed in slowly add the butter and once mixed add the lemon juice. If you want it sweeter you can add powdered sugar to taste or also some zest (up to 1 tbs) or even vanilla.