Wednesday, December 30, 2009

TWD: Low and Lush Chocolate Cheesecake

Here's the deal...I made this cake in plenty of time to post yesterday...but then the flu struck and it all went to h-e-double toothpick.

I made this for our Christmas Eve family get together and it was a huge hit.

I piled on the whipped cream and raspberries and then shaved some milk chocolate over the top.

Very rich, very lush, very delicious.

Here's where the problems start again.

I was in a hurry to get to my cousin's house on Christmas Eve so I didn't get a chance to take a picture of the finished product prior to leaving.

There were a lot of other dessert there so I knew that mine wouldn't get eaten entirely...that's fine, I only needed one slice to take home for a picture.

When we left that night I had about 3 slices of cheesecake left so I knew that would be perfect for photographing the next day. etc. No time to photograph. Someone had a slice for dessert and I assumed they cut a wedge to enjoy.

I was wrong.

They scooped a bunch out of the middle of the cake and I no longer had any wedges.

Oh's what I had left.

Top view

As I said, it was delicious....and I'm not a cheesecake lover.

Here's a little wedge I was able to salvage.

This was super easy to make and there are lots of ways you can dress it up.

Thanks to the Tea Lady over at Tea and Scones for her choice of this yummy dessert for this week's Tuesdays with Dorie.

Don't forget to stop by here to see what the others have made.

Thanks for stopping by.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

TWD: My Favorite Pecan Pie

Probably my favorite now too....

Tuesday's with Dorie this week is brought to us by Beth over at Someone's in the Kitchen with Brina.

I've only ever made one pecan pie before and that was when we were living in Australia. It was Thanksgiving time and a friend of mine really wanted a pecan pie. Being the only American within a 50 mile radius I said I would make her one.

Bad idea....I ended up baking it for something like an hour and a half and the thing was like a hockey puck..a super sweet hockey puck but nonetheless, she ate it and then thanked me!

Never again....I'll bake pies that are easier to gauge when are done.

Then came this pie. Not so sweet and easy to bake. I took Dorie's word for it that the pie would be done when puffed and not jiggly and you know what? She was right!

My crust got a little crispy and brown and lost it's crimping but still tasted good.

I omitted the chocolate and espresso powder in this pie because this was a Thanksgiving dessert and I was also bringing the Chocolate Caramel Chestnut Cake to the Thanksgiving feast.

A little brown sugar whipped cream does a body good.

This pecan pie is a simple, flavorful pecan pie. What a pecan pie should look and taste like! And Dorie's right, you can taste the pecans.

Don't forget to stop by over here to see what the other bakers' have created.

Thanks for stopping by.

Here's hoping everyone has a very Merry Christmas!!!!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Still on a quest for the best...

...cranberry sauce.

I have a thing for cranberry sauce. Always have. I am the one to bring the sauce to the Thanksgiving feast, wherever we happen to be. I love trying out different recipes, adding different spices, ingredients etc. I don't think I've made the same sauce twice.....ever. I love how you can combine a bunch of ingredients with whole cranberries and after turning to mush after cooking for a while, it still ends up tasting great!

So when I saw this recipe over at Noble Pig, I had to try it out. This sauce uses canned mandarins, a chopped up apple, orange marmalade, raisins and curry powder among other ingredients. (These are just the ones that you might not find in every cranberry sauce recipe.)

It sounded intriguing to me.

So..I used 4 fresh mandarins instead of the canned. I live near the foothills of Northern California and it is mandarin season around would have been sacrilege to use canned! I left out the raisins and used dried cranberries instead (out of raisins) and I chopped up a Pippin apple picked from a friend's tree.

After combining with the rest of the ingredients, bringing to a boil and simmering for about 45 minutes...I had a yummy sauce.

I'm not sure if this is the ultimate sauce for me. I will continue on my quest. In the meantime, enjoy this version and let me know what you think.

And while I was there, I saw this recipe for Sweet Potato Pie with Marshmallow Meringue Topping. I am so making that next.

Thanks for stopping by.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Cranberry Crumb Bars....AKA Something everyone will like when you bring it to their house on a moment's notice

Trolling through the food blogs I found this recipe here.

Since it's cranberry season and I have cranberries in my freezer just waiting to be used, I decided to go to the grocery store and pick up a few more bags!

Hey, they're on sale right now. At least that's how I am justifying my purchase to myself.

This is so easy to put together and tastes so good. The fresh cranberries are left whole so there is no need for chopping. There is a crust on the bottom and a crust on the top (from the same dough mixture, the topping just has some added cinnamon) and a beautiful cranberry filling.

I didn't have any oranges for the fresh juice so I just poured in some Tropicana.


Go make your own right now!

Monday, December 7, 2009

TWD: Sables

Update: Added some pictures for your viewing pleasure :)

I wanted to get this up on Tuesday so I'll add the photos tomorrow. No light today and I refuse to use flash :) We did get snow though!

Bungalow Barbara chose this week's Tuesdays with Dorie selection. These tasty little cookies can be found on pages 131 - 133 of Dorie's book. The nice thing about these cookies is that they can be made sweet or, with a couple of omissions and additions, savory. I think I'm going to try those next.

The dough comes together quickly and once you roll it into logs and chill for a couple of hours in the fridge, it's good to go.

I doubled the recipe so that I could use the cookies for Christmas give aways. I also changed up the original recipe by using the playing around spice version. I added cinnamon, ginger and freshly grated nutmeg.

The dough chilled for 3 days in my fridge.

Once I brushed the logs with the beaten egg yolk, I sprinkled one with green sparkling sugar and the other with red and white. Sliced them up and baked them for 17 minutes exactly.

They turned on really nice. Crisp and buttery....spicy with a bit of crunch from the sparkling sugar. I'm afraid I could eat and eat and eat these and not realize what was happening until they were all gone. Perfect for teacher gifts.

Have a look over here to see what the others baked up.

Thanks for stopping by.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

TWD...late: Chocolate Caramel Chestnut Cake

I debated about even posting this as I am so late...but my pictures were pretty and the cake was so very good.

Thanks to Katya of Second Dinner for choosing this cake. Perfect to take to a dinner with friends.
Found the chestnuts at Whole Foods.

And the vanilla sweetened chestnut cream

It did take me 3 days to stages....but it was the centerpiece dessert for Thanksgiving and being not too terribly sweet, it went over very well.

I didn't have a 9" square pan. I used a 9" round and made 3 cupcakes with the extra batter. Good thing I did, the cake rose right to the top of the pan.

They're little chestnut cupcakes filled and iced with the chocolate caramel and then the glaze (ganache) on the top.

I didn't have any problems with the glaze not firming fact it firmed up to SPREADING consistency in about 2 hours. I spread it on with a spatula.

I dusted the chestnuts with some gold dust (edible) and then flicked it across the top of the cake. You can't really tell in the photograph, but it's there.

All in all a complete success. Don't forget to stop by here to see what the others baked up.

Thanks for stopping by.