When in Doubt…Leave it at 350

baking, cooking, and other adventures

Tuesdays with Dorie: Low and Luscious Chocolate Cheesecake January 3, 2010

Filed under: Baking,Cheesecake,Tuesdays With Dorie — pastrybrush @ 12:51 pm
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This weeks Tuesdays with Dorie is brought to you by The Tea Lady of Tea and Scones.  She chose Dorie’s Low and Luscious Chocolate Cheesecake located on page 243 in Baking: From My Home to Yours.  Because the holiday season is almost over and God knows I made a craptastic ton of desserts and cookies, I decided to only make half a recipe and make them small.  The recipe ended up making 4 small cheesecakes.  I think I should have dumped more batter in each, but then I would have only made two, but I think they would have turned out a little taller than they did.

For the crust I used left over molasses cookies that I had an incident with 🙂  Lets just say I made a double batch, and realized halfway through baking the first round that something wasn’t right and then realized, “Opps, I forgot the baking soda.”  I can honestly say that that was the first time that I have ever done that.  To salvage the rest of the dough, I kneaded in the correct amount of baking soda.  Granted, they didn’t turn out as pretty as before, but they still tasted good.  So the crispy ones with no baking soda turned into a cookie crust for the cheesecake.

You are probably wondering how the molasses cookie crust tasted with the chocolate cheesecake.  It was pretty good, but it would have been better with a graham cracker crust instead.  I didn’t want to waste the cookies, but I am still going to eat the cheesecake.  I discovered that if the cheesecake is at room temperature, it has more of a chocolaty flavor and is so yummy.  Oh, the cheesecake is really easy to make and turned out perfectly smooth and remember room temperature 🙂


The Daring Bakers’ Challenge: Caramel Macchiato Swirl Cheesecake April 27, 2009

Filed under: Baking,Cheesecake,The Daring Bakers' — pastrybrush @ 7:00 am
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daring-bakersThe April 2009 challenge is hosted by Jenny from Jenny Bakes. She has chosen Abbey’s Infamous Cheesecake as the challenge.  For this challenge we were given a basic recipe and were given free reign to spice it up, changing the flavor, crust, etc.  I knew that I wanted to do something with espresso flavoring, but I figured an entire cheesecake might be a little overpowering.  I was stuck between two different flavor combinations: Caramel Mocha Cheesecake or Caramel Macchiato Cheesecake.  In the end, I went with the Caramel Macchiato Cheesecake because Tuesdays with Dorie is currently have a month of chocolate recipes and I needed a small break.

At first I wanted to do the cheesecake in two distinct layers, an espresso layer and a vanilla layer.  In the end this didn’t work out as planning and I just swirled them together 🙂  I made a caramel sauce which I used to drizzel on the top of the cheesecake in a crosshatch pattern and then added whipped cream rosettes for an added bonus because who doesn’t like whipped cream on cheesecake 🙂

This was probably one of the best cheesecakes I have ever made.  It turned out perfect.  I really couldn’t believe that I didn’t have any cracking or sinking.  The texture was smooth and creamy.  The flavor was spot on and awesome. (more…)


Tuesdays With Dorie: Tall and Creamy Cheesecake December 30, 2008

Filed under: Baking,Tuesdays With Dorie — pastrybrush @ 7:00 am
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tuesdayswithdorieThis weeks Tuesdays with Dorie was chosen by Anne of AnneStrawberry.  She chose Dorie’s Tall and Creamy Cheesecake which is located on pages 235-237 in Baking: From My Home to Yours. Right off the bat when I saw this recipe I knew that I was going to make a plan cheesecake with a raspberry sauce on top.  My plans changed when Maria, DrFaulken’s mom, presented me with a container of Guava Paste and told me that her brother use to make great guava cheesecake.

100_1836So began the research on how much guava paste to add.  I ended up searching all over the internet to find a recipe similar to Dorie’s so that the cheesecake would turn out okay.  I was a little skeptical since I have never had a guava or really know what it tastes like.  At first I was looking for a recipe that I could use all the paste in but then i realized that the container was 21 oz and that wasn’t going to happened. I finally found a recipe that was similar and decided to add approximately 12 oz of the paste to the cream cheese at the beginning of the recipe.  I also add the juice of half of a lime since most of the online recipes had either a little bit of lemon or lime juice in them.

100_1839The cheesecake turned out fantastic and the taste was awesome.  The only problem was cutting the damn thing.  The cheesecake was so creamy when you tried to pull your knife out the whole insides of the cheesecake would be stuck to the knife.  I also think my crust was a little thin so next time I am going to make a thicker crust for the cheesecake and actually freeze the cheesecake before I slice into it so that it makes pretty slices and not crazy deformed slices 🙂


Another Reason I haven’t posted about Cookies, Yet :) December 15, 2008

100_1769I know

I know

I know

I told you that I would be posting about all the cookies that I have baked for the holidays.  Well I guess I forgot to tell you that I was also making goodies for my friend, Crystal.  She recently got involved with Avon and decided to have an Avon Party.  She called and asked that if I could make desserts or whatever for the party


I knew right off the bat that there would be a cookie platter (Andes Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies, Amaretti, Sugar Cookies w/orange zest, Linzer Sables, Italian Fig Spirals, Butterballs, and Oatmeal Raisin with Cinnamon Chips) because DAMN there was a lot of cookies.  I had recently found key limes at the grocery store and had everything to make Mini Key Lime Pies.  I also purchased extra cream cheese and could make Mini Vanilla Cheesecakes.  I wanted there to be a non dairy option since Crystal is lactose intolerant.   Her and her mom already have tasted some of the vegan cupcakes that I made and loved them.  It happened that I was thinking about making two types of vegan cupcakes and had the ingredients: Vegan Red Velvet Cupcakes with Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting and Cookies ‘n’ Cream Cupcakes with Vegan Fluffy Buttercream Frosting.


I had no intention of making Crystal pay for any of these items since I was planning on making them and had everything on hand.  Also, since this was her first Avon Party she needed to make some of her money back 🙂

I made everything and it turned out FANTASTIC.  I saved myself one of each cupcake so that I could try them, and I don’t care what anyone says they were great.  I made name cards for everything and decided not to write “VEGAN” on it because some omnis get scared by that word.  I ended up writing at the bottom in small letters “Non Dairy” 🙂


100_1772For the recipes, I just used my Key Lime Pie recipe from a previous post and used a mini cheesecake pan 🙂  For the Mini Vanilla Cheesecakes I used the recipe on the back of the Williams Sonoma box and added 1 tsp of vanilla bean paste.  The recipe is below.  Now the recipes for the vegan cupcakes come from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World.  I have posted too many recipes from those lovely ladies and would just like to tell you that if you haven’t bought the book already.  YOU REALLY NEED TO.  You won’t regret it.

OH, I forgot to mention.  I tried my hands at making Venetians aka Rainbow Layer Cookies and HOLY CRAP!!!  They turned out great.  Funny thing is at work everyone was saying that they taste better than the ones we carry, even the owners 🙂  I wish I could have stayed and enjoyed the party, but I had to leave right after I set all the food up to go into work.  That is what I get for being in the service industry.

Mini Vanilla Cheesecakes

Source: Williams Sonoma the back of the box that my mini pan came in

For the Crusts:
1 cup (114g) chocolate cookie or


vanilla wafer crumbs
2 Tbs. sugar
Pinch of salt
2 Tbs. unsalted butter, melted

For the Filling
16 oz. (500g) cream cheese
2 eggs
¼ cup (60ml) heavy cream
½ cup (125g) sugar
1 tsp. vanilla paste or Vanilla extract
Pinch of salt

Have all the ingredients at room temperature. Preheat an over to 350°F (180°C). Lightly coat the cups of the 12-cup mini cheesecake pan with nonstick cooking spray.

To make the crusts, in a small bowl, stir together the cookie crumbs, sugar, and salt. Add the melted butter and stir until combined. Divide the mixture among the cups, and using your fingertip, press it evenly into the bottom (I 100_1782find that a coffee tapper works a lot better for this). Bake until the crusts are set, about 10 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool completely. Reduce the head to 300°F ( 150°C).

To make the filling, in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the flat beater, beat the cream cheese on low speed until smooth, 2 to 3 minutes. Increase the speed to medium-low and add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the cream and vanilla paste and beat until incorporated, about 1 minute. Add the sugar and salt and beat until incorporated, about 2 minutes, stopping the mixer occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl.

Pour the batter into the crusts, dividing it evenly among the cups (I find that if you fill it to about 1/8-1/4 of an inch from the top it won’t deflate too much once out of the oven. This will leave you with about ½ cup of filling left over; just bake in a small ramekin). Bake until the cheesecakes are set, about 20 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool completely. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before unmolding.

To unmold, insert the dowel into the hole in the bottom of each cup. Gently push up to remove the cheesecake from the cup. Use a small spatula or butter knife to remove the cake from the metal bottom. If the cheesecakes are sticking to the pan, gently run a toothpick around each cheesecake to loosen it before pushing it out of the cup. Makes 12 mini cheesecakes.