Friday, September 10, 2010


I currently find myself in San Francisco with a brand new gorgeous little niece and my whole immediate family in the same place for the first time in.. 2 years?! 1 year? Something like that. shocking. Anyway, my sister and the mother of the aforementioned babe requested that I make a cheesecake that somehow involved chocolate, caramel, and nuts. To me all this can mean is turtle. So I went for it. My 2 year old nephew Gideon (of the same sister) helped me with the mixer right up until I caught him eating an entire handful of the batter. A compliment yes, but also adorable. He also spent the remainder of the night with us in the kitchen dancing to Beyonce and Michael Jackson. I love this kid. And here are tons of pictures of him, since I can't help but show off.

his other aunts and I bought him a suit and took him out on a dinner date.

me and gid at the beach

Our little noob, baby Rue.

Moving right along on this here overindulgent sweets train I appear to be on, I found this one on The Girl Who Ate Everything.

I had a couple of challenges as my sister doesn't bake much and therefore doesn't care about things like springform pans and juicers. It actually was kind of fun to try to find creative ways to get the job done. And despite it all, the cheesecake turned out completely awesome and ridiculously rich. I would certainly recommend this one. Just try not to eat two peices like I did. Tempting though it may be, you WILL feel like you want to die. (An extra little note: my mom just ate some ice cream and said "after kaysie's cheesecake everything else just tastes boring." BAM!)

So. Without further rambling:
Recipe Soundtrack: Single Ladies. I had to do it.

The Girl Who Ate Everything

1 3/4 cups ground oreos (I did this in a blender and it worked like gangbusters.)
1/3 cup butter, melted
3 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened Condensed Milk
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs
3 tablespoons lime juice
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Caramel syrup (I used homemade but store-bought would work just fine)
1/2 cup coarsely chopped pecans
1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate mini morsels

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Grease 9-inch springform pan. (For lack of better options, I used a square pyrex pan.)

Combine crumbs and butter in medium bowl. Press onto bottom and 1 inch up side of prepared pan.

Beat cream cheese and sweetened condensed milk in large mixer bowl until smooth. Add sugar, eggs, lime juice and vanilla extract; beat until combined.

Remove 1 cup of filling and set aside. Melt chocolate chips about 1 minute, (just until melted) and mix completely into the 1-cup reserved filling.

Pour 1/2 of the white filling into crust, then the chocolate filling, then the last 1/2 of the white. Take knife and gently swirl.

Bake for 1 hour 10 to 15 minutes or until edge is set and center moves slightly. Cool in pan on wire rack for 10 minutes; run knife around edge of cheesecake. Cool completely. Drizzle caramel syrup over cheesecake. Sprinkle with pecans and mini morsels. (we just drizzled melted chocolate chips and caramel on top with chopped pecans. Refrigerate for several hours or overnight. Remove side of pan.

Thursday, September 9, 2010


Geez, things have been ridiculous around here. Benny is scouting in Seattle and I'm staying with my sister and brother-in-law in San Francisco for a few weeks before I return to Chicago to work and then meet up with Benny in Seattle. Whew!

So it is true that my blog is suffering some from this, BUT if there are any loyal readers who care about reading this, the good news is that once I get to Seattle I'm going to try to start up a little baking business (of sorts). This means tons of recipes once we get settled.

My reaction to Benny's perfect gift!

I have however, been holding back this recipe from my birthday (which was in July!); ginger soaked spongecake with blueberry compote and ginger cream cheese frosting, oh yes. I'd been meaning to try this one out since at least March.

Only a small part of Benny's feast

I'd really been looking forward to this birthday meal for a long time. Benny, bless his little heart, spent a whole day working on my favorite indonesian dinner and I made the cake components in advance and put it together right before we ate it. All went off without a hitch and my family absolutely loved Benny's cooking, of course.

Best indonesian ever. Anyway, here's the ginger blueberry cake recipe. I got it from poires au chocolat and I'd really like to try it again. (She makes the best and most beautiful cakes!) Anyway, totally delicious. I would recommend using a TON of the frosting though. Its SO good and really adds to the flavor of the whole cake. I would also have liked to have done 4 layers instead of two, so I'd recommend that as well.

Recipe Soundtrack: "Walk In The Park" by Beach House. Can't stop singing this song lately.

From Poires au Chocolat

For the cakes (single mix):
250g unsalted butter, softened
150g caster sugar
5 large eggs
85g plain flour
100g full-fat greek yogurt
250g self raising flour
3 tbsp milk

Preheat oven to 160C/140C for fan ovens. Grease and fully line the tin. Put the butter and sugar in a mixer and cream till pale and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well between each addition. You may need to add a tbsp or two of flour to stop it getting slimy. Beat in the yogurt. Sift the flours over the batter and fold in - when nearly done, add the milk. Spoon into a tin and bake for about 1 hour - 1 hr 20 or until risen, golden and a skewer comes out clean. Leave to cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes before spiking the cake all over and pouring some syrup over, letting it sink in as evenly as possible. Leave to cool completely before removing from the tin.

For the ginger syrup:
200g caster sugar
200 ml water
4 slices of fresh ginger

Take the root of ginger and cut small discs from it about 3 or 4 mm thick. Put the sugar, water and ginger discs into a small sauce pan and heat gently till the sugar is dissolved. Remove to a bowl and leave to infuse and cool.

For the blueberry compote:
500g frozen blueberries
zest and juice of 1 lemon
200g caster sugar
2 tbsp water

Put all the ingredients into a small saucepan and over a medium heat bring to the boil and then remove - you don't want it to be mushy, so try not to stir all the time or overcook it. Transfer to a bowl and leave to cool.

For the ginger cream cheese icing:
150g room temperature unsalted butter
400g icing sugar
300g cream cheese
200g mascarpone
1 tsp ground ginger
3 cm fresh root ginger
20 ml water
30g caster sugar

Cut the ginger root up into small pieces then put in a small pan with the water and caster sugar. Wait till the sugar is dissolved them bring to the boil - you want this syrup to have a much more concentrated ginger flavour than the ginger syrup to soak the cakes in. Leave to cool. Beat the butter and icing sugar together - this might be easier in a food processor as it won't come together and will be quite dusty. When the butter is evenly dispersed, add the cream cheese, mascarpone and ground ginger. Beat until smooth and increased in volume. Pour in the concentrated ginger syrup and beat again to incorporate. Put into the fridge to firm slightly.

To assemble:
fresh blueberries (I used four small packets).

Split the layers into the desired number. Sandwich them up on a board covered with four strips of baking parchment with the blueberry compote. Fix this in place with some wooden kebab sticks or similar for dowels - I used four from the top right through to the bottom. Trim as desired. Use a palette knife to cover the cake with a crumb coat - careful with the blueberry compote coming through. Put in the fridge/a cold place for 15 mins or so to firm up slightly. Carefully cover the cake with a thicker layer of icing, again being careful to not let the blueberry come through. Starting from the top, start placing blueberries in the desired pattern, working downwards and then around. They should stay in the icing if pushed in slightly. Remove the baking parchment and make any final touches. Put in a cool place till served (you don't want it too cold - it could be kept in the fridge and then taken out 15 mins or so before eating.