Tuesday, 28 April 2009

TWD: Chocolate creme pie

Chocolate Creme Pie

This weeks recipe is almost the exact same as what we did earlier in the month for banana creme pie. I think I can almost safely say I've now got the hang of custard making. The flavor on this was incredibly rich and I think if I had to do it again, I would go with a plain crust just for a (dare I say it) respite from the chocolate attack.. don't get me wrong I freaking love chocolate- but not when its battling on my fork.

Sorry for the terrible pictures, I must of been hurrying to eat this! I made two 4" pies from a half recipe.. they were gobbled up immediately! Be sure to check out the rest of the TWD blogroll for other great pies!

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Monday, 27 April 2009

Daring Bakers: Cheescake

The April 2009 challenge is hosted by Jenny from Jenny Bakes. She has chosen Abbey's Infamous Cheesecake as the challenge.

I'm not a huge fan of cheesecake- while I do enjoy it, its never something I order when out and the last time I made it was by request. I found this one to be a bit too cooked for my taste (perhaps my own cooking time error?) but see other pictures showing not a silken filling but curdling looking center. I adapted the recipe by only making one third. The crust is made with a crushed ginger cookie and I added ginger marmalade, ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg to the filling.

The end result was nice, but not better than the last one I made from Nigella's cookbook!

Abbey's Infamous Cheesecake:

crust:2 cups / 180 g graham cracker crumbs1 stick / 4 oz butter, melted2 tbsp. / 24 g sugar1 tsp. vanilla extract
cheesecake:3 sticks of cream cheese, 8 oz each (total of 24 oz) room temperature1 cup / 210 g sugar3 large eggs1 cup / 8 oz heavy cream1 tbsp. lemon juice1 tbsp. vanilla extract (or the innards of a vanilla bean)1 tbsp liqueur, optional, but choose what will work well with your cheesecake
DIRECTIONS:1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (Gas Mark 4 = 180C = Moderate heat). Begin to boil a large pot of water for the water bath.
2. Mix together the crust ingredients and press into your preferred pan. You can press the crust just into the bottom, or up the sides of the pan too - baker's choice. Set crust aside.
3. Combine cream cheese and sugar in the bowl of a stand-mixer (or in a large bowl if using a hand-mixer) and cream together until smooth. Add eggs, one at a time, fully incorporating each before adding the next. Make sure to scrape down the bowl in between each egg. Add heavy cream, vanilla, lemon juice, and alcohol and blend until smooth and creamy.
4. Pour batter into prepared crust and tap the pan on the counter a few times to bring all air bubbles to the surface. Place pan into a larger pan and pour boiling water into the larger pan until halfway up the side of the cheesecake pan. If cheesecake pan is not airtight, cover bottom securely with foil before adding water.
5. Bake 45 to 55 minutes, until it is almost done - this can be hard to judge, but you're looking for the cake to hold together, but still have a lot of jiggle to it in the center. You don't want it to be completely firm at this stage. Close the oven door, turn the heat off, and let rest in the cooling oven for one hour. This lets the cake finish cooking and cool down gently enough so that it won't crack on the top. After one hour, remove cheesecake from oven and lift carefully out of water bath. Let it finish cooling on the counter, and then cover and put in the fridge to chill. Once fully chilled, it is ready to serve.
Pan note: The creator of this recipe used to use a springform pan, but no matter how well she wrapped the thing in tin foil, water would always seep in and make the crust soggy. Now she uses one of those 1-use foil "casserole" shaped pans from the grocery store. They're 8 or 9 inches wide and really deep, and best of all, water-tight. When it comes time to serve, just cut the foil away.

Monday, 20 April 2009

I love chicks (and the rest of my menagerie)

This Easter we were in Brussels visiting some friends, taking the train, and enjoying the chocolate. We had some lovely Easter chocolate hens.. I'm a bit chicken crazy sometimes..

Here is the lovely dark chocolate hen I got.. She's sitting on some eggs...

Ta da! good thing our chickens aren't tied together with a string, that we have to untie to collect the eggs! Reminds me of a children's story where the woman's head is held on by a ribbon around her neck.

Michael had the milk chocolate one.. i keep trying to teach him about proper chocolate but he likes to scoff it down quickly...

This was a cute white chocolate rubber ducky.. they it became crazy chick.

Our real Easter chicks came this Sunday ( I suppose they are orthodox Easter chicks)

Our bantam hen, Greta went broody and has spent the last 5 weeks like this..

But by yesterday afternoon, when I went to give her some food she had company.. these two adorable chicks!

They were so cute the dog and cat decided to remind me that they are also cute!

But alas I think the competition is too stiff there guys.. these little chicks they even have feathered feet! sigh....

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Masters of the Universe!

Ahhh 80's cartoons... how many hours have I sat and watched thee over a bowl of after school mac and cheese...
I made this He-Man cake for my Fiance as it was his Birthday on Saturday. He really seemed to enjoy it.. even though it has that sickeningly sweet- crystal sugar icing on it. Oh well I did enjoy devouring his golden locks and his impressive pecs.. maybe now I too will have super powers..

These Wilton pans are very easy to do, the main problem being how tired my hand gets after an hour of squeezing little stars! But that said if they made a she-ra pan I'd be all over that for my birthday in 8 days time!

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Tuesday, 7 April 2009

TWD Bananna Cream Pie

This weeks recipe, Bananna Cream Pie. Now I've never made one of these before, and typically its not something I'd go for. But because of this, I thought I would make it- as often homemade versions of things are so much better. This was quite easy to make and has me looking forward to the chocolate version coming up later this month!

Posted by PicasaBe sure and check out the rest of the TWD blogroll for all the yummy pies!