Saturday, April 30, 2011

Fresh Lemon Cheesecake

My neighbor and friend have been walking up steep residential streets this past week. During one of our walks, we stopped to pick some lemons from a tree. I have been wanting to make a lemon cheesecake for some time so this was my opportunity. I must tell you that these lemons were the most fresh and juiciest lemons I have ever had.


I originally wanted to include the recipe I came up with in this post but I am not happy with the end result. I actually forgot to put some sour cream or yogurt into the cheesecake.




I used my juicer for the lemons and poured 1/2 cup of fresh lemon juice into the cheesecake mixture as well as a tablespoon of fresh lemon zest. I thought the cheesecake was lacking the lemon punch I was looking for so I still need to tweak the recipe before sharing.


What I did love is the crust I came up with....a whole bunch of Nilla Wafers and ground giner and cinnamon. I like that this flavorful yet light crust went up the sides of the pan, something I intended to do with this cheesecake. I also liked the addition of fresh homemade whipped cream for the top which balances out the flavorful crust and lemony cheesecake. I promise to share the recipe once I change it in the near future.

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Friday, April 29, 2011

What I Made This Week

I haven't baked much this past week, I just have a few random things to share...


I dipped some marshmallows into tempered milk chocolate. Try sticking a Wilton lollipop stick into them for easier dipping and eatting.

I had some leftover truffle fondant leftover so I made a few more vanilla butternut truffles. I dipped these into tempered milk chocolate as well. Milk chocolate is my most favorite chocolate!


Large flats of strawberries can be found at all grocery stores in Southern California. I bought a 4 pound flat of them earlier this week. Remembering my childhood on the farm, my mother always cut our strawberries up and sprinkled granulated sugar on them, so that is what I decided to do with our strawberries. I have been eating them plain and they are very sweet and tasty, but I whipped up some fresh whipped cream for them today...even better!



I made these Passion Bars a few days ago. The recipe can be found on AllRecipes.com

They were surprisingly quite tasty and were packed with sweetness and saltyness! A perfect blend!



I bought a loaf of ciabatta bread from Trader Joes and decided to make Caprese Sanwiches for lunch. The sandwich is made with balsamic vinegar, fresh mozzarella, basil, and tomatos. Very fresh and delicious!










Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Cupcakes Out, Cake Pops In?

I have been thinking lately, are the cupcakes days over? I mean you can a cupcakery everywhere you go these days. I have been pondering this ever since I saw that Starbucks will be carrying Cake Pops.


I have been following Bakerella for some time and she specializes in making the cutest Cake Pops you have ever seen. She even released a colorful and fun recipe book sharing how to make them for every occasion!

Since Starbucks debuted their Cake Pops recently, I heard a neighbor telling me that a vendor was selling Cake Pops are one of our local farmer's markets. I can't help but wonder, will Cake Pops be the new cupcakes?



I only made Cake Pops a few times. Most recently I made some usually leftover red velvet cake that I mixed with cold chocolate ganache instead of icing. I dipped them into tempered milk chocolate.





What do you think? Are cupcakes out? Do you anticipate seeing Cake Pops around? Do you frequent any cupcakeries?













Tuesday, April 19, 2011

French Bread Rolls

I decided to make some bread this morning so this is the recipe I chose to make:





The french bread rolls turned out pretty good. No problems and I am gaining more confidence with my breadmaking.


They turned out nice and fluffy inside. The did lack flavor despite my adding of a over a tablespoon of honey to the recipe, but I decided to use some of them rolls to make a grilled cheese sandwich. I used a bread knife to slice the roll in half. It actually turned out great and you can guess what I am having for lunch again tomorrow!

While waiting for my bread to rise this morning, I was looking at my basil plant. Sometimes I buy them having great ideas of using the basil and never get around to using it and eventually I have to toss it. I decided caprese on a stick would make a great, healthy snack.


I bought some marinated fresh mozzarella balls from Trader Joes. I sliced them in half and sandwiched two pieces of basil and a tomato between the halves. I drizzled a light amount of balsamic vinegar on them.



Fresh AND easy.


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Monday, April 18, 2011

Dairy Queen Knock-Off

This is a homemade version of the "Peanut Buster Parfait" from Dairy Queen and it is spot on is you ask me. I haven't had one of the parfait's from Dairy Queen since I was a small child, but it tasted like what I remembered from my past.

I made this "Buster Bar Dessert" from AllRecipes.com. Here is the link to the recipe:



I made a few minor changes...I opted to make my own homemade creamy vanilla ice cream instead of using store bought. I also cut the recipe down and assembled this in a springform pan instead of a 9X13 pan.


If you decide to make this, do not wimp out and use store bought fudge sauce, you MUST make the fudge in this recipe! It was really amazing! I plan on making more of the fudge tonight and we had a lot leftover since I sized down the recipe so I used some of it to pipe across the whipped cream layer.


We also heated it and drizzled more across our slice and added extra spanish peanuts just before serving! This is heavenly!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Crossing Whoopie Pies Off My List

Yep.....I never made whoopie pies until tonight. Although I bake quite a bit there are many things I have yet to make. There seems to be a whoopie pie craze lately so I thought it was time I give it a try. This is the recipe I used for the chocolate cookie portion: http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Whoopie-Pies-VII/Detail.aspx

I used two different types of fillings. I had some leftover cream from making "Hostess" cupcakes so I filled some of them with that and I also whipped up some sort of salted buttercream type filling as I was began to throw ingredients together!



I used a medium sized cookie scoop and didn't expect them to expand as much as they did. They are jumbo sized whoopie pies but I actually kind of like them that way. Plus, I ended up with 10 of them which is more than enough, instead of numerous smaller pies.


Fresh out of the oven...

...once cooled use a piping bag with pipe your cream onto the cookie. Make sure to put an extra ring on cream on the outer edge of the cookie.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Tiger Butter

I had the chance to make some Tiger Butter last night. The first time I tasted Tiger Butter was at the Denver Airport. That beautiful Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory Store caught my eye and Tiger Butter is what I purchased. Anytime I am passing through the Denver I always run over and grab a chunk a Tiger Butter during my lay over.

I made these using:


12 ounces white chocolate

1/4 cup creamy peanut butter

2 ounces milk chocolate.


I lined a small baking sheet with wax paper and began melting my white chocolate. Once melted at 115 degrees, I added my peanut butter to the white chocolate. The peanut butter helps to bring them temperature back down which is great since I was tempering my chocolate. Once the mixture of white chocolate and peanut butter cooled down to about 85-86 degrees, I poured it into my baking sheet.


I also tempered my milk chocolate while waiting for the white chocolate mixture to cool, so I piped several lines of milk chocolate across the mixture and took a smooth edged knife to drag the milk chocolate to create the swirls.

I made mine smooth just like Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory's. Many recipe I came across had too much semi-sweet or dark chocolate or incorporated rice crispies or peanuts.

Because I tempered this, it requires no refrigeration. Very easy, very rewarding to your taste buds.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Cupakes & Peanut Butter Pie

I am open for business...well...almost. I am still working on getting business cards. The only problem I am running into is the wide selection of designs available and I can't be quite indecisive for details so I am not helping myself much. I also kicked around the idea of creating a MySweetCreations website and providing the link to local customers where I can post photos of prices of what I am available to make.

These babies are cream filled cupcakes with chocolate ganache on top. I reserved some cream filling and used it to pipe on the swirl which works very well.

I made these for a customer today along with the Peanut Butter Cookie Pie below. I am loving these brown boxes for the cupcakes!

Just need to order more stickers...and some better looking ones too. These were stickers I had made for a bake sale I participated in.

Once again, the Peanut Butter Cookie Pie. I opted to use all fresh homemade whipped cream in this recipe instead of Cool-Whip. Either one works just as well.
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Thursday, April 7, 2011

Recommendations and Advice for Business Cards, Brochures

I am asking for either recommendations or advice today. I have some people locally were are purchasing or interested in purchasing some of my sweets from me. I want to make some business cards and I also thought perhaps a brochure showing small photos of the basic I offer and prices would be helpful as well.


I went to Avery.com which is the paper company website that offers free templates but I am really horrible when it comes to that kind of stuff. I finally figured it out, and I began to play around with it but became quickly frustrated. I may still take some time to play around with it and print myself, but I would be very interested having them done for me. Any recommendations? I don't know where to begin!


Thanks, MSC

Monday, April 4, 2011

Homemade Ice Cream Cake Inspired by Cold Stone Creamery

Today was my daughter's 5th birthday. Sometimes it is difficult to believe, but she is really growing up. We decided to have a breakfast birthday party with a Princess and the Frog theme. On Saturday, just two days before the party I still haven't decided what I was going to do for the cake. Since I love to bake, I wasn't sweating it because I could always come up with something last minute. I have been in sort of a baking lull lately so while walking past Cold Stone Creamery I decided to go in and have a look at their cakes. We ordered one for Alexa's birthday a couple of years ago and it was divine. Aftering peering at the cakes through the glass doors I got an idea....I could totally make one of those!


I was checking out the red velvet cakes with cake batter ice cream at the store. I walked myself home and got started on it. I used a Duncan Hines box cake mix in red velvet. I kicked around the idea of making a homemade cake but the box cakes always turn out well and I didn't want to gamble on the texture. I baked the cake in a 9" springform pan.

Once the cake was baked and cooled, I removed it from the pan and cut the cake in half making two even layers. I placed one layer back in the springform pan and put the sides back in place. I already whipped up some homemade cake batter ice cream and I carefully spread the softened ice cream across the red velvet cake layer as evenly as I could. Once that was done I placed the other half of cake on top and back in the freezer it went to firm up.

After I gave the cake plenty of time to set in the freezer, I removed it and the sides of the springform pan and began working on icing the cake. I will tell you a secret thanks for one of the buzzers from AllRecipes......if you want that creamy white layer of icing that you find on Cold Stone, Baskin Robins, and Dairy Queen cakes then you better get yourself a carton of Pastry Pride. I found Pastry Pride at Smart and Final Warehouse Store. They also offer a vanilla flavored version which is what I purchased for this cake.


The Pastry Pride icing stays soft even after it has been in the freezer, so it was a tad tricky to work with, I didn't expect it to remain so soft but I will keep that in mind next time. I retained some and colored it purple to pipe some messy borders onto the cake....totally not my best work but I was very eager to try it out and the cake was getting soft and I was working with it.

Once we sliced into the cake today I knew the work was totally worth it. I have perfectly even layers just like a store bought Cold Stone ice cream cake. I think I got this down and I am ready to make these for anyone who wants to order one. I am looking forward to trying out different flavor combinations. I can't tell you how happy I am to have leftovers of this baby...


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