Beach Cake

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I was asked to make a Birthday Beach cake.  I was not thrilled with the way the ruffled edge turned out, but the rest went well.  Hope it went over well 🙂

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Now, I want to go to the beach!

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Chocolate Oreo Cake

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I love celebrating everyone’s Birthdays, making sure there is at least one good thing in their day.   I make cakes for everyone at work, they get to choose the flavour.  It’s always the same thing, vanilla or chocolate.  This year things got very wild when one kid asked for ice cream cake….vanilla!

I was thrilled when this weeks birthday cake request was a Chocolate Oreo Cake! I had not made one of these, yet, and I am always up for a challenge!

I am not a fan of Oreos, well any store-bought cookie really.  Though, I do love a Dad’s Oatmeal cookie, or at least the memories that go along with them.  It brings me back to being at my Gramma and Poppa’s (who I miss greatly!) when I was little (and grown).  My favourite days were spent with them.  Gramma always had cookies, there were always at least 5 boxes of cookies in her cupboard above the sink.  I only like the Dad’s, but would eat just about anything she gave me.  Why does food taste better at Gramma’s?  I would even eat those God awful Puffs, you know the ones, with the cookie, marshmallow and dab of jelly, all covered in chocolate.  Blah!  Gramma kept them in the fridge, for some reason, which made them that much chewier, but yet I’d eat them!  No wonder I was a beast!

Anyways, this was an easy cake to make.

1. Bake your favourite Chocolate Cake recipe

2. Prepare your favourite Butter Cream Icing

3. Get a box of Oreos, set aside approximately 7 Oreos.  Roughly chop the rest

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4. Add 3/4 of the chopped Oreos to your butter cream

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5. Pile on the Oreo Butter Cream on the first layer of the cake and top with remaining chopped Oreos

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6. Add top layer and ice cake as usual.  I added a ring of rosettes topped with half an Oreo for each piece

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I was pleased how this one turned out!  It looked great and smelt amazing!

Everyone loved it!  It was enjoyed at work, so I did not get a picture of he inside, but it looked great!

Looking forward to the next challenge!

 

 

Apple Crisp Cheesecake

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**sorry about the spacing and formatting, it won’t seem to correct!  I’ve tried everything I know!**

This one is a little late.  I made this Apple Crisp Cheesecake at Christmas….10 months ago! Better late than never, right?

I am trying to get caught up on some of the baking I’ve done over the last while.  Honestly, I can’t say why I haven’t been posting.  I miss it!

Waaaay back in December, I was asked to bring dessert to Christmas Eve dinner.  I knew I was not going to be having any, so I made an extra effort to make something that would not tempt me, even a little.

I found this cheesecake that had rave reviews from Kraft Canada’s What’s Cooking.

Usually I make a cheesecake and an apple crisp for dessert, this year I put them together!

Apple Crisp Cheesecake

Adapted from Kraft Canada, What’s Cooking

 

2 Granny Smith apples, peeled, chopped

1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
3/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp. granulated sugar, divided
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup large flake rolled oats
1/2 cup butter, melted, divided
1-1/4 cups graham crumbs
3 pkg. (250 g each) Philadelphia Brick Cream Cheese, softened
1 tsp. vanilla
3 eggs
2 Tbsp. caramel sauce
Directions:
1. Heat oven to 350ºF. and start boiling water for water bath (if using)
2. Cook apples, cinnamon and 2 Tbsp. granulated sugar in saucepan on medium heat 6 min. or until apples are tender, stirring frequently. Remove from heat.
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* again out of practice – forgot most of the pictures…
3. Mix flour, brown sugar, oats and half the butter until blended; spread onto rimmed baking sheet. Bake 8 min. or until lightly browned.
4. Meanwhile, mix graham crumbs and remaining butter; press onto bottom of 9-inch springform pan. – also a good time to double wrap your pan with foil if you are using a water bath
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5. Top with apple mixture, spreading to within 1/2 inch of edge.
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6. Beat cream cheese and remaining granulated sugar with mixer until blended.
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7. Add eggs, 1 at a time, mixing on low speed after each just until blended.  Add cream and vanilla (these were my additions as I used my cheesecake recipe.
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8. Pour over apple mixture.
9. Bake 35 to 40 min. or until centre is almost set. Run knife around rim of pan to loosen cake; cool before removing rim. Refrigerate cheesecake 4 hours. Top with streusel and caramel sauce just before serving.
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This was an absolute out of the ball park home run!  Everyone loved it!  I have not had many complaints about  my cheesecakes, but they seemed to really go on about this one.  The crunch of the topping with the creamy texture of the cheesecake and filling was perfect.  Apparently, wasn’t too sweet.  All I can say was…. it smelt amazing!
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Pumpkin Cheesecake

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Thanksgiving in Canada is such a beautiful time of year.   The leaves are changing to vibrant fall colours.  The temperature is dropping, I love breathing in the cool crisp air.   It is also a wonderful time for baking!  This time of year I love baking with apples, cinnamon and, yes of course, pumpkin!

I have mentioned in the past, I am not a huge fan of pumpkin.   I despise pumpkin pie, it’s the texture that gets me.  I do like pumpkin cakes, especially the one I made a few years ago,  check it out here.  Also pumpkin donuts,  loaves, pancakes etc.

This year for Thanksgiving when asked to bring dessert no one would tell me what they wanted!  I am still off of sugar, so I could not have cared less what it was. That sounds terrible, but it is hard to ‘guess’ what people might like.  I used to just bake what I wanted  and hope for the best!

In sticking with the Thanksgiving,  fall season,  I went with pumpkin cheesecake.   I had absolutely zero interest in it…it’s right up there with pumpkin pie!

**several pictures are missing.  I am out of blogging practice and forgot to take pictures of some steps!

Pumpkin Cheesecake

Crust:
1 1 /4 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup butter, melted
2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp cinnamon

DIRECTIONS:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F

2. Begin to boil a large pot of water for the water bath.

3. Mix together the crust ingredients and press into your preferred pan

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4. Bake for approx. 8 mins, remove from oven and let cool as you prepare cheesecake filling

Cheesecake:
3 blocks of cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1 cup heavy cream
1 tbsp. vanilla extract
1 cup pumpkin pure
spice to your preference (pumpkin pie spice, clove, cinnamon, nutmeg)

Directions:

1. Combine cream cheese and sugar in the bowl of a stand-mixer and cream together until smooth

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2. Add eggs, one at a time, fully incorporating each before adding the next. Make sure to scrape down the bowl in between each egg.

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3. Add heavy cream, vanilla, lemon juice, and alcohol and blend until smooth and creamy.

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4. Add spices and pumpkin – stir to combine

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5. Add to your prepared, cooled crust

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** here is where many people differ in their opinions.  I prefer and swear by cooking my cheesecakes in a water bath.  Others don’t feel it is necessary.  I like the even cooking, smooth top, less chance of cracking and the top never dries out.  Also, it cools slowly and continues to cook.  I wouldn’t do it any other way.

6. If you choose to use a water bath (Highly recommended!) double wrap your pan in foil and leave an edge.  This will prevent the condensation from dripping between the foil and the pan, which will result in a wet, soggy crust!  Fill your roasting pan with enough hot water to come, approx, half way up the pan.

If you are not using a water bath, just fire it in the oven!

7. Bake for about 1 hour 20 mins, 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.

Perfection!

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The next day… remove from pan… a thing of beauty!

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I also made some homemade whipping cream to top, if people wished.

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It was a huge hit!  Everyone loved it!  Rave reviews about the crust, adding the cinnamon really made the difference.

I had more than one request for this one to be made again.  If you are looking for a simple dessert to please a crowd, this is it!

Basketball Cake

 

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I was asked to make a Confetti Basketball cake for a 10th Birthday.  This one turned out pretty good!

Plumeria Flowers Cake

 

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I was asked to make a cake for a 75th birthday party.   They asked for a chocolate later cake with plumeria flowers.   I am not much of a horticulturist, if it’s not a rose, tulip sunflower or a few ofhers, I am clueless!

I went searching and decided these would be doable.   They initially asked the flowers be made iut of icing.  I tried many times, but had to go with gumpaste.

I was fairly happy with how they came out, for a first attempt!

 

Lemon & Cranberry Scones

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Good heavens, I have not baked in months, and I am back already!

My Mom’s had a rough go for the last while, but is on the mend!  The woman never asks for anything, ever! When she requested some Lemon & Cranberry Scones I got in the kitchen real fast!  Her kitchen, I might add, so the lighting is horrible!

This is another repeat, you can see the original version here, but it’s been years and it could use an update.

My ‘go to’ scone recipe is from Ina Garten. Check out her original recipe. She makes some amazing desserts.  I’ve yet to be disappointed with anything I’ve tried of her’s.  I’m guessing it’s the insane amount of butter she uses.  Mmmmm!

I halved the recipe, and made the other half plain…coming soon

Lemon & Cranberry Scones

4 cups plus 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar, plus additional for sprinkling
2 tablespoons baking powder
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest*
3/4 pound cold unsalted butter, diced
4 extra-large eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup cold heavy cream
1 cup dried cranberries
1 egg beaten with 2 tablespoons water or milk, for egg wash
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar, plus 2 tablespoons
4 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice*

*I am a lemon freak, so I added a lot more lemon then recipe called for

Directions

1. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix 4 cups of flour, 1/4 cup sugar, the baking powder, salt and orange zest.

 

 

2. Add the cold butter and mix at the lowest speed until the butter is the size of peas.

 

3. Combine the eggs and heavy cream and, with the mixer on low speed, slowly pour into the flour and butter mixture.

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Mix until just blended. The dough will look lumpy!

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4. Combine the dried cranberries and 1/4 cup of flour, add to the dough, and mix on low speed until blended.

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5. Dump the dough onto a well-floured surface

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6. Knead it into a ball. Flour your hands and press the dough 3/4-inch thick. You should see small bits of butter in the dough. Keep moving the dough on the floured board so it doesn’t stick. Cut the dough into desired shapes or use a cookie cutter

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7. Place the scones on a baking pan lined with parchment paper. Brush the tops of the scones with egg wash

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8. Sprinkle with sugar

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9. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the tops are browned and the insides are fully baked. The scones will be firm to the touch.

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10. Allow the scones to cool for 15 minutes and then whisk together the confectioners’ sugar and orange juice, and drizzle over the scones.

Glaze

Combine icing sugar and lemon juice and whisk until smooth

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These scones are always a huge hit!  Mom was thrilled.  The house had an amazing aroma of lemon and a few smiling faces.  Everyone said they were delicious!

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If you are looking for a scone recipe, this is a must try!  It is very versatile and works with many different flavour profiles.