Wednesday, November 28, 2012



Hello hello!

Crazy changes here in Toronto, first the weather and now a well known food network star is coming to town! This is exciting news, I might want to try and catch this man, haha. He will be filming this week in Toronto's cold weather at the down town core. Some places that he will be checking out is:

Caplansky's Delicatessen













The Lakeview




The Stockyards





Not going to lie but after all this madness has ended, I am going to be checking out each and every one of these places and see if they are worth checking out. Or maybe they over hyper their food, there's only one way to find out! This is so exciting! I can't wait till they view this on T.V. Haha.

Do you check out places that T.V. shows recommend?

P.S. If you are going to go during this week, please call ahead because their store hours are weird this week since they have to film.





Monday, November 26, 2012

Haro Haro!

Sorry, I got a bunch of cheesecake crammed inside my mouth.

Ah, there we go. All gone, hello again and happy black Friday weekend! Shopping this weekend was so chaotic. Everywhere was so crowded and filled with people wanting to get the latest deals on what-so-ever. Anyways, cutting to the chase. It took me two days to make this Cheesecake Factory replica red velvet cheesecake.

Yes, I fell deeply in love after the day of my cousin's birthday party when her mom took out a box of red velvet cheesecake from The Cheesecake Factory. I had to try and bake it myself but I needed some help from people who did this before. Turns out, it's just a very long process that took an extra day to do. No biggie.

I adapted this recipe from cakecentral.com. It was very easy to follow and he tells me that people always ask for seconds once they are done with the first one, so I had to give it a shot.


The smell of fresh moist red velvet cake in the morning is something you simply can't resist. The hint of vanilla and cocoa powder really gives this cake a boost in it's value.


It was such a hassle cutting the cakes in half, especially when the cream cheese part tends to bunch up together. Here's a tip, heat up a sharp knife and run through it quickly but carefully. You don't want to cut yourself and end up adding extra food colour. Haha.


Cake for breakfast anyone? I swear that line came from somewhere, maybe Breakfast at Tiffany's?  Or not Haha.


Sinking my teeth into this soft and flavourful cake was exciting. First I love moist cakes, I am such a sucker for them and with the combination of cheesecake is just to die for. The sweet rich aroma of cream cheese blended with cocoa powder and cream. So smooth!

Here is the recipe


Ingredients
 
Instructions
Cheesecake:
3 8-oz pkgs cream cheese - room temperature
1-1/3 cups sugar
3 Tbs cornstarch
1 Tbs vanilla
3 eggs
2/3 cup heavy cream

Red Velvet Cake
2 Tbs butter - softened
2 Tbs shortening
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1 Tbs unsweetened cocoa powder
1 oz red food coloring (a small bottle)
1 cup + 2 Tbs flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 tsp baking soda
1-1/2 tsp white vinegar
1/2 tsp vanilla

Cream Cheese Icing
8 oz pkg cream cheese - softened
3-1/2 to 4 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp salt
Spray two 9 round cake pans generously with PAM.
Trace bottoms of pans onto parchment paper, cut out, and place in bottom of pans. Set aside.

For the cheesecake:
Cream together cream cheese, sugar, and cornstarch with mixer.
Add eggs and vanilla - beating until smooth.
Add cream & beat in just until combined - dont overmix.
Pour into one of prepared pans.
Bake at 350 degrees for about 1 hour and 15 minutes - watching closely near end of baking time.

Cool at room temperature, then place in refrigerator for about 2 hours.
Run knife around outer edge, tapping pan to remove cheesecake onto the palm of your hand. Set in refrigerator until cold.

For the cake:
Cream butter, shortening, and sugar.
Add egg, then mix in cocoa and food coloring.
Scrape bowl with a COLORED spatula (red would be best to keep from staining a light colored one).

Add flour and salt, then buttermilk - beating well. Sprinkle baking soda over batter, then pour vinegar and vanilla over the top.

Youll see it foam slightly. Fold into batter until well mixed.

Pour batter into the other prepared pan.
Bake at 350 degrees for about 25-30 minutes, or until it tests done. Cool, then remove cake from pan. Using large serrated knife, cut this layer in half when cold.

For the frosting:
Beat cream cheese and butter together until fluffy. Add sugar and salt, then cream & vanilla. Continue to beat until smooth and it forms peaks. Set aside.

To assemble cake:
Place first half of cake layer onto serving plate (be sure to remove parchment paper from the bottom!) Protect outer edges with waxed paper if desired.

Spread generously with a layer of frosting. Carefully slice cheesecake in half in the same way as the red velvet layer, placing one half on top of red velvet cake & frosting.

Add another layer of frosting. Repeat layers. Spread frosting carefully around outer edge of cake - being careful not to drag red velvet crumbs with the knife.

Now frost top of cake. Using remaining frosting, place in pastry bag with decorative tip. Pipe edge on top and bottom.

*Note: This frosting contains butter, which can soften and melt in your warm hand. Work quickly, or it can make the frosting start to droop. Store in refrigerator & serve with a dollop of whipped cream if desired.


Love the holidays!

Good luck! Have fun with it and try not to break anything in the kitchen. =)
Cheers

Monday, November 19, 2012


Hello!

It has been such a busy week with all the final finishing touches to this blog. I have to say, its always an one going process but so far I am happy with what I see. Improvements to come!

It was my little cousins birthday and she has asked me to bake her a chocolate cake since chocolate is her favourite. She has always been such the energy in the family, with all her smiles and laughter. Sometimes its good to have someone to remind you of such positivity.

Back on topic now. The only thing I had to keep in mind was, it had to be "grandma" friendly. That's right, what does "grandma" friendly mean you ask? Basically, from all the cakes that I have made, she likes cakes that are soft, moist and not that sweet. The chiffon cake that I had in mind was Anna Olson's and this was inspired/adapted from her. Time to show off my moist cake baking skills! Let's get it! =)


Putting this together was simple and easy. Here we have all the dry ingredient together all in one bowl. Remember to leave the egg and coffee at room temperature. You do not want to cook your egg yolks just yet.  


When the dry ingredients meet the liquids, it should come off like a chocolate mousse. I love working with chocolate, it just makes me so happy.




Heres how it goes:
Bailey's Chocolate Chiffon Cake

435 ml cake and pastry flour
250 ml icing sugar
75 ml cocoa powder
7.5 ml baking powder
1 ml salt
200 ml coffee
100 ml Bailey's Irish Cream
125 ml veg oil
5 eggs at room temp
2 ml cream of tar tar
60 ml sugar

Preheat the oven to 325F
  • In a large mixer bowl with the whip attachment.
  • Sift the flour, icing sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt. 
  • Add the coffee, Bailey's Irish Cream, oil and egg yolks, and whip on high speed until the mixture is thick and glossy. 
  • In a separate bowl, whip the egg whites and cream of tar tar until they are foamy, then slowly add the sugar. Whip until the egg whites hold a stiff peak. Then fold a third of the whites into the chocolate batter, then fold in the remaining two-thirds. 
  • Pour the batter into an ungreased angel food cake or tube pan. 
  • Bake for 45-50 minutes. Cool upside down. Run a palette knife around the inside and outside edge to get the cake to slide out. 
Yes, yes, Christmas is just around the corner and I promise I will hunt for a better camera. I am looking for a good SLR to satisfy my photography needs. So bare with me and stop yelling at me through the computer screen. Haha, I am kidding. I hope you enjoyed it!


Wednesday, November 14, 2012


 Hello!

Like the new look? I'd figure that after a year and a bit of the old stuff, its time for a change. If you don't like it please comment and I will make sure I make this as user friendly as possible. I have been holding back on the posts for a bit ever since but today was my favourite woman or all time's birthday!

That means that I had to shake off the dust and work my butt off in the kitchen. The recipe that I came up with was inspired by Anna Olson and Jamie Oliver.


The filling was from Anna's side, her list of ingredient was just so perfect. With a little tweaking and modifications, I made a perfect adult dessert that will leave your hungry hungry hippos wanting more.

The crust was from Jamie. Every time I bake the crust, I always get punched in the face with "Oh my God, the crust is what makes me want a second piece."


Bailey's Chocolate Cheesecake

Filling:
6 oz bitter sweet chocolate
3 oz dark chocolate
3 pkg cream cheese
1 cup of sugar
125 ml sour cream
5 ml vanilla extract
4 eggs at room temperature
125 ml Bailey's Irish cream

Crust:
9 oz digestive biscuits
10 tablespoons of melted butter

Pre-heat oven to 350F
  • Crush the biscuits and mix the melted butter in. 
  • Pack it in a round 9 inch spring form pan, making sure you get the side walls too. Grease the sides and bake it for 10 mins. Set a side to cool. 
  • Melt the chocolate with the double boiler technique and set aside to cool. Beat the cream cheese until fluffy and add the sugar, scrape the sides every so often. Beat in sour cream, vanilla, Bailey's Irish Cream. Beat in the melted chocolate, then add the eggs one at a time. Remember to scrape the sides. 
  • Pour the mixture into the cooled crust. 
  • Bake the cheesecake for 60 minutes, until the outside is set but the centre still has a little jiggle to it. Allow the cake to cool down fully before putting it in the fridge over night. 
  • Garnish the cake with chocolate shavings. 

The balance between chocolate and cream cheese was just perfect. Everyone loves chocolate and I wanted the cake to be more chocolate dominant. The hint of Bailey's was sensational and having seconds was mandatory.

 I still feel that there could be some more improvements because as cheesey as it made sound, design is always a process. So give me a shout. =)

Tuesday, November 13, 2012



Currently, things are a mess here as you can see. Please be patient with me and I will get things in working order once again. =)

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Ever experience a time period in your life where you just don't know what to do? Well, I think I got the right answer for you. Don't let it get to you and just start spending time in the kitchen. It's magical and it works. =)

For the past few weeks, I fell in love with macarons. Why? Because, A: it tastes way too good and you can get so creative with it. B: When you take it out of the oven and see that it is not cracked but in a perfect shell. You just feel this crazy warm and fuzzy sensation in your stomache that makes you want to jump for joy.

So here it is, another addition of macarons. Try to bare with me and not get bored of me just yet. I promise that I will bake something more innovative over the week. =) 





Here are the flawless shells I have been talking about. Later in this post I will share with you on how to bake these flawless shells. You can never go wrong with blue and white. =)


Gah, I need a new piping bag or better piping skills. You see the top of the shell? It has a little "dip" and it's not suppose to be like that, I think it's because I kinda fling it out after I pipe it down. I will make sure I fix this. =)


All packed up and ready to go. Hope you like it! =)

Heres what you need to make this:
 Shell:
75 g ground almonds 
115 g icing sugar 
2 large egg whites 
50g sugar 
food colouring of your choice

Filling:
55g unsalted butter 
115g icing sugar sifted 
2 tablespoons of coffee

Place the ground almonds and icing sugar in a food processor and process for 15 seconds. (Very important part and this will determine the smoothness of the shell)
Sift the mixture into a bowl.
Line baking two baking sheets.

Place the egg whites in a large bowl and whisk until holding soft peaks.
Gradually whisk in the sugar to make a glossy meringue.
Whisk in food colouring of your choice.

Using a spatual, fold the almond mixture into the meringue one third at a time.
Fold until it forms a shiny batter with a ribbon-like consistency.

Pipe the mixture onto the baking sheets. It should make 32 small rounds.
Leave at room temperature for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 325F ( I usually do 310F)
Bake for 8-9 minutes. Watch closely and make sure they don't crack.

To make the filling, beat the butter, add sugar and coffee until smooth and creamy.
Now make a sandwich with the macarons and dust it off with icing sugar.