Sunday, 22 May 2011

Recipe 51 - Jam Crostata

You'll find the recipe here at the Kitchn. The ingredients we'll need are:

360g flour
10oz jar of spreadable fruit or marmalade
200g of sugar
240ml canola oil
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
2 eggs
3 teaspoons of baking powder
1 teaspoon of baking soda
Zest of an orange or lemon

Saturday, 21 May 2011

Her results - Lime-Vanilla Cheesecake

In making lime-vanilla cheesecake, I made my first ever graham cracker crust.  It was as simple as I'd imagined and I learned only one lesson: once the crumbs are pressed flat against the bottom of the pan it's hard to coax them up the sides.  Don't rush into it like I did, and you'll be fine.  That was the only challenge I encountered making this cake.  Otherwise, it was as simple as tossing some ingredients into a bowl, mixing, and putting everything in the oven to bake.   Over the course of our baking and blogging project I've come to love simple desserts such as this one.
My cheesecake tasted strongly of lime (at nearly key lime pie levels) and the teeniest bit of vanilla. As you may have read, his only had a faint flavor of lime. I'm guessing my tropical location helped me source better limes than what was available on the British Isles. He'll have his moment in the sun if we make a strawberry dessert.
The lime-vanilla cheesecake hit the spot. I'm a big fan of creamy desserts.  The smoothest, fluffiest slice was a piece I cut as soon as the cake cooled.  The next day I got overwhelmed by a cheesecake craving that drove me to eat a second slice, and I wasn't able to wait and let it rise to room temperature. It was still delicious, but not as light and fluffy as the first slice. That's unsurprising but worth noting if you're serving this to guests.  Ah, one other thing I wanted to mention:  the lime zest I made with my micro-plane grater was visible in the baked cheesecake, giving it a slightly dirty look.  As such, I felt the need tell my guests, "You can even see flecks of lime zest!  Mmm!" lest they worry about the weird dark flecks throughout.  I'll be honest and admit I'm the type of person who would be really disquieted by unidentifiable dark flecks in my dessert.  But if I know it's lime zest, mmm!    

His results - Lime-Vanilla Cheesecake



This was another easy recipe. It was tasty but if I was making it again I'd add a fair bit more lime since this was a bit timidly flavoured I thought.

Saturday, 14 May 2011

Recipe 50 - Lime-Vanilla Cheesecake

I love visiting the blog Delicious Days and enjoying its clean layout. I wish I had a designer's eye! I'm excited to try out the recipe for Lime-Vanilla Cheesecake that I discovered there. Ingredients below, full details at the recipe.

Lime-Vanilla Cheesecake Ingredients
50 g butter
150 g graham crackers
25 g pecan nuts
1 pinch of salt
1 organic lime (zest and juice)
1 vanilla bean
700 g full fat cream cheese
200 g sugar
3 eggs (large)
2 tbsp all-purpose flour

Her results - Vegan Mexican Chocolate Cake

I have difficulty judging this cake. On one hand, I really dig its fantastic Mexican chocolate flavor. The spice is just right and this recipe is the first I've baked where I've gotten great chocolate flavor from cocoa alone! But on the other hand, I just can't get past the unusual texture.





The texture is really hard to explain. The cake has a nice crumb and it is fluffy enough, but it is also a bit stodgy. This may be par for the course for vegan cakes or it may be this recipe and/or baker error. It probably didn't help that when I first put the cake in the oven, I had it on Preheat. My nose alerted me that something was awry within five minutes and I quickly turned the dial to Bake. Also, I'll admit to once again using a 9" cake pan after being told to use an 8" pan. This, of course, resulted in a thin cake. I have got to find myself a good 8" pan ASAP!



The texture kept this from being one of my favorite cakes, but the flavor is very good. It tasted just the way I conceptualize Mexican chocolate. I made a good choice when I used cayenne for flavor and heat. And finally, the thick glaze atop the cake gave each bite a little something extra and helped detract from the unusual crumb. If I ever invite vegan guests over I may try this recipe again, but I'm shelving it for now.

Friday, 13 May 2011

His results - Vegan Mexican Chocolate Cake



I ground my own dry chilies for this recpe and used plenty of them. It was definately worth it! They gave a beautiful rich heat.

It was another fantastically easy recipe. The texture was different than that of a normal butter and egg filled cake. Less crumbly, a little more spongey. It was pleasant though and went down well atwork too.

I reaffirmed my love of chilies paired with chocolate but I'm not so sure this is the absolute best recipe to show that off. Definately tasty though!

Saturday, 7 May 2011

Recipe 49 - Vegan Mexican Chocolate Cake

She said she wanted something super delicious this week. Fingers crossed this fits the bill!

It originally came from Real Simple magazine but you can find the recipe posted here on Serious Eats.

The ingredients are:

  • 180g all-purpose flour
  • 200g sugar
  • 60g unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper or chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 240ml cold water
  • 70g icing sugar
  • 35g unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 or 3 tablespoons water

Her results - Anginetti Cookies

I had no idea what to expect when I chose this recipe for Anginetti Cookies. They didn't sound particularly special, but I was hoping I'd be surprised and discover an easy, quick, tasty treat. Well, they were easy and quick and they definitely weren't bad. But they also definitely weren't what I'd categorize as a tasty treat, either.

So, making the dough... I didn't bring all my ingredients to room temperature, which was poor planning. My butter was at room temperature, but my ice cold milk and eggs caused the butter to harden up immediately, resulting in a mixture that looked like watery cottage cheese. Thankfully adding the dry ingredients resulted in a dough that no one would question.

The recipe said I'd have a "firm sticky dough" and that was pretty accurate. It's already quite warm in Houston, so the dough was probably a bit softer because of that. What I'm trying to say is that the dough was very sticky and hard to work with. But as long as I constantly floured my hands and worked quickly, things were alright though not exactly fun.


The baking and icing processes were unremarkable, and the finished cookies were cute enough but begged for some sprinkles!



The cookies had a consistency that reminded me of an american biscuit. Like Him, I think these would have been better if I had made them smaller. I made 32 instead of 40 as the recipe mentioned, but I might suggest making 48. Also I agree that it would have been better if the glaze had been thicker. The lemon zest in the cookies and lemon juice in the frosting were these cookies' saving grace. They added just enough flavor that I ate a couple before deciding it wasn't worth the calories to eat any more.

I'd be interested in trying another Anginetti recipe is anyone has a great one to suggest. These, however, will not be something I make again.

Thursday, 5 May 2011

His results - Anginetti Cookies





Rolling them in my hands seemed like hard work so I left my cookies jaggedy.

They were OK. Not great but OK. they would have benefitted from being smaller, more intensely flavoured, and having a fair bit more glaze.

After they dried out a bit I tried one or two with lemon curd in the middle. Good call it was too.

These were pretty good as I said but not good enough for me to plan on making them again.

Sunday, 1 May 2011

Recipe 48 - Anginetti Cookies

My gosh, I am so tired. I'm excited to bake these cookies with Him tomorrow, but so happy I don't have to wake up early to make it happen! Ingredients below, recipe at link.

Anginetti Cookies

(yields approximately 40 cookie-biscuits)
Cookies:
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp lemon zest
6 tbsp butter
½-cup skim milk
½-cup regular sugar (or Splenda)
3 whole eggs or ¾ cup of Egg Beaters
3 -1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
Icing:
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice
1-cup confectioners’ sugar
1 tbsp water
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