Happy Halloween! Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake

Well, I know I’ve being away for almost 2 month (Jeezzz), shame on me, but I owe you all an explanation…. After a month and a half in Venezuela visiting my parents and 2 weeks in “la campagne française” , its been impossible to bake, believe me! I have a lack of sugar in my system.

Last week I heard about Cupcake Camp Paris 3er edition and their wonderful idea of a fund raise for the Make a Wish Foundation, the idea just touched me and I decided to participate (last minute emails) donating 50 cupcakes to be sold. Great experience by the way!  Later I’ll write a post with photos to tell you all about.

Halloween is here fellas and I couldn’t miss the opportunity to bake something with pumpkin… All those beautiful courges in all sizes and colors driving me crazy at the market, so I bought one gorgeous red/orange pumpkin, destinate to be the queen of my pie, that later switched to a cheesecake.

This time I went for Martha Stewart’s recipe, and as she is one of the homebaking queen, I decided to trust her.. Ohh God I was right! the Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake turned out fantastic.

Here is the original recipe for 12 servings, ( I downsized to half)

Ingredients

  • For the Crust

    • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
    • 1/3 cup sugar
    • 1 large egg yolk
    • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
    • 1 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface
    • Pinch of salt
  • For the Filling

    • About 700 g of fresh pumpkin puree
    • Unsalted butter, for parchment and pan
    • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • 1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
    • 2 1/2 pounds cream cheese, room temperature
    • 1 3/4 cups sugar
    • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
    • 3/4 cup sour cream
    • 1 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 5 large eggs

Directions

  1. Make the crust: Put butter and sugar into the bowl of an electric mixer and mix on medium speed until pale and fluffy.
    Mix in egg yolk and vanilla. Reduce speed to low. Add flour and salt; mix until dough comes together. Shape into a disk; wrap in plastic. Refrigerate until firm, at least 30 minutes or an hour.
  2. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough into a 10-inch circle. Fit into bottom of a springform pan. Freeze 15 minutes.
    Preheat the oven at 180° C, Bake until crust is firm and pale golden, 12 to 15 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack; let cool completely.
    Reduce oven temperature to 165°C
  3. Transfer 1 cup puree to a medium bowl; reserve remainder for another use. Stir in cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger.
  4. Wrap exterior of springform pan (including base) in 2 layers of foil.
    Butter sides of pan; set aside.
    Put cream cheese into the clean bowl of an electric mixer and; mix on medium speed until fluffy.
    Gradually add sugar and flour, mixing until smooth. Mix in sour cream, vanilla, and salt.
    Mix in eggs, 1 at a time, until just combined; do not overmix.
  5. Stir 2 cups cream cheese mixture into squash mixture; set aside. Pour remaining cream cheese mixture into prepared pan on top of the crust. Then the pumpkin-cream cheese mixture on top.
  6. Set pan in a large, shallow roasting pan. Transfer to oven. Carefully pour enough boiling water into roasting pan to come halfway up sides of cheesecake.Bake until cake is set but still slightly wobbly in center, about 50 minutes.Turn off oven; let stand in oven with door slightly ajar 1 hour.

    Let cool completely on a wire rack. Refrigerate at least 6 hours or overnight.

    I put a thin coat or sourcream on top of the cheesecake to make it look very smooth. Before serving, run a knife around sides of cake; unmold.

Happy Halloween to everyone and I hope you enjoy this great recipe.

Love,

Sara

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Zucchini Bread

As summer comes, the zucchini is a main ingredient in so many dishes. We can find it in tarts, poelés, pasta, muffins, flans, chips and even bread.

The zucchini is very versatile, it works just great in savory dishes as in desserts, so surfing around the web looking for inspiration, the idea of the well known bread came to me. As an amateur in bread making, I thought it was a good idea to give it a try and finally use some zucchini I had in the fridge.

The procedure is the same for doing some carrot cake, so the result will be very flavorful and summer like.

The bread is super moist and with crunchy parts thanks to the walnuts and hazelnuts =D

For the Zucchini Bread you will need:
Adapted from Simple Recipes
Makes 2 breads

  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 3 cups grated fresh zucchini
  • 2/3 cup melted unsalted butter
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • Pinch salt
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon of Ginger
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 cup of chopped hazelnuts

Preheat the oven to 175°C. Butter and flour 2 baking pans.

In a large bowl, mix together the sugar, eggs, and vanilla.
Mix in the grated zucchini and then the melted butter.

Add in and mix the baking soda and salt.

Add the flour in 3 times time. Sprinkle in the cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg and mix.
Fold in the nuts and mix to distribute evenly.

Divide the batter equally between 2 buttered  loaf pans.
Bake for 1 hour (check for doneness at 50 minutes) or until a wooden pick inserted in to the center comes out clean.

Cool in pans for 10 minutes. Turn out onto wire racks to cool thoroughly.

Serve warm with some milk and it will be the perfect afternoon treat =P

Bon Appétit,
Love
Sara

Dry Fruits & Oats cereal Apple Cookies

Baking is definitely a passion who takes time. You can’t bake if you are in a hurry of if you just have 5 minutes to indulge yourself.
It will be great to have all the time in the world to do those delicious treats we all love, but I’m certainly convinced that you can bake fantastic cookies with only half an hour. Yes! you heard (read) right! only half an hour for great cookies.

You might be wondering, how the heck I could do this?… Oh well! here is the story. Jess is the master mind behind “A Lot On Your Plate” blog. Another sweet tooth and organization victim, so our dear Jess came up with a great idea, and is hosting the first ever “Use what you’ve got” bake-off! How great is that?
Long story short, we have to prepare a simple, delicious, easy to make and non time consuming recipe. This 1st bake-off theme is: COOKIES!!!

So I got all excited, and dived into my fridge and kitchens cabinets to check what I have… mm I wanted to keep it simple, I was thinking apples and oatmeal involve, my very favorite cookies. But I wanted to give them a twist so instead of oatmeal, I grabbed my Dry Fruits & Oats cereal. I love it! its like a loose granola with dried raisin, coconut, banana, nuts and Oats. Very healthy and organic.

This cookie dough recipe, took me no time! Imagine that I was doing the laundry and vacuum at the same time!

I hope this yummy cookies make me win the Bake-off (fingers-crossed)
So here is the recipe:

Dry Fruits & Oats cereal Apple Cookies

makes about 15 cookies

Preparation time: 15 min
Baking time: 12 – 15 min

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cups of oatmeal & dried fruits cereal
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 red apple cut in small dice
  •  2 tablespoons milk

In a small saucepan over medium-low heat or in the microwave, melt the butter. Set aside and let cool.
In a bowl, combine flour, salt, baking powder, Dry Fruits & Oats cereal and cinnamon, Mix until well combined. Set aside
In a large bowl add the butter and whisk in sugars, stirring until smooth. Then, add in the egg and vanilla, whisking until smooth and creamy.
Little by little (3 parts) begin to stir in dry ingredients, with a rubber spatula or using your hands if necessary to bring dough together.
Incorporate the milk, 1 tablespoon at a time and and fold the dough.
Optional: Refrigerate dough for 10 minutes.

Preheat oven to 180°C.
Line up your baking pan cover with a a nonstick baking sheet. Using an ice cream scoop, a spoon or your hands, form medium size flat dough disks. Grab a few apple dices and push them into the dough. Place the dough disks on the baking pan, with about 2 inches separation.
Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until bottoms and edges are golden.
Let cool and enjoy them with a glass of milk.

I sprinkle them with melted toffee (caramel). Yumm is all I can say.

I hope you like this super easy and quick cookies, as much as I do!

Bon appétit,
Love,

Sara