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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You say Chocolate cake leftovers? I say Cake Pops!

When you are crazy baker like me, living in couple with no pets or kids can be a problem… you might  be wondering why?
Well, I bake at least 3 times a week, so my husband is my only support to eat the cakes.

There’s also friends, his family and some particular orders, but the rest of the time its just us. Don’t get me wrong! I love to bake and eat cakes, but we can’t exaggerate with sugar and I really hate throwing food away. So we’ve being eating cake for breakfast =P

2 Days ago, I made the gorgeous dark chocolate cake with berry buttercream you saw in my previous post, but in order to do 2 equal tires for the cake, I cute the top off each single cake to make them the same (height) size. Result: lots of cake to the trash?  NO NO!

I set my cake tops aside and decided to make some cake pops. The plus is, they’re super easy to make, I’ll show you how.

Turn you cake leftovers into cake crumbs, If you have some frosting left is even better, we will use that too!

For every cup of cake crumbs I put 1 tablespoon of frosting, so this time I combined in a bowl 3 cups of cake crumbs with 3 tbsp of cream cheese frosting I had in the freezer.

Next thing to do, mix the whole until well combined and this will form a sort of very thick dough. Don’t be scared! this is perfect. grab a little of doughs and form medium size balls between your hands.

Line a baking pan with some parchment paper and place your balls. When finish, put the pan in the freezer for 20 minutes, enough to the cake balls get a  hard and them pass them to the fridge for 20 minutes more.

While the cake ball are in the fridge, melt some chocolate or “Candy melts”; I used white chocolate but it wasn’t a very good quality =S.

Prepare the lollipop sticks and sprinkles if you want to use them.

Take off the balls from the fridge, did the tip of the lollipop stick in the candy melt, pinch the cake ball through until you reach the half or so and dip the ball into the candy melt or chocolate.

After dipping, tap gently your wrist to remove the candy excess off the cake pop.
Dip in sugar, coconut, sprinkles, or anything else you’d like for decoration and let them dry.

You see! Its super easy and such a nice treats for the little ones, so remember, every time you have cake leftovers do not trash it! Do Cake Pops!

Enjoy,

Love,
Sara

Banana Whoopie Pies with Chocolate Cream cheese filling

Last week tweeting with the creative gourmands girls from Lili’s Kitchen, Aux Cuistots Anonymes and Passionnementcuisine we had the idea to propose a little challenge. You might be wondering: challenge concerning which theme? Well, the super trendy Whoopie Pies.

I’ve heard a lot about the whoopies, but personnally, it’s the first time I try to do ones, so for a few days I was surfing the web looking for the right recipe, the one that makes my mouth water, le coup de coeur as we say in french.

I finally chose the Martha Stewart banana whoopie pies recipe, filled with my favorite chocolate cream cheese [a few pounds in a bite but what the heck =P].

I gathered all my ingredients, started the preparation and they were done in no time! Seriously, is super fast and the result is flawless. I totally loved this challenge and my husband ate like 4 whoopies in a second, saying Oh my God they are good, so I’m very pleased and excited to see what my friends will present for this challenge.

Sorry about the pictures, there’s not a cute decoration or theme cause it was kind of late, after a whole day of work.

For the Martha Stewart Banana Whoopies you will need:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup mashed banana (from 1 large ripe banana)
  • 1/2 cup sour cream + I added a little bit of milk
  • 115 gr unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • confectioners’ sugar, plus more for dusting

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C . Line 2 baking sheets with parchment.
    In a bowl, sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Combine banana, milk and sour cream in another bowl.
  2. Beat butter and the granulated + brown sugars with a mixer on medium-high speed, until pale and creamy. Add egg and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, beating until incorporated. Add banana mixture in 2 additions, alternating with flour mixture.
  3. Transfer batter to a pastry bag fitted with a 1/4-inch plain tip. Pipe batter into 1 1/4-inch rounds on baking sheets, spacing rounds 1 1/2 inches apart.
  4. Bake until edges are golden, about 12 minutes. When done, let cool on a wire rack.

For the Chocolate Cream Cheese you will need:

  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 4 tablespoons milk
  • 4 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
 In a bowl, beat together the cream cheese, 3 tablespoons milk, confectioner’s sugar, butter, vanilla, cocoa, and cinnamon to a spreadable consistency. Beat in additional milk if necessary. For a darker frosting add more cocoa or up to 4 ounces melted chocolate.
To fill the whoopies, pipe or spoon 1 tablespoon cream cheese mixture onto the flat sides of half the cookies. Sandwich with remaining cookies. Dust with confectioners’ sugar, and serve.
This challenge was a great surprise for me, I loved the whoopies and they are so easy to make!
Bon appétit,
Love,
Sara

The Marbled Cake & Danish friends

Sunday morning I was very excited to welcome my tall blond danish hilarious best friend, she was my very first friend when I moved to Paris, in fact she was at my french class and for some reason she was living in Maisons Laffitte like me! Ahh what a coincidence!!

She was way more advanced in French than me, so she helped me.. and everyday after school we shared the train to go back home… We’ve being friends for 3 years now and I’m so blessed to have her in my life. A year ago she moved back to Denmark, and I was so sad but our friendship is very strong, she managed between her 2 jobs + life to come and visit me a few times a year and also to be with me in the most important day of my life:  my wedding!

To honor her visit, I did her favorite cake: Marbled vanilla/chocolate cake with cream cheese frosting ❤ so I’m gonna share this simple and delicious recipe with you.

You will need:

  • 125 g of butter
  • 200g of sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 7 tbsp of milk
  • 200 g of Flour
  • 1 package  (7g) of yeast
  • vanilla beans or 1 tsp of vanilla
  • 25 g of unsweetened chocolate powder

Preheat the oven in 180° C

In a mixing bowl, work the butter and sugar until well mix and creamy.

Separate the egg yolks from the whites. Add the egg yolks to the butter/sugar mixture, when well incorporated add the milk.

Slowly, incorporate the flour and yeast to the mix and beat until lump free.

Beat the egg whites until stiffed and add it to the batter.

Divide the batter in 2 parts. In the 1st part add the vanilla beans or vanilla flavor and mix . In the 2nd part add the chocolate.

To succeed the marbled effect you must pour small amounts of vanilla batter and after a little of chocolate batter. The key is to alternate both while pouring into the mold.

Put it in the oven for 40 minutes

Click here for my cream cheese recipe.

For the assembly, I cut the cake in half, fill it with cream cheese and decor with colorful puffed rice balls.

Enjoy