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

Victorian Sponge Cake! So British!

Only few weeks before going home, I’m freaking out (as always) trying to do a list of family gifts, what I must take with me or not, and also figuring out If I’m gonna be able to blog while spending time with the family… The last part is driving me crazy!

I’m not sure it will be possible cause I’ll be super busy catching up with my mom, dad and sis, who have already a schedule planned for me. Family right? how can I say No?

So, I decided to post some recipes before leaving and hoping I can schedule some to appear once I’m on vacation.

Long time ago, I was drooling looking a picture of the most beautiful victorian Sponge cake and I wanted to do it, so the Hubs brought me some fresh raspberries 2 days ago, giving me the perfect excuse to bake this British classic pastry.

Everything went great, until the assembly step. The cream wasn’t firm enough and my kitchen was soooo Hot, so the vanilla cream started to melt and drip! Catastrophe!

So I decided to put the cake in the freezer for half an hour  (make it 45 min), before serving, and voilà. It worked just fine.

I wasn’t really fan of the aesthetic look, but there was nothing I could do to fix it. I forgot about the issue, as soon as I had my first bite… It was fruity, fluffy and refreshing.. just great with right balanced flavors, so my dear readers here is the recipe =D

For the Victorian Sponge cake you will need:
Serves 8 people

  • 250 g softened unsalted butter + some to grease the baking pan
  • 250 g of self raising flour
  • 250 g sugar
  • 4 large chicken eggs
  • Few drops of rose water to flavor
  • 4 tbsp. tablespoons of raspberry jam (I used strawberry cause raspberry one was long gone =P)
  • 50 g fresh raspberries
  • Icing sugar, for decoration

For the vanilla cream:

  • 150g of heavy cream
  • Half a vanilla bean (scrape the seeds)
  • 2 tbsp of sugar.

Preheat oven to 190 ° C

Grease two round cake pans 20 cm in diameter, cover with a sheet of parchment paper.
(I baked mine twice cause I only have 1 pan)

Beat the butter and sugar until fluffy. Incorporate the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition.

Start incorporating the flour in 3 parts.

Divide batter between two pans. Spread it uniformly with a spatula. Its important to have even layers, so you can weight the batter to make sure you’re pouring the same amount in each pan.

Bake for 20-25 minutes, until golden, pinch the center with a toothpick, it should come out clean.

Unmold the cake and let it set on a wire rack to cool completely.

Mix a few drops of rose water with the jam and set aside.

Start doing the vanilla cream:

Whip cream + vanilla seeds and sugar, until it is firm.

When cakes are completely cooled, spread a coat of jam and vanilla cream on a sponge cake and sprinkle with raspberries.

Top with second cake, dust with icing sugar and decorate with raspberries.

Serve with some tea! So British!

Summer Delice! Parfait de Rhubarbe

Sumer here, Olympic Fever, luggage in the making, so many things going on this week!
But above all I’ve been struggling with my dessert Muse! God I was desperate cause I had no Idea what to post and bake.

Finally, the hubs reminded me I had some chopped Rhubarbe frozen in the fridge for over a week now, and CHIN CHIN the idea just came. What about a parfait? I wanted a rhubarbe sorbet but lacking of ice cream maker, the parfait was the next great idea (plus it taste like ice cream). This just fit perfect with the summer heat and isn’t long to do so I could watch the Olympics while doing it! Jackpot!

So fellas, I’m sharing with you this simple and delicate recipe.

For the mini tarts crust use this recipe and lower the quantities.

For the Parfait de Rhubarbe you will need:

  • 250 g of rhubarb
  • 10 cl of water
  • 100 g of sugar
  • 1 fresh egg
  • 1 teaspoon rose water
  • 200 g of heavy cream

Preparation:

Peel the rhubarb, cut into cubes and simmer with water for about 7 minutes or until tender.

Make the rhubarbe puree using a blender, then pass through a strainer.

Add sugar and cook the puree in a saucepan until reduced by half. Set asside and let it cool.

Separate the egg (the white from the yolk) . Put the yolk in a bowl with half the rhubarb puree, whisk in the rose water, mix over a double boiler until a thick foam .

Remove from the double boiler and continue to whisk until cool. Whip in the cream.

Beat the egg white until stiff and incorporate one after the other (cream first and egg white after). Pour the mixture into molds and let set in the freezer for at least 6 h.

Place the rhubarbe parfait over the mini tarts crust.

Before serving pour a little rhubarb puree or compote and enjoy.

This dessert is perfect for summer, easy and refreshing.

I was very uncertain how this dessert will come out, but I’m super pleased cause it’s everything I wanted.

This parfait can work too by layers meaning, the tart crust, one layer of parfait, one of gélée de rhubarbe and another one of parfait. Variations are always a great idea.

I hope you like it,
Love,
Sara

1st Time Homemade Bread

Well, last week was all about sweets and 24/7 Bday baking, and honestly I felt tired but happy everything turned out as expected.

The weather wasn’t great, sometimes crazy hot and after rainy, chilly and damp. What a nightmare, but we decided to do a early tour at St Ouens flea market. Every time I go there I want to buy everything, I’m such a vintage glasses, silverware and old cristal table set sucker ='(, but don’t get me wrong, this flea market is very special and expensive I might say.

I fell in love with a Cristal 1885 cake stand from Baccarat at 700 euros! =O God it was so beautiful and totally out of my price range. Well I came back empty handed but satisfied with a great lunch at the Paul Bert restaurant, where I had a delicious Lapin Chasseur <3. One day I will have the most beautiful cake stand ever (promise)

We came back home and I wanted to bake, but definitely not a cake, so surfing on Pinterest I saw a cute bread. Always scared about bread I was determined to do my own bread, So heck yes I went for it! Procedure was good, easy!

Taste: Just Yummmm

For the Bread you will need:
recipe from: Foodiva’s Kitchen

  • 2 teaspoons dry instant yeast
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 10 cl warm milk
  • 500g all-purpose flour, plus extra for kneading and flouring
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 15 cl warm milk
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon  lemon juice
  • 50 g butter, melted and cooled
Glaze
1 egg yolk
2 tablespoons milk

Preparation:

Dissolve yeast and sugar in 10 cl warm milk, cover and leave in a warm place to rise 10 minutes.

In another bowl, sift the flour and salt together. Make a hole (volcano) in the middle and add beaten eggs into it, the remaining warm milk, olive oil, vinegar and yeast mixture.
Knead the dough with your hands  until it separates from the sides of the bowl. Remove dough, place on lightly floured surface and knead until it becomes a soft and uniform dough.
Place in a greased bowl, cover with a warm towel and leave to rise in a warm place until doubled in volume.
Transfer the dough on a floured surface, divide dough into 2 equal parts. Divide each of these again into 4, so you have 8 pieces of dough.
Roll each piece of dough out into a roughly rectangular shape. Brush cooled, melted butter over each piece. Set aside remaining butter for later.
Place one piece of rectangular dough over another one and start to roll into a cylinder. Do the same with the rest of the dough; you will end up with 4 cylindrical rolls altogether.
Cut each roll into five pieces each. Preheat oven to 180C. Grease e a large baking tray and arrange the rolls around each other to form a circle, placing the cut sides down.
Cover with towel and leave the dough to rise in a warm place for about 30-40 minutes.
Do the glaze, by beating the yolk with the milk with a fork and brush top of the bread with glaze. (You can sprinkle with sesame seeds or poppy seeds.)
Bake bread for 30 minutes, reducing the temperature to 160C after 10 minutes in the oven.
Brush bread with melted butter as soon as it comes out of the oven, cover with a towel and leave to cool before eating.
Enjoy with nutella, peanut butter or else. Grab a cup of milk or tea and you have the perfect homemade bread for breakfast.
Hope you like it,
Love,
Sara