Showing posts with label Dessert. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Dessert. Show all posts

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

New York Cheesecake

This recipe comes from a blog called It is a good cheesecake recipe. I just don't understand why you need to add butter to it. I did use the butter but it seemed unnecessary to me. I would definitely recommend that you absolutely make sure all your ingredients are at room temperature. I also recommend cooking this or any cheesecake in a water bath or Bain Marie. It definitely helps prevent cracking. Supposedly, the addition of flour and/or cornstarch also help prevent cracking. I was under the impression that cold air would cause the cheesecake to crack so I figured that leaving it in the oven the extra hour after it was turned off would help. I have to tell you that my cheesecake cracked anyway. That is why I would take the time to use a water bath next time I make this cheesecake. I am not sure that I would use the butter next time. Also, please take the time to read the tips that I included from various blogs at the end of this post. They are very informative and helpful tips on making cheesecake. I learned a very simple way to fix the cracked cheesecake that I also included for your information. The fruit toppings both came out very nice. I did not make a crust for this cheesecake. It was great without it. This cheesecake was a big hit at my Easter dinner.

New York Cheesecake


2 cups sour cream, room temperature
1 lb. ricotta cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup butter, melted
1-1/2 cup sugar
16 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
3 Tbsp. flour
3 extra large eggs, room temperature
1 Tbsp. vanilla
3 Tbsp. cornstarch
1 Tbsp. lemon juice


1. Combine sour cream and ricotta cheese in a large mixing bowl. Beating at low speed, add butter, sugar and cream cheese.

2. Increase speed to medium and add flour, eggs, vanilla, cornstarch, and lemon juice. Beat for 5 minutes.

3. Pour into a buttered or greased spring form pan. Wrap the bottom of the spring form pan with aluminum foil. Place the spring form pan into a roasting pan. Add water to roasting pan filled halfway to the top. (Ban-Marie)

4. Bake in preheated 325F oven for 1 hour, then turn off oven and leave in closed oven for one hour longer. Cool on rack.

Optional Crust:

1/3 cup butter, melted
1-1/2 cup cinnamon graham cracker crumbs

Combine graham cracker crumbs and butter; press evenly on bottom of 9 inch pie pan.



1-1/2 pints (3 cups) blueberries

3/4 cup sugar

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 tablespoon cornstarch


Combine all ingredients in a saucepan over medium-high heat.

Bring to a simmer, and cook until berries break down, about 4 minutes.

Let cool, then refrigerate, covered, until cold (or up to 3 days).



1 package (12 oz.) frozen raspberries

1-1/2 tablespoons cornstarch

1/2 cup water

1/3 cup sugar

½ teaspoon vanilla


In a small saucepan, stir together cornstarch and sugar.

Add water and 1 cup of the frozen raspberries. (Set remaining berries aside.) Cook over medium-high heat, stirring constantly until mixture begins to boil. Cook mixture for an additional minute, then remove from heat. Stir in vanilla. Let stand until cooled. Stir in remaining berries and chill for at least 1 hour. Spread sauce over cheesecake before serving. Any remaining sauce can be served on the side.


The bain-marie comes in a wide variety of shapes, sizes, and types, but traditionally is a wide, cylindrical, usually metal container made of three or four basic parts: a handle, an outer (or lower) container that holds the working liquid, an inner (or upper), smaller container that fits inside the outer one and which holds the material to be heated or cooked, and sometimes a base underneath. Under the outer container of the bain-marie (or built into its base) is a heat source.

Typically the inner container is immersed about halfway into the working liquid.

The smaller container, filled with the substance to be heated, fits inside the outer container, filled with the working liquid (usually water), and the whole is heated at, or below, the base, causing the temperature of the materials in both containers to rise as needed. The insulating action of the water helps to keep contents of the inner pot from boiling or scorching.

When the working liquid is water and the bain-marie is used at sea level, the maximum temperature of the material in the lower container will not exceed 100 degrees Celsius (212 F), the boiling point of water at sea level. Using different working liquids (oils, salt solutions, etc.) in the lower container will result in different maximum temperatures.

Unmolding from the Pan:

  • To unmold the cake from a springform pan, first run a thin bladed knife around the edge to loosen the crust from the sides of the pan. Open the clamp and expand the sides of the pan and release the bottom. Carefully slip the tip of a sharp knife between the crust and pan bottom, slip the cake off the pan bottom and onto a serving plate.
  • To unmold the cake from a cheesecake pan, the pan needs to be slightly heated to release the cake. First run a thin bladed knife around the edge to loosen the crust from the sides of the pan. Dip the pan into a bowl or sink of very hot water that reaches about ¾ of the way to the rim, and hold in place for 10 to 15 seconds. Dry the pan with a towel, and then invert it onto a plate that is covered with plastic wrap. If the cake doesn’t come out, dip and try again. Or, instead of dipping in hot water, place the pan over a stovetop burner at medium heat and rotate the pan so that the entire bottom becomes slightly heated, taking about 5 to 10 seconds. Once it drops out of the pan, quickly invert the cake onto a clean serving plate, right side up.


  • Cheesecake can be difficult to slice because the creamy filling sticks to the knife. Dental floss is one of the best-kept secrets in a cheesecake kitchen. Take a long strand of unflavored dental floss, either waxed or unwaxed, stretch it taut, and gently press it through the cake. Don’t pull the floss back up through the cut you have made, instead pull it out when you reach the bottom. If the floss does not cut through the crust, finish cutting with a thin, sharp knife.
  • If using a knife instead of dental floss to slice the cake, use a sharp straight-edge knife. To make clean slices, warm the blade in hot water, dry and slice. Clean and dry the knife after each cut. As you cut, pull the knife out from the bottom of the cake to keep the surface smooth.

Hints to Prevent Cheesecake from Cracking

  • Do not overbeat the cheesecake batter. Incorporate as little air into the batter as possible. The ingredients must be well blended, but excessive beating creates too many air bubbles which cause the cheesecake to puff up too much during baking, and then crack as the cheesecake settles when cooling.
  • Let the filling rest about 5 minutes before pouring into the pan to allow air bubbles to rise to the surface.
  • Before baking, run the point of a sharp knife between the cheesecake and the side of the pan about ½ inches down. This will help prevent cracks as the cake bakes and cools.
  • Open the oven door as little as possible while baking, especially during the first 30 minutes. Drafts can cause a cheesecake to crack.
  • Bake in a slow oven. 325 degrees F is ideal, and no higher than 350 degrees F. If the oven temperature is too high the surface of the cheese cake will dry out, forming cracks.
  • Do not over bake. Cheesecakes continue to bake during the cooling process. Over baking can cause the cheesecake to crack.
  • Do not use a knife or toothpick to check for doneness as this may cause the cheesecake to crack.
  • After removing from the oven run a thin knife around the edge of the pan to loosen the cheesecake. This allows the cake to contract away from the sides of the pan as it cools, helping to prevent cracks.
  • Allow plenty of time for the cheesecake to cool. Plan on making cheesecake at least 1 day ahead of serving. If a warm cheesecake is rushed into the refrigerator, the cake will contract dramatically, causing cracks. Allow the cake to cool completely to room temperature, and then chill in the refrigerator at least 12 to 24 hours before serving.

If your cheesecake cracks even after you have taken all the above precautions (as mine did), I recommend you try this: Let cheesecake cool in the refrigerator over night. Take it out in the morning and press together the cracks with clean fingers. Then get a butter knife and a bowl of warm water. Dip the knife in the water and scrape the flat side of the knife over the top of the cheesecake. If you are lucky, the cheesecake will look like it has never been cracked after you do this process. It worked for me. Good luck.


Sunday, February 19, 2012

Chocolate Pound Cake

I made this cake for a friend of mine whose birthday is coming up.  Her birthday is the same day as my dad's. I did way too much baking for everyone else this month and did no baking for myself!  I did a taste-test of this cake because it was one of the first cakes I baked in my new oven.  I wanted to make sure it wasn't overcooked.  I was actually going to make another one but I had to make the cookies and coffee cake for my dad so I talked myself out of it.  It looks like a good cake to make again. Maybe I can do it as a "marble" loaf instead of all chocolate.  I wouldn't have made something so plain except that I was told she would prefer this type of cake to anything with frosting or glaze.  I hope she likes it!

Chocolate Pound Cake
makes one 8 x 4 x 3 inch Loaf

¼ cup unsweetened Dutch-processed cocoa powder
3 tablespoons boiling water
3 large eggs, room temperature
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1-1/4 cups sifted cake flour (~125 grams)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar (175 grams)
13 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature (cut into pieces)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Butter or spray with vegetable spray, an 8 x 4 x 3 inch loaf pan.  Line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper.  Set aside.

2. In a medium bowl, mix together the cocoa powder and boiling water until thoroughly combined.  Let cool to room temperature.

3. Once the chocolate mixture has cooled, whisk in the eggs and vanilla extract.  Set aside.

4. In the bowl of your electric mixer (or with a hand mixer), combine the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, salt and sugar) and mix on low speed for about 30 seconds or until blended.  Add the butter and half of the chocolate/egg mixture.  Mix on low speed until the dry ingredients are moistened.  Increase the mixer speed to medium and beat for about one minute to aerate and develop the cake’s structure.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl.  Gradually add the remaining egg mixture, in 2 additions, beating about 30 seconds after each addition to incorporate the egg and strengthen the cake’s structure.

5. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top with an offset spatula or the back of a spoon.  Bake for about 50-60vminutes total or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  About twenty minutes into baking, cover the cake with a lightly oiled piece of aluminum foil to prevent overbrowning.

6. Remove the cake from oven and place on a wire rack to cool for about ten minutes.  Remove the cake from the pan, reinvert, and cool completely on a lightly buttered wire rack.  Top with a light dusting of powdered sugar, if desired.

7.  Will keep, well wrapped, several days at room temperature, about one week when refrigerated, or it can be frozen for two months.


The Creative Cook 

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Amazing Pecan Coffee Cake

I can't say much about this cake recipe except that I made it for my dad's birthday and I got good reviews from both him and my mom.  They don't usually tell me that something is good unless they really like it. I didn't even take any pictures of it before I wrapped it up and sent it off to their house.  I'll  have to make it again and taste it myself.  The recipe comes from  I have already gotten a request for it so I will definitely be making it again. It is pretty easy to make.  

Amazing Pecan Coffee Cake
Ready In:  50 Minutes
Servings:  12


2 cups all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup sour cream
1-1/2 cups white sugar
2 eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Pecan Topping:

½ cup brown sugar
1 cup chopped pecans
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons butter, melted


1.      Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).  Line a 9 x 13 inch pan with aluminum foil and lightly grease with cooking spray.  Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt; set aside.
2.      In a large bowl, cream the butter until light and fluffy.  Gradually beat in sour cream, and then beat in sugar.  Beat in eggs, one at a time, then stir in the vanilla.  By hand, fold in the flour mixture, mixing just until incorporated.  Spread batter into prepared pan.
3.      To make the Pecan Topping.  In a medium bowl, mix together brown sugar, pecans and cinnamon.  Stir in melted butter until crumbly.  Sprinkle over cake batter in pan.
4.      Bake in the preheated oven for 30 to 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.  Let cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack, and remove foil.


The Creative Cook

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Dried Fruit and Nut Loaf

I can't explain what possessed me to make this... dare I say.... fruit cake.  I never made one before.  I'm not even a big fruit cake fan.  So I can't explain my need to make this loaf.  I found the recipe on  It looked interesting and I had an over abundance of dried fruit in the house.  Maybe that was it.  I don't know but it came out great.  I used 5 mini loaf pans instead of one 9 x 5 loaf which helped with the baking since my oven is set so low.  I did compensate and get the temperature in the oven up to 300 degrees.  It did not seem like this loaf would even hold together.  There are more fruit and nuts than batter so it is probably better for you than the average fruit cake.  My mother absolutely loved it and so did my  husband.  I had no idea he even remotely liked fruit cake.  I thought it was pretty good, too.  So give this recipe a chance if you have the opportunity.  I think you'll like it.  It may even change your opinion of the dreaded fruit cake!

Keep in mind that you don't have to use the dried fruits that are recommended in the recipe.  As long as you use 3 cups of dried fruit and 3 cups of chopped nuts you will be fine.  Just be careful about buying good quality, fresh dried fruit (which sounds like an oxymoron).  I used cranberries, apricots and figs for the dried fruit and pecans instead of walnuts. I think that any way you mix it, this loaf will be tasty.

Dried Fruit and Nut Loaf

3/4 cup (95 grams) all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup (160 grams) firmly packed light brown sugar
3 cups (300 grams) coarsely chopped walnuts (can also use pecans, hazelnuts, or almonds)
1/2 cup (65 grams) dried cherries and/or cranberries
2 cups dates and figs, pits removed and cut into quarters
1/2 cup (85 grams) dried apricots, cut into quarters
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Dried Fruit and Nut Loaf: Preheat oven to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C) and place the rack in the center of the oven. Butter, or spray with a vegetable oil spray, a9 x 5inch (23 x 12 cm) (8 cup) loaf pan, and line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Stir in the brown sugar, walnuts, and dried fruits. Use your fingers to make sure that all the fruits and nuts have been coated with the flour mixture. In a separate bowl, beat (with a wire whisk or an electric hand mixer) the eggs and vanilla until light colored and thick (this will take several minutes). Add the egg mixture to the fruit and nut mixture and mix until all the fruit and nut pieces are coated with the batter. Spread into the prepared pan, pressing to even it out.

Bake for about 60 to75 minutes, or until the batter is golden brown and has pulled away from the sides of the pan. (If you find the loaf over browning, cover with aluminum foil.) Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool. When cool, lift the loaf from the pan. To store, cover with plastic wrap or aluminum foil. This loaf is best after being stored for a couple of days. Will keep for about 2 weeks at room temperature or for a couple of months in the refrigerator. Cut into small slices with a sharp knife.

Makes one - 9 x 5 inch (20 x 13 cm) loaf.


Saturday, December 24, 2011

Favorite Old Fashioned Gingerbread

This is a wonderful easy holiday favorite.  It can be served with whipped cream topping.  I got the recipe from

Favorite Old Fashioned Gingerbread


1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup butter
1 egg
1 cup molasses
2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup hot water


1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).  Grease and flour a 9 inch square pan.

2.  In a large bowl, cream together the sugar and butter.  Beat in the egg and mix in the molasses.

3.  In a bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves.  Blend into the creamed mixture.  Stir in the hot water.  Pour into the prepared pan.

4.  Bake 1 hour in the preheated oven, until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.  Allow to cool in pan before serving.


Saturday, July 30, 2011

Easy Ice Cream Cake

Here is the recipe for the second ice cream cake I made for my son's friend.  It is very easy.  My son did help me with it.  It is a great cake to make with kids.  If you make it without a kid, you will have to spread some flour on the counter and rub some on your face, sprinkle some water on it to make it look like you worked really hard.

Easy Ice Cream Cake
Prep Time:  10 Minutes
Ready In: 1 Hour 15 Minutes
Servings:  16


16 ice cream sandwiches
1 (16 ounce) container frozen non-dairy whipped topping
1 (12 ounce) jar chocolate fudge topping, room temperature
1 (1.5 ounce) bar chocolate candy, grated


1.  Place 8 of the ice cream sandwiches side by side in a 9 x 13 inch baking dish.  Spread evenly with half of the hot fudge toppings, then half of the whipped topping.  Repeat with the remaining sandwiches and toppings.  Sprinkle with grated chocolate bar.

2.  Cover and freeze for at least 1 hour before serving.  Keep unused portion covered and frozen.


Friday, July 29, 2011

Triple Chocolate Ice Cream Cake

This recipe is from Rachel Ray's Magazine website.  I made it for my son's friend.  We were away during his friend's birthday party so we decided that making an ice cream cake or two would be nice.  Actually, we asked him what kind of cake he would like and he said "ice cream cake."  Making an ice cream cake in this weather is much better than having to crank up my oven and bake a cake.  The other cake I am making with my son's help  It is the one with the ice cream sandwiches.  I will post that recipe tomorrow.

By: Silvana Nardone

  • 1 cup (1/2 pint) heavy cream
  • 12 ounces (1 package) semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 12-ounce marble pound cake, such as Entenmann's brand, cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices
  • 1 pint vanilla ice cream, softened
  • 20 chocolate wafers, such as Nabisco brand, plus 4 crushed wafers
  • 1 pint chocolate ice cream, softened
  1. In a small saucepan, bring the heavy cream to a boil over medium-high heat. Put the chocolate chips in a heatproof medium bowl and pour the boiling cream over the chocolate. Let sit until the chocolate is melted, about 2 minutes. Stir the mixture with a fork for about 2 minutes, until the ganache is smooth.
  2. Line a nonstick 9 x 5 x 3¾-inch loaf pan with 2 overlapping sheets of plastic wrap, allowing a 4-inch overhang on all sides.
  3. Pour half of the ganache (1 cup) evenly into the lined pan and spread to cover the base. Cover the ganache with a single layer of tightly packed cake slices; be sure the layer is flat and even. Working quickly, spread the vanilla ice cream evenly over the pound cake. Cover the ice cream with a layer made of half of the chocolate wafers. Spread the remaining ganache evenly over the wafers, then top the ganache with another layer, using all of the remaining wafers, and place the cake in the freezer for about 30 minutes to chill and firm up.
  4. Remove the cake from the freezer and spread the chocolate ice cream over the wafers. Top with another flat, single layer of tightly packed slices of pound cake, trimming 1 or 2 slices to fill in the gaps (there will be a few slices left over). The cake may be slightly higher than the pan. Cover the cake completely with the plastic overhang and freeze until firm, at least 5 hours or overnight.
  5. To loosen the ice cream cake from the pan, open the plastic wrap and invert the pan over a flat serving platter. Remove the plastic wrap. Scatter the crushed chocolate wafers over the ice cream cake, then slice and serve immediately.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Blueberry Buckle

This recipe is looks amazing.  It from one of our favorite Food Network chef's, Alton Brown.  

Blueberry Buckle
Recipe courtesy Alton Brown, 2007
Prep Time:  25 min
Inactive Prep Time: 10 min
Cook Time:  35 min
Level:  Easy
Serves:  1 (9-inch) cake


For the cake:
·         Nonstick cooking spray
·         9 ounces cake flour, approximately 2 cups
·         1 teaspoon baking powder
·         1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
·         1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
·         2 ounces unsalted butter, room temperature
·         5 1/4 ounces sugar, approximately 3/4 cup
·         1 large egg
·         1/2 cup whole milk
·         15 ounces fresh whole blueberries, approximately 3 cups

For the topping:
·         3-1/2 ounces sugar, approximately 1/2 cup
·        1-1/2 ounces cake flour, approximately 1/3 cup
·        1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
·         2 ounces unsalted butter, chilled and cubed

For the cake:

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Spray a 9 by 9-inch glass baking dish with nonstick spray and set aside.
In a medium mixing bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt and ground ginger. Set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, with the paddle attachment, beat together the butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, approximately 1 minute. Add the egg and beat until well incorporated, approximately 30 seconds. Add 1/3 of the flour mixture and beat on low speed just until incorporated and then add 1/3 of the milk and beat until incorporated. Repeat, alternating flour and milk until everything has combined. Gently stir in the blueberries and pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish.
For the topping:

In a small bowl combine the sugar, flour and nutmeg. Add the butter and work into the dry ingredients using a fork to combine. Continue until the mixture has a crumb-like texture. Sprinkle the mixture on top of the cake. Bake on the middle rack of the oven for 35 minutes or until golden in color. Cool for at least 10 minutes before serving.


Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Blueberry Sticky Buns

This recipe is from SparkRecipes.  The recipe states that it is from the Food Nework website.  They look delicious!  

Blueberry Sticky Buns
Nutritional Info
Fat: 13.7g
Carbohydrates: 45.7g
Calories: 309.1
Protein: 5.9g


• 2 teaspoons dry active yeast
• 4 tablespoons warm water
• 1/2 cup milk, room temperature
• 1 egg room temperature
• 2 tablespoons sugar
• 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
• 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
• 1/2 cup cream cheese, room temperature

• 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
• 1 cup brown sugar
• 3 tablespoons maple syrup
• 1 tablespoon cinnamon
• 2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries



1. Using a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, dissolve yeast in water and allow to sit for 5 minutes.

2. Add milk, egg and sugar and blend. Add flour, salt and nutmeg and mix for 1 minute to combine. Add butter and cream cheese and knead for 5 minutes on medium speed.

3. Place dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover and let rest 1 hour in a draft-free place.

4. Preheat oven to 350 F.

5. On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough into a rectangle 1/2- inch thick. Spread remaining filling over the dough, sprinkle with blueberries and roll up lengthwise. Slice dough into 12 equal portions and arrange them in muffin tin.

6. Allow to rise for 1/2 hour. Bake 30 minutes, and turn out onto a plate while still warm.


1. Combine butter, sugar, maple syrup and cinnamon. Spoon a tablespoonful of filling into bottom of each cup of a greased 12-cup muffin tin.

Number of Servings: 12

Recipe submitted by SparkPeople user MRSMILESTONES.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Cranberry Coffee Cake

This recipe came from It was posted by "Young Living in Texas"  It makes a bundt cake.  I didn't have enough left over cranberry sauce to try it but maybe I will after Christmas.  You never know! 

Cranberry Coffee Cake


1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 (16 oz) can whole berry cranberry sauce
1 cup pecans, chopped


1 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons water
2 teaspoons almond extract


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2.  Cream butter and sugar.

3. Add eggs.

4.  Add dry ingredients alternately with sour cream to butter and sugar mixture.

5.  Stir in almond extract.

6.  Pour 1/2 batter into greased and floured bundt pan.

7.  Add 1/2 cranberry sauce, spread evenly over batter. 

8.  Pour remaining batter over cranberry sauce.

9.  Top with remaining cranberry sauce.

10.  Sprinkle with pecans.

11. Bake at 350 degrees F in a preheated oven for 55 minutes.

12.  Glaze:  Stir ingredients together well. Spread or drizzle glaze on cake while cake is still warm.


The Creative Cook

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Cranberry Sauce Loaf

Here is another recipe I made to use up my left over cranberry sauce.  I used this recipe "as is" except that I didn't have any graham cracker crumbs so I used 2 cups of flour instead.  Other than that, the recipe is the same as it was on the site where I found it.  It looks good.  It is still in the oven at the moment.

Cranberry Sauce Loaf


1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup cranberry sauce
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
1 egg, beaten
3/4 cup orange juice
1/2 cup canola oil


Mix the first 5 ingredients together with a fork in a large mixing bowl.  Stir in raisins and nuts.  Gently fold in cranberry sauce.  Add egg, orange juice and oil.  Stir just until mixed.  Scrape into loaf pan and bake for at least 1 hour.  Let stand for 10 minutes. 


The Creative Cook

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Blood Orange Cake

This recipe was printed in the Baltimore Sun and was adapted by Carol Mighton Haddix from the “Booze Cakes” cookbook by Krystina Castella and Terry Lee Stone. The recipe originally called for Champagne.  I used this recipe "as is".  I did not have to change anything.  The only thing that I did not do was decorate it with orange peels.  I think it would have been cute but instead I made the icing and the cake a bit more orange than red by adding a few drops of  yellow food coloring as well as the red.  Everyone seemed to enjoy this cake but I will say that it is quite sweet.  Enjoy!

Makes: 9-inch Layer cake – 12 servings


3 cups flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, softened
1-3/4 cups sugar  (reduced to 1-1/2 cup)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
6 egg whites (3/4 cup egg substitute)
A few drops of red food coloring, optional
2 cups blood orange soda


2 cups blood orange soda
1-1/2 sticks (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, softened
3 ounces cream cheese, softened
4 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
Few drops of red food coloring, optional
Grated rind from 2 oranges or orange peel curls, optional

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Combine flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl; set aside. Beat butter and sugar in a mixing bowl with mixer until light and fluffy, 3- 5 minutes. Add vanilla. Beat in egg whites one at a time. Mix in food coloring.

2. Beat in flour mixture and soda in three alternating additions, starting and ending with flour. Pour batter into two greased and floured 9-inch pans. Bake until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean, about 35 minutes. Cool 10 minutes. Run a knife around edges to loosen cake; invert cakes onto wire rack. Cool.

3. For frosting, heat the soda in a sauce pan over medium-high heat to a boil; cook until reduced to ¼ cup, about 10 minutes. Cool completely. Beat butter and cream cheese in a bowl with a mixer, 1 minute. Gradually add confectioners’ sugar, reduced soda, vanilla and food coloring. Beat until smooth and creamy, adding more confectioners’ sugar if too thin. Place one cake layer on a cake plate; spread half of the frosting over the top. Add top layer; cover with frosting. Sprinkle top with grated orange rind or orange peel curls, if desired.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Mocha Cake with Coffee Icing

This cake was easy to make and very tasty but I will tell you that if you are planning to use the Coffee Icing Recipe below that came with the cake, you will need to double or even triple it to make enough to cover the entire cake.  I had to resort to using a premade cream cheese frosting.  It was good anyway but next time I make this cake, I will definitely double the icing!  The recipe is from the Baltimore Sun Paper. 




2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups white sugar
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
½ cup unsalted butter, melted
2 eggs
1 cup buttermilk (sour milk may be substituted)
2 teaspoons baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon instant coffee
1 cup hot water

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour two 9-inch round cake pans.

2. Combine flour, sugar, cocoa, melted butter, eggs, buttermilk or sour milk, baking powder, baking soda and salt into a mixing bowl. Dissolve instant coffee in 1 cup hot water and add to mixing bowl. Beat at medium speed for 2 minutes until smooth; batter will be thin. Pour into prepared pans.

3. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans for 10 minutes and then turn out onto racks to cool completely before icing.

Coffee Icing

2 cups confectioners’ sugar
¼ cup butter, softened
3 to 4 tablespoons strong brewed coffee
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Beat together confectioners’ sugar, butter, coffee and vanilla until smooth. Add more liquid or sugar as needed to reach proper consistency.

Place 1 cake layer on serving dish and frost top. Add second layer on top of first and frost top and sides with remaining frosting. If desired, drizzle some melted chocolate over top of iced cake and allow it to drip down sides.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Sticky Rice with Mango

This recipe was my first attempt at making an Asian dessert.  It is another recipe D made at cooking camp over the summer.  He loved it so much that he wanted us to make it at home.  I used sushi rice which I found out is actually the same as sticky and/or sweet rice.  I also learned that sticky or sweet rice is neither sweet nor sticky but it is a short-grained Asian rice.  It is a little bit more complicated and time-consuming to make than regular rice but please don't try to substitute regular long grain rice or "God Forbid" instant rice in this recipe.  It will come out like mush or so I'm told.  I wouldn't suggest doing that.  Also, please make sure that you use really ripe mangoes.  I would think that you could use the frozen mango chunks that you find in the grocery store if you are making this in the middle of winter and there are no fresh mangoes to be found.  Give this yummy dessert a try if you have room after a delicious Asian dinner. 

Sticky Rice with Mango
4 servings

1 cup rice, sticky or sweet Asian rice
1 mango (ripe)
1 14 oz. can coconut milk
3 tablespoons sugar
1 pinch salt
sesame seeds for garnish


Cook rice in rice cooker or on stove top according to directions on bag or box.

While the rice is steaming, pour coconut milk into a small saucepan and bring to a slow simmer.  After the consistency thins out, add sugar and salt and take off heat.  The idea is to get it to taste sweet but not overly sweet.  (Time this so you take it off the heat right about when the rice is done cooking.)

Remove the rice from the cooker and lay it out on a large plate.  Pour enough of the coconut milk sauce over the rice so it is all wet, but not completely swimming in sauce.  Let it sit for about 5 to 10 minutes, and the rice will soak up all of the coconut milk.

To serve, place sliced mango on a plate.  Place a big spoonful of the rice on the plate, pour a little more of the coconut milk over the rice, and sprinkle some sesame seeds on it.

{Adapted from Kristin Smedley}


The Creative Cook

Thursday, August 12, 2010

White-Chocolate Blondies with Raspberries by Laurent Schott

In the oven.

All done!

Thank you so much to Laurent Schott for this great recipe!  It is wonderful.  I have seen bunches of blondie recipes that use both white chocolate and raspberries but not the almonds in this recipe.  I think the almonds give it a wonderful taste and texture.  They are not so overpowering as other nuts might be.  This is definitely not the easiest blondie recipe you'll make but it could quite simply be the best.  My other favorite type of blondies are the ones that replicate chocolate chip cookies.  They are very yummy but very different from this blondie recipe.  This one comes from Laurent Schott's Seven Sins of Chocolate cookbook.  I have had this cookbook sitting on my coffee table for a few years now.  I have made and posted about Laurent Schott's Marble Cake probably two years ago.  I am also interested in making the chocolate Madeleines and a few other recipes in the book.  Some of the desserts look wonderful but are way over my head as far as techniques, ingredients and cooking tools.  For instance, I do not own the proper pan to use when making brioche. I had intentions of buying a brioche pan at one time or another but I never did buy it.  Oh well, maybe some day in the future I will own a brioche pan.  Anyway, I finally made this blondie recipe and it was delicious.  Try it for the "yum" factor.  I had to bake the blondies for about 40 minutes so watch them carefully!

White-Chocolate Blondies with Raspberries
by Laurent Schott

Makes 20 Blondies

6 oz white chocolate, chopped
1 cup plus 6 tablespoons (2-3/4 sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature
5 large eggs
1-3/4 cups granulated sugar
1 cup chopped natural almonds
1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup fresh raspberries
2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water (the bowl must not touch the water).  {I used a double boiler} With the bowl still over the water, add the butter and whisk until smooth.  Whisk in the eggs, one at a time, and then the sugar.  Remove the bowl from the saucepan.  Stir in the flour until combined.  Mix in the almonds.

Butter the sides of a rectangular pan -- 13 inches long by 9 inches wide and 1 inch deep -- and line the bottom with baking parchment.  Spread the batter in the pan and sprinkle with the raspberries.  (You can vary the shape of the blondies by using differently shaped cake pans and molds.  For round blondies, spoon batter into unlined, globe-shaped silicone molds with 3-1/4 inch diameters.)

Bake until golden brown and a wooden toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 25 minutes (less if making the round blondies).  Cool in the pan on a wire cake rack.  Invert to unmold the entire blondie, peel off the paper, and cut into 20 pieces.  Garnish with a light sprinkling of confectioners' sugar.


The Creative Cook

Monday, July 12, 2010

Chocolate Lava Cake Recipe

Have you ever eaten dessert at Chili's?  Well, their most famous dessert is their Molten Lava Cake.  My son absolutely loves the Molten Lava Cake from Chili's.  When we were on vacation two weeks ago in New Mexico, we drove through Roswell, NM on our way home from Carlsbad Caverns.  Since we didn't see any aliens, we decided to have dinner there.  Not to mention the fact that there is ABSOLUTELY NOTHING else around between Carlsbad Caverns and Roswell.  They actually have a Chili's in Roswell, NM so we ate dinner there that night.  It was late and we had a long drive back to our hotel in Santa Fe.  Because of that, I decided that D should not order his most favorite dessert. That meant, of course, that I owed him dessert at Chili's (I still do, in fact, owe him dessert at Chili's).  Now that we are home, I was thinking I could probably make him a copycat of Chili's Molten Lava Cake.  Big mistake on my part.  I didn't find the right recipe but I do think that these Chocolate Lava Cakes are really good.  I will continue to try to find the best Copycat Chili's Molten Lava Cake recipe.  Sadly, this is not it.  I found that out in a big way today!  Oh well, I tried.

Chocolate Lava Cake
Preparation:  15 Minutes
Cooking Time:  10 - 20 Minutes (or more if necessary)
Makes 4 Servings


6 oz. semi-sweet baking chocolate (or use your favorite 70% dark chocolate bar)
6 oz. butter (diced, room temperature)
3 eggs
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup flour
butter for ramekins


(1) Preheat oven to 400 degrees
(2) Butter four 3.5 oz. ramekins
(3) Melt chocolate on low flame in a double boiler.
(4) When chocolate is melted, remove from heat and stir in diced butter until it melts.
(5) In another bowl, beat eggs and sugar, until it starts to whiten.
(6) Stir in melted chocolate and then stir in the flour.
(7) Pour chocolate batter into prepared ramekins.
(8) Bake for 10 to 20 minutes or until top is cooked through, but center is still liquid.
(9) Tip ramekins upside down onto dessert plates and serve.



You can prepare your chocolate lava cake batter ahead of time and then bake just before serving.

Butter the ramekin bottoms first, and then butter the sides, wiping from the bottom up to the top.  This helps the chocolate to rise even more.

If you don't like liquid-center cake, just cook these babies for a little longer, and you will have an incredibly moist mini chocolate cake.

Serving Ideas:

Serve chocolate lava cake with a Creme Anglaise (English Cream) or a Coulis Aux Framboises (Raspberry Sauce).  I like serving it with good vanilla ice cream.


The Creative Cook

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Lemon Pound Cake

I found this pound cake recipe posted on an answer-type website.   It was the answer to someones question of whether anyone had the recipe for Starbuck's Lemon Loaf cake.  I have a feeling that the recipe came from another website because there is a request to look at "Illustrations below" but there are no illustrations anywhere on that site.  Sadly, I can't give the original owner of this recipe the proper adulation.  This is a really great cake.  I am not a lemon cake person.  Neither is my husband.  I made this cake specially for D.  He always orders the lemon pound cake when we go to Starbucks so I thought it would be fun to try to replicate that cake.  I did not think that the glaze was right.  It should have a cream cheese or at least some type of thicker frosting made with powdered sugar.  Not that the glaze isn't totally yummy but it is not authentic.  Try this cake. You will love it.

Lemon Pound Cake

Published: March 1, 2002

Makes one 9 by 5-inch cake, serving 8

You can use a blender instead of a food processor to mix the batter. To add the butter, remove the center cap of the lid so it can be drizzled into the whirling blender with minimal splattering. This batter looks almost like a thick pancake batter and is very fluid.


16 tablespoons unsalted butter (2 sticks), plus 1 tablespoon, softened, for greasing pan

1 1/2 cups cake flour (6 ounces), plus 1 tablespoon for dusting pan

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon table salt

1 1/4 cups granulated sugar (8 3/4 ounces)

2 tablespoons grated lemon zest plus 2 teaspoons juice from 2 medium lemons

4 large eggs

1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Lemon Glaze (Optional)

1/2 cup granulated sugar (3-1/2 ounces)

1/4 cup lemon juice , from 1 or 2 medium lemons

1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 9 by 5-inch loaf pan with 1 tablespoon softened butter; dust with 1 tablespoon cake flour, tapping out excess. In medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside.

2. In glass measuring cup or microwave-safe bowl, microwave butter, covered with plastic wrap, at full power until melted, 1 to 2 minutes. (Alternatively, melt butter in small saucepan over medium heat.) Whisk melted butter thoroughly to reincorporate any separated milk solids.

3. In food processor, process sugar and zest until combined, about five 1-second pulses. Add lemon juice, eggs, and vanilla; process until combined, about 5 seconds. With machine running, add melted butter through feed tube in steady stream (this should take about 20 seconds). Transfer mixture to large bowl. Sift flour mixture over eggs in three steps, whisking gently after each addition until just combined.

4. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees and continue to bake until deep golden brown and skewer inserted in center comes out clean, about 35-45 minutes, rotating pan halfway through baking time. Cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn onto wire rack.

5. If using lemon glaze, while cake is cooling in pan, bring sugar and lemon juice to boil in small nonreactive saucepan, stirring occasionally to dissolve sugar. Reduce heat to low and simmer until thickened slightly, about 2 minutes.

6. After turning cake onto wire rack, poke the cake's top and sides with a toothpick and brush on Lemon Glaze. Cool to room temperature, at least 1 hour. (Cooled cake can be wrapped tightly in plastic wrap and stored at room temperature for up to 5 days.)


The Creative Cook

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Rosemary Butter Cookies

This is the time for cookies. Everybody makes cookies at Christmas. I decided to make these just because they were different. Putting Rosemary and other types of spices into cookies is very Victorian. The taste gets mellower. These are very aromatic cookies. If you don't like really sweet cookies, use cornmeal instead of sugar to coat the cookies. You'll get the same "crunch."

Rosemary Butter Cookies

Makes 5 dozen cookies (60 cookies)

1 cup unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg plus 1 egg white
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/2 cups sifted flour
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
3/4 tsp coarse salt
1/2 cup fine sanding sugar

Cream butter and sugar and add whole egg and vanilla. Add flour, rosemary, and salt. Mix until combined. Shape dough into 2 logs about 1 1/2 inches wide. Roll in parchment paper. Freeze until firm, about an hour. Brush each log with egg white and roll in sanding sugar. Cut into 1/4 inch rounds. Space 1 inch apart on baking sheets lined with parchment paper in a 350 oven for about 15 to 18 minutes until edges are barely brown. Cool on sheets on wire racks. Store in airtight containers at room temperature up to 3 days.


The Creative Cook

Friday, November 27, 2009

Chocolate Buttermilk Pie

This is a first for me. I have never made any of Sandra Lee's Semi-Homemade recipes before. It really is semi-homemade because I didn't make my own pie crust. I happened to have two store bought frozen pie crusts in my freezer. D mentioned that he wished I would make the chocolate pie I made before. I don't remember ever making a chocolate pie but I did make and post a chocolate tart recipe. He says that isn't what he meant. Since it was the night before Thanksgiving, I really didn't want to go to the grocery store and fight the crowds. I had already been there once this week and that was enough for me. This pie turned out great. D liked it and so did I and all the other guests that tried it. I was pleasantly surprised that it didn't get "runny" even though it doesn't have any gelatin or cornstarch in it. It is a pretty simple recipe.

Chocolate Buttermilk Pie

Recipe courtesy Sandra Lee

Prep Time:
15 min
Inactive Prep Time:
1 hr 0 min
Cook Time:
1 hr 25 min


8 to 10 servings


* 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips
* 1 1/2 cups sugar
* 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 6 eggs
* 1 cup buttermilk
* 1 1/2 tablespoons vanilla extract
* 1 pre-made store-bought (9-inch) deep dish pie crust
* Pre-made whipped cream, for garnish


Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Position a rack in the center of the oven.

Place the chocolate chips in a double boiler and melt over low heat, stirring constantly.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the sugar, flour, and salt until well combined. In a large mixing bowl, combine the eggs, buttermilk, and vanilla. Add the sugar mixture and mix with an electric hand mixer or whisk vigorously. With a rubber spatula, stir the melted chocolate into the batter.

Pour batter into the piecrust; you will have about 1 cup of left-over batter. Place pie in oven on middle rack. Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes to 1 hour and 25 minutes, or until the pie is crisp on top and a knife inserted in the center comes out with just a bit of moist chocolate on it.

Remove from oven and cool completely. Let stand at least 1 hour before serving. If not eating immediately, refrigerate pie. This pie can be served warm or chilled. Garnish with store-bought whipped cream just before serving.


The Creative Cook

Monday, October 5, 2009

Pumpkin Month - Marbled Pumpkin Cheesecake

My favorite month of the year is October. My favorite season is fall. Why, you ask? Well, it is my birthday month, my son's birthday month, my husband's birthday month and just about everyone I know is born in October. No, not really. But sometimes it feels that way. We do know lots of Libras and October babies.

Fall is my favorite season because of the crisp, clear weather! I also love the apple cider, especially hot apple cider. I also love to see the Halloween decorations, pumpkins and scarecrows come out for the season. Every year I try to take my son to a corn maze. He may be getting too old for it but we are going this year anyway. His school had a fundraiser at a local corn maze which is always a good cause. He and his buddies want to do the "night maze" this year to make it a little more age appropriate for them. I don't mind. I'll get some hot apple cider or some hot cocoa and maybe an apple fritter and I'll be set!

In keeping with the fall season, my sister sent me a bunch of pumpkin recipes. She doesn't eat pumpkin in any way shape or form but I guess it sounded good to her so she sent them over to me. I also got a pumpkin muffin recipe from a friend and I'm expecting a pumpkin bread recipe from another friend. I think it is going to have to be pumpkin month at my blog with maybe some apples thrown in for good measure. The pumpkin recipes I have even include a casserole that sounds pretty good. I'm going to start pumpkin month with a pumpkin cheesecake recipe that I have been holding onto for a long time. I think it is time to try this cheesecake. It would be super appropriate for any Halloween party, don't you think? You could use low fat cream cheese but why bother!

Marbled Pumpkin Cheesecake
12 Servings

3 Tbs. unsalted Butter
1 cup gingersnap crumbs, about 20 cookies
2 lbs. cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
3 Tbs. cornstarch
1 cup sour cream
1-1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
¼ tsp. salt
3 eggs
1 tsp. lemon juice
2/3 cup canned pumpkin puree
3 Tbs. dark-brown sugar
2 Tbs. molasses
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
¾ tsp. ground ginger
½ tsp. ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp. ground cloves

Heat the oven to 325 degrees. Butter a 9” springform pan and wrap the pan with a piece of heavy-duty foil.

Melt the 3 Tbs. butter and combine with the crumbs. Press the crumb mixture into the bottom of the pan and chill. With an electric mixer set at medium-low speed, beat the cream cheese, the granulated sugar and 2 Tbs. of the cornstarch until smooth. Beat in the sour cream, the vanilla and salt. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Remove 3-1/2 cups of this batter, stir in lemon juice and set aside.

Combine the remaining batter with the pumpkin, brown sugar, molasses, the remaining 1 Tbs. cornstarch and the spices. Set aside 1 cup of the pumpkin batter. Spread half of the remaining pumpkin batter in the prepared pan.

Gently spoon half of the plain batter over the pumpkin batter. Spoon the other half of pumpkin batter over this and then the remaining plain batter over the pumpkin. Dot with spoonfuls of the reserved cup of pumpkin batter. With a chopstick or the handle of a wooden spoon, gently swirl the batters.

Put the cheesecake in a large roasting pan and fill the roasting pan with water halfway up the sides of the cheesecake pan. Bake until the center of the cheesecake jiggles only slightly when the pan it tapped. About 1 hour 20 minutes.

Remove from the oven and run a knife around the edge of the cake. Let the cake cool 10 minutes in the water bath. Remove and cool completely on a wire rack. Chill thoroughly before serving. Decorate with candied walnuts if desired.

Work Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 50 minutes