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Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Marble Mango Cheesecake with Almond Crust

Cooking is always a learning curve, especially when it comes to baking. This year and last year I didn't do much cheesecakes/pies. I always used to make pies with berries and sometimes cheesecake. But some how I didn't feel like making it...maybe because I had it too much. :) I had cheesecake on friday from one of neighbor friends house and wow I could not think about anything else other than cheesecake after that. She made a vanilla cheesecake, but I wanted to try mango cheesecake as I bought the mango puree just two days before thinking about making something with mango.
Almond Crust:
2 cups Whole Almonds/Sliced
Note: you an use with skin or without skin, I like to used whole Almonds with skin
1 pinch Salt
2 tbsp Butter
3 tbsp Sugar
1. Chop the almonds roughly with a knife, if using whole almonds. If using pan to toast, keep stirring until they turn golden brown on medium low flame. If using oven to toast, preheat to 350F and toast it for about 7-8 mins.
2. Cool them completely and then grind it to a coarse powder.
3. Melt butter and add to the almonds along with sugar, mix and place it in a spring foam pan or a pie plate, apply some butter. Add the almond powder, press it slightly and flatten it and slant the pan a bit to get the crust on the sides as well. Keep it aside.
Mango Cheese Filling:
2 1/2 pkg (8 oz) Cream Cheese (room temperature)
1 cup Sugar
2 tbsp Flour
1 tsp Vanilla extract
1 1/4 cup + 2-3 tbsp Mango Puree (fresh/frozen/can)
Note: I used sweetened mango puree
3 Eggs, separated
1/2 tsp Lime Zest (Optional)
1. Preheat oven to 325 F.
2. In a stand mixer add the cream cheese, in a low speed so that it gets soften.
3. Now add mango puree,vanilla extract, flour and mix in medium speed. Scrape the edges, so that all the cream cheese is well mixed.
4. Now add egg yolk one at a time while the stand mixer is running.
5. In a different bowl, add egg whites and with a hand mixer in medium to high speed, whisk it to almost stiff peaks.
6. Fold in the egg whites gently into the mango cheese mixture.
7. Pour this mixture to the prepared spring foam pan with almond crust.
8. With a spoon sprinkle or spoon the mango puree on top of the cheese mixture and with the help of a knife run slightly to make marble effect on the top.
9. Bake this for about 35-45 mins or until the top is slightly golden brown, and when you wiggle, the cheese mixture should wiggle a little bit but not more and also a tooth pick inserted should almost come out clean.
10. Remove the cheese cake from oven and cool it for about half an hour. Then run a plastic knife through the edges and remove the spring foam.
11. Now cool it in fridge for about 4 hours and enjoy this mango cheese cake...a best summer dessert with the flavor of yummy summer fruit. :)
A Glance at all mango recipes:
Strawberry Mango PopsicleHomemade Mango Ice CreamMango Nut Halwa
Fruit BreadGreen Mango Mint Summer Drink - Aam PannaMango Banana Chocolate MilkShake

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Lavender Ice Cream

Ice Cream, you scream, everyone screams for an Ice Cream.....:) :) Making ice cream has become so easy now a days. I remember my mom used to but this ice cream making packet which has a powder which should be boiled/cooked with milk and then freeze it for few hours, then again put it in the blender and then again freeze it for again few hours before you enjoy it. but still it does not come out so soft and smooth as the store bought ice cream. We didn't have any ice cream makers, no heavy cream. It would sound like a magic and miracle happen ...when mom says I made ice cream. Those days were really golden days, which I guess all of us cherish as the sweetest memories of our lives and I guess mom's could did all the hardest things to make their kids happy. Now a days it's so easy, with so many advancements in the ingredients which makes it so easy to make anything, but still I guess we still look for more and more easier ways to do things and most of all feel lazy even to put things together. 
Did you ever hear about this lyrics about Ice Cream??

I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream!

In the land of ice and snows 
Up among the Eskimos, 
There's a college known as Ogiwawa! 
You should hear those college boys, 
Gee, they make an awful noise 
When they sing an Eskimo tra-la-la!

They've got a leader, big cheer leader, 
Oh, what a guy! 
He's got a frozen face just like an Eskimo Pie! 
When he says, "Come on, let's go!" 
Though it's forty-five below, 
This is what the Eskimos all holler:

I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream! 
Rah! Rah! Rah! 
Tuesdays, Mondays, we all scream for sundaes, 
Boola-boola, sarsaparoolla, 
If you got chocolate, we'll take vanoola! 
I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream! 
Rah! Rah! Rah!

I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream! 
Rah! Rah! Rah! 
Frosts and malts that are peppered and salted, 
Oh, spumoni, oh, cartoni, 
And confidentially, we'll take baloney, 
I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream! 
Rah! Rah! Rah!

Rah! Rah! Rah! Rah! Rah!
Now a days I am noticing more from scratch recipes and people are realizing what is more important than looking for shortcut ways. When I look in the internet, wow I get shocked how many people get so creative and are so particular about doing everything from scratch and use more natural ingredients. That is amazing.
1 box Half and Half/Heavy Whipping Cream
1 can Condensed Milk (Unsweetened)
1 pack/bottle Lavender balls (these are made mixed with sugar)
Note: Lavender - I understand it's hard to find these lavender balls, I found these in a whole foods store, so if you don't get one, you can use any form of lavender you get.
1. In a stand mixer add cold half and half or heavy whipping cream and whisk it to stiff peaks.
2. In a spice grinder powder the lavender balls and powder it.
3. Mix the powder to the whipped cream and finally mix the condensed milk, jut until mixed.
4. Freeze this ice cream mix for few hours in a freezer safe box.
5. Enjoy this yummy and very flavorful ice cream as itself or with any warm dessert.

You Might Also Like:
Fruit Punch PopsicleHomemade Mango Ice CreamStrawberry Mango Popsicle

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Strawberry Rosette Cake

Baking is always fun and experimental when you try new things. Decorating cakes and playing around colors, frosting is always challenging and as well as fun for me, as I try to do new things each time. But will consider it as a learning curve. When you see the end results, it gives you a satisfaction and inspiration, especially when you make it for others. Though it is stressful at times when you have many others things going on side by side, the immense pleasure, satisfaction and contentment comes when family and friends see it and appreciate it.
This cake I made for one of our friends who are going back to India for good. I was happy that they did like the cake and I was also happy to make one for them. While casually talking to her, I came to know that she likes strawberries, so came up with this cake idea. I so believe that adding fresh fruit to cake will naturally enhance the flavor. I remember seeing this flower design with butter cream icing and wanted to try, but usually when I am making for myself I don't use icing much, so was looking for a chance. So this occasion seemed right. I also tried the dual color icing, but I guess it didn't show up much. Probably will get better on that skill as I do more in future. ;)
For Cake:
1 box Strawberries
2-3 tbsp Sugar
1/2 cup Baking Chocolate
* For rest of the ingredients refer to this RECIPE (Homemade Strawberry Cake)
* To make Chocolate cake batter, just add 1/2 of each ingredients
For Strawberry Butter Cream Icing:
1/2 box Strawberries
White Butter Cream Icing (Store Bought)
For Cake:
1. To make strawberry puree, in a pan add all (1 1/2 cup) chopped strawberries, and add sugar if needed, then cook just until the strawberries get little soft.
2. Puree the strawberries in a blender .
3. Preheat oven to 350 F.
4. In a mixing bowl mix add all the ingredients to make strawberry cake, including 3/4th of the strawberry puree.
5. In a microwave safe bowl, melt chocolate, just until 1/2 of the chocolate is melted, add milk to thin it a little bit.
6. In another bowl mix take all the ingredients, along with the melted chocolate.
7. Line 2 (two) 9" cake pans, by sprinkling sugar, now add the strawberry cake mix first, make sure the batter is 1/2 filled to the height of the pan.
8. Now add dollops of chocolate cake batter on top, take a butter knife and draw swirls to make it look like marbled.
9. Now bake the cake for about 26 to 38 mins, or until done (insert a tooth pic or a knife, it should come out clean)
10. Allow it to cool for about 10 mins.
11. I used a spring foam pan, so it was easy to remove the cake out, else run a knife through the sides and turn the cake upside down.
For Strawberry Butter Cream Icing:
1. Take the rest of the strawberry puree mix with with half of the butter cream frosting.
2. Rest half of the butter cream just keep it.
3. Now mix both slightly, so that you can get a double color roses.
Assembling and Decorating:
1. On a cake stand add a little bit of the icing, place one cake, flat side down, slice of the top so that it's nice and flat and even.
2. Now add and smooth out a generous amount of icing on the cake, then place the flat surface of the second cake.
3. Now cover  the tiered cake with a thin layer of icing.
4. Keep in fridge for about an hour, so that it's nice and cold.
5. Now in a pastry bag, insert a star tip, and fill it with rest of the icing, else use a icing gun. I used icing gun, because it's easy on your hand. :)
6. Now make decorate with flower swirls. You can do that as: place the icing gun on the cake, pressing a little slightly lift the gun and make a circle, make each flower closer so that it looks nice.
7. Finish the decoration, all over the cake.

You Might Also Like:
Strawberry Cake - HomemadeStrawberry Chocolate Cinnamon CheesecakeNo Bake Banana Strawberry Chocolate Split

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Apple Oats Crisp

Last year apple picking was totally a new experience for all of us including my parents. I know, I made this simple and tasty apple crisp last year and could not get a chance to post it from then. I cant take more excuses to post it. Though I am not so happy with the pictures, I do believe that it tastes much better than it looks; so worth trying it. 
We went to this beautiful apple picking place, and was shocked to see so many varieties of apples. We ended up picking more than we should, which was absolutely fun. They had a store attached, where we got to taste apple cider, which was absolutely yummy ( I was tasting that for the first time) and their donuts, gosh no words....still I can feel that wonderful soft donuts and also bought honey. I always appreciate and prefer the locally made honey.
Well to the recipe now...I wanted to make something simple with these beautiful apples, which are crisp and fresh, as I was tired by end of the day, came up with this simple recipe and by the time I was ready with the dish, it got dark and could not get good enough pictures. Now I can say, maybe that may the reason I didn't post it then. ;)

7 Apples
1 cup Rolled Oats
1/2 cup Butter room temperature
4 tsp fresh Lemon Juice
1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
1 cup Brown Sugar
1/2 tsp ground Cinnamon
1/4 tsp Salt
1 tbsp Corn Starch
1. Preheat oven to 375 F.
2. Wash and core the apples, cut into thin pieces and transfer them to a bowl. As you cut few pieces, sprinkle with some lemon juice and mix it.
3. Add 1/2 cup brown sugar, salt, corn starch and 1/4 tsp cinnamon to the apples and mix it well so that all the sugar and cinnamon is well coat the apples.
4. In another bowl mix oats, rest of the sugar and cinnamon.
5. In a oven safe baking dish or a pie plate, apply butter, add the apples as the bottom layer.
6. Add the oats on top of the apples. and add rest of all the butter in small pieces on top of the oats.
7. Bake it for about 30 to 40 mins or until the oats is cooked and crispy on the outside and the apples are soft enough.

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Apple Cinnamon Almond FudgeOats Strawberry BarsHealthy Blueberry Oats N Almond Sandwich Cake - No Egg No Butter

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