Dulce De Leche Cheesecake

15 04 2009

dulce-de-leche-cheesecakeLine bottom & sides of 8″ square pan with 2 sheets of foil leaving overhang on all sides.

Make dulce de leche first by emptying 1 14 ounce can of sweetened condensed milk into top of double boiler and cool over low heat for 50-60 mins until thick and light caramel-colored. Remove from heat and whisk until smooth.

Blend ingredients together and press into bottom of baking pan.

1 cup finely ground graham crackers

2 tablespoons of agave

3 tablespoons of melted unsalted butter

Bake 10 minutes at 325F then cool for 5 mins.

For filling:

Sprinkle 1 teaspoon unflavored gelatin into 1/4 cup whole milke and let sit 2 minutes

Beat together:

8 oz cream cheese, room temp

2 eggs

1/2 teaspoon salt

Add dulce de leche gently, pour filling over crust – bake in 9″ x 13″ pan filled with some water. About 45 minutes for 325F until center set. Cool for 2 hrs, chill for at least 4 hrs.

While cheesecake cooling, make chocolate glaze by:

Melting 3 ounces bittersweet chocolate in double boiler with 1/2 stick unsalted butter and 2 teaspoons agave.

Stir until smooth, then pour over cheesecake, tilt cake until coated evenly Chill for 30 mins.

When cutting, wipe knife after each cut to keep squares clean.

Chilled cheesecake without glaze can be chilled up to 3 days.


Pumpkin Whoopie Pies

21 03 2009

whoopie-piesAdapted from Baked by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito, these are yummy and healthy! Makes 14-15 whoopie pies 3 1/2″ diameter).

Mix into a big bowl:

2 cups flour

1 cup whole wheat flour

1/2 cup ground flaxseed

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

2 tablespoons cinnamon

1 tablespoon ginger

1 tablespoon cloves

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup crushed pecans (optional)

In separate bowl, mix:

1 cup agave

1 large can pumpkin puree (30 oz, 850g)

2 large eggs

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Add this to the dry mix and mix until combined. Drop onto baking sheet with ice cream scoop – I found it useful to reshape after dropping so they’re even and more or less round. They don’t spread on baking so however big they are going in, that’s how big they are coming out (ie. you can make bit sized ones by dropping like cookies).

Bake 20 mins at 350F.

While they’re cooling, prepare the cream cheese filling:

1 cup confectioner’s sugar

1/2 stick (4 tablespoons) softened butter

12 oz cream cheese, softened

1 cup 0% fat Greek yogurt

1 tablespoon vanilla

Mix until smooth, don’t overbeat. Drop big dollops of filling onto half of the whoopie pies. Press down with the other half to make pie. Cover tightly and they’ll store up to 4 days in fridge.

Double Mint Double Chocolate Brownies

21 03 2009

Grease an 8″ x 8″ pan. Put into a bowl:

3/4 cup flour

1/2 cup wheat flour

1/2 cup ground flaxseed

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup agave

4 eggs

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

3 tablespoons of cocoa powder

In small bowl over saucepan of boiling water put:

6 tablespoons butter

1 cup mint chocolate chips

4 ounces roughly chopped dark chocolate

Base for 25-30 minutes at 350F, until toothpick comes out with moist crumbs – do not overbake!

While it’s cooling in the pan, prepare cream center:

1 1/2 cup powdered sugar

1/2 stick (4 tablespoons) softened butter

3 tablespoons of 0% fat Greek yogurt

1 teaspoon mint extract

Beat until completely smooth. Spread on cooled brownie.

Finally prepare the chocolate glaze by melting in a small metal bown:

4 tablespoons of butter

1 cup of mint chocolate chips

Mix, spread on top of the cream center – let cool and you’re ready to serve!

Pear Plum Crumble

18 03 2009

plum-pear-crumbleModified from Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito’s Baked so less sweet, more tart version which is lighter (less butter).

Ready an 8″ x 8″ pan.

2 medium Bosc pears, cored and cut into bite-sized chunks (no need to peel, just wash)

2 medium Bartlett pears, cored and cut into bite-sized chunks (no need to peel)

3 large plums, pitted and cut into 8-9 wedges (no need to peel either)

grated zest/ chopped and juice of 1 lemon

grated zest/ chopped of 1 orange, juice of 1/2 orange

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1/8 teaspoon ginger powder

pinch of clove (optional if you don’t like it as spicy)

1/2 cup dark brown sugar

2 tablespoons of flour

1 tablespoon of vanilla extract if not using fresh, local fruit in season

Mix together in a bowl and let sit while you make the topping:

4 tablespoons of cold butter cut into pea-sized chunks

1/2 cup of flour

1/2 cup of brown sugar

Mix these together with pastry wire, fork or fingers – whatever you’re most comfortable with – until it resembles coarse meal.

Then add 1/2 cup of rolled oats.

Pour fruit mixture into pan, pour topping so it covers the fruit completely.

Bake at 350F for 45 minutes, in my oven I need to brown an additional 2-3 minutes on broil. Serve warm with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.


Peanut Butter Chocolate Crisp Bars

17 03 2009

img_1064Modified from Baked by Matt Lewis & Renato Poliafito cos I don’t like corn syrup in anything. First butter an 8″ x8″ pan.

For crust:

2 1/4 cups of Kashi 7-Grain Puffs

1/4 cup sugar

3 Tablespoons of water

3 T of honey or 2T agave syrup

Put cereal in a bowl, combine rest in a non-reactive metal pan, boil down, then pour over cereal, quickly mix to cover then press into bottom of 8″ x 8″ pan (no need to press up sides) and put in fridge.

Next: peanut butter layer

1 cup natural peanut butter (look for something that only has peanuts for ingredients, maybe salt)

1/4 cup 0% fat greek yogurt

1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa

dash of salt

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1 tablespoon honey or agave (honey will be less sweet)

Mix together, spread on the crust and put back in fridge.

Last layer: Chocolate!

4 ounces of dark chocolate (I use 100%, anything above 70% is good)

1 tablespoon of honey or agave (agave will be sweeter)

4 tablespoons of butter

Melt in double boiler and spread on top of peanut butter layer.

Cool, cut, serve 🙂

Peanut Butter Apple Pie

19 02 2009

img_100937-8 tart apples (ie granny smiths) You might need more or less depending on the size of your pan

1/3 cup brown sugar

spices (more or less depending on how “spicy” you like it): 3 tablespoons of cinammon, 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 cup honey

1/2 cup peanut butter (I used up 1 small jar of Smucker’s Natural, simplest ingredient list so prefer the taste)

1 tablespoon melted butter

pinch salt

Crust: 1 batch of pate brisee (see other pie recipe post), rolled out into pan, put into fridge to cool.

Topping: 1/4 cup flour, 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1/2 cup rolled oats, 1/2 cup peanut butter. Cut until crumbly and put aside in fridge.

Slice apples into thick slices/ chunks – mix with sugar and spices.

Mix butter, honey, peanut butter, salt: pour over apples.

Bake 45 minutes at 375F.


Rhubarb Pie

4 05 2008


with latticeSo exciting, rhubarb just arrived at the farmer’s market. I was so excited the guy selling me the rhubarb was a bit taken aback. Poor thing. And if you’re not into pie, here’s a great recipe for rhubarb and strawberries that’s super easy.

This uses the same crust recipe as the Tarte Tatin (pate brisee which you can do in a food processor, for that recipe, click here) in an earlier post, and you can bake in anything you’ve got – springform cake pan, pie pan, etc… Pictured here is in a tarte pan.

Put in a medium bowl:butter and flour 2 1/2 c flour (about 11 ounces if you’re weighing)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
2 sticks of very cold unsalted butter cut up into pretty thin slices (as many as you have patience for)

It helps if you’re in a room that’s cool to cold (ie. NOT hot) and your hands are also not hot… what you do is mix up the flour with the butter, and start pinching the butter between your thumb and forefinger and middle finger. The idea is to be quick about it, so you’re only mixing the butter, not melting it. You do this until the mixture is crumbly and further pinching just starts to stick together big clumps of already mixed butter and flour (like this).

I added chopped pecans to this dough which is a nice addition to any fruit filling… about half a cup unchopped… add this after you finish pinching, and before you add water so you can mix more easily throughout the dough.

Then have 5 tablespoons of iced water handy… sprinkle that on this mixture. Dump it out onto a long (2 ft) sheet of plastic wrap – and mold quickly into a ball or as close as you can get to one.

before you put it back in the fridge
with cling filmabout half way thereMash it down with a rolling pin until it starts to resemble a thick pancake. Put in the fridge for at least 1 hour, more if you have a bar fridge like me. This gives the dough a chance to rest, otherwise it will shrink a lot during baking – and no one dies but your tarte is not as pretty. 


Meanwhile, chop rhubarb into 1/2 inch thick or 3/4 inch slices until you have 4 cups worth. Add to a bowl with 3T flour, 1 cup raw sugar, 1 egg and a pinch of salt. Mix until the rhubarb is coated. 

between cling film or wax paperNow that your crust dough has had time to shrink/ rest in the fridge. Take it back out and start rolling out. If you either turn your dough or the rolling pin slightly to the left after each time, you’ll get a more even crust. Once your dough is rolled out, I put the pan on top just to make sure I have enough dough for the edges.

Pictured here on the left is nearly done, I rolled a bit more just to be sure. Then take away the cling film from one side and carefully flip the dough into the pan.

You want to position the dough so it’s evenly on top of the pan, with enough for the sides, before you start pushing down the dough into the corners of the pan (where the bottom meets the sides). At this point, you can put back in the fridge to let it settle for another 20-30 mins. 


Once back out, you can push back the edges so they hang over the edge of the pan. Then, run the rolling pin across the top of the pan – which gives you a nice even edge. Pre-heat the oven at this point to 350F.

If you collect the excess dough, you generally will have enough to make thin lattices across the top of the pie – just ball up, put between two sheets of cling film and roll out again (if you have time, refrigerate for 20 mins, it’ll make the dough easier to handle). Cut the small piece of flat dough you have, peel off each strip, and lay on top of the pie. That’s your lattice.

If you don’t feel like making a lattice or don’t like how it looks/ tastes, you can also make a crumble topping with oatmeal: melt 1/3 cup of butter. Then mix with: 1/2 cup of flour, pinch of salt, 1/2 cup of oatmeal and 1/2 cup of raw or brown sugar. Sprinkle this on top of the pie.

Dot the pie with 2 Tablespoons of butter (cut up into little pieces). I forgot to dot before the lattice, so rather than taking it off and making a mess, I just dotted in the open spaces.with dots of butter

Bake for 40 mins… if the lattice or crumble is not brown enough, you can broil for 2 or 2 1/2 minutes until you get the desired browness. Serve warm or cold… with ice cream or as is.