Saturday, July 31, 2010

Little Lemon Cheesecakes with Whipped Cream Topping

For the MasterChef finale, we served up dinner and dessert with all the trimmings. G made a real yum curry, and I provided the lemon cheesecake. We traipsed down to St. Kilda with our Tupperware and plates wrapped in foil and watched the finale with some friends. Adam, the "lawyer with a creative flair for the exotic" (or something like that) took the prize, and I took a lot of food from my plate to my mouth.

The recipe is from The original recipe is for a full-sized pie, but I halved it and made four mini cheesecakes in tart tins. I also made a crust out of cookie crumbs and melted butter instead of the pastry pie shell that the recipe calls for.

These little guys were really, really, really good! One of the best treats I've ever made or had. For real!

The recipe below is my slightly altered version, but you can view the original here.

Little Lemon Cheesecakes with Whipped Cream Topping
About 185 grams of Nice biscuit (or graham cracker) crumbs
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
90 grams butter or margarine, melted

1/2 package cream cheese (Philly da best!), softened
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 eggs

Whipped topping:
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons confectioner sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

1. Preheat oven to 175 C (350 F)
2. Use a food processor to make crumbs of the biscuits
3. Add cinnamon and nutmeg
4. Add melted butter/margarine and mix--it should be wet and pasty, like a delicious cookie plaster
5. Press the mixture into greased tart tins, covering the bottom and up against the sides
6. In a mixing bowl, beat together cream cheese, sugar, lemon juice, and the egg (I don't have an electric beater at the moment, so I used a whisk and it was A-okay, sweetie-pie, no problemo)
7. Poor the mixture into the tart tins
8. Bake for 20 minutes-- they will be slightly firm to the touch
9. Chill for an hour or so, until they are thoroughly chilled (I put mine in the freezer because I was in a hurry)
10. When they're nearly chilled, mix together the cream, confectioner sugar, and vanilla with a beater (once again, I have no beater so I whisked it into a whipped cream... I had sweat on my brow by the time it was fluffy)
11. Spread the whipped cream onto the tarts

That's all! Oh boy!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Mini Apple Pies

Two days ago I celebrated the 14th anniversary of Will Smith saving Earth by thwarting a hostile alien invasion. I also celebrated the USA's independence!

It's far too cold in Melbourne for a picnic, BBQ, or any of the usual 4th of July activities, so I hung a star-spangled banner in the hallway and got to bakin'.

When I took them out of the oven and left them on the kitchen table (which is actually in the lounge room), I remembered that tale about the pie cooling on the windowsill. Doesn't a bad boy come along and steal it? Or stick his thumb in it? I Google'd it, and all I found were some vague references. I did find this, though:

Wen I wus a liddle boy,
Jes thirteen inches high,
I useter climb de table legs,
An' steal off cake an' pie
Altho' I wus a liddle boy,
An' tho' I wusn't high,
My mammy took dat keen switch down,

An' whupped me till I cry.

I bet Momma makes some good pie, so as if it wasn't worth the whuppin'!

So, the pies I made were very cute and really quite tasty. The crust was more of a chewy pastry than a flaky, crispy pastry, so I dunno how you feel about that. I think I prefer a flaky crust, but G seems to love the chewy crust. So we are a household divided.

Mini Apple Pies
Apple Mixture:
2 apples (Granny Smith are best for pie!)
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup water

1. Peel and chop up the apples-- slices of you want to fan them out in some sort of beautiful way, or small chunks for more of a filling, which is what I did.
2. Melt the butter/margarine in a saucepan, then add apples.
3. Cook for a few minutes, then add the sugar, water, and spices.
4. Simmer until the apples are soft.

While the apples are cooking, make the dough:
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 tablespoon margarine or butter
1/3 cup water
2 cups flour

1. Mix all ingredients in a mixing bowl.
2. Knead dough on a floured surface.
3. Roll out flat.
4. Cut out circles (I used the lid of my margarine container-- it was perfect).

5. Now, you can put the circles in little pie tins/tart tins then fill them with apple and cover them however you like. Or, you can put apple on one half of the circle then fold it over and seal the edge with a fork-- a delightful apple turnover! I brushed the tops of the pies with some of the apple juice from stewing the apples, then sprinkled on some sugar.

6. Bake at 375 F (190 C) for 15-20 minutes or until golden on the edges.

It would have tasted better if there had been fireworks exploding away in the background.

But setting of fireworks in Melbourne would be neither ethical nor legal.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Gimme! (Please)

I really, really want these:

I already have these...

... but I do lots of measuring.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Jo Bean and the Amazing Technicolour Heart Cake

Have you ever heard of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat? Probably not. Doesn't matter. Have you ever been obsessed with the idea of making a cake that looks like a rainbow explosion? It's been on my mind for a few days now, and today I finally remembered to buy more vanilla essence so I could finally make my dreams come true.

I baked it with the intention of trading it for some art at SUPER MARKET-- an art show where everything and anything is legal tender except dollars and cents. I heard someone was doing silhouette cut-outs, and I intended to offer my cake in exchange for my silhouette. But then I was overcome with a great fear of rejection and a great rolling, rumble in my stomach.


Anyway, it's my vanilla cupcake recipe, halved. And lots of food colouring.

I used foil to divide the heart pan into three section to at least somewhat separate the 3 colours. It's a bit ghetto and didn't work particularly well. I'll use cardboard next time.

The batter took the food colouring very well. The red looked a bit pink, but das cool.

The batter's in the pan, looking like some sort of flag (maybe Primary Colourland's), and ready to go.

The frosting, the frosting, the frosting!

It looks like an artist's sink!

Why would I need two forks? S'not like I'm sharing...