Monday, April 27, 2009


The April 2009 challenge is hosted by Jenny from Jenny Bakes. She has chosen Abbey's Infamous Cheesecake as the challenge.

I have made many cheesecakes in my lifetime and to be perfectly honest cheesecake is not one of my favorite desserts. If you like cheesecake this is a nice and easy recipe.

I substituted ginger cookies for the graham crackers in the original recipe because I love lemon and ginger together. I followed the recipe for the cheesecake to the letter. I put meyer lemon juice in the cheesecake and meyer lemon curd on top with a border of whipped cream. The flowers on top are rice paper flowers, I have described how to make them here.

Abbey's Infamous Cheesecake:

2 Cups Graham Cracker Crumbs (I used gingersnap cookies)
4 Ounces Butter, melted
2 Tablespoons Sugar
1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract

24 Ounces Cream Cheese (room temperature)
1 Cup Sugar
3 Large Eggs
1 Cup Heavy Cream
1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice
1 Tablespoon Vanilla Extract (or the innards of a vanilla bean)
1 Tablespoon Liqueur, optional, but choose what will work well with your cheesecake


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Begin to boil a large pot of water for the water bath.

2. Mix together the crust ingredients and press into your preferred pan. You can press the crust just into the bottom, or up the sides of the pan too - baker's choice. Bake the crust for 8 minutes in a 350 degree oven. If any butter seeps to the top of the crust, blot it dry. Set crust aside.

3. Combine cream cheese and sugar in the bowl of a stand-mixer (or in a large bowl if using a hand-mixer) and cream together until smooth. Add eggs, one at a time, fully incorporating each before adding the next. Make sure to scrape down the bowl in between each egg. Add heavy cream, vanilla, lemon juice, and alcohol and blend until smooth and creamy.

4. Pour batter into prepared crust and tap the pan on the counter a few times to bring all air bubbles to the surface. Place pan into a larger pan and pour boiling water into the larger pan until halfway up the side of the cheesecake pan. If cheesecake pan is not airtight, cover bottom securely with two layers of foil before adding water.

5. Bake 45 to 55 minutes, until it is almost done - this can be hard to judge, but you're looking for the cake to hold together, but still have a lot of jiggle to it in the center. You don't want it to be completely firm at this stage. Close the oven door, turn the heat off, and let rest in the cooling oven for one hour. This lets the cake finish cooking and cool down gently enough so that it won't crack on the top. After one hour, remove cheesecake from oven and lift carefully out of water bath. Let it finish cooling on the counter, and then cover and put in the fridge to chill. Once fully chilled, it is ready to serve.

Prep notes: While the actual making of this cheesecake is a minimal time commitment, it does need to bake for almost an hour, cool in the oven for an hour, and chill overnight before it is served. Please plan accordingly!

Yield 1 Quart
6 Eggs
6 Yolks
1 Cup Sugar
1 Cup Meyer Lemon Juice
1/4 Cup Meyer Lemon Zest (use Microplane)
1/4 Teaspoon Salt
4 Ounces Butter (room temperature soft and cut into 1 inch pieces)
1. Whisk the eggs and yolks together. Add all the ingredients except the butter. Whisk over a double boiler constantly until the mixture reaches 180 degrees F.
2. Strain through a chiniox into another bowl set over an ice bath.
3. Stirring occasionally let cool to 100 degrees F..
4. With the immersion blender slowly blend in the butter piece by piece until it is completely incorporated.
5. Cover and put in the refrigerator.
The next day remove the cheesecake from the springform pan. Spread the lemon curd over the top of the cheesecake. Pipe a border of sweetened whipped cream, decorate and serve.

Friday, April 24, 2009


Since getting laid off from the Country Club I have been called back to make some cakes and desserts. Here is one I did recently.
It is very strange to return to a place where I worked for so long and see that so much has changed. It is really sad for me as I genuinely cared about that job. But I must move on and look for new opportunities.

Sunday, April 19, 2009


This was a popular cake for Easter. The Blood Oranges are in season and I stashed some fresh cranberries in the freezer last year when they were in season.
The spring flowers are from my garden. They are such happy little flowers and remind me of the beauty of having time to enjoy them.


12 Ounces Egg Whites
1 Teaspoon Cream of Tartar
1/4 Teaspoon Salt
6 Ounces Sugar
1 Teaspoon Vanilla
4 Ounces Cake Flour
6 Ounces Sugar
Zest of 1 Blood Orange
1 Cup Chopped Fresh or Frozen Cranberries

1. Sift together the cake flour and 6 ounces sugar.
2. Whip egg whites until foamy and add cream of tartar and salt. Whip to soft peak.
3. Continue whipping and slowly add 6 ounces sugar.
4. Add Vanilla and whip to firm peak. Do not over whip.
5. Remove from mixer and transfer to a large bowl.
6. Gently fold in flour sugar mixture.
7. Gently fold in zest and cranberries.
8. Pour into ungreased parchment lined tube pan and bake at 375 degrees for about 45 minutes.
9. Cool in inverted pan. When completely cool run a knife around the cake to release it from the sides of the pan.

Juice of 1 blood orange and enough powdered sugar whisked in to make a thick but still pourable mixture. Pour this mixture over the cooled cake. Let dry several hours before cutting.

Saturday, April 18, 2009


I was asked to make a cake for someone who dog sits 13 dogs. Each dog on the cake has his or her name written on it. I put a fondant picket fence around the bottom of the cake and little hearts on top.
The flavor of the cake was carrot with cream cheese filling and the size of the cake was 10" X 14".

Thursday, April 16, 2009


These flowers are made out of rice paper. I punched out the shapes in three sizes by using scrapbooking paper punches, dusted them with luster dust and put them together with royal icing on a lolly pop stick. They made great additions to springtime cupcakes.