Posts Tagged 'candy'

Favorite Shots: The Opening Scene

It is somewhat ridiculous how much I mention Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory on this blog. The picture reminds me of the opening credits of that movie, which I know have significantly affected my mind. Not more than Jesus, but still.

It’s Friday,

L

P.S. This recipe is coming up! Get jazzed. It’s awesome.

Favorite Shots: Candied Sunrise

Meeting the sunrise makes for a good day. Happy Friday!

L

A Really Cute Idea: Deception

Ha, so deception is not such a cute idea. It is actually quite an annoying and ugly idea. But! Deception can be really charming sometimes. This was the case at this particular women and girls luncheon. The speaker before lunch had been speaking about can you guess? Deception. Hey-o!

We made these fun “floral arrangements” out of radishes. Delish.

This was probably the most effective part of the meal lie-wise. Hilarious to see the little girls picking up their glasses and trying to suck up the fake red drank. It was Jell-O.

We also made cake, which is the reason I decided that this post is relevant enough for my baking blog. You know, cuz I be so relevant. It was a two-layer meatloaf cake with mashed potato/sweet potato frosting and parsley sprinkles. Parsley sprinkles. Who woulda thought?

The cakes were almost easier to frost than a regular cake. After you soaked away the grease from the meat, the potatoes stuck to the sides, so we just had to mold it on and smooth it how we wanted it.

The table centerpieces were edible too. And bright. The centerpieces were bright. Bright = cute.

If you are planning a lie-themed party soon, this meal is perfect for you. I don’t know many people who hold lie-themed parties (kinda has to sit on the bench behind princess parties and ugly sweater parties), but one never knows. I write on the ahnternit now. Anybody could read this.

My nose is significantly longer than it used to be,

L

Favorite Shots: Candy Stick Nostalg

I like sugar. I like cute. I like color. I like fruit.

Therefore, these are some of my favorite shots.

*snap* *snap* *snap*

I just snapped for myself. For my rhyme.

Ooooooook, bye now,

Lauren who is not weird


Pipe Dream #1: To Soften Fats Well – Peanut Butter Cup Cheesecake

I am refraining from calling this cheesecake the ‘Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup Cheesecake’ because I really resent mass media branding. I blame the U of M Journalism School. Besides, I knew I could come up with a more descriptive name for you all. :]

This cheesecake is super extravagant. I mean, most cheesecakes are super extravagant, but this one ‘takes the cake,’ as they say. My own father could not finish his small sliver. He tells me that this is not because it wasn’t good, it was just “too rich.” Well ok. It’s extravagance is owing to its brownie bottom crust (an interesting deviation from the average graham cracker crust), peanut butter cup filling, peanut butter cheesecake, and chocolate ganache topping.

Some Issues

Alas, a perfect cheesecake is still a pipe dream for me. I had several problems with this recipe.

First of all, I did not wait for the cream cheese I was using to soften to room temperature. This is a baking problem I always have; it probably has deep-seated emotional roots in my high school years or something. Lots of recipes call for butter or cream cheese ‘softened to room temperature.’ Usually, I forget to take the butter out of the fridge several hours before I need it. (Actually, let’s be real. I’m on top of the game if I decide to make something a few hours in advance.) What ends up happening is that I try to cheat and warm it up in the microwave, which leads to butter that is either too melty or too hard. I manage because this only sometimes affects that quality of the recipe.

Cheesecakes, however, require perfectly perfect room temperature fats. Else ya get this:

See those little flecks of white? Yeah. Cream cheese chunks. I probably didn’t scrape down the mixer bowl enough either.

In addition, the recipe calls for a water bath, so the oven temperature moderates and the moisture level is high. Prevents cracks, so they say. I didn’t use one–partly because I didn’t want to have to deal with a leaky springform pan and partly because I actually couldn’t find a dish large enough to hold a springform pan.

The disadvantages of this were twofold. First, I got a nice large crack in the top of my cheesecake. That could be due to a myriad of other reasons, but I’m just assuming it was because of the bath. Second, I overbaked the cake a bit–I checked it 15 minutes before it was supposed to come out and panicked because it was so brown.

Luckily, the recipe made so much ganache that I covered the entire top and burned-ish sides of the cheesecake with ganache. It was the baking equivalent of sweeping the dirt under the rug. And I did it. So…

There’s always next time,

L

Peanut Butter Cup Cheesecake

Adapted from Tasty Kitchen

You can definitely use Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups for this recipe, but if you want to be pretentious and high-minded about mass media branding’s ill effect on society (read: poor) like me, you can use generic peanut butter cups. If those even exist. Why would they even exist? Not worth asking, I suppose.

BROWNIE CRUST
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1-¼ cup Sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 whole eggs
1 cup flour
2 tablespoons flour
⅓ cups unsweetened cocoa
½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoons salt
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup peanut butter chips
6 whole peanut butter cups, quartered

CHEESECAKE FILLING
2 pounds cream cheese, softened!
5 whole eggs, room temperature!
1-½ cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1 cup smooth peanut butter
½ cups whipping cream
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

DECORATION
½ cups whipping cream
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup peanut butter chips
6 peanut butter cups, halved

Preheat your oven to 350ºF and grease a 10 inch springform pan with butter. The recipe calls for a 9 inch pan, another reason I overbaked this. If you go with a 9 inch, yours will probably turn out better.

Stir together butter, sugar and vanilla in large bowl with spoon or wire whisk. Add eggs; stir until well blended. Stir in flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt; blend well. Spread in prepared pan and bake for 25-30 minutes until brownie begins to pull away from the sides of the pan. Immediately sprinkle the crust with chips and chopped peanut butter cups. Turn the oven down to 325º.

While the crust is baking, make the filling. beat cream cheese in bowl of electric mixer until smooth, then add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add sugar, peanut butter and cream; mix until smooth. Stir in vanilla. Pour filling onto crust.

Double-wrap the springform pan with aluminum foil to prevent water seeping in and place springform pan into a larger baking pan. Pour hot water into the larger pan so that the water comes 1 inch up the sides of the springform pan. Bake 1-1/2 hours, or until firm and lightly browned. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on a wire rack for one hour.

I took mine off the pan bottom using a Macgyver-ed spatula/fork contraption. It was difficult. Go carefully. Then refrigerate for another four hours or overnight before you decorate.

To make the ganache, scald the whipping cream in a small saucepan. Remove from heat and add the semi-sweet and peanut butter chips. Stir until melted and smooth. Drizzle this over the cake prettily (or glop it all on and fill in the cracks) and then add peanut butter cups around the edge of the cake.


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