Cheesecake

Cheesecake | Bakewell Junction

Cheesecake | Bakewell Junction

July 30th was National Cheesecake Day and it just so happened that my Mom asked me to make cheesecake for her Birthday.  I had my family and brother-in-law over for dinner yesterday to celebrate my Mom’s birthday and cheesecake was the perfect dessert.

This recipe is a version based on the New York Cheesecake recipe.  The resulting texture is lighter than NY cheesecake.  The flavor is different but delicious just the same.

Enjoy!

Cheesecake

Yield:  12 servings                  Cook Time:  60 minutes

Crust:

  • 16 to 18 chocolate graham cracker squares (about 1 1/2 cups finely ground)
  • 5 tablespoons butter, melted

Filling:

  • 3 8 ounce tubs of whipped cream cheese, room temperature
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 15 ounces Polly-O ricotta cheese, room temperature (the Polly-O brand doesn’t become grainy, so be sure to use this brand)
  • 2 tablespoons corn starch
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 3 eggs, room temperature

Directions:

Step 1:  For the crust:  If your spring form pan leaks, line the outside with aluminum foil (it may be better to do this regardless).  Finely crush the graham crackers.  I generally do this by hand while the crackers are still in the plastic package but you can put them in a mini chopper or food processor.  Place the crackers and the 5 tablespoons of melted butter in a medium bowl.  Mix thoroughly.  Lightly spray the pan with cooking spray.  Transfer the mixture to a 10 inch spring form pan.  Distribute the mixture evenly across the pan.  Press the mixture onto the bottom of the pan and at least 1/4 to 1/2 inch up the sides of the pan.  Set the prepared pan aside.

Step 2:  For the filling:  Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Whip the ricotta cheese until smooth in a mini chopper, blender or food processor.  In the bowl of a stand mixer, mix together the whipped cream cheese, butter, ricotta cheese, cornstarch, vanilla, lemon juice and sugar until well blended.  Scrape down sides as needed.  Add eggs one at a time.  Mix each addition until completely combined before adding the next.  Scrape down sides as needed.

Step 3:  Transfer the filling into the pan and spread evenly across the pan.  Fill a roasting pan (that is larger than the spring form pan) 1/3 of the way with hot water.  Place the filled spring form pan in the center of the roasting pan.  Be sure that the water is about half way up the sides of the spring form pan.

Step 4:  Bake at 375 degrees for 60 minutes.  After the cheesecake is finished baking, I usually let it cool completely with the oven door open.  I believe this helps resist cracking.

Storing:  Store in the refrigerator covered with plastic wrap.

Tips:  Drizzle with Hershey’s syrup after plating.

Enjoy!!!

Recipe from my Sister-in-law and I believe originally adapted from Philadelphia Cream Cheese.

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Red Velvet Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Red Velvet Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting | Bakewell Junction

Red Velvet Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting | Bakewell Junction

Today I’d like to share a Red Velvet Cake with you.  My husband’s co-worker loves Red Velvet Cake and nudged my husband to get me to make one.  I searched the internet and most cake recipes looked about the same except for the ones that used beets to color the cake instead of food coloring but I didn’t see many of those.  Some had a little more of this or that but this one had coffee in the ingredients which I found interesting and so that cinched it.

Red Velvet Cake has a little cocoa in it but it can’t be considered a chocolate cake.  It certainly has a great look to it with the vivid coloring. Now I must confess, I don’t like Red Velvet Cake.  I know that sounds crazy but…if I want chocolate then I really want chocolate and I have so many recipes that are really chocolatey to turn to, many that I’ve shared with you.  Plus I don’t like the idea of so much food coloring in a cake.  I use food coloring in cookies and frosting but it just bothers me to put it in a cake, especially so much of it.

How do I know that this cake is good?  Well, the frosting is so good you could sit there with a bowl of it and eat it until it’s gone.  My husband and all his co-workers deemed it fantastic.  One co-worker ate a quarter of the cake for two days in a row – that’s half the cake!  The cake coloring makes a great impression too.  As a baker, I liked that the cake baked to an even height and I didn’t have to cut the top to even it out before frosting.

Enjoy!

Red Velvet Cake

Yield:  12 servings                  Cook Time:  40 minutes

Batter:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup oil (I used olive oil)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
  • 1 – 2 ounces red liquid food coloring (I used about 1 1/2 ounces)
  • 1 teaspoon white distilled vinegar
  • 1/2 cup prepared hot coffee

Frosting:

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, room temperature
  • 8 ounces (1 package) cream cheese, room temperature
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:

Step 1:  For the batter:  Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, cocoa powder and salt in a medium bowl.  In a large mixing bowl, beat together sugar and oil.  Add eggs, buttermilk, vanilla and food coloring and beat until combined.  Be careful with the batter, as the added food coloring will stain.  Add coffee and vinegar and mix until combined.

Step 2:  Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients in small batches.  Mix until combined after each addition.  The batter will be pretty thin but this is okay.  Pour an even amount of batter into two 9 inch cake pans that have been sprayed with cooking spray and coated with flour.

Step 3:  Adjust the oven rack to the middle of the oven and preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Place the pans on the middle rack and bake for 30 to 40 minutes.  Check the cakes with a toothpick; when it comes out clean, the cake is done.  I believe my oven runs a little cool, so I checked the cakes at 30 minutes and they were nowhere near ready so I rotated them and put the right one on the left and vice versa.  I checked them again at 35 and 40 minutes.  One cake was done at 40 minutes and the other needed another 2 minutes (this one must have had a smidgen more batter).

Step 4:  Let the cakes cool 15 to 20 minutes.  Remove the cakes from the pans and let them cool completely on cooling racks.

Step 5:  For the frosting:  While the cakes cool, add butter and cream cheese to a large mixing bowl.  Beat 4 to 5 minutes.  I beat them on high using a hand-held mixer.  Beat in vanilla extract.  Mix in the powdered sugar at a lower speed (this prevents having powdered sugar everywhere).

Step 6:  Assembly:  Place the completely cooled bottom layer of the cake on a serving plate.  Frost the top of the cake with a spatula.  Carefully place the completely cooled top layer of the cake on top of the frosted layer.  Frost the top of the cake and then frost the sides.

Storing:  Store in a sealed plastic container for a few days.

Enjoy!!!

Cake recipe from Divas Can Cook, The Best Red Velvet Cake recipe.
Frosting recipe from guest author Garrett McCord on Simply Recipes, Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting recipe.

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New York Cheesecake

NY Cheesecake | Bakewell Junction

NY Cheesecake | Bakewell Junction

Happy Mother’s Day!  My hubby and puppy haven’t been feeling well plus most evenings I’ve been waging the annual losing battle with the dandelions, so haven’t posted in a few weeks.  I’m glad be back and I baked a couple of yummy sweets for today.

My Sister-in-law has made a delicious cheesecake with a chocolate graham cracker crust on many occasions and she was kind enough to give me the recipe several years ago.  I’ve made this cheesecake many times with delicious results each time.  This is a creamy and delicious treat that I’m sharing with you today.  The crust reminds me of the Carvel crunchies in their cakes.

I also made Lizzy’s Moomie’s Cinnamon Buns.  Lizzy’s blog is That Skinny Chick Can Bake and she has so many lovely recipes that I don’t know that I’ll ever be able to make all those I’d like to make but be sure to take a look at this recipe, it’s a hit.  Here’s my first attempt with this recipe and both my Nieces loved them.

Moomies Cinnamon Rolls | Bakewell Junction

Moomies Cinnamon Rolls | Bakewell Junction

Enjoy!

New York Cheesecake

Yield:  12 servings                  Cook Time:  60 minutes

Crust:

  • 16 to 18 chocolate graham cracker squares (about 1 1/2 cups finely ground)
  • 5 tablespoons butter, melted

Filling:

  • 3 8 ounce tubs of whipped cream cheese, room temperature
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 16 ounces sour cream, room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons corn starch
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 3 eggs, room temperature

Directions:

Step 1:  For the crust:  If your spring form pan leaks, line the outside with aluminum foil (it may be better to do this regardless).  Finely crush the graham crackers.  I generally do this by hand while the crackers are still in the plastic package but you can put them in a mini chopper or food processor.  Place the crackers and the 5 tablespoons of melted butter in a medium bowl.  Mix thoroughly.  Lightly spray the pan with cooking spray.  Transfer the mixture to a 10 inch spring form pan.  Distribute the mixture evenly across the pan.  Press the mixture onto the bottom of the pan and at least 1/4 to 1/2 inch up the sides of the pan.  Set the prepared pan aside.

Step 2:  For the filling:  Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  In the bowl of a stand mixer, mix together the whipped cream cheese, butter, sour cream, cornstarch, vanilla, lemon juice and sugar until well blended.  Scrape down sides as needed.  Add eggs one at a time.  Mix each addition until completely combined before adding the next.  Scrape down sides as needed.

Step 3:  Transfer the filling into the pan and spread evenly across the pan.  Fill a roasting pan (that is larger than the spring form pan) 1/3 of the way with hot water.  Place the filled spring form pan in the center of the roasting pan.  Be sure that the water is about half way up the sides of the spring form pan.

Step 4:  Bake at 375 degrees for 60 minutes.  After the cheesecake is finished baking, I usually let it cool completely with the oven door open.  I believe this helps resist cracking.

Storing:  Store in the refrigerator covered with plastic wrap.

Tips:  Drizzle with Hershey’s syrup after plating.

Enjoy!!!

Recipe from my Sister-in-law and I believe originally adapted from Philadelphia Cream Cheese.

This post may also be entered in the following linky party. Click the button below to see the other great posts in the blog hop.

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Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Mini Cheesecakes

I missed posting last week ,so here’s the catch-up post…

When I get the chance to combine a sale on cream cheese, chocolate chip cookie dough and chocolate, that’s just heaven.  I’d seen the Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Mini Cheesecakes recipe on My Baking Addiction about a month ago and it was the perfect time to try them.  They turned out fabulously!  My head taste-tester loved them and so did his friends.  They look so elegant and have the taste to match.

The only changes I made to the original cheesecake recipe is that I would only use 1 1/2 – 2 heaping tablespoons of the cheesecake batter for each little cake and I only used about 1/4 of the ganache recipe.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Mini Cheesecakes

Yield:  24 cheesecakes                Cook Time:  22 – 25 minutes

Ingredients

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough:

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 3/4 cups brown sugar, packed
  • 3/4 cups sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 6 oz mini chocolate chips

Crust:

  • 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 4 tablespoons melted butter
  • 3 tablespoons sugar

Cheesecake Filling:

  • 3 8 oz packages of softened cream cheese
  • 3/4 cups sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream

Ganache:

  • 4 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 4 tablespoons honey
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Directions:

I only used half the Chocolate Chip Cookie dough for the mini cheesecakes, so you might want to halve the ingredients or keep the rest for yummy snacks.  Melt butter in a small sauce pan.  Add milk and stir until incorporated.  At low temperature mix in the sugars and stir to incorporate and heat until most of the sugars have melted.  This will help minimize the gritty feel in the cookie dough.

Remove mixture from heat and cool to room temperature.  Add remaining ingredients and mix until incorporated.  Set aside until ready to insert into mini cheesecakes.

Prepare cupcake pans with paper cupcake liners.

In a small bowl, combine all the ingredients for the crust with a fork until moistened.  Add 1 tablespoon of the crust mixture into the bottom of each cupcake liner and press evenly.  Bake in a preheated oven at 350 for 5 minutes.  Cool on a rack.

Reduce oven to 325 degrees.

Using a mixer beat the cream cheese on high until smooth.  Beat in sugar until incorporated.  Mix in salt and vanilla.  Add eggs one a time and mix well after each.  Mix in the heavy cream until just combined.

Divide the cheesecake batter into the cupcake liner using a couple of tablespoons for each mini cheesecake.

Insert about 1 1/2 teaspoons of chocolate chip cookie dough in the center of each cheesecake.

Bake 20 to 25 minutes until the filling is set.  Cool to room temperature on a wire rack; then transfer to the refrigerator and chill for 4 hours or overnight.

I only used about a quarter of this ganache recipe for my mini cheesecakes.  For the ganache, heat the heavy cream in a small saucepan using medium heat until very hot (do not boil).

In a heat safe bowl, place the chocolate chips and pour the hot cream on top and let it sit for 5 minutes to melt the chocolate.  Mix the cream and melted chocolate until smooth.  My chocolate didn’t melt enough, so I microwaved it in small increments until the chocolate melted.  Mix the vanilla and honey into the chocolate mixture.

Let ganache cool for 15 minutes before spooning it over the mini cheesecakes.  Chill the cheesecakes until ready to serve.

Enjoy!!!

Recipe adapted from My Baking Addiction.
Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough recipe adapted from Ehow.
Chocolate Glaze recipe adapted from Confessions of a Cookbook Queen.

King Cake

The weekend before Ash Wednesday I had my family and my husband’s family over for Sunday dinner.  Since Fat Tuesday was in two days I was looking for a great King Cake recipe.  I found one on http://www.food.com and thought it would make a great addition to the Sunday meal.  My husband also wanted a chocolate cake with chocolate frosting.which I made using a boxed mix and tub frosting because it reminded him of his childhood.

For the King Cake, I wanted one that had cream cheese filling and was really rich.  This recipe gives me all that and more.  I did change the recipe a bit because I knew that my guests wouldn’t want something too sweet (unbelievable, I know).  I skipped the colored sugar and just went with the colored frosting, although I made three large stripes instead of two inch stripes with alternating colors.  This is a similar to a very rich, wonderful Danish.

King cake represents the three kings who brought gifts to the baby Jesus.  For the tradition of Epiphany in the privacy of your kitchen cut the cake in as many parts as people in the party.  In one of them, the a little plastic baby (big enough to prevent swallowing).  In the old days, they used a dried fava bean.  Everyone picks 1 piece of cake the one who discovers the toy is made the king of the day and wears the crown.  He picks a queen by putting the toy in her glass and everyone raises his or her glass and applauds. Same process in reverse if a lady finds the toy.  Tradition says that the next party or King Cake should be at the king’s expense.  Enjoy the recipe.

NOTE:  Traditionally, you may NOT prepare and serve this before Twelfth Night (Jan. 6) or after Mardi Gras Day!  The problem is that once you serve this cake, it will be requested year round.

Yield:  2 cakes                 Cook Time:  15 – 20 minutes

Ingredients

Dough:

  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 (16 ounce) container sour cream
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 (1/4 ounce) envelopes active dry yeast (I used 4 1/2 t of Rapid Rise Yeast in a jar)
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar
  • 1/2 cup warm water (100 to 110 degrees)
  • 2 eggs
  • 6 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, divided (2 c +)

Cream Cheese Filling:

  • 2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened (16 ounces total)
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla

Colored Frosting:

  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 drops green food coloring
  • 2 drops yellow food coloring
  • 2 drops blue food coloring
  • 2 drops red food coloring

Colored sugars:

  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 2 drops green food coloring
  • 2 drops yellow food coloring
  • 2 drops red food coloring
  • 2 drops blue food coloring

Directions:     

  1. Cook first 1/4 cup butter, 16 ounces of sour cream, 1/3 cup sugar and 1 teaspoon salt in a saucepan over low heat until butter melts (stir often).  Let mixture cool to 100 – 110 degrees.
  2. Dissolve yeast and 1 tablespoon sugar in 1/2 cup warm water in a large bowl; let stand 5 minutes.  Add butter mixture, eggs, and 2 cups flour; beat at medium speed with an electric mixer 2 minutes or until smooth.  Stir in enough remaining flour a little at a time to make a soft dough.
  3. Place dough onto a lightly floured surface.  Knead about 10 minutes until smooth and elastic.  Place in a greased bowl, turn dough to grease top of dough.  Cover and let rise in a warm place (85 degrees), free from drafts, 1 hour or until doubled in bulk.  I heat my oven to 170 degrees and then turn it off and wait before using it as the warm draft-free place to let my doughs rise.  Just be sure it’s not so warm that it begins to cook.
  4. Using an electric mixer, beat cream cheese until smooth.  Add egg and blend well. Add sugar, salt and vanilla and mix until smooth and creamy.  Set aside.
  5. Punch dough down and divide in half.  Place 1 half onto a lightly floured surface; roll to a 28 x 10-inch rectangle.  Spread half of cream cheese mixture on dough.  Roll dough, in jellyroll fashion, starting at long side.  Place dough roll, seam side down, on a lightly greased baking sheet.  Bring ends together to form an oval ring, moistening and pinching edges together to seal.  Repeat with remaining dough and cream cheese mixture.  Next time I prepare this recipe I will insert a coffee can in the middle of the cake ring during baking to ensure the hole doesn’t close up as the cake rises while baking.
  6. Cover and let rise in a warm place, free from drafts, 20 minutes or until doubled in bulk.
  7. Bake at 375 degrees for 15 – 20 minutes or until golden.  After cool, insert a dried bean, whole almond, pecan half or King Cake Baby into the bottom of each cake.
  8. Decorate with bands of Colored Frostings, and sprinkle with Colored Sugars.  Ice the cake one strip at a time from center of ring to outside.  Each stripe should be about 2 inches wide.  Spread colored icing on cake and sprinkle colored sugar over icing.  Repeat with each color of icing and sugar until entire cake is covered in icing and sugar topping.
  9. COLORED FROSTINGS:  Stir together powdered sugar and melted butter.  Add milk to reach desired consistency for drizzling; stir in vanilla.  Divide frosting into 3 batches, tinting 1 green (signifies Faith), 1 yellow (signifies Power), and combining red and blue food coloring for purple frosting (signifies Justice).
  10. COLORED SUGARS:  Place 1/2 cup sugar and drop of green (signifies Faith) food coloring in a zip-top plastic bag and seal.  Shake and squeeze vigorously to evenly mix color with sugar.  Repeat procedure with 1/2 cup sugar and yellow (signifies Power) food coloring.  For purple (signifies Justice), combine 1 drop red and 1 drop blue food coloring before adding to remaining 1/2 cup sugar.

Recipe adapted from www.food.com.