Thursday, November 1, 2007

I Sold My First Cheesecake!

I'm SO all about the cupcakes right now, but my all-time favorite thing to bake is cheesecake. I LOVE cheesecake. Like...way too much. As a matter of fact, the only reason I don't make them much anymore is because the fiance told me I couldn't. Literally said, "You can't make anymore cheesecakes."

When we first started dating, I made cheesecakes for us. A lot of them. Big ones. a week. And we ate them. And we both gained like 15 pounds. So, not wanting to weigh more than the oven itself, fiance told me I had to stop.


So I hadn't made a cheesecake for months. Until 2 days ago!

I had been telling a co-worker that I make the best cheesecakes in the world and so he paid me to make one for a friend's birthday. So I chose one of my favorite ones:

Spiced Pumpkin Cheesecake w/ Bourbon Caramel Sauce

I heard it was amazing. My co-worker made "MMMMM" and "AAAARRRRRRRR" noises all day while he recounted the eating of I have a feeling that it turned out pretty decent.

Try this recipe. It's awesome.

1 1/2 cup pecans, toasted and cooled
3 tbsp packed brown sugar
3 tbsp butter, melted
1/4 tsp cinnamon

3 8-oz packages cream cheese, room temperature
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 tsp grated lemon peel
4 eggs, room temperature
15 oz pure pumpkin puree
1/2 cup plain yogurt, full fat if you can find it
2 tbsp flour
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon
3/4 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cloves
large pinch salt

1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup whipping cream
3 tbsp (3/4 stick) butter
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1/2 tsp salt
3 tbsp bourbon
1 1/2 cups pecans, toasted and cooled


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9" springform pan. Grind first ingredients until nut mix sticks together. Press mix evenly into the bottom of the springform pan. Bake 15 minutes or until golden brown. Set aside and cool. Wrap pan with 3 layers of heavy foil.

Using mixer, beat cream cheese, sugar and lemon peel until smooth. Beat in eggs, one at a time, then add the pumpkin, yogurt, flour, vanilla, spices, and salt. Pour into pan.

Set springform pan inside a roasting pan. Pour hot water in the roasting pan until the level reaches about halfway up the side of the springform pan. Bake until outer 3 inches puff slightly and center is softly set - about 1 hour and 15 minutes. Cool in water bath for 30 minutes. Remove from water. Cut around sides to loosen. Refrigerate in pan for 4 hours. Cover. Chill for several hours or overnight.

Bring sugar, cream, butter, corn syrup and salt to a boil, whisking until sugar dissolves. Reduce heat and continue boiling for 1 minute without stirring. Remove from heat. Stir in bourbon and then the pecans. Set aside to cool.

Uncover and remove foil from springform pan. Cut around pan sides again to make sure sides are loosened. Remove from springform pan.

Cut cheesecake into wedges. Spoon sauce over cake.


All that hooplah with the foil and the roasting pan? A little bit unnecessary...but I ALWAYS do it. It keeps the cheesecake moist and helps it not crack. It sounds like more of a pain than it is.

Also...cheesecakes are a little hard to cut smoothly. Keep the hot water running while cutting, and run your knife under it about every 2 cuts. This will keep your blade warm and clean and cutting smoothly!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

I Know, I Know

I have actually made a couple of batches of cupcakes since I blogged here last...but they were gone before I could remember to take a picture. Sorrrrry.

I made some YUMMY tiramisu cupcakes for my future in-laws...and they were a HIT. I'll make more and post pics/recipe later. I also made more of my strawberry cupcakes w/ strawberry french buttercream. It's a favorite of a lot of people (including me!), so I make that often. SO GOOD. And gone so fast I don't get pictures.

Last night I made these pumpkin spice cupcakes and made SURE to take pictures of them. So here are some of my favorite monsters (I also made some that weren't too great):

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Ten Days! WOW.

It's been awhile since I've posted, huh? Sorry about that. This new job working 9-5 is KILLING my kitchen time. I haven't baked a thing in 2 weeks.

That makes me sad.

But tomorrow I'm breaking in my new mixer. I'm trying Tiramisu Cupcakes and remaking Mojito Cupcakes for my new co-workers. I'll be sure to take lots of yummy pictures.

In other news, I found this apron on Cafepress:

I'm making the fiance buy it for me. :)

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Warning : It's Ugly

Ok. So after going to the wedding cake show, I had to try a cake. HAD. TO.

And it was fun....but MESSY. And it turned out pretty darn ugly. And I might have said a few cuss words while trying to get it together.

But here it is...step by way-too-messy step. And not...quite...100% finished.

This cake is SO totally me. Gotta love it.

Again? Remember this is my first cake. And if you're a future client of mine, please SKIP THIS POST because you will run far far away. Just keep looking at the cupcakes. Thanks.

I used box cake because I'm not THAT ambitious. I made it in a 9x13 pan and cut it in half for the first level. See how NOT even it is? That's jealous.

And see the big ol' crack right down the center? Yeah....typical me, too. Me : totally cracked. (I turned the cake upside down before it'd cooled all the way and it just split down the center. Whodathunk?)

After icing the first layer with buttercream. I found out later this is called "crumbing". And I was cursing the whole time because ALL !!THE!! CRUMBS!!!!!! I wish I would have learned the whole "crumbing" term a little earlier. It would have saved my fiance from hearing all those dirty words.

I then made a second cake (box mix, helllloo, friend!) and cut it in shapes for the 2nd and 3rd layers.

I'd premade some little fondant flowers. TONS of them. Waaaay too many of them. Maybe I'm a LITTLE ambitious. Or not properly or the other.

And also some fondant diamonds. That were too big for what I needed. Ambitious - and also a tad dim-witted.

The second layer is attached and iced now. With a different buttercream. Because I was using all my leftovers. Vanilla flavor cake with all-the-leftovers-in-the-freezer flavor icing...yummy, huh?

Third layer, up. It's looking a little like the Blob now. The mixture of the icings didn't smell so good either. Caramel spice and vanilla and mint. *shudder*

Then I applied the flowers and diamonds and dragees.

The top layer was supposed to be white fondant with white piped icing in a lace pattern, but that didn't work out quite right. I cut the fondant WAY too small and it barely covered one side. HA! So I just threw it away and decided to call it a night.

Now you see how I work in my kitchen. It's kinda like closing my eyes and slinging around a piping bag until I hit something solid.

Impressive, I know.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

This Could Be Dangerous

It sure was a good birthday this year!

my new best friend

Monday, October 1, 2007

Some Inspiration

I went to the fair this weekend to see the national sugar arts show and wedding cake competition. Talk about fun!

I was inspired by so many of the cakes. SO much talent there!

So I took some pictures and thought I'd share. Enjoy!

I don't think that I need to tell you that I'm now interested in learning how to do cakes too, do I? I'll be doing one this week.

Now THAT is scary.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

And Happy Freaking Birthday, Shannon!

So...a friend of mine lives in Mississippi. I live in Oklahoma. We decided that since she'd never had any of my awesome cuppies, that she REALLY needed to.

So we decided to try an experiment. The experiment of "how badly will beautiful caramel apple cupcakes be destroyed on a 2-day trip in the US mail?"

I think the answer is clear.





And, because I can't. stop. laughing. at this experiment gone's another picture of the dead cupcakes. It's so sad....but, CRAP, so funny!

Happy Birthday, Shannon. I hope you enjoy your present.