Thursday, January 28, 2016

The Baking Bible: Lemon Almond Cheesecake

Sadly all I have are some shoddy phone pictures of this wonderful cheesecake. As Marie pointed out in her post, it is some sort of baking magic that makes a cheesecake with a pound of cream cheese and over a pound of sour cream have a feathery light texture.

The cake starts out with making a thin biscuit cake for the bottom of the cheesecake. The recipe for the biscuit is double what you need for this cake so I cut the recipe in half. By the way, all told this cheesecake requires up to THREE DOZEN EGG YOLKS. SERIOUSLY.

After the cake is cooled and fitted into the bottom of the springform pan, the cake is made. Both the biscuit base and the cheesecake have ground toasted almonds as part of the batter. In addition, the cheesecake consists of lemon juice, lemon zest, almond extract, lemon oil, and many egg yolks. Something about the ground almonds is what apparently makes the cheesecake that bit of fluffy. The texture is quite lovely.       

After the cheesecake bakes and cools for an hour in the oven and two hours on the counter and overnight in the refrigerator, you are supposed to make some lemon curd to top the cheesecake. I had had enough of the egg separating and yolk using and egg white storing so I cheated and bought a jar of lemon curd. I just frosted the top of the cake with the curd and that was that. Time to eat.

A wonderful cheesecake. If I ever have a glut of egg yolks I'll know exactly how I'll use them!

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

The Baking Bible: My (Rose's) Chocolate Chip Cookies

cookies with a 30 minute rest on the left, cookies with a 24 hours rest on the right

Chocolate chip cookies are my favorite. I pretty much love all chocolate chips cookies, especially those that are homemade.

These are good, too. I mean, they're chocolate chip cookies!

Rose has made these her own by using beurre noisette for the butter. I clarify a pound of butter at a time and freeze the extra, which means for this recipe I only needed to chip off the proper weight and leave it overnight to thaw. Toasted, skinned walnuts also make an appearance, and although I hate nuts in my chocolate chip cookies these were fine. However I would most likely skip them next time!

Ever since the amazing David Leite 72 hour cookie, I've been using Guittard wafers instead of chocolate chips. Especially when warm, the chocolate is so yummy.

The dough, after mixing, is refrigerated for a bit to firm up. There is the option of baking after 30 minutes, and after 12 to 24 hours. I decided to bake half the dough one way and half the dough the other way.

Interestingly, the cookies baked after 30 minutes are described in the book as softer and rounder, while the 24 hour cookies are supposed to be flatter and crisper. The exact opposite was true for my cookies! So for us, it will be the 24 hour cookie, which is pillowy, cakey, and delicious.  

Wednesday, January 06, 2016

The Baking Bible: Lemon Cranberry Tart Tart

I'll be brief here. I'm watching Downton Abbey as I write this!

This is a very delicious tart, but it is a bit tart. I like that! You need to love lemon curd to enjoy this pie. And tart things.

I had already made some ginger-cranberry sauce (the child likes it) so I just used that. The ginger really gave the tart a nice warm punch. I think it will be a keeper. In case you're curious, I loosely base my recipe on Martha's (we skip the vinegar, use honey instead of sugar and do it all to taste which probably means more ginger and less sweetener).

extreme close up!