Summer is approaching so you know what that means?! Delicious, ripe, sweet, and juicy fruit. Yes, I’m excited for fruit… don’t judge me.
For the past month I have been wanting to bake with strawberries. Originally, I wanted to make a strawberry cake but after searching through recipes and finally settling on one, I decided to opt for a Strawberry Cream Cheese Bread instead. I still want to make a strawberry cake, however, I need to go buy round cake pans first.
So here is my strawberry bread.
I tried to make it pretty, by adding strawberries on top and making them look like little hearts, but I guess during baking when the batter rised it caused the strawberries to separate instead.. Oh well, I tried…. Nonetheless, I am happy with the way it turned out. The bread is really moist and the baked strawberries give you some tartness that helps to balance out the sweetness from the sponge.
So I guess I haven’t baked anything in the longest time nor have I really eaten out. I’ve been working 40-50 hours a week and I’ve recently been offered a new position at work. So yeah, I’ve basically been M.I.A. from life altogether. But what better way to get back into baking than with a cheesecake.
After searching around for a recipe, I settled on this one from The Little Kitchen. Instead of a chocolate graham cracker crust, I stuck with the traditional graham cracker crust instead. I had my qualms about my cheesecake batter, as I don’t think I left my cream cheese out long enough and I forgot to set my eggs out to room temperature. My batter wasn’t as smooth as I wanted it to be… but lo and behold everything still turned out A-okay!
I was attempting to make swirls.. however there was just too much raspberry filling that I kind of had to smear everything together to use it all up. Next time, I will pour half the cheesecake filling, some raspberry, then more cheesecake and top it off with the remainder of the raspberry in order to get a better swirl. But aside from that, I think it turned out pretty delicious.
After a long day at work, who wouldn’t look forward to coming home and eating this bad boy.
I wasn’t in the best of moods yesterday so I decided to do some therapeutic baking. For Christmas I asked for and received a mini bundt cake pan which I finally got around to using. Chocolate + cake + cute little bundts are definitely a mood booster in opinion.
I followed the Mini Chocolate Bundt Cake recipe from Bake to the Roots, minus the ganache and decorations. The bundt cake pan I own makes 6 mini bundts. This recipe yields 18 mini cakes, but it worked out perfectly for 6. I guess my cakes aren’t mini after all.
The recipe was pretty straight forward, but instead of the 1/2 cup of melted butter, I used 1/2 cup of oil instead. As picture above, I think my cakes turned out beautifully. They easily slid out of the pan and developed a beautiful bundt shape.
These cakes had a soft, perfectly aerated crumb. They were perfectly moist inside with a slightly crisp outer shell. The flavour of the cake was quite mild, surprisingly not very sweet given the cup of sugar added. Add a drizzle of melted chocolate, and it’s the perfect indulgence. It’s sure to boost any mood.
Yesterday, well Saturday really, I decided to make a cheesecake. However, I was working all day Saturday so I only had time yesterday to go out and buy the ingredients to make a cheesecake. There were so many recipes online for Classic New York Cheesecakes. I just wanted something super easy and basic to make so I settled on the recipe on the Philadelphia cream cheese box.
If I recall correctly from my memory, the recipe goes something like this…
1-1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup butter, melted
3 (250 g) pkgs Philadelphia cream cheese
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Mix together the ingredients for the crust and pat it down onto the bottom of a 9″ springform pan. Mix together the cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla extract. Then add the eggs one at a time. Fill the springform pan with the cream cheese mixture and bake in the oven for 40-50 minutes.
The recipe didn’t mention the use of a water bath, but from my own knowledge, I know that baking a cheesecake in a water bath helps to minimize cracking. I remember reading that this is because the water ensures that the air in the oven doesn’t dry out and allows for even heat distribution. To do this, I wrapped my springform pan with foil and placed it in a large baking pan and placed it on the oven rack. Then I proceeded to pour hot water into the pan. I closed the oven door and hoped for the best.
Forty minutes later, my cheesecake was done. I cracked the door on the oven and allowed it to cool like that for about 20 minutes before taking it out, as any sudden change in temperature can also cause cracking. Once out, I cooled it on the cooling rack for maybe 2 hours before putting it in the fridge for another 1.5 hours before I cut into it and ate it. Technically, I should’ve probably refrigerated it longer… but it was getting late and I wanted to enjoy my hard days work.
Aside from the dent, I think my cheesecake came out pretty perfect. Look ma, no cracks.
After the holidays I lost my desire to bake. This was most likely the result of all the sugar-laden sweets and chocolate I ate that left me in a near diabetic state. Sorry body. So in order to treat my body a little bit better, I decided to bake something healthier. I looked in the fridge and lo-and-behold I had a pint of blueberries. I have always loved a good blueberry muffin so making muffins was an easy decision. After much time searching for a recipe that I deemed “healthy’, I came across this one. I followed the recipe almost exactly as shown, with the exception of cutting back on the brown sugar which I reduced by 1/4 cup. As I was mixing my wet and dry ingredients together, I noticed that my batter was a little more runny than as seen in the pictures, but in the end my muffins still turned out great. Only thing is, I wish I had kept the oats whole instead of processing them as I personally like the oat-y texture.
These are my muffins. They didn’t turn out exactly how Bri’s turned out, but they were still quite tasty. They were Not overly sweet. They didn’t put me into a diabetic coma nor did I feel gross or guilty after eating them. The tang and juiciness from the blueberries were a perfect balance to the mild sweetness. The crumb was perfectly aerated and the muffins were moist, no sign of toughness at all which is often a problem when using whole wheat flour. I would definitely make these again and throw them in my freezer for an easy breakfast.
Whenever I get the chance to do some baking, I try my best to make something healthy. By healthy, I mean with the leas amount of sugar and fat as possible. Often times this can be quite challenging as fats and sugar contribute much to the mouthfeel, texture, and taste of bake goods. Currently, as a new baker, I’m not yet comfortable making ingredient substitutions or creating my own recipes quite yet, but I hope to one day get there. So each new recipe I attempt comes after a much extensive Google search.
Yesterday, I attempted to make these wonderful Chocolate Avocado Cupcakes. Yes, avocados are high in fat, but they are good fats (mono- and polyunsaturated) and highly nutrient dense. These cupcakes smelled so good while baking and they fluffed right up. I didn’t make the glaze in the recipe, I really wanted to do a Greek Yogurt Peanut Butter icing, but I didn’t have the ingredients on hand.
The first cupcake I unwrapped, partially fell apart and I was a bit disappointed. However, after waiting a while longer, I unwrapped 2 more and they held together beautifully. I think I was too excited and didn’t give the cupcakes enough time to cool. These turned out to be super moist and chocolately with the perfect crumb, with just a hint of sweetness.
I would definitely make these again, but next time with an icing to get the real cupcake feel. However, they are perfectly scrumptious without.