09 12 / 2012
Key Lime Cheesecake
Once a month my good friend Greg throws a supper club at his apartment with Chef Ronald Hsu. Chef Hsu is a sous chef at Le Bernardin and prepares 4 absolutely incredible courses. He doesn’t specialize in dessert and invited me to make the 5th course. Obviously, there’s some pressure following a chef of that caliber and wanted to create something that complimented his meal. I saw ginger and citrus in each of his courses and I decided to continue the theme and use blood orange.
I happened to have dinner with Chef Jenny McCoy (formerly of Craft) and I asked her advice. She saw that Chef Hsu introduced a new citrus into each course and she pointed out that blood orange was already used. She helped me brainstorm citrus and I went with key lime. Jenny also introduced me to Fingerling Limes. These little pickle looking limes have these little citrus looking caviar inside of them - bursting with flavor. You can order them from Mikuni Wild Harvest.
I was super nervous but it turned out quite tasty. Its been an entire week and I’m still getting compliments from some pretty serious foodies.
- 1 cup AP flour
- 1/2 cup ground almonds
- 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 5 Tbsp butter
- 1 Tbsp ginger syrup
- 8 oz chevre / goat cheese
- 8 oz cream cheese
- ¾ sugar
- 2 large egg, lightly beaten
- 1/4 cup greek yogurt
- 2 Tbsp lime zest
- 2 Tbsp key lime juice
- 2 Tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 Tbsp of freshly grated ginger
Key lime Custard:
- 8 egg yolks
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
- 3 key limes, zest grated and juiced
1) Preheat oven to 350°f
2) In a small bowl, combine the flour, almonds, sugar, and ginger syrup; cut in butter until crumbly.
3) Press crumb mixture into the bottom and up the sides of a 10 inch tart pan.
4) Bake at 350° for 10-12 minutes or until lightly browned.
1) In a small bowl, beat goat cheese, cream cheese and sugar until light and fluffy.
2) Beat in the eggs, yogurt, zest, juice and vanilla just until blended.
3) Pour over crust, and bake for 30 minutes or until filling is set.
1) While cake is cooling, place the custard ingredients in the double boiler over boiling water. Ensure that the top pan does not touch the water.
2) Cook and continuously stir until mixture begins to gel or thicken, for about 15-20 minutes
3) Pour over cake while still warm and spread it, using an offset spatula if needed
1) Cut fingerling limes and scoop out filling
2) Place the filling (caviar looking) around the rim and in the center or however you like garnish with fingerling limes.
3) Refrigerate until ready to serve (up to 2 days)
1) Remove from fridge 20 minutes before serving
2) Slice with a hot knife
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06 4 / 2011
NSFW Boobie Birthday Cake
I made my brother a surprise birthday cake and gave it to him at one of his favorite monthly parties called Nasty Monday’s. It is this insanely fun weekly party in Barcelona and a monthly event in New York City at (le) Poisson Rouge. The point of this cake was to embarrass him and I think he loved every minute of it. But I also loved every minute of making it.
I started off with the chocolate cake and found that it took a while to finish. I took it out to early and thought I ruined it, but I put it back in. I included a photo of the chocolate so you can see what the icing was hiding! Then my grandmother surprised me. Well, I just came out and said what I was making and her response, ‘Oh, how cute!’ She then went on to ask, ‘What are you using for nipples?’
I may need therapy but together we found some pastilles that were perfect. She watched me frost the cake and taught her about a crumb layer where I do one layer of frosting set it in the fridge and then the second layer of frosting was clean without crumbs. Needless to say, I make my grandmother proud.
The best part about this cake, is that people were shocked at how good it tastes!
- 4 1/2 cups flour
- 3 cups sugar
- 1/2 cup cocoa
- 1 tablespoon baking soda
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1 cupolive oil
- 3 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 1 1/4 tablespoon vanilla
- 3 cups cold water
- 16 ounces cream cheese
- 4 ounces butter
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1 1/2-2 lbs powdered sugar
- 2 small pastilles
- yellow food coloring
- red food coloring
- green food coloring
Prep Time: 30 mins
Total Time:. 1 1/4 hr
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04 3 / 2011
Boston Cream Pie - An Amazing Adventure
I spent the afternoon yesterday over at my friend Martina’s house. We both work in the digital/social world and decided to have a freelance afternoon together while baking a Boston Cream Pie for a dinner party tonight. Before we got started, Martina showed me around her incredible urban Farm. She just started planting for the summer, and I seriously can’t wait for it to be warm enough for backyard BBQs. I was also surprised to find some photos hanging on the fridge that we took a few months ago at the Hipstamatic/Levis party.
Martina chose this recipe from Cooks Illustrated, which is under a pay wall. To respect their copyright, I won’t post the full recipe below, but rather our experience making it. If you do want this recipe, and I recommend it, you can find it here: Boston Cream Pie.
It was also nice to have another set of hands in the kitchen. Martina, was handing me ingredients, cleaning and taking these amazing photos.The recipe is in three parts. Starting with the cream, the cake and then the glaze. It’s also in order of difficulty. Not sure if that’s intentional but making the custard took a great deal of attention. Tempering egg yolks, whisking at three different temperatures and then straining.
The article talks about why they used flour for the consistency of the custard, but never discusses why we strain it. So, WHY? What are we straining out? Or are we just sifting the cream so its not clumpy?
I just can’t figure out what is staying behind in the strainer. We then covered the custard and let it set.
We then went on to make the cakes. I found that the cakes stuck a little. I’m still trying to figure out how to line baking pans with parchment paper and still have perfect clean edges.
And then we took them out of the oven. Golden, spongy. and Beautiful (besides those creases in the side of the cake which absolutely drive me CRAZY.)
Once they cooled completely we took out the set cream and assembled the cake.
The glaze took 5 minutes to make and we poured on top and let it drip down the sides.
And Voila, the finished cake!
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11 2 / 2011
Chocolate Chocolate Bday Cake - for Emi!
I love making bday cakes. Seriously, it’s delivered on fire with a song, and enjoyed by a group. Last night I made a cake for my friend/ co-worker Emi. The recipe was super easy and fun to make. I found the cake recipe on Bake Bree and only altered it a little bit.
- *1 3/4 cups flour
*2 cups sugar
*3/4 cups cocoa
*2 teaspoons baking soda
*1 teaspoon baking powder
*1 teaspoon salt
*1 cup buttermilk
*1/2 cup vegetable oil
*2 eggs, room temperature
*1 teaspoon vanilla
*1 cup freshly brewed hot coffee
- *2 sticks of room temperature butter
*3 cups confectioners sugar
*1/2 cup cocoa
*1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
*4-6 tablespoons heavy cream
- 1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- 2. Prep two 9 inch bake pans (I use baking spray with flour and line pans with parchment paper)
- 3. In a large bowl mix the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix this mixture until combined. (It took me a bit to get the cocoa combined evenly)
- 4. Combine the buttermilk, oil, eggs and vanilla.
- 5. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients.
- 6. Pour in the hot coffee (it will look wet, but that’s okay)
- 7. Pour evenly into two 9 inch pans
- 8. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes. (My oven is a little stronger in the back so I rotate about 20 minutes in)
- 9. Let cool completely (about 30 minutes)
- 1. Cream together the butter and sugar. Gradually add the cocoa powder. (Seriously, or it will be all over you)
- 2. Add just enough cream to get the consistency for spreading. Add the vanilla.
- 3. I found that I needed to play with the sugar/cream consistency and prefer my frosting a little bit more stiff
- 4. Then I placed the bottom layer on the cake holder, and frosted it right there. I did the middle frosting, added the second cake. Then evenly frosted all the way round best I could.
- 5. I put in the fridge while I made a second set of frosting (but no cocoa, so It would be white)
- 6. Put the frosting in a plastic bag, cut the corner slightly and wrote on the cake!
- 7. I always put the cakes I make in the fridge for 30 minutes before transporting it just to ensure it sets. (That might change after I go to pastry school…)
I brought the cake to the office and Emi cuts her cake:
And it’s basically gone: