Tag Archives: rlb

First cheesecake

Cordon Rose Cheesecake

I think everyone I know loves cheesecake. ADORES it. Which is why whenever I say cheesecake isn’t really my thing, people are so shocked. I’ll still eat it, but I’m not gaga over it like everyone else. Maybe it’s the texture or maybe it’s the fact that I can’t have that much lactose without feeling utterly sick for the rest of the day.

We spent Mother’s Day at Movie Man’s brother’s house. Movie Man’s mom loves cheesecake. So much that at one point she was making cheesecake once a week for over a month — that’s a lot of Philly cream cheese to go through. There was even a time where I opened up their fridge to find 10 packs of cream cheese. So of course I would make her a cheese cake for Mother’s Day. I’ve actually never made a homemade cheesecake before. I say homemade because there was a brief moment in my life where I would churn out at least a dozen cheesecakes everyday. I think I finally forgot the recipe that I thought would be forever etched into my brain.

I used a recipe from The Cake Bible. After some Googling (er, research?) I found mixed reviews of it. Some felt it was too fluffy and moist, others made it clear that this is the only recipe they use. I decided to try the white chocolate variation because it’s supposed to be more firm. This recipe also uses a water bath (where the pan is surrounded by water) to help prevent cracking. I did get a teeny tiny crack:

Cordon Rose Cheesecake

I think that was from manhandling it too much though. The Cake Bible doesn’t give a graham crumb recipe, it just says that you can pat on the crumbs afterwards. I like the graham crust so I tried one from Anna Olson. When I baked it, it didn’t look “done” so I baked it some more…and then some more again. I didn’t like the addition of flour the recipe called for, but when it came time to cut the cake, it was rock hard. I can’t blame the recipe for my overzealous baking, but next time I’ll probably just stick to the recipe on the graham cracker box.

Cordon Rose Cheesecake

At the last minute I decided the cake needed a topping so we went to the grocery store to get some blueberries. The total cost of blueberries would have been $10 so Movie Man suggested blackberries instead. I boiled some water, sugar, and a bit of cornstarch to make a glaze and then threw in the berries to coat it.

Cordon Rose Cheesecake

How was the taste of the cheesecake? In my opinion, it’s just cheesecake. The book says it’s made converts out of people who hate cheesecake — I wasn’t converted. But from people who love cheesecake? Everyone took seconds and they were quite happy with it.

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Challah

Challah

I’ve been wanting to make challah for the longest time. The last time I had it, I was in a synagogue with my then boyfriend celebrating his brother’s bar mitzvah.

This is the first bread I’ve made in a long time since the disaster that hit my unit. It felt nice to have the smell of fresh bread coming out of the oven. This challah was from The Bread Bible and it is a dairy challah which is a brioche. I made a huge batch of this bread and the challah was huge. Here’s my hand for comparison:

Challah

I forgot to cover the bread with foil so it came out with a deep deep brown colour and thankfully it didn’t burn. I’ll have to re-visit brioche again and make a smaller loaf — this one was just too big for 2 people.

Recipe here

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The basics and how-to's

Rose Levy Beranbaum has just posted links on the basics of bread making. As with any Beranbaum literature, it’s really more than just the basics but a comprehensive article that looks at proper measuring, the different types of pre-ferments, recipes, storing the bread, and sourdough. Sourdough will be the bread that finally does me in on my no store-bought bread challenge (haven’t bought any since mid-November). I’ll be picking some up this weekend. Movie Man doesn’t see it as a failure as I tried to make my own starter for over a month and it just never got big enough. Maybe I’ll attempt it again after the wedding when the weather is still warm and I have one less thing to stress about.

Also, now on youtube are baking segments of Rose. Being a cake amateur, the ganache clip was mighty helpful giving me tips on how to frost the cake. Great information considering I’ve volunteered to make my neighbour’s baby shower cake. I’ve at least got time to practice so I’ll make the practice buttercream that’s in the Cake Bible so I don’t embarrass myself in front of everyone.

P.S. All my recent food pictures are on Movie Man’s recently deceased computer. So until he gets the computer back up and running, I’ll be posting some oldie but goodie pictures. I’ll also be posting a brown rice shortbread recipe if I can stop myself from eating it all (again) and take a picture. It’s addictive and probably my favourite shortbread (and I don’t like shortbread).

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