EXTRA: The City of Chicago…Pictures/adventure!

 

 

 

Be sure to check out this video on my Youtube Channel to see all of the adventures I had gone to in Chicago!

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Classic Raw Vegan Cheesecake

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Be sure to check out my Youtube Channel where I teach my audience how to cook/bake a variety of different kinds of cuisine!

Classic Raw Vegan Cheesecake

  • Servings: Makes 1, 6 inch round cheesecake
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Ingredients:
Crust:
– 1 cup pitted dates (soaked in warm water for 10 minutes then drained)
– 1 cup raw almonds

Filling:
– 1 1/2 cups raw cashews, soaked in water 4-6 hours then drained (NOTE: If short on time, pour boiling hot water over the cashews, soak for 1 hour, then drain and blend as instructed!)
– 1/4 cup lemon juice
– 1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
– 1/2 cup full fat coconut milk
– 1/2 cup agave nectar or maple syrup (or honey if not vegan)

Optional Flavor Add-Ins:
– Pureed mango
– 2 Tbsp salted natural peanut butter
– 1/4 cup wild blueberries (fresh or frozen)
– 3 Tbsp bourbon caramel sauce

Directions:
1. Add dates to a food processor and blend until small bits remain and it forms into a ball. Remove and set aside.
2. Next add nuts and process into a meal. Then add dates back in and blend until a loose dough forms – it should stick together when you squeeze a bit between your fingers. If it’s too dry, add a few more dates through the spout while processing. If too wet, add more almond or walnut meal. Optional: add a pinch of salt to taste. Lightly grease a 6 inch round cake pan.
3. Pour the crust into the greased cake pan and evenly press down — making sure to get the sides as well. Set in freezer to firm up.
4. Add all filling ingredients to a blender and mix until very smooth. For the coconut milk, I like to scoop the “cream” off the top because it provides a richer texture. But if yours is already all mixed together, just add it in as is.
5. I mixed mine in my food processor for 10 minutes, until “liquified” or “pureed”. If it won’t come together, add a touch more lemon juice or agave or a splash more coconut milk liquid as the liquid should help it blend better.
6. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. If adding peanut butter, add to the blender and mix until thoroughly combined. If flavoring with blueberry or caramel, wait and swirl on top of plain cheesecakes (optional).
7. Pour filling into the prepared cake pan. Tap a few times to release any air bubbles, then cover with plastic wrap and freeze until hard – about 4-6 hours.
8. Once set, remove by tugging on the tabs or loosening them with a butter knife. They should pop right out. Our favorite way to devour these was with a little more caramel and a touch of coconut whipped cream. But they’re perfect as is! Keep in the freezer for up to 1-2 weeks.

Charlotte Gâteau w/ Framboise Mousse and Bavarian Cream

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One of my clever inventions. A special French charlotte cake! This elegant cake contains a bottom and outer covering of ladyfingers and the charlotte is filled with raspberry mousse, along with vanilla bavarian cream. I wanted to save time by just buying store-bought lady fingers, however, I noticed how rock hard they were and the texture was almost stale. Ew. Nothing is worse than a stale-like cookie. Instead, I wanted to make this charlotte cake perfect by making my own lady fingers from scratch. So worth it though. I had about 15 cute little lady fingers left — but i didnt mind. I just either ate them as a snack with milk or made them into little cookie sandwiches filled with buttercream. YUM. IMG_0267

So this week is my sisters 20th birthday along with my lovely mother’s birthday as well. I wanted to whip up something extra special for the two very important ladies whom are significant to my life. I wanted to create something that represented elegance that reminds me of my sister. And a unity and formation of two things that represents of moms ability to hold/collect things together. So on that note, I chose this fancy charlotte cake that represents my sisters elegance, and the raspberry mousse/bavarian cream that represents my mom’s unifying ability towards the family.IMG_0272

Now what is a Charlotte? A charlotte is a trifle dessert that is also known as an ice-box cake. It is surrounded with biscuits, lady fingers, cookies, bread, or sponge cake in a lined mold such as a springform cheesecake pan. The mold can be filled with mousse, custards, or fruit puree.

The texture of the mousse and bavarian cream was similar to a pudding or a flan, but more sturdy, stiff, and collected. The raspberry flavor was not too sour and not too sweet (which was perfect) and the bavarian cream had a rich vanilla flavor to it. Next time, I will use the leftover lady fingers and add them on top of the bavarian cream before I start to fill in the raspberry mousse — so that the middle can also have a cake layer as well. Anyways. I hope you guys liked today’s post~ Happy Eating! 🙂IMG_0275

Charlotte Gâteau w/ Framboise Mousse and Bavarian Cream

  • Servings: one 8 inch springform pan
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For the Lady Fingers:

  • 4 eggs, separated
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 14 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line three 17 x 12 inch baking sheets with baking parchment. Fit a large pastry bag with a plain round 1/2 inch tube. On one of the baking parchment paper, draw out and trace the bottom of an 8 inch cheesecake pan with a pencil. Flip the paper around and place on a baking sheet. Set aside.
  2. Place egg whites in a bowl of an electric mixer with a fitted attachment and beat on high until soft peaks start to form. Slowly add 2 tablespoons of sugar and continue beating until a stiff peak forms. In another bowl, beat the egg yolks and the remaining white sugar. Whip for about 5 minutes or until thick and very pale in color.
  3. SIFT flour and baking powder together in a small bowl. Fold half the egg mixture to the egg yolk mixture. Fold in the flour, then the remaining egg white mixture.
  4. Transfer the mixture to the pastry bag and begin to pipe the bottom biscuit of your charlotte cake. First, pipe out the bottom of the cheesecake pan on top of your drawn parchment paper like the picture here. Bake for 10 minutes or until nicely golden brown at the top. Let it cool completely before peeling off the parchment paper. Once cooled, place on the bottom of  your cheesecake pan.
  5. For the lady fingers, pipe out 1 inch thick and 3 inch long lines onto prepared baking sheets. Sift powder sugar on top of the piped batter (optional) and bake for 8 minutes, or until the top is golden-yellow. Let it cool completely. Start to surround the inside walls of the cheesecake pan with the lady fingers (I used only 23 lady fingers to cover the inside of my cheesecake wall). Set aside and begin to prepare your filling.

For the Bavarian Cream:

  • 1 vanilla bean (I used 2 teaspoons vanilla extract)
  • 1 1/4 cups heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon powdered gelatin
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 1 1/4 cups whipped cream
  1. Put the split vanilla bean in cream and slowly bring to a boil. Turn off heat and let sit for 1 hour.
  2. Remove bean and scrape out seeds, add them to the cream and discard the pod. Sprinkle the gelatin into the milk and set aside.
  3. Whisk the sugar and egg yolks together. Warm the cream mixture back up and slowly whisk into eggs. Place mixture over simmering water and stir until it is thick enough to coat the back of a wooded spoon. Remove from heat and add milk and gelatin mixture.
  4. Place bowl in ice bath and stir until at room temperature.
  5. Fold in whipped cream and pour mixture into the prepared cheesecake pan. Set aside.

For the Raspberry Mousse:

  • 1 cup fresh raspberries
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon unflavored gelatin
  • 2 tablespoons cold water
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  1. Place the raspberries in a food processor; cover and puree. Strain and discard seeds. Transfer puree to a large bowl. Stir in sugar and lemon juice; set aside.
  2. In a small saucepan, sprinkle gelatin over cold water; let stand for 1 minute. Stir over low heat until gelatin is completely dissolved. Stir into raspberry mixture. Refrigerate until slightly thickened, about 1 hour.
  3. Transfer gelatin mixture to a large bowl. Beat on high speed until foamy. Gradually add cream; beat until thickened, about 2 minutes. Evenly spoon over the bavarian cream. Cover and refrigerate for 1-2 hours or until set. 

Bavarian Cream Recipe from Michael Symon

Pumpkin Rolls w/ cream cheese filling

Looking for ways to get rid of leftover pumpkin puree after opening a fresh can of Libby’s? Well. Here is a perfect recipe use up the the rest of your pumpkin puree with these amazing pumpkin rolls! These rolls are soft and delicate to the touch and filled with sweetness. If you want to add a little crunch to your rolls, you are more than welcome to add 1/2 cup of chopping walnuts into the pumpkin cake or in the cream cheese filling. Not only are these great for desserts, but I always like to have a slice of these babies in the morning to start off my day 🙂 Happy eating!

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As you are rolling your cake into a roll, be warned that it will be hot! Also, when you are rolling, roll slowly so the cake does not tear as much. If it does tear, do not fret. The tears will close right back up after you frost and store the rolls back in the fridge. The natural moisture of the rolls with patch the ripped tears up for you like magic! If it doesn’t . . . well . . . at least it tastes just as delicious!

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Pumpkin Rolls

  • Servings: 8-10
  • Difficulty: medium
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For the Cake

3/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 cup powder sugar (plus more for rolling)

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice (mixture of cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove spices)

1/4 teaspoon salt

3 large eggs

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 cup granulated sugar

2/3 cup pure pumpkin puree (Libby’s or homemade pumpkin puree)

For the Filling

1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened

1 cup powdered sugar, sifted

6 tablespoons butter, softened

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 cup powdered sugar (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a 15 x 10-inch jelly-roll pan with parchment paper and spray with non-stick cooking spray. Sprinkle a clean tea towel with powdered sugar. Set pan and towel aside.

2. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice and salt. In a large bowl with an electric mixer, beat eggs, vanilla and sugar until thick. Add in pumpkin and mix to combine. Stir in flour mixture. Spread batter evenly into prepared pan.

3. Bake for 13 to 15 minutes or until top of cake springs back when touched. Immediately loosen and turn cake onto prepared towel. Carefully peel off paper. Roll up cake and towel together, starting with narrow end. Cool on wire rack.

4. In a medium bowl, beat cream cheese, powdered sugar, butter and vanilla extract until smooth. Carefully unroll cake; remove towel. Spread cream cheese mixture over cake. Reroll cake. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least one hour. Rolls can be stored in the fridge for up to 5 days or can be wrapped and frozen in the freezer for up to one month in advance.

Adapted from Libby’s Recipe