Mom’s Cheesecake Recipe

My mom told me this cheesecake recipe is from Betty Crocker, but I have had no luck finding it on their website so I am giving her full credit because she has been making it throughout my childhood. You have to start this recipe the day before because it requires a cooling of 6-12 hours between bakes.

The picture is my first attempt at this recipe and, as you can see, it is a bit thin. I will double the cream cheese filling on my next attempt and change the recipe accordingly if it works out. This is the original recipe, not doubled.

Enjoy!

Ingredients:

Crust:

1 1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs

1/4 cup sugar

6 TBS butter, melted

Cream cheese filling:

2 eggs, well beaten

3/4 lb soft cream cheese (12 oz)

1/2 tsp vanilla

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 cup sugar

Sour cream topping:

1/2 cup sour cream

2 TBS sugar

1/2 tsp vanilla

1/8 tsp salt

Directions:

Heat up the oven to 325F. Mix the first three ingredients together and press into a springform pan.

Bake the crust for 10 minutes. Let cool for 3-5 minutes

Turn the oven up to 375F. Mix the cream cheese filling ingredients together and pour into the graham cracker crust.

Bake for 20 minutes.

Let cool for 6-12 hours

Heat oven to 425F. Mix together sour cream topping ingredients and pour into on to the cooled cream cheese cake. Bake for five minutes. Let cool and refrigerate.

Cannoli Cake

This is a cake my Bf’s daughter has made several times and it is so good. The picture is my one try at making it for her recent birthday. My advice is to make it as a sheet cake. The layered cake did not set well, but tasted good. It is a twist on the cannoli cookie. Original recipe found on bakingbeauty.net.

Ingredients:

1 box white cake mix

1 can sweetened condensed milk

Frosting:

1 1/2 cups ricotta cheese

1 1/2 cups mascarpone cheese

2 tsp vanilla

1 cup powdered sugar

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1 cup mini chocolate chips

Additional powdered sugar

Directions:

Bake cake mix according to directions.

Once cake is cooked, poke holes all over the top of the cake (I used the handle end of a spoon). Pour 1/2 of the can of condensed milk into the holes. Cover and refrigerate for one hour.

Make frosting: combine ricotta, mascarpone, cinnamon, and vanilla. Mix until smooth. Add powdered sugar a little at time until combined. Mix in remaining condensed milk.

Once the cake is cool, frost and sprinkle chocolate chips on top. Dust with additional powdered sugar.

Refrigerate for 2-3 hours before serving.

Lemon Bars

Our neighborhood has lots of lemon trees, which is why we have been making lemon bars in our household lately. This is the second lemon bar recipe listed on this site. However, I have decided to leave both of them on here because the previous one is from Tartine, and Tartine is an amazing bakery in San Francisco with outstanding recipes. This recipe was found on anitalianinmykitchen.com website and they are super easy to make.

Ingredients:

Shortbread base:

1/2 cup butter, softened

1/4 cup powdered sugar

1 cup flour

1 pinch salt

Lemon filling:

2 eggs

1 cup sugar

1/2 tsp baking powder

3 TBS fresh lemon juice

1 pinch of salt

Zest of 1 lemon

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease or line with parchment paper an 8 X 8 inch pan.

In a medium bowl mix butter and powdered sugar until combined. Then begin adding flour and beat again until a soft dough forms. Place into the prepared pan and press down evenly. Bake 18-20 minutes. Leave that oven on when you remove the shortbread base.

In another medium bowl, mix eggs, sugar, baking powder, fresh lemon juice, pinch of salt, and zest. Pour over warm baked base and return to oven for 20-25 minutes (until the center is set). Cool in the pan and chill in the fridge for 1 hour for easier cutting. Dust with powdered sugar.

Torta di Mele di Sant’Orfeo -Italian Apple Cake Recipe

Happy New Year friends! I hope life is finding you happy and healthy.

This is another delicious recipe from Pasta Grammar, our go-to website to learn how to cook authentic Italian food. You can find the website here:

http://www.pastagrammar.com

If you like apple pie, you will enjoy this one. A delicious and light Italian apple cake that will wrap up your meal perfectly.

Ingredients:

1 cup raisins

10 1/2 tbsp unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing the pan

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting

3 large eggs

5 medium apples

1 medium pear

1 tsp cinnamon, or to taste

2 tbsp whole milk

1 tbsp baking powder

A 9 1/2-inch springform pan

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 340F degrees. Place the raisins in warm water and set aside. Fill a medium saucepan with enough water to heat a Bain Marie set-up with a heat proof bowl nested on top of the saucepan.

Melt the butter over low heat in the Bain Marie. Once the butter is melted, add the sugar while whisking together. Once mixed, remove from heat and whisk the flour in. Whisk the eggs, one at a time, until incorporated into the mixture. Set aside.

Peel, core, and chop the apples and pear in 1/2 inch pieces. Mix into batter. Drain the raisin, squeeze out the excess water, pat them dry with a paper towel, add to batter.

In a small bowl, stir the baking powder and milk together until it foams, add to batter.

Grease the pan with butter and pour the mixture in. Bake for one hour and let cool completely before removing from pan and serving.

This goes great with a cappuccino, Buon appetito!

My son and I going for our morning cappuccino in Rome, Italy, 2018.

Nanaimo Bars

My finished product last weekend
Standing in front of the House of Parliament in Victoria, BC

My mom was born in Canada. She moved to San Francisco and met my dad in her twenties. I was born and raised in California. However, I definitely consider myself a Canadian along with my USA roots. My mom and dad moved back to Canada 19 years ago. Tragically, we lost my dad a few years ago but mom still lives in Canada, on the beautiful Vancouver Island, British Columbia. She lives 30 minutes from Nanaimo. For that reason, I felt it was important that I learned to make the Nanaimo bar and post it on this site. I made them last weekend. It is very sweet and my children endorse this recipe. This recipe was found on Canadianliving.com.

Ingredients:

For the crust:

1 cup graham cracker crumbs

1/2 cup sweetened shredded coconut

1/3 cup walnuts, finely chopped

1/4 cup cocoa powder

1/4 cup sugar

1/3 cup butter, melted

1 egg, lightly beaten

For the filling:

1/4 cup butter, softened

2 TBS custard powder (you can substitute vanilla pudding mix if you cannot find this)

1/2 tsp vanille extract

1 cups powdered sugar

2 TBS milk

For the topping:

4 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped

1 TBS butter

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Prepare a 9X9 or 8X8 pan by lining with parchment paper, assure it is covering all sides so that you can pull up on the bars when complete.

Mix graham cracker crumbs with coconut, walnuts, cocoa powder, and sugar. Add butter and egg and combine. Press into crumb mixture into prepared pan. Bake until firm, about 10 minutes. Let cool in pan on a rack.

Beat together butter, custard powder, and vanilla. Mix in powdered sugar by adding in increments with milk as needed. Spread over cooled crust and refrigerate until firm, about an hour.

In heatproof bowl over saucepan filled with water, melt chocolate with butter and spread over filling. Refrigerate for 30 minutes until it is almost set then score the chocolate top with the tip of a knife so that the chocolate does not break when bars are removed.

Once completely set and cool, cut all the bars and serve or wrap. They last for 4 days if refrigerated.

Classic Trattoria Tiramisu

 


I was super lucky to get the opportunity to take my children to Italy in 2017 for my son’s senior year. My son ordered Tiramisu at many of the restaurants we ate at and he discovered all sorts of different versions. Picture above is my children in the Caffe Rivoire in Florence (opened in 1872) and enjoying their famous la cioccolata caldo (hot chocolate). 

This dessert is one of the main reasons I picked the online cooking class I attended yesterday. I tried to make Tiramisu last month and it was an epic fail. Yesterday I discovered that the reason the Tiramisu did not taste right to me the last time I made it is because I did not let it set for an appropriate time. A Tiramisu needs to set in the fridge for 4-12 hours before serving (preferably 12 hours).

One of the participants in the class yesterday asked why there is no alcohol in this version of the recipe and the chef said that alcohol is not traditionally used in a true Italian Tiramisu.

Ingredients:

  • 4 large eggs
  • 4 TBS white sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 package ladyfinger cookies (24)
  • 1-2 tsp unsweetened cocoa
  • 8 ounces mascarpone cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups of coffee, cooled and preferably espresso (if the coffee is not cool the cookie will fall apart)

Directions:

Separate the yolks and whites of all eggs and place them in two separate bowls. Using a mixer, beat the egg whites until fluffy.

Then, add the sugar and vanilla to the egg yolks and beat the egg yolks until pale yellow and creamy. Mix in the mascarpone cheese with the egg yolks and beat until smooth.

Fold the fluffy egg white mixture into the egg yolks gently.

Using a 8X8 or 9X9 cake pan, completely submerge each ladyfinger into the cooled coffee for 5 seconds and let the extra drip off then layer the coffee soaked cookies in the pan. If you have to break them to create a single layer on the bottom of the pan that is perfectly acceptable.

Spread half of your egg and mascarpone mixture over the single layer of cookies. Repeat another coffee soaked layer of cookies and spread the rest of the creamy mixture over the second layer.

Dust the cocoa powder on top, cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator to set.

 

 

Butter Coffee Cake by Hazel

Georgette and I grew up together. She is one of my closest and bestest friends. I met her in Junior High School back before they called it Middle School. We had some crazy times together. Memories of her mom’s delicious food are nostalgic and wonderful. This is one of Georgette’s mom, Hazel, recipes. Hazel was from the South so do not be surprised by the high calorie ingredients.

Ingredients:

  • 1 package yellow cake mix
  • 1 small package vanilla instant pudding mix
  • 4 eggs
  • 3/4 cup oil
  • 3/4 cup cold water
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp butter extract flavor (see pic below, this is an ingredient I did not even know existed)

Filling ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Frosting ingredients:

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp butter extract flavor
  • Milk to thin

Directions:

Butter a bundt cake or angel food pan. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Place all ingredients other than filling into a mixer and mix for 8 minutes.

Mix filling ingredients in a separate bowl, save some nuts for cake topping.

Starting with wet cake ingredients begin layering cake mix, then filling, alternate until finished.

Bake for 55 minutes.

Remove from pan onto a plate and pour frosting over cake, sprinkle with remaining nuts.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lemon Cupcakes

 

Time for some quarantine baking. This pandemic is no laughing matter. Although, making the best of it by baking some delicious lemon cupcakes may make you feel better. This recipe was found on the website tasteandtell.com. I scored some Meyer lemons from my boyfriend’s neighbor and was really craving lemon cupcakes. I like how these are glazed instead of covered with frosting; makes them a little lighter.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup + 1 TBS unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs

Glaze:

  • 1 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 TBS fresh lemon juice

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Use the 1 TBS butter to grease the insides of each muffin tin.

In a bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt, set aside. In another bowl mix together buttermilk, vanilla, lemon zest and lemon juice.

In a large bowl or stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar then add the eggs one at a time. Add 1/3 of the flour mixture, 1/2 the buttermilk mixture, 1/3 flour mixture, remaining buttermilk and flour until well mixed.

Place in prepared muffin tins and bake in center of oven for 20-25 minutes. Cool before glazing.

Place some parchment paper under the cooling racks, or something equivalent to avoid the big mess when glazing. Whisk the powdered sugar and lemon juice together and pour over the cupcakes. Let the cakes sit for 30 minutes before serving.

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