Thursday, August 22, 2013

and father turns 52

My dad celebrated (embraced, maybe?) his 52nd birthday yesterday! And since I've been making his cakes for the last 8 years, I decided on the Chocolate Ganache Cake that I recently posted two weeks ago. It was a hit then, and my mom really wanted me to make it again. My brother & sister came over and it was a lovely evening!

Love you dad!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Cheese Biscuits

When I was in grade two, my class got together all our favourite recipes to make a cookbook to give to our mom's for Mother's Day. Recipes varied from pizza to mac'n'cheese to 10 different chocolate chip cookie recipes (because you ask a grade two-er their favourite thing and they'll say "chocolate chip cookies). Looking back at the cookbook now that I gave to my mom, there's a recipe for cheese biscuits that my teacher submitted. It's literally the easiest, most delicious recipe for biscuits ever. So, if you find 30 minutes in your day with nothing to do, go ahead and make these delicious biscuits!

Cheese Biscuits
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup all purpose flour
6 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
2 cups shredded cheese (I used marble)
1 1/2 cups water

1. Preheat oven to 425°F.
2. In large bowl, sift/mix together both flours, the baking powder and salt.
3. Add the water and cheese and knead dough until dough is slightly sticky, add a little extra flour if dough is too sticky.
4. Using a tablespoon, scoop dough and roll each tablespoonful into a ball. Place on baking sheet and press down slightly.
5. Bake biscuits for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm with butter.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Cherry Cheesecake Bars

I received my very first cookbook for my 12 birthday from my grade 6 teacher. I've always loved that cookbook because she knew that I loved to help my mom in the kitchen (which later turned into me kicking her out because I needed my space, haha) and I enjoyed learning how to bake. Ever since I got that cookbook I've had my favourites; this being one of them.

Cherry Cheesecake Bars
Ingredients (base):
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup butter

Ingredients (filling):
2 packages cream cheese (8 ounce), softened
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
2/3 cup sugar
1 can cherry pie filling (or other fruit filling, I used mixed berry today)

1. Preheat oven to 350°F; grease 13x9 inch pan.
2. In small bowl, combine first 4 ingredients for the base. Cut butter into flour until mixed well. Press half of the flour mixture onto the pan, spreading corner to corner. Bake in preheated oven for 12 minutes.
3. In medium sized bowl, blend the cream cheese, eggs, vanilla, and sugar. Spread batter over the baked crust. Bake for 15 minutes.
4. Pour cherry pie filling over baked cream cheese layer. Sprinkle remaining crumbs from the crust on top of the fruit. Bake for another 15 minutes. Top with ice cream and enjoy!

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Chocolate Ganache Cake

For this recipe I decided to make the ganache frosting first, because it needed time to cool and become thick enough to spread. Because you need to boil the cream for the ganache, the heat takes a long time to cool. Since I was kind of in a hurry, I transferred the finished ganache into the freezer and stirred it every 20 minutes until thick. This works awesome, and would highly recommend this if making it in a time limit.

Chocolate Ganache Cake
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/3 cups unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
2 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
pinch of salt
4 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup butter or margarine, melted
1 1/3 cups milk
1 1/2 cups strong brewed coffee; not instant

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line two 9 inch round cake pans with parchment paper, set aside.
2. In large bowl, mix together the melted butter, vanilla, coffee, and milk. Add the eggs and mix well.
2. In medium bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Be sure to sift to get rid of the chunks from the cocoa.
3. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture; scraping the sides, whisk slowly making sure to incorporate all ingredients. Mix until smooth and creamy.
4. Distribute the cake batter evenly between the two cake pans and bake for 25-35 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean.
5. Let cakes cool in pans for about 10 minutes, then transfer to wire rack to cool completely.
6. Once cakes are cool, cut each cake in half, to make four layers. Transfer layers to freezer for about 1 hour, until ready to frost the cake. This way, when frosting it, the crumbs won't come off and the frosting will stick easier to the cake.

Chocolate Ganache
2 cups heavy whipping cream
2 tsp. vanilla
1/8 cup honey
2 1/4 cups semi sweet or milk chocolate chips

1. Put the chocolate chips in a large heatproof bowl, set aside.
2. In medium saucepan, heat the cream, honey, and vanilla. Bring to a boil.
3. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate chips, let sit for one minute. Slowly stir the mixture so that the chocolate chips melt.
4. Set the bowl in the freezer and stir every 20 minutes until ganache becomes thick enough to spread.
5. Take the cake layers out of the freezer and decorate as desired.


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