Quiche Lorraine


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If there is no time to make dinner, you can always make quiche;-)
Quiches are staples in France. We eat lots of quiches. They are easy to make, they cook fairly fast and they make for some yummy dinner or lunches.  We like to eat quiches in France because they are very very inexpensive to make and they allow you to use whatever you have in your fridge.
I will tell you that a good quiche needs to have either cream or whole milk, and lots of cheese;-)
 Did you know that “although quiche is known as a classic French dish, the quiche originated in Germany. The word quiche means “cake” which came from the German word Kuchen. Today, quiche is considered as typically French. 
The most popular quiche is quiche lorraine. Quiche lorraine is a quiche with smoked bacon or lardons. It was only later that cheese was added to the quiche lorraine. The addition of Gruyère cheese makes a quiche au gruyère or a quiche vosgienne. The ‘quiche alsacienne’ is similar to the ‘quiche lorraine’, though onions are added to the recipe.” Wikipedia.
Well today I will present a very easy recipe of quiche lorraine. 
We cheated here with the dough as we bought one instead, but making the dough from scratch would add considerable time to this recipe.
Ingredients for 1 pie of about 9 inches:
  • 1 pie crust,
  • 1 cup  of bacon,
  • 1/2 cup of grated swiss cheese,
  • 1/2 cup of shredded parmesan,
  • 1 cup of heavy cream, 
  • 2 eggs.
  • pepper to taste.
  1. Mix all the ingredients together, and set aside.
  2. Place the dough inside the large round mold, or inside the tart mold.
  3. With the fork, puncture the dough to allow the air to come out and your dough will not bubble during baking.
  4. Empty the filling into the pie crust,
  5. Cook in an already warm oven at 400 for 25  minutes.

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

 

Mint Chocolate Cheesecake


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With St Patrick coming in, I am in the mood of green, green cakes, green appetizers, green everything;-)

I have been meaning to make a chocolate peppermint cheesecake since Christmas but I have been so busy since that I never managed to make one. I wanted to make it white with red swirls and decorate with  peppermint but Christmas seemed to be the best time to post such dessert so you may get to see that one at Christmas.

But the craving for a mint cheesecake never vanished and fortunately with St Patrick coming up, a green chocolate mint seem perfect for the occasion so there it is;-)

I did not really follow a recipe here. Just used whatever I had done before.

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Ingredients for a 10 inch round cheesecake that serves 12-16 people:

Brownie Layer: 

  • 6 tbsp of butter melted
  • 1 1/4 cups of sugar
  • 1 tsp of vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup and 2 tbsp of flour
  • 1/3 cup of special dark Hershey cocoa
  • 1/2 tsp of baking powder
  • 1/2 cup of Andes Creme De Menthe Baking Chips
  • 1/2 tsp of salt

Truffle Cheesecake Layer:

  • 3 packages of cream cheese at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup of sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/3 cup of heavy cream
  • 1-2 tsp of mint extract ( depending how strong you want your cake to taste).
  • 1/4 cup of Andes Baking bits

Ingredients for the decoration( ganache/ whipped cream):

  • 1 cup of chocolate chips
  •  2 1/2 cup of heavy cream
  • 2 tbsp of sugar
  • 10 chocolate chip or 10 dark M&M, or Andes Chocolate ( I could not find them;-(
  1. First of all turn the oven on to 350.
  2. In a large bowl, mix the melted butter and the sugar.
  3. then add the vanilla extract, the eggs and mix well.
  4. Add the flour, cocoa,  baking powder, salt, Andes baking bits,  and blend.
  5. I wanted my cheesecake to look like a star so I used a star shaped from Demarle.Place a large round mold onto a perforated sheet, and pour the chocolate mixture into a star mold.
  6. Cook in a warm oven at 350 for 20 minutes ( when inserting a stick for doneness, it will not come out clean because you want the brownie to be soft and gooey).

While the brownie is cooking, prepare the batter for the cheesecake.

  1. Beat the cream cheese and the sugar until it is smooth and free of lumps.
  2. One at a time, add the eggs and beat after each addition.
  3. Then add the cream, mint extract and mix well.
  4. Carefully pour the cheesecake mixture on top of the brownie.
  5. Place the grande mold on top of a perforated sheet.
  6.  Place the star shaped mold in which you had baked the brownie inside the grande mold. Pour the cheesecake batter inside the star mold.
  7. Sprinkle 1/4 cup of Andes Baking chips on top the cheesecake.photo 1
  8. Pour water into the grande mold for the bath, place the molds in the oven and cook the cake for 50 minutes in a warm oven of 350 ( if using a regular metal cheesecake mold, cook for 60 minutes or until the middle is giggling but not wet.)photo 2
  9. When the cake is cooked, remove it from the water bath and let it cool at room temperature before placing it into the fridge.photo 3
  10. When the cake is cool, press the sides of the cake so that it is completely flat.
  11. Warm up 1/2 cup of heavy cream in the microwave and pour it over 1 cup of chocolate chips. Stir until the ganache is free of lumps.
  12. Drizzle the ganache over the top of the cake. Refrigerate the cake for a few hours before eating it.
  13. Take the cake out of the fridge for a few hours before eating it.
  14. Before serving, beat 1/2 cup of heavy cream, with 2 tbsp of sugar into whipped cream.
  15. Fill a pastry bag with this whipped cream and decorate the cake with it. Place a chocolate chip, M&M or  Andes chocolate over the whipped cream as shown below. Et voila!!!

photoEnjoy!!!!

I brought this cheesecake to my fellow teachers and they did not know if it was a cheesecake or a cream cake since it was so fluffy and so moist;-) Try!!!

photoBon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

Toffee Caramel Cheesecake


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Cheesecakes have always been a curiosity to me. Though I was told that cheesecakes came from France, I never actually ate one there and I never saw one even in the most decadent patisserie or pastry store. In France, however, there are cakes much similar to cheesecakes called Bavarois.  Unlike cheesecake, however, Bavarois are made with heavy cream, sour cream and gelatin and it is never baked. Much like cheesecake, though, they come in many flavors though most of the time they are flavored with fruit puree.

I cannot remember the first time that I ate a cheesescake, but from the minute I ate one, I have loved their texture, and the way they melt away in your mouth…

I just remember that  i have wanted to learn to make them. And for the past 20 years i have tried repeatly to make them. Sometimes successfully, but most of the time unsuccessfully. They may taste great sometimes , but look awful or look okay and only taste average. You may wonder why I have kept trying but I like challenges!!! No, not really, I will not accept failure and will try and try again until I reach my goal;-)

Well, since nowadays i am lactose intolerant and my family is not much of a cheesecake fan, I don’t get to make them that often. In fact, it seems that they only time I venture to make them is when we have a large family reunion. This past Thanksgiving, i was in charge of desserts and since one of the guests was bringing a chocolate ginger cake, a silk pie and a pumpking pie, i was left with bringing something with fruit and something else. I really wanted to bring something that would be in tune with the warm flavor and color  of Thanksgiving, something with warm flavors of fall. How about caramel??

After searching through various recipes book and sites, I finally settled for a recipe found on Epicurious called Toffe Crunch that I altered a bit.

Ingredients for a cheesecake for 10-12 persons:

For the crust:

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  • 1 package of the Belgium Ginger Snap cookies called Biscoff Cor about 7 1/4 ounces)
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons (packed) golden brown sugar

Cheesecake:

  • 4 8-ounce packages cream cheese at room temperature
  • 1 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp. (1/4 stick) butter, melted
  • 5 large eggs
  • 1 tbsp. vanilla extract

Caramel topping

  • 1  cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream

For Decoration:

  • 10 heath candy broken in pieces.

First you will want to prepare the crust for the cheesecake. In a chopper, place the cookies, the soft butter and the sugar and pulse a few times to make a “powdery” mix. Empty this mixture into the bottom of the large round mold, and with your fingers press the cookie mixture flat. Cook in a warm oven for 10 minutes. Set aside.

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While the crust is cooking, prepare the cheesecake. In a large bowl of a kitchen mixer, beat the sugar and the butter until it becomes creamy. Then add the cream cheese and beat well until the mixture is smooth. Add one egg at a time, beating well after each egg. Add 1 tbsp of vanilla extract and mix well. Pour the cream cheese mixture into the large mold on top the crust. Shake the mold a bit from side to side to even out the the cheesecake.

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Place a grande mold on top a medium perforated and place the large round mold inside the grande mold. PLace the two into the oven. With a pouring cup, pour water into the grande mold to almost the top. This will be the water bath for the cheesecake. Cook the cheesecake for 40 minutes at 350. When the cheesecake has baked, let it rest for several hours ( 2 hours minimum and or overnight).

photoMy cheesecake did not crack! and it did not sink in the middle. It was perfect. I never ever made a cheesecake that was that perfect  before;-) I was so happy;-)
For caramel topping:
Put 1 cup of sugar into a large saucepan and cook the sugar over medium heat or until the sugar is dissolving. When the sugar is “becoming caramel” and is starting to bubble on the sides, start stirring the sugar to even out the caramel. Cook a little longer until all the sugar has become a light amber caramel. Be careful not to over cook. It will turn black in a minute if you do not watch. Remove the pan from the stove and let it cool for a minute or two. Meanwhile warm up the cream in the microwave for 2 minutes. Carefully pour the hot cream into the caramel while stirring virgorously. Be careful! It will bubble. Place the saucepan back onto the stove on medium temperature and continue stirring until the sugar has completly melted into the cream.

When the cheesecake has cooled, press the sides of the round mold down, and slide a plate under the cheesecake to remove the cake from the round mold. Then pour the caramel onto the cheesecake, and decorate the cake by sprinkling toffee crumble all around the cake top as shown below. Place back into the fridge to cool, and to let the caramel set.

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Make sure to let the cake come to ambiant temperature before cutting and eating;-)

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Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

Cappucino Brownies


I don’t know if you feel the same, but it seems that with the dreary days of fall and winter also comes food cravings. And i have wanted desserts and sweets. Yeah, I know.. not good… but when there are teeenageers around, the chance to eat more than 1 piece or more than 1 slice is rare so I guess i can bake, it should not affect my weight too much 😉 ( see what i am doing?!?! trying to not feel so bad for baking or eating sweets.. ha ha ha) Anyway, the brownies have been so good that they are gone in a flash. In fact I baked 3 btaches in less than 2 days… I have wanted some capuccinno or coffee favor desserts so i added some coffee granule to the chocolate, and it was simply amazing! Give it a try, it is a twist on the regular chocolate flavored brownie;-)

Ingredients for 20 small bitesize brownie:

  • 6 oz of  Ghirardelli milkchocolate chips,
  • 4 oz of milk or white chocolate chips,
  • 3 eggs,
  • 1 stick of butter,  
  • 1/2 cup of white sugar,
  • 3/4 cup of flour,
  • 4 tbsp of coffee granule mixed in 2 tbsp of expresso.
  • 1/4 tsp of salt.

In a mixer, mix the eggs with the sugar and the salt until the eggs have doubled in volume, and become a lighter yellow color. Meanwhile, place the milk chocolate and the butter in a microwavable bowl, place the octogonal silpat on top of the bowl to avoid any splashing and cook in the microwave for 2 minutes to melt the chocolate and the butter. Mix the chocolate mixture so that it is homogeneous. Add the coffee mixture. Pour the chocolate mixture in the eggs mixture and stir. Add the flour, and the white chocolate chips in the chocolate/ egg mixture and mix well. Using the medium scoop, scoop the batter and fill in the openings of the small cupcake mold. Cook the brownie bites in a warm oven of 350 for 15-20 minutes until a light crust has developed on top, and the center is soft to touch. When using a knife to check for if it is cooked, the knife may not come out clean. The cake should be soft and gooey  but not liquid. Let the brownie cool completly before taking out of the mold, or it will break or stick.

C’est tout! Enjoy!!!

They are so addictive.. be careful! they will be gone in the blink of one eye. I have made 3 batches in 3 days;-)

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!