Ferrero Rocher Cheesecake

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Now that the holidays are coming around, it is also time to start busting out the chocolates in case you haven’t already. You’ll see a lot of See’s chocolate boxes, but also a lot of Ferrero Rocher platters (or mountains if you’ve seen their most recent commercial). Ferrero Rochers are those hazelnut chocolate candies that nobody seems to dislike. So when thinking of a cheesecake, which I am a sucker for, what better thing to pair a hazelnut chocolate candy with than Nutella! This is also a no-bake cheesecake (well I guess that’s not true since you do bake the crust). But anyways, I found the recipe Ang Sarap, another blog, and I must say that it turned out pretty good. Although his was prettier…not going to lie.

Ingredients:

Crust
  • 2 cups crushed Oreos (I tried to scrape the frosting out (and eat it) as I found it made crushing them harder)
  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
Filling
  • ~16oz cream cheese, softened
  • ⅔ cup powdered sugar
  • 3 cups thickened cream or whipped cream, chilled
  • 4 tsp unflavored gelatin
  • 2 tbsp hot water
  • 6 pcs Ferrero Rocher, roughly chopped
Topping
  • 4 (ore more) tbsp Nutella
  • 3 tbsp milk
  • 2 tbsp powdered sugar
  • 8 pcs Ferrero Rocher
  • Chocolate shavings (optional)

Directions:

  1. Combine Oreos and melted butter, and press it in a 9 in pie pan, spread evenly and packed well
  2. Bake 350 degrees for 10 minutes
  3. Chill in fridge for around 20 minutes.
  4. Place softened cream cheese and sugar in a bowl together; mix with electric mixer until creamy.
  5. Dissolve gelatin in hot water then let it cool for a while. Add to the cream cheese mixture, continue to beat until mixture becomes fluffy.
  6. Add cream and 6 chopped Ferrero Rocher, then fold until it’s evenly mixed.
  7. Pour over the prepared crust.
  8. Top it with the Ferrero Rocher and chocolate shavings. Refrigerate for at least 6 hours
  9. Using a double boiler, mix the Nutella, powdered sugar and milk until runny (you may need to add more milk)
  10. Drizzle melted Nutella on top then serve
  11. Enjoy this wonderful dessert!

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Lemon Chicken Skewers

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Today’s dish is a super simple and easy one. It is a product of being basically broke and wanting to eat healthier. I don’t think I realized that when I started all this, how expensive eating healthy can be. These skewers don’t require a lot of time, money, or preparation though, which is definitely a plus. You can make them if you are in a pinch, like me, and have little money AND little time to cook anymore. I find myself coming home from work super late and exhausted – making the prospect of cooking a daunting task. Fear not, just prep these the night before and pop em on the grill/grill pan and you are ready to go!

Ingredients

  • 2 chicken breasts, cut into large cubes
  • Ground pepper
  • Salt
  • 1 garlic clove, minced (or garlic powder)
  • Parsley, finely minced
  • 1 large lemon, juiced
  • Spinach
  • Cherry tomatoes

Directions

  • Season the chicken cubes with pepper, salt, garlic, and parsley
  • Place in a bag with lemon juice for 1 hour – overnight
  • Place chicken cubes on a skewer and grill until cooked
  • At the same time, lightly wilt some spinach with EVOO in a pan and add the cherry tomatoes and cook for a few minutes
  • Place the skewers over the bed of spinach and tomatoes and enjoy your gluten free, high protein meal!

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Poke Bowl

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Hi everyone! Seriously, long time no talk/update, but that is most definitely on me. I keep meaning to update this thing or post something, and every time I thought about it, something came up, or I forgot, or I’m not sure really. Well as life update, I moved back to the Bay area for work and started about a month ago. It’s been crazy readjusting to life here and to the prices of everything…. But one thing I noticed was that there were TON of poke bowl places…basically Chipotle for us Asian people. So, I saw that ahi tuna was on sale at the market and decided to try and make a bowl for myself. Most of these ingredients are completely optional and you can make it however you want. It ended up being a really filling and refreshing/somewhat light meal.

Ingredients:

  • Ahi tuna, cut into small cubes
  • 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
  • green onion, finely chopped
  • Brown rice
  • Cilantro
  • Radishes, sliced
  • Cucumber, sliced
  • Avocado, sliced
  • Lettuce (I used spring mix)
  • Nori, cut into strips
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp chili paste (to taste)

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Directions:

  • Mix tuna, onion, green onion, soy sauce, sesame oil, and chili paste in a bowl and let sit in the refrigerator for ~1 hour
  • In a large bowl, arrange the brown rice, radishes, cucumbers, and avocados (or whatever ingredients you are using)
  • Put some of the poke into the bowl and sprinkle with chopped cilantro and nori strips
  • Enjoy a super easy and delicious meal!

 

Nutella Chocolate Cake

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So back with another dessert post folks! My coworker really loves chocolate, and I mean LOVES.  She probably has it every day. The only thing she may enjoy more than chocolate is Nutella lol. So for her birthday, I decided to find a recipe for a Nutella Chocolate cake and I found a great one here.  I have not unlocked the baking achievement that allows me to make up my own stuff just yet, so I followed this one fairly closely and it turned out great. My pictures not so much because I did not put enough Nutella frosting on the inside, a big mistake both aesthetically and overall food consumption wise. However, it still tasted great and was a big success. Have fun!

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Ingredients:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup boiling water
 Icing
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1 cup Nutella
  • 4-5 cups powdered sugar
  • 3-4 tbsp milk
Ganache
  • 6 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

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Directions

  • Recipe calls for 4 8″ cake pans, but I used 3 9″ ones
  • Mix all the dry cake ingredients in a large bowl
  • Mix in eggs, buttermilk, and oil
  • Add vanilla to the boiling water and then add to the mixture
  • Pour into cake pans and bake at 300 degrees for ~25 minutes until done
  • Let cakes cool on racks
  • Make icing by beating shortening and butter till smooth
  • Add Nutella and beat till smooth
  • Add powdered sugar and milk, mix until smooth
  • Add icing to layers of the cake
  • To make the ganache, microwave whipping cream until almost boiling
  • Pour over chocolate chips in a bowl and whisk until smooth
  • Once thickened, pour over cake
  •  Pipe more icing on cake
  • Dig your face in it! or share, whatever you fancy

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White Chocolate Strawberry Mousse Cake

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Hello everyone! As I have said recently, I went on a sweet/dessert making “binge,” but because of that I have gained weight, which sucks.  Thus, I have definitely cut back on the amount of sugar I eat, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy it every once in awhile. Thus, I bring you a no bake white chocolate strawberry mousse cake that I made a little while back. I got the recipe courtesy of Home Cooking Adventures. While the cake in their pictures comes out a lot prettier and even, mine still tasted good, so I’ll take solace in that lol. So indulge your sweet tooth, give it a try, and let me know how it goes!

Ingredients:

  • 9 oz crushed graham crackers
  • 6 oz melted butter
  • 7 oz white chocolate chips
  • 12 oz whipping cream
  • 1/2 tbsp gelatin powder
  • 2 tbsp cold water
  • 10 oz strawberries, hulled
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tbsp gelatin powder
  • 2 tbsp cold water
  • 7 oz whipping cream
  • Fresh sliced strawberries, for decoration

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Directions:

  • Cut the 7 oz strawberries and place in a small saucepan with sugar over medium heat until sugar dissolves
  • Pour into a blender and puree
  • Dissolve 1/2 tbsp gelatin in 2 tbsp cold water and let it swell ~5min
  • Place gelatin in saucepan over low heat until it dissolves and then mix into strawberry puree
  • Let sauce cool to room temp
  • Place graham crackers into food processor and pulse until you have crumbs
  • Add the melted butter and process until fully combined
  • Push the crust into the bottom of a 8-9″ springform pan until covered
  • Refrigerate until needed
  • Dissolve gelatin in water and let swell for ~5 minutes
  • Add chocolate and 5 oz whipping cream and melt with double boiler
  • Again place swelled gelatin over low heat until dissolved and pour into white chocolate mixture and let cool
  • Whip the other 7 oz of whipping cream to stiff peaks and mix in the white chocolate mixture until well combined
  • Pour the chocolate mousse over the crust and refrigerate for ~20 min to let set
  • Whip the 7 oz whipping cream to stiff peaks and add the strawberry mixture until well combined
  • Pour over the set white chocolate mixture
  • Refrigerate 4 hours to overnight before serving
  • Use a knife (warm) to run around the edge of the pan before springing it open, then slice it up and go to town!

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Mini Beef Wellingtons

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Hi everyone. Today I bring to you beef wellingtons, kind of. You see, the idea of a beef wellington (filet wrapped in pastry dough) is basically all kinds of amazing. I mean what’s not to like? Meat and pastries. So I have always thought about making beef wellingtons because they are so good, but the problem I always run into is that I don’t like mushrooms….like at all. They are some of my least favorite foods and are a key ingredient in this dish. Also, I didn’t want to make big ones as a main dish. Not sure why, but I was feeling the appetizer route. That led me to this recipe, which still included mushrooms, but I decided to change those out. I replaced the mushrooms with grilled onions and they turned out amazing. Obviously if you are a traditionalist, or a mushroom lover, go for the original, but the onions as a substitute worked just as well in my opinion.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary (can use dried)
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Sea salt
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 16oz package frozen puff pastry dough, thawed
  • 1 lb trimmed beef tenderloin, cut into 24 cubes (about 3/4 inch each)
  • 1/3 cup Boursin cheese (I found a Boursin cheese with herbs at the market)

Directions

  • In a skillet over medium heat, sauté onions (or mushrooms) with rosemary, salt and pepper until cooked
  • Roll puff pastry out and cut into 3 in. squares (mine ended up being more triangles due to the way the dough was shaped)
  • Place one beef cube in the middle of the pastry square and add a pinch of salt
  • Top each cube with some cheese and some onions (or mushrooms)
  • Brush the edges of the square with egg wash and fold the dough over the cube to seal it
  • After you’ve completed this with all of the cubes, place them on a parchment lined baking sheet and brush the tops with the egg wash (I found it easier to just dunk and roll them in the egg wash)
  • Bake for ~9 minutes at 450 degrees, until the pastry is golden brown
  • Let sit for ~5 minutes and serve!

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Chocolate Strawberry Cake

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So now that I have been baking a lot recently, I have been tasked with making cakes for my family’s birthdays.  We celebrated my sister’s birthday recently and she requested a chocolate cake, but one that incorporated strawberries somehow.  I think its safe to say that we all have a thing for strawberries. So I scoured the internet for recipes because I am not yet at the point of winging cakes, especially not for a birthday… That’s when I came across this cake from a Taste of Home.  It turned out really well. Rich and moist,  a little too much chocolate for my taste, but everyone else seemed to love it. Enjoy

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Ingredients:

  • 1 package chocolate cake mix (regular size)
  • 1 package (3.9 ounces) instant chocolate pudding mix
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup (8 ounces) sour cream
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 4 ounces semisweet chocolate, melted
  • FROSTING:
  • 2 cups butter, softened
  • 4 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 3/4 cup baking cocoa
  • 1/2 cup 2% milk
  • GARNISHES:
  • 2 ounces semisweet chocolate, melted
  • 1 pound fresh strawberries, hulled
  • GANACHE:
  • 4 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

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Instructions

  • Grease 2 9″ cake pans
  • Combine all the cake ingredients in a large bowl and beat on low for 30 seconds, then for 2 minutes at medium speed
  • Pour evenly into 2 pans
  • Bake at 350 degrees for ~30 minutes until done (toothpick comes out clean)
  • While cake is cooling, make the frosting
  • Beat the butter, sugar, and cocoa until fluffy, then add milk in and continue to mix until smooth
  • Spread the frosting inbetween and around the cooled cake
  • For the ganache, heat the whipping cream over medium heat or in the microwave
  • Then mix in the chocolate and stir until melted and smooth
  • Pour over the cake and arrange strawberries as desired
  • I also used extra frosting to pipe designs onto the cake if that is something that interests you
  • Cut, eat, and celebrate!

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