Pear Tart

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Hello everyone! I just got back from vacation in Asia, where I basically ate non stop. However, this post isn’t about that haha. This is a recipe for a pear tart I made recently for people at work. There was a recent stretch where I was making a dessert a week for my colleagues, but that has stopped for now due to mounting expenses haha. I got the recipe from here and followed it pretty closely. The only thing that differed was how I laid out and designed my pears. This was my first try and overall it was a huge success!

Ingredients:

  • 3 tbsp butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup  flour
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped walnuts
  • 1 package (8 oz) reduced-fat cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 tsp sugar, divided
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 Red pears, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

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Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 425º
  • In a bowl, beat butter, sugar, and cinnamon together until crumbly.
  • Beat in flour and walnuts into the mixture
  • Press into 9″ tart pan coated with cooking spray
  • For filling: beat cream cheese and 1/4 cup sugar until smooth, then beat in the egg and vanilla
  • Spread over the crust and arrange sliced pears
  • Mix sugar and cinnamon together and sprinkle over the tart
  • Bake 10 minutes, then reduce oven to 350º and bake another ~20 min
  • Let cool and refrigerate before eating
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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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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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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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Raspberry Mousse Cake

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So for a birthday a little bit ago (and recently Christmas) I decided to make a Raspberry Mousse cake.  I have been kind of on a dessert making binge recently, which seriously needs to stop as I have put on a few pounds. Never in my life have I eaten this much sugar/sweets/desserts as I have in the past few months. I usually don’t like chocolate and eat it maybe once or twice a year, but I’ve had it like weekly in the past 4 months. Craziness. Anyways, I made this cake once for a birthday and as I was showing my little cousin my recent baking exploits, she said she wanted one when we got together for Christmas. This girl is super picky and she really doesn’t eat anything, so I decided why the heck not. Let’s do it. So I ended up making it again and she just took the whole thing home because she didn’t want to share it with the family (smart girl lol). This is really a mix and match of 2 recipes, 1 being a basic chocolate cake, and the other the raspberry mousse that I got from Natasha’s Kitchen. Thanks Natasha!

Ingredients for Cake:

  • 1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup boiling water

Ingredients for Mousse:

  • 1 1/4 cup fresh or frozen raspberries
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 Tbsp Knox Unflavored Gelatin
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp confectioners (powdered) sugar

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Instructions:

  • For the cake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees and butter 2″ cake pans
  • In a bowl, combine and mix flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt
  • In a small bowl, beat and mix  eggs, milk, oil, and vanilla
  • Slowly add boiling water and mix well
  • Add wet ingredients to dry, fold and stir until smooth and well combined
  • Pour batter and divide between 2 pans, bake for 30-35 minutes
  • Remove the cakes and let cool on racks
  • For the mousse, combine the raspberries and sugar in a small saucepan over low-medium heat
  • Whisk together until a sauce then remove from heat and strain through a fine mesh sieve, extracting as much juice as possible (may need to push on the sauce using a spoon)
  • Pour the juice back in the pan and whisk lemon juice and gelatin, heating the sauce until the gelatin dissolves
  • Refrigerate sauce until it is room temperature (be careful to not over refrigerate as the sauce sets quick)
  • Whip heavy cream to soft peaks and add confectioners sugar, then continue whipping to stiff peaks
  • Pour room temp raspberry sauce into whipped cream and fold the sauce in
  • Spread the mousse over the cake and refrigerate for 2 hours up to overnight
  • Decorate with whipped cream and raspberries and serve!

Chocolate Tart with Raspberries

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At work we had a going away party for one of my supervisors who is moving on to bigger and better things (sad day). She wanted the link to this blog, and I gave it to her, so maybe she will see this.  If so, HI! Now she is a big desserts person, so my colleagues and I decided to make a few desserts for her. Of course my colleagues are big chocolate people and so is my supervisor. Now you know that I am not the biggest chocolate fan, but I sucked it up and made this anyways. I found it scrolling through my food network app on the way to the market and was able to find everything I need. Turns out its not THAT complicated and it tasted pretty good too for a guy who isn’t big on chocolate. The recipe worked out well, but I also thought I would decorate it more with some vanilla buttercream frosting and topped it with raspberries to complete it.

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Ingredients:

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 5 tbsp sugar, separated
  • 1/2 tsp salt, separated
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, cold, cut into small cubes
  • 1 large egg, separated
  • 2 tbsp ice water, possibly more if necessary
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 10 oz semi-sweet chocolate, chopped (I used chips)
  • 2 large eggs @ room temp

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Instructions

  • For the dough, combine flour, 3 tbsp sugar, and 1/4 tsp salt in a large mixing bowl
  • Add the butter cubes and mix (i used my hands) until you have course crumbs
  • Combine 1 egg yolk with 2 tbsp ice water and blend together
  • Make a well at the bottom of the pastry bowl and add yolk/water mix
  • Blend the yolk mix with the dough (make sure not too wet or crumbly. If it is too crumbly, add 1 tbsp ice water)
  • Form dough into disk, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate for at least 30 min
  • Roll out the dough and place in tart pan, pressing firmly into all the ridges
  • Let it relax in the refrigerator for 15 min
  • Bake in oven at 350 degrees for 30 min (recipe says to use foil and pie weights, but I didn’t and it turned out fine)
  • Take out the crust, use the egg whites to wash, and rebake for ~7-8 min (make sure it doesn’t burn)
  • While the crust cools, make the filling
  • Heat heavy cream and milk in a pot over med-low heat, until simmering
  • Remove from heat and slowly stir in the chocolate making sure that it melts evenly and smoothly
  • Evenly stir in the 2 tbsp sugar and 1/4 tsp salt
  • Whisk the 2 room temp eggs and then incorporate them into the mix
  • Pour the chocolate into the cooled tart shell
  • Bake at 325 degrees for 18-20 min until the filling sets and the surface is glossy
  • Let the tart cool and set before cutting (I had to put mine in the fridge for ~15-20 min to help it set)
  • Decorate if you’d like, or just dive right in!

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