Thursday, November 20, 2014

Coconut Sesame Seed Biscotti Recipe

Coconut Sesame Seed Biscotti

This is almost a very healthy biscotti, as long as you forget that it contains white flour and sugar. All the rest of the ingredients are good for you. This made me feel less guilty when I ate one too many!

If you don’t like either coconut or sesame seeds, substitute one for the other, in the same amount.

Coconut Sesame Seed Biscotti

1 cup plain flour
1 cup rolled oats
½ cup desiccated coconut
½ cup sesame seeds
2 eggs
¾ - 1 cup sugar (original recipe suggests 1 cup, I prefer less)

1.      Heat the oven to 160°C/325°F
2.      In a bowl, mix flour, rolled oats, coconut and sesame seeds.
3.      In another bowl, beat the sugar and eggs until sugar has completely dissolved. 
4.      Add the flour mixture and mix until just blended. Let the dough rest for 5 minutes.
5.      Divide the dough evenly into 2 equal mounds and place on the prepared baking sheet. With moist hands, space the dough evenly apart and form into logs.
6.      Bake until lightly browned, about 25-30 minutes.
7.      Cool for 5 minutes. Using a serrated knife, cut the logs crosswise into ¼ - ½ inch thick diagonal slices. Arrange the biscotti cut side down on the same baking sheet. Bake until the cookies are pale golden, about 25 minutes. Let cool completely.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Pumpkin Cheesecake Recipe

Pumpkin Cheesecake

Prior to making and eating this dish, I don’t think I had ever tried a pumpkin dessert before.  Considering the popularity of pumpkin desserts, I had always been really curious to see what all the fuss was all about. The Pajama Chef blog has a number of pumpkin desserts so it was a great opportunity for me to finally bite the bullet.

I love cheesecakes but the idea of having a pumpkin cheesecake sounded a bit unappealing to me. However I was very pleasantly surprised. Far from unappealing, it was outrageously delicious. The pumpkin flavour was subtle but present, it was just enough. The texture was amazing, soft and silky. Pumpkin added a nice creaminess, as well as a pleasant yellow color. While eating the cheesecake I got reminded of dulce de leche, not sure why. Maybe cooked pumpkin and cream cheesecake has a slight dulce de leche flavor or aroma. Or maybe my senses went astray.

The recipe suggests cooking the cheesecake in a water bath. However I didn’t do this and it turned out fine.

Adopted from The Pajama Chef

Pumpkin Cheesecake

2 cups chocolate graham cracker crumbs
½ cup + 2 tablespoons brown sugar, packed
¾ cup sugar
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
32 ounces cream cheese, softened
About 2 cups [15 ounces] canned pumpkin
4 eggs, at room temperature
2½ tablespoons heavy cream
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
½ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ginger

1.      In a food processor or blender, mix together the graham cracker crumbs, 2 tablespoons brown sugar, and butter. Press into the bottom of a 9 inch springform pan and bake at 175°C/350°F for about 7 minutes or until set and golden brown. Cool completely before filling.
2.      Mix cream cheese and sugars until creamy. Add pumpkin and mix until combined. Add eggs, one at a time and mix well.
3.      In a small bowl, whisk together cream, vanilla and spices, then pour in the batter and mix until combined.
4.      Pour batter onto crust. Bake at 160°C/325°F for 55-65 minutes, or until edges are set and middle is slightly underbaked. Remove from oven and run a metal spatula around the rim of the pan to loosen the cheesecake. This helps prevent cracking. Let the cheesecake cool for about 20-25 minutes before covering and placing in the refrigerator. Refrigerate for 4 to 6 hours or overnight before serving.

Pumpkin Cheesecake

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