Tag Archives: easy

Easy Lightened Creme Brulee

BY HELEN S. FLETCHER, ON
COPYRIGHT, HELEN S. FLETCHER, 2017. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
ALL PHOTOS BY PASTRIES LIKE A PRO UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.

Lightened Creme BruleeCreme Brulee in French means “burned cream”. As much as I love rich foods, the thought of eating heavy cream and egg yolks (more fat) is too much even for me. However, loving everything of the brulee/flan/pudding family I wanted to find a way to still enjoy this dessert. The cream brulee under the crackling sugar coating can still be enjoyed but with a lighter touch. If you can find Tahitian vanilla, use it by all means for an unforgettable flavor. It can be found on the internet. If not, look for Madagascar vanilla to get the most flavor.

I have seen recipes that talk about creme brulee as being a mystical, magical recipe to follow.  I’m not sure what they are talking about.  This is so easy, I didn’t even provide how to photos.  Basically you whisk everything together, put in in a waterbath, bake and chill.  However, my post “Milk Chocolate Creme Brulee” post has photos to guide you should you wish. Continue reading

No Bake Chocolate Raspberry Truffle Tarts

BY HELEN S. FLETCHER, ON
COPYRIGHT, HELEN S. FLETCHER, 2017. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
ALL PHOTOS BY PASTRIES LIKE A PRO UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.

Chocolate Raspberry Truffle TartThis No Bake Chocolate Raspberry Truffle Tarts is an easy, sophisticated looking but easy to execute tart.  While especially nice for Valentine’s day, it is good anytime.

The no bake press in crust is filled with a chocolate truffle filling and can be made weeks ahead and frozen.  Thaw in the refrigerator.  Several hours before serving, let the tart come to room temperature and top with the raspberries.

While I have used 4 1/4 inch heart shaped pans with removable bottoms, a single 9 x 3/4 inch quiche pan with a removable bottom may be used for this No Bake Chocolate Raspberry Truffle Tarts. Continue reading

Unbelievable Cheesecake Update!

BY HELEN S. FLETCHER, ON
COPYRIGHT, HELEN S. FLETCHER, 2017. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
ALL PHOTOS BY PASTRIES LIKE A PRO UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.

Unbelievable CheesecakeI originally posted this Unbelievable Cheesecake in 2013.  However, on this, my last regular appearance on KMOV’s Great Day St. Louis, I chose to update it using the food processor.  In doing so, this is the fastest and easiest cheesecake I’ve ever made.

This is the easiest of all cheesecakes to make – five ingredients and you’re good to go (I don’t count water as an ingredient, if you do it’s  six). When I first stumbled across this recipe, it called for baking it overnight. I did and I ended up with a large off white hockey puck.

This unbelievable cheesecake requires no crust, no water bath and can be put together in a matter of ten to fifteen minutes from gathering the ingredients to pouring it in the pan. A 2 1/2 hour slow bake insures a perfectly smooth, creamy, delightful cheesecake with no cracks ready to serve plain or with a sauce.

While a springmold pan can be used, my preference is a cheesecake pan. This pan can be seen here.

I prefer to make this in the processor as opposed to the mixer but I have included instructions for both. It is far easier to get a completely smooth, lump free cheesecake with the processor but either machine will yield a wonderful cheesecake so don’t hesitate to use what you have.

Cheesecake
3 to 4 tablespoons graham or cookie crumbs
2 pounds cream cheese, regular or 1/3 less fat, room temperature (910 grams)
1 cup sugar (200 grams or 7 ounces)
5 eggs
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
1/4 cup water

Spray a 9 inch cheesecake or springform pan with cooking spray. Add the crumbs and shake the pan to dust it with the crumbs on the bottom and about 1 1/2 inches up the side. Remove the excess and set the pan aside. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees.

Processor Method
Place half the cream cheese in the processor and process until it is smooth. Add the remainder of the cream cheese and the sugar, processing until completely smooth. Scrape down several times to make sure there are no lumps hiding. Add the eggs, process and scrape down. Add the vanilla and water. Process to make sure it is smooth.

Pour it into the prepared pan and continue to baking.

Mixer Method
In a mixer bowl, combine the cream cheese and sugar, beating until smooth. Scrape the sides and bottom often to prevent lumps. Add the eggs, one at a time. Scrape down every two eggs. Add the vanilla and water and beat to just combine. You do not want to incorporate air at this point. That’s it!!! Pour into the prepared pan and place in the oven.

Baking
Bake for 2 1/2 hours until the cheesecake does not “jiggle” in the middle. It will be very lightly browned. Cool in the pan and refrigerate until cold or overnight.

To remove from the pan easily, heat the sides with a hair dryer set on high. If using a cheesecake pan, place it on top of a wide can and slide the bottom down. If using a springform pan, release the side of the pan. Using a straight, metal spatula, loosen the bottom by slipping the spatula between the cake and the bottom of the pan. Using two pancake turners, one on each side of the cake, lift the cheesecake onto a serving plate. If using a springform pan, you cannot loosen the bottom because of the lip. However, the cheesecake should be firm enough to lift off using the pancake turners.

Note: This cheesecake freezes well if you wish to make it ahead.

Brandied Cranberry Sauce –  I realized that the cheesecake would benefit from a sauce.  Looking around I had a package of cranberries in the freezer so I quickly made this sauce.  I did not write down the amounts but these are as I remember them.  Cranberries have an enormous amount of pectin which is why there is no thickener used.
12 ounce package fresh or frozen cranberries, picked over (340 grams)
1/2 cup water
1 1/4 cup sugar (250 grams or 8 3/4 ounces)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons brandy

Combine all of the ingredients except the brandy in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil. Boil until slightly thickened. Remove from the heat and add the brandy. Cover directly with film and allow to cool. Refrigerate.

To use: Heat slightly if necessary to loosen if too thick.

Hot Peppered Pecans

BY HELEN S. FLETCHER, ON
COPYRIGHT, HELEN S. FLETCHER, 2017. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
ALL PHOTOS BY PASTRIES LIKE A PRO UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.

Hot Peppered PecansIt’s TV time again and the Hot Pepepred Pecans fit the 4 minute segment to a tee.  I originally discovered these Hot Peppered Pecans when the St. Louis Art Museum wrote their cookbook, “Artists in the Kitchen”. Some of the testing was done in my bakery kitchen.

These Hot Peppered Pecans are a standout. Heat Alert –  they are hot!!  So if you don’t favor a lot of heat, tone down all the pepper and the hot pepper sauce. Start with half and go from there.

These pecans make a great holiday or hostess gift. Choose little containers or put them cellophane bags and tie with decorative ribbons. They are also great on a cheese tray, crumbled in a salad or included in any recipe calling for pecans, including sweet ones.  The kick they add to chocolate chip cookies is amazing. As an added bonus they are gluten free. Continue reading

Orange Almond Teacake

BY HELEN S. FLETCHER, ON
COPYRIGHT, HELEN S. FLETCHER, 2017. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
ALL PHOTOS BY PASTRIES LIKE A PRO UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.

Orange Almond TeacakeThis Orange Almond Teacake is made from the same recipe as the Orange Almond Madeleines. In fact the madeleines. which we used as a petit four we thought of after we did the cake.  They are not only a wonderful addition to a petit four tray but can also be arranged as a flower for presentation.  Orange Almond Madelienes for Orange Almond Teacake

What makes this recipe a bit different from the original is the use of my almond paste in this Orange Almond Teacake.  A teacake is usually a simple, one layer, uniced cake.  While originally eaten with a cup of tea, coffee or nothing is fine in the states.  The almond paste in this cake keeps it moist for days.  The crumb of this cake is very close, not exactly dense but not exactly light either. Continue reading