Strawberry Cheesecake with Golden Oreo Crust

I am really hoping this will be my last cheesecake post for a long time. I have made 5 cheesecakes in the last month and believe it or not, I might actually be getting sick of them.

But this cheesecake is a bit different from my last because it is made with golden oreos, which I think taste much better in the cake.

My sister Shauna wanted to make a cake for her boyfriend’s birthday, so I obviously offered to help. We were sort of limited in our options of what to make, he only likes two types of cake: ice cream cake and strawberry cheesecake.

We decided that replicating the Baskin Robbins ice cream cake is a feat we’d save for another time and that adapting the oreo cheesecake recipe I originally used was definitely a more feasible option.

The crust is made by using 25 oreos (with filling) and about 3/4 of a stick of melted butter.

We put 5 quartered oreos into the filling, unfortunately leaving no extra oreos to snack on 😦

We covered these up with more filling, baked the cake, decorated with strawberries and melted chocolate, and this was the end result.

Shauna said Richie liked it, but she said Richie’s younger brother liked it more — he ate three slices in one sitting — success!

Yours edibly,

Elana

(and I guess Shauna, too)

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Father’s Day

So this year my family sort of skipped over Father’s day celebrations. We had a big wedding to attend so we decided to celebrate another night.

Gosh, where did this cake come from then!?

I have good news: I sold my first cake!

Yup, that’s right. I made this cake for another father in another family and they paid me to do it!

So I pretty much devoted my whole weekend to this cake.

I started bright and early Saturday morning after an early night on Friday.

First I made the crust — hardest part by far. This time I decided to cover the spring-form pan in tin foil to make it easier to remove the cheesecake later on.

Then I made the cheesecake and dropped some chopped oreos in the center.

I baked the cheesecake in a water bath for just over 1 hour at 350°F.

When I first took the cake out of the oven I realized it was a little browner on the edges than I would have liked, but I tried not to stress about it too much.

When I put the cake in the fridge to set and checked on it four hours later, I noticed the cheesecake had sunk in a very unattractive way — trying very hard to keep it together at this point.

I figured that my decorations would cover up any mishaps.

Then when I tried removing the cake from the tin foil – that darn tin foil – the foil was sticking to the bottom of the cake. At this point the cake and crust had cracked from all the handling — you must be so gentle!

I was very upset, so I put the cake aside and decided to start over.

How could I sell a cake that I wasn’t happy with?

I decided to decorate it anyway, just for the sake of it and ended up giving it to my boyfriend’s father – making sure to warn him of course about the random tin foil pieces that were still stuck to the bottom — so embarrassing!

He loved it though of course.

And I was happy that my second cake turned out much nicer. This time I baked it at 325°F for just under 1 hour.

I turned the oven off and let the cake cool off in the oven with the door ajar, hoping this would prevent cracking and sinkage.

It did! And no browning on the cake this time either 🙂

I also think my writing was much nicer the second time, what do you think?

By the way, when my cake buyer, who will remain anonymous, finds out I made two cakes for her when I wasn’t happy with the first one, she’ll probably freak out. But I was so much happier with the second so it was worth it!

Can you see the difference? Let me know.

By the way, this is another oreo cheesecake — same recipe as here.

Yours edibly,

Elana

Peanut Butter Cheesecake

I made this cake specially for my friend Dana on her birthday.

It’s always fun making stuff for Dana because she is so easy to please! She made me feel like a million bucks when she asked me over and over “Did you buy this? No. Seriously, did you buy this?”

Why would I ever want to buy a peanut butter cheesecake when it is so much more fun to make it from scratch?

So I did. Now this cake was intense, 10 inches of oreo-peanut butter cup-cheesecake goodness.

This cake was actually…dare I say…quite dangerous.

The danger started with a stick of butter, a cup of roasted peanuts, and a package of oreos all blended together for the crust…

Then I added a layer of cheesecake filling…then a layer of chopped peanut butter cups…

Then some more peanut butter cheesecake filling.

I baked the cheesecake in a bain marie (water bath) to avoid cracking — success! I’ll make sure to remember to do that next time I make that Oreo Cheesecake.

The crucial step with this cheesecake was to allow it to set in the refrigerator – I set mine for about 24 hours.

When I initially tried to remove the spring-form pan from the cheesecake, which I attempted before setting the cake, the crust began tearing away from the cheese filling. The crust was also quite mushy and not so crust-like at all, despite me baking it for 1.5 hours!

Once I was able to successfully remove the cake from the pan, I added some decorations. Chopped peanut butter cups and drizzled milk chocolate — what could be better?

Nothing, according to Dana.

Thanks Dana, so happy you enjoyed it 🙂

I adapted a recipe I found here.

Warning: if you plan to prepare this cheesecake, do it well in advance of serving — and prepare for a dangerous ending to your meal.

My definition of dangerous: ingredients or flavours that are so intense and rich that they may be harmful to eat.

Yours edibly,

Elana

Oreo Cheesecake

I made this cake special for the birthday girl Lynn. Lynn claimed to be allergic to oreos for quite some time in her youth — yet it was always obvious that her ‘allergy’ was non-existent and that she in fact LOVED oreos and ate them regularly.

So oreo cheesecake it was — plus I wanted to try making something new and making cheesecake seemed like it would be a fun challenge.

The toughest part to make was the crust…of course.

Making the crust even and smooth took me…I’m slightly embarrassed to say… an hour or so, I just couldn’t tear myself away.

The filling was easy peezy, mainly composed of cream cheese and sour cream among a few other items.

I arranged some extra oreos in the filling and it was ready to bake.

All was going smoothly until I removed the cake from the oven and noticed this…

What a crack! And I’m not talking about the good craic that you can find in Dublin…this was a nightmare.

But I went from being the saddest person in the kitchen to the happiest pretty fast once I learned that it is easy to repair a crack in a cheesecake.

All I needed was a palette knife and some hot water and I was able to smooth over the crack — no problem and then I could decorate.

I managed to snap a shot of the center of the cheesecake before it was quickly devoured.

Not bad, not bad, I’d say.

You can find the apparent Cheesecake Factory recipe here.

Please try this at home, it was pretty easy to make and the crowd will love it!

Oh and make sure to let me know how it goes if you do find the time to bake it.

Yours edibly,

Elana

Mini Red Velvet Cupcakes

I had not one, not two,  but three of my closest friends birthdays this weekend, so obviously, I wanted to bake something.

Ellie and I decided to make Magnolia’s Red Velvet Cupcakes — you just really can’t go wrong with the Magnolia recipes.

We used one recipe and with that one recipe we were able to make 48 mini cupcakes and 12 regular cupcakes — pretty wild eh!?

From previous experience, I believe one of the most important steps is mixing the cocoa powder and red food colouring to a smooth paste. We were a little low on food colouring — we used 5 tablespoons instead of 6, but the colour still was great!

It’s always easy to use a KitchenAid to do all the dirty work, i.e. mixing.

Just make sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl.

Isn’t the colour beautiful?

Use a spring-action scoop for filling the trays. It makes less of a mess and it’s easier to make sure all the cupcakes are the same size.

Bake for 15-20 minutes and here they are!

Not bad, not bad. We gave one lucky cupcake two liners, can you spot which one that is?

Next up, piping. We used a large star tip and large round tip for piping. The piping took just a few minutes.

Which do you prefer – star tip piping at the back or round tip piping at the front?

By the way, we obviously used cream cheese frosting for the cupcakes — you just can’t use anything else.

Here’s a closer image of these pretty little things.

Oh no, what happened to this one?

You always have to taste everything you bake or cook — that’s a RULE!

And we made 60 cupcakes so a few missing is no big deal…

You can find the recipe here.

Yours edibly,

Elana

Mother’s Day Desserts

What would a meal be without dessert?

You certainly wouldn’t have happy guests if you skipped out on this necessary component of the meal.

For mother’s special day, I opted to make a chocolate tart and mini carrot cupcakes with cream cheese icing.

I know what you’re thinking, ‘did she crack an egg on top of the cupcakes?’

NO, I most certainly did not. But now that I think about it, my little bit of creativity would have fared better during Easter.

Oh well. They still tasted good.

Here is the tart crust, the hardest part to make.

I spent about 30 minutes trying to even out the edges, then I decided, if it’s a little rough around the edges maybe people will want to eat it more?

The filling was pretty much just chocolate ganache. Heavy cream and chocolate — what could be better?

I had to take a photo of the drooping cupcake. See it? On the left?

Looks like there might be a couple on the right too.

Breakfast anyone?

And for the final touches…

I used this Martha Stewart recipe for the chocolate tart.

And I used my own recipe for the cupcakes.

Mini Carrot Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Icing

Ingredients

  • 1 cup granulated white sugar
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 cup canola or vegetable oil
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon table salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 cups grated carrots
  • 1 cup flaked coconut
  • ¾ cup roughly chopped walnuts

Cream Cheese Icing

  • 1 cup/package of regular Philadelphia cream cheese
  • ¼ cup (or half a stick) unsalted softened butter
  • 2 cups icing sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F and place cupcake liners in mini muffin tray.
  2. In a large bowl, mix white and brown sugar, oil, and eggs until they’re nice and smooth.
  3. In a small bowl, sift flour together with baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
  4. Pour flour mixture into wet mixture and beat just until moistened—do not over mix.
  5. Add the carrots, coconut, and walnuts and fold into the batter until the ingredients are well-incorporated.
  6. Pour batter into cupcake liners until about 3/4 full.
  7. Bake for about 18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the centre of a cupcake comes out clean.
  8. While the cake is baking, combine all the ingredients for the icing in a food processor. Mix on low speed until the icing is smooth with no lumps. A hand blender also works well for this step.
  9. Allow the cupcakes to cool on a rack for at least 10 minutes before icing.

Enjoy!

Yours edibly,

Elana

Birthday Cake

What better thing is there to do on a rainy day then to a bake a cake.

This cake I made for two of my closest friends, who happen to be twins!

You’re probably thinking it would have been smart of me to make two cakes — well… I did! I just stacked them on top of each other 😉

So here are the two cakes, fresh out of the oven.

I cut the elevated parts off the cakes to make them even for stacking.

Then I began icing.

And done.

Before I began decorating, I needed to practise some piping.

My shells look decent, probably not up to GB standards… but good enough.

And sprinkles!

Let’s hope they like it…

This birthday cake recipe is the EXACT same as the Magnolia cupcakes recipe. So I guess it’s guaranteed to be good.

Yours edibly,

Elana