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Let's Dish With Linda Lou

Sharing My Recipes, My Life, And The Food Tale Of Two Cities

Banana Cream Cheesecake

2018-06-07 15.04.12

2018-06-12 05.15.54

What do you get when you mix banana cream pie with cheesecake? A Banana Cream Cheesecake. This dessert will have you coming back for seconds.

2018-06-07 09.04.54

Above is a picture of my vanilla sugar. I keep my vanilla pods after I’ve scraped the caviar out, I add the pod into my granulated sugar jar, this way I always have vanilla sugar on hand.  I’m using vanilla sugar in my shortbread cookie crust for this recipe

2018-06-07 13.34.12

Offset Spatula

Above is what’s called an offset spatula. This makes frosting any type of cake so much easier than using, for example; a butter knife.

Note: A useful tip for frosting is to dip the offset spatula into very hot water then wiping off the spatula off. You want to do this once you spread the cream all over the top with the Bavarian cream.  This technique will give you a smooth top and defined outer edge.

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Yields: 12 servings
Bake Time: 1 hour 40 minutes
Inactive Bake Time: 30 minutes in the oven
Cool Time: 6 hours 30 minutes
Equipment: Electric or Stand Mixer, Spring Form Pan, Food Processor

Crust:
2 1/2 cups shortbread cookie crumbs (
12 tbsp unsalted butter, melted (1 1/2 sticks)
1/2 tsp Kosher salt
4 tbsp granulated sugar (optional vanilla sugar)

Bavarian Cream:
1 tsp powdered gelatin
2 tbsp whole milk
2 egg yolks
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
2 tbsp granulated sugar
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/4 tsp banana extract

2/3 cup cold heaving whipping cream
5 tbsp powdered sugar

Cheesecake Filling:
24 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
3 tbsp all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sour cream, room temperature
4 tsp banana extract
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 cup pureed bananas (2 bananas)*
3 large eggs, room temperature

Directions For Whipped Cream Topping:
1/2 cup heavy cream, cold
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 fresh sliced bananas

Note: Use ripe bananas, not ones that have browned

Directions For Crust:
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
Line a 9-inch springform pan with parchment paper lined in the bottom and grease the sides. Add the broken up shortbread cookies to a food processor, fitted with the metal blade. Press pulse a few times to process the cookies into crumbs. Add in the melted butter, and keep pulsing, until the mixture has the consistency of wet sand. Carefully remove the blade, then dump the crumbs into the springform pan. Press the mixture into the bottom and up the sides (ex: pictures above) of the springform pan. Bake for 10 minutes, then set aside to cool. Cover the outsides of the pan with aluminum foil so that the water doesn’t seep through the springform pan. (ex: pictures above). Set prepared pan aside.

Directions For Bavarian Cream:
In a small bowl, sprinkle the gelatin onto the milk and set aside. In a medium-size bowl, whisk the egg yolks together and set aside. Add the heavy cream, sugar, vanilla and banana extract to a large saucepan and heat over medium heat until warm. Remove the cream mixture from the heat and slowly pour the hot cream into the whisked eggs to temper* them. Add the egg and cream mixture back into the saucepan and return to the heat. Continue cooking over medium heat until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, or reaches 160 degrees F. This process should happen pretty quickly. Add the gelatin mixture to the hot cream and stir until smooth.

Pour the custard into another bowl and set that bowl inside another larger bowl containing a good amount of ice. Allow the custard cool to room temperature. While the custard is cooling, add heavy cream and powdered sugar to a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk on high speed until stiff peaks form. Once the custard (Bavarian cream) has cooled, gently fold the whipped cream into the custard. (Note: Be sure the custard is, at a minimum, room temperature so whipped cream does not wilt). Place a piece of plastic wrap directly over the custard so a skin doesn’t form on top, and transfer to refrigerator.

Directions For Cheesecake:
Set oven temperature to 300 degrees F. In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese, sugar, and flour on low speed until completely combined and smooth. Be sure to use low speed to reduce the amount of air add to the batter, ( this may cause cracks in the cake). Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the sour cream, banana and vanilla extract, mix on low speed until combined. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing slowly to combine after each of them are added. Scrape down the sides of the mixing bowl as needed to make sure everything is well combined.

Pour the cheesecake batter into the crust. Place the springform pan inside a large roasting pan. Fill the roasting pan with enough warm water to go about halfway up the sides of the springform pan. The water should not go above the top of the aluminum foil on the springform pan. Bake for 1 hour 30 minutes. The center should be set, but still slightly. Turn the oven off and leave the door closed for an additional 30 minutes. The cheesecake will continue to cook but slowly begins to cool as well.

Crack the oven door for an additional 30 minutes to allow the cheesecake to cool slowly. This helps to prevent cracking. Remove the cheesecake from the water bath along with the foil wrapping. Place onto a cooling rack and cool for an additional 30 minutes. Remove from the springform pan.

Spread the chilled Bavarian cream, using an offset spatula, all over the top. A good tip for frosting (underneath the picture of the offset spatula) is referenced above. Refrigerate the cheesecake until completely cool and firm, about 6 hours.

Add the heavy whipping, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract for the whipped cream topping to the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with the whisk attachment. whisk on high speed until stiff peaks. Pipe swirls of whipped cream around the edges of the cheesecake. Add sliced fresh bananas for the top and along the sides.

Store in refrigerator. If you’re decorating in advance with the whipped cream and fresh bananas, place cheesecake in a plastic cake container, then into the freezer.  This will stop the bananas from turning brown.  Bring the cheesecake out to thaw out enough to slice before serving.

*To Temper, is the process of adding a small amount of the hot cream slowly to beaten eggs while whisking so the eggs won’t scramble. Then add the egg mixture back to the pot, combining it with the rest of the cream mixture.

 

 

 

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Pumpkin Spiced Crumb Cake

Photo Dec 05, 2 18 04 PM

2017-12-04 18.43.07

My Pumpkin Spiced Crumb Cake is one of my family’s favorites. I do want to explain why I take help from my local grocery store whenever I make a cake. In the past, I’ve mentioned using box cake mixes. They’re a time saver, most importantly, there are great box cake mixes out there. First, they’ve come a long way in their quality and variety. Second, why would you break out the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and or cocoa powder, when all these ingredients are already measured and mixed for you!

I start with a basic box cake mix, building a flavor profile of the type of cake I’m looking to make. For example; If I’m making a chocolate cake, adding brewed coffee will enhance the chocolate flavor. I also like to add Ricotta cheese to the cake batter. These ingredients I’ve mentioned. ultimately enhance or make for a more tender cake.

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 to 40 minutes
Total Time: 45 to 55 minutes (Baking time may vary depending on the type and size of the pan you use)
Equipment: parchment paper, 8 x 8-inch or 9 x 9-inch square pan
Yields: 9 slices

Note: I’m using a store-bought pumpkin spice for this recipe. I’ve also included a homemade pumpkin pie spice recipe below.

Ingredients For Crumb Topping:
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1 cup + 2 tablespoons of cake flour
1 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice
1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/3 cup of chopped pecans (optional)
1 stick (8 tablespoons), melted unsalted butter

Ingredients For Homemade Pumpkin Pie Spice:
teaspoons of ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons of ground ginger
1 teaspoon of ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon of ground nutmeg
1 pinch of allspice

Directions For Homemade Pumpkin Pie Spice:

In a small bowl, whisk the spices together until combined. Store in an airtight container in a cool dry place.

For The Pumpkin Spice Cake:
1 box vanilla cake mix (16.5 oz. Duncan Hines French Vanilla)
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/4  cup granulated sugar
1 cup of Libby’s pumpkin pie mix
1/2 cup Ricotta cheese, room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3 large eggs, room temperature
1 cup of water
pinch of Kosher salt
1 heaping teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice
powdered sugar for garnish

Directions:
For the topping:
Using a medium-size mixing bowl, whisk together the sugars, cake flour, pumpkin pie spice, and salt. Pour in the melted butter and stir with a spatula until thick crumbles form. Set aside while preparing the cake.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

For The Cake Batter:
Spray pan with baking spray and line with parchment paper, then spray the parchment paper. Note: This will allow for easy removal.

In a large mixing bowl of a stand mixer, add oil, vanilla extract, sugars, pumpkin pie mix puree, and ricotta cheese. Once the mixture is smooth, add 1 egg at a time until incorporated.

In a medium size bowl, add the box cake mix, pumpkin pie spice, and Kosher salt. Whisk these ingredients together. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the dry ingredients, mixing until just combined. Do not over mix! Note: If you are doing this by hand, you can use a spatula to fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan, spreading into an even layer. Cover with the crumb mixture. If needed, break up the larger crumbs into smaller ones.

Place into oven and bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until a cake tester, inserted into the center, comes out clean, and the center of the cake barely jiggles. Remove from oven and let cool in the loaf pans for at least 30 minutes before slicing. Top the cake with a dusting of powdered sugar.

2 Comments »

Sweet Potato Burgers

2015-10-22 17.11.10

2015-10-22 17.15.18

It’s become so much easier to get Steve to have a meat-free night once a week. I’ve been really expanding my recipes to exclude meat and even gluten. This dish hits on both those marks. My Sweet Potato Burgers are so flavorful and satisfying, the fact is, you won’t miss the meat. Topped with avocado slices, wrapped in a whole grain gluten-free flatbread or just using bib lettuce as your vessel, makes no difference. My Sweet Potato Burgers are delicious.

I wanted to use a flatbread as a vessel for these burgers. I wasn’t able to find this particular hinged-brand in a gluten-free variety but they do offer gluten-free flatbreads. I’d previously bought a package of these hinged flatbreads to try because they’re great for burgers and sandwiches.

I used one of the hinged flat-breads as a pattern to follow, making the regular whole grain flatbreads into a hinged-style flatbread. I used a piece of parchment paper to trace the outline of the hinged-flatbread. I laid it over the gluten-free flatbread, and cut it out using a paring knife. Now I have a slice of gluten-free hinged bread. In time they may offer this type of bread in a gluten-free variety. You could use a leaf of Bibb (Boston) lettuce as a vessel too!

These are some of the ingredients I’m using to make these delicious Sweet Potato Burgers. First, I think the best way to incorporate sweetness, and to keep these burgers moist, not dry,  is to add a little apple sauce. When I go to the market, I’m looking for something completely natural. I decided to use a jar of baby’s puréed first apples as one of the ingredients. What’s more natural than that!  Okay, so here’s how I start.

Yields: 6 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Inactive Prep Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hr 45 minutes
Equipment: 12-inch non-stick sauté pan, parchment paper, paring knife, large mixing bowl

Ingredients:
Pesto Mayo Sauce
1/2 cup of good mayo
2 heaping tablespoons of fresh basil pesto

Avocado Slices
2 avocados, sliced
1 tablespoon of fresh lime juice
Kosher salt to taste
Fresh ground black pepper to taste

Ingredients For Sweet Potato Burgers:
6 gluten-free whole grain flatbreads (trace and cut into hinged flatbreads)
3 med-size sweet potatoes
2 15-ounce cans of drained and rinsed Cannellini beans
1 large egg, beaten
1/4 cup of organic baby apple purée
1/4 cup of flat-leaf Italian parsley, chopped
1/2 cup of baby Arugula
1 tablespoon of chili powder
1 teaspoon of ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon of granulated sugar
1 teaspoon of Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon of black pepper
1/4 cup of gluten-free flour
2 cups of gluten-free bread crumbs (this amount may vary slightly)
1/2 cup of freshly grated Parmesan cheese
3 tablespoons of olive oil, divided
3 tablespoons of unsalted butter, divided

Basil Pesto Mayonnaise:
1/2 cup of good mayonnaise
2 heaping tablespoons of basil pesto (store-bought fresh basil pesto)

Directions:
Preheat oven to 400-degrees F.
Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Set the sweet cleaned and dried sweet potatoes on the baking sheet. Prick the potatoes with a fork to release steam, and bake until soft, about 1 hour. Remove from the oven and let cool.

While the sweet potatoes are baking prepare the gluten-free hinged flatbreads using the store-bought hinged flatbread as a pattern to follow. Prepare a total of six.

For the basil mayonnaise, take a 1/2 a cup of good mayonnaise and add 2 heaping tablespoons of basil pesto, stir to combine. Refrigerate until needed.

Note: Take advantage of fresh store-bought basil pesto in the refrigerated section of the grocery store.

When the potatoes are cool enough to handle, cut in half, scoop out the flesh into a large mixing bowl. Using a potato masher, mash the sweet potatoes together with the Cannellini beans. It’s fine if the beans are not fully mashed into the potatoes. This gives the burgers great texture.

Add a beaten egg, apple purée, chili powder, ground coriander, granulated sugar, ground cinnamon, ground cumin, gluten-free flour, gluten-free bread crumbs, grated Parmesan cheese, chopped flat leaf Italian parsley, Kosher salt, and fresh ground black pepper. Mix together until fully combined. You want the sweet potato mixture to be similar to the consistency of ground meat.

Note: Just like if you were making crab cakes, place the sweet potato mixture into the frig, for 30 minutes, to firm up before making the patties. Divide the sweet potato mixture into six equal portions and form into patties

In a large sauté pan over medium heat, heat 1 tablespoon each of butter and olive oil together. Add the patties to the pan two at a time. Cook until golden brown and caramelized, about 4 to 5 minutes per side. Transfer the cooked patties to a plate lined with a paper towel to drain. Repeat the process until all 6 patties are cooked.

Note: Transfer the cooked patties to a plate and cover tightly with foil to keep warm while you finish cooking the remaining patties. You can also refrigerate the uncooked patties. Place them on a plate tightly wrapped in plastic wrap until you’re ready to cook them.

To Serve: Spread 1 tablespoon of the Basil Pesto Mayonnaise on one side or both sides of the hinged flatbread. Add a Sweet Potato Burger, a few baby arugula leaves, and top with slices of avocado. Finish by wrapping the Sweet Potatoes Burgers in parchment paper.

 

 

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