Thursday, November 27, 2014

Coconut Cheesecake

Enough of pumpkin, it's time for coconut! Okay, I have nothing against pumpkin, but it's time to include other ingredients in my meals. Seriously. I've been eating pumpkin almost everyday. 
I haven't made cheesecake for a long time and when I saw a lonely can of cream of coconut in my counter, I realized that it's time to bake a coconut cheesecake. And I wasn't wrong. It was a perfect time. In fact, it's always a perfect time for a cheesecake. 
And the result? Absolutely perfect. Creamy, smooth, not too sweet, light and without a single crack on top. But the best part... was the frosting. It was TO DIE FOR. Really, it was the most delicious coconut frosting ever. You must try this cheesecake. And you MUST try this coconut frosting. That's all you need.

Coconut Cheesecake

150g (~1 1/2 cup) graham cracker crumbs (any other cookies work as well)
60g (2oz) butter, melted

1 kg (4 8oz packages) cream cheese
200g (1/2 can) coconut cream (unsweetened)
225g (1 cup) sugar
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 tsp vanilla extract
15g (1 tbsp) cornstarch

200g (1/2 can) coconut cream (unsweetened)
60g (2oz) powdered sugar

1) Mix together graham cracker crumbs with butter and press into the bottom of a springform pan. Refrigerate while you prepare the filling.

2) In a bowl, beat together cream cheese and sugar. Add coconut cream, eggs, vanilla extract and cornstarch. Mix just until smooth.

3) Pour onto the crust and bake in a 180C / 350F preheated oven for 15 minutes. Reduce the heat to 120C / 250F and bake for another 60-90 minutes. 

4) Let cool completely, preferably overnight. 

5) For the frosting, beat together coconut cream and powdered sugar until creamy. Spread over the cooled cake. Refrigerate for at least an hour. Slice and enjoy!

Recipe by collecting memories

Monday, November 24, 2014

Apple Crisp Pie

I think I've never told you before how much I like warm desserts served with ice cream. And if it has a crunchy topping, a fruity filling and if it is an apple pie, it's a perfection. This one's packed with juicy apples, cinnamon and tastes very similar to an apple crisp. If you like apple crisp - you're going to like this pie too. Just don't forget to drizzle the topping with some maple syrup, agave syrup or caramel sauce. I used agave syrup but, I must confess, I prefer caramel sauce. Guilty!

Apple Crisp Pie

1 1/4 cup (155g) flour
1 tbsp (15g) sugar
1/2 stick (56g) butter, cold
1/4 tsp salt
3 tbsp ice water

3/4 cup (95g) flour
1/4 cup (50g) sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 stick (56g) butter, cold

625g apples
2 tsp cinnamon
3 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp flour
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp lemon zest

Maple syrup, Agave syrup, caramel sauce, to serve
Vanilla ice cream, to serve

1) To make the crust, combine together flour, sugar and salt. Cut in the cold butter and mix with your fingertips until crumbs form. Add ice water (add 2 at first, you might not need the third one) and knead just until the dough forms into a ball. Roll out the dough into a circle and press into the bottom of a 18cm greased baking dish. Refrigerate while you prepare the filling and the crumb topping.

2) To make the crumb topping, combine together all the ingredients and mix using your fingertips until crumbly. Place in a refrigerator.

3) To make the filling, peel and cut the apples into thin slices. Add into a large bowl and squeeze in the lemon juice. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix to coat the apples.

4) Add the apples into the pie shell. Press down a little bit. Top with the crumbs.

5) Bake in a 200C (400F) preheated oven for 15 minutes. Reduce the heat to 180C (350F) and continue baking for another 20 minutes.

6) Serve warm with some vanilla ice cream and maple syrup, agave syrup or caramel sauce. I used agave but caramel sauce sounds even better, doesn't it?

Recipe by collecting memories

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Chewy Pumpkin Bars

Before the fall ends, I wanted to share another pumpkin recipe with you. Chewy pumpkin bars! First I wanted to call them "pumpkin blondies", but blondies are more cakey and these bars had more fudgy texture. 
I was actually quite surprised with the results. They came out even more delicious than I expected. Brown butter, honey and cinnamon made it a perfect dessert for fall. If you think you've tried everthing with pumpkin, think again because you definitely have to try these!

Chewy Pumpkin Bars 

56g (1/2 stick) brown butter
100g )1/2 cup) sugar
60g honey
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
½ tsp salt
1/4tsp cinnamon
1 cup (220g) pumpkin puree
125g (1 cup) flour

1) In a small saucepan, add butter and cook until light brown. Do not stir. Watch it carefully so you don't brown it too much. Add sugar, honey and stir to combine. 

2) Once cooled a little, add in the egg. Add vanilla extract, salt, cinnamon.

3) Transfer to a large bowl. Mix in the pumpkin puree and finally mix in the flour.

4) Bake in a 180C (350F) preheated oven for 25 minutes. Cool completely before cutting into bars.

Recipe by collecting memories

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Onion Feta Quiche with Balsamic Reduction

Onion lovers, I have a perfect recipe for you. A mild flavor quiche filled with creamy Feta cheese and sweet onions, and drizzled with tangy balsamic vinegar reduction. Sounds good, right? It's also very light but filling enough. 
I'm always so surprised that so many people don't like onions. I don't imagine any savory dish without them. Seriously, they're my favorite veggie. And this quiche, believe me, is FULL of onions. It's really good by its own, but balsamic reduction makes it irresistible.

Onion Feta Quiche with Balsamic Reduction

125g (1 cup) flour
28g (1/4 stick) butter, cold
1 egg
1 tbsp ice water

2 tbsp oil
4 onions (450g), thinly sliced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
180ml (3/4 cup) milk
100g feta cheese, divided
1 tsp dried herbs
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper

Balsamic reduction:
1 cup balsamic vinegar
1 tsp sugar

1) Make the crust: In a bowl, add flour and cut in the butter. Mix with your fingertips until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Beat in the egg. Now add 1 tablespoon of cold water and knead. The dough must be soft, elastic but not sticky. You may add more/less water. Roll out the dough and press into the bottom of a greased 18cm baking dish. Refrigerate while you prepare the filling.

2) In a large saucepan, heat 2 tablespoons of oil. Add onions and garlic and cook until softened and lightly caramelized. Remove from heat and let cool. Mix in salt, dried herbs and black pepper.

3) In a bowl, combine together milk and eggs. Set aside.

4) Crumble half of the Feta cheese on top of the dough. Spread onion mixture on top of the cheese and top with remaining crumbled Feta. Pour egg/milk mixture. Do not mix. Bake in a 180C (350F) preheated oven for 35-40 minutes.

5) While it is baking, you can make the balsamic reduction. Add balsamic vinegar and sugar to a small saucepan and bring to boil. Once it starts bubbling, reduce the heat to the lowest and cook, uncovered, until it's reduced by half.

Serve warm drizzled with balsamic vinegar. I actually loved it the next day. I didn't even reheat it and enjoyed it cold.

Recipe by collecting memories

Sunday, November 09, 2014

Apple Caramel Greek Yogurt Crumb Bars

I'm sure you all know what apple cheesecake bars are. They're everywhere on the internet. But have you heard of apple Greek yogurt bars? Nope? Well, here they are! In fact, they're just as delicious as cheesecake bars, they just have less fat and are healthier. Sounds good, right? That means, you can drizzle some more dulce de leche on top, I guess. 
Anyway, this is a MUST-MAKE fall dessert. Seriously. It has everything you crave for a cold evening: buttery oaty crumbs, cinnamon, creamy Greek yogurt filling, soft apples and warm caramel sauce on top of this goodness... Yes, they're as good as they sound. You have no excuse to not make these. 

Apple Caramel Greek Yogurt Crumb Bars 

Base and topping:

90g (1 cup) quick-cooking oats, ground
125g (1 cup) flour
110g (1/2 cup) sugar
145g (1 1/4 stick) butter, room temperature
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt

1 large apple (270g), cubed
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon flour
1 tsp cinnamon
400g Greek yogurt
55g (1/4 cup) sugar
1 egg
30g flour

Caramel sauce:
Dulce de leche
Some milk

Preheat oven to 180C (350F).

1) Make the base & crumbs: mix together oats, flour, cinnamon, sugar and salt. Add butter. Mix using your fingertips until crumbs form. Press 2/3 of the mixture into a 20x20cm (8x8inch) baking dish. Reserve 1/3 for the topping. Bake for approximately 10 minutes or until lightly browned.

2) Make the filling: First, mix apple cubes with 1 tablespoon sugar, 1 tablespoon flour and 1 teaspoon cinnamon and set aside. In another bowl, mix together Greek yogurt, sugar, egg and flour. Pour the mixture over the crust. Sprinkle apples on top (do not press!) and sprinkle crumb topping (don't press as well. It will stick together while baking). 

3) Bake in a 180C (350F) preheated oven for 25-35 minutes or until set. 

4) Make the caramel sauce: Mix a few tablespoons of dulce de leche and a few tablespoons of milk in a small saucepan. Heat and stir to make it smooth. You may add more/less milk according to your preference. I suggest making the sauce just before serving. I like keeping the bars in the fridge and then drizzle with warm caramel sauce. Yum.

Recipe by collecting memories

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