Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Tres Leches Cheesecake with Horchata Whipped Cream

Happy Cinco de Mayo!!  In honor of this celebration, I'm bringing back a recipe I developed a few years ago when I was in my cheesecake making mode.  It's a tres leches version that combines a cake layer and a cheesecake layer all in one delicious dessert.  I updated it for today by adding a horchata whipped cream as the topping.  Horchata is a Mexican drink made with rice and cinnamon.  Enjoy!! 

Tres Leches Cheesecake with Horchata Whipped Cream

Cake Layer: 

1 ½ cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup sugar
½ cup butter, softened
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
5 large eggs

Cheesecake Layer:

3 pkgs. (8oz. each) cream cheese, softened
¾ cup sugar                                               
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract                                        
3 large eggs                                                         

Tres Leches Sauce:                                                      

1 cup whole milk
1 cup sweetened condensed milk
1 cup evaporated milk

Horchata Whipped Cream:

1 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons rice flour
2 tablespoons powdered sugar
¼ teaspoon cinnamon

1.     Preheat oven to 350°F.  Line a 13x9x2-inch baking pan with foil.  Extend ends of foil over sides of pan.  Coat foil with cooking spray. 

2.     In a small bowl, combine flour and baking powder.  Set aside.  In a large bowl, cream together sugar and butter with an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth.  Add vanilla and eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition.  Gradually add flour mixture and beat on low speed until combined.  Pour into prepared pan.  Set aside. 

3.     In a large bowl, beat cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla at medium speed until well blended.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition.  Carefully pour on top of cake layer, spreading evenly.  Bake for 40 minutes or until center is almost set.  Remove from oven and run knife around edge of pan to loosen.  Let cool.  Refrigerate for at least 3 hours or overnight.  Lift cake from pan, using foil extensions.  Using serving plate, carefully invert cake (so cheesecake layer is on bottom).  Using a fork or skewer, poke holes evenly across surface of cake. 

4.     Mix three milks in medium bowl.  Slowly pour sauce over top of cake.  Set aside.  In a medium bowl, whip cream with an electric mixer until soft peaks form.  Slowly add flour, sugar, and cinnamon, beating until stiff.  Spread whipped cream over cake.  Cover and refrigerate until serving. 

Serves:  16

Friday, May 1, 2015

Heel and Toe's Onesie Walk and The Walking Mess (Eton Mess in a Bag)



Happy Foodie Friday!!  Today's post is dedicated to Heel & Toe Children's Charity (www.heelandtoe.org.uk) in County Durham, England in honor of their Onesie Walk happening on Monday.  My charity, Be the Light of the Party Foundation, is again sponsoring the snack packs for this one mile walk around the lake at Hardwick Park, Sedgefield.  So I thought I would send them some "virtual" support today in the form of an exciting edible creation. 

My children recently introduced me to something called "the walking taco" or "taco in a bag."  It's basically made by crushing a bag of tortilla chips and adding taco meat, lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, and other toppings in the hopes of creating a messy-free, portable lunch or snack.  So I'm thinking, why not expand this concept to include dessert?  Eton Mess is a traditional British dessert made with meringue cookies, strawberries, and whipped cream.  It could be considered a little messy, but in a magnificently delicious way!!  And since we are honoring a Walk in this post and it's occurring in England, using Eton Mess seems like a good decision.  As usual, I put a gourmet spin on it.  This version uses jasmine whipped cream and champagne simple syrup.  And so I give you, The Walking Mess.  Enjoy! 

The Walking Mess (Eton Mess in a Bag)

1 cup heavy cream (double cream)
1 tablespoon loose-leaf jasmine tea
½ cup pink champagne or sparkling wine
½ cup granulated sugar (caster sugar)
3 tablespoons powdered sugar (icing sugar)
3 cups coarsely crumbled meringue cookies (or 6 snack size bags of meringue cookies)
6 treat/food bags (omit, if using snack bags of meringue)
1 pound strawberries, hulled and sliced
Cacao nibs or chocolate shavings (optional) 
6 disposable spoons
1.  Combine cream and tea leaves in small bowl.  Cover and refrigerate overnight. 
2.  In a small saucepan, bring champagne and sugar to a boil over medium heat.  Cook and stir until sugar is dissolved.  Remove from heat; let cool.  Pour into bowl, cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. 
3.  Remove tea-infused cream from refrigerator.  Pour through a strainer into a medium bowl.  Discard tea leaves.  Add powdered sugar and whip with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form.  Set aside.    
4.  Fill bags equally with meringue cookies or open up bags of packaged meringues.  Top with strawberries.  Drizzle with champagne simple syrup.  Follow with a layer of whipped cream and more syrup.  Garnish, if desired, with nibs or chocolate.  Serve immediately, with spoons.    

Serves:  6