Archive | October, 2014

Pumpkin Cheesecake Tartlets

29 Oct

October 29th, 2014

Following my tartlet series, this is my third flavor using the same tart shell recipe as my dark chocolate ganache and lemon cheesecake tartlets. Fall is my favorite season and pumpkin flavored anything is a must when October rolls around.

The tartlets were full of pumpkin flavor and they definitely reminded me of a pumpkin pie more than a cheesecake. You can replace the tart shells with a graham cracker crust, which was what my husband preferred. In fact, the pumpkin cheesecake recipe listed below yields plenty, enough to make 48 mini tartlets and a 6-inch cake. If you don’t get to using all of the filling at once, it does keep well in the refrigerator for a few days. Otherwise, you can divide the filling recipe in half.

Tart Shells
2 sticks (8oz) of butter
360 g AP Flour
125 g Sugar
1 Egg
½ tsp vanilla
Pinch of Salt

Y= half the dough yields 24 mini tartlets.

The other half can be frozen if not used immediately.

Directions:

  1. Cream the butter, sugar, vanilla and salt together.
  2. Add the egg.
  3. Add the flour. Slightly mix.
  4. Finish mixing by hand on a floured surface.
  5. Divide dough in half, flatten. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 30 minutes to 1 hour.
  6. Slightly spray mini cupcake pan with non-stick spray.
  7. Remove the dough from the refrigerator; working in small pieces, roll a piece of dough into a ball. (I eyeballed the size of the pieces).
  8. Place ball of dough into the pan. Repeat until you fill the entire cupcake pan.
  9. Have a bowl of extra flour set aside. Dip the tart tamper in the flour and proceed to flatten each ball of dough. As you push down with the tart tamper, the dough will take the shape of the cupcake pan. Re-dip the tamper in the flour as needed to prevent dough from sticking.
  10. Using a fork, gently poke several holes in the lined dough.
  11. Refrigerate the lined molds for 10-15 minutes.
  12. Bake at 350F for 12 minutes. Remove and slightly chill before filling.

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Pumpkin Cheesecake Filling

16 oz Cream Cheese
2C Brown Sugar
4T Cornstarch
1 tsp Cinnamon
4 Eggs
30 oz pumpkin puree (almost 2 cans)
10 oz Evaporated Milk

Y= enough for 48 mini tartlets and one 6-inch cake

Directions:

  1. Using the paddle attachment of a mixer, cream the cream cheese, brown sugar, cornstarch and cinnamon together. Stop and scrape down the sides. Continue to paddle until smooth.
  2. Add the eggs. Continue to mix.
  3. Add the pumpkin puree and mix on low speed. Scrape down sides as necessary.
  4. Add the evaporated milk and mix until fully combined.
  5. Fill a pastry bag with the pumpkin cream cheese filling and carefully pipe into the tart shells.
  6. Bake at 275F for 20 minutes, rotating halfway.
  7. Remove from oven and allow tartlets to chill at room temperature.
  8. Refrigerate overnight.
  9. Garnish with whipped cream and cinnamon.

2014-10-19 05.52.412014-10-19 05.49.20

Lemon Cheesecake Tartlets

26 Oct

October 26, 2014

Recently I became obsessed with mini tartlets; they are convenient, perfectly portioned, and I love photographing them. Like my dark chocolate tartlets I previously made, I used the same batch of tart shell recipe. I had half the dough leftover, which I froze. This time, however, instead of using tartlet molds, I experimented with a wooden tart tamper I found at Sur La Table. The tart tamper was really easy to use and it fit perfectly in my mini cupcake pan to form the round tart shells.

I used a basic cheesecake recipe and added lemon zest. Depending on your preference of tartness you can adjust the amount of zest. I love the taste and fragrance of lemon zest so I opted to add more. These tartlets kept well in the refrigerator for several days, which was convenient because I readily had dessert waiting for me after dinner.

Tart Shells
2 sticks (8oz) of butter
360 g AP Flour
125 g Sugar
1 Egg
½ tsp vanilla
Pinch of Salt

Y= half the dough yields 24 mini tartlets.
The other half can be frozen if not used immediately.

Directions:

  1. Cream the butter, sugar, vanilla and salt together.
  2. Add the egg.
  3. Add the flour. Slightly mix.
  4. Finish mixing by hand on a floured surface.
  5. Divide dough in half, flatten. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 30 minutes to 1 hour.
  6. Slightly spray mini cupcake pan with non-stick spray.
  7. Remove the dough from the refrigerator; working in small pieces, roll a piece of dough into a ball. (I eyeballed the size of the pieces).
  8. Place ball of dough into the pan. Repeat until you fill the entire cupcake pan.
  9. Have a bowl of extra flour set aside. Dip the tart tamper in the flour and proceed to flatten each ball of dough. As you push down with the tart tamper, the dough will take the shape of the cupcake pan. Re-dip the tamper in the flour as needed to prevent dough from sticking.
  10. Using a fork, gently poke several holes in the lined dough.
  11. Refrigerate the lined molds for 10-15 minutes.
  12. Bake at 350F for 12 minutes. Remove and slightly chill before filling.

2014-10-04 21.12.01Press the tart tamper down on the dough and it will take the form of the pan. 2014-10-04 21.21.302014-10-04 21.24.28

Dock the lined dough by using a fork to make tiny holes.

Lemon Cheesecake Filling
8 oz Cream Cheese, softened
1.5 oz Sugar
1 Egg
6g of egg yolk
1 ½ tsp Sour Cream
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
Zest of one whole lemon

Directions

  1. Using the paddle attachment of a mixer, cream the cream cheese and sugar together. Stop and scrape down the sides. Continue to paddle until smooth.
  2. Add the egg and egg yolk. Continue to mix.
  3. Add the sour cream and vanilla. Mix to combine.
  4. Add lemon zest. Mix to combine.
  5. Fill a pastry bag with the cream cheese filling and carefully pipe into tart shells.
  6. Bake at 275F for 20 minutes.
  7. Remove from oven and allow tartlets to chill at room temperature.
  8. Refrigerate overnight.
  9. Garnish with whipped cream and more lemon zest.

2014-10-11 00.02.092014-10-10 23.29.222014-10-10 23.20.45

 

Dark Chocolate Tartlets

12 Oct

October 12th, 2014

I’m like a kid in a candy store whenever I’m at Sur La Table, one of my favorite places to shop for kitchen ware. I can spend hours there browsing, making every excuse as to why I need a another gadget, an extra pan, or more piping tips. And I love it when I find a good deal. That’s exactly what happened when I found these tartlet molds. I couldn’t resist and basically picked up all the molds that were on clearance.

Using a simple dough recipe I made several mini tart shells, filled with a simple dark chocolate ganache. It definitely would have been easier to just make one large tart; however, these individual, bite-sized tartlets are much more adorable. It took some patience to line each mold with the dough, but the results were worth it!

Tart Shells
2 sticks (8oz) of butter
360 g AP Flour
125 g Sugar
1 Egg
½ tsp vanilla
Pinch of Salt

Y= half the dough yields 18- 2 inch  shells

Directions:

  1. Cream the butter, sugar, vanilla and salt together.
  2. Add the egg.
  3. Add the flour. Slightly mix.
  4. Finish mixing by hand on a floured surface.
  5. Divide dough in half, flatten. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 30 minutes to 1 hour.
  6. Slightly spray molds with a non-stick spray.
  7. Remove the dough from the refrigerator; using a rolling-pin, roll dough out.  Since the dough will puff up a bit once in the oven, roll out thinly.
  8. Working in small pieces, line the molds, leaving a few unmolded.
  9. Using a fork, gently poke several holes in the lined dough. Refrigerate the lined molds for 10 minutes.
  10. Remove from the refrigerator; using the other half of un-lined molds stack on top of each lined mold. This prevents the dough from puffing up too much when baking.
  11. Bake at 350F for 8 minutes. Remove from the oven and remove the unlined molds. Place lined molds back in the oven and bake for another 6-7 minutes, or until lightly browned. Once cool enough to handle, removed baked shells from the mold.
  12. Repeat with remainder of the dough.
  13. Allow tart shells to cool completely before filling.
  14. If not using the other half of the dough, freeze for later use. Dough can be kept in the freezer for 1 month.

2014-08-16 01.57.46Individually lined molds2014-08-17 06.18.17Baked shells- ready to be filled2014-08-17 07.18.59

Chocolate Ganache Filling
200 g Dark Chocolate (I used 72%)
200 g Heavy Cream

Directions:

  1. Finely chop chocolate and place in a heatproof bowl.
  2. Heat the heavy cream on medium heat. Once the cream comes to a simmer, remove from heat.
  3. Slowly pour the heated cream over the chopped chocolate and leave for 30 seconds.
  4. Whisk to combine the cream and chocolate.
  5. Carefully pour the ganache into each tart shell. Allow to set a room temperature for about 30 minutes to an hour. 2014-09-22 05.32.42 2014-09-22 05.27.36 2014-09-22 05.24.02                           Garnished with chocolate shavings and fleur de sel.

Red Velvet Cupcakes

2 Oct

October 2nd, 2014

Who doesn’t love a good red velvet cake? Recently I made some for my co-worker, Monika’s birthday, in which she also shares with her daughter. Since these are nut free, Monika requested some red velvet cupcakes to surprise her daughter since she has a severe nut allergy. Maddie, including the rest of Monika’s family, thoroughly enjoyed the cupcakes.

2014-09-14 04.04.232014-09-14 03.59.42And for Monika, I surprised her with a red velvet cake at work!

2014-09-08 19.36.51You can’t have red velvet without cream cheese frosting. Several people told me that they loved the cream cheese frosting. Since the recipe calls for powdered sugar, I reduced it a bit in order to not make the frosting overly sweet.

Red Velvet Cupcakes
2 ½ C Flour
1 ½ C Sugar
1 tsp Baking Soda
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp Cocoa Powder
1 ½ C Canola Oil
1 C Buttermilk
2 Eggs
1 tsp Vinegar
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
Red Food Coloring

Yield = 2 dozen cupcakes

Directions:

  1. In a mixer bowl combine the oil, buttermilk, eggs, vinegar, and vanilla extract. Using a paddle attachment, mix to combine.
  2. Add the red food coloring until desired shade of red is reached.
  3. In a separate bowl sift together the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt and cocoa powder.
  4. Add the dries to the wet mixture in three additions, mixing well after each addition.
  5. Divide batter evenly into lined cupcake pan, filling about halfway up.
  6. Bake at 350F for 15 minutes. Rotate pan and bake for another 6-7 minutes. Cupcakes should be done when it springs back from touch. Or insert a toothpick in the center of a cupcake and if it comes out clean, then cupcakes are done.
  7. Allow cupcakes to completely cool before piping frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting:
1 lb Cream Cheese, softened
10.6 oz Butter, softened
1 ½ lb Powdered Sugar, sifted
1 tsp Vanilla Extract

Yield= enough to pipe 1 dozen cupcakes and frost 1- 6inch cake; alternatively it is enough to pipe 2 dozen cupcakes.

Directions:

  1. Paddle the cream cheese in a mixer bowl to soften.
  2. Add softened butter in chunks. Mix thoroughly, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
  3. Add sifted powdered sugar in multiple additions, mixing and scraping in between.
  4. Add vanilla extract.

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