Sunday, November 20, 2011


This is going to be a rather short post. The reason? I don't really have any pictures to post, but this recipe is so amazing it would be a crime not to post it!

I'm hosting a Holiday Open House with my family this Christmas. The food we will be serving is just going to  be a wide selection of desserts - kind of like a tasting of desserts. Nice little bite-size treats, so you don't feel too guilty indulging! Since I'm having to bake a lot of different items, I wasn't planning on posting any of the recipes because it would take far too much time. But after trying these scones, I need to share this recipe!
The scones I made are Orange Cranberry scones. Not dried cranberry, but frozen cranberry! Deliciously tart cranberries! And with the orange, and sugar on top, I thought they were divine! Here's the recipe: 

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

My Passion!

Have I mentioned how much I love making cheesecake? I probably have, but I feel the need to say it again.
It is the only dessert I know that can be so finicky, and even the slightest mistake can result in a severely disappointing product. But when you get it right - and you see that perfectly level surface, no cracks, no browning - it is gives you the greatest feeling of satisfaction.

This has been a busy month at work for birthdays. There were a total of 3 just in my lab, with another close friend celebrating his as well. So to celebrate, I decided to make a cheesecake for everyone to share. Upon the request of one of the birthday girls, I decided to make a Bailey's Chocolate Cheesecake. I got the recipe from the Allrecipes website, and didn't change a thing (well depends how you define change...)

Bailey's Chocolate Cheesecake
Makes 1 - 9 (or 9.5) inch cake

1 1/2 cups chocolate cookie crumbs
1/3 cup confectioners' sugar
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 cup butter

*Note! Allow all the ingredients for the filling to come to room temperature

3 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened (I used half light cream cheese and half regular)
1 1/4 cups white sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3 tbsp all-purpose flour
3 eggs
1/2 cup light sour cream
1/4 cup Irish cream liqueur


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). To prevent sticking to the side and bottom of the springform pan, line it with parchment paper and spray lightly with PAM. Wrap the outside of the pan in aluminum foil.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the cookie crumbs, confectioners' sugar and 1/3 cup cocoa. Add melted butter and stir until well mixed. Pat into the bottom of a 9 inch springform pan. Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes; set aside. Increase oven temperature to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C).
  3. In a large bowl, combine cream cheese, white sugar, 1/4 cup cocoa and flour. Beat at medium speed until well blended and smooth. Add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Blend in the sour cream and Irish cream liqueur; mixing on low speed. Pour filling over baked crust.
  4. Set up a water bath (see below) in the oven and place the pan inside. Bake at 450 degrees F (230 degrees C) for 10 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 250 degrees F (120 degrees C), and continue baking for 60 minutes.
  5. Turn off the oven and let the cheesecake sit in the oven for another 2-3 hours. After that, remove it and allow it to sit out for another 1-2 hours. Cool in fridge over night.
This recipe is actually really straight forward. So long as you allow everything to come up to room temperature (just leave everything on the counter for an hour or so), take the time to line your pan and wrap it properly, there should be no issues. Cheesecake requires patience, and it is on of the few things that can get me to wait around. Every time I try to rush it, it gets messed up.
For the water bath, you just need a big, deep pan that can fit your springform pan inside. You put it on the rack in the oven, fill it with boiled water, and stick your pan inside. The water bath just helps the cheesecake cook slowly and evenly. It similar to cooking a custard. If you don't use the water bath, you may find the edges brown too quickly. And from my experience, I will always use a water bath to bake my cheesecakes.

The only thing I "changed" in the recipe was to use some light dairy products instead of full fat. This may be a major cheesecake-purist faux pas, but I don't find they taste any different from full fat cheesecakes, so why not save myself a couple calories (so I can have a bigger piece!)

Everyone at work seemed to really enjoy the cake and I'm elated I could bring them that joy for their birthdays. It made the success of my cheesecake all that much sweeter, and it definitely rekindled my passion for baking them! Now, to decide what kind to make next...

Friday, November 11, 2011

Tastes Change

As a kid - with the exception of peas (especially frozen peas) - I disliked vegetables. Give me chicken fingers and I was happy, but give me a salad and I would only eat enough to get me dessert.

Since then, my taste buds have matured and now I would consider myself an honorary vegetarian. At restaurants I search out the menu item with the most vegetables in it, and every home made dinner has at least one type of vegetable. One of my new found favourite vegetables is zucchini (and no, not the deep friend kind). In stir-fry’s, stews, stuffed or grilled I can’t get enough zucchini. That’s why I was thrilled to find out zucchini was an ingredient found in many baked goods.

Sunday, November 6, 2011


Time flies! Halloween has already come and gone, and before you know it Christmas lights will be shining all along the streets.

These past couple weeks have been really busy with school/work and extra-curricular activities (I sound like I'm in grade school!) I managed to bake a couple things to keep myself sane, but I haven't had much opportunity to write up posts. So I thought I'd give a little summary of the things I've baked over the past week or two.  
As I mentioned above, Halloween was this past Monday. I love Halloween! It's my favourite holiday (if it event counts as one). My favourite thing is decorating my house to look as creepy as possible and see how many kids I can scare! There is nothing more rewarding than hearing from a parent their child was too scared to come up to my house!