New York Cheesecake

New York Cheesecake /

  • Crust:
  • 2 c. graham cracker crumbs (about 15 sheets)
  • 2 tbsp. granulated sugar
  • Pinch salt
  • 5 tbsp. butter, melted
  • Filling:
  • 2 lbs. or (4) 8 oz. blocks plain cream cheese, room temperature
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 1 tbsp. vanilla extract
  • 1½ c. granulated sugar
  • 4 eggs, room temperature
  • ⅔ c. sour cream, room temperature
  • ⅔ c. heavy whipping cream, room temperature
  • Sour cream topping:
  • 1½ c. sour cream
  • ¼ c. powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla bean paste
  1. Cover the bottom and sides of a 9-inch springform pan with extra large aluminum foil so that the no water can leak in (it’s worth a trip to the store to buy the 18″ wide foil). Wrap it with two layer for extra security. Crimp the top of the foil around the top edge of the springform pan. You can also place the springform pan in a slightly larger cake pan (10″) that has 2″ sides (I ran out of big foil but had a nice cake pan that it just barely fit into. I didn’t have to worry at all about the foil keeping water out).
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees, placing the top rack in lower third of oven. In a large mixing bowl, mix together the finely ground graham cracker crumbs with the sugar and salt. Pour the melted butter over top and mix until the crumbs become coated.
  3. Pour into the prepared springform pan and gently smooth out (I like to use a metal measuring cup for this). Carefully work the crumbs up the sides so that they are 1½” tall and approximately ¼” thick. You should have a nice layer on the bottom and the sides should go about halfway up your pan. Place into the oven and bake for 8-10 minutes or until lightly golden brown. Turn oven down to 325 degrees.
  4. Beat the cream cheese, salt and vanilla in the bowl of a stand mixer for approximately 4 minutes or until smooth and creamy. With mixing speed on low, gradually add the sugar, then turn back up to high and beat for an additional minute. With mixing speed on low, add the eggs one at a time, mixing until incorporated. Add the sour cream, then the heavy cream, beat on high for 1 minute.
  5. Place the prepared springform pan into a large high-sided roasting pan. Pour the cream cheese filling into the springform pan, smoothing out the top with a spatula. Pour boiling water around the springform pan, taking care not to get any on the filling. You’ll want the water to go halfway up the side of the pan (this was just to the lip of my 2″ tall cake pan). Place in the oven and bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour and 45 minuets. If you like extra firm cheesecake, continue baking for an additional 14 minutes for a total of 2 hours.
  6. After the the cheesecake has baked, turn off the oven, slightly crack the door open and allow to cool for 1 hour. This is the key to getting a perfect top without it falling or cracks forming. Remove the cheesecake from the bath, dry the bottom and cover with foil. Place in the refrigerator to chill for at least 4 hours before serving, I prefer 6+ hours.
  7. Prepare the topping by combining all of the ingredients in a mixing bowl and stirring together until smooth. Using a spatula, spread over the top of the cooled cheesecake (you can also do this at about 3 hours into the chill time so that it can set during that remaining hour). During the chilling process the cheesecake should come away from the edges of the pan, making it easy and mess-free to remove it before serving.

chocolate chiffon cake

Chocolate Chiffon Cake Recipe from Taste of Home -- shared by Erma Fox of Memphis, Missouri:

TOTAL TIME: Prep: 25 min. + cooling Bake: 1 hour + cooling
MAKES: 16-20 servings


  • 7 eggs, separated
  • 1/2 cup baking cocoa
  • 3/4 cup boiling water
  • 1-3/4 cups cake flour
  • 1-3/4 cups sugar
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • ICING:
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, melted and cooled
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons hot water
  • Chopped nuts, optional


  1. Let eggs stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. In a bowl, combine cocoa and water until smooth; cool for 20 minutes. In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking soda and salt. In a bowl, whisk the egg yolks, oil and vanilla; add to dry ingredients along with the cocoa mixture. Beat until well blended. In another large bowl and with clean beaters, beat egg whites and cream of tartar on high speed until stiff peaks form. Gradually fold into egg yolk mixture.
  2. Gently spoon batter into an ungreased 10-in. tube pan. Cut through the batter with a knife to remove air pockets. Bake on lowest rack at 325° for 60-65 minutes or until top springs back when lightly touched. Immediately invert pan; cool completely. Run a knife around sides and center tube of pan. Invert cake onto a serving plate.
  3. For icing, melt butter in a saucepan. Remove from the heat; stir in the confectioners’ sugar, chocolate, vanilla and water. Drizzle over cake. Sprinkle with nuts if desired. Yield: 16-20 servings.

strawberry bavarois



  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon (1 ml) baking powder
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) sugar
  • 1 egg

Bavarian Mousse

  • 5 teaspoons (25 ml) gelatin
  • 1/3 cup (75 ml) cold water
  • 1 cup (250 ml) milk
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1 cup (250 ml) sugar
  • 4 cups (1 litre) fresh strawberries or 4 cups (1 litre) frozen and thawed strawberries (1 package of 600g)
  • 3 tablespoons (45 ml) lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 cup (375 ml) 35% cream


  • 1 L (1 litre) fresh strawberries or 4 cups (1 litre) frozen strawberries, thawed
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) sugar
  • Diced fresh strawberries to decorate, as needed



  1. With the rack in the middle position, preheat the oven to 180 °C (350 °F). Line the bottom of a 20-cm (8-inch) springform pan with parchment paper. Butter the sides.
  2. In a bowl, combine the flour and baking powder. Set aside.
  3. In another bowl, cream the butter and sugar with an electric mixer. Add the egg and beat until smooth. At low speed, add the dry ingredients. Spread into the pan and bake for about 15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the centre of the cake comes out clean. Cool completely.
  4. Line the inside wall of the pan with a strip of parchment paper. Set aside.

Bavarian Mousse

  1. In a bowl, sprinkle the gelatin on the water and let bloom for 5 minutes. Set aside.
  2. In a saucepan, bring the milk to a boil. Set aside.
  3. In a bowl, beat the egg yolks and sugar with a whisk. Gradually whisk in the warm milk. Pour the mixture back into the same saucepan and cook over low heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until the custard coats the back of the spoon. Add the gelatin and whisk until completely dissolved. Set aside.
  4. In a food processor or blender, purée the strawberries and lemon juice until smooth. Pass through a fine sieve, if desired. Stir in the custard and let cool.
  5. In a bowl, whip the cream until soft peaks form. Fold the whipped cream into the strawberry mixture. Pour on the cake. Invert a plate over the pan to prevent the surface of the Bavarian to dry. Refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight.

Arroz con Pollo

1/4 cup Achiote Oil, recipe follows
1 (3 to 4-pound) chicken, cut into 10 pieces
Fine sea or kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup Sofrito, recipe follows
1/4 cup alcaparrado or coarsely chopped pimiento-stuffed olives
1 teaspoon ground cumin
Pinch ground cloves
4 cups long-grain rice
5 cups homemade or store-bought reduced-sodium chicken broth
2 large bottled roasted red peppers, cut into 1/4-inch strips (about 1 1/2 cups)
Achiote Oil:
1 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons achiote (annatto) seeds, see Cook’s Note*
2 medium Spanish onions (about 12 ounces), cut into large chunks
3 to 4 Italian frying peppers or Cubanelle peppers, cored, seeded and cut into large chunks
16 to 20 cloves garlic, peeled
1 large bunch cilantro, washed
7 to 10 ajices dulces (see Cook’s Note*), optional
4 leaves culantro (see Cook’s Note*), optional
3 to 4 ripe plum tomatoes (about 1 pound), cored and cut into chunks
1 large red bell pepper, cored, seeded and cut into large chunks

In a paella pan or wide, shallow pan with a tight-fitting lid, heat the Achiote Oil over medium-high heat until the oil is rippling. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and add as many pieces skin side down to the pan as fit without touching. Cook, turning as necessary, until well browned on all sides, about 10 minutes. Remove the pieces as they are done and set aside. Adjust the heat under the pan, especially after you start removing chicken, so the chicken browns without the oil darkening.

When all the chicken is removed from the pan, add the Sofrito and alcaparrado. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper. Raise the heat to high and boil until most of the water is evaporated from the Sofrito. Add the cumin and cloves.

Stir in the rice until coated with oil. Return the chicken to the pan, pour in enough broth to cover the rice by the width of 2 fingers (about 1-inch), and bring to a boil. Cook over high heat until the level of liquid reaches the rice. Stir gently and reduce the heat to low. Cover the pan and cook until the liquid is absorbed, the chicken is cooked through, and the rice is tender but firm, about 20 minutes. Fluff the rice with a fork. The arroz con pollo can be brought to the table right in the pan or transferred to a large serving platter. Either way, garnish with the red pepper before serving.

Achiote Oil:
Heat the oil and annatto seeds in a small skillet over medium heat just until the seeds give off a lively, steady sizzle. Don’t overheat the mixture or the seeds will turn black and the oil will turn a nasty green. Once they’re sizzling, remove the pan from the heat and let stand until the sizzling stops. Strain and reserve in a jar with a tight-fitting lid at room temperature for up to 4 days.

*Cook’s Note: Achiote seeds are a deep orange seed with a nutty flavor. They are available in many supermarkets and almost all Latin markets.

Yield: about 1 cup

Chop the onion and Cubanelle or Italian peppers in the work bowl of a food processor until coarsely chopped. With the motor running, add the remaining ingredients 1 at a time and process until smooth. The sofrito will keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. It also freezes beautifully.

*Cook’s Note: Ajices dulces are little sweet peppers that look similar to the fiery hot Scotch bonnet or habanero peppers, only smaller. They have a wonderful fresh herbal flavor, almost like cilantro, but only a tiny bit of heat. Culantro is an herb with broad, round-tipped leaves. Its flavor is similar to cilantro, but much more intense. Both ajices dulces and culantro are available in Latin markets. If you cannot find them, simply increase the amount of cilantro to 1 1/2 bunches.

Yield: about 4 cups

key lime pie


  • 300g Hob Nobs
  • 150g butter, melted
  • 1 x 397g tin condensed milk (we used Nestlé)
  • 3 medium egg yolks
  • finely grated zest and juice of 4 limes
  • 300ml double cream
  • 1 tbsp icing sugar
  • extra lime zest, to decorate

  • Method

    1. Heat the oven to 160C/fan 140C/gas 3. Whizz the biscuits to crumbs in a food processor (or put in a strong plastic bag and bash with a rolling pin). Mix with the melted butter and press into the base and up the sides of a 22cm loose-based tart tin. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes. Remove and cool.
    2. Put the egg yolks in a large bowl and whisk for a minute with electric beaters. Add the condensed milk and whisk for 3 minutes then add the zest and juice and whisk again for 3 minutes. Pour the filling into the cooled base then put back in the oven for 15 minutes. Cool then chill for at least 3 hours or overnight if you like.
    3. When you are ready to serve, carefully remove the pie from the tin and put on a serving plate. To decorate, softly whip together the cream and icing sugar. Dollop or pipe the cream onto the top of the pie and finish with extra lime zest.

Apple crumble pie


IngredientsPastry for single-crust pie (9 inches)TOPPING:1/2 cup sugar1/2 cup all-purpose flour1/2 cup cold butter, cubedFILLING:1/2 cup sugar2 tablespoons all-purpose flour1 teaspoon ground cinnamon1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg5 cups chopped peeled tart apples.

DirectionsPreheat oven to 400°. On a lightly floured surface, roll pastry dough to a 1/8-in.-thick circle; transfer to a 9-in. pie plate. Trim pastry to 1/2-in. beyond rim of plate; flute edge. Refrigerate while preparing topping and filling.For topping, in a small bowl, mix sugar and flour; cut in butter until crumbly. For filling, in a large bowl, mix sugar, flour, cinnamon and nutmeg. Add apples and toss to coat. Transfer to pastry-lined pie plate. Sprinkle with topping.Bake 10 minutes. Reduce oven setting to 375°. Bake 40-45 minutes or until topping is browned and apples are tender. Cover edge loosely with foil during the last 15 minutes if needed to prevent overbrowning. Cool on a wire rack. Yield: 10 servings.


Ingredients for the Croissant Dough


500 g French Type 55 flour or unbleached all-purpose flour / plain flour (extra for dusting)

140 g water

140 g whole milk (you can take it straight from the fridge)

55 g sugar

40 g soft unsalted butter

11 g instant yeast

12 g salt

Other Ingredients

280 g cold unsalted butter for laminating

1 egg + 1 tsp water for the egg wash

First time croissant baker? Choose a cold day with a room temperature below 20 ºC / 68 ºF . This way you will have more time for the whole process and less chance of your precious butter being absorbed by the dough. The key is to keep the butter solid between the layers of dough, this is what gives the croissant its flaky layers.

Day 1

Making the Croissant Dough
Combine the dough ingredients and knead for 3 minutes until the dough comes together and you’ve reached the stage of low to moderate gluten development. You do not want too much gluten development because you will struggle with the dough fighting back during laminating. Shape the dough like a disc, not a ball, before you refrigerate it, so it will be easier to roll it into a square shape the following day. Place the disc on a plate, cover with clingfilm and leave in the fridge overnight.

Day 2

Laminating the Dough
Cut the cold butter (directly from the fridge) lengthwise into 1,25 cm thick slabs. Arrange the pieces of butter on waxed paper to form a square of about 15 cm x 15 cm. Cover the butter with another layer of waxed paper and with a rolling pin pound butter until it’s about 19 cm x 19 cm. Trim / straighten the edges of the butter and put the trimmings on top of the square. Now pound lightly until you have a final square of 17 cm x 17 cm. Wrap in paper and refrigerate the butter slab until needed.

Use just enough flour on your work surface to prevent the dough from sticking. However keep the amount to a minimum, otherwise too much flour will be incorporated between the layers and this will show in the end result.

Take the dough out of the fridge. With a rolling pin roll out the dough disc into a 26 cm x 26 cm square. Try to get the square as perfect as possible and with an even thickness. Get the slab of butter from the fridge. Place the dough square so one of the sides of the square is facing you and place the butter slab on it with a 45 degree angle to the dough so a point of the butter square is facing you. Fold a flap of dough over the butter, so the point of the dough reaches the center of the butter. Do the same with the three other flaps. The edges of the dough flaps should slightly overlap to fully enclose the butter. With the palm of your hand lightly press the edges to seal the seams.

Now the dough with the sealed in butter needs to be rolled out. With a lightly floured rolling pin start rolling out, on a lightly flour dusted surface, the dough to a rectangle of 20 x 60 cm. Start rolling from the center of the dough towards the edges, and not from one side of the dough all the way to the other side. This technique helps you to keep the dough at an even thickness. You can also rotate your dough 180 degrees to keep it more even, because you tend to use more pressure when rolling away from you than towards yourself. You can use these techniques during all the rolling steps of this recipe. Aim at lengthening the dough instead of making it wider and try to keep all edges as straight as possible.

Fold the dough letter style, cover with clingfilm and refrigerate for 30 minutes (fold one third of the dough on top of itself and then fold the other side over it). Repeat the rolling and folding two more times (ending up with 27 layers in total), each time rolling until the dough is about 20 cm x 60 cm. After each fold you should turn the dough 90 degrees before rolling again. The open ‘end’ of the dough should be towards you every time when rolling out the dough. After the second turn, again give it a 30 minute rest in the fridge. After the third turn you leave the dough in the fridge overnight until day 3, the actual croissant making day!

Roll out to 20 cm x 60 cmRefrigerate 30 minutesRotate 90 degreesRoll out to 20 cm x 60 cmRefrigerate 30 minutesRotate 90 degreesRoll out to 20 cm x 60 cmRefrigerate until day 3Rotate 90 degreesRoll out to 20 cm x 110 cm

Each laminating step should not take more than a few minutes. However if, due to initial inexperience for example, it should take you longer, you can fold your dough letter style, cover it and refrigerate it for 20 minutes and continue the rolling process after this rest. It is very important the butter stays solid.

Day 3

Dividing the Dough
Take the dough from the fridge. Lightly flour your work surface. Now very gently roll the dough into a long and narrow strip of 20 cm x 110 cm. If the dough starts to resist too much or shrink back during this process you can fold it in thirds and give it a rest in the fridge for 10 to 20 minutes before continuing. Do not fight the dough, when the dough refuses to get any longer, rest it in the fridge! It is such a shame to ruin two days of work.

When your dough has reached its intended shape, carefully lift it a few centimeters to allow it to naturally shrink back from both sides. This way it will not shrink when you cut it. Your strip of dough should be long enough to allow you to trim the ends to make them straight and still be left with a length of about 100 cm.

Shaping the Croissants
For the next stage you will need a tape measure and a pizza wheel. Lay a tape measure along the top of the dough. With the wheel you mark the top of the dough at 12,5 cm intervals along the length (7 marks total). Now lay the tape measure along the bottom of the dough and make a mark at 6,25 cm. Then continue to make marks at 12,5 cm intervals from this point (8 marks total). So the bottom and the top marks do not align with each other and form the basis for your triangles.

Now make diagonal cuts starting from the top corner cutting down to the first bottom mark. Make diagonal cuts along the entire length of the dough. Then change the angle and make cuts from the other top corner to the bottom mark to create triangles. Again repeat this along the length of the dough. This way you will end up with 15 triangles and a few end pieces of dough.

Using your pizza wheel, make 1.5 cm long notches in the center of the short side of each dough triangle.

Now very gently elongate each triangle to about 25 cm. This is often done by hand, but we have found that elongating with a rolling pin, very carefully, almost without putting pressure on the dough triangle, works better for us. You can try both methods and see what you think gives the best result.

After you cut a notch in the middle of the short end of the triangle, try and roll the two wings by moving your hands outwards from the center, creating the desired shape with a thinner, longer point. Also try and roll the dough very tightly at the beginning and put enough pressure on the dough to make the layers stick together (but not so much as to damage the layers of course).

Proofing and Baking
Arrange the shaped croissants on baking sheets, making sure to keep enough space between them so they will not touch when proofing and baking. Combine the egg with a teaspoon of water and whisk until smooth. Give the croissants their first thin coating of egg wash.

Proof the croissants draft-free at an ideal

temperature of 24ºC to 26.5ºC (above that temperature there is a big chance butter will leak out!). We use our small Rofco B20 stone oven as a croissant proofing cabinet by preheating it for a minute to 25ºC / 77ºF. It retains this temperature for a long time because of the oven stones and isolation. The proofing should take about 2 hours. You should be able to tell if they are ready by carefully shaking the baking sheet and see if the croissants slightly wiggle. You should also be able to see the layers of dough when looking at your croissants from the side.