Raisin Bread, Cherry Pie, and Mango Cheesecake

I’m playing a bit of catch up with the baking group I participate in (Rose’s Alpha Bakers), because I’m finally feeling like a routine is in the process of getting re-established after just a tiny bit of disruption in the last few weeks. The week that the rest of the baking group was making rum raisin french toast, I was in Boston on behalf of PTC, using robots to demonstrate the applicability of agile processes for hardware development. The following week, I took a couple of days off, and caught up with some baking, reading, hammocking, and friends (but not blogging). Then, I started a new job as a product manager at Tulip Retail. Yesterday, I completed my first race (5 km). Now, let’s pretend I’m back into routine. 😉

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Fourth of July Cheesecake

Quick post. Typing this up from Germany, on my phone, between meetings. 🙂 I made the “Fourth of July” Cheesecake as my birthday cake. Since I wasn’t planning on serving it on the fourth, and since the fourth isn’t a special holiday in Canada, I didn’t make it red, white, and blue. Instead, I made it blue, white, and blue. I realized too late that I should have made it red & white, with strawberries on top, for Canada day, since that’s July 1st (the day after my birthday). Oh well! Next time!

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Baby Blue Cheesecakes

Quick post. I’m late writing this one up, even though I baked it last week, so pictures are more or less all you get! This week’s “Alpha Bakers” selection is mini-cheesecakes, with Stilton (blue) cheese mixed in.

Walnut crust
Walnut crust
Mashed blue cheese in sour cream
Mashed blue cheese in sour cream
...looks kinda grey next to the cream cheese.
…looks kinda grey next to the cream cheese.
(Over)baked cheesecake cupcakes.
(Over)baked cheesecake cupcakes.
Crackly and sunken. :(
Crackly and sunken. 😦
Peary good?
Peary good?

I think I had two of these, Jay had one, I gave one to Gilad along with a dozen Oriolos, and I took the remaining 8 or so to work. Only a few people were brave enough to try them. One came back for seconds! He loved the taste & texture, and thought the pear went well with it. Jay said they were quite a bit less sweet than he had expected. I didn’t get a lot of feedback from anyone else, so I’m guessing this one wasn’t a huge hit! Check out the other Alpha Baker posts (link in the right sidebar) to see some other takes and commentary!

Slow Cooker Cheesecake

As someone who always bakes cheesecake in a water bath, I feel like this is something that should have occurred to me a long time ago. Why not make cheesecake in the slow cooker? It’s the perfect environment for a baked custard, providing long, slow, and moist heat. I’ve mentioned before that I have a group of co-workers that eat a “pot luck” lunch together every Thursday, and I often provide dessert. We do slow cookers in the winter, and BBQ in the summer. When I saw this month’s Canadian Living Magazine, I knew that I had some new things to try on (one of) my favourite groups of test subjects.  I don’t see the recipe on the Canadian Living website yet, but I changed it substantially anyway, so I’m going to share what I did, here.

Jar o' cheesecake
Jar o’ cheesecake

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Barcelona Brownie Bars

Since, aside from Marie, the host of the Heavenly Cake Bake-along, only one of Rose’s Heavenly Cake Bakers (congratulations, NancyB!) managed to bake their way through every recipe in Rose’s Heavenly Cakes, several of the group are continuing through to completion, with Jenn of “Knitty Baker” taking up the role of host. This week’s ‘cake’ is the Barcelona Brownie Bars. I think this was the first recipe I baked as part of the bake along, if memory serves. For nostalgia’s sake, here’s the link to my Barcelona Brownie Bars (though I’m not sure how anyone could be nostalgic for that kitchen!).

I didn’t manage to bake anything new this weekend. Instead, I made Cordon Rose Cheesecake from The Cake Bible (my standard go-to cheesecake), then drizzled it with chocolate lacquer glaze, leftover from Zach’s La Bomba. It was my husband’s birthday yesterday, so he got to choose the cake. 😉 Happily, he’s getting around much better this weekend than he was a week ago, and he’s scheduled for physio tomorrow. We event managed to frame out a new garden shed this past weekend. Roof’s next!

Chocolate Bulls Eye

I’ve got another confession to make. Unfortunately, this one isn’t a tasty tip like IKEA chocolate. This one is that I had last week off work, and I still managed not to find the time to write up last week’s cake, from the Heavenly Cake Baker’s group. Last week’s cake was the cranberry crown cheesecake. After all my angst about trying to figure out what should be used for the base, I neglected to post about it after it was baked. In fact, after checking all of my ingredients for their sodium content, picking the lowest sodium cream cheese, lowest sodium sour cream, leaving out the salt, and calculating what the max sodium content might be if I cut it into 12 pieces (about 250 mg, if I did the math right), I neglected to take the cheesecake to my family’s Christmas celebration up at my uncle’s house (about a 1.5 hr drive from our place).

Some of you may remember that my grandfather’s been having health issues off and on over the last year, and the doctors have finally made it known that he should be on a very-low-to-no-sodium diet. Congestive heart failure can apparently be mitigated by eliminating sodium. Who knew? Anyway, he’s been turning down food left and right because “nothing tastes very good”, so I thought this cheesecake might go down well. Well, Christmas morning, at about 9ish, we were about an hour from home, and I said to my husband, “I forgot the cheesecake.” He offered to drop me off at the farm (my grandparents’ home – adjacent farm to my uncle’s) and turn around and go home for it, but that just didn’t seem worth it. When we walked in at my uncle’s place, after I greeted my cousins and removed boots, etc, my husband asked my aunt if I’d told her my sad news. She looked quite concerned, and when I told her I’d forgotten the cheesecake, her face dropped. “I only stayed awake all night thinking about cranberry cheesecake.”

Oh well. Here it is, before I forgot it in the fridge.

Cranberry Crown Cheesecake

Now let’s talk about this week’s cake.

Chocolate Bulls Eyes

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Ginger Cheesecake with Gingerbread Crust

I’m a little late on this post, but I baked the cake early! This week is another free choice week with the heavenly cake bakers. My husband had a halloween potluck at work on October 28, and he was tasked with dessert. I’m the dessert person in our house, so he asked if I could make something. I gave him the list of unbaked cakes, and told him to pick something. He headed straight for the cheesecakes, and came up with this one.

Aren't they cute?

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