Espresso, Pecan, and Dark Chocolate Coffee Cake

Espresso, Pecan, and Dark Chocolate Coffee Cake One of the worst pains I have known in my life is the pain of seeing the person you love more than anything mourning. Knowing  that they are in an incredible amount of pain and despair and feeling as though there is nothing I can do to put their heart at ease. Wishing I could fast forward time for them to the day when it will feel at least a little bit easier. But instead, I sit by their side and hold their hand and hope that it’s enough. Yet I know that nothing ever will be.

Espresso, Pecan, and Dark Chocolate Coffee Cake

It is always my knee jerk reaction to turn to food. To feed someone in their time of emotional need. I frantically think of what I can do to make it easier and I end up offering food. “What can I make you? Let me make you this, or that!” Like food is going to heal the soul or something. And maybe it does, in a way. For most of us, food feels nurturing. But it can also feel insignificant in a time of loss.

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Fluffy Lemon-Rosemary Layer Cake with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting

Fluffy Lemon-Rosemary Layer Cake with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting- Baker Bettie

I made a cake this weekend. That sounds like a small statement. But listen to me when I say: this is a big statement!

Cake is my baking arch enemy. I have just had so many failures with cakes. If you saw my last post, you know that this was the cake I had planned to make for my birthday. I decided to make a giant cookie instead because I knew it would be far less stressful and much more enjoyable for me to eat. But I was determined to make this cake anyway. And man, am I proud of it!

Fluffy Lemon-Rosemary Layer Cake with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting- Baker Bettie

We bakers are known for our patience. Well, let me tell you this: I am not patient! Not at all. And this cake took me all freaking morning to make so it also took all my energy to keep myself in the cake baking game. To keep myself from taking any shortcuts and to just plain finish. I give those wedding cake bakers mad cred. They deserve it.

Fluffy Lemon-Rosemary Layer Cake with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting- Baker BettieI kept the look of the frosting on this one simple. The reasons for this is 3-fold. #1: I wanted it to look a little old fashioned. #2: I pretty much only like cream cheese frosting and it’s not the easiest to work with as far as decorating. #3: Let’s be honest, I don’t have any cake frosting skillz (with a z). This is the best I could do. One challenge at a time, folks! One challenge at a time.

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Raspberry Swirled Lemon Cheesecake

Raspberry Swirled Lemon Cheesecake Cheesecake is my husbands all time favorite meal. Chocolate chip cheesecake to be exact. And yes, I said favorite meal. That is always his answer when asked what his favorite meal is. One of the many reasons why I love him so much.

We have gone to New York together twice and both times cheesecake is high on the must eat list. The cheesecake from Carnegie Deli has been both of our favorites. There is just something about the texture, the tanginess, and that delicious sugar cookie crust. It is just perfect.

Raspberry Swirled Lemon Cheesecake After visiting New York a few weeks ago and indulging in the amazing cheesecake again, my husband said to me very seriously, “You HAVE to learn how to make this.” And of course I told him that I would try. I love it when people give me challenges revolving around food. But as it turns out, it didn’t even have to be challenging. I couldn’t believe it when I found the supposed actual recipe on Carnegie Deli’s website.

Raspberry Swirled Lemon Cheesecake One day I will make it exactly as is, but yesterday I decided to use it as the base for a raspberry lemon adaptation. It turned out fantastic. I much prefer this to the chocolate chip version. Sorry Mr. BB, but this is far superior. I guess it is my love for lemon and berries, especially in the summer.  Perfectly tart and creamy with that buttery sugar cookie crust to balance it all out. It is dangerous having this whole thing in my fridge! HELP!

Raspberry Swirled Lemon Cheesecake

Raspberry Swirled Lemon Cheesecake

Raspberry Swirled Lemon Cheesecake

Ingredients

    for the sugar cookie crust
  • 1cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, chilled and cut bits
  • for the raspberry swirl
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen raspberries
  • 2 TBSP sugar
  • splash of water
  • for the lemon cheesecake filling
  • 3 8oz packages of cream cheese (1 1/2 lbs), room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon flour
  • 3 lemons, zested and juiced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 eggs plus 1 egg yolk, room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream

Instructions

    for the crust
  1. Combine all of the crust ingredients in a mixing bowl. Use a pastry blender or a fork and mix together just until the ingredients start to come together and stick into a ball.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Butter the bottom and sides of a spring-form pan. Gently and evenly press the sugar cookie mixture into the bottom and 1/2 the way up the sides of the pan.
  3. Bake the crust for 12 minutes, until lightly browned. Allow to cool while making the filling.
  4. for the raspberry swirl
  5. Combine the raspberries, sugar, and water in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook until the berries start breaking down and mixture starts to thicken. Use a wooden spoon to break up the berries while cooking.
  6. Pour the mixture through a strainer and set aside the raspberry syrup to cool.
  7. for the lemon filling
  8. In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese until smooth. (you can use a hand mixer or a stand mixer). Slowly add in the sugar while continuing to beat until all incorporated. Beat in the flour, lemon zest and juice, vanilla, eggs, egg yolk, and heavy cream until the mixture is very smooth.
  9. Lower the oven temperature to 300ºF. Wrap foil around the bottom of the spring-form pan to prevent moisture from the water bath from seeping in. Pour the filling into the cooled crust. Drizzle the raspberry syrup over the top of the cheesecake and use a butter knife to create a swirl.
  10. Set the filled spring-form pan into a roasting pan. Gently pour about 2 inches of hot water into the roasting pan being very carful not to get it into the cheesecake.
  11. Bake at 300ºF for 1 1/2 hours until set but still slightly jiggly in the middle. Remove from the oven and allow to come to room temperature. Refrigerate for at least several hours but preferably overnight before removing the sides of the spring-form pan.

Notes

Recipe adapted from Carnegie Deli Cheesecake Recipe

http://bakerbettie.com/raspberry-swirled-lemon-cheesecake/

White Chocolate Covered Strawberry and Dark Chocolate Fudge Cake

White Chocolate Covered Strawberry and Dark Chocolate Fudge Cake

Do you remember the first time you ever got kissed? I sure do. It was in 6th grade. I had a cool boyfriend that went to a different school. We met at the skating rink. He asked me to come skate with him during the couples skate. He had a broken arm at the time and I remember thinking how cool he looked with a cast on. So we skated around holding hands and then he asked me to be his girlfriend.

One night my best friend invited me to come to her school’s carnival night which also happened to be the same school my boyfriend went to. That was the night I got kissed. My best friend dared him to kiss me. So he did. How romantic.

White Chocolate Covered Strawberry and Dark Chocolate Fudge Cake

It’s funny how vivid I remember all of that. As unimportant as it seems now, it was such a huge deal then. But I just as vividly remember the day my husband first kissed me too. It was our first unofficial date. We had become really good friends during the months prior and finding ourselves both suddenly single there was some unspoken understanding that hanging out didn’t mean the same thing anymore. He told me he wanted to take me to the lake nearby because I had once told him that I had never been. I was already impressed that he remembered that from just a passing conversation.

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30 Life Lessons I Learned From My Sister and Strawberry Birthday Cake

Strawberry Birthday Cake (vegan)

30 Life Lessons I’ve Learned From My Sister…

#30: How to put on makeup. And most importantly, how to put on mascara without getting clumps.

#29: How to flirt with boys.

#28: Share. (that was a hard lesson for me)

#27: Confidence is very important. Even if you have to fake it.

#26: Don’t set your cell phone down in a restaurant or the bathroom stall. You will walk away from it.

#25: Rescuing an animal is one of the most fulfilling things you can do.

#24: Rockstar Energy drinks are both very delicious and very bad for you.

#23: Heartbreak is a very real and necessary part of life.

#22: The Office, True Blood, and Glee are all shows worth watching.

#21: Don’t be scared of failure.

Strawberry Birthday Cake (vegan)

#20: Try new things, and especially new foods.

#19: Wearing bright yellow tube socks up to your knees with tennis shoes is not fashionable.

#18: Dressing with a pinup flair is very fashionable.

#17: How to forgive and move on.

#16: If a girl you don’t know is giving you judgmental looks, give her a compliment and she will stop.

#15: Don’t answer the phone when you’re sleeping.

#14: Telling people you are going to do something is really good motivation to make yourself actually do it!

#13: A boy who doesn’t want to be with you, dosen’t desserve to be with you.

#12: Finding a fun way to work out is the only way you will keep working out.

#11: Treasure your childhood and tell stories about it so you don’t start to forget.

Strawberry Birthday Cake (vegan)

#10: Wear lipstick. It’s a game changer.

#9: Wait for the right man. You will know it when you find it, and he will be so worth it.

#8: ALWAYS get back up.

#7: Things do happen for a reason.

#6: Rain on your wedding day is good luck. Just go with it and don’t let it ruin your day.

#5: Keep your head up, even when people are trying to knock you down.

#4: See the world. It’s how you learn about it and about yourself. (one of her biggest lessons to me that I have not yet done)

#3: Dream big.

#2: Live those big dreams. Just do it.

#1: What the true meaning of a best friend and unconditional love looks and feels like.

Happy Birthday Kelsey! I hate that I never get to celebrate with you, but I love you so much. I hear 30′s are supposed to be the best years of your life. If that is true, you have a lot in store for you!

Love, Kristin

Strawberry Birthday Cake (vegan)

Strawberry Birthday Cake Vanilla Bean Icing (vegan option)

Strawberry Birthday Cake Vanilla Bean Icing (vegan option)

Ingredients

    For the Cake
  • 3 eggs equivalent of egg replacer (or 3 eggs)
  • ½ cup almond milk, (or your milk of preference)
  • ¾ cups strawberry puree (made with fresh or frozen strawberries)
  • 1½ tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp almond extract
  • 2 cups cake flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1¼ cups sugar
  • ⅔ cup unsalted butter (I used Earth Balance), softened but still cool and cut into pieces
  • For the Frosting
  • 1½ cups butter (I used Earth Balance non-dairy), at room temperature
  • 4 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 tablespoon almond milk (or other milk)
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 1 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped
  • ½ cup strawberry puree (made with fresh or frozen strawberries)

Instructions

    For the Cake
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Grease and flour 2 8- or 9-inch cake pans, and set aside.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg replacer (or eggs), milk, strawberry puree, and vanilla and almond extracts. Set aside.
  4. In the bowl of a standing mixer, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.
  5. With the mixer on low, add the butter one piece at a time, mixing until the dough comes together and looks sandy (do not allow the mixture to become doughy)
  6. Add about half of the wet mixture and mix on low speed until incorporated.
  7. Increase to medium-high and beat until light and fluffy.
  8. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the remaining wet mixture until incorporated.
  9. Scrape the bowl, if necessary, then increase speed to medium-high and beat for about 20 seconds. The batter will just barely look a little curdled.
  10. Divide that batter evenly between the prepared pans.
  11. Bake for 23-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  12. Cool completely before frosting.
  13. For the Frosting
  14. In the bowl of a standing mixer, whip the butter for 8 minutes on medium speed, until the butter is light in color and creamy.
  15. Add the sugar and milk and mix on low speed for 1 minute.
  16. Stir in the vanilla bean seeds and almond extract.
  17. Increase mixer to medium speed and whip the mixture for another 6 minutes, until the frosting is very light and creamy.
  18. With the mixer on low, incorporate the strawberry mixture.
  19. Use frosting immediately or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Allow to sit at room temperature for 10 minutes before using out of the refrigerator.
http://bakerbettie.com/30-life-lessons-i-learned-from-my-sister-and-strawberry-birthday-cake/


 

Pumpkin, Chocolate, Walnut Coffee Cake w/Warm Toffee Sauce (vegan)

Pumpkin Coffee Cake with Walnuts and Chocolate Chips (vegan)

This is most likely going to be my last post of my Fall Vegan Comfort Food Series for Vegan MoFo. I was striving to do 20 posts, but I only made it to 12. What can I say, life got in the way. I would love to do a few more this week, but on Sunday my husband and I are leaving for Costa Rica for my sister’s wedding! We will be spending 8 amazing days there and I still have a lot of packing and cleaning to do before we leave.

Pumpkin Coffee Cake with Walnuts and Chocolate Chips (vegan)

I always get super anxious before taking leave from work. I want to make sure every single little loose end is tied up and everything will run smoothly while I’m gone. And I know that won’t happen. It is hard to let that go. To just get away and relax and not worry about the stresses of work. But I am damn determined to relax and have fun! It is nice that we really can’t use our cell phones there. It forces you to cut yourself off. Which is also really good for my husband. Don’t even get me started with him and his work calls the day before our wedding and on our honeymoon… He isn’t even taking his phone this time. I love it!

Pumpkin Coffee Cake with Walnuts and Chocolate Chips (vegan)

This month sure has flown by. I have had a blast being a part of Vegan MoFo this year! I am always looking to expand my baking skillz (yes, with a z) and I feel I have grown a lot this month! I am so much more confident with my vegan baked goods and I love that! I love to be able to bake things with confidence that whoever I share it with will be able to eat it!

This coffee cake was a huge hit at work. The warm toffee sauce really puts it over the top. Pumpkin, Fall Spices, Chocolate, Toasted Walnuts, and Toffee. Seriously. So good!

Pumpkin Coffee Cake with Walnuts and Chocolate Chips (vegan)

Pumpkin, Chocolate, Walnut Coffee Cake w/Warm Toffee Sauce (vegan)

Pumpkin, Chocolate, Walnut Coffee Cake w/Warm Toffee Sauce (vegan)

Ingredients

    for the cake
  • 15 oz can pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup cane sugar
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup almond milk
  • 1 TBSP vanilla extract
  • 2⅓ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • 2 cups vegan dark chocolate, chopped (I like ghirardelli 72%)
  • 1 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped (optional)
  • powdered sugar for dusting
  • for the toffee sauce
  • ½ cup cane sugar
  • ½ cup soy creamer
  • pinch of salt
  • 3 TBSP earth balance vegan butter

Instructions

    for the cake
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Grease a bundt pan and set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, stir the pumpkin, oil, sugars, almond milk, and vanilla together.
  4. Stir in the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and pumpkin pie spice.
  5. Fold in the chocolate and walnuts.
  6. Fill the prepared bundt pan with the batter.
  7. Bake for 45 to 55 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean.
  8. Remove cake from the oven and allow to cool.
  9. Turn out the cake onto a plate and dust with powdered sugar once completely cooled.
  10. Serve with warm toffee sauce on the side.
  11. for the toffee sauce
  12. Combine all ingredients in a small heavy bottomed sauce pan over medium low heat.
  13. Stir until the sugar dissolves and the mixture begins to simmer.
  14. Stop stirring and allow the mixture the boil and thicken for 3-4 minutes.
  15. Allow to cool slightly and serve warm with the coffee cake.
http://bakerbettie.com/pumpkin-chocolate-walnut-coffee-cake-wwarm-toffee-sauce-vegan/


 

Anniversary Chocolate Chip Vanilla Bean Cheesecake

Chocolate Chip Cheesecake

My husband and I celebrated our 1 year anniversary yesterday. I cannot even believe that it has been an entire year since we spent the most amazing and fun day with our family and friends.

We laughed, we cried, we danced, we sang, we hugged, we kissed, we left husband and wife.

I knew before even asking what Chris would want more than anything for this occasion. A chocolate chip cheesecake.

When we were first dating and Chris found out that I liked to bake, it was the first thing he asked me to make him. I had never even heard of cheesecake with chocolate chips in it before, but he insisted that it was the best dessert ever.  I do have to disagree with this statement.  Tiramisu is the no doubt the best dessert ever.  Don’t even try and argue with me about this. But this cheesecake is quite delicious.  Over the years I have made this for him for all special occasions and when this happens he will eat cheesecake for most meals for a week. Not kidding. One of the many reasons I love him.

Chocolate Chip Cheesecake

At our wedding we even had a chocolate chip cheesecake as the grooms cake. Chris’s lovely sister made it for us, and it was delicious!

Chocolate Chip Cheesecake

Even though I made him a cheesecake for this celebration, we still had to follow the tradition of having a few bites of our cake topper too. I have to admit, I was a bit nervous about the thought of taking a bite of cake that had been in the freezer for a year. But surprisingly, it was still delicious. We now have a cheesecake and a chocolate cake in our refrigerator. My husband will not be eating anything substantial for the next week. I’m sure of it.

Chocolate Chip Cheesecake

As for me, I am gearing up to for my first year participating in Vegan MoFo! This will be my last dairy and egg filled recipe for a while. Take a good long look at it!

Chocolate Chip CheesecakeIf you aren’t familiar with the the event, it is a month long blogging event where participants blog all month long about all things vegan. My theme will be: Fall Comfort Foods. No, this does not mean pumpkin spice everything (although I’m sure pumpkin will be involved at some point.) I hope you will all join me as I try to fit in 20 posts in the month of October!

Chocolate Chip Cheesecake

Chocolate Chip Vanilla Bean Cheesecake

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 2 hours

Ingredients

    for the crust
  • 1 cup chocolate graham cracker crumbs (about 8 sheets)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup melted butter
  • for the cheesecake
  • 32 oz cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups sour cream, room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs, room temperature
  • 3 egg yolks, room temperature
  • 1 TBSP vanilla
  • seeds of on vanilla bean
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 12 oz chocolate chips
  • for the chocolate shell
  • 3 oz dark chocolate
  • 1/4 cup butter

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees
  2. Combine graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and melted butter
  3. Firmly press the mixture firmly and evenly into the bottom of a spring form pan
  4. Place the crust in the refrigerator while preparing the filling
  5. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese and sour cream at medium speed for several minutes until fluffy
  6. Add the sugar and beat until combined
  7. Add the eggs and egg yolks one at a time to the mixture, beating in between
  8. Scrape down the bowl
  9. Add the vanilla, vanilla bean seeds, lemon juice and beat for another minute
  10. Fold in the chocolate chips
  11. Pour the mixture into the spring form pan
  12. Bake at 250 for 1 hour
  13. Turn the oven off and leave the cheesecake in the oven for 1 more hour
  14. Put the cheesecake in the refrigerator for at least 8 hours to chill completely
  15. Run a knife around the edge of the pan and then remove the sides
  16. Place the chocolate and butter in an oven proof bowl or cup
  17. Microwave for 30 seconds and then stir the mixture
  18. Microwave for 15 more seconds if the chocolate is still not melted
  19. Pour the chocolate over the cheesecake and use a rubber spatula to smooth over the top
http://bakerbettie.com/anniversary-chocolate-chip-vanilla-bean-cheesecake/

Mini Flourless Chocolate Tortes

Mini Flourless Chocolate Tortes

The big stuff…

How much I love and appreciate my family and friends.

The realization of how much I could be affecting my client’s lives.

The realization of how much my clients are affecting my life.

Trying to figure out what I REALLY want to do with my life.

My attempt at trying to find a level of compassion and understanding with each person I meet

Mini Flourless Chocolate Tortes

The small stuff…

I really want to cut my hair.

I really don’t want to clean the house.

I wonder what I should make for dinner?

Could I blog about what I decide to make for dinner?

We should just go out to eat.

Mini Flourless Chocolate Tortes

The big and small stuff… 

These mini tortes.

Big big flavor hidden in a small little package.

They are so rich and fudgy that one is definitely plenty to satisfy a sweet craving without packing on tons of calories!

Mini Flourless Chocolate Tortes

Mini Flourless Chocolate Tortes (gluten free)

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 15-20

Miniature rich and dense chocolate tortes. Your guests will never know these are gluten free!

Ingredients

  • 12 oz semi sweet chocolate
  • 6 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 3 tbsp arrowroot powder (or cornstarch)
  • 4 eggs
  • raspberries (optional)
  • Chocolate Ganache
  • 4 ounces semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate
  • 1/4 cup milk (I used almond milk because that is what I had)
  • pinch of salt

Instructions

    For the Tortes
  1. Preheat oven to 325.
  2. Grease a mini muffin pan and set aside.
  3. In a medium glass bowl melt chocolate and butter over a double boiler stirring frequently until smooth. Set aside to cool slightly.
  4. Crack eggs into the bowl of a stand mixer and beat on high until pale yellow and frothy. About 3-4 minutes.
  5. Stir in the salt and arrowroot powder into the melted chocolate until well combined.
  6. Pour 1/3 of the egg mixture into the chocolate and stir gently until combined. Continue 2 more times until all of the egg is combined.
  7. Fill the muffin tins half full with the chocolate mixture.
  8. Bake at 325 for 7-10 minutes. Mine were perfect at 9 minutes.
  9. Allow to cool and top with ganache and a raspberry.
  10. For the Ganache
  11. Melt chocolate in a glass bowl over a double boiler.
  12. Stir in milk and a pinch of salt.
  13. Set aside to cool slightly.
http://bakerbettie.com/mini-flourless-chocolate-tortes/

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