Bourbon & Roasted Peach Cheesecake with Caramel Sauce

Baking always fixes a rough mood, rough day, or even a rough week for me. Being a cheesecake lover, I decided this week would be a perfect time to try out a new cheesecake recipe with peaches, my favorite fruit. And this one has booze! A soft ending to a hard week. I like a good, smoky bourbon on the rocks. Let’s try some bourbon on a cheesecake. Shall we?!

While reading the instructions for this cheesecake I was first in love with the crust, having brown sugar, cracker crumbs, and pecans. That is a good start to any dessert. As I read on, I read how the egg is separated and you create almost a meringue and a whipped filling. This created a really fluffy batter. I made sure to surround the spring form pan with foil but made sure to allow space for rising. Watching it in the oven was interesting. The cheesecake rose and when it cooled it sank down and was a great soft textured heavy cheesecake like I love.  After cooling and decorating the top with the roasted peaches I thought It still needed something. So, I added a simple caramel topping whipped up fast on the stove. The nurses on the floor loved this recipe and of course It was Grandma McMahan approved. Enjoy!

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Ingredients:

For the Bourbon Roasted Peaches:

8 ripe but firm peaches (about 3 pounds)

6 tablespoons (3 ounces) unsalted butter, melted

2/3 cup Bourbon (I had Evan Williams on hand)

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar

For the Crust:

2 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs

1/2 cup toasted pecans, finely chopped

1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, melted

1/3 cup packed dark brown sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

 For the Cheesecake Filling

4 large eggs, separated and at room temperature

2 vanilla bean pods, seeds scraped out

1/2 cup (about 3 1/2 ounces) granulated sugar

16 ounces cream cheese, cut into small pieces and at room temperature

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 cup heavy cream

For the Caramel Sauce

1 packed cup brown sugar

½ cup half-and-half

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 pinch salt

1 tablespoon vanilla

Directions

1.For the Bourbon Roasted Peaches: Adjust oven racks to upper-middle and lower-middle positions and preheat oven to 450°F. Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with foil.

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2.Slice 4 peaches into 3/4-inch thick slices. Arrange in single layer on 1 prepared baking sheet. Cut remaining 4 peaches into 1/4-inch diced pieces. Arrange in single layer on second prepared baking sheet.

3.Whisk together melted butter, bourbon, and salt in medium bowl. Drizzle half of bourbon mixture on sliced peaches and remaining half on diced peaches. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons sugar on sliced peaches and remaining 2 tablespoons on diced peaches. Toss peaches to coat an rearrange in single layer. Roast until peaches are tender and liquid is syrupy, about 15 minutes, alternating baking sheets’ positions halfway through. Transfer to cooling rack and cool completely, about 20 minutes.

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4.For the Crust: Decrease oven temperature to 350°F and adjust oven rack to middle position. Line exterior of springform pan with foil. Combine cracker crumbs, pecans, melted butter, brown sugar, and salt in medium bowl, stirring until crumbs are thoroughly saturated with butter. Press onto bottom and up sides of pan, leaving about 1/2 inch from top of pan. (I only went up slightly with the crumbs. I like to see the layers)

5.Bake crust until golden, 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer to cooling rack and cool completely, 15 to 20 minutes.

6.For the Cheesecake Filling: Decrease oven temperature to 275°F. In large, clean, dry bowl, whip egg whites and vanilla bean seeds on medium speed until soft peaks form, about 2 minutes. Gradually add sugar and continue whipping until stiff peaks form, 1 to 2 minutes longer. If using the stand mixer bowl, transfer whites to separate bowl and wipe out bowl.

7.Beat cream cheese, egg yolks, and flour on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add cream and continue beating until creamy and smooth, about 2 minutes longer, scraping down sides and bottom of bowl with rubber spatula as necessary. Stir in diced peaches.

8.Stir 1/3 of egg whites into cream cheese mixture, then, gently fold in remaining egg whites. Scrape batter into cooled crust and bake until cheesecake is set but still slightly wobbly in the center, 75 to 90 minutes. Shut oven off and let cheesecake sit in oven 20 minutes.

9.Transfer cheesecake to cooling rack and cool for 1 hour. Transfer to refrigerator and cool until completely chilled and set, at least 3 hours. Remove from springfrom mold and set on serving dish. Top with sliced peaches.

10. For the Caramel sauce: Mix the brown sugar, half-and-half, butter and salt in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Cook while whisking gently for 5 to 7 minutes, until it gets thicker. Add the vanilla and cook another minute to thicken further. Turn off the heat, cool slightly and pour the sauce into a jar. Refrigerate until cold.

Pour on top of cheesecake. Refrigerate. Devour!

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(Adapted from seriouseats.com)

Strawberry & Blueberry Tart with Lemon Curd Mascarpone

When you have fresh blueberries and strawberries on hand, what do you do? I’ll pair it with some cream, a crust, and be a happy, happy boy. This recipe is easy to whip up for a fresh dessert during the summer or anytime. It looks impressive and tastes delicious!

Strawberry and Blueberry Tart with Lemon Curd Mascarpone

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For the Pastry crust

I used the same recipe that I used for my lemon curd tart:

https://pottsboilingover.com/2017/05/25/the-perfect-lemon-tart/

I blinde baked it for 30 minutes before cooling and filling the tart. Using the recipe for the lemon curd as well. In a pinch store bought curd is great.

For the mascarpone filling

  • ¾ cup whipping cream
  • 1 8-ounce container mascarpone cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 heaping tablespoon powdered sugar
  • 1 cup lemon curd, store bought
  • 1 pint strawberries, hulled and sliced
  • 1 pint blueberries
  • ¼ cup seedless raspberry or strawberry preserves
  • Mint leaves for garnish*

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Instructions

For the mascarpone filling

  1. Whip the cream on high with a hand mixer or a stand mixer. Add the softened mascarpone cheese and powdered sugar and beat to mix well. Fold in the lemon curd with a wooden spoon.
  2. In a separate bowl, mix the blueberries and sliced strawberries. Heat the preserves until thinned and mix into the berries. (30 sec in the micro is more than enough. Let cool and stir.) Spoon the mascarpone into the cooled tart crust and top with the berries. Garnish with mint leaves if desired.

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(adapted from foodiecrush.com)

Macarons Fit for a Bride

“Dining with one’s friends and beloved family is certainly one of life’s primal and most innocent delights, one that is both soul satisfying and eternal.”- Julia Child

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This past weekend I made four different kinds of French macarons for my sister’s bridal shower. I planned on baking just a few dozen but, after making 3 batches of each kind it got a little out of hand.

The colors requested were the colors of the wedding; navy, orange, gold, and maroon. The flavors I tried to correspond with the color of the macaron shell. The gold, or yellow, was a lemon and buttercream macaron. (recipe I shared earlier): https://pottsboilingover.com/2017/06/23/the-french-macaron/   The orange macaron used the same recipe with orange zest in the shell and  was filled with a circle of cream cheese icing and had a dollop of orange marmalade in the center. The maroon was filled with a circle of cream cheese icing and a dollop of raspberry preserves in the middle. Lastly, the navy was the challenge. I didn’t want the macaron to be bitter bc of the amount of color I would have to use so I decided to use the same recipe I use for my Nutella or peanut butter macarons: https://pottsboilingover.com/2017/07/22/the-dark-side-of-macarons/ with a navy gel color to give it a dark blue velvet taste. It was a chocolate macaron shell with a peanut butter butter cream center. For the orange, maroon, and yellow coloring I used Wilton brand gel food coloring. The navy was Americolor. The Macaron 10 tier tower was from eBay. These custom colored delights were a hit at the party. Enjoy!

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Cream Cheese Icing and Raspberry Preserves
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Orange Zest and Cream Cheese Icing
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Blue Velvet with Peanut Butter Buttercream
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Lemon Buttercream

Banana Layer Cake with Brown Sugar and Cinnamon Buttercream

After a long week of work and class I was ready to have a night to myself and relax. So, after a ten-hour day of clinicals, I decided to do what I enjoy most; spending the evening in the kitchen. So, on the way home, I stopped by the local grocery and picked up a few ingredients I didn’t have. I took my extra ripe bananas and dark brown sugar home and changed from scrubs into a tee shirt and gym shorts.

This is a three-layer banana cake with a brown sugar and cinnamon whipped buttercream frosting. This recipe I stumbled upon while searching for a cake that I could experiment with and share with my coworkers. (and of course a slice taken to my grandmother for her seal of approval) It created a dense banana bread style cake and the icing was light and extra sweet. After using 6 sticks of butter in one cake, I’ve never felt so American. 😉

This will definitely become a staple for sure. Enjoy!

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Banana Cake

  • 2 cups All Purpose Flour
  • 1 cup Cake Flour
  • 1 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1/2 tsp Ground Cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 3/4 cup Butter, softened (3 sticks)
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 1/2 cup Brown Sugar
  • 3 Eggs
  • 2 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 3 Over Ripe Bananas, mashed
  • 1 1/2 cups Milk or Buttermilk
  • 2 Tbsp Lemon Juice* omit if using Buttermilk

Cinnamon Brown Sugar Frosting

  • 1 1/2 cup butter (softened)
  • 2/3 cup dark brown sugar, packed
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 6 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

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Banana Cake

*Note* If using buttermilk, do not use additional lemon. If using milk and lemon, whisk the milk and lemon together and set aside until needed in recipe*

Preheat oven to 375.

In a bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients up to salt. Set aside. In a stand mixer, beat together the butter and sugars until light, and fluffy. Scrape down the sides and mix again until it is completely incorporated.

Beat in eggs, one at a time, mixing for 30 seconds in between each egg. Add in vanilla extract and combine. Add in mashed bananas.

With the mixer on low, add in 1/3 of the flour mixture, and alternate with 1/3 of the milk/lemon or buttermilk mixture. Repeat until all of the flour and liquid is combined.

Distribute between three greased and parchment lined 8-inch cake pans. Bake individually for approximately 30-35 minutes each, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Let cool on a baking rack for 10-15 minutes between removing from the pan. Wait to decorate until the cakes have cooled completely.

Cinnamon Brown Sugar Buttercream:

In stand mixer bowl with paddle attachment or with hand mixer, whisk softened butter until fluffy. Add brown sugar, salt, vanilla and cinnamon and beat until smooth. Scrape down sides of mixer to make sure that it is incorporated evenly.

Add in one cup of powdered sugar at a time, beating well after each addition.

With mixer on medium high speed, steadily pour in the heavy whipping cream pouring nice and slow until desired consistency. When incorporated and very light, and fluffy stop mixing – about 5 minutes. Be patient – beat it entirely for 5 minutes.

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I cut parchment paper in 3 pieces so I could ice the cake and have a clean base after removing. Spread onto layered cake. (This recipe makes more than enough frosting so you can have fun with design) 

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(Adapted from countrycleaver.com)

Blueberry & Cream Choux Pastry

This past weekend for a family picnic I decided to make something new. So, I decide on two different types of éclairs. First was blueberry and the second was chocolate peanut butter. Today I am sharing the blueberry recipe. Once put on a plate they only lasted minutes. So i filled another, they disappeared. So, I left the last half dozen in the house away from the picnic. Within the half hour, the kids found and devoured them. So this experiment was a success.

This éclair is a choux pastry shell baked and filled with blueberry preserves and topped with a blueberry buttercream made from fresh blueberries. Enjoy!

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Choux pastry

See previous post for lemon and raspberry choux pastry:

https://pottsboilingover.com/2017/06/01/the-great-british-baking-show/

Blueberry preserves

  • 2 1/4 pounds blueberries
  • 3 3/4 cups sugar
  • Juice of 1 small lemon
  1. Rinse the blueberries in cold water without soaking them.
  2. Place blueberries in preserving pan with the sugar and lemon juice. Bring to a simmer.
  3. Pour simmering mixture into a ceramic (or glass) bowl. Cover with parchment round and transfer to refrigerator. Refrigerate overnight.
  4. The next day, transfer mixture to a large pot and bring to a boil over high heat, stirring gently.
  5. Continue to cook over high heat for 5 to 10 minutes, stirring and skimming as necessary.
  6. Check set (mixture should reach 221 degrees).
  7. Let cool and pipe into choux pastry using a pastry tip and bag. (It helps if you make holes into the pastry first.) (Buuuut  because of time restraints I used Smucker’s) 😀

Blueberry buttercream

  • 1 cup of butter, softened
  • 8 oz of cream cheese, softened
  • 1.2 oz (34 grams) freeze dried blueberries, pulverized in a mini food processor
    • (I used a cup and a half of fresh blueberries and blended them and put them through a fine mesh strainer before adding them to the mixer)
  • 3-5 cups of confectioners sugar

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In a large mixing bowl, mix butter until it is softened and uniform. Add cream cheese and beat together until it is uniform. Add pulverized blueberries. Add 3 cups of sugar to the mixture and mix. Add more sugar if necessary.  Mix again until mixture is creamy and spreadable. Add more sugar if necessary, otherwise prepare to frost choux pastries.

 

 

One Delicious Mistake

I am not a stranger to making mistakes or learning by failures. This has been something I’ve been especially used to from driving, to cooking, to relationships. So in true Cory fashion my recipe today is the result of a mistake. Late Saturday evening, this past weekend, I needed a good distraction so I decided to try a new recipe. I decided to make a lavender blueberry bread from fresh blueberries from my parents’ neighbors’ garden. After taking it out of the oven, I let it set on a cooling rack and decided relaxed on the sofa, giving it a few minutes to cool before storing it for the next day. And again, in true Cory fashion, I woke up at 8 am the next morning. Of course, by this time, the bread seemed a little bit dry from its 8 hours on the cooling rack. In an effort to not waste my still delicious looking loaf, I  improvised. So, this is my take on a blueberry torte. One damn delicious mistake.

This torte is one layer of Blueberry bread, one layer of double cream and mascarpone cheese, and one layer of fresh blueberries. It was delicious at the family picnic Sunday and also at work Monday evening. Enjoy!

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BREAD INGREDIENTS

  • 4 oz. Cream Cheese, softened
  • 8 oz.(2 sticks) Butter, softened
  • ½ Cup Sour Cream
  • 1⅓ Cups Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 4 lg. Eggs
  • 1 cup of the blueberries
  • 4 drops Lavender Oil
  • 2 Cups All Purpose Flour
  • 4 tablespoons Cornstarch
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

BREAD INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat the oven to 425° F. Grease a large, non-stick loaf pan. If it is not non-stick, grease and flour it.
  2. In a bowl, whisk together the flour, cornstarch, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  3. Place butter in the bowl of a stand mixer and beat until light and creamy.
  4. Add the cream cheese and beat until well combined.
  5. Add sour cream and beat in well.
  6. Add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.
  7. Add in the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  8. Puree 1 cup of the blueberries and run through a fine mesh strainer. Add to wet batter.
  9. Beat in the vanilla and lavender.
  10. Add the dry ingredients and mix in until just combined.
  11. Scoop the batter into the prepared pan and bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, reduce the heat to 350 degrees. Bake for another 40-45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  12. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes and then remove and cool on a wire rack.

Mascarpone Layer

  • 16 ounces Mascarpone
  • 2 cup Powdered Sugar
  • 4 cup Heavy Whipping Cream
  • 3 tablespoon Fresh Lemon Juice

Blueberry layer

  • 4-5 cups of fresh blueberries

Place the mascarpone and powdered sugar in a bowl and beat together until smooth and creamy. Add the heavy cream and beat with an electric mixer until the mixture is thick and creamy (this will take a few minutes.) Beat in the lemon juice until just combined.

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Making the torte: Cut the cooled blueberry bread in half. Cut one half into cubes. Place into the bottom of a clean torte pan. Cover with half of the mascarpone mixture. Sprinkle 2 – 2 1/2 cups of blueberries. Repeat all steps one more time.

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(Bread adapted from http://www.thekitchenmccabe.com)

The Dark Side of Macarons

These two macarons are rich and delicious. They have been a crowd pleaser for sure! My two favorite sinfully sweet macarons are 1. Nutella and Chocolate and 2. Peanut butter and butter cream filled Chocolate Macrons. Enjoy!

I use the same base macaron cookie with two different fillings, convenient and easy!

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Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup almond flour
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 egg whites, room temperature
  • ¼ granulated sugar
  • Filling #1:
  • 1/2 cup Nutella
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • Filling #2
  • 1 14oz jar of buttercream icing
  • 1 cup peanut butter

Instructions

  1. Separate your eggs and allow them to come to room temperature while preparing the rest of the ingredients.
  2. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  3. Mix hazelnut meal, cocoa powder, powdered sugar, espresso powder, and salt until combined. Sift into a medium bowl.
  4. When the egg whites are room temperature, add the cream of tartar. Beat on medium speed until frothy.
  5. Gradually add sugar, beat until stiff, glossy peaks form.
  6. Add half of the dry ingredients and fold with a rubber scraper, then repeat with the other half of the dry ingredients, being careful not to over-fold and deflate the whites.
  7. Place the batter in a large piping bag fitted with a large round tip and pipe circles onto lined baking sheets. Tap each baking sheet against the counter once to remove any air bubbles. (Let sit 45-60 mins to ensure a good skin on top and no longer sticky to touch)

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  1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.
  2. Bake the macarons for 14 minutes (only one pan at a time for perfect even bake)
  3. The macarons are done when they just begin to separate from the parchment. Cool completely on a wire rack.
  4. You can use straight Nutella for the filling, or mix the Nutella with powdered sugar for a thicker paste. (I used a few Tbs for this so they would set easier and be less messy) and set aside
  5. Mix the 2nd filling: Mix the peanut butter and buttercream. Set aside.
  6. Use an offset spatula or an icing bag to top one macaron, and then find a similarly sized macaron to complete the sandwich. Repeat with all meringues.
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Peanut butter butter cream
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Nutella

(Adapted from mybusyfamily.net)