Monday, April 27, 2009

Daring Bakers Challenge; Cheesecake

Vanilla Bean Creme Brulée Cheesecake :-)

Picture #1

"The April 2009 challenge is hosted by Jenny from Jenny Bakes. She has chosen Abbey's Infamous Cheesecake as the challenge."

I was really excited when I learned that the challenge was cheesecake.
I L-O-V-E cheesecakes. My stepdaughter makes a mean Amaretto cheesecake too...delish.

For this month challenge I tried to recreate the Madagascar Vanilla Bean Creme Brulée cheesecake I had in Toronto... I think I somewhat succeeded, not the same, but a keeper for sure. Abbey's Infamous Cheesecake:

Abbey's Infamous Cheesecake:

1 1/2 cups Oreo crumbs
about 4 tbsp. melted butter

3 sticks of cream cheese,
8 oz each (total of 24 oz) room temperature
1 cup sugar (I used gold colored organic sugar)
3 large eggs
1 cup heavy cream
1 tbsp. lemon juice
1 tbsp. vanilla extract (I used the innards of a vanilla bean)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F Begin to boil a large pot of water for the water bath.
2. Mix together the crust ingredients and press into your preferred pan. You can press the crust just into the bottom, or up the sides of the pan too - baker's choice. Set crust aside.
3. Combine cream cheese and sugar in the bowl of a stand-mixer (or in a large bowl if using a hand-mixer) and cream together until smooth. Add eggs, one at a time, fully incorporating each before adding the next. Make sure to scrape down the bowl in between each egg. Add heavy cream, vanilla, lemon juice, and blend until smooth and creamy.

4. Pour batter into prepared crust and tap the pan on the counter a few times to bring all air bubbles to the surface. Place pan into a larger pan and pour boiling water into the larger pan until halfway up the side of the cheesecake pan. If cheesecake pan is not airtight, cover bottom securely with foil (see note at bottom) before adding water. See Pic #2

5. Bake 45 to 55 minutes, until it is almost done - this can be hard to judge, but you're looking for the cake to hold together, but still have a lot of jiggle to it in the center. You don't want it to be completely firm at this stage. Close the oven door, turn the heat off, and let rest in the cooling oven for one hour. This lets the cake finish cooking and cool down gently enough so that it won't crack on the top. After one hour, remove cheesecake from oven and lift carefully out of water bath. Let it finish cooling on the counter, and then cover and put in the fridge to chill. Once fully chilled, it is ready to serve

OOPS! My oven mitt put a dent into the cake

***To avoid a soggy crust, I wrapped the bottom of the pan with 2 layers of plastic wrap, then 2 layers of Heavy Duty foil. After baking the cake, I removed it immediately from the water bath, peeled the foil and plastic film and put it back in the oven on a different rack. I left the water bath in the oven, to create humidity for the 1 hour rest.

Once Fully chilled I sprinkled white sugar all over the top and fired it with a blow torch, see picture # 3

Then I drizzled a caramel sauce on top, consisting of boiled sugar, water, and a bit of cream. See Picture # 1

Et Voila!

Picture #2

Picture #3

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Cashou's New 'Do

Well, it's that time again, spring time. The pets are shedding enough everyday to knit myself another pet. So it was time for Cashou to get a buzz cut. She hates those bows that PetSmart puts on her. I'm surprised they stayed long enough for me to take pics!

Friday, April 17, 2009


This is by far the best movie I have seen this year.

In our cynical world, simplicity is often ridiculed or ignored. Simplicity can be mistaken for simple-minded. Do not make that mistake with Amal.

This enchanting Indo-Canadian film is a modern fable. It depends on elegant simplicity to make its case, to tell its modest story about an auto rickshaw driver in contemporary New Delhi.

Filmed in English and Hindi, Amal is the work of Toronto filmmaker Richie Mehta. Amal made its world premiere as a fully realized film at the 2007 Toronto film festival. This being Canada, a country that is almost paralyzed in its domestic film distribution system, we have been forced to wait another 11 months for the theatrical run to begin. Shameful!

Shot on location in India by a combined Canadian and Indian crew, Amal follows the simple daily life of the title character (played by Canada's Rupinder Nagra). As the man many of us might aspire to be in a state of enlightenment, he is incredibly poor, yet rich in spirit, generosity and selflessness.
I wont divulge anymore of the story, this is a MUST see. Enjoy!

Well, the motherboard on my laptop fried and all my future posts and pictures are gone... It will be a minimum of 2 weeks before I get it back for the repair shop... In the meantime I will post on things that are of interest to me and hopefully to you also...

Sunday, April 5, 2009

HONEY! What's That Smell?

5:00 pm Ughhhh....The dog still smells like decaying squirrel! Ewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww

Pompano Beach Florida

Random pics I took while vacationing in Pompano Beach....

Best darn Latte I ever had in my life!

Bonefish...What can I say. Bang Bang Shrimps !!! I LOVE it!

Million dollar view

Cashou's New Eau de "Toilette"

Ahhh Spring...the sun...the birds....the dead things I can roll around in till I cover myself with the most vile, disgusting, unhuman smell.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Product Review

Today I thought that I would post something different then food or pet related.

Hello, I am 35 years old and I still get the odd pimple!
No products have ever worked on those little suckers! Until I found this little gem. It will cost ya, but so worth it! You dab just a tiny bit of powder onto your blemish. I do it first thing in the morning and also throughout the day if the thing is huge and has a pulse, if you know what I mean. It shrinks the thing before your eyes, and you are back to your normal self in a matter of a couple of days. It also helps prevent, meaning at the first sign of a tingle, just put some on the potential spot and Voila!
Love it! Love it! Love it!
This product can be ordered online through Sephora and some stores do carry it.

Friskies Top 10 Reasons "Why I like being a cat"

10) I get to meow my ass off anytime I want for no reason

9) I get to stay at the Kitty Spa when mom and dad go on vacation

8) I get to drink from the faucet like a civilised cat

7) I live with a dog who keeps the riff raff out of the yard

6) People don't mind when I sit on them

5) I'm so cute I get scratched and massaged just by looking at mom and dad

4) I have my own private mansion where I can sleep on anything I want...especially boxes! I AM KING!

3) I have a bed in every room

2) I get to play under the deck in the yard

And the number one reason I like being a cat...

I get the fame..Cashou gets the blame!

Cashou's Top Ten reasons "Why I like being a dog"

10) I get to sleep on other peoples clothes

9) I get to go to bed whenever I want (usually every 15 minutes)

8) I don't beg for handouts....I just get whatever falls on the floor

7) I live with a cat that I can torment any time I feel like it

6) I have my own private courtyard where I AM KING!

5) I can go in and out any time by pretending I have to pee

4) If I lie on my back and look cute I always get a belly rub

3) I get the backseat to myself when we go for a drive

2) People don't mind it when I sit on them

And the number one reason I like being a dog....

I can walk around naked all day, every day and not have to pay or worry about what I'm going to wear.