NY Style Cheesecake

This cheesecake almost didn’t happen. The night I had planned to make it for a lunch we were holding the next day, I conveniently forgot where the springform pan’s base was. I sat for a while on Pinterest trying to get inspirations for another dessert to make, but nothing was appealing to me. Once I had the idea to make this cheesecake, I just couldn’t forget it and that was the problem. I tried again, opening every cabinet and looking between pans that the springform base could be hidden in. Just when I was about to call it a night, my mom yelled over to me and there it was in her hand. Apparently it was in our outside refrigerator; an area that I never thought to check. Cheesecake is one of those desserts that is really worth making because the end product never fails to satisfy. Check below to enjoy your own home-made version as well!

new york cheesecake

New York Style Cheesecake

Printable Recipe Here

Ingredients

Crust

  • 2 cups crushed graham wafers
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted

Cheesecake Filling

  • 32 ounces (4 of the 8 ounce packages) cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 5 eggs
  • 1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest  (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions

  1. Put the wafers in a food processor and blend until they are small crumbs
  2. Pour the crumbs in a bowl and add the 1/4 cup of sugar and melted butter
  3. Spray the springform pan with cooking spray and press the crumbs on the bottom and halfway up the pan
  4. Refrigerate while you make the cheesecake filling
  5. Put the cream cheese, 1 cup of sugar, and flour in a mixing bowl and beat until well incorporated (1 minute)
  6. Add the eggs, one at a time, until they are blended in
  7. Scrape the sides of the bowl as you mix so that you do not have any lumps of cream cheese remaining
  8. Add the whipping cream, lemon zest, and vanilla extract and beat for a minute or until well mixed
  9. Before you pour the filling into your crust, cover the outside of the springform pan with aluminum foil (so no water gets in)
  10. Pour the filling into the aluminum wrapped springform pan
  11. Put the springform pan in a large baking dish and fill the dish with water (so the water is halfway up the pan)
  12. Bake at 350 F for 15 minutes
  13. Reduce to 250 F and bake for 1 hour and 30 minutes or until only the center is a little wobbly when you shake the pan
  14. Cool and refrigerate overnight and decorate/serve the following day

Tips

  • For the design, I melted semi-sweet chocolate and dipped strawberries in it. For some strawberries, I covered them with chopped almonds and for the others, I dipped them in a ready made strawberry glaze.
  • If you do not have graham wafers (as I did not), be creative and improvise with ANYTHING that you have. I used waffle cones that we had and just put those in the food processor. I have also used animal crackers in the past so anything will work.
  • Baking the cheesecake in a water bath will prevent it cracking because then the outer edge will not bake faster than the center (the hottest the water bath can get is 100 C).
  • Short 1 minute video for how to assemble a water bath here

Recipe modified from ZoomYummy

new york cheesecake

new york cheesecake

 

For more ideas check out some of my past cheesecakes below:

reeses cheesecake

 

pecan cheesecake

 

cheesecake

 

 

The Ultimate Macaron Tree

macaron tree

Finally accomplished one item off my long list of to-do projects with food: the macaron tree! I have always adored the ones I would see behind the glass windows of macaron bakeries. I love how people even use these for weddings in lieu of cakes and I find them just so creative! Some of the top flavors for the macarons I have tasted include: lemon, raspberry, and coffee. There are so many more flavors you can choose though- I’ve seen blogs where people make popcorn flavored macarons or the Girl Scout Samoa cookies flavored macarons. For my tower, I decided to go with a classic raspberry for the bottom and for the top I chose a more unique flavor, pumpkin spice. Now the inspiration that got me to finally make this beauty was my best friend’s marriage ceremony. I gave it to her the day before as a delicious gift because I was so excited for her :)

The assembly of the macaron tree was a bit complicated as this one was my first. I had to triple my recipe for the macarons in order to be on the safe side to have enough macarons. You can choose to draw the circles on the parchment paper as a template for the macaron sizing. You can also buy silicon macaron mats that already have grooves for each macaron. I did both methods and found the silicon mat a lot easier as all the macarons came out the same size. (I got my silicon mat from World Market- if you do not have this location nearby, you can buy it online as well)

Here are previous posts where I have made macarons:

Chocolate Macarons with a variety of fillings

-Pistachio Macarons

-Peppermint Macarons

A few tips for assembling the macaron tree:

-The styrofoam cone can be found online or at local craft stores such as Hobby Lobby

-For the toothpicks, angle them at a 45 degree angle to the cone so that they are slanted and can hold the macarons better

-If you are transporting this, I would recommend bringing along a few extra macarons in case any fall off

-Flowers add a nice touch of elegance so I highly suggest adding these (I would have preferred larger flowers, but the store I got them from didn’t have any of the size I was looking for)

-You can use the Wilton colored edible sprays to create a sort of ombre effect for your tower or even to add a touch of gold/silver

-Another idea is to package it using cellophane wrap and top it off with two large artificial flowers or even a bow

 

Have you ever assembled a macaron tree and do you have any tips for me as well?

 

 

Raspberry Vanilla Cupcakes

 

Raspberry Vanilla Cupcakes

Got a pack of raspberries laying around with no idea what to do with all of them? Don’t worry, SimplyDelicious can help you with this dilemma. It just so happened when I opened the fridge on a fine Sunday afternoon, that I was greeted with a stack of three raspberry packs. Just the previous day, I had discovered this amazing vanilla cupcake recipe. Seriously, it legit made the best vanilla cupcakes that I have ever tasted. So… I thought, why not make this delicious recipe raspberry flavored too? Now, I easily could have eaten all the raspberries too, rather than make cupcakes. I had to control myself though and think of the end product that was so close. That’s what’s so awesome about cupcakes. You make them quick, eat them quick. Done deal. Other desserts, like cheesecakes, make you wait overnight (way to0 long if you want instant pleasure).

Raspberry Vanilla Cupcakes

Raspberry Vanilla Cupcakes

Printable Recipe here

Ingredients:

  • 1 pack (6 oz) raspberries
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup sour cream (or yogurt)
  • 1 stick of unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Directions:

  1. Mix together all the dry ingredients (flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt)
  2. Add in the butter until the mixture resembles wet and crumbly sand
  3. Beat in the eggs until they are well incorporated and you can no longer see the yellow
  4. Put in the remaining wet ingredients (milk, sour cream, butter, vanilla extract) and mix until the texture of your mixture is smooth and fully combined
  5. Hand mix the raspberries into your batter until they are evenly distributed
  6. Fill the cupcake liners half way with the mixture
  7. Bake for about 20 minutes or golden brown

Raspberry Buttercream

Printable Recipe here 

Ingredients:

  • 6 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup raspberries
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Directions:

  1. Puree the raspberries in a food processor
  2. Pour the processed raspberries through a sieve with small holes to keep the seeds from getting in your frosting
  3. Use a spoon to help you get all the raspberry pulp out and set it aside in a small bowl (throw the seeds away)
  4. Cream the butter with a mixer for about a minute and then add the powdered sugar, one cup at a time
  5. Add in the vanilla extract, salt, and pureed raspberries
  6. If the buttercream is too runny, add in more powdered sugar until it is to your liking. If too thick, add a teaspoon of milk at a time.

Recipes adapted from: Tide & Thyme and Baking a Moment

Raspberry Vanilla Cupcakes    Raspberry Vanilla Cupcakes

Coconut Tapioca Pudding with Raspberries!!

When I first tried tapioca, it was store-bought and from a generic plastic container with a bland flavor of vanilla. Little did I know that these small pearls can make any dessert dish taste amazing and with whatever flavor you want whether it be pumpkin spice coconut or even raspberry mint. You’re probably also familiar with tapioca from bubble tea as well. I actually found this recipe on foodgawker, aka the most addicting food website everrrrr!

-Tapioca actually comes from a plant known as cassava or the yucca.

-Tapioca pearls are a form of starch that are made from the roots of these plants.

Coconut Tapioca Pudding with Raspberries
Ingredients:
  • 2 cups of whole milk
  • 125 ml of coconut milk
  • 1 vanilla bean or tsp of vanilla extract
  • 115 g sugar + 2 tbsp sugar
  • 50 g tapioca
  • 150 g of raspberries
Directions:
  1. Combine the whole milk, coconut milk, vanilla extract, tapioca, and 115 g of sugar in a medium saucepan.
  2. Heat until the pearls become translucent (about 30 minutes)
  3. Remove from heat and pour into 4 dessert cups and let cool to room temp
  4. Cook the raspberries and 2 tbsp of sugar in a small saucepan, mashing them with a fork
  5. Add the raspberries on top of the pudding, cover with a film, and freeze for about 2 hours

End Result- Quite Phenomenal!

The sweet-sour taste of the thin layer of raspberries on top goes great with the smooth and creamy coconut flavored tapioca pudding on the bottom. Totally recommend everyone to make this!