Photos on Gimme a Little Sugar on the Weekend are originals taken by Miriam Latour and under copyright protection.
Recipes are originals by Miriam Latour, unless otherwise indicated.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Neapolitan Cheesecake

Somewhere in all my stacks of recipe books I have a recipe for Neapolitan cheesecake, but I couldn't find it, so I winged it. I love the rich layers made from strawberry puree, melted rich chocolate and vanilla bean, over a rich chocolate macadamia nut crust. The key to making good baked cheesecake is to cook it a day ahead and allow it to settle in the refrigerator over night. Otherwise it will taste too "eggy".

1 1/2 cups crushed vanilla wafers or graham crackers
1/8 cup dark chocolate cocoa powder
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/4 cup macadamia nuts, chopped
1 T sugar

3 8oz packages of cream cheese
1 cup sugar
3 eggs
1 cup cream
1 cup strawberry puree (made from fresh or frozen strawberries)
4oz 60% dark chocolate, melted
1 T dark cocoa powder
1 vanilla bean (or 2 tsp vanilla extract)

Heat oven to 350ºF. Combine crust ingredients and press into the bottom only of a 10" springform pan. Mix cheese with sugar. Add one egg at a time, blending until combined and smooth. Divide filling into three sections. Add strawberry puree to one, chocolates to second, and inside of vanilla bean (or extract) to third. Carefully layer the three sections over the crust, being careful not to blend them together. End with the strawberry layer, as it has more liquid than the other two. Bake for about 50 minutes then turn off the oven and allow the cheesecake to cool with the oven for an hour. Refrigerate for at least 6 hours before serving.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Pear Poached in Orange, Cranberry and Wine, with Caramel Glaze

2 large pears, peeled
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1 cup dry white wine
1 tsp honey
1 whole orange, cut in half
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 T butter
2T milk

In a medium pot, bring cranberries and orange halves (peels on) to boil in white wine with honey. Reduce to a simmer, place pears in the liquid, and cover. Poach for 20 minutes.

In the meantime, combine the sugar, butter, and milk in a tiny sauce pan and bring to a boil. Cook for 2 minutes.

Remove pears from poaching liquid and place on a plate. Remove orange, bring poaching liquid to a boil, and add the sugar mixture to the poaching liquid. Cook down into a syrup. Spoon cranberries in syrup over pears. Serve either warm or chilled.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Simple Baked Rice Pudding

I went on a quick road trip for four days, and I had a lot of leftover milk. The milkman was about to deliver more as soon as I returned, so I thought I better use some up before I left. This is the easiest rice pudding I've ever made. Delicious, too. I pretty much made up the recipe and baked this while I was packing, so I was glad it turned out.

5 cups milk (or for richer pudding replace some of the milk with cream)
3 eggs
1/2 cup raw, white rice (I used Kokuho Rose)
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp nutmeg
Anything you like to add (lemon peel, nuts, raisins, cinnamon, etc.)

Heat the oven to 300ºF. Whisk together the milk and eggs. Add all the other ingredients and pour into a 9 x 13" pan. Bake for about 2 hours or until thick, stirring every 15 minutes for the first hour. Serve warm.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Mimsy's Black Cake

This is a decadant, dense, incredibly delicious dark chocolate cake to die for. Please make it for my birthday every year. The fudge frosting is made from heavy cream, butter and unsweetened chocolate, and the cake is amazingly easy to make, using powdered dark chocolate and oil. The batter is very thin and soupy, so be careful not to open the oven too early or dance the jig while it's cooking, or the cake might fall.

2 cups sugar
1 3/4 cups flour
3/4 cups dark chocolate cocoa powder
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp soda
1/2 cup oil (canola)
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1 cup hot water

Combine dry ingredients and mix in oil, eggs, and milk until smooth. Add hot water. Batter will be thin. Place in greased 9 x 13" baking pan. Cook in preheated 350ºF oven for 35 - 40 minutes. Frost when completely cooled.

Fudge Frosting:

1 1/4 cups sugar
1 cup cream
5 oz unsweetened chocolate
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 tsp vanilla

Combine the sugar and cream in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Simmer for 6 minutes. Add the butter and chocolate until melted. Remove from heat and add vanilla. Place in refrigerator and completely cool, stirring occasionally while cooling. You probably want to make this before you make the cake because it takes a while to cool and firm up. Delicious.