Saturday, April 24, 2010

Bridal Shower Goodies

A couple weeks ago I had a lovely time at a bridal shower/ bachelorette party for Lizz.  There was lots of yummy food, fun games, and dancing downtown.  For my contribution to the shower I provided the desserts.  I decided to make a cheese cake with strawberry topping, honey infused truffles, and mini key lime pies.  Although this was all a lot of fun to make, it took a looong time and I was very baked out after this.  Unfortunately I don’t have a plated shot of the cheesecake, so you will just have to use your imagination.

You may also remember a previous post where I made a cheesecake but I couldn’t find the recipe and so I just posted a bunch of pictures.  Well, I found the recipe and these pictures are better, so here you go!

Honey Infused Truffles – Recipe from the blog Food Makes Me Happy.

Ingredients (makes 12)
  • 4 oz of 50% fine dark chocolate
  • 1 teaspoon of honey
  • 1/3 cup of heavy whipping cream
  • Pinch of salt
  • Unsweetened cocoa powder to roll them in at the end

 These taste amazing, and yet are so simple to make.  In a double boiler heat up the cream. 

Chop up your chocolate and add it to the cream.  Stir until the chocolate melts.
Add the salt and honey then cool, cover, and throw them in the fridge overnight.

If you do let them set as long as overnight it’s going to be pretty hard the next day so let it set on the counter for a few minutes to make it easier to scoop.

Scoop out balls ( you can use a melon baller if you have one, or a teaspoon works fine) and roll in cocoa powder.  
 Voila, simple, elegant, and delicious!

Mini Key Lime Pies – I used the Cook’s Illustrated Recipe for Key Lime Pie and then adapted it into 12 mini pies.  I originally wanted to make more than 12, but I only had 12 molds.  I was hoping I would be able to take the crusts out of the molds and fill them, but a graham cracker crust is too delicate.  If you make this entire recipe you are going to have lots of leftovers, so I would recommend halving it if you want to make the 12 pies.

Ingredients – Crust
  • 11 graham crackers, processed to fine crumbs ( 1 ¼ cups)
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
Preheat your oven to 325 degrees and grease your tins.

Put your graham crackers into a food processor and process until you create a very fine crumb.
Mix the crumbs with the sugar and then add the melted butter. 
Press the mixture into your molds and then bake for about 15 minutes until you have a nice brown crust.
Let those cool while you make the filling.

Ingredients – Filling
  • 4 teaspoons grated lime zest
  • ½ cup lime juice from 3 to 4 limes
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
Zest your lemons
Then juice them
Mix everything together and pour into cooled molds.

Bake at 325 for 15 minutes.  Cool in the fridge for at least 3 hours.
Top them with whipped cream.
Another relatively easy, yet delicious treat.   

New York-Style Cheesecake with Strawberry Topping – Recipe again from Cook’s Illustrated.  I didn’t take pictures of the strawberry topping, but I’ll post the recipe for it.

Ingredients – Graham Cracker Crust – This is nearly identical to the crust of the key lime pies.
  • 1 cup graham cracker crumbs ( 4 ounces, 8 whole crackers, broken into rough pieces and processed in food processor until uniformly fine)
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, plus additional 1 tablespoon melted butter for greasing pan

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees and grease your pan with 1 tbsp melted butter.  Process your graham crackers in the food processor until fine then mix with sugar and butter.  Press into pan and bake for 13 minutes.  Let cool while you prepare the filling.

Ingredients – Filling
  • 2 ½ pounds cream cheese, cut into rough 1-inch chunks and left to stand at room temperature for 30 to 45 minutes
  • 1/8 teaspoon table salt
  • 1 ½ cups granulated sugar (10 ½ ounces)
  • 1/3 cup sour cream ( 2 ½ ounces)
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice from 1 lemon
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 6 large eggs
Preheat oven to 500 degrees and brush the sides of the pan with butter.

Beat cream cheese for about a minute to break it up.  Add salt and half the sugar and beat for another minute, then add the rest of the sugar and beat for another minute.
 Add sour cream, lemon juice, and vanilla, beat for another minute.

Add egg yolks and mix until well combined.  Then add the whole eggs two at a time beating in between each addition until well combined. 
Pour filling into pan.  Here is where I varied from the recipe.  I wanted to try and do a water bath which this recipe does not do.  Last time I made this recipe the top of my cheesecake cracked so I wanted to avoid that.  However, despite wrapping the bottom of my pan in aluminum foil, water still managed to get into the pan.  It didn’t ruin the cheesecake but it made it very soft.  It also increased the baking time A LOT.  Next time I think I’ll place a pan of water on the bottom rack and the cheesecake on one above it.  The water will still keep the oven moist, but not make my cake soggy.

The following instructions assume you are NOT doing a water bath.

Bake cake for 10 minutes at 500 and without opening the oven reduce the temperature to 200 degrees and bake for about 1.5 hours or until the center of the cheesecake reads 150 degrees. 

Let the cake cool for a bit then chill in the fridge.  Serve with strawberry topping and enjoy.

Strawberry Topping – Recipe from Cook’s Illustrated

  • 2 pounds fresh strawberries, cleaned, hulled, and cut lengthwise into ¼ - to 1/8 – inch slices
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 cup strawberry jam ( about 11 ounces)
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice from 1 lemon

In a bowl combine your berries, salt, and sugar and let stand for about 30 minutes.  The berries will release a lot of their juices and sugar will dissolve. 

Meanwhile, in a food processor, process the jam just until it’s nice and smooth.  Transfer the jam into a saucepan and bring to a simmer on medium heat.  Stir it frequently for about 3 minutes.  Stir in the lemon juice and then pour mixture over the strawberries and stir.  Let cool, then cover and let sit in the fridge overnight. 


Here are a few pictures of the decorations from the party.


Valen said...

Wow, everything looks beautiful! You made a lot of stuff!