Sunday, June 30, 2019

Skyscraper Carrot Cake/Cheesecake

Most times, I make the cheesecake and carrot cakes in advance and after the cheesecake is cooled completely and then refrigerated a few hours I take it completely out of the pan and wrap it well with plastic wrap and freeze it. I wait until the carrot cakes are completely cool and do the same (you don't need to refrigerate them for a few hours first). I take them out while I make the frosting, and then I put the cake together.

2 c all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp cinnamon
3/4 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 c dark raisins; boil raisins about 15 minutes in boiling water until plump and drain and place on paper towel
5 large eggs
2 c sugar
1 c vegetable oil
1/4 c heavy cream
1 Tbsp vanilla
2 c finely grated carrots
3/4 c minced apples
3/4 c chopped walnuts or pecans (we prefer pecans)
3 pkg cream cheese; 8 oz. each
2 stick unsalted butter
3 c confectioners' sugar
1 Tbsp vanilla
1/4 c heavy cream, whipping
3 pkg cream cheese; 8 oz each
1 1/3 c sugar
3 Tbsp cornstarch
1 Tbsp vanilla
3 large eggs
2/3 c heavy cream

1. FOR CHEESECAKE: Butter the bottom and sides of a 9-inch spring form pan and wrap the outside with heavy duty foil (making sure it is waterproof).
2. Combine one package of cream cheese, 1/3 cup of sugar, and the cornstarch in large bowl and beat on low until creamy (about 3 minutes) scraping down the bowl a couple of times.
3. Blend in the remaining cream cheese one package at a time scraping down the bowl after each addition.
4. Increase mixer speed to medium and beat in the remaining 1 cup of sugar, then the vanilla.
5. Blend in the eggs, one at a time, beating well after adding each.
6. Beat in the cream just until it's completely blended, be careful not to over mix.
7. Gently spoon batter into the foil-wrapped springform pan and place it in a large shallow pan containing hot water that comes about 1" up the sides of the springform pan.
8. Bake at 350 until the edges are light golden brown and the top is golden tan, about 1 1/4 hours.
9. Remove the cake from the water bath. Transfer to a wire rack and cool in the pan for 2 hours.
10. Then cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate while still in the pan for about 4 hours until completely cold. I put it in the freezer about one hour before I assemble with the carrot cake and slide a long frosting spatula under it. Dip it in hot water first then dry it off or hold the cake over very low heat and remove with a spatula.
11. CARROT CAKE: Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
12. Generously butter the bottom and sides of three 9-inch round layer cake pans (you’ll need three layers, two for the cake and one to break into crumbs for the top). Very important: Line the bottom of all three pans with parchment or waxed paper (don’t let the paper come up the sides).
13. Sift the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, and baking soda together in a medium sized bowl 2 or 3 times. Set aside.
14. Place the raisins in a small saucepan, cover them with boiling water, Cover the pan and let soak until nice and plump, about 15-20 minutes. Drain well and let stand on paper towels.
15. Beat the eggs in a large bowl with an electric mixer on high until light yellow, about 5 minutes.
16. With the mixer still running, gradually add the sugar. Then slowly drizzle in the oil. Then the cream and vanilla. When the batter is light golden and airy, it’s ready (this usually takes a total of 15-20 minutes of beating).
17. Stir in the flour mixture. Then stir in the carrots, apples, walnuts, and raisins.
18. Divide the batter evenly between the three cake pans and bake until the centers spring back when lightly touches and a toothpick inserted in the centers comes out with moist crumbs, about 45 minutes.
19. Let the cakes cool in the pans on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Then turn them out onto the rack and peel off the paper liners. Let the cakes cool completely, about 2 hours. Then wrap each layer in plastic wrap and refrigerate.
20. FROSTING: Beat the cream cheese and butter together on high speed.
21. Add the sugar then the vanilla. With the mixer running, gradually add the cream. Beat until frosting looks whipped and creamy.
22. CAKE ASSEMBLY: Place one layer of the carrot cake on a large oversized cake stand. Frost the top of the first layer then add the cheesecake and do not frost the cheesecake but add the second layer of carrot cake on top of the cheesecake.
23. Then frost the two layers of carrot cake with the cheesecake in the middle.
24. Frost top and sides of cake; then coarsely crumble the extra layer and use for garnish on the top and around the bottom of the cake on the cake stand. I don't use all of the 3rd layer for garnish, it is just too much. So sample it with a little of the frosting.

*By Connie Osborn Just a Pinch

Saturday, June 22, 2019

Instant Pot Sous Vide Egg Bites

I used a combination of these recipes:

I make them different every time! I loved the feta in them, and I have used hot cheddar. Usually use the cottage cheese, and I add 1 t potato starch (Bob's Mills makes it and it is at most grocery stores or fruit markets), because that makes it super smooth like the Starbucks one! I bring them to my mom and she pops them into the freezer and then takes them out a few at a time. You can pop them in the microwave just until they are hot!

Here is how I pretty much make them:

Chop a handful of spinach and roasted peppers (from the deli, drained if in oil or something), you could add onion here if you like it.
Divide between 2 of these little egg bite containers: 

Mix well in blender:

6 egg whites + 2 eggs 
1 t potato starch (or rice starch)
1/2 c small curd cottage cheese
little salt & pepper
(you can also add 1/4 c water but I usually don't)
1/2 c shredded cheese (jack, pepper jack, or whatever)

Optionally add 1/3 c feta crumbles and pulse until blended.

Pour into little cups that are sprayed with cooking spray. Cover with lids and lower into an insta pot with 1 c water added. Close cover and make sure your lever is turned to the cooking side (not the venting side) and steam for 10 minutes. Release vent and let sit 10 more minutes. Pop out.