Sunday, August 22, 2010

Lime Raspberry Bars

For my last post of the summer, I thought I would leave you with one of my favorite cheesecake recipes, plus a few added twists! This is seriously the creamiest cheesecake I have ever made, but it might be a bit too rich for some during the heat of summer. So I changed the recipe from cake to bar form for potentially smaller portions, switched to a graham cracker crust, and added some fresh raspberries to the top to cut through the richness.

2 cups graham cracker crumbs
5 tbsp melted butter
1/4 cup sugar
32 oz cream cheese, room temperature
14 oz sweetened condensed milk
1 cup sugar
3 tbsp cornstarch
4 eggs
3/4 (key) lime juice
2 tsp vanilla extract
6 oz white chocolate, melted
2 pints fresh raspberries

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 9x13-inch with greased foil.

Place graham cracker crumbs in a bowl and add melted butter and sugar. Mix well and then press the crumb mixture evenly onto the bottom the the 9x13-inch pan. Set aside.

With a stand mixer, beat the cream cheese, sweetened condensed milk, sugar, and cornstarch until smooth. (This is easiest when all the ingredients are at room temperature!)

Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in the (key) lime juice and vanilla extract. Stir in the melted chocolate and then pour the batter on top of the crust, spreading evenly. Sprinkle the raspberries on top of the batter and slightly press them into the batter.

Bake at 350°F for 15 minutes. Reduce the heat to 200°F and bake for 2 hours until the center is firm. Remove the pan from the oven and run a knife around the edges. Turn off the oven and return the pan to the oven for another 2 hours. Chill overnight.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Lime Yogurt Cake

Ina Garten's lemon yogurt cake recipe pops up frequently in the world of food blogs, and every time I see it, I always think about how wonderful it would be to have a slice right then and there. Not wanting to simply duplicate a recipe that has been done hundreds of times, I decided to mix things up a bit and make a lime version. I had a bottle of key lime juice on hand and used that instead of plain lime juice, and it works just as well.

My mom has been wanting me to make something relatively healthy instead of my usual butter and sugar-filled cakes and cookies, so this recipe was perfect. Oil instead of butter is always a good compromise, and the sugary glaze on top can always be left out. But leaving out sugar is never my style, so I'll just have to eat the top all by myself.

1 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup key lime yogurt
1 1/3 cups sugar, divided
3 eggs
2 teaspoons grated lime zest
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup lime juice

1 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons lime juice

Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a large loaf pan, or multiple small loaf pans.

In a large bowl, whisk together the yogurt, 1 cup sugar, the eggs, lime zest, and vanilla. Slowly whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt into the wet ingredients.

With a rubber spatula, fold the vegetable oil into the batter, making sure it's all incorporated. Pour the batter into the prepared pan(s).

Bake for about 50 minutes, or until a cake tester placed in the center of the loaf comes out clean.

Meanwhile, cook the 1/3 cup lime juice and remaining 1/3 cup sugar in a small pan until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is clear. Set aside.

For the glaze, combine the confectioners' sugar and lime juice. Set aside.

When the cake is done, allow it to cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Pour the lime juice and sugar mixture over the top of the cake and allow it to soak in while the cake is still warm. (I find keeping the cake in the loaf pan at this point keeps the liquid from going anywhere but into the cake.) Let it cool completely. Carefully remove the cake from the pan and place it on a cooling rack.

Put a piece of wax paper underneath the cake and cooling rack to catch any drips, and then pour the glaze over the top of the cooled cake.

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