Tag Archives: Cream cheese

Blizzards, cabin fever and pretzel sandwiches

20cm of snow! Apparently it isn’t a lot of snow at all, but for a couple of Southern Hemisphere natives, and recent arrivals to the cold North American winters, 20cm might as well have been 2 meters of snow (and yes, we are still using metric units of measure here. As they say, baby steps when you are adjusting to something new). Luckily, even though we may not be as prepared as most, our local town council experiences snow on an annual basis, and was more than well enough prepared for what the worst winter in Canada since 2009 had in store. Okay maybe this part isn’t true, but it is certainly the most snow we have ever experienced, especially considering our recent snow experiences.

On the plus side, the stores managed to stay well enough stocked to support a little bit of baking to alleviate the cabin fever from being cooped up inside, which truth be told wasn’t necessary but probably just came about from our fear of venturing outside in -28C weather. But Africa breeds them tough, and even with our sun shine quota at an all time low, the LiveInBaker was still able to whip up:

Oreo Pretzel Sandwiches

Makes 24 pretzel sandwiches

Ingredients:

  • 4 ounces (113g) white chocolate
  • 18 Oreo cookies
  • 4 ounces (113g) low fat or full fat cream cheese, softened
  • 48 waffle pretzels

In an ideal world, we would turn the Oreo cookies into fine crumbs with the help of a blender – but since we don’t have one of those nifty gadgets, we had to manually crush the cookies until we had fine crumbs. Now any normal person would have a rolling pin at their disposal to do so, but our modestly stocked kitchen doesn’t have one of these so we used a wine bottle. Crushing the cookies manually takes some time, so keep working at it until you have fine cookie crumbs.

Mix your Oreo crumbs with the softened cream cheese and pop it into the fridge to firm up for about 30 minutes.

Remove your cookie cream cheese mix from the fridge and roll into 24 little balls (about 1-2 teaspoons each). Sandwich each little Oreo ball between two waffle pretzels until you have 24 sandwiches. Pop them in the fridge for an hour to firm up.

Melt the white chocolate over a double boiler or in the microwave and dip each pretzel sandwich into the chocolate. Allow chocolate to set and store your white chocolate covered Oreo pretzel sandwiches in the fridge.

The original inspiration behind this recipe can be found here

The photos:

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If you’re going to drink out of a bottle, you might as well eat out of a glass

When it comes to certain types of food, I think I am really old school. For example fruit is not something that I think should be in a dessert, but rather something to be eaten only when trying to avoid a doctor. I also don’t really classify anything as dessert unless there is some sort of chocolate involved, even if it means me running down to the petrol station to buy said chocolate. But as they say, change is as good as a holiday, and so sometimes even I need to take a break from my usual chocolate-centered pudding.

The last time this happened, the LIB was ready with a recipe. Though I think it was more her addiction to cheese cake that led her to this recipe, and not my latest chocolate detox. The dessert we made, while not originally being described as a cheesecake, does definitely have a hint of cheesecake flavour, with a nice bite of lemon to go with it:

Layered Lemon (cheese)cake Cups:

Ingredients:

  • Madeira Cake – 1 loaf is enough to serve 4 people
  • Lemon Curd – we used a ready prepared one from Pick ‘n Pay
  • Lemon Sugar Syrup (detail below)
  • Icing (detail below)

Lemon Syrup

  • Juice and zest of half a lemon
  • Half a cup of sugar
  • Half a cup of water

Icing:

  • 62.5g of softened butter
  • Half a cup of icing sugar, sifted
  • 230g of plain cream cheese
  • 10ml fresh lemon juice

Do these qualify as rejects?

For the lemon syrup: heat the water, sugar, lemon juice and zest together until the sugar has dissolved. Remove from the heat and let it cool.

The icing is loaded and ready to go

For the icing: Cream (which has been explained to me as “just blend them well to make an even, homogeneous texture without lumps and blots” – thanks Google) the butter and sugar together. Then lightly whisk in the cream cheese, or if you’re impatient just mix it in using a spatula. Just be careful not to over mix. Mix in the lemon juice, again you can use the spatula. Chill in a fridge to thicken while preparing the rest of the pudding.

This might be the most awesome icing machine ever!

For the cakes, cut the cake into 1.5 cm thick slices length wise. The LIB uses a rather fancy cake slicer to do this (looks like a giant cheese slicer). Use whichever container you’ll be using to cut out the correct size and shape of cake. We used glass tumblers for this. Don’t worry about any excess cake, as someone is bound to walk past and eat them (most likely me). Then start assembling the cake, in the following pattern: place 1 round of the cake into the bottom of your tumbler, add a drizzle of the syrup, and pipe a layer of the cream cheese icing on top. Add 10mls of lemon curd and then repeat the entire pattern. You can do as many levels as you like, just make sure you end the cycle with a cream cheese icing layer.

Can I have mine yet?

Don’t waste your time garnishing, just bang them into a fridge to stay cool, and serve them either cool or at room temperature.

And if you can control yourself, these do taste a whole lot better the next day, once the flavours have had a chance to combine properly.

The LIB said that if she would change anything about this recipe, it’s that she wouldn’t cut the cake into smaller container shaped pieces, and would instead assemble as one large loaf. And because this pudding tastes so damn good, I’m more than happy for her to try again.

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New years hangover cure

New Years eve is overrated.

I don’t know about everyone else, but I’ve really found that no matter how epic a new years that is planned, it normally comes out the exact opposite. This might have something to do with the fact that I refuse to queue for 2 things in life, these being for beer and for the loo! Strange that these 2 things might be linked, I know.

So instead of heading out for “The most amazing party of the year”, over the past few years we’ve rather resorted to making sure that the cooler bag is full, the braai is lit, and the pudding is made.

Our pudding of choice for New Years Eve 2011:

Moch Chocolate Cheese Cake Continue reading

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