Tag Archives: eggs

Individual Cheesecakes

Bday 001

Allison wanted her birthday cake to be cheesecake. And as always, I had to do something special. Since different folks like different tastes, I decided to make individual cheesecakes with a smorgasbord of sauces. Each cheesecake is about the size of a cupcake, and is complete in itself. And then there are the toppings with which each person can choose and complement their cheesecake. All the recipes are in this article, even if some have appeared earlier in other articles.

Bday 006

For toppings, I made a ganache, a caramel, a praline sauce, lemon curd, strawberries, blueberries, and pumpkin. The latter is because this year we celebrate Alli’s birthday on Halloween, and Halloween goes well with pumpkin cheesecake.

I obviously made way too many, and too much toppings. I was surprised to find that the lemon curd and the strawberries were probably the favorites, with the caramel running third. The ganache was not a favorite; as daughter Mindy told me later- who wants chocolate with cheesecake? Cheesecake is almost the anti-chocolate food.- She also said that she felt pumpkin mousse was not a topping for cheesecake, but if you want a pumpkin cheesecake, you should put the pumpkin in the cheese layer.

Individual Cheesecakes

Ingredients

  • 1 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 2 Tbsp Granulated Sugar
  • 3 Tbsp Butter
  • 3 pkg (8 oz. each) Cream Cheese, softened
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 3/4 cup Granulated Sugar
  • 3 Eggs
  • 2 cups Sour Cream at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup Granulated Sugar
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract

The above Ingredient list is broken into 3 parts- bottom crust, middle filling, and topping.

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
  2. Put cupcake papers into the bottom of 18 muffin cups
  3. For the crust, mix the graham crumbs, 2 Tablespoons sugar and butter until well blended, and press into the bottoms of the cupcake papers.
  4. For the filling, beat the cream cheese, 1 teaspoon vanilla and 3/4 cup sugar until blended. Add the eggs, one at a time mixing on low speed after each just until blended. Spoon over the crusts.
  5. Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until the centers are almost set.
  6. For the topping, combine the sour cream, 1/4 cup sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla in a small bowl. Spread over the surface of the warm cupcakes. Return the cupcakes to the oven and bake for another 5 to 7 minutes. Cool completely on a wire rack, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or over night.
  7. Remove the cupcake papers and arrange the individual cheesecakes for serving.


Since I made the seven toppings, I will give you recipes for each of them although you should probably only focus on a couple or three for your serving.

Ganache is a mixture of heavy cream and chocolate. I have used several of these in the past and am providing you with a pointer to some of those recipes as well as giving you a recipe herein. Perhaps the best previous recipe was with the home-made Ding Dongs. In that case, We wanted the ganache to set since it was an outside coating, and we wanted it to be shiny. So the amount of chocolate was more than the amount of cream, and we added fat (butter) for the gloss. Likewise, for holding cake pops together, we use a ganache. The recipe in the cake pop article is not strong enough compared to the recipe for white chocolate ganache in the Icings, Frostings and Glazes article; you really need a 4 to 1 ratio of chocolate to cream for cake pops. Here, we want a fairly liquid ganache, and use a 1 to 1 ratio.

Ganache

Ingredients

  • 8 oz. Chocolate Pieces (any flavor or type, including white)
  • 1 cup Heavy Cream

Directions

  1. Place the chocolate in a microwave proof bowl
  2. Heat the cream in a sauce pan until small bubbles start to appear around the edges (just to a boil but not boiling!)
  3. Remove from the heat, and pour over the chocolate.
  4. Let the mixture sit undisturbed for 5 minutes
  5. Stir until all the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth

An alternative approach is to place the ingredients in a double boiler over simmering water and cook, stirring until it is smooth and all the chocolate is melted. Since the chocolate is in a heat proof bowl, and the sauce pan is out, this should be an easy change from heating the cream separately and waiting for the chocolate to melt.

Caramel is a mixture of heavy cream and sugar. Most of the caramel I have used I have made from salted caramel chips, and used a ganache recipe; it works. However, if you want a straight caramel without salt, then the recipe I have in the Guinness Gingerbread Cupcakes article does a nice job.

Caramel

Ingredients

  • 4 Tablespoons butter
  • 3/4 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Directions

The sauce can be made up to 3 days ahead. Cool it to room temperature and refrigerate it in a covered container. Reheat over low heat until smooth and spreadable.

  1. Melt the butter over medium heat in a sauce pan.
  2. Add the brown sugar and cream. Stir with a whisk until the sauce bubbles and gets sticky, about 5 minutes.
  3. Stir in the vanilla and salt.

If ganache is Chocolate and Cream, and Caramel is Sugar and Cream, then I would say that Praline is Sugar and Sugar; it is a very sweet sauce, and this recipe adds chopped pecans to give it more of that Southern flavor.

Praline Sauce

Ingredients

  • 2 Tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 2 Tablespooons cornstarch
  • 1 cup dark corn syrup
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions

  1. In a small heavy sauce pan, stir together the brown sugar and cornstarch
  2. Stir in the corn syrup and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until thick.
  3. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the nuts and vanilla.
  4. Cool slightly, and serve.


I tried many recipes for a lemon sauce, and found I didn’t like any of them. Then I found this recipe for Lemon Curd, and the way the people at the party liked it, I think it is a real winner. As one person said, “I can’t wait to have my toast with lemon curd in the morning”.

Lemon Curd

Ingredients

  • 6 Tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 egg yolks in addition
  • 2/3 cup lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest

Directions

  1. Cream the butter and sugar in a large bowl. Add the eggs and egg yolks one at a time, beating each into the mixture. Mix in the lemon juice. The mixture will look lumpy but will smooth out in the next step as it is cooked.
  2. In a heavy bottom sauce pan, cook the mixture over low heat until it smooths out. The lumpy appearance disappears as the butter in the mixture melts. Increase the heat to medium and continue to cook the mixture, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens. The thickened mixture should leave a path on the back of a spoon, and will read 170 degrees F on a thermometer. Don’t let the mixture go beyond 170 degrees, or boil.
  3. Remove the mixture from the heat, and stir in the lemon zest. Transfer the mixture to a bowl, and press plastic wrap on the surface of the lemon curd to keep a skin from forming. Chill the curd in the refrigerator; it will thicken as it cools.

The curd will keep in the refrigerator for a couple weeks, and can be frozen for a couple months.

For the strawberries, I made the Strawberry Sauce recipe that is macerated strawberries. Again, I had tried several different recipes to get a good strawberry sauce, and finally settle on this one; it is juicy and sweet.

Strawberries

Ingredients

  • 16 oz. strawberries, hulled and coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice

Directions

  1. Mix the strawberries, sugar and lemon juice, cover, and refrigerate for 24 hours.

Taste the resulting sauce, and if not sweet enough, add more sugar. Some recipes go to 1/2 cup of sugar, while others start with only 2 Tablespoons of sugar.

I started with the idea that I would macerate the blueberries, but then, who would want smashed blueberries. They really would not be very appetizing. So I left the blueberries whole; maceration seems to need the fruit to be cut, or opened such that its juices can flow.

Blueberries

For this “sauce” I added a couple tablespoons of sugar and some lemon zest to the blueberries, but next time, nothing but the berries. I think the zest turned people off; blueberry lovers want the simple pure fruit!

So finally, here is the pumpkin mousse that Mindy said was not proper for a cheesecake; she said the pumpkin should be cooked into the cheese layer of the cheesecake and not painted on top. However, this mousse would make an excellent filling for a simple pie- say graham cracker crust. And it would require no cooking- ready in a jiffy!

Pumpkin mousse

Ingredients

  • 2 small boxes of instant vanilla pudding (sugar free is okay)
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 -15 oz. can pure pumpkin/pumpkin puree
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ginger
  • 1/4 tsp clove

Directions

  1. In a large bowl, combine the vanilla pudding mix, milk, pumpkin and spices.
  2. Whisk until smooth


That is all there is too making the mousse. Use it as you like.

Green Eggs and Ham (Deviled Eggs)

Dr. Seuss was the go-to author when the daughters were young, and I am always thinking about rhymes that appeared in his books. So when I was starting to work on St. Patrick’s day, I kept getting into my head “Green Eggs and Ham” I decided I had to do something about it. This is easy, and it can carry over to when you are not doing a St Patrick’s day event. The eggs are basically a bland deviled egg, and the green is food color. I used lunch meat ham under the eggs, cut to a nice size for little fingers to pick up.

Green Eggs 004

Deviled Eggs

Ingredients

  • Eggs- 6-8 is a nice number, but make what you want
  • Mayonaise- use 1 Tablespoon for every 2 eggs
  • Mustard- use 1 teaspoon for every 2 eggs
  • White Wine Vinegar – use 1/4 teaspoon for every 2 eggs

Because this recipe is particulary bland, you can add other ingredients to suit the taste, such as hot sauce, crumbled bacon, chopped jalapenos, etc.

Directions

  1. Place the eggs in a single layer in the bottom of a sauce pan; fill the pan with cold water to a depth of 1 inch over the top of the eggs. Place the pan on the stove and bring to a boil.
  2. When the water boils, remove the pan from the heat and cover the pan with a lid. Let the pan sit undisturbed for 13 minutes.
  3. Cool the eggs as quickly as possible. Dump the hot water and replace it with cold water. Place a large number of ice cubes in the pan.
  4. As soon as the eggs are cool enough to handle, crack the shells to allow the cold water to get into the shells.
  5. Let the eggs sit in the cool water for at least 15 minutes; longer is better, even refrigerated over night.
  6. Peel the eggs. Cut them lengthwise and remove the yolk to a separate bowl. If you are coloring the egg whites, place them in a bowl of food color and water for a couple minutes, then place them on paper toweling to drain.
  7. Smash the yolks, and add all the other ingredients to the bowl. Mix thoroughly. Push the resulting mixture through a sieve to remove lumps and make it smooth.
  8. Place the yolk mixture in a piping bag, or a plastic storage bag, and cut the corner off to pipe the yolk mixture into the egg whites. Sprinkle carefully with paprika for color.
  9. Serve immediately, or chill until serving time


NOTE: November 5, 2015 After making the Spider Eggs, I decided to test a couple differences in making the Deviled Eggs. First, I tried letting the cooled eggs rest for different lengths of time- 15 minutes and 2 hours and overnite in the refrigerator. I did not leave them in water in the refrigerator. Waiting the 2 hours definitely made peeling easier. The refrigerated eggs had lost much of the air pocket at the big end, and were harder to get started; that is why I mention the lack of water in the refrigerator. They did come out perfectly once I got peeling started.

The second test was to make the filling in the food processor rather than in a mixing bowl. I must say it worked very well; I did NOT feel I needed to sieve the mixture to eliminate the lumpiness I have previously had. I just put everything in the food processor and pulsed it a few times.

Lemon Curd

If you have breakfast breads, like toast or English Muffins, then you should learn to make Lemon Curd as a topping for the bread. It works just like jams and jellies, but I discover that I skip the butter when I use lemon curd.

Lemon Curd 002

And lemon curd is not just a topping for your breakfast breads; it can also be used on sweet breads, like tea breads or pudding breads- anywhere you would like a strong lemony flavor. Lemon curd is also a base for other recipes that want a strong lemony flavor.

This recipe is easy, and I feel fail-safe. I have made it several times, and it comes out perfect with a nice smooth curd.

Lemon Curd

Ingredients

  • 6 Tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 egg yolks in addition
  • 2/3 cup lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest

Directions

  • Cream the butter and sugar in a large bowl. Add the eggs and egg yolks one at a time, beating each into the mixture. Mix in the lemon juice. The mixture will look lumpy but will smooth out in the next step as it is cooked.
  • In a heavy bottom sauce pan, cook the mixture over low heat until it smooths out. The lumpy appearance disappears as the butter in the mixture melts. Increase the heat to medium and continue to cook the mixture, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens. The thickened mixture should leave a path on the back of a spoon, and will read 170 degrees F on a thermometer. Don’t let the mixture go beyond 170 degrees, or boil.
  • Remove the mixture from the heat, and stir in the lemon zest. Transfer the mixture to a bowl, and press plastic wrap on the surface of the lemon curd to keep a skin from forming. Chill the curd in the refrigerator; it will thicken as it cools.

The curd will keep in the refrigerator for a couple weeks, and can be frozen for a couple months.

For a lime curd, substitute lime juice and zest for the lemon juice and zest.

I found that two large lemons gave me the 2/3 cup of lemon juice. I have also made this recipe with just a single lemon for the zest, and the rest of the juice from the plastic bottle in the refrigerator.

The recipe makes about 20 ounces of curd.

Lemon Sauce

If you have been watching the sweet sauces I have posted, you will have noted that I do not like a sauce with corn starch, and I have been searching for a good lemon sauce. I have found one that I want to share with you.

lemon sauce 001

March 9, 2015 Update of the following
I kept getting inconsistent results as I tried to repeat this recipe, and finally, I think, I found the problem; it takes a lot of heat to get the sauce to thicken. So in the Directions, I am adding information about thickening the sauce. My results now are a thick lemon sauce that is not quite as stiff as a lemon curd.

Lemon Sauce

Ingredients

  • 3 eggs
  • 3/4 cups sugar
  • 2/3 cup of lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons of lemon zest
  • 5 Tablespoons butter, at room temperature

I found that two large lemons provided both the necessary juice and zest

Directions

Cut the butter into 5 or more pieces. It has to be able to melt easily in the hot egg, sugar,and juice mixture.

In a heavy bottom pan, cook the eggs, sugar and lemon juice over medium heat, whisking constantly until thickened. It requires a temperature of the mixture to get into the 165 degree F range for the mixture to thicken.

Remove from the heat and add the butter and zest. Stir until smooth and the butter is all melted into the mixture. Transfer to a storage container.

Place plastic wrap on the surface of the mixture to avoid a scum forming. Refrigerate.

When ready to use, stir until smooth again


This sauce has a very strong lemon flavor, but is ideal for spreading on sweet breads such as the Steamed Bread Pudding, or even as a topping for ice cream.

I originally tried to make this sauce in a bain marie, or double boiler. The sauce would not get hot enough, and didn’t thicken. Then, as it cooled, it separated. I was able to save the sauce by reheating it in a heavy bottom sauce pan and stirring and raising it to a temperature of 168 degrees F. Don’t let the sauce boil, and don’t let the temperature go over 170 degrees F.

I used lemons- about 2.5-3.0 inches in diameter.

Corn Bread

Marlys shows several optional ways for baking this recipe. I used the muffin tins, and everything came out perfectly. But, I remember Marlys making it in her old 10 inch cast iron skillet- the one she would never let me touch for fear I would wash it and ruin the seasoning of the iron. She also made it at times in the 8 inch square Corningware dish she had.

cornbread 003

Corn Bread

  • 1 1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1 1/2 cup sifted flour
  • 3 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 Tablespoon sugar
  • 2/3 cup oil
  • 1 1/2 cup milk
  • 3 eggs

Mix together with wire whisk. While mixing, heat oiled pan in oven;
add batter.
Bake at 400°F for:

  • 12 muffin tins——20 minutes
  • 8″ square pan——25 minutes
  • 10″ fry pan———25 minutes

A word of caution about the recipe. Heating the oiled pans in the oven might cause the oil to smoke and burn. The oven is at 400 degrees, which is hotter than most oils used in recipes can take. (In the recipe, the oil is okay; it is when it is in the direct heat that it breaks down). For an oil that can take the 400 degrees, look for peanut oil, or even sunflower oil. Generally seed or kernel oils are good to about 450 degrees. When looking at the back of my Mazola corn oil bottle, it says that it burns at 375 degrees; and I agree after trying to use it to oil the pans.

cornbread 005

Muffin tins seem to vary in size; my tins are about 2.75 inches across, and just over an inch deep. The recipe seems to make a perfect amount for 12 tins; each tin was filled to the top and I ran out of mix. And the baking time was also ideal; you can see the good color on the corn muffins.

Zucchini Hash and Eggs

My neighbor Jill Swain gave me the idea for this recipe; she stopped over the other day and I gave her a zucchini and asked if she had any recipes for it. She first mentioned Zucchini Bread which we already have. Then she suggested zucchini with eggs; she said “Breakfast for supper is also good”.

zucchini hash 005

I talked it over with daughter Mindy and decided that we should keep the eggs separate from the hash until after we have cooked them. That way, you can fix your eggs however you like them. We also started calling the fixings a “hash”; I had to look that word up, and it originally meant any combination of chopped foods The idea of a hash has changed over time. More modernly, the idea of a hash has come to imply an inclusion of chopped meat with the other ingredients. This recipe is right on the edge of those definitions since it allows you to include bacon, or ham- any of the breakfast meats. But to be a zucchini hash, it has to include chopped zucchini.

The reason we decided to separate the eggs from the hash while cooking is so people that like runny eggs can still have those on top of the hash, and let them ooze down through the hash. Also the separation allows you to make an omelet with the hash inside. If you want to stir scrambled eggs into the hash, you can also do that.

That all said, it is difficult to write a recipe for the hash; if you are adding meat into your hash, it has to be sauted first. However if you are not using bacon, you might need to add a Tablespoon of oil in which to saute the ingredients. I will give you ideas, but you must feel free to do everything your own way. Add ingredients, delete ingredients, just have fun.

zucchini hash 002

Zucchini Hash with Eggs

Jill Swain, Mindy Crary

Per Serving:

  • 1 Tablespoon of oil unless you are using bacon or sausage
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup chopped breakfast meat e.g. bacon or ham or sausage
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup chopped green pepper – Japapeno or Bell or …
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup chopped zucchini
  • 1 or 2 cooked eggs – cooked as you like them

Saute the meat and vegetable ingredients; combine with the cooked eggs.

I used jalapeno pepper for one ingredient, and I like my eggs with runny yolks. To cook my eggs, I break them into the fry pan, add a little water to make steam, and put a lid on the pan. I have a clear lid, and I let the eggs cook until the glair around the yolk has turned white; at this point, the covering over the yolks has also started to turn white. Perfect eggs for me; the whites are not tough, and the yolks are still runny.