RLB Lemon Almond Cheesecake

As my daughter might say, so much creamy. If you like light AND creamy cheesecake, this is the cake for you! I’ve had light ricotta-based cheesecakes, but they tend to the crumbly. And I’ve had super creamy cheesecakes, but they’re usually also dense. This mixture of eggs, cream cheese, lots of sour cream and a bit of ground almonds transmutes into a rich concoction that’s almost puddinglike, but somehow even softer, and definitely richer.

yolks

Here is one of the reasons it tasted so rich.

creamed cream cheese egg yolks into cream cheese yolks & c cheese & beaters

And here are some more, as the egg yolks are beaten into cream cheese and sugar, with plenty of sour cream. After the cake was baked and chilled, I made lemon curd, and spread it on top.

cake wholecake slice

The cake went to a New Year’s Eve party, where it was a hit.

RLB Chocolate Chip Cookies

It began with butter. These cookies, which are called “My Chocolate Chip Cookies” in the Baking Bible, are distinguished from the standard back-of-the-chocolate-chips bag recipe mostly by the butter. Instead of creaming butter with sugar as the standard recipes propose, the Baking Bible version calls for melting and browning the butter until it smells delightful and the milk solids turn a lovely shade of brown, as in the picture on the right below.

butter browningbutter browned in bowl

Then the butter is cooled, mixed with other liquid ingredients, and then with the dry ingredients.

liquidy ingredients better liquidy plus flour flour added dough no chips

Here you can see various phases of dough creation. I haven’t mentioned the walnuts, which I toasted and chopped to add to the dough, despite my misgivings about adding nuts to a cookie that my kids typically enjoy.

walnuts in bowl
nuts, post-toasting, pre-chopping

 

dough with chipschocolate chip cookie dough balls

Here’s the completed dough, and the cookie dough balls before being smooshed and baked.

Turns out I needn’t have worried about adding nuts to the dough. I have no pictures of the completed cookies because I waited a day to take the photo because I was trying to figure out how to show them off to best advantage. When I came downstairs the morning, I saw the empty container sitting on the counter.P1040339

RLB Lemon and Cranberry Tart Tart

This time I made the lemon curd, and it was good. The Lemon and Cranberry Tart Tart has a sweet crust with a lemon curd filling topped/decorated/garnished with cranberry sauce. I loved how festive the colors were, and how different from last week’s equally festive white chocolate and peppermint concoction.

crust in food processorcrust with weight

First a quick primer on the crust, which contains slivered almonds and sugar, making it a cross between pie crust and cookie. The basic technique was the same as for all Rose Levy Beranbaum crusts; mix dry ingredients, cut in shortening, chill, roll out, chill, bake. In this case as you can see, the crust was par baked so it could stand up to the liquidy lemon curd filling.

My geeky side always thrills to the alchemy of baking. In this regard making lemon curd was supremely rewarding. I started with an unlikely-looking mix of egg yolks, sugar, butter, lemon juice and gelatin:

lemon curd ingredients mixed lemon curd cooking lumpy

I was skeptical that this unappetizing mess would become pie filling, but with time and heat

lemon curd cookingstraining lemon filling

and a little strainer action, the concoction became smooth and lemony.

cranberries becoming sauce

Meanwhile, the cranberries were cooked with sugar, water and a touch of lemon juice, and added on top.

tart tart

Mmmmmmm mmmmm good!