Mini Kiwi Cheesecake

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A delightful cheesecake without the heavy component of cream cheese. Kiwi adds to the lightness of this simple dessert.
Let’s Bake!
Graham Cracker Crust
  • 1 cup crushed graham crackers
  • 1/3 cup butter, melted or room temperature

Cheesecake Filling

  • 1 cup mascarpone
  • ½ cup ricotta cheese
  • ½ cup raw honey
  • 2 eggs, separated
  • ⅓ cup heavy cream
  • pinch of salt

Topping:

  • 1 or 2 kiwis, diced

Let’s Begin!

Mini Kiwi Cheesecake

  1. Line mini cupcake pan with 24 cupcake papers.
  2. First, bake the crust! Baker’s confession (previously mentioned in Chocolate Silk Pie & edited for this recipe): okay, normally to create a crust from scratch, a baker needs a food processor. Unfortunately, I do not own a food processor. As much as I would love to own one to make crusts and pestos and such, in this time of need I couldn’t run out a purchase a food processor. In my desperate time of need to bake a pie, I proceeded to make a crust in the following way:
  3. Preheat oven to 325ºF.
  4. Toss a couple of graham crackers in a Ziploc bag. How many? Start with 8 and add more if needed! Close the bag and begin crushing the crackers. You may use a dough roller, but, if you do not have one (like myself), then begin crushing the crackers with your hands, fists, knees, feet, head…whatever can crush the crackers finely without breaking anything or hurting yourself if fine! 🙂 Continue crushing the crackers until fine and until you have at 1 cup for the crust.
  5. Pour the graham cracker crumbs in a small bowl. Stir in the melted butter or softened butter and mix thoroughly.
  6. Press about a tablespoon of crumb mixture into the bottom of each cupcake paper.
  7. Preheat oven to 325 F. In a blender or food processor (or Nutribullet, like how I used), combine the mascarpone, ricotta cheese, sugar, egg yolks, and heavy cream. Blend until creamy. This can take a few minutes.
  8. In a separate bowl, whip eggs whites until stiff peaks form. This will take up to two minutes.
  9. Gently fold the cheese mixture into the egg whites as you slowly mix with a spatula.
  10. Spoon into the cupcake paper, filling them up to the rim.
  11. Bake for 10-15 minutes until just set. Don’t over bake.
  12. Remove from oven and let them cool for 1 – 2 hours and chill in fridge overnight.
  13. Remove from fridge and top each cupcake with some diced kiwi.
  14. Serve (preferably with herbal or white tea) and enjoy!

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Cheers!

Keisha Cake

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Hazelnut Maple Snickerdoodles

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A nutty twist of the classic Snickerdoodle cookie with maple sugar.

Let’s Begin!

What You’ll Need

Hazelnut Maple Snickerdoodles

  • 1 ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ cups hazelnuts (unsalted; not roasted)
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons maple sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon

Note: You may add more maple sugar and cinnamon if needed!

Let’s Begin!

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees and prepped a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Pulse flour and hazelnut in a food processor. I use a Nutribullet since I don’t have a food processor. It works wonderfully for baking!
  3. Pulse until finely ground, then add baking powder and salt. Pulse again to blend.
  4. Using an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar on high speed until light and fluffly. About 4 minutes.
  5. Add egg and vanilla and beat until well blended. About 4 minutes.
  6. Reduce speed to low and gradually add dry ingredients; mix to combine.
  7. Chill mixture for about 20 minutes. This allows it to be easier to roll the dough since it’s sticky.
  8. Place maple sugar and cinnamon in a shallow bowl. Scoop out dough by a small spoonful and roll into balls. Roll in sugar and place on the parchment paper on the baking sheet, spacing about 2 inches apart. Gently pat the ball into a rounded disc (not too flat).
  9. Bake dough for about 14 minutes. Rotate baking sheets halfway through, until golden. Transfer cookies off the baking sheets and onto wire racks, then let cool.
  10. Serve and enjoy!

Cheers!

Keisha Cake

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Gluten-Free Pecan Fudge-like Brownies

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It’s the beginning of pecan season!

If you’re gluten-intolerant these fudge-like brownies are gluten-free and made with arrowroot instead of cornstarch. If you’re not gluten-intolerant, enjoy anyways!

Let’s Begin!

What You’ll Need:

Gluten-Free Pecan Fudge-like Brownies (adapted from Martha Stewart)

  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
    • Plus more for pan or you may use coconut spray
  • 1/3 cup cornstarch (arrowroot)
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine salt
  • 12 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup chopped toasted pecans

Let’s Begin!

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Pour pecans on a baking sheet with parchment paper and bake for several minutes or until pecans give a light aroma. Remove from oven and set aside.

  2. Lightly spray or butter an 8-inch square baking pan and line with parchment paper, leaving a 2-inch overhang on all sides.

  3. Whisk together arrowroot, cocoa, cinnamon, and salt in a separate bowl.

  4. In a double-boiler (a pot with water on a stove with a second pot on top), melt butter and chocolate, stirring occasionally, until melted and smooth.

  5. Stir in sugar and vanilla. Stir in eggs, one at a time, until combined. Add arrowroot mixture and stir consistently until mixture is smooth and begins to pull away from side of bowl, about 2 minutes. Stir in pecans.

  6. Pour batter into pan and smooth top. Bake for about 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out with a few moist crumbs (doesn’t need to be entirely clean). Rotate pan halfway through. Let cool completely in pan on a wire rack. Using paper overhang, lift cake out of pan and cut as you like.

  7. Serve and enjoy!

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Cheers!

Keisha Cake

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Chocolate Silk Pie

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Silky, smooth, & chocolate-y🙂

My co-worker visited Seattle earlier this year and brought back a gift for me: Chocolate sSauce made by Hot Cakes bakery. I was eager to try this dark chocolate sauce in a recipe since it was rich and thick. (This chocolate sauce looks incredibly perfect for s’mores!!) When looking to make my next recipe it just so happened that I had all of the ingredients to make a Chocolate French Silk Pie. I found a recipe and changed several things, including the difference of using chocolate sauce rather than melting chocolate on my own.
Needless to say, this pie was absolutely HEAVENLY and SAVORY! One sliver of this pie is enough to send you in a chocolate dreamland.
Also, I ran into a few “technical difficulties” in the kitchen. Unfortunately, I was missing a few baking devices in order to make a pie. I had to improvise. Read on for more details🙂
Let’s Begin!
What You Will Need 

Honey Graham Cracker Crust

  • A pie dish
  • 1 & 1/2 cups crushed graham crackers
  • ½ cup butter, room temperature
Chocolate Silk Filling
  • 2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup Hot Cakes Chocolate Sauce (or any melted and cooled dark chocolate)
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 TBSP cocoa powder (optional, but intensifies the chocolate flavor and color)
  • ¼ tsp espresso (optional, but intensifies the chocolate flavor)
  • 4 large eggs

Let’s Bake!

  1. First, bake the crust! Baker’s confession: okay, normally to create a crust from scratch, a baker needs a food processor. Unfortunately, I do not own a food processor. As much as I would love to own one to make crusts and pestos and such, in this time of need I couldn’t run out a purchase a food processor. In my desperate time of need to bake a pie, I proceeded to make a crust in the following way:
  2. Preheat oven to 400ºF.
  3. Toss a couple of graham crackers in a Ziploc bag. How many? Start with 12 and add more if needed! Close the bag and begin crushing the crackers. You may use a dough roller, but, if you do not have one (like myself), then begin crushing the crackers with your hands, fists, knees, feet, head…whatever can crush the crackers finely without breaking anything or hurting yourself if fine!🙂 Continue crushing the crackers until fine and until you have at 1 & 1/2 cups for the crust.
  4. Toss the cracker crumbs in the pie dish with the softened butter. With your hands (no tools needed) until well-mixed. Make sure the butter is spread evenly among the cracker crumbs.
  5. Once the crumbs and butter are well-combined begin to spread evenly to form a pie crust base.
  6. Bake in the center of the oven for 15 minutes or until the crust is golden brown.
  7. Allow to cool completely on a wire rack before filling.
  8. Chocolate Silk Filling: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  9. With the mixer still running, pour the cooled melted chocolate into the butter & sugar mixture. Add the vanilla, cocoa powder, and espresso. Scrape down the bowl while mixing.
  10. Add eggs one at a time, beating for 5 full minutes in between each addition. You will be beating the mixture for 20 minutes total. The full mixing time of 5 minutes for each egg is an important step to create the silky texture of the pie.
  11. Pour the filling into the cooled crust and allow to set in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours and up to 2 days before serving.
  12. Remove from fridge, then serve and enjoy!

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Cheers!

Keisha Cake

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***Morning Brew & Tea is a personal blog and does not receive monetary compensation for any product reviews. This review represents the opinion of Morning Brew & Tea based on personal use and results. Hot Cakes Chocolate Sauce was given as a personal gift to Morning Brew & Tea.

Notes

Cocoa Chocolate Hazelnut Cookies

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Nuts for Chocolate!!

I’m a bit of a nut fan. (Except for almonds due to allergies …sad.) I add nuts to almost everything I eat. From my yogurt breakfast bowls to my roasted chicken for dinner. Sometimes I throw them on a salad or on ice-cream. Aside from the health factor, I think it’s just an easy addition to any meal or snack without an overpowering flavor.

For the past few weeks I’ve been adding a small handful of hazelnuts to my granola and fruit bowls in the morning. The hazelnuts adds a sweet tone to the yogurt without me having to add raw honey or agave. My hazelnut addiction hasn’t diminished and I don’t think it ever will. While craving something to bake and craving to eat chocolate I thought what would be better than to create a recipe with hazelnuts?

Upon researching recipes I came across the Double Chocolate Hazelnut Cookies with Sea Salt recipe by Two Peas & Their Pod. I really loved the recipe due to the simplicity of the ingredients (AKA I had all of the ingredients in my kitchen and I didn’t want to make an extra stop to the groceries! HAHA!) I decided to adapt the recipe to my own liking by adding raw honey in place of granulated sugar. I chopped up a bar of chocolate and I decided not to sprinkle the cookies with sea salt. The pastry flour was only added because I ran out of all-purpose! I also may have added a little extra chocolate than required🙂

This hearty cookie turned out to be very soft with a heavenly chunk of chocolate in each bite. The hazelnuts added a soft crunchy texture and mellowed the double-chocolate flavor.

Let’s Begin!

What You Will Need

Cocoa Chocolate Hazelnut Cookies (adapted by Two Peas & Their Pod)

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup pastry flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 cup raw honey
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup chopped dark chocolate
  • 1 cup chopped hazelnuts

Let’s Bake!

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together all-purpose flour, pastry flour, baking soda, sea salt, and cocoa. You may sift these ingredients if you’d like. Set aside.
  2. With a stand mixer or hand mixer, cream butter, sugar, and honey until smooth. Add eggs one at a time. Then, add in vanilla extract. Mixed until combined.
  3. Slowly add flour mixture and beat until well-combined.
  4. Stir in the chocolate chips and hazelnuts.
  5. Cover and chill in the fridge for at least an hour or overnight.
  6. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Remove mixture from fridge. Scoop the dough into rounds and place on a prepared baking sheet with parchment paper. Place about two inches apart.
  7. Bake cookies for 10-12 minutes, or until cookies are set. Don’t overbake!🙂
  8. Remove from oven and let it sit on baking sheet for a few minutes. Move cookies to a cooling rack and cool completely.
  9. Serve and enjoy!🙂

Image1Image4Image3SneakPeekCheers!

Keisha Cake

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Sautéed Zucchini with Parmesan & Pistachios + Thyme Chicken with Maple-Mustard Drizzle

Image_3Sunday Mood: Sweet chicken & spiced green🙂

Sundays are usually my day of the week to relax and enjoy life. While working my day job through the week days and committing my time to various projects I find Sundays to be my relaxation day. I wake up early and I stay in bed for an hour or two for meditation or to read a book. I work out, then I spend the rest of the afternoon baking and cooking. I may chat with friends but I try my best to stay away from my phone. I like spending the time with myself while Spotify plays in the background.

Today, on this lovely Sunday, I wanted to try something new and simple. After reviewing what I had in my kitchen I decided to flip through my recipe book filled with recipes from Saveur, Bon Appetit, and Real Simple (and a few food bloggers) for some ideas.

I settled on making my own version of Bon Appetit’s Summer Squash Saute. The recipe was budget-friendly and I already had some of the ingredients in my kitchen. I had to replace the almonds for two reasons: I had pistachios stashed in my cupboard and I’m allergic to almonds. Sad, I know. It’s such a delicious nut! I also used grape seed oil because it was also already stashed in my cupboard. The additional garlic choice was made due to my love for garlic!

Baking chicken is super quick and easy. I’m not a huge carnivore (and yet, burgers are my weakness!), and that normally leads me to mostly cooking vegetarian cuisine. If I want some protein I then opt for the choice of chicken. I love baking chicken with an herb. To give it a bit of sweet flair I came across the maple-mustard idea in one of Bon Appetit‘s recipes.

Seriously, Bon Appetit, thank you for this adapted-recipe inspiration!

Let’s Begin!

What You Will Need:

Summer Zucchini Saute (adapted from Bon Appetit)

  • 3 zucchini, cut into matchsticks
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/4 cup pistachios
  • 2 tbsp. grape seed oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, smashed and chopped
  • 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Roasted Thyme Chicken

  • 4 or 5 chicken drumsticks
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil (or grape seed oil)
  • 8 thyme sprigs
  • Sea salt and black pepper

Maple-Mustard Sauce (from Bon Appetit)

  • 1/4 cup Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup

Let’s Begin!

  • Note: I wrote this recipe by cooking the rice, chicken and zucchini at the same time. Please read the recipe thoroughly before you proceed🙂
  • Before you begin: If you would like to add rice to this meal then I suggest using arborio rice. You may use any rice that you would like. Let the rice cook according to the package directions while you are cooking the chicken and zucchini.
  • Toss zucchini with 1 teaspoon salt in a colander in the sink or over a large bowl. Let zucchini stand for 10 minutes, then squeeze well to remove as much excess moisture as possible. I squeezed using a paper towel. If you have a clean kitchen towel, then you may use that to squeeze the excess water.
  • While the squash sits, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place pistachios on parchment paper on a cookie sheet. Toast for about five minutes, then remove from oven. Transfer to a plate and let cool.
  • Once the nuts are toasted, heat the oven to 425 degrees and prep the chicken legs before cooking the zucchini. Place chicken in a foil pan or foil-covered pan. Add salt, pepper, oil and sprigs of thyme, then toss to coat.
  • Place in oven and bake for 35 minutes, turning once or twice.
  • Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and red pepper flakes and cook for about 2 minutes, stirring often, until fragrant but not browned. Add zucchini and cook for about 5 minutes, tossing occasionally, until crisp-tender.
  • Remove from heat and fold in Parmesan. Season with salt and pepper, then fold in pistachios.
  • At this time, the chicken may still be in the oven. Prep the maple-mustard dressing. Mix together in bowl and set aside.
  • Remove chicken from the oven and transfer to plate. Drizzle the maple-mustard mixture while the chicken is still hot.
  • Serve zucchini, chicken and rice on a plate and enjoy! Yum!

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Cheers!

Keisha Cake

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Lemon Mini Cupcakes with Blackberry Frosting

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A light lemon treat with a rich, creamy berry frosting.

Finally, beautiful weather is here! Sure, there are some complaints that we have chilly days. But I honestly don’t care. As long as it’s sunny then I’m happy!🙂

I’ve been drinking lemon water everyday as my morning wake-up routine. Every morning I have a bit of a slow start routine that helps me get through my day. I may share that with you on a future blog post one day. But, for now, let’s talk about these cupcakes!!

I had a few lemons lying around in my kitchen due to my morning lemon water addition.  I’ve also been picking up a pack of blackberries each time I shop at the groceries. While thinking of a new recipe I thought these two would pair really lovely together. Yes, the process of creating this recipe was that simple. When you’re on a bit of a budget and you’re looking to cook or bake the first thing you must think of is not “what don’t I have?” but “what do I already have in my kitchen?!

I adapted this recipe from Cake Journal by adding a bit more lemon zest and juice to the batter. This may be much for others but I absolutely LOVE the essence of lemon in cake! I also adapted my own frosting recipe by replacing cream cheese with mascarpone.

Let’s Begin!

What You’ll Need:

Mini Lemon Cupcakes

  • 1 cup cake flour
  • 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar, divided
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 6 large eggs, separated
  • 3/4 cup cold water
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest

Blackberry Frosting (adapted from my own Blueberry Frosting recipe)

  • 1 cup fresh blueberries
  • 1 Tbsp raw honey
  • 1 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
  • ½ cup mascarpone at room temperature
  • 1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • Additional 1 cup blackberries for topping (optional)

Baking equipment

  • 1 medium bowl
  • 1 large bowl
  • 1 mixing/medium bowl + electric mixer
  • Mini cupcake pans (as many as you have, if you have just one then that will be fine!🙂 )

Let’s Begin!

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the six egg yolks, oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, and water.
  2. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, salt, and 1 cup of sugar.
  3. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the wet ingredients. Mix with your hand until smooth. Yes, you may use your hands! Forget the whisk!
  4. In a mixing bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the egg whites until light and foamy. Slowly add in 1/2 cup of sugar, beating until soft peaks form.
  5. Stir about one-third of the egg white mixture into the cake batter and mix. Once well-blended, gently fold in the remaining egg white mixture and continue.
  6. Prep your mini cupcake pans with mini cupcake cups. Divide the batter between the cupcake pans. Bake for approximately 14 minutes, or until the cake springs back when touched with your finger.
  7. Place the hot cupcake pans on a wire rack and allow the cakes to cool in the pans. Once cool, turn the cupcake pan upside down and let it fall gently on the wire rack. Or you may remove it with your hands one by one.
  8. While the mini cupcakes continue to cool start making the frosting!!
  9. In a saucepan over medium heat cook the blackberries and raw honey together. Use a wooden spoon to mash the blackberries.
  10. Simmer until significantly reduced.
  11. Remove from the heat and let cool before proceeding.
  12. With a mixer, cream the butter together with the cooled berries and 1 ½ cup of sifted powdered sugar. (Taste the frosting and add more sugar if you like.)
  13. Mix until completely smooth, then add the vanilla.
  14. Frost cupcakes and top each one with a blackberry.
  15. Serve (with a recommended cup of tea) and enjoy!

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 Recently, I’ve been ditching cream cheese in all of my baking recipes and substituting it with mascarpone. It’s much lighter than cream cheese and the velvet texture is much more pleasurable. Cream cheese, as tasty as it can be, can be much too heavy and too dense.

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Cheers!

Keisha Cake

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