September 2009 archive

Happy (Almost) Birthday Ali!

My fantastically amazing pastry-chef and Cakery Friday writing sister, Ali is having a pretty big birthday tomorrow! Since she’ll be the one blogging, I thought I’d send her lots and lots of love and birthday wishes in today’s post. HAPPY BIRTHDAY ALI!!!



In honor of Ali’s quarter-of-a-century day, here’s the “formula” to plan the ultimate green fete. Ali adores all things green, and I hope she has the most awesome green birthday!











{cakes and florals via martha stewart weddings & style me pretty; candy buffets via amy atlas; shoes via bluefly and saks, stationery via elum designs & mr. boddington’s studio; mixer via williams sonoma}

Love you A-yi!

xoxo,

Niki

Cakery Niki: Mom’s Famous Cheesecake

Although I vowed to stay away from the “Cakery” portion of this blog, I have another family heirloom recipe to share with you. This one always goes over well at our break the fast, but can be made year round. I used to be scared of making a cheesecake. There are so many things that could go wrong. Luckily this recipe has a secret formula for repairing all cracks, bruises and bumps that is amazingly tasty!

The hostesses from my wedding shower a few years ago published this recipe in a cookbook that they gave as a favor. See tomorrow’s blog for more details!

Start by gathering together all of the ingredients.


In a food processor (or with a hammer and a ziplock bag) create 1 cup of graham cracker crumbs. Make sure you use the honey crackers, save the cinnamon ones for s’mores.

Add 2 tbs. of melted butter to the crumbs and mix together with a spoon. Then press this mixture into the bottom of a round springform pan, just going slightly up the sides.

Bake the crust for 10 minutes at 350 F. Make sure it doesn’t burn. Put it aside until you finish the filling.

Separate 5 eggs into 2 bowls. Be sure to take the eggs out of the fridge a few hours before (along with the cream cheese) to let them come to room temperature.

Whip the 5 egg whites to stiff peaks. I like to do this with my hand mixer which whips at incredible speed.


In the Kitchenaid mixer fitted with a paddle attachment cream together 4 8oz. blocks of cream cheese with 1 cup of sugar. Again, its important that the cream cheese has come to room temperature and softened. It will whip much smoother and easier. I usually mix on medium/high speed for about 2-4 minutes. Add the egg yolks, 1 at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.


Turn off the machine and fold in the egg whites by hand with a spatula. The egg whites will make the cheesecake lighter and airier. If you added them using the mixer, they would immediately deflate, so be sure to do this by hand.

Pour the batter into the springform pan over the crust and bake at 350 F for about 45 minutes. The cheesecake might brown very slightly on the top, but monitor it so it doesn’t burn.

Once its done baking, remove it from the oven and let it sit for at least 30 minutes to cool. At this point, I usually scrape off the browned top with a sharp knife. It will be covered by the topping anyways, but it gives me a good excuse to have a quick taste!


In a small bowl mix together 2-3 cups of sour cream, 2/3 cup of sugar and 1 tsp of vanilla extract. Stir together with a spatula.

Pour the topping over the baked cheesecake. This is the perfect time to fill in cracks or cover any imperfections.


Bake the cheesecake at 350 F for another 10 minutes, in which time the topping will
set.


Let the cheesecake cool, then refrigerate it. I think it tastes better when it sits for 1-2 days in the fridge before serving. Gently run a sharp knife around the springform and release it for this decadent and creamy dessert!

Much love to my mom for passing on this simple yet ridiculously amazing recipe.

Click below for the formula.

Leslies%20Famous%20Cheesecake.htm

Confectionarily yours…

xoxo,

Niki

Think Pink Rocks!

October is breast cancer awareness month, which is something very close my heart. I’m sure almost everyone has been affected in some way by this horrible form of cancer. Both my mother in law and grandmother are survivors, which is truly a blessing.

My amazing friend, Elizabeth Weprin, has made beast cancer awareness her champion cause. She’s planning a fabulous event in Boca this weekend!

In 2005, Elizabeth and her friend, survivor, Stephanie Robin founded Think Pink, to raise awareness about the BRCA gene mutation, early detection of and genetic testing for breast cancer, and to provide funding for screening, treatment and research.

The first Think Pink luncheon was held here in Boca Raton, and raised over $40,000. The proceeds were donated to two breast cancer related charities, JACOB International and the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. In 2007 the luncheon raised over $150,000. After so much incredible success, Think Pink launched Think Pink Rocks, an outrageously fun concert in Mizner Park in Boca.

Think Pink Rocks 2009, is this Saturday, October 3 at the Count de Hoernle Amphitheater at the Centre for the Arts in Mizner Park, Boca Raton. The concert will feature awesome artists: AKON!!!! Shontelle, Melanie Fiona, Kardinal Offishall, DJ Cassidy, American Yard, DJ Webstar!!! Tickets are only $30 and all money raised by THINK PINK ROCKS will benefit life-changing charities such as: Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York; BRCH Women’s Center for Breast Care; The American Cancer Society / Making Strides Against Breast Cancer; Reach Global / Jacob International; The Florida Breast Cancer Foundation; The H.O.P.E. Project; University of Miami Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Even if you can’t make it in person, you can be there in spirit by becoming a sponsor or donating, or even just “click to be counted” and spread the word to your friends.

Here are a few fabulous images from pink events to keep you “thinking pink” this week!





{via Style Me Pretty, Amy Atlas, Mika78 & Saks}

See you Saturday night at Think Pink Rocks!!

xoxo,

Niki



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