Peach Pico

This isn’t a precise recipe. It can easily be scaled up for a larger amount. This yielded me about two cups which was more than enough for our dinner tonight.

Taste as you go and adjust to suit your preference. If you have a good peach, your pico should be plenty sweet.

You can easily substitute in other fruits like mango or pineapple!

Combine gently in a large mixing bowl:

1/2 large tomato

1 ripe peach chopped

1/4 chopped medium red onion

1/8 c chopped cilantro

1/2 small jalapeño chopped (seeded if you don’t want it too spicy)

1/4 habenero chopped (ditto)

Zest of half of a lime

Juice of a lime

S&P

Sugar/honey/agave as needed if it isn’t sweet enough

Use as dip or on top of some tacos 🐷

Red Velvet White Chocolate Cheesecake

Last year I posted the recipe for my Red Velvet Cheesecake. This is almost the exact same recipe except I tinkered with the cheesecake, buttercream and decorations.

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I will not bore you with a story about my grandma’s time on the farm when she milked a cow and made her own white chocolate.

 

I will just say this is labor intensive. Plan ahead. Be organized. Make. Your. Cheesecake. Ahead. Of. Time. And I do recommend using a quality white chocolate (I used Ghirardelli white chocolate baking bars).

 

Aside from the white chocolate, the pictures show double the cheesecake unlike my previous Red Velvet Cheesecake. This is not required but I wanted to show out because baking is therapy and I needed to do. So, yeah. This is pretty legit.

 

Oh, did I mention that white chocolate is in the cheesecake and the buttercream AND as a topping? Yeah.

 

Too legit.

 

To quit (rimshot).

 

 

Cheesecake:

 

2-8oz cream cheese, room temp

1 C sugar

3 tbsp sour cream, room temp

½ tbsp. vanilla extract

2 eggs

½ tbsp. corn starch

1/8 tsp salt

4 oz melted white chocolate

 

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i always love The Spread

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees
  2. Place a heat-resistant bowl on top of a pot with a small amount of water. Bring it to a boil and lower to a simmer. Put your white chocolate pieces (as close as you can get to same size) in the bowl. Stir occasionally as it melts. Remove from the pot when it’s like 90% melted, continue stirring until the carry over heat melts the remaining chocolate.
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    please don’t skimp on the chocolate

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    my widdle piggy is fun Marshall’s

  3. At the same time, preferably, start your mixer and whip the softened cream cheese.
  4. Add the sour cream
  5. Add the sugar and vanilla
  6. Add the corn starch
  7. Add the eggs one at a time
  8. Scrape down the sides, mix until combined.
    1. You don’t want to see any large flecks of cream cheese, small specks are okay.
  9. Add the slightly cooled white chocolate to the cheesecake mixture, combine well.

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    white chocolate being added to the cheesecake batter

  10. Cut a circle large enough to fit into the bottom of a 9” cake pan
  11. Spray with cooking spray, place parchment
  12. Pour cheesecake mixture into the pan, gently tap the pan on your counter to release any bubbles
  13. Bake for roughly an hour
  14. The cheesecake will be slightly jiggly in the center, a tad firmer towards the edges
    1. This cheesecake is a filling so some browning and cracks are fine. No one is going to see this. This is basically sacrilegious for traditional cheesecake, I know, but trust me.
    2. If it starts getting too Beyonce Bronze, tent it loosely with some foil.
  15. Allow the cheesecake to cool
  16. Cover with plastic wrap and allow cheesecake to set in the fridge for at least 4 hours, or overnight preferably

 

 

Red Velvet Sponge

 

2 cup flour

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

2-3 tbsp cocoa powder

2 cups sugar

1 cup vegetable oil

2 eggs, room temperature

1 cup of buttermilk, room temperature

2 tsp vanilla extract

1-2 tbsp red food coloring (more or less to suit your preference)

1 tsp white vinegar

Pro tip: Boost your cocoa flavor by adding ½ cup of very strong coffee or instant espresso!! Remember when I used this technique in brownies?

 

 

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F

In the bowl of your mixer, combine your dry ingredients

 

In a medium bowl, first combine your sugar and oil then add in the eggs, buttermilk, vanilla and food coloring

 

Add in your vinegar

 

Add in your coffee or espresso if you’re going to use  it

With your mixer on low, slowly incorporate the wet into the dry bit by bit

Note: This is not a thick batter

 

Grease and flour two 9” cake pans and divide batter into 3-4 cupcake tins plus the pans

(This can also be used just for cupcakes, freeze any excess batter in a ziplock bag for next time!)

Bake for 30-35 minutes in the center of the oven, start checking for doneness around 30 minutes

(your cupcakes will be done quicker, check for doneness around 16 minutes)

When the cake passes the toothpick test remove from the oven and cool on a rack then cool upside down to help flatten out the tops

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While cooling, whip up some buttercream

 

 

 

Vanilla Buttercream:

2 sticks softened butter

1 tsp vanilla extract

Roughly 5 cups of powdered sugar

3 oz white chocolate melted, reserve 1 oz for decoration

 

Repeat the steps from above to melt 3 oz white chocolate

In the bowl of your stand mixer, whip the butter on medium until the butter looks light and fluffy52bdd84b-b5f0-4496-8d97-59c206a6a3f4

Add vanilla

On low speed, slowly and carefully add the powdered sugar about a cup at a time

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Slowly increase the speed and whip until well incorporated

Repeat steps 3 and 4 until all of your sugar is used

Add slightly cooled white chocolate and whip until incorporated

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Leftover buttercream can be stored in the freezer in a ziplock bag.

 

 

The Show:

 

Once completely cooled stack sponge-cheesecake-sponge

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Spread your buttercream on the sides and top of the cake—work quickly or make sure the room is warm. The buttercream will seize and harden because of the white chocolate.

(It will create a sort of ganache around the cake, so don’t be alarmed. Do you’re best. No one is going to really see this).

 

Crumble up your cupcakes and sprinkle on/around your cake

 

Nuke your remaining ounce of white chocolate at 10 second intervals, slightly warm but not soft.

 

Use a vegetable peeler and start peeling carefully on the straightest edge. Use your ribbons to decorate how you see fit.

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Store in an airtight container in the fridge.

 

© 2019  by Alexa Mason. All Rights Reserved

 

Red Velvet Swirled Blondies

Ingredients

1- 1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened

2 eggs, lightly beaten

2 tsp vanilla extract

1 1/2 cup AP flour

1/2 tsp salt

1/2-1 tsp red coloring

1/4 cup cocoa powder, more to taste

 

 


 

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees

2. In the bowl of your mixer, beat together the sugar and butter until fluffy

3. Slowly add egg and vanilla

4. Scrape bowl as needed

5. Combine the dry ingredients

6. Carefully add dry to wet

7. Grease or line a 13×9 baking pan (11×7 for a slightly thicker cut)

8. Portion out about 75% of the batter into the baking pan

9. To the remaining batter, add the cocoa powder and food coloring

• Adjust this to your preference

• Easier to add than remove

10. Spread the plain batter to fit the pan

11. Dollop the red velvet batter around the pan

12. Using a knife, drag through the batter to create your swirls

13. Ensure the batter is evenly spread

14. Bake for 18-20 minutes, start checking around 15 minutes.

15. Use the toothpick method to determine doneness

16. Cool on a cooling rack

 

© 2018 by Alexa Mason. All Rights Reserved

Red Velvet Cheesecake

Red velvet anything is a favorite around these parts. I’ve been “meaning to” make this cake for almost over a year. First a birthday, then another birthday and now, “well….Valentine’s Day is coming up…”

Finally!

I recreated a Good Humor Strawberry Shortcake as a cheesecake before. This recipe uses the same cheesecake method. Remember, your cheesecake needs to cool and set for at least 4 hours so plan ahead!

Because this cake is going to have a whole cheesecake in the center, I opted for a plain vanilla buttercream to coat. Some crumbled cake helps to keep decorating simple and error-proof.

Make this for your sweetie and report back!

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Ingredients:

Red Velvet Sponge

2 cup flour

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

2-3 tbsp cocoa powder

2 cups sugar

1 cup vegetable oil

2 eggs, room temperature

1 cup of buttermilk, room temperature

2 tsp vanilla extract

1-2 tbsp red food coloring (more or less to suit your preference)

1 tsp white vinegar

Pro tip: Boost your cocoa flavor by adding ½ cup of very strong coffee or instant espresso!! Remember when I used this technique in brownies?

Cheesecake (make this beforehand and allow to cool!)

Vanilla Buttercream:

2 sticks softened butter

1 tsp vanilla extract

Roughly 5 cups of powdered sugar

 

 

  1. Your cheesecake should have been made beforehand and should already be cooling in the fridge for at least four hours!!!!rv13rv14
  2. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F
  3. In the bowl of your mixer, combine your dry ingredientsrv
  4. In a medium bowl, first combine your sugar and oil then add in the eggs, buttermilk, vanilla and food coloring
  5. Add in your vinegarrv2rv3
  6. Add in your coffee or espresso if you’re going to use it
  7. With your mixer on low, slowly incorporate the wet into the dry bit by bit
    • Note: This is not a thick batterrv4
  8. Grease and flour two 9” cake pan and divide in 3-4 cupcake tins, plus two pans
    • This can also be used just for cupcakes, freeze any excess batter in a ziplock bag for next time!
  9. Bake for 30-35 minutes in the center of the oven, start checking for doneness around 30 minutes
    • (your cupcakes will be done quicker, check for doneness around 16 minutes)
  10. When the cake passes the toothpick test remove from the oven and cool on a rack then cool upside down to help flatten out the topsrv5
  11. While cooling, whip up some buttercream

Vanilla Buttercream:

  • In the bowl of your stand mixer, whip the butter on medium until the butter looks white and fluffy
  • Add vanilla
  • On low speed, slowly and carefully add the powdered sugar about a cup at a time
  • Slowly increase the speed and whip until well incorporated
  • Repeat steps 3 and 4 until all of your sugar is used
  • Leftover buttercream can be stored in the freezer in a ziplock bag.

 

  1. Once completely cooled stack sponge-cheesecake-sponge
  2. Spread your buttercream
  3. Crumble up your cupcakes and sprinkle on/around your cake!rv7rv6rv8rv9rv10

 

 

Store in an airtight container in the fridge.

 

© 2018 by Alexa Mason. All Rights Reserved

 

Grown Up Double Chocolate Brownies

Listen, these ain’t Betty Crocker’s brownies.

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These are sinfully indulgent. Butter, cocoa powder and dark chocolate chips throughout. Chocolate is absolutely the star of this recipe. The brownies are moist, gooey, not super sweet. You can also taste little flecks of salt.  I’m telling you, these are very grown brownies.

Add more or less chocolate morsels. Top with nuts. Go crazy! (But honestly, they are so f*cking good, they can stand alone.)

 

Ingredients:

1 Cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter

2 cups of granulated sugar

1 ¼ cups of cocoa powder

1 tsp coarse salt

1 tsp baking powder

1 tbsp vanilla extract

4 eggs

1 ½ cup of flour

1-2 cups of Hershey’s Special Dark Chocolate Chips

 

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Lightly grease a 9×13 or 11×7 baking pan (with butter, shortening, baking cooking spray)
  3. In a sauce pan, melt your butter over low heat and then add sugarbrownies
  4. Stir very carefully and cook for about 2 minutes. (do not skip this step)
  5. Pour this mixture into the bowl for your mixer
  6. Carefully beat in your salt, baking powder, cocoa powder, vanilla and eggs one at a time
  7. Mix until well combined
  8. On low, add your flour.
  9. Using a spatula fold in the chocolate morsels.brownies3
  10. Spread batter into the baking pan (the batter will be thick, this is okay!)
  11. Carefully smooth the top of your batterbrownies4
  12. Bake for up to 30 minutes; start checking for doneness around 20 minutes
  13. Cool on a baking rackbrownies4 copy

 

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Adapted from King Arthur Flour