Embracing Error

No-Bake Raspberry Cream Cheese Cake (Mousse) with a Pecan Crust

No-Bake Cheesecake

I’ve often heard food used as metaphors for life well, this recent baking experience literally allowed me to embrace and enjoy eating, my errors!  Yum!

The ingredients in this cake or mousse are sooooo what my sweet dream desserts are made of!  (Yes, when I dream, I dream of food!)

It started as a trip to the local produce market on Thursday – big produce delivery day!

Organic raspberries on sale – Yay!!!

I located a bunch of different recipes that incorporated raspberries and combined a couple to create this recipe for a Greek yogurt-infused, no-bake raspberry cheesecake.  And since I never liked graham cracker crusts — I will often make my cheesecakes with no crust — I discovered a way to make a hearty, nut-flavored crust using finely ground pecans.

I intended to make a cake however the creamy consistency could easily categorize the result as a mousse or perhaps a smoother and creamier, cheesecake.

No-Bake Cheesecake

No-Bake Cheesecake

I made this recipe work in a number of ways:  many of my raspberries were unusable explaining the low price but upon my inspection I managed to find just the right amount for this cake; the pecan crust recipe needed sugar and I happened to taste it before it was completed allowing me to make the needed adjustments.

These trials and errors enriched this baking experience enhancing both my flexibility and self-compassion.  And of course, it produced a delicious cake!

Here’s the recipe and more enticing images.

No-Bake Cheesecake

No-Bake Raspberry Cream Cheese Cake (Mousse) with a Pecan Crust

Filling

Ingredients
2 8-ounce packages of good quality cream cheese, softened
1 C plain Greek yogurt
½ C + 2T Confectioners’ sugar
2 t vanilla
2 t lemon juice

Freshly whipped cream

Process:  add all ingredients except the whipped cream to a large bowl and mix very well; fold in the whipped cream; chill.

Crust

Ingredients
1 C pecans, finely ground
1 C all-purpose flour
4 T butter
1 T sugar

Process:  add all ingredients to a food processor and blend well; press the mixture into a spring-form pan that is wrapped in foil; bake for 20 minutes; allow to cool.

Making freshly whipped cream:  combine 8 ounces of cold cream, 1 tablespoon of confectioners’ sugar, 1 teaspoon of vanilla, and 1 teaspoon of cream of tarter and whip until stiff.

Assembling the Cake
Place rinsed and dried raspberries on top of the baked and cooled pecan crust; pour the cream cheese filling over the raspberries; chill for 2-3 hours; and serve.

No-Bake Cheesecake No-Bake Cheesecake


The Best Undelivered Birthday Cake

Strawberry Cream Cake

Strawberry Cream Cake

It’s inevitable, some baked cakes will never reach their intended recipients.

After making the decision to cut into this beauty…

StrawCream1

I have to say it was one of the best tasting cakes I ever had or made!

This Strawberry Cream cake was intended for my grand-daughter, Shaniya. Although she never actually got this cake due to unforeseen issues, I thought about her during the entire baking and tasting experiences.

And funny, would I have actually gotten a taste of it if I had delivered it? I bake cakes all the time and more often than not, the result is fantastic! So I resign myself to never tasting the cakes I give away since I know I can always make another.

I put so much time, effort and love into this cake during the preparation and I’m certain she felt the results.

Strawberry Cream Cake
Don’t worry, Shaniya, your second-take cake is in the works!

I shared this cake with colleagues at the New York Public Libray. Here are their comments:

“Oh, my goodness, it was good! The tart from the strawberry mixed so well with the creaminess of the cream; nice balance.”
“I don’t usually eat sweets, but this was good and not so sweet.”

Here’s the recipe.

Strawberry & Cream Cake (Birthday cake for Shaniya’s 7th birthday.)

Butter Cake

2 ½ sticks butter
2 C sugar
4 eggs
1 t vanilla
¾ t almond extract
2 ¼ C flour
¾ t baking powder
pinch of salt
¾ C milk

Process: cream butter and sugar together. Add eggs one at a time mixing well after each addition. Add vanilla, almond extract. In a separate bowl, mix flour, baking powder and salt. Add the flour mixture to the creamed butter and sugar alternating with the milk. Do not over mix. Pour into two prepared 8” round cake pans. Bake at 350 degrees F for about 40 minutes or when inserted toothpick comes out clean. After cooling, slice each layer evenly to create four layers.

Whipped Cream

12 oz of heavy whipping cream
1 ½ t vanilla
2 T confectioner’s sugar
Whip until stiff peaks form.

Whipped Cream Cheese Frosting (For top layer and sides only.)

4 oz low-fat cream cheese
4 T butter
¾ t vanilla
1/3 C confectioner’s sugar
½ C whipped cream
Process: mix first four ingredients until creamy then FOLD in the whipped cream.

Strawberry Puree

1 ½ C fresh strawberries rinsed and drained
juice of ½ lemon
¼ C confectioner’s sugar (taste for bitterness then add more sugar)
Process in food processor.

Strawberry Cream Cake Strawberry Cream Cake