About Me

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Washington , United States
I officially became a "Baker" on October 10, 1987. When my husband and I were engaged we joked that he was Baker and I was Asst. Baker (we even had sweatshirts made) During the 23 years that I was raising children, it didn't leave much time for baking, but I have always enjoyed it when I do find the time. My love of making cheesecakes and a friend posting a cake he really wanted started me on my Bake(r)ing journey about 3 years ago. Life is still crazy busy, but I find that baking brings such joy that it also brings peace & calm to a busy life, and heck...who doesn't love a good cheesecake?

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Tiramisu Cheesecake for Kevin

Tiramisu Cheesecake for Kevin

I've never been a huge fan of Tiramisu.  Pudding-like textured desserts and the thought of soggy ladyfingers always make me pick something else.  UNTIL NOW!!  So if you typically are not a fan of Tiramisu either….KEEP READING!

If I know one thing about my friend Kevin, it is that he loves Tiramisu.  So for his birthday I set out to find a cheesecake recipe that would incorporate the flavors of a traditional Tiramisu.  From the beginning this recipe was a challenge.  I originally found it on Pinterest, but someone had “pinned” it without a valid link.  With every new social media that comes along, so do some simple, common-sense tips for using said new social media.  It is always best to pin from an original site and not repin all the time, but if you insist on re-pinning  please make sure there is a valid link to follow.  This recipe was ALL OVER Pinterest, but the majority of the pins had no valid link.  Okay, hopping off my soapbox now and getting back to the story!

After some additional web searches, I found this recipe included here. But all of my problems were not over.   First, and foremost, the very first thing you will notice is that the picture shows a beautiful piped frosting, yet no recipe was included.  Second, unless you have done extensive research about ladyfingers, the simple “1 (12 ounce) package ladyfingers” is very misleading. And last but not least, Tiramisu has coffee AND rum flavors, yet I couldn't find any rum in the recipe anywhere.

Ready for a challenge, I set out to make a Tiramisu Cheesecake that would be to die for.

Let’s talk about ladyfingers.  I couldn't wrap my head around how the soft bread-like ladyfingers would make an appropriate cheesecake crust; I knew I needed something with a graham-cracker-like texture, not bread.  But little did I know that there are two kinds of ladyfingers!! Soft bread-like ladyfingers (found in most bakery sections of finer grocery stores) and a cookie-like version found on the cookie aisle.  When I found these Balocco Savoiardi Ladyfingers, I knew I had what I needed.  They are a soft cookie that you can easily crush into fine crumbs either using your fingers or by placing them in a Ziploc bag and using a rolling pin to crush them.  The original recipe called for 1 (12 ounce) package of ladyfingers.  I bought 2  (7 ounce packages); each package has two sleeves of ladyfingers in it, so I used 1 and a half packages of ladyfingers (or 3 sleeves) to equal almost the 12 ounces.

To solve the problem about there being no rum flavor in the cheesecake, I decided I would let the cheesecake have all the coffee flavor and I would focus on making the frosting incorporate the rum flavor,  thus solving two of my three problems. Now I have the rum flavor AND a frosting to pipe around the edges!

And lastly, the original recipe does not instruct you to use a water bath while baking your cheesecake.  Bake(r)ing tip: always, always, ALWAYS use a water bath when baking cheesecake.  I have not used it before when a recipe doesn't call for it, thinking that “maybe this recipe doesn't require it” and I have been wrong! So just trust me on this one and always use a water bath.  It’s simple to do; just cover the bottom of your springform pan with foil up the sides so that no water can get in around the bottom.  Then place your springform pan in the middle of a roasting pan and add boiling water to about halfway up the side of your pan.  The steam that the boiling water creates while the cheesecake is baking will keep it moist and will keep the cheesecake from cracking on the top.

This cheesecake is an incredibly rich mix of coffee and rum flavors that will satisfy all Tiramisu Lovers’ taste buds and have them wanting more.



For the crust:
12 ounces ladyfingers – I used 3 sleeves of Balocco Savoiardi brand
4 tablespoons butter, melted
2 tablespoons coffee flavored liqueur- I used Kahlua

For the Cheesecake:
3 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese
1 (8 ounce) container mascarpone cheese
1 cup white sugar
2 eggs
4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons coffee flavored liqueur- again, Kahlua
1 (1 ounce) square semisweet chocolate

For the frosting:
½ cup butter, softened
About 3 cups powdered sugar
3-4 TBLS rum- I used Appleton Estate brand

Cheesecake Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  
Crush the ladyfingers to fine crumbs. Mix the melted butter into the crumbs. Moisten with 2 tablespoons of the coffee liqueur. Press into a 9 inch springform pan.  Set aside.
In a large bowl, mix cream cheese, mascarpone, and sugar until very smooth. Add 2 tablespoons coffee liqueur, and mix. Add the eggs and the flour; mix SLOWLY until just smooth. The consistency of the mascarpone can vary. If the cheesecake batter is too thick, add a little cream. Do not over mix at this point. Pour batter onto crust.

Place the springform pan in a broiling pan and add boiling water about up to the middle of the springform pan. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until just set. Open oven door, and turn off the heat. Leave cake to cool in oven for 20 minutes. Remove from oven, cool completely. Cover with a clean dish towel and refrigerate overnight. Prior to serving, grate the semi-sweet chocolate (I used my lemon zester to make very fine chocolate shavings) over top and pipe with frosting.  I used chocolate-covered coffee beans in the middle of each “frosting mound”

Frosting Directions:
Beat butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy; gradually add 1 cup powdered sugar, beating at low speed until blended.  Add rum and vanilla, beating until blended.  Gradually add remaining powdered sugar until you reach the desired consistency.  You want a light smooth frosting, but it needs to be thick enough to hold its shape.  Place frosting in a piping bag and pipe around the edges of the cheesecake. I used a Wilton 1M tip to pipe the frosting.   Return to the refrigerator until time to serve.

For next time:
The only thing I am going to do differently next time; I am going to frost a very thin layer of frosting over the entire cheesecake before adding the chocolate shavings and piped icing. That way, every bite will have a hint of the rum frosting in it! 

Happy Bake(r)ing!! 

Happy Kevin

Andrew's Red Velvet Layered Cheesecake

Andrew’s Red Velvet Layered Cheesecake

About six years ago an acquaintance asked me if I had a Red Velvet Cake recipe.   Until then I had never heard of a Red Velvet Cake, and since then they are everywhere!  You can’t turn around without seeing or reading something about Red Velvet!  This is also how my Bake(r)ing  got its name. 

My friend Andrew posted a link on Facebook one day to the most beautiful cake I had ever seen.  He didn't elaborate; he just simply posted the link with a very simple “yumm” in the comments.  Of course I followed the link to see what all the fuss was about, and found this cake recipe.    I give all the credit to Erin at erinsFOODfiles for this recipe as I haven’t changed a single thing (except I use vanilla powder), and thank her for her step-by-step detailed instructions and giving me the courage to try it. 

I immediately knew that I had to make this for Andrew for his birthday, and I filed it away in the back of my mind until his birthday got a bit closer.   As August of that year (2010) approached, I started obsessing over the recipe.  I read it and re-read it until I about had it memorized.  I was scared to death to try it.  I had made a cheesecake before with good results, but I had never made a layered cake, and honestly, all the talk about Bake Even strips and using a cake leveler had me a bit worried.   Little did I know I had nothing to fear.   I used professional baker’s grade Winco 10x3 cake pans that I purchased at Costco and a 10-inch springform pan, and the cakes baked perfectly flat with no leveling required, and the cheesecake was the exact right size and did not need trimmed. 

I always make this cake over the course of two days.  The first day I make the cheesecake so it can freeze and the next day I make and assemble the cake.  On the day that Andrew and his wife Lorraine were coming for dinner, I posted on Facebook that I was Bake(r)ing a cake for a friend (with a link to the cake, so he would know).  I was just being clever with my last name at the time, but the name stuck and I have since been doing a lot of Bake(r)ing.

I have now made this cake countless times.  I have never changed anything except the color of the frosting as you will see in one of the pictures, and once I tried making it purple and gold for my Son’s birthday;  I've included a picture of that as well, but I won’t be doing that again.  Chocolate can turn red with no fuss, but does not turn purple as easily, as you can see by the picture. 

As far as taste… where do I start?  Erin says it best and it is true: this cake gets RAVE reviews every time it is made!!  I have sold it for $100+ (more than once) at school auctions!  The red velvet is a perfect combination of sweet, tangy, light and fluffy, while the cheesecake is oh so rich and moist.  And who can resist a cream cheese frosting?  I think my favorite part of this cake is that every single component of it could stand alone in taste, yet when you add them all together they become….well, heaven on a plate!!

Do yourself and your special valentine a favor and don’t be afraid to make this cake right away.



For the cheesecake:
1 1/4 pounds bar cream cheese (20 oz), room temperature (2 ½ blocks of cream cheese)
3/4 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest, plus 1/2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
2 large eggs
1/2 cup sour cream

For the cake:
2 1/2 c. cake flour
1 1/2 c. sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
1 TBSP cocoa powder
1 tsp. salt
2 eggs
1 1/2 c. vegetable oil
1 c. buttermilk
2 TBSP (1 oz.) red food coloring
1 tsp. vanilla extract (I use vanilla powder from here)
1 tsp. white distilled vinegar

For the frosting:
12 oz. cream cheese, softened (1 ½ blocks of cream cheese)
12 oz. butter, softened
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract (again, I always use vanilla powder)
3 c. confectioners' sugar

1 bar white or dark chocolate (Optional for decoration), I use Seattle Chocolates


For cheesecake:
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Set a kettle of water to boil. Using an electric mixer, beat cream cheese on medium until fluffy, scraping down side of bowl. Gradually add sugar, beating until fluffy. Beat in lemon zest and juice, and salt. Beat in eggs, one at a time, scraping down side of bowl after each addition. Beat in sour cream.

Cut parchment paper in a circle and line the bottom of the cheesecake pan. Wrap bottom half of pan in foil. Pour the filling in a 10”springform pan; place in a roasting pan. Pour in boiling water to come halfway up side of springform. Bake until just set in center, about 45 minutes. Remove pan from water; let cool 20 minutes. Run a paring knife around edge; let cool completely.  At this point, I cover the cheesecake lightly with a clean dish towel and place in the refrigerator for a few hours.  Then I remove the sides of the springform pan and wrap the cheesecake with plastic wrap and freeze overnight.

For the cake:
Preheat oven to 350°. Sift together flour, sugar, baking soda, cocoa, and salt into a medium bowl.

Beat eggs, oil, buttermilk, food coloring, vanilla, and vinegar in a large bowl with an electric mixer until well combined. Add dry ingredients and beat until smooth, about 2 minutes.

Divide batter evenly between 2 greased and floured (I use Pam Baking spray)  10" round cake pans and bake 25-30 minutes, rotating halfway through, until a toothpick inserted in the center of each cake comes out clean. Let cakes cool 5 minutes, and then invert each onto a plate, then invert again onto a cooling rack. Let cakes cool completely.

Beat cream cheese, butter, and vanilla together in a large bowl with an electric mixer until combined. Add sugar and beat until frosting is light and fluffy, 5–7 minutes.


Place bottom layer on cake stand. Remove cheesecake from freezer, unwrap, and remove from metal bottom, then peel off parchment paper. Place cheesecake layer on top of the bottom layer of the red velvet cake. If the cheesecake is wider than the cake, and it is necessary to trim it, wait approximately 10 minutes for the cheesecake to soften, and then trim it with a knife. Place top layer of cake on top of the cheesecake, and coat with a generous layer of the cream cheese frosting to act as the crumb coat. Be careful not to get any red velvet crumbs in the bowl of frosting! Refrigerate approximately 30 minutes, and then frost with as much of the remaining frosting as necessary. Top with shaved white chocolate and/or shaved dark chocolate. Refrigerate until ready to serve. (This cake doesn't have to stay in the fridge until IMMEDIATELY before serving, so don't worry if you have a 30 minute lapse between the refrigerator and serving.)

Happy Andrew

The one that I tried to make purple and gold for my Son

My Daughter's bridal shower cake