Monday, March 4, 2024

New York Cheesecake

New York Cheesecake is not only the perfect coffee shop treat, but also a true delight when having friends over for an afternoon tea or coffee. This very cheesecake is the creamiest you'll ever make at home!

New York, New York!!! 

Everyone remembers their first time in New York. Landing outside Manhattan, then driving to this very place in a taxi with your mouth and eyes wide open has quite an effect on you. I first went to the big apple in 2013, and went back in 2016 and 2022. The second time was much more laid back, as I had seen all the touristic things the first time. The last time was full focus on FOOD. I've seen the buildings, I've seen the shops, I've seen the museums, now I wanted to eat my way around this city. It was magical!

I must acknowledge I went to so many great places and had delicious food, but there's one place and time that will will stick with me forever when it comes to New York. To get to the point, I'll have to expand a little bit: September 2023, my friends and I were up for a shopping marathon and after 25 minutes, one friend and I were just like 'enough of this, let's go for coffee'. As per pure luck we were just around the corner of the Magnolia bakery. We entered and were immediately blown away. Now you'll probably ask yourself if this place wasn't famous for its cupcakes. Yes, it is. But we were headed straight for the cheesecakes. Plain New York Cheesecake for my friend, and New York Cheesecake topped with blueberry sauce for me. This was over 10 years ago and I still remember the flavour, the texture and how I felt devouring this little piece of creamy goodness.

From that day one I promised myself: one day, I myself will bake a perfect New York Cheesecake. The day has finally arrived and here we are! It's zingy, it's creamy and it's a real show stopper! I am not joking if I say that every single bite is pure delight. The crust is moist but still kind of crunchy, the custard party is silky smooth and the tongue slowly works its way through. Your heart will definitely call for more. 

For one cake you'll need:

200g Graham Crackers*
100g butter
20g sugar

For the filling
1kg cream cheese
500g sour cream
250g sugar
75g flour
1 lemon (zest & juice)
8 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract

*if you can't find any in your supermarkets use speculoos cookies. 


Preheat the oven to 180°

For your base, firstly grease a 26cm springform tin with butter. Then place the Graham Crackers into a food processor and blitz into fine crumbs. Melt the butter over medium heat, then combine the crumbs & butter. Add the sugar and mix again. Put the crumbs mix onto the base, then press with a glass to have it all covered. Bake for 15 minutes, take out the springform and raise the oven temperature to 225°

Now mix the custard by whisking together the cream cheese, sugar, flour, and the lemon juice and zest until you get an even texture. Then add the sour cream, the eggs and the vanilla extract. Mix again until you get a smooth custard cream. 

Next, grease the sides of the springform tin and spread the cream over the base. 

There are three ways to bake your cheesecake:
- Cover your springform with tin foil and place into a large baking dish/ baking tray filled with water
- Place a large baking dish filled with water on the lower lever of the oven
- If you have a very new oven, use the steam boost function on max level

Bake the cake for 10 minutes at 225°, then reduce heat to 90° and bake for another 50 minutes. Turn off the oven but leave the cake in there for 2 hours. After that, take it out and let cool completely. Once it's completely cooled down, refrigerate for another 3-5 hours before serving. 


Are you planning on making this recipe? Or have you already tried it?
Then show me your creations on Instagram: @passionmeetscreativity  I'm looking forward to your comments & suggestions :)

Friday, January 19, 2024

Chocolate Almond Butter Dates

 These chocolate covered almond butter dates are a very pleasing yet healthy snack, and help you get through a rough morning or a busy afternoon. Best thing: these bites are plant-based and fuel you with loads of plant power! 

Do you remember the video clip going viral, where Nick Kroll stands on stage and tells the audience 'I love snaaaaaaaaaaacks' in that very shrill voice? It's not a statement like 'well guys you know, I love snacks, no, heeeeee loooooves snaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaacks. The time it takes to listen through this sentence, all the sensors are already activated and they tell you, that, well, you too do love snacks a lot. Like really A LOT. Right... we all do, and that's exactly why we could all relate so much to this sentence. Once that fact has been sorted, whether you're alone or watching the show with family and/or friends, you have that one thing in mind which gives you exactly this vibe, right? For me, it's this: chocolate covered almond butter filled dates. 

It only takes one bite, and you're hooked! The ooey gooey shell of the dates, the nutty unctuous texture from the almond butter and the silky smooth chocolate coating let you dive into a healthy candy land you might not have discovered before. While you work through the different layers, your body and mind already ask for more. Believe me when I say, this snack is addictive and a game changer. 

Why you'll love this recipe?
Flavourful fusion: The sweetness of the dates and the tanginess of the nut butter are a perfect match. Rounding it all up with dark chocolate coats these rather opposite flavours
Convenience: If you love sweet snacks this recipe will scratch the itch as it's naturally sweet, and super quick to make. All you'll have to do is melt some chocolate and assemble the ingredients
Healthy option: This snack is packed with natural ingredients. The Medjool dates are high in fibre and a natural sweetener. Almond butter is high in unsaturated fats, which help you stay satiated longer. 
Versatility: You can use whatever nut butters you love best, so this snack never gets boring. You may also add some nuts to add some extra crunch. 

For 12 dates you'll need:
200g dark chocolate
100g almond butter
12 Medjool dates
sea salt


Slice the dates lengthwise and remove the pits. Add one tsp of nut butter to the centre of each date, then place them onto a tray lined with parchment paper. Freeze for 30 minutes to firm up. 

In the meantime, melt the chocolate. Once the dates are ready, dip them into the melted chocolate and sprinkle with sea salt. Place them in the fridge to set, but also keep them there to store.


Are you planning on making this recipe? Or have you already tried it?
Then show me your creations on Instagram: @passionmeetscreativity  I'm looking forward to your comments & suggestions :)

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