Browsing: Desserts

Mango Upside Down Cake


When you are “in touch” with your taste buds as I believe that I am, I can explain why I dislike certain foods/tastes and why I am drawn to others.  My attachment for mangoes has one such explanation: The winter that our youngest was 6 months old, our oldest had suffered a catastrophic illness and our son was a going- concern, we were given an all expense trip to Hawaii.  We could not believe this blessing-a time to be a couple again as opposed to round the clock care-givers.  We loved the people of Kona, the typography of the Big Island, their coffee, macadamia nuts, pineapple AND my first taste of mango.  So even though I crave the taste of bowl-ripened pears and tart Mac apples, mangoes are my favourite fruit not only because of the taste but my entire mango experience.  Now you either get this or you don’t….

I always have a bag of mangoes in my freezer.  I plop mango chunks onto cottage cheese for a healthy breakfast or into a chicken wrap or salad for lunch.  In a pinch they are ready to build a fast dessert around.  Such was the case this past Friday when we were hosting our monthly young families’ group.  Daughter #2 had made pumpkin cookies for the kids but I wanted a dessert that the parents could linger with over coffee.

Ta da-Mango Upside Down Cake was born!  I sauteed 1/2 c of brown sugar with a 1/2 c of butter over medium heat until the mixture started to caramelize then I added  a bag of defrosted mangoes.  I poured this into the bottom of a buttered 9 x 12 baking pan and then made up a yellow cake mix according to package directions and poured it over top.  I shook the pan to evenly distribute the batter and then baked it (also according to package directions).

When I pulled it out of the oven, I immediately ran a knife around the edges and placed a platter of equal size as the baking pan over the cake.  I then turned it upside down and voila.  I intended to serve it with a cappuccino ice cream but was distracted by the gaggle of kids that D had already escorted downstairs for play time.

Kath’s quote: “The appetite is sharpened by the first bites.”-Jose Rizal

Thanksgiving Recap


The final count was 34 family members, 1 bf, 1 gf, 1 international student and 9 dogs.

This is Zoey, one of the youngest.

And this is Lu Dog,  one of the newest in the clan (a rescue).

I couldn’t fit us all in one picture, even when I stood on the couch to take this.

The winning new recipe Sister-in-law #2’s Pumpkin Crunch.

1 package yellow cake mix
1 can (16oz) solid pack pack pumpkin
1 can (12oz) evaporated milk
3 eggs
1-1/2 c sugar
4 t pumpkin pie spice
1/2 t salt
1 c chopped pecans
1 c melted butter
Whipped topping
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease bottom of 9×13 pan. Combine pumpkin, evaporated milk, eggs, sugar, pumpkin pie spice, and salt in large bowl. Pour into pan. Sprinkle dry cake mix evenly over pumpkin mixture. Top with pecans. Drizzle with melted butter. Bake for 50-55 minutes or until golden. Cool completely. Serve with whipped topping. Refrigerate leftovers.

Kath’s quote: “If the soup had been as warm as the wine, if the wine had been as old as the turkey, if the turkey had had a breast like the maid, it would have been a swell dinner.”-Duncan Hines

White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake


I have been meaning to post this since early summer when we enjoyed it at the cottage during a torrential rain and subsequent power outage.  But truth be told-I borrowed the recipe from Sister #3 and then subsequently lost it.  Thankfully, with diligent searching she was able to find an on line copy because D says-this is the best cheesecake on the face of the earth!  It has lots of steps and is very time consuming, but more than worth it:

White Chocolate and Raspberry Cheesecake Crust
18 vanilla wafer cookies
1 cup almonds, toasted
4 1/2 T unsalted butter, melted

4 oz imported white chocolate (such as Lindt), chopped
2 8-oz packages cream cheese, room temperature
2/3 c sugar
2 t vanilla extract
3/4 t grated lemon peel
2 large eggs

3/4 c fresh raspberries or frozen unsweetened, thawed, drained

1 8-oz container sour cream
3 T sugar
1/2 t vanilla extract

2 1/2-pint baskets raspberries or one 1-pint basket strawberries
1/2 c seedless raspberry jam

For crust:
Preheat oven to 350 F. Place large piece of foil on heavy large baking sheet. Set 8×2-inch bottomless heart-shaped cake pan atop foil. (If unavailable, use 8-inch spring form pan; omit foil.) Wrap foil around outside and 1 inch up sides of pan. Butter foil and pan. Finely grind cookies and almonds in processor. Add butter and blend until mixture forms very moist crumbs. Using plastic wrap as aid, press crumbs firmly onto bottom and 2 inches up sides of pan. Bake until golden, about 10 minutes. Cool. Maintain oven temperature.

For Filling:
Melt white chocolate in top of double boiler over simmering water until smooth, stirring often. Remove from over water. Using electric mixer, beat cream cheese, sugar, vanilla and peel in large bowl until smooth. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating just until combined. Beat in white chocolate.

Spoon half of batter into crust. Top with 3/4 cup berries. Spoon remaining batter over. Bake until edges of cake are set but center 3 inches still moves when cake is shaken, about 45 minutes. Cool 20 minutes. Maintain oven temperature. Using fingertips, press down gently on edges of cheesecake to flatten slightly.

For topping:
Whisk sour cream, sugar and vanilla in bowl. Spoon over cake, spreading to edge of pan. Bake 5 minutes. Transfer cake in pan to rack. Run small knife around sides of cake. Cool completely. Chill cake overnight.

Fold down foil along sides of pan. Lift cake pan off cheesecake. Transfer cheesecake to platter, discarding foil. Cover cake with berries. Bring jam to simmer in small saucepan, stirring often. Gently brush jam over berries. Can be prepared 3 hours ahead; chill.

Kath’s quote: “There is something in the red of a raspberry pie that looks as good to a man as the red in a sheep looks to a wolf.”-E. W. Howe

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