Cheesecake is super delicious, even if you aren’t a big fan of cheese. It’s creamy, melts in your mouth and so savoury. However, this cake is meant to be shared because if you have more than one slice, it gets heavy and no matter how great it is, the taste gets old fast. But the great thing about this recipe is, you can have two and still want more!
For the crust:
- 1 cup and 2 tablespoons flour
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 3 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 egg yolk
For the filling:
- 1 pound (14oz) cream cheese
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 4 eggs
You’re going to want to start by making the crust. But before you start, preheat the oven to 300 fahrenheit!
Put the flour, baking powder, sugar and butter in a medium bowl and beat until you get a sandy consistency.
Add the egg yolk and mix throughly. It will still be sandy but a little more moist. Press the mixture onto a cake pan using the ball of your hand to flatten it. Try to make it as flat as possible so that the base is dense.
Bake it in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes until it’s golden brown. Set it aside to cool while you start on the filling!
Put the cream cheese, sugar and vanilla in a medium-large bowl and beat on a slow speed until you get a smooth thick texture. Add one egg at a time while still mixing. Close to the last egg, scrape the sides of the bowl to make sure everything is included. The mixture should be smooth and creamy. At this point, you can turn it onto a higher speed to make it a little lighter and fluffier. But be careful not to over mix or else the cheese will split.
Spoon the mixture onto the cooled crust and make sure its even. Put the pan into a bigger pan and fill it with water until it reaches two thirds of the cake pan. This prevents the cheesecake from cracking when it’s baking.
Bake it in the oven for 30-40 minutes but make sure the centre is still slightly wobbly. Let the cheesecake cool slightly in the pan. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
I made the mistake of trying to cover it with cling wrap. It was too big so it sank in the middle and removed a chunk of the cheesecake! It made me so sad but it still tasted great, just didn’t look as pretty…
I realize that aside from my writing, this blog of mine isn’t very personal. Although I do have a main one if you want to check it out here. There, you’ll find some stories, Photoshop goodies, rants and general thoughts.
I wanted to add a little personality to Purple Spatula because I realize it’s generally just me throwing information to you. I hope you all don’t think I’m a snobby food connoisseur… (Because I’m not! I just love to eat :D!) So once in awhile, I’ll have posts like this where I tell you a little about myself and share my general thoughts. And of course, it will revolve around food because this is a FOOD blog at the end of the day.
A co-worker of mine had a layover in Tokyo on a trip to Vietnam. She loves seafood so she picked these up for us to share at the office. She said they weren’t cheap; one bag was about $50!
They come in individual packages so that you won’t overindulge. It’s also very smart because these things can make your hands pretty fishy smelling, and not in a pleasant way.
I actually love the texture and taste of the middle part; it’s not too strong and it sticks together nicely. I peel the outer soft layer out because the taste is a little overwhelming and isn’t pleasant at all, even if you love the taste of the sea.
I would snack on this again and if I’m ever in Tokyo, maybe I’d buy it as a gift for a seafood lover. And for $50 a bag, they better appreciate it!
11 Times Avenue (Richmond Hill)
Type: Tea House
Pricing: Cheap – Average
Ten Ren’s generally has amazing bubble tea because I find the flavour is a lot more rich as opposed to others where it’s mostly sugar water. I usually go to Destiny’s because it’s convenient and they’re more of a tea house with a variety of foods. Since we were in the mood for dinner, we decided to try this one which was just down the street. When you first enter, you’ll pass by their tea shop. If you’re someone who enjoys a good cup of tea in the comfort of your own home, they have some great ones that come in different varieties. You also have your choice of loose leaf or bags. When I went there, they had a great special going on where you would get a drink, salad, rice, soup, main, side dish and a dessert; all for only $15.99! It’s too good to be true but the food is amazing and the portions aren’t dinky either.
My favourite type of tea is oolong and the Iced Ti Kuan Yin Milk Tea is what attracted me the most. The tea is strong but it still goes down smooth and it doesn’t lose its flavour.
Their Green Tea Salad has some chopped lettuce, red cabbage, baby tomatoes and raisins that are seasoned with a light green tea vinaigrette. It’s similar to a salad you would have at a Japanese restaurant but the taste is a little more bittersweet. It’s a nice little twist and I usually pass on those or give it to someone else.
The Tea Flavoured Pork Tripe in Soup is one of my favourite soups but unfortunately, not as lot of restaurants carry it. Even when they do, they cheap out on the tripe. The soup is a little too sour so as much as I wanted to drink every last drop, my stomach and tongue told me to stop. There were shreds of pickled cabbage and tripe, plenty to satisfy the taste buds.
I grew up on the Tea Egg because my mom loved these so much so I’ve had my share of them. My friend didn’t so he gets them whenever he can. It was a little cold but the taste was there and it’s not bad for $1.50.
You either love or hate brick toast because it’s essentially a thick piece of toast with lots of butter and cheese (for the most part). Their Cheese and Sausage Brick Toast is actually lacking when it comes to the condiments. The edges aren’t covered with cheese and there could be a little more sausage.
Tofu is a hit or miss with me but I loved their Alluring Jasmine Tofu; it was so soft that it melted in your mouth! And the sauce it was sitting in wasn’t overly salty and I love the enoki mushrooms that accompanied it.
I chose the Pu-Erh Beef as my main and it was an excellent choice! It’s not too greasy and is very fragrant. The tea is faint but marinated well into the meat, almost as if it was soaked in it for a few days.
My friend’s Osmanthus Pork Cutlet tasted like any other pork cutlet to me, despite having osmanthus. When you deep fry anything, the oil and fat is what you mostly taste so it’ll be hard to pinpoint the tea in this one.
Their Fried Fish Cake is probably one of the only items that don’t have tea in it. It’s still good to try, especially if you’ve never had it before; it’s a nice mix of ground up fish that’s been mashed together. (It doesn’t sound too appetizing but it can be)
Oh, the Egg Pudding. If I could I would eat a shot of this everyday because it’s that good! It’s so smooth and creamy like a creme brulee but just a tad thicker. You can finish is it in two spoonfuls but I advise taking tiny scoops so you can enjoy every delectable minute.
I want to come here more often but it’s a shame most of my friends live in the GTA. There are a lot of the Ten Ren bubble tea shops around but not many of the Tea Time’s. If you guys know of one, let me know!
I’ve always loved lemon meringue pies but it’s not to everyone’s taste. The sourness of the lemon filling contrasts greatly with the sweetness in the meringue; but that’s what’s so great about it! Without the meringue, it would be too sour for your taste buds.
This post will be a little different. I’ve made lemon meringue pie before but I used frozen pie crusts (no harm in that). However this time, I wanted to try making it all from scratch. Of course, there were bound to be a few mistakes made and I will be pointing them out so that you can avoid the blunders that I made. That way, your pie will be perfect and my next pie crust will be too! Let’s start with the ingredients first:
- 2 cups flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 7 1/2 tbsp unsalted butter
- 8 egg yolks
- 2 x 13.5oz cans of condensed milk
- 8 freshly squeezed juice, lemons
- 6 egg whites
- 1 3/4 cups sugar
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
Put the flour, salt and butter and beat on a slow speed until you get a sandy consistency and everything is combined. Add a tablespoon of water and beat until well mixed. Add a second tablespoon and beat until you have a smooth even dough.
(First Mistake: When you bake things like cookies and cakes, it’s best to have the butter at room temperature but it’s the opposite for pies. You have to beat it while it’s very cold so that the fat remains and doesn’t get overworked into the dough.)
Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and let it rest for an hour and preheat the oven to 325 fahrenheit.
Lightly dust a clean work surface with flour and roll out the dough with a rolling pin. Line the prepared pie dish with the dough and trim the edges with a sharp knife. If you have baking beans available, place a sheet of parchment paper and put the rocks on top.
As you can see, the texture of my crust isn’t particularly smooth so I had to press the dough onto the pan manually. This took longer because my dough was more crumbly. But other than the texture, the crust itself is okay.
It will need to be partially blind baked which means you will be baking it later as well. Bake it in the preheated oven for 10 minutes. If there are baking beans, remove them and bake for another 10 minutes. The dough should still be pale and slightly raw in the middle.
For the filling, preheat the oven to 300 fahrenheit. Put the egg yolks, condensed milk and lemon in a bowl and mix gently with a whisk until it is incorporated. The mixture will eventually thicken.
(Second Mistake: I’ve always juiced the lemons myself but I thought I would try using lemon juice that was already squeezed. I wish I stuck with the actual lemons because there was too much in the end and it was a little too sour. But the trick is to leave it in the fridge for a night and it will sweeten itself!)
Pour it into the partially baked crust and bake in the preheated oven for 20-30 minutes. The filling should come out firm but still slightly soft in the centre. Let it cool completely then cover and refrigerate for at least an hour or overnight.
While waiting, start on the meringue by again, preheating the oven to 300 fahrenheit. Put the egg whites into a bowl and beat until they’re frothy.
Gradually add in the sugar two tablespoons at a time, beating after each addition. Once all the sugar is in, add the vanilla and beat until peaks form. Spoon the meringue onto of the cold pie to completely cover the filling. Create peaks and swirls with the back of a spoon.
(Third Mistake: Once again, the egg whites needed to be cold and because I separated them from the yolks used in the filling, they had been sitting out there for awhile. The meringue still has a form and but it’s just not as firm)
Bake in the preheated oven for another 20 minutes until the meringue is golden or crisp to the touch. Let it cool completely before serving.
(Tip: Cut with a wet knife to keep it intact whenever you slice through it.)
There were a few things I forgot or wanted to experiment with so it didn’t exactly turn out the way I wanted this time but it still worked out. It retains its’ form and the texture is there. Pies made from scratch aren’t that easy to make and I personally like baking cakes and cookies more but it’s good to try your hand at other things. Next time, my pie crust will be amazing
91 Dundas Street East
There always seems to be a lineup outside Santouka but when I first noticed it, it was in the middle of the winter (around last year) and I didn’t feel like freezing my butt off so I wanted to wait until it was warmer. But it slipped my mind and before I knew it, time flew by. But as luck would have it, some friends wanted to grab a bite to eat on a semi-cold night so I suggested ramen! Approved!
I loved how their Santouka Hand-Made Gyoza was fried to a crisp on the outside. The meat inside was pretty tender as well. I have these often at home so I don’t like to order them when I’m out but this is better than most restaurants I’ve been to so definitely give it a taste!
Their Shoyu Ramen is their pork broth seasoned with soy sauce. If you aren’t looking for anything too fancy and just want some plain old ramen, this one or the Miso Ramen are the best choices.
I wanted something with more substance so I went with the Shio Ramen which is a mild and creamy soup seasoned with salt. If you look closely, you can see that the broth is milky white and I love it. I suggest you ask for it to be less salty because the pork broth is delicious and you’ll want to drink all of it! But even with less salt, it’s still too salty.
As most of you know, I can’t handle spicy and the Kara Miso Ramen looks scorching hot! It’s apparently tolerable though, if you take little breaks in-between.
I love a hot bowl of homemade ramen any day and I’ll definitely be back. Everything was great, I just wish their broth had less salt. Hopefully, someone is reading this and takes note?