Posts tagged ‘cream cheese’

April Showers bring May Migraines – and Cold War Brownies


Oh, my gosh. What makes these Cold War brownies?

Maybe it’s like this. There’s cream cheese, yeah? It’s tangy and dominant. It likes to ripple through everything. Cause hey. Cream cheese will make it taste better. Cream cheese is good for you. Cream cheese demands to get its way. (It’s the US, okay?)

Then there’s the chili powder. You don’t really notice how much ammunition it’s got until you take the first bite. Then you feel it, in the back of your mouth. It’s got a bit of heat, and it wants to be there. (Clearly the USSR!)

And the nutella. You’re not entirely sure what it’s doing there. It’s a bit of a surprise, a shock. You don’t want to underestimate it, and yet, you can’t help wonder what business nutella has in your brownie. (Obviously Cuba.)

And it’s like… They’re all together, on the playing field. (Brownie = earth.) They’re marbled together, but can’t possibly mix. In your mouth, you can’t decide which flavor wins. It’s too much wonderfulness to handle.

Alternatively, maybe it’s because, as my friend G- put it, they’re bomb. !!! I know. Not funny. Sorry.

…Orrrrrrr, maybe they’re Cold War Brownies because I (sort of) studied and baked at the same time. You decide.

No matter what, they’ll make a pack of exhausted, brain dead juniors smile again.

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May 5, 2009 at 5:35 pm 45 comments

Chocolate Marble Cheesecake with Coconut, Lemongrass, and Kaffir Lime – 17 and Baking does Daring Bakers

Dear Daring Bakers,

I love you. Seriously. Each and every one of you, from the very bottom of my heart. I’ve watched you grow, the blogroll getting longer and longer each month, and I’ve savored the challenges, looking at every elegant photograph and memorable post with admiration and just a touch of envy.

In complete honesty, Daring Bakers, you were out of my league. Perhaps I could make a food blog, but never could I make the same desserts as you – challenging, beautiful, time consuming, potentially expensive – it was not in the cards for an amateur 17 year old who fancied herself a foodie.

Lucky for me, Daring Bakers are the warmest, friendliest bakers around. I still can’t quite believe that I am a Daring Baker now, and that I’ve finished my first challenge. Actually, this might be a daydream. I could potentially be in 5th period English. Don’t wake me up.

Love, love, love

Elissa

The April 2009 challenge is hosted by Jenny from Jenny Bakes. She has chosen Abbey’s Infamous Cheesecake as the challenge.

After recovering from the wild crazy joy that was being accepted into the Daring Bakers, I went absolutely insane waiting for the April challenge to be announced. I won’t lie – I felt scared that it would be a fancy French pastry that I would completely defile, and that would be the end of it. But I’d made cheesecake twice before – plain cheesecake – and was eager to try more exotic flavors and see how this recipe compared with mine.

I must have played with a dozen different ideas. A spicy Mexican Hot Chocolate cheesecake, green tea and white chocolate, blood orange and champagne, even basil. When I brainstormed aloud about coconut to my parents, my dad said “Thai.” And it all came together.

Chocolate Marble Cheesecake with Coconut, Lemongrass, and Kaffir Lime.

And yeah, that tiny bite is what’s left of the slice from the picture before.

I actually stopped the photoshoot to eat the cake I was photographing. Then I guiltily set down the plate and picked up the camera.

This cheesecake is just that good.

[8/4/10 Update - I made this cheesecake for the Seattle talk show New Day Northwest! Watch me make the cheesecake on TV here.]

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April 27, 2009 at 12:00 am 128 comments

Ginger Carrot Cake and a breath of fresh air

This blog has gone through some changes.

New layout, new style of posts, even a new name. It’s all an attempt to get inspired again about having a food blog. I know I haven’t posted since August and honestly, it’s because I was a little frustrated. I’m about as amateur as you can get, which is okay because it’s about learning and enjoying the experience. But when you’re trying to take photos for your blog and are finding natural lighting and good quality photos impossible, you get discouraged. I don’t have photoshop, a special niche, or a cool theme. I don’t create my own recipes or possess remarkable presentation skills. I’ve never catered a party or baked for anyone besides my family and friends. So I felt like this blog, even if the photos were decent and the recipes were good, would never get noticed.

Which might be true.

But hopefully that shouldn’t matter to me. I like to bake. I love to bake. It’s the most relaxing, soothing, enjoyable hobby I’ve ever had, even if I’m not an expert. So I’m going to continue this blog and if anyone besides me benefits from it, all the more better! :) That said, it’s great to start blogging again.

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March 19, 2009 at 2:01 am 8 comments

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Elissa Bernstein



I'm Elissa: a 17 (now 21) year old baker in Seattle Boston juggling creative nonfiction workshops, subway maps, and my passions for writing, baking, and photography. Photo above © Michelle Moore

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