Avocado IceBox Cake

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Icebox cake is mostly whipped cream layered with biscuits or cookies (commonly, graham cracker, vanilla wafers or chocolate wafer cookies). The cream will soften the cookies as it chills in the refrigerator  which would lead to a cake-y texture. Oftentimes, the whipped cream is sweetened with powdered sugar. In this recipe, however, I use condensed milk as I like the smooth, milky, and sweet flavor it adds to the cake. Not to mention that I find that it complements the avocado as well.

Avocados and cream are just another perfect combination for a wonderful dessert! This recipe only consists of 4 ingredients, and really easy to whip up. It does require a minimum cooling time of about 6 hours before digging into it, but I tell you, it’s totally worth it!

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No-Bake Creme Caramel Flan

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This is probably the easiest creme caramel flan recipe out there. No heating up the oven or even using a steamer (which I know some people do) to make this delectable and luscious dessert. And the best part? This is quite a jiggly creme caramel flan, even after being in the fridge for many hours. Something the kids (even the adults) would swoon over.

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Black and White Panna Cotta

 

If you’re wanting something light (and jiggly!) for dessert, you can never go wrong with panna cotta. It’s very easy to make and can be made ahead of time( or I should say *must* be made ahead of time). The wonderful thing about panna cotta is you can have a lot of fun playing with it. You can flavor it any way you desire, or top it with berries or granola, or serve it with chocolate syrup, or , my most preferred way, serve it plain as it is.

I call this Black and White Panna Cotta, but really, it’s just vanilla and dark chocolate that contrasts each other with color, but a bliss of flavor when combined.

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Blueberry Tofu Mascarpone Cheesecake

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Yep, totally unheard of! Tofu in a cheesecake? Where did that idea even come from?

Well, I send all my gratitude to the “bombogenesis” that we had at the start of the year. I was craving for a good blueberry cheesecake on the day we had that massive winter storm, but was not really in the mood to brave the cold storm. So, I ransacked our pantry cabintets and fridge to see if I can make something to ease my cravings. I know that we still have some blueberries that we froze last summer in our fridge, so I’m not worried about the fruit topping. What I’m worried about was the cheesecake itself. My regular cheesecake recipes often requires about 3-4 cream cheese blocks, but I only had one (and it’s not even real cream cheese, it’s neufchatel cheese). I do have one tub of mascarpone, and I know that I would definitely use that. But still, I felt like I still have to add something to increase the volume I want for the cheesecake. If we only had ricotta cheese in the fridge, I would have definitely used that, but no such luck. That’s when I noticed the unopened soft tofu in the fridge. A bulb suddenly lit in my mind. Tofu is technically a cheese, so I figured why not use that in cheesecake?

Tofu doesn’t have any flavors at all, so it’s a pretty good addition to a lot of things, such as smoothies, soups or even stir-fries. It’s a lot like a blank canvas on which it is up to the painter’s imagination to paint something out of nothing. Tofu is pretty good at absorbing any flavors, not to mention the good kick of protein you could get from it. In this particular case, I merely wanted something to add volume to my cheesecake batter without losing or disrupting the flavors. Tofu is my greatest answer to that.

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Cream Cheese Custard Flan

 

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This gloriously inviting and heavenly custard flan is always a huge hit in my family. Oh yes, this absolutely ruins anyone’s diet, hence I don’t make it that quite often. Everyone in the house seems to be in some sort of a diet these days, and I don’t want to distract them from their goals. I was planning to make this for Christmas Eve or New Year’s Eve though, but they had been bugging me for quite some time now to make this for them. Even volunteering to buy the ingredients (which was rare, I’ll have you know!). I succumbed to their pestering and ended up making this last weekend.

It had been a while since I last made this, so I was bit apprehensive on how this would turn out. Baking time is what I’m most nervous about this dessert. I think it’s critical you get that right. Do not underbake, nor overbake it. The baking time varies on each containers I used. Sometimes, I would use a 9 x 13 inch pan, or even a bundt pan, or even smaller round/oval pans. Hence, I never keep track of the baking duration. I would just use often check on them and see if they have that perfect jiggle at the center. It had taken many tries before I could determine that though. There was one time when I had taken it out still jiggly and had thought it would set once it had cooled. But unfortunately, it didn’t. I had underbaked it. Then there was another time when I had overbaked it and it wasn’t as creamy and luscious as I had wanted it to be and even had that “cake-y” texture to it. So, yes, with experience, you’ll know when they’re perfectly baked, and this is also preferential too, I guess. I prefer mine when the edges are set, and only the center is jiggly. I believe some people use thermometer to check on the done-ness of the flan, but I’ve never really tried it myself.

Some recipes require the use of only egg yolks. I tried that before but I find that specific flan way too rich and heavy for an already decadent dessert. Not to mention, I think the egg whites are needed to help set the flan. For this recipe, however, I used the combination of both eggs and egg yolks only. I find the combination pretty good. You can certainly adjust them to your liking, but I still highly suggest using at least 2 egg whites. Growing up, though, my mom just used whole eggs when making flan, not bothering with separating them. I kind of miss eating her version as well. It’s much firmer, lighter in color, and not as luscious and decadent, but it was still very good. Instead of baking, she cooked it through steaming which I had initially thought was the only way to cook this. Until, of course, internet was introduced.

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Tiramisu

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I have been craving for a good and authentic tiramisu for months now. The tiramisu I had eaten back in one of the trattorias in Rome was heavenly and just delectable. Before that, I had a huge dislike on tiramisu. Well, the ones I had eaten before I had went to Rome was mostly from cafeterias or from bakeries in the grocery store, and not of specialty stores. Those were loaded with sugar and coffee. Instead of of savoiardis, some used sponge cake and replaced mascarpone with cream cheese or a mix of cream cheese and mascarpone. Some tiramisu in here is more like a cake with an even added frosting. In other words, they don’t even come close to the delectable taste of authentic tiramisu.

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So, here’s my version of that tiramisu (although I must honestly admit it still doesn’t taste as good as the one I had in Rome, but close, I hope). The recipe is loosely based from the label of Belgioioso Mascarpone tub. I used the same amount of ingredients, but altered the process a little bit. If you’re like me who is also worried about consuming raw eggs, then this might be helpful for you. I cooked the egg yolks and replaced egg whites with whipped cream. You can certainly use pasteurized eggs, but I didn’t have some, so I used regular eggs.

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