Pumpkin Cheesecake with Almond Crunch and Amaretto Cream

Pumpkin cheesecake with candied almonds and amaretto whipped cream | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

Pumpkin is an ingredient I get obsessed with this time of year. Its bright orange shell is such a relief during a season when color is fading away and the grey of winter is settling in. In fact, I am determined to paint a room the color of roasted pumpkin this year. But, my love of pumpkin goes beyond its mood lifting color, I adore its luscious texture, its ability to marry with both sweets and savory, and its earthy sweetness. I’ve heard there are folks that don’t share my enthusiasm for this gorgeously colored gourd, but I’ll eat roasted pumpkin with a pat of butter and a sprinkle of salt. It is even more wonderful in desserts; pumpkin creme brulee, classic pie, breads and cheesecake. When it is pureed smooth, it has a custard like texture, so it lends itself beautifully to this silky pumpkin cheesecake. For a contrast to the velvety cheesecake, I’ve added candied almond crunch and a dollop of Amaretto whipped cream. Read More

Berry Cobbler with Cheddar Biscuits

 Berry cobbler | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

I have to admit this recipe was an accident, a happy one, but a mistake nonetheless. I was going to post on shortcakes, with balsamic roasted strawberries. I was mixing up the biscuits and got distracted, probably by something I read on Twitter. I added way too much buttermilk to the dough and they were no longer useful as biscuits. How disappointing to have a recipe in mind and then blow it.

These weren’t just any biscuits, they were made with cheddar cheese, so they would have a slight sharpness to them, which I find a perfect compliment to the sweet berry filling. What to do? There was no way I was tossing these beauties, but they were too soft to work with in the traditional way. Then it hit me, COBBLER.

All the same ingredients, but baked together at one time, even better. I added blueberries, fresh ginger and lemon zest to the strawberries and topped it with my sticky biscuit dough. Thanks to my inability to focus yesterday, I have a new favorite dessert! Read More