Mini Almond and Satsuma Orange Cake

Mini Almond and Satsuma Orange Cake // https://eatchofood.com/blog/2019/1/12/mini-almond-and-satsuma-orange-cake // Gluten Free
Mini Almond and Satsuma Orange Cake // Eat Cho Food
Mini Almond and Satsuma Orange Cake // Eat Cho Food
Mini Almond and Satsuma Orange Cake // https://eatchofood.com/blog/2019/1/12/mini-almond-and-satsuma-orange-cake // Gluten Free
Mini Almond and Satsuma Orange Cake // https://eatchofood.com/blog/2019/1/12/mini-almond-and-satsuma-orange-cake // Gluten Free
Mini Almond and Satsuma Orange Cake // https://eatchofood.com/blog/2019/1/12/mini-almond-and-satsuma-orange-cake // Gluten Free
Mini Almond and Satsuma Orange Cake // https://eatchofood.com/blog/2019/1/12/mini-almond-and-satsuma-orange-cake // Gluten Free
Mini Almond and Satsuma Orange Cake // https://eatchofood.com/blog/2019/1/12/mini-almond-and-satsuma-orange-cake // Gluten Free
Mini Almond and Satsuma Orange Cake // https://eatchofood.com/blog/2019/1/12/mini-almond-and-satsuma-orange-cake // Gluten Free

Happy Chinese New Year, friends! Gong Hay Fat Choy! We had the most wonderful CNY party this weekend and my body is still recovering from it. If you make almost 100 dumplings in one afternoon, you’ll discover a whole bunch of arm muscles you never knew existed. We had most of our friends over and they all fit! Most importantly, we had enough food and no one left hungry! There was a whole plate of noodles and maybe a few bits of roast pork left. I feel like that’s considered a success! I just love cooking for real life people so much. When I’m making food for the blog, Reuben and I will eat it as a meal if it’s savory and if it’s sweet one of us will bring it to our respective offices to share with our coworkers. I don’t really get to see people’s reactions from eating my food, unless it’s Reuben. There is just something so special when you feed people in your own home and see their eye light up and hear a bunch of loud mmmmmmmmmmmms or OMGGGGGs. It’s so rewarding and makes me so happy! I hope I can mentally and physically recover soon so we can do it all over again! Maybe that will be in 2021 lol.

The very next day I woke up with a slight exhaustion/ happiness hangover ( I was sadly too excited to eat all the food I made and only had maybe 2 drink the entire night), cleaned up the apartment and got it back to a respectable level to have a few more people over for an intimate Super Bowl party. Reuben helped too, don’t worry. I was mentally dreading having more people over after the party, but they brought a puppy over and I made mac and cheese… so it was all good! I not sure what we’re going to do tonight for actual Chinese New Year? I honestly still feel wiped out after this weekend, so maybe we will order in chinese food? That still counts!

In honor of Chinese New Year, I’m sharing this Mini Almond and Satsuma Orange Cake! During CNY a lot of the food we eat are meant to symbol something good for the new year! Noodles for long life and dumplings for fortune and wealth. I had satsuma oranges all over our food table at the party as decoration, but also because you’re supposed to have oranges as a symbol of good luck! I’ve shared a few savory recipes this month for CNY but every celebration needs a dessert! Cake! We always need cake! This cake is deliciously moist and dense from the almond flour. Bonus points too because it’s also gluten free. The orange flavor is super bright and present in both the cake and buttercream. I love how Mother Nature was kind enough to give us great citrus during the cold and gloomy months of winter. It’s like she knows we all need a little fruity and zesty pick me up to get through the polar vortex (it doesn’t snow here, but I sympathize with you if you’re freezing).

I hope you have the chance to whip up this cute little citrus cake! I also hope you all have a wonderful and fulfilling new year : ) eat some dumplings for me!


Mini Almond and Satsuma Orange Cake

makes a 2 layer 6” cake

cake materials:

4 eggs - yolks and whites separated
zest of 1 satsuma orange
1/2 cup sugar - divided
1 1/2 cup almond flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp almond extract

orange buttercream materials:

3/4 cup unsalted butter - softened
3 cups powdered sugar
pinch of salt
juice of 1 small satsuma orange

*double the buttercream ingredients if you wish to full coat the cake.

Steps:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and line the bottom of 2 6” cake pans with parchment paper rounds.

  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together egg yolks with orange zest and 1/4 cup sugar. In another bowl, whisk together almond flour, salt, and baking powder. Add to egg mixture and whisk to combine.

  3. In the bowl of your standmixer, fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk egg whites on low for about 30 second and then increase to medium speed. While the whisk is still running, slowly add in the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar and whisk until soft peaks form. Fold the egg whites into the egg and almond flour mixture until just combined.

  4. Pour batter in cake pans and bake for 23-25 minutes until done. Allow cake to cool in the pans for 10 minutes and then invert the cakes onto a wire rack to completely cool.

  5. In the bowl of your stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, blend together softened butter, powdered sugar, salt, and orange juice until smooth. It might look curdled for a minute but just keep blending. Place a cake layer on a plate or cake stand. Add a plop of buttercream on top and smooth with an offset spatula. Add second layer and frost the top of the cake and the sides with a light layer of buttercream for a naked appearance. Decorate with additional buttercream or marzipan dyed to look like oranges. Cut and serve!

Mini Salted Caramel Cheesecakes

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Okay, let's talk about the big news of the week... HAVE YOU SEEN CHIP AND JOANNA'S NEW TARGET LINE?! It's so cute. I want to give them all my money. I've been making a prop wish list for Christmas and it has essentially doubled. Ah, I need to buy more instant ramen. 

I haven't actually gone to Target yet though, just cyberstalking here. Why? Well it's like the plague has fallen on San Francisco. Sorry, I'm being dramatic. But riding the bus is like swimming in a germ pool. Gross. Reuben and I have both fallen victim to whatever cold is floating around, so we have the combined energy level of a 4th year architecture student the night before her final critique. That's pretty dire. But we are persevering! Just not going to Target or doing any outside activities anytime soon. 

Honestly, being forced to stay put, drink soup, and watch Netflix has been much needed. Sometimes, I need to remind myself to just slow down. Now I have a real excuse to sleep for 10 hours.

Alright, it's almost my new bedtime... 9pm. Should we talk about these mini cheesecakes?! This recipe was handed down to me at my last job. When I worked at BAR Architects there was this amazing woman, Lillian. She was a badass architect and knew everything you needed to know about building code. She was also the keeper of this amazing cheesecake recipe. Lillian's cheesecake was super light, just sweet enough, covered in fruity pineapple, and sooooo addictive. I sat right by the kitchen, so I would always be one of the first to know if Lillian plopped down her famous cheesecake. I would quickly scurry over for a slice before everyone else knew. Suckers. JK : )

When I left, I finally got her recipe! 🙏🏽🙏🏽🙏🏽🙏🏽🙏🏽🙏🏽 

It turns out that Lillian's Cheesecake was actually called Betty's Cheesecake. LOL! And it is stupid easy to make. I believe the recipe was passed down to her from an old neighbor. You know its a great recipe if it keeps getting passed down from person to person. Food is so great isn't it? You know, Connecting people and all. I don't know who Betty is, but I'm really thankful that she passed it down to Lillian and then she passed it down to me! Now I'm passing it on to you! Does this make it Kristina's Cheesecake?

I've adjusted it just slightly. First of all, I miniaturized it. The recipe is originally meant for an 8" round or square pan, which you can still do, but there are many pros to making mini cheesecakes.

1. They bake quicker.

2. You don't need to worry about the surface cracking.

3. You can eat a whole mini cheesecake on your own.

4. They are easy to share with friends or you can hoard all of them in your freezer for when you're feeling like life is being a real bitch and you just need a damn mini cheesecake.

Also, who doesn't love those small cheesecake squares you can buy at Costco? Mini things are always good!

I also switched up the topping. It seemed a little off season to put pineapple on it so I decided to whip up some dreamy salted caramel instead. Can I get a faucet of salted caramel installed? OMG it's so good. You can honestly top it with whatever you like! Drained canned pineapple, peaches, berry compote, sour cream, or your favorite jam. Make it YOUR Cheesecake!


Mini Salted Caramel Cheesecakes

makes 12 mini cheesecakes

Cheesecake Materials:

1 1/4 cup crushed graham crackers 

1/3 cup melted butter

1/2 tsp salt

16 oz cream cheese - room temperature 

1/2 cup sugar

2 eggs - room temperature

2 tsp vanilla

Salted Caramel - I used this recipe!

Steps:

1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Crumble your graham crackers in a food processor or in a ziplock bag with a rolling pin. Combine crushed graham crackers with butter and salt, give it a good mix. 

2. Line the cupcake tins with liners and divide the crust mixture evenly between each cup. Pat down the mixture until firm.

3. Combine the cream cheese, sugar, eggs and vanilla in a large bowl and mix with a hand mixer until smooth. You can also use a stand mixer of course. The key to a smooth cheesecake is making sure the cream cheese is at room temperature.

4. Pour the cheesecake filling into each cupcake tin. Smooth out the tops with a spoon or offset spatula. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the tin for 5 minutes. Remove the mini cheesecakes from the tins and allow to cool on a wire rack. The cup-cheesecakes will poof and then deflate once cool, which make for perfect pools to pour the caramel into.

5. Pour the salted caramel over each mini cupcake and top with a generous sprinkle of flakey sea salt.

Beef + Caramelized Onion Mini Pies

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Hi Hi Hi! How are your eye balls? I hope you're not blind from staring too hard at the Sun during the Solar Eclipse. We had a few pairs of the NASA rated sunglass to share in the office, but I got a little impatient and sneaked in a peak through my fingers... which I probably should not have done. But I'm okay! I can still see! Good thing too, because my eye balls need to be ready to watch Game of Thrones this Sunday! Last Sunday's episode was incredibly stressful for me. I could hardly sleep after watching it. The poor dragon! I have so many questions...

Why didn't Daenerys just do a fly-over in the first place?

How far did they walk North of The Wall? It seemed like they were walking for days...

How did that guy run so fast in the cold to get back and send a raven?

Where's Bran? Why is he not helping?

Why is Littlefinger such a freaking sneak?

Why is Arya going crazy?

How far do you think Jon Snow and Daenerys are going to get before they realize they are Aunt and Nephew?

Where did the Whitewalkers get those chains?

Why didn't the fire dude make a fire for the group when they were literally chilling on the rock?

Is Jon going to ride a dragon?

This list makes me stressed. It just seems like everything is rushing and all happening at once. Probably because there are only 6 more episodes left until we have nothing to talk about anymore during Monday lunch breaks. I miss the painfully long storyline developments of Game of Thrones from years past. Did you see the preview for the next episode? It looks like it's going to be the WORST conference call/meeting in the history of meetings. 

If you're going to a watch party this weekend, I think you need to make these meat pies. They are super cute, quicker to bake than a whole meat pie, and everyone is going to thing you are sooooooo clever! Isn't that the goal of themed parties anyways?? The pies are #freyfree and full of salty meat and cheese. It essentially tastes like a cheeseburger pie, which gave me the idea to make cheeseburger potstickers! So stay tuned for those. I think everyone in Westeros needs one of these pies to stress eat, plus Winter is here for like 10 years or however it works over there. I have some in the freezer waiting for me to defrost and stress eat too on Sunday!


Beef + Caramelized Onion Mini Beef Pies

makes 12 mini pies

Pie Dough:

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1 tsp salt

2 sticks of chilled unsalted butter (16 tbsp) - cubed

1/2 cup ice water

 

Meat Filling:

1 medium white or yellow onion

1/2 lb ground beef

2 mild Italian sausages - removed from casing

1/4 cup chopped parsley

1/2 cup grated provolone

1/2 cup grated parmesan

Olive Oil

Salt + Pepper 

 

Egg Wash:

1 egg

1 tbsp water

Steps:

1. Begin by caramelizing your onions because it's going to take awhile! Peel and chop your onion in 1/4" to 1/2" wedges. Heat 1 tbsp of olive oil in a skillet over medium-low heat. Once warm, add onions to the skillet and season with salt and pepper. Let them cook low and slow, stirring every few minutes until they have a deep golden color, about 30-40 minutes. Remove from pan and allow to cool.

2. While your onions are cooking, start your pie dough. Keep an eye on your onions though! Start by whisking together flour and salt. Add butter cubes and toss in flour until evenly coated. With your hand or with a pastry cutter, break down the butter into the flour until they are the size of peas or slightly larger. You still want to be able to see the chunks of butter.

3. Make a well in the middle of your bowl. Add a few tablespoons of ice water at a time and mix just until the dough comes together. Divide dough in half and wrap in plastic and chill in the fridge for at least 30-45 minutes.

4. Heat 1 tsp of oil in the same skillet your onions were cooking in, over medium high heat. Add beef and italian sausage to the skillet. Use a spatula or the back of a wood spoon to help break the meat apart. Season with salt and pepper. Brown the meat for 4-5 minutes. The meat will continue cooking in the oven. Remove from skillet and add to a bowl to briefly cool.

5. Combine onions, meat, chopped parsley, and cheeses in a medium bowl. Set aside.

6. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Spray a cupcake tin with nonstick spray and set aside. Take out one ball of dough. Lightly flour your work surface and rolling pin. Roll out the dough until it is 1/8" thick. Use a 3" diameter  (or one large enough to fill your cupcake tin) cookie cutter to cut out 12 discs. You will need to re-knead your dough scrapes and roll it out again to get all 12 discs. Line the tins with the one disc each. Gently pinch and stretch the dough to fill the edges of the tin. Fill each pie with your meat filling, you can pack them in a little.

7. Roll out the second ball of dough until it is 1/8" thick and use a 2" to  2 1/2" diameter (or one large enough to cover the top of your mini pies) cookie cutter to cut out 12 discs. Top each pie with a disc of dough and pinch with edges closed with a fork. Poke a few holes in the top crust to allow steam to escape. Whisk together egg and water and brush the tops of the pies with the egg wash.

8. Bake the pies in the oven for 25-30 minutes until golden brown. Allow to cool and then serve!