Chocolate Peanut Butter Bavarian Cream Pie

April means Paul’s birthday!

Paul’s birthday means some kind of chocolate and peanut butter concoction.

This year, he asked for Bavarian Cream Pie, and more specifically a with a Peanut Butter Bavarian Cream and a Chocolate crust.

However, any recipe I found did not include peanut butter anywhere, and I looked, hard. I finally decided to use a recipe for plain Bavarian Cream pie, and then add my own spin, so I am considering this recipe an original, because I changed it (fairly) significantly.

The original recipe is from this website, and I included all of my changes in the recipe below. I’m going to keep this post short, and sweet, kind of like this pie!

Happy Birthday to my love, Paul!

Ingredients

Yield: 1 9 inch pie

For the crust:

1½ c. chocolate cookie crumbs
1/3 c. sugar
1/3 c. butter, melted

For the filling:

1 pkg. unflavoured gelatin
¼ c. cold water
3 eggs, yolks and whites separated
½ c. sugar
¼ tsp. salt
1 c. milk, scalded
1/3 c. creamy peanut butter
1 tsp. vanilla
1 c. heavy cream

To make the crust, spray a 9 inch plate with non-stick spray. In a medium bowl, combine the chocolate cookie crumbs, sugar, and melted butter. Press evenly into the pie plate, around the bottom and up the sides. Set aside.

To make the filling, whip the heavy cream in the bowl of a mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, until thick whipped cream. Transfer to a bowl, and place in the refrigerator to stay cold.

In a small bowl, add the cold water and sprinkle the gelatin over the water to soften. Set aside.

In a heat-proof bowl over a double boiler, whisk together the egg yolks, sugar, salt, and the milk until thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon.

Mix the gelatin mixture and peanut butter into the egg yolk mixture, and whisk until smooth and well-combined. Remove from heat, and let cool until slightly thickened.

In the bowl of a mixer that is completely dry, clean, and grease-free, whip the egg whites until stiff peaks, but not completely dry.

Fold the whipped cream, vanilla and the whipped egg whites into the egg yolk mixture until smooth. Pour into the prepared crust.

Refrigerate until set.

If desired, garnish with peanut butter and chocolate chip ganache. (A 1:1 ratio of heavy cream and peanut butter or chocolate chips, heated together and whisked until smooth)

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Chai Cheesecake

Oh, you read that right. Chai Cheesecake. Dreams do come true, especially tea dreams.

This past week we had “off” from school. I say “off”, because teachers never really get the Family Day week off. There is always Teacher’s Convention to go to, and I was gone four full days at convention.

Luckily, the convention was in Calgary, and I got to stay with my fabulous brother-in-law, and his amazing wife Serena (who is an avid blog reader, and probably one of my biggest fans. I’m so lucky.) P.S. Serena, this shout-out and this post is for you, beautiful lady!

Whenever I visit, Serena and I talk about a few things. Some of the most important things we discuss are: a) tea, b) baking, c) my blog (as I said, Serena is a huge fan!), and d) her beautiful paintings! I feel like we just click, and we are kind of kindred spirits… it’s wonderful!

(Also, if anyone is curious, Serena is a PHENOMENALLY talented artist. She makes beautiful paintings. I will try to get a few pictures of her absolutely stunning artwork, and if anyone wants to support her in her passion, I can put you in touch! Shameless self-plug for my family!!:) Below is a Serena original that we received as a gift. )

I got the idea for this recipe from Serena, but a quick Pinterest search yielded this recipe. I did take a few liberties and change the recipe a bit, so this is technically an original recipe… Hooray! I took out the chocolate, changed the crust, and added a Chai whipped cream to take the warm spice blend to a whole new level.

Also, Serena and I both have a Chai spice blend, which is amazing, however, just in case you lovely readers do not have a Chai spice blend, I will put in measurements for that.

If you are a cheesecake fan, or a Chai fan, make this as soon as you can!!

Ingredients

Yield: 1 10-inch cheesecake

For the crust:

½ c. butter, melted
2 c. crushed gingersnaps (or graham cracker crumbs)
1/3 c. sugar

For the cheesecake:

4 – 8 oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 c. sugar
4 eggs
¼ c. whipping cream
1 tsp. vanilla
3 tsp. Chai spice
or
½ tsp. ginger
½ tsp. cardamom
½ tsp. cinnamon
¼ tsp. allspice
¼ tsp. cloves
¼ tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. nutmeg
1/8 tsp. ground black pepper

For the whipped cream:

1 c. whipping cream
¼ c. icing sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
½ tsp. Chai spice blend

Place a loaf pan full of warm water in the cold oven. (If you use a water bath for your cheesecake, skip this step.) Preheat oven to 350°F. Line the bottom of a springform pan with parchment paper.

If making your own Chai spice, whisk all spices together in a small bowl and set aside.

In a medium mixing bowl, combine the melted butter, crushed gingersnaps, and sugar. Press the mixture into the lined springform pan, and pat down into an even layer. Bake in the preheated oven for 10 minutes.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the cream cheese and sugar until fluffy. Add eggs, one by one, then add in vanilla. When well combined and smooth, add in the Chai spice and the whipping cream. (If you made your own, only add in 3 tsp. of Chai spice, and save the rest for the whipped cream.) Once batter is smooth and spice is well-incorporated, pour into the prepared pan.

Bake in the preheated oven for 50 minutes, (in a water bath if using) then turn the oven off and let cheesecake cool to room temperature in warm oven. After the cheesecake cools to room temperature, take out of the oven, and move to the fridge to cool completely.

While the cheesecake is cooling, in the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the whipping cream, icing sugar, Chai spice, and vanilla, and whip on high until soft peaks of whipped cream form.

Spread the whipped cream over the cooled cheesecake, then remove from the springform pan, slice with a hot knife, and serve. Store in the refrigerator.

S’mores Pie

This is my first ever collaborative post! Paul helped me with this pie. He cooks dessert every once in a while, and one of his dessert specialties is pudding. I was just hanging around the house on the weekend, and then it hit me: S’mores Pie.

I don’t know where it came from, but I decided that I needed to make S’mores Pie, so this is a collaborative Sugar and Spice original recipe! Also, this is a no-bake recipe, so no turning on the oven, only the stovetop.

Paul and I came up with the recipe ourselves, and it is written below. I just whipped up the crust in about five minutes, and Paul did me a huge favour and made the chocolate pudding filling, then I made the same marshmallow fluff that I used for his birthday cake.

One piece of advice Paul made sure to tell me to write down is that you can’t stop stirring the pudding, or you will not get the silky consistency that you need in a good pudding.

I will say that the whole, uncut pie was so easy to photograph, but it was nigh impossible to get a clean slice, because of that gooey, delicious marshmallow. If I get a good (or at least acceptable) picture of the inside of the pie, I’ll update this post. Still, the pie was totally worth it.

Ingredients

Yield: 1 9-inch pie

For the crust:

2 c. graham cracker crumbs
½ c. butter, melted
½ c. sugar

For the filling:

½ c. sugar
1/3 c. cocoa
2¼ tsp. cornstarch
Pinch salt
1 egg, beaten
2½ c. milk
1/3 tsp. vanilla
2 tbsp. butter

For the topping:

1/3 c. water
¾ c. sugar
¾ c. light corn syrup
3 large egg whites, at room temperature
½ tsp. cream of tartar
1 tsp. vanilla

To make the crust, combine the graham cracker crumbs, butter, and sugar in a bowl. Press into a pie plate into an even layer across the bottom and up the sides. Refrigerate until needed.

To make the chocolate pudding filling, whisk together the sugar, cocoa, cornstarch, and salt thoroughly in a medium saucepan.

On medium heat, slowly whisk in the beaten egg and milk. Whisk constantly (and I mean constantly!), until boiling. Keep whisking approximately 5 minutes until the pudding is thick enough to fully coat the spoon back.

Remove from heat, and whisk in the butter and vanilla. Pour into the prepared pie plate and chill completely.

To make the marshmallow fluff, combine the water, sugar, and corn syrup in a saucepan with a candy thermometer attached. Whisk to combine, and heat over medium-high heat. Do not stir the mixture any more.

In a completely grease-free mixer bowl with the whisk attachment, place the egg whites and cream of tartar. When the sugar syrup reaches 225° F, start whipping the egg whites to soft peaks.

When the sugar syrup reaches 240° F, take it off the heat and slowly start adding it to the egg whites in a thin, steady stream. Once all of the syrup is added to the egg whites, turn the mixer to medium-high and continue whipping.

Continue to whip for 7-8 minutes, or until the mixture looks stiff and glossy. Add the vanilla and whip until the fluff has cooled.

Top the chocolate pudding filling with the marshmallow topping, and toast with a kitchen torch. Chill pie completely, then slice and serve.

Salted Caramel Pecan Cheesecake


Hello friends! I’ve been extremely busy lately, with the ending of the first semester of school, exam week, marking, planning for the second semester of school, and moving my classroom. Thank you for being so patient with me, I promise this cheesecake is worth it.

As some of you may know, before starting teaching, I spent 8 years working in the restaurant industry. The last restaurant I worked for, Moxie’s, a well-known chain up in Canada, had a dessert almost identical to this one. However, for a recent staff meeting, I decided to make my take on the Salted Caramel Pecan Cheesecake.

This recipe is two recipes amalgamated together, as well as my own few touches… therefore, I consider the final recipe all mine. I’ll still link to the original recipes I used, but I’ll post my “changed” recipe below. I used the crust recipe from here, and changed it. This is the filling recipe that I used, again, changing it as I needed it.

I will let you know, all you health-conscious people out there – this recipe is gluten-free! My principal is actually unable to eat gluten, and I really wanted to make cheesecake, so I took a page out of the Moxie’s playbook and decided to make the crust of the cheesecake out of pecans. Because I was never in the kitchen of Moxie’s, I never knew the recipe, so I found one online and went with that, adding in my own touches here and there.

I was SO sad, because I forgot to take a picture of the whole cheesecake, and I was so proud because the cheesecake didn’t even crack! Usually, because my oven is old and temperamental, any cheesecakes I make end up cracking, but this one didn’t! It was so beautiful and I’m mad at myself for forgetting… Oh well… Next time!

P.S. This cheesecake was awesome. I rarely make cheesecake, because when I do, I’m the only one who eats it (unless I give it away). This one was DECADENT, but incredible. It was perfect.

Ingredients

Yield: 1 10-inch cheesecake

For the salted caramel:

1 c. sugar
6 tbsp. butter, room temperature
½ c. heavy cream
1 tsp. salt

For the crust:

2 c. pecans, coarsely chopped or ground
1 tbsp. sugar
½ tsp. salt
½ c. butter

For the filling:

36 oz. (or 1 kg. or 2½lbs.) cream cheese, room temperature
1½ c. sugar
½ tsp. salt
4 eggs
½ c. sour cream
¼ c. heavy cream
½ – ¾ c. homemade salted caramel (depending on preference)

To make the salted caramel, have the cream, butter and salt ready to go near your stove. Make sure the cream and butter is room temperature, and the butter is divided up into tablespoons so you can add a tablespoon at a time.

Place the sugar in a medium saucepan. With the heat on medium-medium high, stir sugar constantly with a wooden spoon or a heat-resistant rubber spatula. Sugar should start to melt, and become a deep amber colour. Keep stirring, and do not let sugar burn.

When all the lumps have melted, turn the heat down to low and add the butter, one tablespoon at a time, adding the next tablespoon when the first one is melted. It is very important – STIR THE CARAMEL CONSTANTLY. Once the butter is incorporated,take off the heat and add the cream and the salt. **If the caramel starts to seize up when adding the cream, the cream was too cold! Make folding motions (as if to “fold in” the cream) if this happens, keeping the caramel moving. Do this until the cream becomes incorporated into the caramel, and you have a thick sauce.

Transfer caramel to an air-safe container, and let cool. Caramel will thicken more as it cools.

To make the cheesecake, preheat oven to 375°F. Line a springform pan with parchment paper (the bottom and sides), and set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine the pecans, sugar, and salt, and toss with a fork to combine. In a small, microwave safe bowl, melt the butter and add to the pecans. Toss to combine, then press into the prepared springform pan. Bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes, then let cool on a wire rack while you prepare the filling.

Lower oven heat to 325°F. Fill 1-2 metal loaf pans or roasting pans with warm or hot water, and put in the lower rack of your oven.

In the bowl of a mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, add the cream cheese and beat until fluffy. Add the sugar and eggs, one at a time, and beat well. Add in the sour cream and heavy cream, and beat again. Finally, add in the salted caramel. Add in amount of salted caramel to your personal taste. I added half a cup in first, then added a bit more because I wanted a stronger caramel flavour in the cheesecake.

Beat all ingredients so that caramel is incorporated throughout the filling and filling is smooth, not lumpy.

Pour cheesecake filling into springform pan. Place pan in preheated oven (on the middle rack).

Bake for 1 hour 20 minutes, then turn the oven off. Leave the cheesecake to finish cooking in the warm oven until the cheesecake is room temperature. Transfer cheesecake to refrigerator, and chill completely before slicing with a hot knife and serving.

Garnish cheesecake with leftover caramel sauce.

Nanaimo Bar Tart


Well, another original recipe. This recipe came about quite suddenly. Paul and I had been talking about tortes and tarts, and my mind just started wandering when Paul went to work.

I wondered if a Nanaimo Bar Tart could possibly work, and started thinking…. I took a shortbread recipe for the crust, and changed it up a bit, as well as using the custard powder and turning it into a thick custard, topping it off with a smooth chocolate topping.


I threw it all in the fridge to set up. That was the hard part – waiting for it to set to make sure that everything tasted good and worked together. However, the waiting and experimentation paid off, because WOW did taste good!

The tart turned out very good, but very rich, and already I’m cursing the slightly-bigger-than-normal piece that I cut for myself and finished with gusto because it was just THAT good. Either way, if you are a Nanaimo Bar fan, then this tart should be right up your alley!

Enjoy an original recipe! 🙂

Ingredients

Yield: 1 8-9 inch tart

For the tart shell:

1 c. butter
1¼ c. flour
¾c. coconut
½ c. sugar
¼ c. cocoa

For the custard layer:

¼ c. plus 1 tbsp. custard powder
1 tsp. vanilla
3 tbsp. sugar
2½ c. milk

For the chocolate layer:

½ c. butter
1 c. chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350°F. In a medium microwave safe mixing bowl, melt the butter. Add in the flour, coconut, sugar, and cocoa. Mix together until combined, and press into the tart pan and up the sides, trying to make as uniform and even as possible.

Bake the tart shell in the preheated oven for 12-15 minutes, and set aside to cool while making the filling.

In a medium saucepan, whisk together the custard powder and sugar, then gradually pour in the vanilla and milk while whisking to create a cohesive sauce with no lumps. Whisk over a medium heat until a full boil and the custard thickens, whisking frequently. Once the custard thickens, pour into the cooled tart shell and let thicken and cool.

In a small microwave safe bowl, combine the butter and chocolate chips and melt on short bursts, combining until smooth.

Once the custard has thickened more, and formed a skin on top, pour the chocolate over top of the tart and even out, being careful not to mix the custard into the chocolate.

Let cool and set completely, in the fridge or on a wire rack, then slice and serve. Store in the refrigerator.