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Recipe Fri Dec 06 2013

Holiday Dessert Help From Alliance Bakery


Did you discover this Thanksgiving that you are not, in fact, a master pie baker? Perhaps you found yourself weeping into a soggy apple mess, apologizing to guests for a less-than-flaky crust?

If so, don't beat yourself up-- there's hope for you yet this holiday season. Alliance Bakery, known for its elaborate custom cakes and fine european pastries, is here to save the day with a dessert recipe that even you can pull off with impressive results. Award-winning Executive Pastry Chef Peter Rios recommends home cooks start with mini pumpkin cheesecakes, which are easy to make but create a fancy presentation at a holiday party.

If you've never made a cheesecake, this recipe is as simple as blending common ingredients into a filling and making a crushed graham cracker crust. You can bake this in a normal springform pan (the kind with the clamp that releases the sides from the bottom), or you can use individual cheesecakes in mini molds like these or these. If you're not using a springform pan, the secret to getting the mini versions out of the mold is to freeze the cakes for about an hour after they have cooled, then run a sharp knife dipped in hot water around the edges.

And don't forget the piped whipped cream rosette-- it's that finishing touch that will make you seem like a master.

Alliance Bakery's Pumpkin Spice Cheesecake


1 1/2 cups graham wafers, crushed into crumbs
1/4 cup Sugar
3/4 stick melted butter


2 pounds cream cheese, softened and cubed
1 cup light brown sugar
6 eggs
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
Pinch salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1tsp vanilla extract
1tsp Cinnamon
1/4tsp clove powder
ΒΌ tsp ginger powder
2 cups pumpkin puree


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Combine the crumbs, sugar and the butter together. Mix well and press into a 3"inch spring-form pan.

In a food processor or a mixer with the paddle attachment, mix the cream cheese until smooth. Add the brown sugar and blend. Add the eggs one at a time to thoroughly incorporate into the cheese mixture. Next, add the heavy cream, then add the flour, salt, cinnamon and vanilla and blend until smooth. Add the mashed pumpkin and blend until smooth.

Pour the filling into the prepared pan. Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until the cake is set in the middle. Completely cool the cake before unmolding.

To make whipped cream rosettes, whip heavy cream with a dash of cinnamon at a high speed until it becomes stiff. Gently spoon the whipped cream into a pastry bag fitted with a closed star tip. (You might want to practice piping these into rosettes before you try it on a cheesecake)

Alliance Bakery, 1736 W. Division, (773) 278-0366

Photo credit to Brad Snyder

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Feature Thu Dec 31 2015

The State of Food Writing

By Brandy Gonsoulin

In 2009, food blogging, social media and Yelp were gaining popularity, and America's revered gastronomic magazine Gourmet shuttered after 68 years in business. Former Cook's Illustrated editor-in-chief Chris Kimball followed with an editorial, stating that "The shuttering of Gourmet reminds...
Read this feature »

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