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dessert – La Gourmandista

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Etiqueta: dessert

Cheesecake with Berries

A dessert I really enjoy but which I frequently feel is too sweet at restaurants is the New York Style Cheesecake. It must be me. I have significantly decreased my sugar intake in the last few years. The first time I tried this version, it came out really nice. Then, I made some adjustments and it was a keeper. Just a few days ago we enjoyed it with some friends we hadn’t seen in over two years. Yes, we may well blame the global situation of the last 18 months, yet, we won’t. Nonetheless, I have to highlight they are our first visitors from far away lands since the Fall of 2019. Therefore, since we enjoyed it quite a bit, I share the recipe with you today hoping you will prepare it and share some photos and comments with me. Bon appétit!

Cheesecake with Berries

Mi take on the New York classic with fresh fruit au naturel or with a little syrup.

  • Springform mold of about 9 1/2" diameter
  • Baking sheet
  • Food processor
  • Stand mixer with bowl
  • Paddle or flat beater attachment for stand mixer
  • Silicone spatula
  • Medium bowl
  • Spoon
  • Chopping board
  • Pairing knife

For the crust:

  • 85 g unsalted butter (melted)
  • 225 g Graham crackers
  • 10 g granulated sugar
  • 1 pinch salt

For the filling:

  • 550 g cream cheese (softened)
  • 45 g sour cream
  • 1/2 lime (juice)
  • 1 dash vanilla extract
  • 115 g granulated sugar
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 10 g all-purpose flour
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 egg yolks

To decorate:

  • 100 g blueberries
  • 100 g blackberries
  • 100 g raspberries
  • 250 g strawberries
  • 1 sprig mint
  1. Butter the springform mold and set it aside on a baking sheet.

Prepare the crust:

  1. Add the melted butter, salt, sugar, and graham crackers to a food processor and pulse until you obtain a crumble mix.

  2. Press the crumble mix with your fingertips firmly to form the crust.

  3. Bake for 15 minutes at 325 °F (160 °C) to toast the crust.

  4. When ready, set it aside and prepare the filling.

Prepare the cheese filling:

  1. Preheat the oven to 450 °F (200 °C).

  2. Add the softened cream cheese and sour cream to the stand mixer and mix at a low speed to cream. If needed, between one step and the next, stop the engine and scrape down the walls of the bowl with the silicone spatula.

  3. Once both ingredients are integrated. Turn the mixer off and add sugar, salt, vanilla extract, lime juice, and flour. Mix again, and turn the engine off once more to scrape the walls of the bowl with the help of the silicone spatula.

  4. Then, with the blender on, add the eggs and egg yolks one by one for them to incorporate into the mix.


  1. Pour the mix over the cracker crust and bake at 450 °F (200 °C) for 10 minutes. Then lower the temperature to 200 °F (100 °C) and carry on baking for 1 hour 40 minutes.

  2. Turn the oven off and let it finish baking with the remaining heat in the oven. Therefore, do not open the oven. Leave the cheesecake inside and let it cool for 2 hours. Then, take out and unmold.


  1. Let it rest in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours.

  2. Cut the fruit and decorate. If you prefer the fruit to have syrup, mix the fruit in a medium bowl, add the juice of 1/2 a lime and add a little sugar. Once the syrup comes about, decorate the cheesecake. I serve it sometimes with the syrup and others without.

  3. Use the mint leaves to decorate and give a refreshing note. Enjoy.

Oven preheated at 325 °F or 160 °C.

  • If you don’t have graham crackers, you may use digestive crackers and add a little granulated sugar and powdered cinnamon. 
  • The amounts for the fruit are merely a suggestion and you may also use others you prefer, such as cherries, gooseberries or redcurrants, just to name a few. Just be sure they are fresh. 
  • If you want to add the syrup, mix the berries in a bowl with the juice of 1/2 a lime and about 1 tbsp granulated sugar and let it rest at least 30 minutes before using them.
berries, cheesecake, dessert

My Mom's Apple Strudel

This was the only dessert my mother would prepare. She used to say it was the only one that would come out right. However, I now think what happened was that she would not measure anything and that made it quite easy. So, the truth is I have no exact amounts for this recipe. I will make rough calculations, but take it with a grain of salt. I think this is one of the few if not the only time we can do pastry stuff without having to measure. At home we would love seeing it come out of the oven. It would hardly last more than 48 hours. It was something you would have to choose to eat now or miss it until the next time kind of deal.

Apple Strudel

A recipe that comes directly from my memory chest that I share in the middle of this emotional commotion we are all going through. A little bit of pampering from Heaven to your Table.

  • Peeler
  • Chopping board
  • Chef's Knife
  • Big Bowl
  • Kitchen Spoon
  • Rolling Pin
  • Baking sheet
  • Parchment paper
  • Pastry brush
  • Fine mesh strainer
  • 500 g puff pastry
  • 3-4 apples (my mom used Gala or Red Delicious, but I now think it's better with Reinette for a richer and more gourmand flavor, but if you want it crispier, then use Granny Smith)
  • 200 g light brown sugar
  • 40 g raisins
  • 40 g pecans
  • 3 sticks cinnamon
  • 3 g cinnamon (ground)
  • 1 egg
  • 7 g powdered sugar to decorate
  1. Before starting, peel the apples, thinly slice them and sort them in a bowl putting a little sugar in between the layers. There’s no need to add a lot of sugar, but let’s say about ½ tablespoon. What you want is for the apple to start sweating its juice and obtain a kind of syrup. Cover with plastic wrap and leave it on the kitchen counter to rest for at least a couple of hours.
  2. Flatten your puff pastry with a rolling pin to a thickness of about ¼ to ½ an inch tops and in the shape of a rectangle of about 12 in (30 cm) long by 10 in (25 cm) wide more or less.
  3. Place your dough in a baking sheet previously lined with parchment paper and preheat your oven to 350 °F (180 °C)
  4. With a spoon, place the apples in the middle of the puff pastry rectangle, leaving enough seam to close the strudel as if it were a letter, i.e. in thirds. Thus, the apples should be in the mid-third. Also, leave a bit of a seam on the edges so as to fold them as if it were the flap of the letter’s envelope towards the center.
  5. On top of the apples drizzle the syrup at the bottom of your apple bowl, sprinkle raisins, the pecan pieces, ground cinnamon, and place two or three cinnamon sticks.
  6. Using a pastry brush and the egg white as your glue, close the strudel. Firstly, fold the top end, then the lower end, and lastly, the side flaps.

  7. With the same pastry brush, but now with the egg yolk, glaze your puff pastry. This will make it shiny and golden-colored.

  8. Bake for 25 to 35 minutes. Use the shiny golden color of your puff pastry as your guide.

  9. Take it out of the oven and let it cool down. Decorate with a little powdered sugar sprinkled on top with a fine mesh strainer.

Oven preheated at 180 °C (350 °F)

Austrian, Homey
dessert, Homemade, homey, lockdown2020, mom’s recipe, stay home

My Mom’s Vanilla Custard

There is nothing more appetizing than a homemade vanilla custard on the weekend, I think. Therefore, on Saturday we prepared a very easy and quick version of this classic dessert made my mothers and grandmas everywhere and steam-cooked it, just like they used to do it a traditionally. 

Vanilla Flan (Mexican-Style Custard)

Simple, yet flavorful. Worthy of the most difficult palates to be pleased.

  • Blender or big bowl with a whisk
  • Can opener
  • Steamer
  • Mold
  • Aluminum foil
  • Refrigerator
  • 1 can evaporated milk
  • 1 can condensed milk
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon natural vanilla essence or the grains of a vanilla pod (from Papantla evidently)
  • Caramel (dulce de leche, or cajeta (soft fudge) as you may wish)
  1. Mix the condensed milk, evaporated milk, eggs, and vanilla with either the blender or just by using a bowl and a whisk.

  2. In a medium-sized mold or in several individual molds (about 6) serve a base of caramel, dulce de leche, or cajeta depending on what you chose or had available. If you’d rather prepare a homemade caramel, this is possible, just put 4 tablespoons sugar per tablespoon of water in a small pot and let it melt to the desired color. However, pay close attention when you’re preparing caramel, since it can severely burn you in case of an accident, and this is very painful. Also, consider that burnt caramel becomes tart.
  3. Pour the mixture in the mold(s) and cover with aluminum foil.
  4. Steam-cook or put in the oven in a Bain Marie for about 45 minutes. To check if they are ready, use the tip of a knife or a toothpick in the center. If it comes out clean, then the custard(s) is/are ready.
  5. Let it rest for 10 minutes and then put in the refrigerator for a couple of hours for your dessert to be served cool.

If you decide to bake it in a Bain Marie, I suggest you use a maximum temperature of 160°C or 320°F. The baking time might increase from the 45 minutes, but the custard’s texture will be silkier and without bubbles.

custard, dessert, flan, Homemade, mom’s recipe, Papantla vanilla, recetas de mamá, vanilla

I think it came out really good.