Back when I was working in Toronto, Akemi used to send me off every morning with my own breakfast bento box stuffed with oatmeal and fruit lovingly shaped into cartoon forest animals.  Well, given the fact that I’ve been freelancing from home of late, Akemi hasn’t had the opportunity for much creative bento expression.  Until earlier this week, that is, when I dropped off the dogs at doggy daycare – snacks in tow…

The girls at the daycare marveled at what a terrific job Akemi did getting the ears right.
The dogs get a Hello Kitty bento box.  Ironic, no?
And, inside: two types of cookies and dental bites for the two dogs who still have most of their teeth.

Of course the dogs aren’t the only ones who have been enjoying some special treats of late…

Meringue Parfait
The Meringue Parfait at Fable Kitchen.
Peanut Butter Smore
The Peanut Butter Smore – also at Fable Kitchen.
Dessert trio – brownies, coffee macarons, and lemon finaciers – at, yep, Fable Kitchen.
Clockwise from left to right: brownie and the OMG from Pure Bakery, and the home made chocolate chip cookie from some kid (‘s mom?) who was selling them curbside.  Not enough chocolate chips in the cookies.  I’ll have to complain to the kid this weekend.  

As if that wasn’t enough, Akemi and I tried our hands at Jeff and Barb’s white chocolate cheesecake…

1We made a half portion and, instead of following the recipe by waiting a few hours, we served it some twenty minutes after coming out of the oven with a couple of scoops of vanilla ice cream.  Outstanding.  The graham cracker crumb crust with the white chocolate pieces was especially good.  Akemi liked it a lot (finishing the last piece moments before we went out for dinner yesterday!) but didn’t love the addition of the almond extract.  I, on the other hand, loved it.

So, how did your respective white chocolate cheesecakes turn out?

Next week’s episode recipe…

DP’s Cobbler Recipe

1 cup self-rising flour1 cup sugar
1 cup milk
4 cups fruit*
1 stick (1/2 cup) butterPre-heat oven to 350 deg. F. Melt butter in oven in casserole dish.

Mix flour, sugar, and milk. Pour batter over melted butter. Put fruit on top of batter.

Bake at 350 deg. F. for 1 hr. or until the batter that rises to the top browns.

*Use any fruit. Less than one qt. down to 1 cup and/ or sour fruit is fine. Batter sweetens sour fruit as it rises. My favorite is blackberries, 2 cps. ripe, 2 cps. 3 days under-ripe.

32 thoughts on “May 30, 2013: Desserts – doggy and otherwise!

  1. The fruit amount…4 cups is actually for when something’s in season and you’re trying to get rid of it.

    Down to one cup is more like it because the crust is the best part.

    I’ve mostly only done this with blackberries and peaches.

  2. We’re eating the cheesecake at 2 1/2 hours of cooling. It’s a bit too soft to handle, so I have it in the freezer now. The attempt at a gluten-free crust by crumbling gluten-free white cake didn’t pan out. There wasn’t enough crumbled cake in the crust to absorb the butter, but hopefully getting a chill on it will firm it up.

  3. All of JeffW’s directions/tips were very helpful making this cheesecake. Loved it! Like both of you, I loved the white chocolate chips in the crust. I didn’t add the almond extract, I’m not an almond fan. With the chips in the crust, it was better than cheesecake I had at the Cheesecake factory. The raspberry sauce was divine. The only downside is my hubby kept teasing me about eating the whole thing myself. The boys won’t touch cheesecake. Their loss…… 😀

    I’m gathering up the ingredients to make another cheesecake and freeze it for my Florida trip next week. I’ll let you know if freezing changed the taste/texture.

    I loved the bento boxes Akemi!

    Do they make a rectangle springform pan? That would be easier to fit in a fridge.

  4. Lord have mercy! Fable is going on my list for next YVR trip–which will be soon. 🙂

  5. I think I gain 5 pounds just reading the blog tonight.I love the “doggie bag”, is that a requirement when you send dogs to doggie day care, you have to send them with food??

  6. I miss those bento box pictures as well.She did a great job then. And thanks ever so much for the dessert pictures, that made my evening! I want to have one of those” The Meringue Parfait ” wow, delicious looking. Will try the cheesecake recipe sometime, will be otherwise off line for a bit, in a couple days,,, but will try to read when I can, thanks.

  7. Ice cream on cheesecake? Really? Who’d of thought it?

    It will be a while before I’m up to making cheesecake, but the cobbler sounds simple enough for even a one armed cook like myself to tackle. Maybe peach. Or cherry. Mmmmmm.

  8. Akemi is so cool for making a bento box for the dogs! They have some very nice pet parents, that’s for sure.

    Those desserts look great, but I do agree that there’s few things more disappointing than a chip-deficient chocolate chip cookie. I mean really, what’s the point?

    Yes, I’ve got to give that cheesecake a try over the weekend when I have time. The cobbler sounds good, and what’s better, easy!

  9. those deserts sound good, except for the coffee macarons. :p

    and it looks like there are very few chocolate chips in that cookie. they must’ve have put them in on a cookie-by-cookie basis.

  10. @Joe:

    Those bento boxes are cute! But I’m not sure a Hello Kitty bento box is manly enough for Bubba 😉

    Joe, do you have springform pans? I found a few smaller sizes (6″ and 8″) that make it easier to do smaller portions. If you like the almond extract, you’d love the white chocolate sauce.

    And now my interest is peaked; I’ll need to try and checkout Fable in a few weeks when I visit Vancouver.


    For a gluten-free crust, try almond flour (same proportion as the graham cracker crumbs). I’ve done this for a gluten-sensitive friend and we loved it.

  11. Halfing the recipe… nowwww you tell me.
    Freezing it to firm it up… nowwwww you tell me.
    Is your heart suppose to beat erratically while eating a piece?

    I haven’t had anything this sweet in a long time.

    I followed the directions best that “I” can. Went to the cabinet for Almond Extract, and didn’t have any. So I substituted more Vanilla Extract.

    Couldn’t find Lemon Juice at the store, so I substituted Lemonade and some Lemon Extract. (Pretty clever, right?) I don’t think it hurt the taste any because the cheesecake was great.

    I think I put too much butter in the first batter. JeffW what do you mean by “1/4 stick butter (2 Tbsp)”? A 1/4 stick of butter is 4 of those little butter sections. Two Tbsp is 2 of those sections.

    I paniked when the batter filled up the pan. Thought…hope this thing don’t rise, it will overflow. It rose a little. But it looked beautiful in the pan. I let it cool in the oven for 3 hours, then put it in the refrigerator overnight.

    Took it out of the pan the next day, or tried to. It was so soft the sides stuck to the pan. Next time, I’ll take it out a little warmer. I cut up some pieces for my Dad. He loves Cheesecake. He will be the real taste judge. (He is always looking for the cheesecake he had as a kid…80 years ago.) I put the rest in a bowl. It doesn’t look good, but it taste devine! The crust is awesome!

    I made some chocolate for the topping, which now is for dipping since the cheesecake didn’t hold together. (Joe you got to get you some of that homemade chocolate topping).

    And my crazy beagle only stole the recipe off the edge of the countertop one time. I chased her down, gave her a treat in trade for it back.

    I have an even greater appreciation for JeffW and his cooking skills now. That is a lot of work and truely a labor of love. He makes it look way too easy. Thanks for sharing your recipe Jeff!

  12. G’day

    Did not attempt the cheesecake. Sorry Jeff. What the frell is Graham Cracker?

    The cobbler sounds good. May try it. As gforce said…easy (I hope).

    DP – what is a good fruit for me as winter is starting here? Pears, citrus season? Or can I, dare I say it, use frozen blackberries? Did I say type that… 80

  13. G’day again

    Those Bento boxes are very cute. I too miss Akemi’s creations. Not as much as Joe does, I am sure.

    Desserts from Fable look divine.

  14. @DP:

    Thanks for the cobbler recipe. Peach cobbler sounds great for this weekend…warmed up with a scoop of vanilla ice cream 😀


    Thanks for trying the recipe!

    I think you’re right; you may have used too much butter. The sticks of butter I’m used to are 8 Tbsp, so 1/4 stick is 2 Tbsp. The excess butter may explain why your cake was so soft. A non-stick spray on the sides of the pan should help with the separation issue.

    A pie knife helps with cutting the crust:

    Keep it dipped in hot water to keep it (relatively) clean in between cuts.

  15. @Janet

    If you’re in OZ Graham Crackers are similar to Arnotts Shredded Wheatmeal biscuits. I also use these when making Nanaimo Bars 🙂

  16. @ JeffW – For some people (like me) you have to spell it out. On a stick of butter it says “1/4 cup = 4 Tbsp”. You were talking about the stick and I saw that cup measurement on the stick. With new recipes it usually takes me a while to get good at it. My pan looks like it has non-stick sides, plus I did spray it. I was going easy on it with the knife to splice around the sides. I think the butter was the problem. Didn’t hurt the taste at all… 🙂

    Do you have to use that paper on the bottom? Joe’s looked like he used the paper on the bottom and sides and just lifted the cake out and peeled the paper away. Can you do that?

  17. Any tech people out there need a job? Motorola will be making the first ever smartphone (made in the US) here in Fort Worth, Texas. They are hiring 2,000 for the job. Filling positions right now and want them all filled by end of summer.

    Go to for the story.

  18. @Janet – Frozen blackberries are fine. They give off more juice and you end up with something different, but still good.

    I’ve never tried pears or citrus. I’m not sure pears would have enough kick to stand their own and I don’t know if citrus would go with the buttery-crispy crust, but I might just be set in my ways.

    Canned peaches are fine, too. I’ve had far more of these made with canned peaches than fresh. Cobbler from canned peaches is a last-minute dessert staple.

    And self-rising flour isn’t mandatory. There’s a way to convert all-purpose flour, but I forget how right now. The people I know who make these always have self-rising flour.

  19. Another restaurant to add to the ‘MUST visit in YVR” list.
    The meringue thingey…looks wonderful.
    Well…as does the macaron. yum…..

  20. @Ponytail:

    Do you have to use that paper on the bottom? Joe’s looked like he used the paper on the bottom and sides and just lifted the cake out and peeled the paper away. Can you do that?

    On my very first cheesecake the crust and the metal pan welded themselves together..I had a cookie-metal-composite Frisbee! 😀 Barb and I ended up eating the top and then we chipped the graham “cookie” away from the pan after that.

    The parchment paper fixes the “cookie problem”. In theory you could use it on the sides too, but I’ve never had a problem using the parchment paper only on the bottom and cooking spray on the sides (although you would probably need parchment paper on the sides if you extended the crust to the sides as well). Perhaps the extra butter and soft texture caused it to stick?

  21. Hi Joe,
    It was my first try at cheese cake. I would call my effort average. Liked the crust! And looking at the variety of graham cracker flavors, oh the possibilities. I think it was a bit too thick. I went the pan method also; not prudent to buy a new item for one time. But, it looked great when done. Color was similar to your picture but not as thick. I might try a double batch next time, or the square pan. I used a mixture of fresh strawberries and wild berry mix (I love raspberries.). Great combination.

  22. So you can put the cake in any pan and lift it out with parchment paper? Cool! Thanks for that tip! Also, thanks JeffW for the gluten free directions.

    I love making cookies. Hubby says my cookies just have enough dough to hold the chocolate chips together.

  23. Yeah, I don’t have self-rising flour either, but it seems pretty easy to make.

    To make self-rising flour: add 1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon of salt to plain flour. Mix dry ingredients well (or sift together) so there are no clumps of baking powder. If this doesn’t give the desired “lift” to your batter, try adding 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda along with the baking powder on the next attempt. Nigella Lawson recommends adding the baking soda for recipes with heavier ingredients like buttermilk or yogurt.

    A couple of on-line sources listed 2 teaspoons of baking powder, but most said 1.5. An alternative method is 1/2 teaspoon baking soda and 1 teaspoon cream of tartar, just in case you have those around but no baking powder!

  24. It was fantastic. We’re big into cheesecake in my family and for my Dad it was about more than just his sweet tooth, he’s from New York and it’s a matter of culinary city pride. In this family, even with a crust, that recipe was dynamite!

  25. @ Duptian:

    I think it was a bit too thick.

    I’m assuming this means “too rich”. If so, you can lighten the cheesecake by doubling or even tripling the sour cream portion, then beat the heck out of it (after the mixture is blended, run the mixer on it’s highest setting for 3-minutes or more). This will produce a lighter (more like west coast style) cheesecake.

    If you want it lighter still, replace some of the cream cheese with a gelatin pack.


    Thanks! That means a lot coming from a fellow New York Cheesecake lover! Glad you all liked it!

  26. hi, joe,

    i wish you could make the ‘stargate: atlantis – legacy series’ of novels into a mini series. i’m halfway through the last book (6th), and it’s fantastic!!

    i’m looking forward to how it ends, but at the same time, i don’t want it to end!

    (((stargate))) ❤

  27. G’day

    After a bit of research, I found Digestive biscuits (sounds disgusting, I know) to be the closest to Graham cracker. They are tasty though.
    Thanks to Susan for the tip on Shredded Wheatmeal. I love them with vegemite. Mmmmmmmmmmmmmm

    Cannes peaches sounds the best way to go if I get around to making DP’s cobbler. Thanks for the tip DP.

  28. So glad you are all enjoying all these recipes. Wish I could participate.

    I think the dogs would be insulted by having to eat out of Hello Kitty Bento Boxes. But the treats look great. Forgot to tell you Maddie turned 6th on the 28th. I got her a yogurt ganache cake, or what I thought was cake. It was actually round flat pieces of treats they make with layers of yogurt in between. I put it in the refrigerator. Probably should not have. Messy, messy, messy! I made a video of it:

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