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The April 2009 challenge is hosted by Jenny from Jenny Bakes. She has chosen Abbey’s Infamous Cheesecake as the challenge.

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We love cheesecake, the hubby and I.  This challenge was definitely for us, but not a challenge in the least.  I have over the past few years perfected my cheesecake baking process to a T, so that is now the easy part.  That leaves me plenty of time to do what I love, alter the recipe.  Thankfully this month we could do just that, Jenny even encouraged us to “alter” the recipe and make it our own.  I am calling this one American Cheesecake.  It takes diversity to make it work, and oh how it works!

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Kaighty was my assistant daring baker for this challenge, as she was on spring break.  We first crushed 20 Oreo cookies in a bag (counting to 20 is my 5 year olds speciality).  Added the butter, spread the mixture in the pan and baked our crust for about 10 minutes.  Now to mix the base recipe.  I used Abby’s recipe but added a few extras such as flour and one more block of cream cheese, as well as omitted the lemon juice.  Once we had our base mixed up, I poured 2/3rds of it into our cooled spring-form pan and crust.  The we doctored up the last third with some instant espresso and a smidge of cocoa powder.

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To ensure and even layer, I pipped on the espresso layer.  Into the oven it went, for about an hour and half.  I do open the oven door long enough to test the cheese cake, then close it back up and turn it off.  I leave it in the oven until the cake is at room temperature, this will prevent a crack in the top.  I realize I am about to top mine, so a crack could be covered.  At this point I carefully remove the cake from the pan, then put it right back in the pan.  pour the prepared ganache over it and place it in the fridge overnight.

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Overnight is the key to a good cheesecake.  For some reason it continues to meld together and comes to it’s creamiest point at about 36 hours out of the oven.  Don’t skip this step, as it is crucial for optimum taste!

The following evening, we cut and served it.  My girls ate the ganache off the top, and that was it.  The hubby and me, oh, we ate the whole thing, it was divine.  Like fresh cold watermelon in the summer, just amazing on your tongue!  Thank you Jenny, it was a wonderful challenge and a wonderful April in our house!

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I baked these delicious cup cakes for Kaightlyn’s school birthday party.  Her fellow pre-K students and teachers loved the moist chocolate chiffon and strawberry cakes topped with my light swiss buttercream icing!  Oh to turn 5 again, and have the world at your finger tips!  Happy Birthday Lover!

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Better late than never, right?   March is always a huge month for us, and I just could not find the time until yesterday to make this months challenge.   The March 2009 challenge is hosted by Mary of Beans and Caviar, Melinda of Melbourne Larder and Enza of Io Da Grande. They have chosen Lasagne of Emilia-Romagna from The Splendid Table by Lynne Rossetto Kasper as the challenge.  I have made fresh pasta many times and really love it, so I was supper excited with this challenge.  Hence the late production and post.

Avery and I dropped Kaighty off at school and headed strait for the store for the last few fresh goods I needed.  Then I began chopping, wow was that a lot of cutting.  Other bakers had noted they were short on the Country Style Ragu’ , so I made 1.25 times the original recipe.   It did take quiet a while to complete the Ragu’, but man o man was it worth it!

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I mixed up my dough for the Spinach Egg Pasta by hand.  Then I read the next step, kneed for 10 full minutes.  Ah, I am a weakling from America who is so used to gadgets I could never muster up enough to kneed for 10 minutes.  Into the Kitchen Aid it went and my dough hook took over, good thing too, it took almost 15 minutes to “come alive”.  So worth it, look how beautiful it is, the most gorgeous shade of emerald.

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On to the Bechamel, which was supper easy and very tasty.  I will definitely double this portion of the recipe next time.

I had let the pasta dough rest on the stove, as it was a chilly day and the cool dough was sticking to my pasta press.  The stretching and thinning of the pasta took almost and hour, it was a long process.

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Then on to the boiling, cooling and drying.  I had things to do and was rushing through the assembly process and only managed to cook half of my noodles, so my lasagna is very short.  However, it melted in our mouth and was divine.  I can’t honestly say I would change a thing about this recipe.  I almost like it more than our American Lasagna with caned sauce, dried pasta,  ricotta and tones of mozzarella!  Thank you for a wonderful challenge Mary, Melinda, and Enza!

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Check out the new Daring Bakers Website here.

To view the recipe for this challenge, click on more.

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Hello reader, this Blog is a real time biography for Bonobo Cakes. BC will become an official bakery sooner than later. For now however, we are closed. With the addition of a 3rd child, life is to important to stop and spend 24 hours strait on a cake. Although we love cake, it will be a while before we get back into baking on a large scale. Enjoy the stories and photos, but please ask prior to using any of our original information on another site. Thank you and Enjoy the blog as it was!