Kiosco Kafe: Phyllo Cheesecake Bites

This post is a tad overdue, but I came up with these little phyllo cheesecake bites a couple weeks ago for Kiosco Kafe, after being inspired by the cheesecake-filled strawberries I saw on foodgawker. (Those are vegan…mine are not haha.) After having a lot of phyllo left after my last successful attempt with the phyllo cups for the fruit tarts, I decided to try them again with a different spin.

cheesecake bites

Phyllo Cheesecake Bites Recipe

8 oz package of cream cheese
1/2 stick butter, softened
About 1/2 cup Confectioner’s Sugar (or to taste)
2 tsp Lemon zest (opt.)
1-2 Tbsp lemon juice (opt.)

Graham cracker “crust” crumble:
2-3 Graham cracker rectangles (meaning 4-6 squares), crushed
3 Tbsp. Brown Sugar
2 Tbsp. butter, melted

For phyllo dough instructions, see Phyllo Fruit Tarts post

1. With a fork or mixer (I personally find the fork easier), mix cream cheese and butter together.
2. Add lemon zest, and lemon juice, and sugar to taste.
3. In separate bowl, mix together crushed graham crackers, brown sugar, and melted butter. (I just used my hands)
4. Pipe cheesecake filling into phyllo cups, sprinkle with graham cracker crust crumble. Garnish with a slice of strawberry, or other fruit.

Super easy right? You can do it too and look like a pro 😉 Enjoy!

– CP


Kiosco Kafe: Phyllo Fruit Tarts

Made these cute little thangs for Kiosco Kafe a couple weeks ago. Finally got to try my luck with phyllo dough for the 1st time, and I was quite pleased. Take a lookie…

fruit tarts1

Pretty right? For the phyllo cups, I layered about 6 sheets of phyllo dough*** on top of one another, brushing each layer with some melted butter and sprinkling some sugar. After the final layer, I used my pizza cutter to cut them into little squares, and stuck them in my mini muffin tin, baking at 375 degrees for about 10 minutes. Piped in the pastry cream (I used a pastry cream/custard recipe from here), added some fresh berries, and voila! They were gobbled up in a heartbeat..

***Tip: I actually found that it was better to do 2 separate sets of 3-layered phyllo dough, and offset the 2 sets so that it looks like a 8-point star. This helps to create a better “cup” that will hold custard much better!.

The pastry cream recipe yields quite a bit, so I had a bunch left over to make a humungo fruit tart in a store-bought shortbread pie crust.

fruit tart

And even after this, I had enough to make a banana cream pie…which was not very aesthetically pleasing but was soooo delish. I just happened to see a recipe in Bon Appetit magazine that lined the pie crust with chocolate by melting it with some olive oil and brushing it on. So I did that, cut up some bananas and mixed them with the pastry cream/custard, piled it into the chocolate covered short-bread crust, and topped it all with some home-made whipped cream, to which I added just a hint of vanilla extract and almond extract (since I didn’t have sliced almonds to top it with). Yummy!

– CP


Beef Wellington

Inspired by watching Hell’s Kitchen, Viv and I set out to make Gordon Ramsey’s signature dish (with his recipe). I am pleased to share with you of our success, and Chef Ramsey himself would have been quite proud. Look at’s beautiful…

beef wellington

I wish I could have taken a good shot of the perfectly pink interior but alas…my horrendous kitchen lighting did not allow me to do so.


Home-made Donuts

My friend has been asking me to make donuts with him for a long while now, and last night, I finally relented. I had no idea, however, that it would take us/me over 4 hours! My goodness…

We tried this recipe for Crispy and Creamy Doughnuts. Okay, making the dough honestly isn’t hard, even as I did it by hand, and most of the time was spent waiting for the dough to rise. I let it rise for an hour before I cut the doughnuts. The other thing though, was that since we didn’t have a legit doughnut cutter, I had to get creative and ended up using a wine-glass to cut the circles (which worked surprisingly well), and had to cut out the little holes in the center with a fillet knife. That…sucked.



They don’t look too shabby though right?

The last hassle was the oil. Since our last deep-frying adventure, we have lost the power chord to our deep fryer. What a sad, sad loss…Thus, I had to use a regular pot of oil on the stove for frying, which was so hard to control the heat. It got too hot and was almost burning the outside while leaving the center of the donut holes (out test subjects) doughy and raw. It took a long time for the oil to finally cool down enough for us to get a good golden brown on the outside while having them cooked all the way through.



We did a regular sugar glaze and a chocolate glaze. Who knew that glaze was made from just a crap-load of butter and sugar (or chocolate)? Mmm…



And voila! They actually look pretty legit, I must say. However, after seeing what goes into them…the amount of shortening, butter, oil, and sugar…I’ll be thinking twice before I wolf down a couple of Krispy Kreme donuts next time.

Take-home lesson from this story? If you want to make donuts at home, buy a real doughnut cutter, use a deep-fryer (or a pot of oil with a thermometer), expect to do a lot of waiting for the dough to rise (not just once, but a 2nd time after you cut the donuts), and expect to be slightly disgusted when you’re done. HOWEVER, they did taste quite good, (slightly dense and almost cakey) and I was rather proud of myself in the end 😉

– CP


Jasmine Tea Cupcakes

jasmine cupcakes

Jasmine tea cupcakes with jasmine whipped cream-cream cheese frosting! They aren’t as jasmine-y as I had wanted them to be, and the cake was a little dense, ( may have over-mixed the batter) but delicious nonetheless.

Made these by finding a simple white/vanilla cake recipe, and steeping the milk with 2 jasmine tea bags and cooling it before mixing in the batter. The frosting was made by steeping heavy whipping cream with a jasmine tea bag, cooling it, and whipping it up with some sugar. You then fold the jasmine whipped cream into a cream cheese frosting (1/2 stick butter, 8 oz cream cheese, about 1/4-1/2 cup sugar).

Will definitely be trying these out again, hopefully with a better/lighter cake consistency!

– CP