Feb 13, 2010

Love is in the Air

 

Tomorrow is Valentine's Day.  Being as it is on a Sunday, I am sure that a lot of people will be celebrating it tonight instead.  Since I have to work all weekend, my husband and myself actually jumped it a couple days ahead and went out for dinner at Mitzels (which was really good) and my husband gave me my gift.  It is an absolutely gorgeous Pandora bead.  I recently picked up both the necklace and bracelet chain in bulk buy but I didn't have any beads.  I would take a pic but I didn't pack my camera cords.

One food group group that I really associate with love is chocolate and I adore the creaminess of a good cheesecake.  What can be more romantic then feeding little bites to your lover.  So I found a few recipes that look to be really good.

Chocolate Tiramisu Cheesecake

  • 12 Serving
  • Prep 30 min
  • Cook 1 hr

Ingredients:

  • One 7-ounce package crisp Italian-style ladyfingers, coarsely chopped
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon instant espresso powder
  • 1 1/2 pounds cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup marscapone cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cups mini semisweet chocolate chips
  • Boiling water
Smart move
Use a hot, wet knife to slice the cheesecake.

Directions:

  1. Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat to 350°. Wrap the outside of a 9-inch springform pan with foil and line the bottom with parchment paper.
  2. Using a food processor, grind the ladyfingers into fine crumbs. Add the butter and espresso and pulse until incorporated. Transfer the mixture to the prepared pan and press to form a crust halfway up the side of the pan. Bake until set, 8 to 10 minutes; let cool. Lower the oven temperature to 325°.
  3. Meanwhile, using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese on high speed until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Gradually beat in the sugar at high speed until smooth. Beat in the mascarpone, vanilla and salt. Add the eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in 1/2 cup chocolate chips.
  4. Set the springform pan in a roasting pan. Pour the mascarpone-chocolate chip mixture into the baked crust, then place the roasting pan in the oven. Pour enough boiling water into the roasting pan to reach halfway up the sides of the springform pan. Bake until the top is golden and the center is set but still jiggly, about 1 hour. Let cool in the water bath for 15 minutes, then transfer to a rack to cool completely. Refrigerate for 6 hours or up to 2 days. Remove the cheesecake from the springform pan. In a small, heatproof bowl, melt the remaining 1/4 cup chocolate chips in the microwave at low power, stirring until smooth. Transfer the chocolate to a resealable plastic bag. Snip a hole in the corner of the bag and drizzle the chocolate over the cake.

Chocolate Cheesecake Recipe with Oreo Cookie Crust

Oreo Cookie Crust:

  • 13 Oreo cookies or similar chocolate sandwich cookie, crushed fine
  • 1/4 cup melted butter

Chocolate Cheesecake Filling:

  • 2 pounds (four - 8 ounce packages) Philly Brand cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 can (14 ounces) Eagle brand sweetened condensed milk
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cup semi sweet gourmet chocolate chips, melted (see above)

Dark Chocolate Ganache Icing (optional):

  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup mini dark chocolate chips or chopped semi-sweet chocolate.
  • Heat cream almost to scald. Remove from burner.
  • Add chocolate and whisk to blend and melt.
  • Cool enough to spoon or drizzle.
  • Chill ganache 1 hour or more to spread or pipe from a pastry bag.

Directions: How to Make a Perfect Chocolate Cheesecake

  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. (This cheesecake needs a lower oven temperature than most cheesecake recipes.)
  2. Place a pan of hot water in the bottom of the oven and close the door.
  3. Take a 9 inch springform pan apart, line the bottom plate with aluminum foil, then reassemble the pan. Pull the excess foil up and around the pan to prevent any batter from leaking into the oven. Spray sides and bottom with vegetable spray.
  4. Mix Oreo Cookie Crust ingredients and pat on the bottom of the prepared pan.
  5. In a mixing bowl on medium speed, beat cream cheese until smooth ~ about 2-3 minutes. Scrape down sides half way through. Add sweetened condensed milk and beat again, scraping a few times. The mixture should be smooth. Add eggs 1 at a time beating after each addition until creamy. Add vanilla and blend. With the mixer on low, add melted chocolate in a steady stream and beat only enough so there are no lumps and the filling is nice and fluffy. Scrape as needed.
  6. Pour batter into prepared pan on top of the Oreo cookie crust, and bake at 300 degrees for 60-70 minutes. The center of the cheesecake will be a little jiggly. This will set up as the cheesecake cools. Remove from oven and let cool before removing the sides of the pan.
  7. When fully chilled, remove from pan and frost with the optional dark chocolate ganache icing.
  8. Makes one 9 inch Chocolate Cheesecake. Serves 14. Wrap and refrigerate any leftovers.


White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake
recipe image
"This makes an excellent cheesecake, similar to one you would get in a restaurant. Great for special occasions! Raspberry sauce is swirled into the batter of a creamy white chocolate cheesecake. Garnish with white chocolate curls if desired."
Ingredients:
1 cup chocolate cookie crumbs
3 tablespoons white sugar
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 (10 ounce) package frozen raspberries
2 tablespoons white sugar
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1/2 cup water
2 cups white chocolate chips
1/2 cup half-and-half cream
3 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese,
softened
1/2 cup white sugar
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Directions:
1. In a medium bowl, mix together cookie crumbs, 3 tablespoons sugar, and melted butter. Press mixture into the bottom of a 9 inch springform pan.
2. In a saucepan, combine raspberries, 2 tablespoons sugar, cornstarch, and water. Bring to boil, and continue boiling 5 minutes, or until sauce is thick. Strain sauce through a mesh strainer to remove seeds.
3. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). In a metal bowl over a pan of simmering water, melt white chocolate chips with half-and-half, stirring occasionally until smooth.
4. In a large bowl, mix together cream cheese and 1/2 cup sugar until smooth. Beat in eggs one at a time. Blend in vanilla and melted white chocolate. Pour half of batter over crust. Spoon 3 tablespoons raspberry sauce over batter. Pour remaining cheesecake batter into pan, and again spoon 3 tablespoons raspberry sauce over the top. Swirl batter with the tip of a knife to create a marbled effect.
5. Bake for 55 to 60 minutes, or until filling is set. Cool, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 8 hours before removing from pan. Serve with remaining raspberry sauce.

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