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Posts Tagged ‘cheesecake’

To accompany the cranberry sauce post I did a few days ago, here’s the recipe for an absolutely divine cheesecake we made for a dinner party last night. G. has been coaching boy’s volleyball, and last weekend he brought a big bag of his home-made chocolate chip cookies along for the team. They loved the cookies apparently, but the poor quality of the flour meant that before the boys managed to eat all of them many had disintegrated. He came home and announced we must make a cheesecake to use up the crumbs. Yes!

Warning! Bake this cake in the morning – it requires a lot of cooking and cooling and rest before you can serve it to your guests or bring it to a dinner party. It’s well worth the effort though, I promise. It’s lighter than many cheesecakes, and the nuts in the crust along with the browned butter make it absolutely irresistible.

Ingredients

Crust

1 1/2 cups cookie crumbs (we used crumbs from the chocolate chip recipe at the back of the “chipits” chocolate chip bag, and picked out the chocolate chips we could find)

3/4 cups chopped pecans

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup browned butter

Filling, first layer

2 eggs, well-beaten

1 lb (454g) cream cheese (this is two packages of philadelphia cream cheese, not one!)

2/3 cup sugar

2 tsp lemon juice

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp cinnamon

Filling, second layer

1 1/2 cups thick sour cream

1/2 cup white sugar

1 tsp vanilla or 1 Tbsp maple syrup

pinch of salt

1-2 cups Spirited Cranberry Sauce

Directions

In a saucepan, melt butter over medium-low heat. Once it is melted, allow it to begin to bubble. Reduce the heat and watch it carefully until the bubbles start to get bigger and then smaller. Once they are tiny and look foamy, keep your eye out for little golden and then light brown specks in the butter. Remove it from heat immediately as the butter is now at the browned butter stage which is delicious as it tastes like hazelnuts but it can easily be burned. If you like you can keep a shallow pan of cold water next to your stove and when the butter is browned you can dip the bottom of the pan in order to kill the cooking process and protect your butter from burning.

Mix the cookie crumbs along with the brown sugar, and then pour the butter over that whole mixture. Mix well, and then press into a round, 2 1/2 inch deep springform pan (ideal… we don’t have anything of the sort though and managed well enough). Press the bottom and sides up to form an even crust. Chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes while you process the first layer of cheesecake. Remove the cream cheese from the fridge so it can soften a bit, as with the eggs.

Next, preheat the oven to 375F. Whisk all the ingredients for the first layer together, except the cinnamon. If you have a food processor, process them together. If not, as is the case with us, you can press it through a sieve several times with a spoon and that does the job too although it is a bit messier! Spoon that into the crust and bake for 20-22 minutes. When it is cooked remove it from the oven and let it cool to room temperature. This takes several hours. Sprinkle the cinnamon over top of the first layer.

To make the second layer, preheat the oven to 425F. Mix the ingredients for the second layer thoroughly. Pour it all over the first layer. When the oven is ready, cook for five minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool first to room temperature and then to chill thoroughly in the fridge for at least 6 hours before it is ready to be served.

Before serving, prepare spirited cranberry sauce, and drizzle over top.

-Sitelle

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This pie only confirms a universal truth: chocolate and peanut butter are a match made in heaven. Nested between a chocolate crumb crust and a smooth ganache is a peanut butter cheese cake.  It’s hard to imagine a more delicious combination…

This is one of the more ingenious recipes in Joy of Cooking. 

Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie

(1 9- or 10-inch pie)

 

INGREDIENTS

Crumb crust:

1 ½ cups chocolate wafer crumbs

¼ cup sugar (depending on the sweetness of the cookies)

6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) of unsalted butter, melted and cooled

1 teaspoon cinnamon
 

Peanut Butter Filling:

8 ounces cream cheese (1 block)

1 cup peanut butter

½ cup sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla

1 cup whipping cream
 

Ganache:

¾ cup whipping cream

1 tablespoon instant coffee granules

8 ounces finely chopped semisweet or bittersweet chocolate
 
 
DIRECTIONS

Crumb crust:

In a bowl, combine crumb crust ingredients. Press into a 10-inch pie or springform pan, and bake for 10 to 12 minutes in a 350°F oven.

Cool the crust before filling (can be done in the fridge/freezer).
 

Peanut Butter filling:

Beat in a large bowl until smoothly blended the cream cheese, peanut butter, sugar, and vanilla.

In a medium bowl, beat the whipping cream until stiff peaks form.Using a spatula, fold in half of the whipped cream into the peanut mixture to lighten it, and then fold in the remaining cream.

Spread the mixture into the crust, press a sheet of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the pie and refrigerate until firm, about four hours (or if you are in a rush, throw it in the freezer).
 
Chocolate Ganache:

Bring the whipping cream to a boil, stirring in the instant coffee.  Remove from heat and add chocolate. Stir until most of the chocolate has melted. Cover and let stand 10 minutes, then stir/whisk gently until completely smooth. Let cool to lukewarm and then pour over the pie and spread evenly.  Refrigerate for at least 1 hour (again, you can also use the freezer) and up to 3 days.

Serve with masses of whipped cream and salted peanuts for an absolutely delicious dessert.  Eat slowly – you will want to savour each and every bite!
 
– Catherine

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Thinking about what to make for a pot-luck, I had a brainwave. Cheesecake!  I hadn’t made this in a really long time, and so I had forgotten that it’s actually quite easy.  I also must admit that I acted more as a consultant in the creation of this cake, but still enjoyed every minute of it.  Now it is all gone, devoured by five people in one evening.

We used Donna Hay’s recipe from Modern Classics II (p 80), altering it according to what we had and what we were craving.

Ingredients (8 generous servings)

-110 g graham cracker crumbs
-2/3 cups almond meal
-60g butter, melted
-1 1/2 Tbsp cornstarch
-1 1/2 Tbsp water
-330 g cream cheese, softened
-460 g ricotta cheese
-4 eggs
-1 cup sugar
-1 Tbsp finely grated lemon rind
-1/4 cup lemon juice
-1 tsp vanilla extract
-1 cup frozen raspberries
-2 Tbsp sugar
-1/4 cup water

Directions

Blanch the whole almonds (if you are making the meal yourself) in a pot of boiling water for 3 minutes, then drain and pop their skin off.  Place the almonds in the oven at 300F for 20 minutes to dry them.

In a food processor, grind the almonds.  Add the graham cracker crumbs and the butter and pulse until fully combined.

Line the base of an 8 inch springform pan with parchment paper, and grease the sides of the dish.  Pack the graham cracker crumb mixture down to make the crust in the pan.  Refrigerate immediately

In a bowl, mix the water and cornstarch well.  In a food processor, process the cheeses, eggs, lemon (zest and juice), vanilla extract and sugar into a smooth paste, scraping the sides down several times.  Pour this mix into the pan.

Meanwhile, heat the raspberries and water in a small saucepan over medium heat.  Add the sugar and reduce the liquids.  Strain the juices into a bowl, pressing the purée through a sieve to remove the majority of the raspberry seeds.

Once the raspberry coulis is made, drop some onto the top of the cheese mixture and pass a butter knife through it to make the swirls.  It’s really fun to do that!

Bake at 300F for 60-80 minutes, or until set.  Refrigerate covered in plastic wrap until cold before serving.  Serve with the remainder of the coulis drizzled on top.

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