Daring Bakers: Cheesecake Pops

Or, in my case, Cheesecake Truffles.

And squares.

I love cheesecake. It’s my favorite dessert, and I will eat it in just about any form. Rolled in a ball and dipped in chocolate? Bring ’em on!

More about the challenge, and the recipe, after the break…

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TWD: Brown Sugar-Apple Cheesecake

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Thank you to Jaime of Good Eats ‘n Sweet Treats for choosing this week’s recipe, Brown Sugar-Apple Cheesecake. I am a lover of all things cheesecake; I don’t think I have ever met a cheesecake that I didn’t like. So needless to say when this week’s recipe was revealed I was beyond thrilled. I have always had success with cheesecakes, so I wasn’t worried about this recipe, but that is not to say that it went off without a hitch.

I got my crust put together, baked off and cooled. The trouble began with the carmelization of the apples. My large non-stick pan was dirty and I didn’t feel like washing it just to saute some apples, so I took out a slightly smaller stainless steel pan. Easy enough. Moments later the kitchen was flooded with a wretched burnt butter and apple smell that was less than pleasant. Luckily, Nick sniffed some trouble and came to the rescue. I had foiled the first batch of apples, so I decided to slice what I had left in half so that I would still have the same number of apple wedges, albeit a little smaller. Nick told me that since I was using a smaller pan I needed to turn the heat down as a result of heat distribution density, or something to that effect (see, you CAN apply engineering to cooking!), which I hadn’t done. Being a master at bananas foster, he graciously agreed to take over my apple, butter, and brown sugar mixture and got them perfectly browned. Thank you 🙂

With the apple crisis averted, I moved on to putting together the cheesecake filling and it came together easily and without incident. Since I used a 9″ springform pan instead of a 10″ I ended up baking my cheesecake for about 20 additional minutes, for a total of 2 hours and 5 minutes. When I took the pan out of the water bath and unwrapped the (triple-wrapped) foil I was disappointed to find a puddle of water had gotten through the foil. Although it didn’t appear to affect the crust, Nikki suggested using heavy duty aluminum foil to avoid such problems in the future. Thank you for the tip Nikki!

You’d think that this would be the end of the cheesecake saga, right? Well, the rest revolves around my food-obsessed, yet darling golden retriever. He appears to have stretched in length overnight because even though the cheesecake was pushed against the back counter to cool, he still managed to snag a chunk out of it. Needless to say, I was not happy.

While Dorie suggests garnishing this cheesecake with a thin layer of apple jelly or a dusting of confectioner’s sugar, I had planned to drizzle the cheesecake with the remaining butter/brown sugar mixture from carmelizing the apples (another brilliant suggestion from Nick). I think this would be fabulous; however, I am not able to report on how it tasted because the dog managed to find that plate as well. ::sigh::

Aside from all of the trials and tribulations, what was my final take on this cheesecake? I absolutely loved it! The brown sugar in the batter made for a deliciously sweet and creamy cheesecake, and the apples complemented the cheesecake’s flavor perfectly. Being an apple lover, I would probably opt to pile even more apples on next time. The amount in the recipe wasn’t enough to cover a single layer of the pan, so I would certainly up the apples to cheesecake ratio. Overall, another perfect dessert from Dorie!

Check out all of the other Tuesdays With Dorie cheesecakes here.

Next week: Almost-Fudge Gateau
Last week: Black and White Chocolate Cake

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TWD: Hidden Berry Cream Cheese Torte

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This week’s Tuesdays With Dorie recipe was the Hidden Berry Cream Cheese Torte, which I couldn’t wait to tackle because cheesecake is one of my all-time favorite desserts. The crust is a thick shortbread-butter-type crust (pure heaven for a girl in love with crust!), with a layer of berry jam (I used red raspberry) spread over it, and topped with a cream cheese filling. I can’t even begin to tell you how wonderful this dessert is. I guess admitting that I ate a piece for breakfast would be an indication, right? Aside from being delicious, this also has a very elegant look and would be a perfect dessert choice for a dinner party or special occasion.

Please take note that the top of the torte isn’t supposed to be THAT brown. I have a feeling that our oven temperature is off (I have an oven thermometer on my shopping list), so as a result it over-browned a bit. However, the flavor definitely wasn’t sacrificed – it was still smooth and silky.

I also learned something new while baking this torte. Up until now I had always thought of a torte as a high, layered cake, so I was curious as to why this particular cake would be referred to as a “torte”. So off to Wikipedia I went. I learned that the word “torte” is actually derived from the Italian word “torta” which was used to describe a round cake or bread. So much for my assumptions!

Head on over to Quirky Cupcake and Abby Sweets to see the tortes made by Laurie and April!

Check back next Tuesday to see Perfection Pound Cake.

Last week: Quintuple Chocolate Brownies

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Dessert: Chocolate Rum Cheesecake


My first inclination when thinking about the type of dessert to make for our classic Italian dinner was a cheesecake. I couldn’t decide between a plain cheesecake with a fruit topping, a filling of some sort, etc. My friend Amber was nice enough to remind me of a recipe she showed me a couple of weeks ago that I was enamored with – Chocolate Rum Cheesecake.

This was my second time making a cheesecake (the first was an Oreo Cheesecake) and I found it once again to be rather simple. This cheesecake required a few extra steps but none that were complicated or advanced in any way.

This recipe called for superfine sugar, which I could not find at my grocery store. After researching for a bit I found that you can easily make your own by merely processing regular granulated sugar in the food processor or blender until it is fine and powdery, which is what I did.

I was proud in that I only managed one small crack in the top of the cheesecake! This recipe produced an insanely creamy cheesecake. The bittersweet chocolate was perfect because it wasn’t too sweet, and consider yourself warned — you can most definitely taste the rum in this! The cake was a hit – Nick had seconds and one of our guests asked for the recipe.



Chocolate Rum Cheesecake
(Source: Williams Sonoma)

For the crust:
1 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted

For the filling:
6 oz bittersweet baking chocolate
1/4 cup rum (I used dark rum)
1 lb cream cheese
3/4 cup superfine sugar
1/2 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
4 extra-large eggs

Directions:
Position a rack in the center of an oven and preheat to 325 degrees. Butter a 9-inch springform pan and cover the outside with aluminum foil, shiny side out.

In a mixing bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs and granulated sugar and stir to mix. Add the melted butter and stir until blended. Press the mixture evenly into the bottom and halfway up the sides of the pan. Refrigerate until ready to use.

In a small saucepan over low heat, combine the chocolate and rum and melt, stirring often, about 1 minute; set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese until smooth and fluffy. Gradually add the superfine sugar and continue beating until blended. Then beat in the sour cream and vanilla extract. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.

Remove the bowl from the mixer and set it over a pan of simmering water but not touching the water. Warm the mixture, stirring constantly, until completely smooth and very creamy, 2 to 3 minutes.

Pour 1 1/3 cups of the batter into another bowl and set aside. Add the chocolate mixture to the remaining batter and whisk until blended. Set the bowl back over the simmering water and stir until creamy and smooth.

Pour the chocolate batter into the prepared pan. Gently pour the plain batter over the top and make swirls in the batter with a fork.

Bake until the cake is set around the edges and the center is still a little loose, 45 to 50 minutes. Cool to room temperature, remove the rim from the pan and refrigerate overnight. Serves 10 to 12.

OREO® Cheesecake

Yep, I’m completely weird and baked my own birthday cake! I love, love, love the OREO cheesecake from the Cheesecake Factory and have been craving it. Instead of driving out to buy it I decided to finally use the recipe that I got off of The Nest. It was incredibly easy to put together and came out smooth and creamy – PERFECT! I didn’t change anything from the original recipe, except I baked it for an extra 5 minutes.

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