Archive for the ‘Cheesecake’ Category

Cheesecake of the Month — February 2019!

February 16, 2019

Here is a recipe that I have had for quite some time, but have not yet made.  Sounds a bit like a turtle cheesecake with some slight variation (toffee and orange).  Yummy!

Applause Cheesecake

Ingredients
1 (16-ounce) package of pecan shortbread cookies (about 22 cookies)
1 cup of pecan halves, coursely chopped
1/2 cup of firmly packed brown sugar
2 Tablespoons of orange liqueur, divided
1-1/3 cups of toffee bits
3 (8-ounces each) packages of cream cheese, softened
1 cup of sugar
3 large eggs
1/2 cup of whipping cream
1 Tablespoon of flour
1 Tablespoon of vanilla extract
1-1/4 cups of semi-sweet chocolate morsels
1/4 cup of sour cream
1-1/4 cups of chopped pecans, toasted
1/2 cup of caramel topping

Directions
1.  In your food processor, finely grind the cookies, pecans, and brown sugar.  Add 1 Tablespoon of the orange liqueuer and grind until well blended.  Press this crumb mixture firmly onto the bottom and up the sides of a 10″ springform pan.  Sprinkle the toffee bits over the top of the crust and set aside.

2.  Beat the cream cheese at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy; gradually add the sugar and mix well.  Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Add the whipping cream, flour, and vanilla and beat for five minutes.  Pour your batter into your prepared crust.

3.  Bake at 325 degrees for an hour and fifteen minutes or until the center is almost set.  Cool in the pan on a wire rack for fifteen minutes.

4.  Meanwhile, combine the chocolate morsels and sour cream in a heavy saucepan.  Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until the chocolate melts.  Spread the chocolate mixture evenly over the  cheesecake.  Sprinkle the toasted pecans over the top of the chocolate.  Combine the caramel topping and the remaining liqueur; spread evenly over the pecans.  Cool to room temperature on a wire rack; cover and chill at least 8 hours.  Gently run a knife around the outer edge of the pan to release the pan and serve.

Source: Southern Living Little Book of Cheesecakes, p. 40.

Cheesecake of the Month — January 2019!

January 15, 2019

For those of you who enjoy your coffee made by “forcing a small amount of nearly boiling water under pressure through finely ground coffee beans,” this dessert recipe is for you!  Enjoy!

Espresso Cheesecake

Ingredients
2-1/2 cups of graham cracker crumbs
1/2 cup + 2 Tablespoons of butter, melted
2 teaspoons of almond extract
4 (8-ounces each) packages of cream cheese, softened
2/3 cup of sugar
3 large eggs
8 (1-ounce each) sauares of semi-sweet chocolate, melted
1/3 cup of milk
2 teaspoons of espresso powder
Chocolate curls (garnish)

Directions
1. Combine the first three ingredients in a medium bowl and stir well.  Press the mixture onto the bottom and up the sides of a 9″ springform pan.  Set aside.

2. Beat the cream cheese on high speed with an electric mixer until creamy.  Gradually add the sugar, beating well.  Add the eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition.  Add the melted chocolate and beat well.  Combine the milk and espresso powder and mix until the powder dissolves.  Add the espresso mixture to the cream cheese mixture and beat until smooth.  Pour the mixture into your prepared crust.

3.  Bake at 350 degrees for 45 to 50 minutes, or until the center is almost set.  Cool (in the pan) at room temperature on a wire rack.  Cover and refrigerate (at least 8 hours) until you are ready to serve.  Run a knife around the edges of the pan to loosen before removing the pan, then garnish and serve.

Source: espresso definition (wikipedia); and Southern Living Little Book of Cheesecakes, p. 37.

Cheesecake of the Month – December 2018!

December 15, 2018

This month’s recipe (post-Thanksgiving, pre-Christmas), a pumpkin-based cheesecake, is ideally suited for the fall holidays.  I encountered several recipes with subtle variations.  So depending on the flavor you hope to achieve, take your pick.  The first recipe I found, courtesy of The Suburban Soapbox blog, is the Mini Bourbon Pumpkin Praline Cheesecake.  What is attractive about this recipe: the mini, muffin-sized cheesecakes; perfect for individual servings of this decadent treat.  The second recipe, and a variation on the first, courtesy of the Brunette Baker blog, moves the bourbon to the praline topping and adds maple (Mini Pumpkin Cheesecake with Maple Bourbon Praline Sauce).  The third recipe I found is a standard-sized cheesecake, courtesy of Epicurious, is the Bourbon Pumpkin Cheesecake.  All three sound marvelous . . . ah decisions, decisions.  Happy Holidays!

Cheesecake of the Month – November 2018!

November 15, 2018

Here is a tasty-sounding cheesecake recipe that was circulating on Facebook (courtesy of http://www.littlethings.com) last summer.  Cheesecake is already decadent, but throw Butterfinger candies into the mix and wow, happiness for the taste buds for sure.  And, they are the perfect one-serving size (cupcake).

Ingredients
1 12 cups chocolate cookie crumbs
2 Tbsps. sugar, and 12 cup sugar
6 Tbsps. butter, melted
3 8-oz. packs cream cheese, softened
2 eggs
2 Tbsps. sour cream
1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
34 cup white chocolate chips
2 tsps. shortening
1 34 cup crushed Butterfinger candies
8 oz. whipped topping
12 cup peanut butter chips

Instructions
1. To make the crust, combine cracker crumbs, 2 Tbsps. sugar, and butter in a bowl, and mix until combined.
2. Spoon mixture evenly into 24 cupcake liners, and press down. Set aside.
3. To make the cheesecakes, beat 2 packs cream cheese and 1/2 cup sugar in a large bowl, until fluffy.
4. Add in eggs, sour cream, vanilla extract, and beat well.
5. In a microwave-safe bowl, add white chocolate chips and 1 tsp. shortening. Heat for 30-second intervals, and stir until chocolate is melted and smooth.
6. Add melted chocolate to cream cheese mixture, and add 1 cup crushed Butterfingers. Stir well to mix.
7.  Fill each cupcake liner with cheesecake mixture. Bake in oven at 350 °F for 18 to 22 minutes. Remove and let cool for 15 minutes.
8.  To make the mousse, beat 1 pack cream cheese until creamy.
9.  In a microwave-safe bowl, add peanut butter chips and remaining shortening. Heat for 30 to 45 seconds, and stir until smooth.
10.  Add melted chips to cream cheese, and mix. Add in whipped topping, and fold mixture well.
11.  Spread 1 Tbsp. of mousse on top of each cake. Top with remaining crushed Butterfingers.
12.  Refrigerate for a few hours. Serve, and enjoy!

Cheesecake of the Month — October 2018!

October 15, 2018

I was recently challenged by a colleague to attempt a “vegan” cheesecake.  Before I could do any research myself, another colleague had forwarded me a recipe for a quick and easy vegan cheesecake (courtesy of Vegangela).  Vegangela further referenced a recipe by Allyson Kramer that was gluten-free as well as vegan.

I adapted Allyson’s recipe a bit by substituting ground pecans for the almonds, and blueberry preserves for the blackberry topping . . . but, this “base” vegan cheesecake recipe could prove to be a keeper that just gets adjusted as I try new flavors.  Yum!

This recipe is super easy, and, it requires no baking!

Cheesecake of the Month – September 2018!

September 15, 2018

Here is a recipe for a Turtle Cheesecake that I ran across the other day . . . I’ve never made this form of “pastry crust” for a cheesecake before and am anxious to see how it turns out.

Turtle Cheesecake

Ingredients
Crust
1 cup of flour
1/3 cup of brown sugar
1/4 cup of finely chopped pecans
6 Tablespoons of cold butter, cubed

Filling
4 packages (8-ounces each) of cream cheese, softened
1 cup of sugar
1/3 cup of brown sugar
1/4 cup, plus 1 teaspoon, of flour, divided
2 Tablespoons of heavy whipping cream
1-1/2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
4 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup of milk chocolate chips, melted and cooled
1/4 cup of caramel ice cream topping
1/3 cup of chopped pecans

Ganache
1/2 cup of milk chocolate chips
1/4 cup of heavy whipping cream
2 Tablespoons of chopped pecans
Additional caramel ice cream topping

Directions
1. Securely wrap the outside and bottom of a greased 9″ springform pan in heavy-duty aluminum foil.

2. In a small bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar and pecans; cut in the butter until crumbly.  Press onto the bottom of your prepared pan.  Place your pan on a baking sheet and bake at 325 degrees for 12-15 minutes or until set.  Cool on a wire rack.

3. In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese and sugars until smooth.  Beat in the 1/4 cup of flour, the cream, and the vanilla.  Add the eggs and beat on low speed just until blended.  Remove one cup of the batter and combine with the melted chocolate.  Pour this mixture over your crust.

4.  In another bowl, mix the caramel topping, remaining flour, and the pecans.  Drop by Tablespoonfuls over the chocolate batter.  Top with the remaining batter.  Place the springform pan in a large baking pan and add an inch of hot water to this larger pan.

5.  Bake at 325 degrees for 1-1/4 to 1-1/2 hours, or until the center is just set and the top appears dull.  Remove the springform pan from your water bath and remove the foil.  Cool the cheesecake on a wire rack for about ten minutes before attempting to loosen the sides of the pan from the cheesecake with a knife.  Cool for one hour longer before refrigerating overnight.

6.  For the ganache, place the milk chocolate chips in a small bowl.  In a small saucepan, bring the cream just to a boil before pouring over the chips; whisk this combination until smooth.  Allow this mixture to cool slightly; continue stirring occasionally.

7.  Remove the sides of your pan.  Spread the ganache over the cheesecake and sprinkle with the pecans.  Refrigerate until set.  Add additional caramel topping (if you so desire) prior to serving.

Enjoy!

Cheesecake of the Month – August 2018!

August 15, 2018

Are you looking for a different kind of cheesecake (texture and flavor)?  Here’s a recipe that is sure to offer this difference.

Italian Ricotta Cheesecake

Ingredients
1-1/2 cups of pecans, ground
1-1/2 pounds of ricotta cheese, drained
1 cup of sugar
1/4 cup of flour
4 eggs
1 teaspoon of almond extract (can substitute 1 teaspoon of almond liqueur)
1/4 cup of confectioner’s sugar

Directions
1.  Crust: sprinkle (generously and evenly) the bottom of your cheesecake pan with the ground pecans and set aside.

2.  Filling: in a large mixing bowl, beat the ricotta cheese and sugar on medium-high speed for three (3) minutes.  Add the flour and mix for an additional three (3) minutes.  Add the eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition.  Add the almond extract (or liqueur).  Pour the batter over your crust.  Bake for fifty-five (55) to sixty-five (65) minutes or until the top is light brown and the center has a slight jiggle to it.  Cool on a wire rack for two (2) hours.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least six (6) hours before decorating.

3. Decoration: after the cake has chilled, dust the top with a sprinkling of confectioner’s sugar.

Cheesecake of the Month – July 2018!

July 15, 2018

Last year I discovered a cheesecake recipe that used a brownie as the base (Kahlua/coffee filling) and it was positively delicious.  There was another recipe making the rounds on social media a few weeks back that swapped out the Kahlua/coffee filling with a peanut butter filling.  Mmm, yummy.

Brownie Bottom Peanut Butter Cheesecake

Ingredients
(for the brownie bottom)

  • 6 Tablespoons of butter, melted
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup  plus 2 Tablespoons of flour
  • 1/4 cup of cocoa
  • 1-1/2 cups of sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon of vanilla
  • 1 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup of peanut butter chips
  • 6 whole peanut butter cups (Reese’s), cut in half
  • 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt

(for the cheesecake filling)

  • 4 8-ounce packages of cream cheese, softened
  • 5 eggs
  • 1-1/2 cups of brown sugar, packed
  • 1 cup of peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup of whipping cream
  • 1 Tablespoon of vanilla extract

(for the topping

  • peanut butter cups, cut in half

Directions

  1.  Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees.  Grease a 9-inch springform pan and wrap with aluminum foil.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together butter, sugar and vanilla.  Add in the eggs one at a time until fully incorporated.  Stir in the flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt, mix well.  Spread the mixture into your springform pan and bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.  Reduce heat to 325 degrees.
  3. Immediately after removing brownie bottom from your oven, sprinkle (as evenly as you can) the chocolate chips, peanut butter chips and peanut butter cups over the brownie.
  4. In a large bowl or Mixer, beat the cream cheese until smooth.  Add in the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition.  Add the sugar, peanut butter and cream and beat until smooth.  Stir in vanilla extract.
  5. Pour the cheesecake filling into prepared brownie bottom crust.
  6. Place the batter-filled springform pan into a larger baking pan.
  7. Pour hot water into the larger pan so that the water comes to about 1 inch up the sides of the springform pan.
  8. Bake at 325F for one (1) to one-and-a-half (1-1/2) hours or until firm and lightly browned.
  9. Remove the cheesecake from the oven and  allow to cool on a wire rack for at least one hour.
  10. Use a knife along the edge of the cheesecake to loosen it from the pan as best as possible.
  11. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours, overnight is best.

(for the garnish)

  1. Add peanut butter cup halves around the edge of the cake and drizzle melted chocolate over the top

 

Cheesecake of the Month — June 2018!

June 16, 2018

This month I discovered a really easy sounding mini-cheesecake recipe that does not require a springform pan.  You make these in your standard muffin cups (paper-lined of course) to create the perfect individual-sized servings.  Enjoy!

Lemon-White Chocolate Mini Cheesecakes

Ingredients
1 package (4-ounce) of Baker’s white chocolate, divided
28 square shortbread cookies (1-1/2 inch), divided
2 Tablespoons of butter, melted
1/2 cup (plus 2 Tablespoons) of sugar, divided
2 packages (8-ounce each), cream cheese, softened
1 teaspoon of vanilla
1 teaspoon of lemon zest
1/4 cup of lemon juice
2 eggs

Directions
1. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees.

2. Melt  two (2) ounces of chocolate and set aside for use later.

3. Grind sixteen (16) cookies in food processor until finely crushed and place in a medium-sized bowl.  To this bowl, add the butter and two (2) Tablespoons of sugar; mix well.  Press about 1 Tablespoon-full of this mixture onto the bottoms of your 12 paper-lined muffin cups

4.  Beat the cream cheese, vanilla, and remaining sugar in a large bowl. until blended.    Add the lemon zest, the lemon juice, and the melted chocolate and mix well.  Add the eggs (one at a time) and mix on low speed just until blended (do not overbeat).  Then simply spoon this mixture over the prepared crusts.

5.  Bake for 17-20 minutes (or until the centers are almost set) then cool completely.

6.  Melt the remaining chocolate and chop (coarsely) the remaining cookies.  Sprinkle the cookie pieces over the cheesecakes and drizzle with the melted chocolate.

Cheesecake of the Month – May 2018!

May 15, 2018

I was surfing the web the other day and came across the most wonderful blog . . . sprinkles for breakfast (Lindsay Nathanson).  I’ve done a lavender cheesecake before (with white chocolate and blueberries), but Lindsay uses honey with hers and it sounds amazing!  I can’t wait to try it.

Honey Lavender Cheesecake

Enjoy!