Archive for the ‘Cheesecake’ Category

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.

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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!

 

Cheesecake of the Month – April 2018!

April 15, 2018

Here is a new flavor that I recently discovered that is simply superb!  I have made it a couple of times already.  If you like the tartness of a Key Lime cheesecake, then this Limoncello cheesecake is sure to please you as well.

Limoncello Cheesecake

Ingredients
— for the crust
2-1/4 cups of graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup of sugar
6 Tablespoons of melted butter
— for the filling
3 (8-ounce packages) of cream cheese, softened
3 eggs
1-1/3 cups of sugar
3 Tablespoons of lemon juice
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1 teaspoon of grated lemon rind/zest
— for the sour cream topping
1 pint of sour cream
3 Tablespoons of sugar
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
— for the glaze
1/2 cup of sugar
1 Tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon of cornstarch
1/2 cup of Limoncello
2 Tablespoons of lemon juice
a touch of lemon paste (for color)

Directions
1.  Combine the graham crumbs, sugar and butter.  Press firmly onto the bottom and up the sides of an 11-12 inch springform pan.  Bake at 350 degrees for 5 minutes.  Cool before adding the filling.

2.  Beat the cream cheese with an electric mixer at high speed until completely smooth.

3.  Add the eggs, one at a time, beating until smooth after each addition.

4.  Continue to beat, gradually adding the 1-/3 cups of sugar, then lemon juice and vanilla.

5.  Stir in the lemon rind.

6. Pour into the cooled crust and bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes (you may have to adjust the baking time if you use a smaller diameter pan).

7.  Blend the sour cream, sugar, and vanilla extract for the topping.

8.  Remove the cake from the oven and gently spread the sour cream mixture over the top.  Return the cheesecake to the oven and bake for an additional 10-12 minutes.

9.  Cool on a rack for 30 minutes then refrigerate until the topping is cool but not completely chilled (about 15 minutes).

10.  Make the glaze by combining the sugar and the cornstarch.  Blend in the Limoncello and lemon juice until smooth. j Bring this mixture to a boil, stirring constantly, until thickened.  Cook three minutes.  Chill until the mixture is cool but not set (15-20 minutes).

11. Spread the glaze over the top of the cheesecake.  Chill several hours or overnight.

Enjoy!

Cheesecake of the Month – March 2018!

March 15, 2018

This month’s recipe is your basic or standard cheesecake recipe with a fun twist — the use of food coloring to create a multi-colored rainbow-esque dessert that is sure to please.

Rainbow Cheesecake

Ingredients
1-1/2 cups of graham cracker crumbs
2 Tablespoons of sugar
1./2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
Pinch of salt
6 Tablespoons of butter, melted
4 packages (8-ounce each) of cream cheese, softened
I cup of sugar
2 Tablespoons of flour
2 teaspoons of vanilla
1 cup of sour cream
4 eggs
1 each of liquid food colors (red, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple)

Directions
1.  Preheat oven 325°F. Before you get started with the crust, wrap a 9-inch springform pan in a few layers of foil to make sure the pan stays watertight during baking. Be careful not to rip the foil, or water will get into the pan and ruin your cheesecake.

2. Mix graham cracker crumbs, sugar, cinnamon and pinch of salt together in a bowl. Add butter and mix with clean fingers until pea-sized crumbs form. Press all of the graham cracker mixture into the prepared springform pan.

3. Bake the crust for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven, and allow it to cool completely before adding the filling.

4. To make the filling, beat the cream cheese in a large mixing bowl smooth. Add the 1 cup of sugar, and continue to beat until smooth. Next, add the vanilla, flour, and sour cream and beat until smooth. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating briefly between each egg.

5. Measure about 1-3/4 cups of the batter into a separate bowl and tint with red food coloring. Measure 1-1/2 cups of the remaining batter into another separate bowl and tint with orange food coloring. Continue to divide remaining batter into 4 additional bowls, decreasing the measure of batter in each bowl by an additional 1/4 cup as you work your way down to the last bowl which should have only about 1/2 cup of batter. Tint each of the remaining plain batters with a different color food coloring (in order listed in ingredient list).

6. Pour the red batter over the center of the crust. Repeat with the remaining batters, one color at a time, starting with the batter with the most volume and working your way down to the batter with the least volume, and always pouring the batters over the batter in the center of the pan.

7. Bake 1 hour to 1 hour 5 min. or until the center is almost set.

8. Turn off oven and open the oven door slightly.  Let the cheesecake stand in the oven for 1 hour. Run knife around rim of pan to loosen cake; cool completely before removing rim. Refrigerate until you are ready to serve.

Cheesecake of the Month – February 2018!

February 15, 2018

One of my non-U.S. friends (thank you Martha) has forwarded me yet another intriguing cheesecake recipe to add to my files.  Add it does not require baking!  I will definitely be trying this one soon!  I’ll have to break out my metric conversion charts for this one.

Salted Caramel and Popcorn Cheesecake

Crust
250 grams of crushed ginger nut biscuits
90 grams of butter, melted

Batter/Filling
3 cartons (180 grams each) of cream cheese, softened
200 ml of whipping cream
5 Tablespoons of sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Salted Caramel
300 gram container of caramel spread
1/2 teaspoon of sea salt flakes

Garnish
30 grams of salted caramel popcorn
30 grams of toasted pecans

Directions
1. Line the bottom and sides of a 9″ springform pan with parchment paper.

2. Mix the biscuit crumbs and butter together and press on to the bottom and sides of your springform pan.  Refrigerate for 15 minutes or so to firm up.

3. To make the cheesecake mixture, put the cream cheese into a bowl with the cream, sugar, and vanilla and beat until smooth with an electric hand-held mixer.

4. To make the salted caramel, beat the salt into the caramel until smooth.  Remove the springform pan from the fridge and spread 2/3 of the caramel onto the crust.

5. Add the cheesecake mixture and spread over the top of the caramel mixture.  Refrigerate for at least two hours to set.

6. Once set, remove from the refrigerator and scatter the popcorn and pecans on top before drizzling with the remaining salted caramel.

Cheesecake of the Month – January 2018!

January 14, 2018

This month’s recipe features a southern favorite: pralines (a simple confection containing sugar, nuts, and cream).  Enjoy!

Praline-Crusted Cheesecake

Ingredients
2 cups of shortbread cookies, crushed
3 Tablespoons of butter, melted
4 Pralines, coarsely crushed
5 packages (8-ounce each) of cream cheese, softened
1-3/4 cup of sugar
2 Tablespoons of flour
1-1/2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
4 large eggs
2 egg yolks
1/3 cup of whipping cream
1 teaspoon of grated lemon rind
2 containers (8-ounce each) of sour cream
1/3 cup of sugar
Garnish: crumbled Pralines

Directions
1. Combine the cookie crumbs and butter and press onto the bottom and up the sides of a lightly greased 10″ springform pan.  Bake at 350 degrees for 8 minutes.  Cool on a wire rack.  Sprinkle coarsely crumbled Pralines over the crust.

2. Beat the cream cheese on medium speed until creamy. gradually add the sugar, flour, and vanilla beating until smooth.  Add eggs and egg yolks, one at a time, beating just until the yellow disappears.  Stir in the whipping cream and the lemon rind and pour into your crust.  Place your pan on a foil-lined baking sheet.

3. Bake at 350 degrees on your lower oven rack for 10 minutes then reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees and continue baking for an addition 1 hour and 20 minutes (or until almost set).  Cool on a wire rack for 1 hour.

4. Stir together the sour cream and sugar and spread over the top of the cheesecake and bake at 325 degrees for 10 minutes more.  Cool on a wire rack then cover and chill for 8 hours.  Remove the sides of the pan and garnish before serving.

Pralines

Ingredients
3/4 cup of brown sugar
3/4 cup of sugar
3/4 cup of half-and-half
3 Tablespoons of butter
1-1/4 cup of coarsely chopped pecans
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract

Directions
1. Butter the bottom of a heavy 3-quart saucepan.  Cook the borwn sugar and the next three ingredients in the saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly, until the sugars dissolve; stir in the pecans.  Bring to a boil over medium heat; cook, stirring occasionally, for 6-8 minutes, or until a candy thermometer registers 238 degrees (soft ball stage). Remove from the heat.

2. Stir in the vanilla and let stand for 3 minutes.  Beat with a wooden spoon for 3 more minutes or until  the mixture begins to thicken.  Working rapidly, drop by Tablespoonfuls onto waxed paper.  Let stand until firm.

Cheesecake of the Month – December 2017!

December 16, 2017

Happy Saturday!  This month I will be sharing a traditional holiday cheesecake (pumpkin) with a slight variation . . . and if you like ginger, this one is sure to please!

Pumpkin Cheesecake with Ginger Cream Topping

Ingredients
3/4 cup of sugar, divided
3/4 cup of packed brown sugar, divided
3/4 cup of graham cracker crumbs
1/2 cup of finely ground pecans
1/4 cup of butter, melted
1 Tablespoon of flour
1-1/2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon of ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon  of ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon of salt
1 can pumpkin (16-ounce)
3 packages (8-ounces each) cream cheese, softened
3 large eggs
Ginger Cream Topping (recipe below)
Garnish (pecan halves)

Directions
1. Combine 1/4 cup of sugar, 1/4 cup of brown sugar, graham cracker crumbs, 1/2 cup of ground pecans, and butter.  Press this mixture onto the bottom and up the sides of a 9″ lightly greased springform pan.  Cover and chill for an hour.

2. Combine the remaining 1/2 cup of sugar, 12 cup of brown sugar, flour, and the next six ingredients and set aside.

3. Beat the cream cheese at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy.  Add the pumpkin mixture and beat well.  Add the eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition. Pour the mixture into your prepared crust and bake at 350 degrees for 55 minutes.  Cool completely on a wire rack.

4. Spoon the ginger cream topping over the top, cover, and chill for at least eight (8) hours.  To serve, remove the sides of the pan and garnish (if desired).

Ginger Cream Topping

1 cup of whipping cream
1 container (8-ounce) of sour cream)
2 Tablespoons of sugar
1/4 cup of minced crystallized ginger
3 Tablespoons of dark rum
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract

Combine the first three ingredients in a bowl; beat on high speed with a mixer until soft peaks form.  fold in the ginger, rum, and vanilla.

Cheesecake of the Month – November 2017!

November 15, 2017

So, amazingly enough, I have not yet thought to try to create a cheesecake with Nutella. Well that is about to change.  And, just in time for the fall harvest of hazelnuts to hit the store produce departments.

Nutella Cheesecake

For the crust:

  • 1 1/2 cups of ground oreo cookies or chocolate graham crackers
  • 1/2 cup of hazelnuts, peeled
  • 3 tablespoons of sugar
  • 6 tablespoons of butter, melted

For the filling:

  • 3/4 cup of sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 3 (8-ounce) packages of cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1-1/2 cups of Nutella
  • 1/2 cup of heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
  • 4 eggs

For the topping:

  • 1 cup of Nutella
  • 1/2 cup of heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup of hazelnuts, peeled, toasted, and chopped

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Coat the bottom and sides of a 9-inch springform pan with cooking spray.

In a food processor, grind your crumbs and hazelnuts. In a bowl, stir together the crumb mixture, sugar, and melted butter until the crumbs are moistened.

Pour into your springform pan and press evenly onto the bottom and about 1-1/2 inches up the sides. Bake on the center rack of your oven until set, about 8 minutes. Remove the crust from the oven and allow the crust cool on a wire rack.  Reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees F.

To make the filling, mix together the sugar, flour, and salt in a small bowl and set aside. In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese on medium speed until smooth. Add the sugar mixture and beat until incorporated.

Add the Nutella, cream, and vanilla and beat until well blended.  Add the eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as required.

Pour the filling into the crust and spread it out evenly.

Bake until the filling is set and the center still jiggles slightly when gently shaken, about 1 hour. Turn off the oven and let the cake cool in the oven for 1 hour. Remove the cheesecake from the oven and let it cool on a rack for about 30 minutes.

To make the topping, in a saucepan over low heat, warm the Nutella and the cream, stirring constantly, until smooth and completely combined. Let this mixture cool for about 5 minutes (the mixture should be smooth and spreadable). Pour this mixture evenly over the top of the cheesecake. Let the cheesecake cool completely.

Cover and refrigerate the cheesecake until well chilled (at least 4 hours). Remove the pan sides and bottom and place the cake onto a serving plate. Garnish with the chopped hazelnuts and serve.

 

Cheesecake of the Month – October 2017!

October 14, 2017

Happy Saturday! Last month I ran across a video that demonstrated how to create a “mirror glaze” cake (see below).  So I then thought, hmm, I wonder if there is a “cheesecake” version.  And, lo and behold, yes there is (several as a matter of fact).   Here’s a link to the version that appeared in Canadian Living magazine back in 1995.

Cheesecake of the Month – September 2017!

September 16, 2017

Having several “cheesecake-recipe-specific” cookbooks in my kitchen, I generally don’t have to hunt too hard for ideas.  But every now and then I will run across a new recipe that I had never before encountered.  This month’s recipe is one of these new discoveries (courtesy of Karen Barker in Baking from the Heart by Michael J. Rosen).  Yum!

Brown Sugar Cheesecake (with a bourbon-peach sauce)

Crust ingredients
1/4 cup plus 2 Tablespoons of graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup plus 2 Tablespoons of finely ground pecans
2 Tablespoons of sugar
2 Tablespoons of butter, melted

Filling ingredients
3 packages (8-ounces each) cream cheese, softened
1 cup of light brown sugar
2 Tablespoons of molasses
1 cup of sour cream
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
3 large eggs plus 1 large egg yolk, lightly beaten

Directions
1.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Butter an 8-inch springform pan and wrap the pan in aluminum foil.

2.  For the crust, combine the graham cracker crumbs, pecans, sugar, and melted butter in a small bowl.  Press this mixture onto the bottom and slightly up the sides of your springform pan.  Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until golden brown before removing to a rack and cooling completely.

3.  For the cheesecake, in a large bowl, combine the cream cheese  and brown sugar and mix until smooth (2-3 minutes).  Add the molasses, sour cream, and vanilla and mix until just combined.

4.  Add half of the egg mixture and mix until just incorporated then repeat with the other half of the egg mixture.

5.  Pour the batter into your prepared pan and place it in a shallow roasting pan.  Place the roasting pan on the lowest rack of the oven and create a water bath by adding water until the cheesecake pan is half immersed.

6.  Bake for 1 hour then lower the temperature to 325 degrees and bake for an additional 20 minutes.  The cheesecake should be set and puffed up around the edges while the center will retain a slight jiggle.  Remove the cheesecake pan from the water bath and allow to cool completely on a rack.  Cover and refrigerate for at least 6 hours before serving.

7.  Remove from the pan and serve with the bourbon-peach sauce

Bourbon Peach Sauce

8 ripe medium-sized peaches
1/4 cup of sugar
2 teaspoons of freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 cup of bourbon
Pinch of salt
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1.  Bring a medium saucepan of water to a boil.  Prepare a large bowl of ice water.  Using a small paring knife, draw a long shallow “x” across the skin of each peach.  Gently place the scored peaches into the saucepan and blanch for 30-40 seconds.  Using a strainer, remove the peaches from the water and plunge them into the ice bath for a few minutes.

2.  Peel the peaches, halve them, and discard the pit.  Slice each peach into several thick wedges.

3.  Ina medium non-reactive  saucepan, combine the peaches, sugar, lemon juice, bourbon, and salt and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 10-15 minutes, or until the peaches are very soft and the liquid has become syrupy.  Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla.

4.  Cool the peach mixture and the puree in a blender.  Strain the puree through a fine-mesh strainer.  Taste the sauce and add sugar or lemon juice to taste.  Cover and refrigerate until you are ready to use.

Source: Baking from the Heart by Michael J. Rosen, p. 111