Archive for the ‘Cheesecake’ Category

Cheesecake of the Month – May 2017!

May 15, 2017

This month I am experimenting a bit.  I found a couple of separate recipes for a pear/gingersnap combination and I’m going to take the best parts from each to create a hybrid recipe of sorts.  Wish me luck!

Pear-Gingersnap Cheesecake

Ingredients
1-1/2 cups of crushed gingersnap cookies (about 40 cookies)
6 Tablespoons of butter, melted
1 Tablespoon of brown sugar
2 small ripe pears – peeled, cored, and sliced (1/8″ slices)
1/4 teaspoon of ground ginger
2 Bosc pears (firm) – peeled, cored, and sliced (1/2″ wedges)
2 Tablespoons of butter
1 Tablespoon of sugar
3 Tablespoons of molasses
2 packages (8-ounces each) of cream cheese, softened
1-1/4 cup of sugar
3 large eggs
2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
2 Tablespoons of flour
1 cup of sour cream

Directions
1.  In a medium bowl, combine the gingersnap crumbs, butter, and brown sugar.  Press onto the bottom and up the sides of a 9″ springform pan.  Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.

2.  Prepare the Bosc pears: melt the 2T of butter in  large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the pears and sprinkle with the sugar.  Cook the pears, stirring occasionally, until the pears are tender and lightly browned around the edges (5-7 minutes).  Add the molasses and continue cooking until syrupy (about 2 minutes more) and then set aside.

3.  Prepare the other pears: in a small bowl, toss the pears and ginger.  Line the cooled crust with the pears, overlapping the slices slightly.

4.  For the filling: In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese and sugar until smooth and creamy (about 2 minutes).  Add the eggs, one at a time, and mix until combined.  Add the vanilla and flour and beat until just combined, then add the sour cream and beat until smooth (about 1 minute).

5.  Pour this mixture over the pear-lined crust then gently  arrange the Bosc pear slices on the top (set aside any remaining molasses syrup [can be stored at room temperature] for when you serve the cheesecake).

6.  Transfer the cheesecake to the oven on the middle rack directly over a water bath. Bake at 325 degrees for approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes or until lightly browned and set around the edges (the center should still jiggle a bit).  Transfer the cheesecake to a rack and allow to cool to room temperature before covering and refrigerating for at least 6 hours (or overnight).  Drizzle with remaining molasses syrup when serving.

Enjoy!

Cheesecake of the Month – April 2017!

April 15, 2017

Here is a wonderful recipe for a toffee cheesecake which is perfectly fine just as it is, or you can enhance it a bit by adding a caramel sauce topping . . . your choice or preference. Enjoy!

Ingredients
Crust:
1-1/2 cups of graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup of packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup of butter, melted

Filling:
4 packages (8-ounces each) of cream cheese, softened
1 cup of sour cream
1-1/4 cup of sugar
5 eggs
1 Tablespoon of vanilla
2 teaspoons of fresh lemon juice
5 ounces of toffee bar, crushed

Decoration
3/4 cup of whipping cream
2 Tablespoons of sugar

Directions
1.  CRUST: In a medium bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs, brown sugar, and butter.  Press onto the bottom of a 9″ springform pan and freeze.

2.  FILLING: In a large mixer, beat the cream cheese, sour cream, and sugar on medium-high speed for 3 minutes.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition.  Mix in the vanilla and lemon juice.  Fold in the crushed candy pieces.  Pour the batter over the frozen crust.  Bake in a preheated oven (350 degrees) for 45 to 55 minutes or until the top is lightly brown and the center has a slight jiggle to it.  Cool on a rack for 2 hours.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 6 hours before decorating or serving.

3.  DECORATION: In a well-chilled bowl (I chill my beaters as well), whip the cream on medium-high speed until soft peaks form.  With the mixer still running, sprinkle the sugar into the cream and continue whping until firm peaks form.  Ice the top of the cake with the whipped cream (or simply pipe a ribbon around the border.

If you opt for the caramel sauce topping . . .

TOPPING:
1-1/4 cups of sugar
1/3 cup of water
1 cup of whipping cream, room temperature
1/2 cup of butter, softened
1 teaspoon of vanilla

In a small saucepan over low heat, heat the sugar and the water until the sugar melts.  Increase the heaat and boil without stirring until the mixture is a rich caramel color.  It should take about 8 minutes.  Reduce the heat to low, add the room-temperature cream, stirring constantly to smooth the bubbles.  Mix in the butter until it is melted and then add the vanilla.  Cool slightly.  Garnish cheesecake with caramel.

Cheesecake of the Month – April 2017!

March 15, 2017

This month’s delectable recipe is for a savory cheesecake (meant to be served as an hors d’oeuvres).  Three types of cheese and bacon . . . of course I’ll like it!

Gorgonzola Cheesecake

Ingredients
1-1/2 tablespoons butter, softened
1/2 cup lightly toasted bread crumbs
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/2 pound bacon, chopped
1 cup finely chopped onions
1-3/4 pounds cream cheese, softened
1/2 pound gorgonzola cheese
4 eggs
1/3 cup whipping cream
1/2 teaspoon salt
Hot sauce to taste

Directions
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Butter a 9-inch springform pan. Mix the bread crumbs with the Parmesan cheese. Sprinkle the crumb mixture in the pan, turning the pan to coat evenly.

Fry the bacon in a heavy skillet until crisp. Remove from the pan and drain on paper towels. Dispose of all but about one tablespoon of bacon fat from the skillet. Add the onions, and cover and cook over low heat about 10 minutes until soft, stirring occasionally.

Crumble the bacon. Combine the cream cheese and the Gorgonzola in a blender or food processor and process until smooth. Add the eggs, cream, salt and hot sauce and process until smooth. Blend in the bacon and onions, but don’t over mix.

Pour the mixture into the prepared pan. Set the pan in a roasting pan and add enough hot water to come halfway up the sides of the springform. Bake until the cheesecake sets, about an hour and 20 minutes. Turn the oven off and cool the cheesecake about an hour with the oven door ajar. Transfer to a rack and cool to room temperature before removing the pan and serving.

Source: Judy Walker, a writer for The Times-Picayune, Greater New Orleans (newspaper).

Cheesecake of the Month – February 2017!

February 15, 2017

I was perusing Pinterest the other day and ran across a recipe that sounded positively wonderful.  It is technically a pie, but a pie that incorporates a bit of cheesecake into the recipe.  I can’t wait to try it.

Upside Down Cheesecake Apple Pie

Ingredients
2 pie crusts
2 packages (8-ounce each) of cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup of sugar
1 teaspoon of vanilla
2 eggs
6 large apples, peeled and thinly sliced
2 teaspoons of lemon juice
1/2 cup of sugar
2 Tablespoons of flour
2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon
Caramel sauce (garnish)

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Line a pie pan with a pie crust.

2.  Beat the cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla on high speed until fluffy.  Add in the eggs and the milk and mix until combined.  Pour the mixture into the pie crust.

3.  In a large bowl, combine the apples, lemon juice, sugar, flour, and cinnamon.  Place the apples on top of the cream cheese mixture.

4. Top the apples with your second pie crust, turning the crust inward.  Cut a few small slits into the top of the pie.

5.  Place the pie on a cookie sheet, cover loosely with foil, and bake for 30 minutes.  Remove the foil and bake for an additional 30 minutes or until the apples are soft.  Remove from the oven and cool for 10 minutes.

6.  Place a large plate over the top of the pie and flip it upside down onto the plate.  Cool for one hour  then refrigerate at least four hours.  Serve cold with caramel sauce.

Source: Recipe by Spend with Pennies at http://www.spendwithpennies.com/upside-down-cheesecake-apple-pie/

Cheesecake of the Month – December 2016!

December 15, 2016

This month I will be doing a variation on a theme.  I have previously posted a recipe for a chocolate toffee cheesecake, but I’m going to change it up a bit to make a more “festive” holiday version (courtesy of Epicurious.com, thank you).

Christmas Cheesecake with English Toffee

Ingredients
Crust
1-1/2 cups of graham cracker crumbs
1/2 cup of toasted almonds (chopped)
1/2 cup of English toffee bits
2 Tablespoons of dark brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon of salt
6 Tablespoons of butter (melted)

Filling
4 packages (8 ounce each) of cream cheese
1 cup of brown sugar
4 eggs
1 Tablespoon of vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon of almond extract
8 ounces of chocolate-covered English toffee, diced

Topping
16 ounces sour cream
1/2 cup of sugar
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
Assorted candies (holiday colored M&Ms, gumdrops, etc.)

Directions
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Mix the first five ingredients for the crust in a medium bowl.  Add the butter and stir until evenly moistened.  Press the mixture over the bottom and up the sides of a 10″ springform pan.  Bake the crust for 5 minutes and set aside.  Reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees.

2. Beat the cream cheese and the sugar in a large bowl until blended.  Beat in the eggs (one at a time).  Add the two extracts.  Pour half of the mixture over the crust; sprinkle the toffee pieces over the batter; pour the remaining mixture over the toffee.  Bake until the edges done but the middle is still jiggly (approximately 55 minutes).  Remove the cheesecake, but keep the oven on.

3. Mix the sour cream, the sugar, and the vanilla in a medium bowl until smooth.  Pour the topping over the hot cheesecake and return to the oven to cook for an additional 5 minutes.  Cool on a wire rack, run a knife between the cake and the sides of the pan and refrigerate overnight.

4. Remove the pan, slice, garnish with the candies, and serve.

Cheesecake of the Month – November 2016!

November 15, 2016

Here’s a recipe supplied by a friend of mine (thank you Martha) that may take a bit of experimenting (as I’m forced to convert from metric [grams, centimeters, and milliliters] and centigrade).  But if I can get it close, this one sounds marvelous!

Lemon and Sultana Cheesecake

Ingredients
500g cream cheese
150ml heavy cream
125g sugar
3 medium eggs (separated)
grated zest of 2 lemons
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 Tablespoon of cornflour mixed with the juice of 1 lemon
100g sultanas (white raisins)

For the “crust”
1 medium egg
40g sugar
grated zest of 1/2 lemon
40g flour
15g butter, melted and cooled

Preheat the oven to 170 degrees (C).  Grease and line a 20 cm springform pan with parchment.

Make the crust: whisk the egg and sugar together until the mixture becomes soft and moussey (it should leave a ribbon-like trail when the beaters are lifted).

Fold in the lemon zest, flour, and butter very gently using a large metal spoon.  Spoon into your pan and bake in the oven for 15 minutes or until the cake is golden.  Press it lightly in the middle  and it should spring back.  Remove from the oven and cool.

Beat together the cream cheese, heavy cream, sugar, egg yolks, lemon zest vanilla, and cornflour mixture until thoroughly combined.

Whisk the egg whites in a  clean, bowl until stiff peaks form.  Fold one large Tablespoon of egg white into the cream cheese mixture to loosen it then gently fold everything together.

Carefully spoon the mixture into the pan on top of the crust.  Bake in the oven for 45-50 minutes until it is set but still has a slight jiggle in the middle.  Cool in the pan, then chill overnight before serving.  Remove from the refrigerator 30-60 minutes prior to serving.

Source: “Tea Fit for a Queen,” by Lucy Worsley (London: Ebury Press, 2014)

Cheesecake of the Month – September 2016!

September 15, 2016

Here is a recipe that was forwarded to me by a friend (thank you Martha).  I actually made this one last month and it was phenomenal!

Blueberry-Lavender White Chocolate Cheesecake

Crust
40 vanilla wafers
1 Tablespoon of dried culinary lavender
1/4 cup of butter, melted
1 Tablespoon of sugar

Filling
2 bars (3.5 ounces each) of white chocolate, chopped
1 Tablespoon of dried culinary lavender
3 packages (8 ounces each) of cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup of sugar
3 eggs
3 Tablespoons blueberry jam
Fresh blueberries and fresh sprig of lavender for garnish

Directions
1. For baking the crust, preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

2. In a food processor, grind vanilla wafers and lavender until you have fine crumbs.  Add the butter and the sugar and pulse until the mixture is combined and crumbly.

3. Spread the crumb mixture onto the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan and press down evenly.  Bake until firm and fragrant (8 to 10 minutes).  Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.

4. Reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees.

5. For the filling, put the white chocolate in a heatproof bowl and set it over a saucepan of hot (not boiling) water.  Stir occasionally until the chocolate is almost completely melted.  Remove the bowl from the heat and stir until the chocolate is completely melted and smooth.  Set it aside to cool slightly.

6. Grind your lavender until a fine powder forms and set aside.

7. In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese and sugar until light and fluffy, scraping the bowl occasionally.

8. Add the melted chocolate and lavender. Beat on low speed until combined.

9. Beat in the eggs (one at a time) on medium speed.

10. Pour the filling over the crust.  Drop small spoonfuls of the blueberry jam evenly over the filling and swirl decoratively with the blade of a slim knife.

11. Bake the cheesecake until the center is almost set (50 to 55 minutes).  Do not overbake.

12. Remove the cheesecake from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool.  Run a thin spatula around the edge of the pan to loosen.  Let cool for one hour and then refrigerate until chilled (at least 3 hours).  Cover pan tightly and refrigerate overnight.

13. Remove the cheesecake from the pan and transfer to a serving plate.  Cut into wedges and garnish with blueberries and sprig of lavender.

Source: Food & Drink, Summer 2016, p. 155.

Cheesecake of the Month – August 2016!

August 14, 2016
Here is a delicious-sounding cheesecake that I ran across on http://www.finecooking.com (courtesy of Abigail Johnson Dodge).  I can’t wait to try this one.

Crème Brûlée Cheesecake

Ingredients
2 cups of vanilla wafers crumbs
3 Tablespoons of sugar
7 Tablespoons of butter, melted
3 packages cream cheese (8-ounces each), softened
8 ounces mascarpone cheese
2 Tablespoons flour
Salt
1-1/4 cups sugar
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
4 large eggs, room temperature
2 Tablespoons sugar
Directions
Preheat your oven to 375°F.

In a medium bowl, stir together the vanilla wafer crumbs and sugar. Mix in the melted butter until the crumbs are evenly moist and clump together slightly. Transfer the mixture to a 9-inch springform pan and press evenly onto the bottom and about 2 inches up the sides of the pan (to press, use plastic wrap or a flat-bottom measuring cup). Bake 9 to 12 minutes or until the crust is slightly dark and fragrant. Let the pan cool on a rack. Reduce the oven temperature to 300°F.

In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese, mascarpone, flour, and a pinch of table salt on medium speed, scraping down the sides of the bowl frequently, until very smooth and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Make sure the cheese has no lumps. Add the 1-1/4 cups granulated sugar and continue beating until well blended and smooth.

Add the vanilla and beat until blended, about 30 seconds. Add the eggs one at a time, beating just until blended. (Don’t overbeat the eggs, this could cause the cheesecake to crack as it cools.) Pour the filling into the cooled crust and smooth the top.

Bake at 300°F until set on the edges and the center jiggles slightly, 55 to 65 minutes. The cake will be slightly puffed around the edges, and the center will still look moist. Set on a rack and cool completely. Cover and refrigerate until well chilled, at least 8 hours.

Remove the side of the springform pan and run a long, thin metal spatula under the bottom crust of the cheesecake. Carefully slide the cake onto a flat serving plate. Sprinkle the 2 Tbs. granulated sugar evenly over the top of the cheesecake and slowly pass a hand-held kitchen torch over the sugar until melted and caramelized.

Source: recipe courtesy of Abigail Johnson Dodge (www.finecooking.com)

Cheesecake of the Month – July 2016!

July 15, 2016

Here is an interesting recipe that I ran across that involves making a cheesecake in your slow cooker.  I don’t own a slow cooker (and will probably not rush right out to get one either), so I will have to rely on someone to let me know how this recipe turns out.

Vanilla Cheesecake

3/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
2/3 cup plus 1 Tablespoon of sugar, divided
1/4 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
2-1/2 Tablespoons of butter, melted
2 packages (8 ounces each) of cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup of sour cream
2 to 3 teaspoons of vanilla extract
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
1 Tablespoon of shortening
Toasted sliced almonds

1.  Grease a 6-inch springform pan.  Place on a double thickness of heavy-duty aluminum foil (about 12″ square) and wrap securely around your pan.

2.  Pour 1-inch of water into a six -quart slow cooker.  Layer two 24-inch pieces of aluminum foil.  Starting with the long side, roll up the foil to make a 1-inch wide strip and shape into a circle.  Place in the bottom of the slow cooker to create a rack.

3.  In a small bowl, mix the graham crumbs, 1 Tablespoon of sugar, and the cinnamon; stir in the melted butter.  Press onto the bottom and up the sides of the prepared pan.

4.  In a large bowl beat the cream cheese and remaining sugar until smooth.  Beat in the sour cream and vanilla.  Add the eggs and beat on low speed until combined.  Pour into the crust.

5.  Place the springform pan on the foil circle without touching the sides of the slow cooker.  Cover the slow cooker with a double layer of paper towels.  Place the lid securely over the towels and cook, covered, on high for two hours.

6.  Do not remove the lid, but turn off the slow cooker and let the cheesecake stand, covered, in the slow cooker for an additional hour.

7.  Remove the springform pan from the slow cooker and remove the foil from around the pan.  Cool the cheesecake on a wire rack for one hour longer.  Loosen the sides of the pan with a knife.  Refrigerate overnight (cover once it is completely cooled).

8.  For the topping, microwave the chocolate and the shortening and stir until smooth.  Cool slightly.  Remove the pan and pour the chocolate over the top of the cheesecake.  Sprinkle the almonds on top of the chocolate.

Cheesecake of the Month – June 2016!

June 14, 2016

I tried a new recipe this week and discovered that it is a keeper!   You start with an Oreo crust and then your basic cheesecake batter with maraschino cherries and mini chocolate chips.  Heavenly — and super easy!

Chocolate Chip Cherry Cheesecake

24 Oreo cookies, crushed
6 Tablespoons of butter, melted
1 jar (12 ounces) maraschino cherries
2 packages cream cheese (8 ounces each), softened
1/2 cup of sugar
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup of mini-chocolate chips
extra chocolate chips
1 Tablespoon of pure vegetable shortening

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Mix cookie crumbs and butter; press onto bottom and 2 inches up side of 9-inch springform pan.  Bake for 8 minutes.  Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack.

2.  Drain the maraschino cherries (reserve 2 teaspoons of the juice).  Cut the cherries into quarters and set aside.

3.  In a small bowl, combine the cream cheese, sugar, and reserved cherry juice until smooth.  Add eggs and beat just until combined.  Fold in the chocolate chips and cherries.

4.  Pour into your crust and bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until the center is almost set.  Cool on a wire rack.  Refrigerate until you are ready to serve.

5.  Prior to serving, remove the sides and bottom of the springform pan.  Slice the cheesecake.  Microwave chocolate chips and vegetable shortening until melted.  Drizzle chocolate over the top of slice and serve.