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Dessert Food photography Recipes

Fresh Dark Cherry Chocolate Chip Cheesecake

Dark Cherry Cheesecake with Chocolate Chips

Fresh Dark Cherry Cheesecake with Chocolate Chips

Since yesterday was National Cheesecake Day, and cheesecake is a big family favorite around here, another cheesecake it was.  I had a big container of really nice dark cherries and of course, chocolate goes with anything so I had to throw some of that in.  I used my favorite cheesecake recipe modified a little and cut down some since my healthy eating plan for the year has already suffered from a significant lack of participation.  The original recipe from The Joy of Cheesecake (my very favorite cookbook) says it makes a 10″ cake, but I always have enough left to make that and another small one so I cut the recipe down and it is just right for an 8″ springform.
Printable Recipe Fresh Dark Chocolate Cherry Cheesecake with Chocolate Chips
Crust:
I made a very simple crust using crushed white chocolate peanut butter cookies (son’s favorite so I had some around).  You can use graham crackers or any other crust you like.  If I’d had them, I’d probably have used crushed Oreo’s.  I very rarely make an “official crust” with the butter etc. patted in nicely but instead usually just crush up some cookies, cracker’s or nuts and sprinkle on the bottom of the (vegetable sprayed) pan in a light layer.
Cheesecake filling:
Ingredients (all should be at room temperature):
1 1/4 pounds cream cheese
1 1/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 egg yolk
3 large eggs
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 cup chocolate chips
Procedure:
Pre-heat the oven to 475 degrees.
In a large bowl (or the mixer bowl) beat the cream cheese until light and fluffy, add the sugar and flour and mix until smooth.
Mix in the yolk and eggs one at a time until mixed thoroughly.
Stir in the cream and mix slightly, just until incorporated.
Place the chocolate chips on top of the crust and pour the cheesecake mixture over them.  Bake at 475 for 12 minutes, then lower the temperature in the oven to 200 degrees and bake for about 45 minutes or until the top is set but still jiggles slightly in the middle.  Start checking at 30 minutes.
Cheesecake Topping
4 cups of fresh pitted cherries sliced in half
1 tablespoon corn starch
1 teaspoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons water
In a small bowl mix together the corn starch, lemon juice and water until smooth. Place cherries in a saucepan over medium heat, add the liquid and bring to a boil. Cook for 3-5 minutes until the sauce thickens.  Cool while the cheesecake bakes, and when the cheesecake has cooled, the topping can be spooned on the entire cake, or on the individual slices when they are served.
Fresh Dark Cherry Cheesecake with Chocolate Chips

Dessert Recipes Tested Recipes

The Daring Bakers Challenge: Fraisier inspired Raspberry and Blueberry Cream Chocolate Cake

Raspberry/Blueberry Chocolate Cream Cake

This month’s challenge was just made for me, what could be better than a strawberry cream cake?  I did have one slight problem and I need to make sure I remember next time; if you want to keep the kids from eating the strawberries (that you know are their favorite)  make sure you tell them they are reserved! Therefore, when it came time to finish the cake, it became a framboise/bluet-r (love my French – straight from the translator) because the fraise were history.  No matter, it was still delicious.
Jana of Cherry Tea Cakes was our July Daring Bakers’ host and she challenges us to make Fresh Frasiers inspired by recipes written by Elisabeth M. Prueitt and Chad Robertson in the beautiful cookbook Tartine.
I followed her recipes here using the chocolate version of the cake.  I did vary (besides the fruit) in that I made my own almond paste using honey and brown sugar.  It wasn’t the most photogenic, but tasted great and was very simple.
Ingredients for Almond Paste:
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup hone
1/3 cup water
3 cups blanched, whole almonds
1/4 cup butter
In a heatproof bowl microwave sugar, honey and water to a strong boil.  While the mixture is heating, pulse the almonds until coarsely ground.  Pour the honey mixture over the almonds and blend until smooth which may take 10 minutes or more.  If the mixture is too thick add a small amount of water.
Grind the almonds, honey and brown sugar

Just before use, knead in the butter to make a smooth consistency.
Knead with butter, then roll thin layer for the top of the cake

After making the chocolate cake and cream filling per the recipe, I assembled the cake pretty much as directed but using the raspberries and blueberries instead of the already devoured strawberries.  I also didn’t seem to have enough cream left for the top layer so instead I made a quick chocolate ganache (1/2 cream and 1/2 chocolate).  Next time I would leave more space between the berries as I would have liked the cream to show through more but all in all it was still pretty and very delicious!
Sliced

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5 minute dessert – no bake chocolate cake

No Bake Chocolate Cake

No bake Chocolate Cake

I absolutely love Heidi Swanson’s blog 101 Cookbooks.  Her recipes are wonderful but even more, her pictures are gorgeous and inspiring.  I decided to try her No Bake Chocolate Cake.  This is so simple and quick and the family gave it the thumbs up.  I will definitely make it again! Basically just cream and chocolate, it takes about 5 minutes to make and you can change it up depending on what flavors or spices you add.  I made it plain this time and served with strawberries and maraschino cherry jelly and cherries.  Don’t forget the salt, it really made a difference!
No Bake Chocolate Cake with Maraschino Cherries

I used some mini ceramic pans and they looked really cute.  I was a little apprehensive about getting the slices out, but I didn’t have any problem except one of the first slices was a little misshapen.  After slicing I used a very small, thin rubber spatula to get them out.  Also since the containers were small, the slices were proportionately a little larger.
No Bake Chocolate Cake

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Daring Baker’s Challenge – Coffee Cake – Lime Cream with Coconut and Pizza

The March 2011 Daring Baker’s Challenge was hosted by Ria of Ria’s Collection and Jamie of Life’s a Feast. Ria and Jamie challenged The Daring Bakers to bake a yeasted Meringue Coffee Cake.  Since the recipe conveniently makes enough for two coffee cakes, I made a sweet (lime cream and …