More Cheesecake…

July 3, 2016 at 4:57 pm | Posted in All Things Doodle, Caityisms, Family Ties, Food, Recipes, Toeses and Noses | Leave a comment
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It seems like I bake a lot more than I do.  I created this blog originally to capture the crazy antics my kids were doing.  My blog evolved over time to include family recipes – so that my girls would always have them for when the are older.  Hopefully some day they’ll make some of my recipes for their kids…

Ingredients (Crust):

  • 1½ Cups Graham Cracker Crumbs
  • 1/3 Cup Granulated Sugar
  • 4 Tbsp (half a stick) Unsalted Butter, melted
  • 1/8 Tsp Cinnamon
  • 1 Tbsp Shredded Coconut

Ingredients (Cake):

  • 3 Packages (8 Ounces each) Philadelphia Cream Cheese
  • ¾ Cup Sugar
  • 1 Tsp Vanilla
  • 3 Eggs
  • 1 Package less 1 cup (reserve for the Ganache topping) Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips (PC Decadent Brand if you can find them, otherwise Nestle Tollhouse will do)

Ingredients (Ganache Topping):

  • 3/4 Cup Whipping Cream
  • 6 Squares Baker’s Semi-Sweet Baking Chocolate
  • 1 cup reserved Chocolate Chips
  • Scant 1/8 Tsp Cinnamon

Let all ingredients come to room temperature.

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Place a cake pan filled with warm water on the bottom rack, just below the rack where you will put your cheesecake. This will create a humid environment and can prevent cracking.

IMG_1673Method (Crust):

In a separated 9” Springform pan, place a piece of non-stick foil over the bottom plate before putting the two pieces of the pan together.  Crumple any excess foil up over the edge.

Spray the entire inside of the pan with non-stick vegetable spray.

Place Graham Cracker Crumbs into the prepared pan

Melt Butter and add to Graham Cracker crumbs.

Add Cinnamon, Sugar and Coconut.

Mix by hand for best results.

This mixture should feel like damp sand and should hold a shape if you were to press it in your palm.

Press into the bottom the Springform pan using your hand or the bottom of a metal measuring cup.  There should be enough crumbs to go up the sides of the pan by about a ¼”.

Bake for 10 minutes then remove from oven.

IMG_1672Method (Cake):

In a mixing bowl, beat Cream Cheese, Sugar and Vanilla together on medium speed until combined.

Add Eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition – careful to not over beat.

By hand, gently stir in Chocolate Chips.

Pour batter into the pan and tap several times on the counter to bring any air bubbles to the surface.

 

Bake for 50 minutes, turning after the first 30 minutes.

At the end of baking, turn the oven off, but keep the Cheesecake in the oven for another 1/2 hour – don’t open the door! Don’t even peak! Just let it be…

When the 30 minutes are up, take the cake out of the oven and allow the cake to cool for an hour on the stove top or counter.

At the end of the hour, run a knife around the edge of the cake, but don’t take the ring off.

Place the cake, uncovered, in the fridge to cool for two hours.

Remove the cake and cover with either foil or plastic wrap.

Chill at least eight hours or overnight keeping the ring attached.

IMG_1677Method (Topping):

Remove the cake from the fridge but don’t take off the ring.

Heat the cream in a small saucepan over medium heat.  Bring just to a boil.

Remove from heat and stir in Cinnamon.

Add the baking squares and reserved chocolate chips and continue to stir slowly until incorporated (this takes a minute or two).

 

The sauce should be very thick when all of the chocolate has completely melted.

Pour over the top of the Cheesecake.

Chill at least 2 hours for best results, run a knife around the edge to loosen the cake.

When you’re ready to unmold the cake for serving, remove the Springform ring and place a piece of paper towel on the top of the cake, invert the cake in your hand and remove the bottom Springform plate.

While the cake is still upside down, place a cake plate or serving platter on the bottom of the cake and invert carefully.

To serve, use a hot, dry knife to slice each piece.

Sometimes, depending on my mood, before the ganache sets, I’ll sprinkle the top with roasted, slivered almonds.  Or mini chocolate chips.  Or toasted, chopped hazelnuts … or … fresh, ripe raspberries!

For an extra treat, serve with some fresh Whipped Cream and sliced Strawberries.  Yum Yum!

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Not Your Mom’s Cheesecake …

December 11, 2015 at 10:06 pm | Posted in Christmas, Food, Product Testing, Recipes, Toeses and Noses | Leave a comment
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…Unless your Mom is Julia Child.

‘Tis the season once again and tomorrow night Hubby and I are going out sans kids to our friends for a get together.  We were asked to bring a dish and this is my contribution.  If it makes it to their house that is … in one piece.

Have I mentioned that I’m in love with the President’s Choice Black Label line of products?  The foodie in me quivers in the food aisle at Loblaws any time I get near one of their new products.  My mind races as I think of ways to use them.  Here’s one.

**Just so there’s no confusion, this is more of an appetizer, a spread for crackers or Crostini than a cheesecake you eat like a dessert by the slice.  It’s a cake. Made from cheese.  Hence the name, cheesecake…. But savoury, not sweet … 😉

Savoury Roasted Garlic Cheesecake

Ingredients:

  • 2 Heads Garlic, roasted
  • 1 Medium Onion, sliced thinly
  • 1 Tsp Thyme
  • 1 Tsp Oregano
  • Fresh Ground Pepper
  • 2, 1/4 Tsp Coarse Sea Salt
  • 2 Packages Cream Cheese, room temperature
  • 2, 300 Gram packages of plain Goat Cheese, room temperature
  • 1.5 Cups toasted, unsalted Pistachios (get them in the bulk section already shelled), ground
  • 2 Tbsp melted Unsalted Butter
  • A 9″ or 10″ Fluted non-stick Tart Pan with removable bottom
  • Crostini and or Crackers
  • PC® Black Label Cherry Shiraz or Fig Cabernet Wine Jelly
  • PC® Black Label Bacon Marmalade Spread
  • PC® Black Label Pistachio Oil
  • Good quality Olive Oil

For the Crust:

Toast Pistachios in the oven for a few minutes until they crisp and are warmed through.  Cool thoroughly then place them in a food processor along with 1/4 salt and blitz several times until the Pistachios resemble coarse crumbs.  Pour into a bowl and slowly add melted Butter until the crumbs are moist and will hold a shape if pressed.  Mix well then pour into your Tart Pan and press into the bottom to form a Crust.  Chill in the fridge until the filling is ready.

crustIf you don’t have Roasted Garlic lying around, cut the tops off of two whole heads of garlic, but don’t discard them.  Place all the pieces in a piece of Aluminum Foil and top with a drizzle of Olive Oil.  Wrap the package tightly and put it in your barbecue over medium, indirect heat for an hour or until soft.  Using your barbecue serves two purposes:  one, you don’t stink your house up for days with the smell of roasting garlic; two, you get to annoy your neighbours for a while as it cooks outside.  Once the garlic is soft and brown, squish the cloves into a bowl, careful not to include the skin of the garlic cloves and mash with a fork to make a paste.  Set aside.

Sauté the sliced onions in Butter over medium heat until they get soft and begin to brown.  Set aside to cool.  Place in Food Processor and pulse a few times to break down the onions.  Set aside.

In a mixer place your softened cheeses and half of the Roasted Garlic and all of the onions.  Add the Oregano, Thyme, one of the 1/4 Tsps of salt and a few rounds of cracked pepper.  Mix on medium speed until all the ingredients are thoroughly incorporated.  Taste and add more Garlic if you wish.  The mixture should be light and fluffy with no lumps from the cheeses.

cheese and onionsTake the Tart Pan out of the Fridge and pour the mixture over the crust.  Spread evenly using an offset spatula if you have one – if not, it’s not that important – and cover with plastic wrap.  Put in the fridge for several hours, or overnight (preferred) to allow the cheesecake to set up and all the flavours meld.

For the Crostini, slice a Baguette, thinly and place onto a cookie pan.  Mix a few tablespoons of Olive Oil with a tablespoon of PC Black Label Pistachio Oil and brush over each Crostini top.  Bake in a 350ºF oven until just brown and the crusts are crispy, set aside.  Repeat until all of your Baguette has been used.  Place on a platter along with crackers if desired.

When ready to eat, unmould the cheesecake and cut into 1″ wedges.  Place a slice of cake, a few Crostini and/or Crackers on a plate.  Add a spoonful of PC Black Label Fig Cabernet Jelly and a spoonful of PC Black Label Bacon Marmalade to the side of the plate.  To assemble, spread a bit of the cheesecake, ensuring you don’t forget the Pistachio crust on a Crostini, top with a small amount of Bacon Jam and a small amount of Fig Cabernet Jelly.  Try not to inhale it in one mouthful.  Try to resist eating the whole cake in one setting, you’ll want to.  It’s amazing.  Bon Appétit

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Finished 2fig cabernetPistachio Oilbacon jam

Chocolate Cheesecake!

September 11, 2014 at 2:02 pm | Posted in Food, Recipes | Leave a comment
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I’m in a cooking mood lately and I thought I’d share this classic.  This is quite possibly my most favourite cheesecake.  Ever.  That’s quite a statement considering how many cheesecakes I’ve sampled in my life.  It’s also quite easy to make, surprisingly.

It’s like eating a really big Truffle.  So rich, easy, but soooo good!  Great with Coffee or just a big glass of Milk.  My husband prefers the chocolate chip version, so I haven’t made this one in a while.  I’m hoping when he reads it, it will make him want this one! 😉

Ingredients (Crust):

  • 1½ Cups Oreo Cookie Crumbs
  •  2 Tbsp Butter or Margarine, melted

Ingredients (Cake):

  • 3 Packages (8 Ounces each) Philadelphia Cream Cheese, softened
  • ¾ Cup Sugar
  • 1 Tsp Vanilla
  • 1 Package (8 squares) Baker’s Semi-Sweet Baking Chocolate, melted, slightly cooled
  • 3 Eggs

Ingredients (Topping):

  • 3/4 Cup Whipping Cream
  • 6 Squares Baker’s Semi-Sweet Baking Chocolate
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips or PC Brand Decadent Chocolate Chips
  • 1 Tsp Instant Coffee or Espresso Powder (optional for “mocha” flavouring)

Let all ingredients come to room temperature.  Preheat oven to 325°F.  Place a cake pan filled with warm water on the rack below the rack where you will put your cheesecake.  This will help create a humid environment and can prevent cracking.

Method (Crust):

  1. Melt Butter and combine with cookie crumbs.  This mixture should feel like damp sand.
  2. Press into the bottom of a 9″ spring form pan which was sprayed with non-stick vegetable spray (i.e., Pam).
  3. Bake for 10 minutes and remove from oven.

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Method (Cake):

  1. In a bowl, mix Cream Cheese, Sugar and Vanilla until combined.
  2. Add Eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition, but do not overbeat.
  3. Melt Chocolate in a bowl in the microwave (start with 1 minute, stir, add 15 seconds more time if needed – be careful, Chocolate burns easily).
  4. Stir Chocolate and let stand for about a minute.  Add Chocolate to batter and mix until incorporated.
  5. Bake for 50 minutes.  Cake will still be loose in the centre when you remove it from the oven.
  6. Allow cake to cool before putting in the fridge.  Chill at least 8 hours or overnight before removing spring form ring (leave the bottom under the cake).

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Method (Topping):

  1. To make the topping, in a small saucepan, heat whipping Cream to almost boiling.
  2. Remove from heat and stir in Coffee if using.
  3. Add the Chocolate and continue to stir slowly until incorporated (takes a minute or two).
  4. Once the sauce has come together, let it stand for a couple of minutes then pour over cake, allowing excess to drip over the side.
  5. Chill at least 2 hours for best results. Use a hot, dry knife to slice each piece.

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Sometimes, depending on my mood, before the ganache sets, I’ll sprinkle the top with roasted, slivered almonds.  Or mini chocolate chips.  Or toasted, chopped hazelnuts … or … fresh, ripe raspberries!

For an extra treat, serve with some fresh Whipped Cream and sliced Strawberries.  Yum Yum!

Cheesecake.jpg

Random Sampling

October 12, 2011 at 6:18 pm | Posted in Miscellaneous Crap | 2 Comments
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Happy Turkey Day fellow Canadians!  Ok, so I’m late, big deal.

We had an absolutely gorgeous weekend – 26°C – the birds were signing, the sun was shining, and I got a speeding ticket.  Great.  My own stupidity. We were heading to my SIL’s for lunch and I was yipping to the kids, just having had turned a corner and started accelerating, trying to keep up with the car in front of me.  I didn’t realize it was a 50 kph zone and … well … he clocked me at 94 kph.  Six more kilometres an hour and I could have been charged with Street Racing.  I’ve been known to go above the posted speed limit on occasion, but I’m not usually that far over.  Luckily the cop was a very nice man who had a full view of my cleavage, and he reduced the ticket to 10 over as I had no priors nor outstanding warrants.  Thank you Mr. Officer.  Mea Culpa I was a bad girl.  When the Officer went back to his car to write the ticket, Lexy suggested I give him the cheesecake we had in the back and maybe he wouldn’t give me a ticket. Now why didn’t I think of that…? lol.

Cait’s loving School, which is great.  She’s proving to be just as smart as her Sister.  When she comes home from the Sitter’s, she’s so excited to tell me about her day and what they learned.  One day recently, she told me she was ‘the best helper ever!’.  She’s already surpassed Lexy in one area, it’s October and she hasn’t yet been sent to the Principal’s office…

It’s been crazy busy at work lately and it seems to finally be slowing down .. a bit.  This year’s been hell in terms of volume of work.  In the seven years I’ve been there, I don’t remember ever being as consistently busy – it’s a good thing.  The fruits of our labour are finally paying off and I’m taking a much-needed break in a few weeks’ time.  Can’t wait.  I plan on camping out at the swim up pool bar for two or three days solid…

That’s all the news that’s fit to print… have a great rest of the week…!

 

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