Triple Chocolate Cheesecake With an Espresso Glaze

Okay, our family is now over the moon with just the name of this recipe. After all, isn’t chocolate another food group?

Let’s begin – it is not difficult.

Crust

  • 1 pkg. of chocolate wafers
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • pinch of cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted

In a food processor, pulse the chocolate wafers until a coarse form. Add the sugar and now pulse until fine crumbs. Transfer to a bowl, add the melted butter, and cinnamon. Stir until it is evenly blended. Spray the sides and bottom of a 9″ spring form pan with Pam. Line with parchment paper. Press the cookie mixture onto the bottom of the pan in an even layer. Refrigerate until ready to assemble.

Filling

  • 8 oz. milk chocolate, chopped
  • 4 – 250 g pkgs. cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sour cream, full fat
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1 large lime, zest only
  • boiling water

Preheat your oven to 325 degrees. Place milk chocolate in a microwave bowl and heat for 60 seconds. Stir and microwave until just a few pieces remain. Stir until completely melted and set aside.

In your electric mixer, beat the cream cheese until smooth, scraping down the sides. Add sour cream and sugar and continue to beat until the sugar is blended. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, until completely smooth. Add the vanilla and lime zest. Pour over the chilled crust in the spring form pan.

Wrap the spring form pan with foil up the sides half way. Place in a large roasting pan and fill with water 1/2 inch deep. This will prevent it from cracking.  Bake in the oven for about 50-60 minutes. It should have a small giggle when you gently shake the pan. It will firm up while cooling.

Remove from the water bath and take off the foil wrap. Set on a rack to cool. Place in the refrigerator to complete cool, uncovered for 3 hours. Cover and refrigerate overnight. To remove from the pan, run a paring knife around the sides of the cake and remove the outer ring.

Espresso Glaze

  • 4 oz. specialty dark chocolate, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp. espresso powder
  • 1/2 cup whipping cream
  • 2 tbsp. corn syrup

Place the chocolate in a heavy bottomed saucepan, add the espresso powder, cream and syrup. Bring to a bare simmer and stir constantly until the chocolate is melted. Cool slightly.

Place the cake on a platter and when ready to serve, pour a little of the still warm glaze over the cake and garnish with the ingredients listed below.

Garnish

  • chocolate curls, for garnish
  • fresh blackberries, raspberries for garnish
  • flaked sea salt, for garnish

Chocolate Muffins With Coconut Topping

When we ran the B & B we ran for so many years, I always had different muffins on the go, and this combination makes this one another one to try. They won’t last long either.

 

Topping

  • 1/2 cup cream cheese, softened
  • 3 tbsp. sugar
  • 2 tbsp. flour
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate melting discs, divided
  • 1 cup flaked coconut
  • 1/3 cup toasted pistachios, chopped

This is made  in two steps.

  1. Combine the cream cheese, sugar and flour, mixing until smooth. Add the egg and beat to combine. Stir in 2/3 cup of the melting discs and set aside
  2. In another bowl, add the remaining melting discs, coconut and pistachios. Set aside

 

Batter

  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup baking chocolate powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • pinch of cinnamon
  • 1 cup strong black coffee, room temperature
  • 1/3 cup Crisco oil
  • 2 tbsp. cider vinegar

In a medium bowl combine the flour, sugar, chocolate powder, soda and cinnamon, whisking together until well combined.

In a small bowl, whisk together the coffee, oil and vinegar. Make a well  in the dry ingredients and pour in the liquid mixing until moistened. Do not over beat.

In a prepared muffin tin, fill half full and then add a rounded tbsp. of the cream cheese mixture and top with 1 tbsp. of the coconut mixture.

Bake in a 350 degree oven for 20-23 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Cool in pan for 5 minutes and turn out on rack to cool. Serve warm.

 

Peanut Butter Tart

This is soooo simple and yet I am unable to make it for my friend and granddaughter. Sorry guys but it IS good.

 

  • 10 graham crackers, broken
  • 6 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
  • 3 oz. best quality milk chocolate, plus more for chocolate curls
  • 1 3/4 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup cream cheese
  • 1/3 cup sweetened condensed milk

In food processor, place the graham crackers and pulse until fine crumbs form. Transfer to a medium sized bowl and add the melted butter. With a fork fluff these until thoroughly combined.

Place the crumbs in a tart pan with a removable bottom and press the crumbs evenly over the bottom and up the sides of the pan. (hence, the tart form). Place this is the refrigerator while you make the filling.

Fill a large bowl with ice water. Finely chop the chocolate and place in a medium sized bowl. Place 1/2 cup cream in a small saucepan over medium heat and bring to a boil. Pour over the chopped chocolate and set aside for 5 minutes to yield a chocolate ganache.

Whisk together to combine. Set the bowl in the ice bath and whisk until cool. Once cool, remove from the ice bath and whisk the ganache until it is just thick enough to hold its shape (do not over whisk). Spread this in the bottom of the prepared crumb shell, using an off-set spatula. Return to the refrigerator until set.

Combine the peanut butter, cream cheese and condensed milk in a food processor and process until completely smooth. Transfer this to a mixing bowl.

Whip the cream until soft peaks form. Add the cream to the peanut butter mixture and whisk to combine. Spoon mixture into the prepared crust and return to the refrigerator for 2 hours or, better yet, overnight.

To serve, remove from the refrigerator and transfer to a platter 10 minutes before serving. Top the tart with a dollop of whipped cream and chocolate curls you can make with a vegetable pepper.

 

 

 

 

Quick And Easy Ice Cream Cake

Quick and Easy Ice Cream Cake – what a delightful desert on a hot summer day. Make it up the day before and you are all set to impress one and all alike.

 

Crust

  • 1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 tbsp. sweetened condensed milk
  • 3 cups chocolate cookie crumbs (or vanilla)

Flip the base of a 9 inch springform pan upside down. Line the base with foil and wrap side band with plastic wrap. Re-assemble pan.

Stir 1/3 cup cream with the condensed milk together in a bowl and stir in the crumbs until well combined but still crumbly. Press this mixture on the bottom of the prepared and midway up the sides.

 

Ice Cream

  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 tbsp. instant espresso powder

Combine the ingredients and using an electric mixer, whip until soft peaks form. This should now be fluffy and very light. Scoop this into the pan and smooth the surface. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze overnight. Wait…not done yet.

Next morning make your topping.

Ganache

  • 2/3 cup unsweetened chocolate, chopped
  • 1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/2 pkg. Malteser candies

Over a pot of simmering water, place the chocolate and cream in a metal bowl and place over the pan. Just don’t let the water touch the bowl. With a spatula, stir constantly until the chocolate has melted and completely smooth. Stir in 1/2 cup condensed milk until there are no streaks.

Pour this over the frozen cake and smooth the top. Arrange the candies about a 1/4 inch apart around the outer edge of the cake. Freeze for about 15 minutes or until the ganache is firm.

Release the cake from the pan, transfer to a pretty platter and slice away.

This will and should feed 12 people. Okay, you want larger servings and licking the plate is not an option.  It is a must. I am kidding of course.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ricotta Cake

This, will make you think you hear the angels sing when you eat this. It is so yummy. I have made this twice and, believe me, there weren’t even crumbs left. It is also called a Sicilian Cassata.

 

  • 2 lbs. fresh ricotta, whole milk *
  • 2 cups icing sugar, sifted
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate wafers, chopped
  • 1 cup candied gumdrops (ones for baking)
  • 1 10 inch sponge cake (homemade is best-store bought barely okay)

Place the ricotta in a fine mesh sieve and set over a bowl. Place in the refrigerator overnight to allow excess moisture to drain out.

In your mixer with a paddle attachment, place the ricotta and beat until smooth. Mix the now drained and beaten ricotta with 1 cup of the powdered sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, chocolate and gumdrops. Set aside.

Lightly oil a 10 inch springform pan. Slice the sponge cake very thinly so that the pan may be lined with an even layer. Line the sides and bottom of the pan with the sponge cake. Pour the ricotta filling into the pan. Place the final layer of cake over the filling. This now creates the bottom of the cassata.  For now, refrigerate overnight to firm up the filling.

Invert onto a wide platter. Remove the springform sides and bottom. Now cover with the remaining icing sugar (it should be like a heavy snow). Slice thinly and serve.

 

* the dry ricotta style would not be the right one to use.

Warm Chocolate Truffle Tarts With Hazelnuts

This will make even a person who doesn’t care for chocolate, melt! Oh my, is there such a person? Nah!

 

Tart Shells

  • 1 1/3 cup flour
  • 2 tbsp. sugar
  • 2 tbsp. baking chocolate powder (unsweetened)
  • 1/3 cup cold and cubed butter
  • 1/4 cup 35-36% whipping cream

In a food processor, combine the flour, sugar and chocolate powder and sprinkle the cubed butter in. Pulse until it becomes fine crumbs and drizzle in the whipping cream until it all comes together. Squeeze tablespoons of dough into a ball and press into 1  1/4 inch mini tart pans. Prick dough with a toothpick and refrigerate for 15 minutes. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Filling

  • 1/4 cup finely chopped hazelnuts, divided
  • 2/3 cup whipping cream
  • 1 egg
  • 3 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1 tsp. vanilla

In a small saucepan heat the cream until just steaming. In a bowl, whisk the egg and gradually pour in half of the cream whisking constantly. Whisk the egg mixture back into the saucepan. Making sure to continue stirring, cook until slightly thickened and almost to the boil. Remove from heat and stir in the chocolate and vanilla. Stir until well blended and smooth.

Bake tart shells for 12-14 minutes or until firm. Let  cool in the pan until firm enough to handle. Remove from pan. Sprinkle 1/2 of the nuts in the bottom of the tarts and spoon in the chocolate mixture. Finish off with the remaining nuts and serve warm.

One bite and you will be hooked and will not want to share……but you must. These are heaven sent!

Double Chocolate Raspberry Swirl Cheesecake

This would make a great New Years Day dessert.  Mind you, it is a dessert that would be great any day, any time and enjoyed by all.

 

  • 1  1/3  cups chocolate wafer crumbs (fresh)
  • 1/3 cup melted butter
  • 7 ounces white chocolate melting wafers, chopped
  • 2 pkgs. Philadelphia cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3 tbsp. white chocolate liqueur
  • 3 tbsp. Chambord or Creme de Framboise (Raspberry) liqueur

In a bowl, mix together the crumbs and melted butter. Press into an 8 inch springform pan and bake in a 350 oven for about 10 minutes. Set aside.

Now place the chocolate discs in a metal bowl and place over a pot of simmering water (water not to touch bowl) and with a rubber spatula, keep stirring until completely melted and smooth.

With your mixer, beat the cream cheese with sugar until very, very smooth. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating to incorporate. Now divide the mix int two bowls, equally. In one bowl, add the chocolate liqueur and in the other, the Framboise. Blend each one until well blended.

In one half of the baked crust, add the white chocolate mix and the other side the raspberry. With a spoon, run through each one, making large swirls.

Bake  for approximately 30 minutes until almost set. Cool in the oven (with door ajar) for a good hour before removing to a rack to cool. Chill for 4 hours before serving. Adda fresh raspberry sauce that is strained and drizzled over the top in a pretty design.

Mocha Chip Ice Cream Wonder

Christmas doesn’t always have to be heavy desserts, especially for the younger set. Make this ahead of time and you are done. The ‘wonder’ of this ice cream is the way the melted chocolate becomes chips when you stir it into the ice cream.

 

  • 2 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 3 tbsp. instant coffee powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 8 cups half and half cream
  • 6 lightly beaten eggs
  • 2 tbsp. really good vanilla
  • 3 oz. unsweetened chocolate
  • chocolate shavings for garnish

In a large saucepan combine the sugar, cornstarch, coffee powder and salt. Stir in 4 cups of the cream. Cook over a medium temperature until it becomes thickened and bubbly.

Slowly whisk the hot mixture into the egg and return to the mixture in the saucepan. Cook and stir one minute  more and then chill thoroughly. Now whisk in the remaining cream and vanilla.

Freeze all this in a 5 qt. ice cream freezer according to the maker’s directions. Ripen for 4 hours. When serving, garnish with chocolate shavings.

 

They will think that Santa came back again. Wonderful dessert!

 

Rocky Road Bars

 

This is a wonderful and easy recipe to make. This is especially for the chocolate lovers club members…..and we have several in our family.

If you wish to make more than 18 squares, just double the ingrediednts. Make sure you wrap them tightly in saran wrap for up to 2 days (if they even last that long).

 

  • 8 graham crackers
  • 1  1/2 cups chopped pistachio nuts, toasted
  • 1 1/2 cups marshmallow topping
  • 12 oz. chocolate melting wafers
  • 14 oz. can condensed milk

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line the bottom of a 9 x 13 inch baking dish with the crackers. Break them up if you have to to make them fit. Bake for about 6-7 minutes until they become fragrant and lightly toasted.

Sprinkle with the nuts and dollop the surface with the marshmallow topping.

In a bowl over simmering water, combine the chocolate wafers and condensed milk, stirring until the chocolate has melted and it is very smooth.

Now, you have to work quickly here…..pour the condensed milk over the entire surface, and with a knife, swirl it all together, to combine the marshmallow topping.

Place in the refrigerator until completely set, which will take about 1 hour. Cut in 18 squares. Now, how long did you make these last? The truth now….I thought so.

 

 

 

 

Bars Layered And Gooey

Everyone I know loves chocolate (except my husband) and when put together like these are—wonderful! So yummy!

 

  • Pam spray
  • 3/4 cup cold butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1/2 cup icing sugar
  • 1  1/2 cups flour
  • pinch of coarse salt
  • 3/4 cup rolled oats (not instant)
  • 1  1/2 cup chocolate chips
  • 1   1/2 cup pistachios, chopped and toasted
  • 3/4  cup dried cranberries, chopped
  • 1 – 14 oz. can condensed milk
  • 2 cups shredded coconut

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a 9 x 13 cookie sheet with parchment paper, leaving a bit of an overhang on the short ends. Spray a light coating of Pam over the paper.

In a processor, pulse together the butter, icing sugar, flour and salt until it resembles a coarse meal. Add the oats and pulse until just combined. Press the dough into the baking pan and bake for about 20 minutes. Should be lightly browned and firm.

Now, scatter the chips, nuts amd cranberries on top of the crust. Drizzle with condensed milk and top with coconut. Bake until the coconut is golden, about 18-20 minutes. Let cool completely then cut into 18 squares.

These will keep (get this) for about 3 days in an airtight container. As if! They won’t last 10 minutes. Guaranteed.

Lime Cream Tart For Late Summer Eves

I was looking at the calendar and yikes! summer is waning. This desset will bring back all the fond memories of your summer while you enjoy this tart. It is not a baked tart so that is even easier. Light some candles, pour a glass of wine or, if you prefer, a cup of rich, freshly perked coffee.

Serves 6-8

  • 10 tbsp. butter, unsalted
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 7 whole graham crackers, finely crushed
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup melted chocolate pieces (milk or dark-your choice)
  • 1 tsp. unflavoured gelatin
  • 1 cup, plus 1 tbsp. sugar
  • 1/2 cup fresh lime juice
  • 2 tsp. grated lime peel
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups whipping cream
  • 1 tsp. coconut flavouring

Mix 6 tbsp. of the butter in a skillet ov er medium heat. When melted, whisk in the brown sugar until it bubbles and stir for a few minutes. Now mix in the cracker crumbs and mix for a minute. In a tart pan with removable bottom, press the warm mixture over the bottom and up the side with the back of a spoon.

Pour the milk in a small custard cup and add the gelatin. Let stand for about 15 minutes. Whisk together 1 cup sugar, lime juice and peel in a saucepan to blend well. Whisk in the eggs, remaining butter and whisk until it thickens and just begins to boil. Remove immediately and whisk in the gelatin until it completely dissolves. Set it aside until it begins to set.

In the meantime, spread the melted chocolate on the crumb base. When cooled down, pour in the lime custard and top with the whipped cream, flavoured with a tsp. of coconut flavouring.

Sprinkle some extra lime zest over the top. Oh, yeah,  you did it again!

Wasn’t summer absolutely wonderful?

Peppermint Patty Martini

Yesterday, my niece said she loved martinis, so into my cupboard of things to make one, I thought of this. It isn’t difficult and tasted mighty fine, I might add.

 

  • 1 shot whipped cream vodka
  • 2 shots white chocolate liqueur
  • 1 shot peppermint schnapps

 

Mix together in an ice filled shaker and shake for a couple of seconds. Strain into a martini glass and grate some chocolate Brix over the top.

Yummy, to say the least.