White Chocolate Truffle Cheese Cake with Oreo Cookie Crust and Raspberry Sauce !

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While in New York for a long weekend of friends and food I came across this cheese cake!

It was love at first bite!

I love chocolate and raspberries and the truffled white chocolate is the perfect balance of flavor and sweetness to contrast the chocolate and raspberry combination.

I searched the internet for a recipe and came upon this Cheesecake Factory Copy Cat recipe.

There was a bit of tweaking; for instance, I did not incorporate the raspberries into the cheesecake during baking but rather used frozen berries and a little bit of raspberry syrup for garnish.

I garnished the cake with the fresh berries and not only did this save me a step but added a texture contrast to the dessert.

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I whipped the egg whites seperately.

I melted the white chocolate along with some heavy cream and mixed the melted chocolate with the whipped egg whites then folded this mixture into the batter.

For me, this was the essence of the “truffling”.


Ingredients

Crust:

1 1/2 cups chocolate cookie crumbs or 20 crumbled Oreo cookies (filling removed)
1/3 cup butter, melted

Filling:

1/2 cup raspberry preserves
1/4 cup water
4 8-ounce pkgs. cream cheese
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup sour cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
5 eggs
4 ounces white chocolate, chopped into chunks

Optional Garnish:
2 ounces shaved white chocolate
whipped cream

Method:
1. Preheat oven to 475 degrees. Place a large pan or oven-safe skillet filled with about 1/2-inch of water into the oven while it preheats. This will be your water bath.

2. Combine the raspberry preserves with 1/4 cup water in a medium microwave-safe bowl. Heat for 1 1/2 minutes on high in your microwave. Stir until smooth. Strain to remove the raspberry seeds (toss ’em out), then let the strained preserves sit to cool, then put the bowl in the refrigerator until later.

3. Measure 1 1/2 cups chocolate cookie crumbs (or crush 20 Oreo cookie wafers — with the filling scraped out — in a resealable plastic bag) into a medium bowl. Mix in 1/3 cup melted margarine. Press the crumb into a 9-inch spring form pan that has been lined on the bottom and side with parchment paper. Use the bottom of a drinking glass to press the crumb mixture flat into the bottom of the pan and about 2/3 the way up the side. Wrap a large piece of foil around the bottom of the pan to keep the cheesecake in the water bath. Put the crust in your freezer until the filling is done.

4. Use an electric mixer to combine the cream cheese with the sugar, sour cream, and vanilla. Mix for a couple minutes or until the ingredients are smooth and creamy. Be sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Whisk the eggs in a medium bowl and then add them to the cream cheese mixture. Blend the mixture just enough to integrate the eggs.

5. Remove the crust from the freezer and sprinkle 4 ounces of white chocolate chunks onto the bottom of the crust. Pour half of the cream cheese filling into the crust. Drizzle the raspberry preserves over the entire surface of the filling. Use a butter knife to swirl the raspberry into the cream cheese. Just a couple passes is fine, you don’t want to blend the raspberry and cream cheese together too much. Pour the other half of the filling into the crust.

6. Carefully place the cheesecake into the water bath in the oven. Bake for 12 minutes at 475 degrees, then turn the oven down to 350 degrees and bake for 50 to 60 minutes or until the top of the cheesecake turns a light brown or tan color. Remove the cheesecake from the oven to cool. When the cheesecake is cool, use the foil from the bottom to cover the cheesecake and chill it in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours.

7. Before serving, sprinkle the entire top surface of cheesecake with 2 ounces of shaved white chocolate. To serve, slice the cheesecake into 12 equal portions. Apply a pile of canned whipped cream to the top of each slice and serve.

Makes 12 servings.

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Pumpkin Cheesecake! Pumpkins, Squash and Autumn Corn! The Flavors of the Season!

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It’s that time of year and nothing says Autumn like pumpkins!

Pumpkin is great in soup, cheesecake, cookies, pies, breads, curries and more.

Cooking with Fresh Pumpkin

There’s no shame in using canned pumpkin. Even professional bakers do it. But if you’re using fresh, choose small, flavorful sugar pie pumpkins–and save the big ones for carving. A four-pound pumpkin should yield about 1½ cups of puree.

To make pumpkin puree:

1. Cut the pumpkin in half and bake cut-side down, covered with foil, in a 375 degree F oven for about 90 minutes or until flesh is tender.

2. Allow to cool, scoop out the flesh, and puree.

3. Strain the puree for extra-silky smooth soups and custards.

022Pumpkins

A trip to a local farm introduced me to all kinds of squash and corn varieties.

The possibilities are vast and are not limited to baked goods.

Pumpkins are great in savory dishes and lend themselves to spicy flavors; think curry and roasted pepper.

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Over the next few weeks I want to explore all things pumpkin, squash and corn!

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Pumpkin Cheesecake
Ingredients

1 1/2 cups graham cracker cookie crumbs
3/4 cup ground hazelnuts
3 tablespoons brown sugar
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

3 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 cups canned solid pack pumpkin
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup maple syrup
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
4 eggs

Method

1.Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Grease and flour a 9 inch springform pan.

2.Using a fork, combine gingersnaps, hazelnuts, 3 tablespoons brown sugar and melted butter. Press mixture onto the bottom and two inches up the sides of the pan to form the crust.

3.With an electric mixer, beat cream cheese and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Stir in the pumpkin. Mix in the cream, maple syrup, cinnamon, allspice and vanilla. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, mixing until smooth.

4.Pour batter into prepared crust. Bake in the preheated oven for 90 minutes, or until center of cheesecake is set. Allow to cool in pan for 30 minutes, then refrigerate overnight.

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I have no idea what these are but I am willing to give them a try!

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Whipped Cream Avalanche! Cheesecake in a Midwest Heatwave!

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I should have given this a bit more thought!

I do not have air conditioning and we are in the middle of an incredible heatwave here in the midwest.

The heat index was 106 degrees! yesterday.

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We were celebrating a birthday and this cheesecake with strawberries and whipped cream is a favorite.

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It did look great when I placed it on the table but by the time I picked up the camera it was sliding all over the place!

That was about 15 seconds!

One of the secrets to the greatness of this cheesecake is the crust.

The butter toasted pecans make the crust amazing and every time I make this the only request is that next time I make more crust!

Ingredients:

Crust

1 stick of butter

3/4 cup of pecans

1 1/2 cups graham crackers

Filling

3 8 oz. pkgs cream cheese
1 cup superfine granulated sugar
2 tbsp. all-purpose flour
2 tsp. vanilla extract
3 eggs
1/3 cup whole milk
Whipped cream prepared or homemade; we used Redi-Whip, it’s a nostalgia thing!

Method:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

Saute butter and pecans until they become aromatic and lightly toasted

Place graham crackers, sauteed pecans and butter in the food processor and mix until the texture is fine

Press into the bottom of a 9 inch springform pan and bake for 10 minutes

Set aside; reset oven to 325 degrees

With an electric mixer beat cream cheese, sugar and flour together until well mixed

Add vanilla and beat until smooth

Add eggs one at a time beating well after each addition

Beat until smooth

Add milk and mix until well blended

Pour the batter over the crust and bake in preheated 325 degree oven for 45-55 minutes

Fell free to garnish with your favorite fresh fruit after the cheesecake has chilled in the fridge overnight

Don’t be shy with the whipped cream!

Put love in it and Enjoy!

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Dulce de Leche Cheesecake

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Every year around Thanksgiving as friends are making dinner plans, the first question I get is, “are you making your Dulce de Leche Cheesecake?” Everyone knows that I am cooking dinner and that I will be making 5 or 6 desserts, which vary, but there are always hopes that this cheesecake will be in the line-up.

I always say, “of course”, actually this year I will make 2. And then I proceed to dig out my collection of recipes, line up my help; daughters, and begin to make lists.

I had a difficult time finding this recipe and the web was of little help. I needed the exact perfect mouthwatering recipe that has secured my place in the hearts and bellies of my friends and family.

After much searching I found this dog eared paper; water stained and coated in crusty something or other and copied it and committed it to a dessert file and on a portable disk.

It is amazing.

Now some may find fault with the Dulce de Leche part of this cheesecake. They may say it is not authentic or truly dulce de leche, however, I stand by the recipe and the method and contend that if a recipe translates into something this good then it must be right.

Ingredients:

Crust:

1 cup graham cracker crumbs and macadamia nuts
3 tbsp. butter, melted

Filling:

3 (8 oz.) packages cream cheese (24 oz. total)
1 cup superfine granulated sugar
2 tbsp. all-purpose flour
2 tsp. vanilla extract (Neilsen-Massey)
3 eggs
1/3 cup whole milk
1/2 cup ready-made or homemade Dulce de leche sauce* (see recipe below for Homemade Dulce de leche)

For Serving:
Extra Dulce de leche sauce

Method:

1. Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C).

2.In food processor mix crust ingredients together, and press into the bottom of a lightly buttered 9-inch springform pan. Place pan on a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and cool to room temperature.

3. Reset oven temperature to 325°F (160°C).

4. With an electric mixer beat cream cheese, sugar and flour together until well mixed and smooth. Add vanilla and beat until smooth. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat until smooth. Add milk and mix until well blended.

5. Measure 1/2 cup of the cheesecake batter and pour into a small bowl. Add Dulce de Leche sauce and stir until well combined.

6. Pour plain batter over crust. Top with Dulce de leche batter by placing rounded spoonfuls over the cheesecake batter and gently swirl into plain batter with the tip of knife or spatula.

7. Bake in preheated 325°F (160°C) oven for 45-55 minutes or until center is almost set. Remove from oven and gently run metal spatula around rim of pan to loosen cheesecake (this helps prevent cracking). Let cool 20-25 minutes before covering and placing in the refrigerator. Refrigerate 4 to 6 hours or overnight before serving. If desired, serve each slice drizzled with a little bit of dulce de leche sauce, or pass around a bowl of dulce de leche sauce for guest’s to help themselves.

Dulce de Leche

1 can of sweetened condensed milk
Make two holes in the top of the can
Place in a pot of water standing up and not allowing the water to get into the open can.
Simmer on low heat for 2-3 hours
Keep filling the water to maintain a level just less than half an inch from the top of the can.

  

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