Turtle Cheesecake

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I baked! It was fantastic!!

It has been forever and a day since I have baked anything, other than the cakes I post, and the holiday cheesecakes which I will also post, soon!

I will give a brief explanation. For the last 14 months I have been off sugar…(quickly ducking and arms are up in fear of what will be virtually thrown at me, as well as avoiding those darting eyes). I know, I know…how can someone who bakes and eats as much sugar as I did, stop eating sugar? I’m not here to preach, recruit or pass judgment. It’s what is right for me right now. So, I have not been baking, just to bake. Let me tell you, I miss baking immensely!!

Anyway, back to why I am here. I was asked to make a Turtle Cheesecake. My Aunt’s Dad turned 80 and he LOVES my cheesecakes. Whenever he comes to holiday dinners, I get a big hug with the quick ‘Merry Christmas’ or happy Thanksgiving’ followed with a very serious…’what’s for dessert, what kind of cheesecake did you make??’ I admit, I don’t do a whole lot well, but dammit, I make an amazing cheesecake!! I have posted about Turtle Cheesecake years ago (check them out here and here), but I has been a while and well, it miss doing this!

**there are pictures missing for some of the steps, it’s been a while…I forgot to take a few.  I think I was just so excited to bake, I got a little to wrapped up in it! Bare with me while I ease back into this**

Turtle Cheesecake

Crust

1 1/4 cups Chocolate Cookie Crumbs
1/4 cup butter, melted
3 tbsp sugar

1. Melt butter and add cookie crumbs and sugar. Combine well

2. Press mixture into the bottom of your cheesecake/spring form pan.  I like mine to come up the sides a bit.

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3. Bake at 350ºF for about 8 minutes. Set aside and allow to cool

Caramel Layer

I cheated a little here.  Normally I would make my own caramel sauce.  Unfortunately, things were a bit hectic and I was short on time.

Melt caramels with some heavy whipping cream over a double boiler (I did not count, I did not measure – told you I was out of practice!) Set aside to cool slightly

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Cheesecake Filling

*this recipe is what I started with, but I don’t share my additions/Changes.  A girl can’t give away all her secrets*

3 sticks of cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1 cup heavy cream
1 tbsp. vanilla extract (or the innards of a vanilla bean)

Additions for this flavour

8oz semi sweet chocolate
6oz white chocolate
caramel – homemade or other
extra cream
pecans

 

Before starting the batter, melt your chocolate slowly over a double boiler.  Allow it to cool while preparing the rest.  Warm chocolate and cold batter does not mix well. I learned this the hard way.  (White chocolate not pictured)

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1. Preheat oven to 350º F  and Begin to boil a large pot of water for the water bath.

2. Combine cream cheese and sugar in the bowl of a stand-mixer (or in a large bowl if using a hand-mixer) and cream together until smooth.

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3.  Add eggs, one at a time, fully incorporating each before adding the next. Make sure to scrape down the bowl in between each egg.

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4. Add heavy cream, vanilla and blend until smooth and creamy. Do not over mix!

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5. Divide your batter between the 2 melted and cooled chocolates.  Put a little less in the white chocolate.

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It will take a bit of stirring, and you will think it is never going to combine.  Be patient, good things take time.  Look at that, it is a thing of beauty!  It will be the same with blending the white chocolate…again, no pictures

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Assembly time

6. Pour the cooled caramel over your prepared cookie crust

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7. Layer as many pecans as you like – It’s about now that I started drowning in my own saliva

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Side note – I cook all my cheesecakes in a water bath.  This is totally optional.  I believe it makes for a better cheesecake, it bakes more evenly and much less risk of cracking.  The only important thing to remember is to wrap your pan!  Soggy cheesecake is not great.  I wrap my pan with heavy-duty/wide foil (Dollar Store stuff is just fine).  Make sure to bring it up the sides and have a bit of a lip.  Don’t wrap it over the pan, it will condensate and drip in.  This way it drips back into the water.  Again, learned this the hard way.

8. Layer your batter, I started with white chocolate to contrast the cookie crust

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Epic fail on the layering!! Not sure what happened…

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So… Chocolate swirl it is!!

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9. Place your foil lined pan in a larger roasting pan and add boiling water about half way up the side of your pan

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10. Bake on the lowest rack for approx 1 hour 20 minutes (this time will vary depending on what kind of cheesecake you are making).  I honestly do not bake according to time, it fails me ever time.  I need to see and feel it.

Deciding when it is done can be tricky. You don’t want an over or under baked cheesecake. (My worst fear is that when someone buys a cheesecake, when they cut into it there will be a soupy inside, leaking all over their table!)  You are looking for the cake to be still jiggle when you shake the pan, like Jello.  At this point close the door, turn off the oven and leave it for an hour.  It will continue to cook as it slowly cools.  After at least an hour, remove from oven and water bath and let it cool to room temperature before putting it in the fridge, to chill over night

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The next day I decorated it up a bit.  Topping it with more pecan, caramel and chocolate.

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I was not at the party, so I did not get to see how the inside turned out, but there were rave reviews!

When they brought it out to him, he looked up and gasped ‘Erica’s?’ haha!  It’s that kind of thing I miss about baking!  Baked goods bring people together and make so many people happy!

Anyways, it was all gone and apparently was delicious!

Wrapping this up… That was a very rambley , unorganized post!  I will do better next time.  Hopefully there will not be years between the next one!!

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Cinnamon Bun Cheesecake

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So much has changed over the past 15 months.  Our family has been through so much, too much.  This year for Easter we didn’t even get together as a family.  I had decided that I was not even going to bake! Why would I? It was just 3 of us at dinner.

I was then asked to make some desserts for another family, a Cherry Cheesecake and some cupcakes.  Then I got the ‘itch’, I must bake!

I was not totally convinced the cherry cheesecake I made had turned out.  You can’t always tell until you cut into them (fingers crossed, I haven’t heard).  I felt I needed to redeem myself, so I decided to make us a cheesecake.  All this was decided on Good Friday – when all the stores are closed and Saturday the stores were a zoo.  It always amazes me how people completely panic when a store closes for a day.  You would think they would never be able to get food again.  Anyways, I was not going to be shopping, I had to use what I had in the house.

I found a recipe for Cinnamon Bun Cheesecake. As intrigued as I was, I was not sure it  would be good.  I am a cinnamon freak, so the thought of it was just about making me drool, but I was not sure how it would pair with the cream cheese.  I was skeptical enough to only make a mini one and halved the recipe.  I also made a back up recipe!

I found this recipe on Life, Love and Sugar.  Check out the site, there are some amazing recipes.

Cinnamon Roll Cheesecake

This is the full recipe – I halved it

Crust
1 1/2 cups nilla wafer crumbs * ( i used grahm crumbs)
4 tbsp sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
5 tbsp butter
1. Heat oven to 325 degrees.

2. In a small bowl, combine crust ingredients and mix well.

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3. Press mixture into the bottom and up the sides of a 9-inch springform pan.

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4. Bake crust for 10 minutes then remove and set aside.

5. Cover the outsides of the pan with aluminum foil and set aside.
Cheesecake filling

3 8-ounce packages cream cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
3 tbsp all purpose flour
4 eggs
1 cup sour cream
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp ground cinnamon

1. Reduce oven to 300 degrees.

2. In a large bowl, mix the cream cheese, sugar and flour until combined (Use low speed to keep less air from getting into the batter, which can cause cracks). Scrape down the sides of the bowl.

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3. Add eggs one at a time, beating slowly and scraping the sides of the bowl after each addition.

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4. Add the sour cream, vanilla extract and cinnamon. Beat on low speed until well combined. Set aside.

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Cinnamon filling

2 cups brown sugar, lightly packed
5 tbsp ground cinnamon
3/4 cup flour
12 tbsp butter, melted
1. In another medium bowl, whisk together brown sugar, cinnamon and flour.

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2. Stir in melted butter.

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Assembly
1. Break apart cinnamon mixture and sprinkle pieces over the bottom of the crust, about 1/4 of the cinnamon mixture.
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2. Spread about 1/3 of the cheesecake filling over the cinnamon mixture.

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3. Repeat steps 7 and 8 two more times, for a total of three layers of cinnamon and three layers of cheesecake filling.

4. Sprinkle remaining cinnamon mixture over top of cheesecake.

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5. Place springform pan (covered with aluminum foil) inside another pan. Fill outside pan with enough warm water to go about halfway up the sides of the springform pan. The water should not go above the top edge of the aluminum foil on the springform pan.
8. Bake for 1 hour and 20 minutes.
Icing
2 tbsp cream cheese, room temperature
6 tbsp butter, room temperature
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
4-5 tbsp milk
Ran out of time and forgot to take pictures of this process.  Also, threw it together at the end, not the greatest decorative job!
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Looks delicious – minus the horrible icing job
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Layers and layers of cinnamon deliciousness and it smells amazing!
With all the changes this year, I decided to start a new tradition…

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I have had this magnet on my fridge for many years.  This year has shown us too many times that life in fact is way too short.  So….. we had dessert first!  I figured, I made them, I can serve them when I want, haha!  Also, now, no one can say ‘oh I want to, just no room, I ate too much supper!’.  Plus, still the option to have more after dinner.  Really, win-win!!
We enjoyed this mid afternoon – well before dinner
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Absolutely amazing!
As I said before, I was not sure how the two flavours would meld together.  All I can say is perfection!  The cinnamon layers had a subtle crunch to them which added a nice texture to the smooth cheesecake.  The strong cinnamon flavour really came though.  It really tasted like a cinnamon bun!
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I will definitely be making this again, and the full recipe.  This may just be my new favourite cheesecake.
What a wonderful way to start a new tradition!
Thank you Lindsay from Life, Love and Sugar – Life’s better with Cake (oh so true!)

 

Carrot Cake Cheesecake

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I am very behind on my posts, but I am back at it!  Let’s back up to Easter…yes that long ago.

This years Easter cheesecake I went with something I had seen before, but was very hesitant to try.  Carrot Cake Cheesecake combines both the cheesecake and real cake. It looked amazing but I was very nervous about how the 2 would bake together.

Carrot Cake Cheesecake

from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe

Cheesecake:

2 (8-ounces each) packages cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon flour
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup sour cream

For the cheesecake

  1. In a medium bowl using an electric mixer on high speed, beat the cream cheese, sugar, eggs and flour until smooth.20160326_142440

    2. Add the vanilla and sour cream and mix just until blended. Set aside.

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Carrot Cake:

3/4 cup vegetable or canola oil
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
Pinch cloves
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 pound finely grated carrots (1 cup or so)

  1. In a large bowl using an electric mixer, beat together the oil, brown sugar and granulated sugar until smooth.

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  2. Add the eggs and vanilla and beat until the mixture is light creamy and light.

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    3. Stir in the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and salt until just combined.

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  3. Mix in the carrots.

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5. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
6. Lightly grease a 9- or 10-inch spring-form pan with cooking spray.
7. Spread half of the carrot cake batter into the bottom of the prepared pan.

**I did add a Graham Cracker crust, I can’t imagine a cheesecake without that crust!

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8. Dollop half of the cheesecake batter on top of the carrot cake layer in large spoonfuls. Don’t spread or swirl together. Just dollop.
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9. Dollop the rest of the carrot cake batter on and around the spoonfuls of cheesecake batter. Again, don’t spread it out. If the lumpiness is stressing you out.
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10. Spread the last half of the cheesecake batter on top of all the layers and spread with an offset spatula into an even layer. Tap the pan on the counter a couple of times to get rid of any air bubbles.
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**I baked mine in a water bath, as I usually do.  Bake yours as you wish
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11. Bake the cheesecake for 60-70 minutes (check earlier if using a 10-inch springform pan; it won’t bake as long as a 9-inch pan), tenting the top of the cheesecake with foil the last 20 -30 minutes of baking if it is browning too quickly. The cheesecake will puff a great deal in the oven thanks to the leavening in the carrot cake and it might even crack. That’s ok. It will settle after it cools and will be covered with frosting so the cracks won’t matter. Take care not to overbake the cheesecake or the carrot cake bottom and sides will be dry. It’s a fine balance between taking it out before it’s overbaked but not so early that the cake batter is still raw. Keep in mind that each oven can vary in temperature so watch closely as it gets to the 60 minute mark. The top center part of the cheesecake (just about a 2- or 3-inch diameter circle) should still be slightly soft and jiggly when you take it out.
Let the cheesecake cool completely on a wire rack in the pan.
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Cream Cheese Frosting:
**I did not use this Cream Cheese Frosting, I used my own

3 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
2 tablespoons butter, softened
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon sour cream

12. While it cools, make the frosting by whipping together the cream cheese and butter until creamy and smooth. Mix in the powdered sugar a little at a time until the frosting is well-combined with no lumps. Add the vanilla and sour cream and mix well.

13. When the cheesecake has cooled, spread the frosting evenly over the top of the cheesecake. Cover with tin foil or plastic wrap and refrigerate until well chilled before serving. The cheesecake can be made up to two days in advance.

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Look at that!

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This cheesecake tastes every bit as good as it looked

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Huge success!  Everyone loved it!  I thought the cake part was a little under-cooked or too moist, it seemed a little wet.  Everyone disagreed.

It really tasted like a carrot cake.  All the spices came through.  The tang of the cream cheese blended perfectly. I am glad I added the Graham Crust layer, the crunch really gave a nice contracting texture.

I will definitely be making this again!

 

Thank you for sharing Mel, from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe

 

 

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S’more Cheesecake

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This year for Christmas (yes, Christmas! Catching up on my posts) I tried a S’more Cheesecake.  As I mentioned in the past, it is hard to please everyone with a flavour, but I do try!  I figured, who doesn’t like a S’more? There was only one iffy person, who doesn’t like marshmallows, but they are easily picked off.

I did not follow any specific recipe or see this idea anywhere, I just kinda cake up with it on my own.  I used my classic go to cheesecake recipe and

S’more Cheesecake:

Crust

Graham Crust

2 cups Graham Crumbs
1/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup melted butter

1. Combine sugar and Graham crumbs

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2. Add melted butter and stir until combine

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3. Pour into spring form pan and firmly press. Bake for 10 min and set aside to cool

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Cheesecake

3 sticks of cream cheese, 8 oz each (total of 24 oz) room temperature
1 cup / 210 g sugar
3 large eggs
1 cup / 8 oz heavy cream
1 tbsp. lemon juice (When using chocolate I omit)
1 tbsp. vanilla extract (or the innards of a vanilla bean)
8 oz of Semi sweet Chocolate

DIRECTIONS:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F

2. Using a double boiler melt the chocolate and set aside to cool.

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3. Combine cream cheese and sugar in the bowl of a stand-mixer (or in a large bowl if using a hand-mixer) and cream together until smooth.

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4. Add eggs, one at a time, fully incorporating each before adding the next. Make sure to scrape down the bowl in between each egg.

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5. Add the cooled chocolate and stir

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6. Add heavy cream and vanilla, blend until smooth and creamy.

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7. Pour into your prepared pan

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And this is where things went a rye.

I always  bake my cheesecake in a water bath.  Today I was in a rush, I wasn’t really focused and decided to just throw it in the oven, like others do.  Everyone tells me, ‘why bother, it’s just another step, it will be fine’…

8. Bake 45 to 55 minutes, until it is almost done – this can be hard to judge, but you’re looking for the cake to hold together, but still have a lot of jiggle to it in the center. You don’t want it to be completely firm at this stage. Close the oven door, turn the heat off, and let rest in the cooling oven for one hour. This lets the cake finish cooking and cool down gently enough so that it won’t crack on the top.

Well, it fell and cracked!  Never again! Always a water bath!!!

After one hour, remove cheesecake from oven and lift carefully out of water bath. Let it finish cooling on the counter, and then cover and put in the fridge to chill. Once fully chilled, it is ready to serve

Thank goodness I was covering the top, because this was one ugly cheesecake!

The next day..

1. Cut large marshmallows in half and cover the top of your cheesecake

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2. Drizzle with melted chocolate

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3. Top with Graham crackers

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Looks pretty good!

This cheesecake was OK.  I would not make it again

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Everyone said it was good, but they never say and different. (one day I wold like to completely ruin a recipe and not let on and see if anyone said anything, I don’t think they would)

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It definitely was not as ooey and gooey as I had hoped.  See, it looks a little dry.

Oh well. Lessen learned!

Extremely Chocolatey Cheesecake

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Happy Easter!

We had our big family Easter dinner on Good Friday.  It is great to get family together over the holidays, I just wish everyone could have been there!  We had a wonderful dinner, not typical of an Easter dinner but delicious!  Mom cooked a huge pork loin and a large roast beef, both on the bbq.  She also made baked beans, broccoli cauliflower salad and coleslaw.  My aunts and uncles brought potato salad and macaroni salad, along with pickled beets and buns.  Everything was excellent, right down to the table set for 17!

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Another reason to love holiday meals with family is I get to bake!  This year Easter weekend fell on my Gramma’s birthday.  She requested lemon birthday cake, it turned out pretty good, you can see it here.  Now deciding on a cheesecake flavour! You would think everyone would get sick of cheesecake, but when asked it seems to still be the main request.  This time, I went with a simple flavour that I knew everyone would like (it is hard to please that many people with a flavour), chocolate.

I was feeling very confident in my cheesecake making, I have made quite a few and 99% have been successful.  I thought I would mix it up a little and try something different.  Aspects of  two different cheesecakes intrigued me.  I liked how The Brown Eyed Baker put cocoa powder in the base of her Chocolate Lover’s Cheesecake and how at Fine Cooking they whipped with melted chocolate right into the cream cheese at the beginning of the mixing process of their Extreme Chocolate Cheesecake.  They were both different as they used 4 eggs and no cream.  I incorporated all of these ideas into my Extremely Chocolatey Cheesecake!

 

Extremely Chocolatey Cheesecake

Filling

3 pkg cream cheese
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup cocoa powder
10 oz semi sweet chocolate
4 eggs
3/4 cup cream
1 tbsp vanilla
pinch of salt
Chocolate for shaving

Crust

1 1/4 cups Oreo Cookie crumbs
2 tbsp sugar
3 tbsp melted butter

Directions:

1. Pre-heat oven to 350ºC and start boiling water for your water bath

2. In a spring form pan combine cookie crumbs, sugar and melted butter – press to form even crust

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3. Bake for 8 minutes and set aside to cool

Filling

1. In a double boiler, melt chocolate and set aside to cool

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2. In the bowl of your stand mixer combine cream cheese, sugar and cocoa powder.  Whipping until smooth

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3. Slowly add the, room temperature, melted chocolate

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4. Add eggs, one at a time, fully incorporating each before adding the next. Make sure to scrape down the bowl in between each egg

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5. Add cream, vanilla and pinch of salt

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6. Cover spring form pan with parchment paper and heavy foil wrap to keep water out

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7. Place in a large roasting pan and fill half way up the sides of the spring form pan with the hot water

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8.  Bake 45 to 55 minutes, until it is almost done – this can be hard to judge, but you’re looking for the cake to hold together, but still have a lot of jiggle to it in the center. You don’t want it to be completely firm at this stage. Close the oven door, turn the heat off, and let rest in the cooling oven for one hour. This lets the cake finish cooking and cool down gently enough so that it won’t crack on the top. After one hour, remove cheesecake from oven and lift carefully out of water bath. Let it finish cooling on the counter, and then cover and put in the fridge to chill. Once fully chilled, it is ready to serve.

** and this is when things went terribly wrong….

ACK!  It cracked! What the heck?!? my cheesecakes don’t crack!  I was furious and shocked all at the same time.  And this was DURING the cooking, not even on the cool down!

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It didn’t just crack, this is a crater of epic proportions.  Seemed like you could lose a Smart Car in there.

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At this point I need to turn to plan B.  I can not nicely shave chocolate around the edges and serve this!  Thankfully, I had some chocolate left over and had to resort to a chocolate ganache

As I cover the edges in Milk Chocolate Chips I start preparing the ganache…

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Ganache

3 1/2 oz semi sweet chocolate
1 tbsp light corn syrup
3 tbsp cream

1. Melt chocolate and corn syrup in a double boiler

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2. Add cream and stir until smooth – I am still flustered at this point and forgot some pictures of the completed ganache

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3. Pour over top of cheesecake to hide the massive cracks!

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Done! Not at all how I had envisioned it, but it looks ok.

I did fill a few people in on the ‘secret crater’, they only laughed at me.  I was seriously stressed wondering how it was going to taste!

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Thankfully, it was delicious!  It got rave reviews.  It was so rich and chocolatey, sinfully delicious.  Now, if I could only figure out what made it crack? The flavour was there, but the presentation was not!

Any suggestions as to what happened????

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Top 10 of 2014!

It’s cliché, but it is hard to believe another year is over.  I’m happy to say I met my goal and did a lot more baking this year than last year.  This year I tried many new things.  There were some amazing results and some horrendous flops!  I like to post about them all, because not everything turns out and that’s ok, frustrating, but ok.

Here are what I think to be my best of 2014 as well as a few honorable mentions.

Honorable Mentions

I have 2 honorable mentions this year.  The first being, I was a judge at a Butter Tart Taste off!  It was an amazing day and I was so honored to be part of it.

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Second honorable mention is for my favourite cake this year.  I really liked how the Camera Cake turned out

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Here is a list of what I picked as my favourites of 2014

10.   S’mores Cups

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These little delights are so easy and very so tasty.  I first had S’mores Cups at the Relay for Life.  One of our team members brought them and I was hooked.  I searched the recipe and made them as soon as possible.  I am not a fan of real S’mores, but these are great!

9. Snickers Popcorn

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This is something I wasn’t entirely sure I would like.  Amy and I were having a baking day, cheesecake was our main delight of the day.  We needed something that didn’t need to be cooked for a family dessert.  Amy picked Snickers Popcorn. Unreal!  It was delicious, and so addicting!  I could not stop. 3 days later when the humidity had got to it I was still wolfing it into me. Excellent and will make again!  It always helps to have someone else to bring you out of your baking comfort zone.  I would have never tried this, but love it!  Thanks Amy!

8. Toffee Cheesecake

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This Toffee Cheesecake was made with the toffee candy I make, kinda like a Skor bar.  This was really good.  I’d definitely make this one again.

7.  Strawberry Pie

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I am starting to get the hang of this pie thing, my crust is improving.  This was my first Strawberry Pie.  It was good.  It got rave reviews from the pie fans of the family, and I admit, I liked it too.

6. OCC #6

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I have been slacking on my Oatmeal Cookie Challenge.  I have been searching for a very long time for ‘my favourite’ cookie. This Oatmeal Cookie is definitely in the running.  It has a great texture, holds its height and had great flavour. The best part? This recipe makes one cookie! Give it a try.

5. Cherry Pie

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This pie was amazing! Hard to believe 2 pies made the list this year.  I’d say this was the perfect Cherry Pie. Hope I can duplicated it next year.

4. Pumpkin Cake

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I am not normally a fan of pumpkin stuff but this Pumpkin Cake was good!  What made it was the cinnamon cream cheese icing. Amazing combination.  It was a huge hit at Thanksgiving.

3. Toffee Chocolate Bars

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These were amazing! I found these Toffee Chocolate Bars on Pinterest.  The picture caught my eye and I knew I had to make it.  They were a huge success.  I loved them.  The gooey middle layer was fantastic and I loved the sugary base.  Definitely worth a try.

2. Pecan Pie Cheesecake

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This Pecan Pie Cheesecake was by far the best Cheesecake I have ever made! The sweet pecan filling went perfect with the creamy cheesecake top.  This got rave reviews and topped everyone’s list as their favourite cheesecake.  You must try it!

1. Christmas Pudding with White Sauce

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Even though I just made this a few days ago, it was by far the best thing I made this year.  Not only was the Christmas Pudding absolutely delicious, but it brought back a family tradition that I can to carry on for many years to come.

I hope everyone had a great year and here’s to a wonderful 2015 filled with many delicious sweet treats!

 

Pecan Pie Cheesecake

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This Christmas I was determined to make something different for dessert.  I always do a cheesecake and something else as there are a few people who do not like cheesecake.  I racked my brains, searched my books, looked on the web and I was stumped.  There were so many things I liked but nothing that would please almost everyone.  I eventually decided to ask those attending dinner what they would like.  Everyone I asked responded with Cheesecake!  Okay, okay!  I certainly don’t mind making it, I just assumed people would be getting sick of it.  Apparently not.

Now to decide what flavour.  Suggestions were Turtle, Tuxedo, Plain, etc, all ones I had already made.  I like to try new things, then I can post about it, haha!  I headed to Pinterest, where I saw thousands of cheesecakes, but this one caught my eye.  Pecan.Pie.Cheesecake!

Photo from spicysouthernkitchen.com

Just look at that! Amazing!

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I eat with my eyes and as soon as I saw this I knew, this was the Christmas Cheesecake!  I had never made a Pecan Pie before, though it is on my bucket list, but figured I would give it a go.

Pecan Pie Cheesecake

Adapted from Spicy Southern Kitchen

Crust

1¾ cups vanilla-wafer crumbs**
¼ cup firmly packed brown sugar
⅓ cup butter, melted

**I used graham crumbs, not a fan of vanilla wafers

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Combine graham crumbs and brown sugar in a medium bowl. Stir melted butter in with a spatula.

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3. Press into the bottom and halfway up the sides of a 9-inch Springform pan.

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4. Bake for 6 minutes and let cool.

Pecan filling

1 cup sugar
⅔ cup dark corn syrup
⅓ cup butter, melted
2 large eggs
1½ cups chopped pecans
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Combine all Pecan-Filling ingredients in a medium saucepan. (I left out the nuts, and poured them over the crust, only because if I messed up with filling I didn’t want to waste the expensive pecans)

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2. Stir well and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to maintain a simmer and cook, stirring continuously, until mixture thickens, about 8 to 10 minutes.

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4. Pour into prepared crust.

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At this point I am just about drooling, look at that!  Forget the cheesecake, lets cook this and eat it!

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Cheesecake filling

3 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1¼ cups firmly packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
4 large eggs
⅔ cup heavy whipping cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees. (Seemed low to me, I went with340ºF)2. Using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese at medium speed until smooth and creamy

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2. Add brown sugar and flour and beat until fluffy.

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I love the colour the brown sugar produced.  I had never thought of using brown sugar.  There are a few other ones I think this would be a nice addition to

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3. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Use a rubber spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl to make sure everything mixes evenly.

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4. Add cream and vanilla and beat just to combine. Pour mixture over pecan filling. – I was worried pouring the cheesecake over the pecan filling would create a whole and not a layer, but the pecan layer had hardened up enough to hold it

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5. Place in oven and bake for 1 hour. Turn oven off but leave cheesecake in oven with door closed for 1 more hour. (I cooked mine in a water bath as I always do)

Perfection! No cracks!

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6. Remove cheesecake from oven and run a knife around the sides to make sure they are not sticking. Let cool completely. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours.

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The next day I spruced it up a little, nothing exciting or over the top.  Placed a few pecans around the edges as a hint of what kind of Cheesecake it was.

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Dessert time!  Finally time to try it!  I am quite nervous before cutting it.  I had read some of the comments and some were undercooked and the filling poured out.  Others overcooked their pie filling and was hard as a rock.  It may look pretty but you just never know.

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It was perfect!  It didn’t ooze out nor did it turn to a rock.

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This cheesecake was perfection!  I will admit, I am my own worst critic.  I always pick apart my desserts thinking something could be better or should have done this different.  Not with this one! This was perfect.   The pictures do not do it justice.

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As I was serving it up, I could hear ‘mmmm’, ‘wow’, ‘OMG Erica!’ ‘Your BEST cheesecake ever!’. At this point I had not tried it yet, I always serve myself last.  When I made sure everyone had dessert (there was also an apple crisp for those cheesecake haters) I served myself up a big piece.  I had a piece and a half, Dad can’t have nuts so he just at the top part, I got his pecan crust.

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OH.MY.GOD!

With one bite, i think I went to heaven.  As soon as the fork hit my mouth angles started singing.  Quite literally, it was a ‘party in my mouth’.  I felt like Clark Grisswold from Christmas Vacation when he finally got his lights to work…

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I seriously had to pause for a moment to take it all in.

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The creamy top layer of cheesecake was so smooth and decadent. I really liked the almost caramel flavour that the brown sugar added to the plain cheesecake.

A few photos from the next day on white plates looks better

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The pecan pie layer was simply amazing!  It was sinfully sweet! I could have just pulled up a big bowl of it and been happy.  It was a perfect consistency.  It almost put me in mine of a perfect butter tart.  I am glad I went with the graham crumb crust, it went perfectly.

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The combination of the creamy cheesecake balanced out the sweetness of the pecan pie filling and it was absolutely delicious! Everyone love it! I was told several times that this was their new favourite. Already had requests for a repeat and a few want the recipe.

I’d say it was a success!  My only complaint is that there was not more left over! haha

Thanks you Christin from Spicy Southern Kitchen for such a wonderful dessert, it was the perfect ending to a wonderful Christmas Eve meal.