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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Ferrero Rocher Cheesecake

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The weather has cooled down, so many people are complaining about this, not me!  Cooler weather means baking season! There is nothing like warming the house up with something deliciously sweet in the oven.

On the menu today was a Cheesecake for Thanksgiving dessert. I have been planning this one for some time.  I was not sure what occasion it would be for, but I have had the main ingredient for a while.

Two month ago, when the Christmas stuff came out at Costco (yes, it was out in mid August!!) I saw these….

A GIANT box of Ferrero Rocher!  I love these things!  AND what goes better with Hazelnut Chocolates? Hazelnut spread of course!

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Nutella is something I had not tried until a few years ago.  I remember in grade 5, we got a new student in our class.  Everyone was so jealous of her as she had a “chocolate sandwich” everyday! I begged and pleaded with my Mom, but she would have no part in sending me to school with a chocolate sandwich.  I would see the commercials and I would think of those chocolate sandwiches, but I never bought it until a few years ago.  The first time I tried it I put it on the white bread, just like Florence did in gr.5 and just like I see on the commercials. EWWW! Just awful!  Why would anyone do that? I was so disappointed.  After all those years of imagining how wonderful it would be, I hated it!   I soon discovered that it was the bread that made it so bad, alone it was heaven on a spoon!  I will admit to eating an entire jar (over the course of a few weeks) just with a spoon, haha.

Anyways… I thought these would be wonderful together in a cheesecake.  I went with my ‘go to’ cheesecake base and added the two.

Ferrero Rocher Nutella Cheesecake

Graham Crust

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

1. Combine sugar, butter and Graham crumbs

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2. Stir until combine

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3. Press into the springform pan and bake at 350º for 10 minutes

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4. When crust cools water proof your cake pan with heavy duty foil – in order to keep the cheesecake dry while in water bath

 

Ferrero Rocher Nutella Cheesecake

3 pkg cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1 cup heavy cream
1 tbsp vanilla
1 heaping cup Nutella
Ferrero Rocher

 

DIRECTIONS:
1. Preheat oven to 350º F .

2. Begin to boil a large pot of water for the water bath.

3. Combine cream cheese and sugar in the bowl of a stand-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 heavy cream and vanilla, blend until smooth and creamy

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6. Add Nutella and mix until fully incorporated – you will probably need to scrape the bottom of the bowl with a spatula to fully incorporate

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7. Cut Ferrero Rocher in half in place on bottom of crust

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8. Pour Nutella mixture over the crust

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9. Bang on counter a few times to bring all bubbles to the top.  Place pan into a larger pan and pour boiling water into the larger pan until halfway up the side of the cheesecake pan. If cheesecake pan is not airtight, cover bottom securely with foil before adding water.

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10. Bake approximately 1 hour, 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.

The next day…

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As good as it looks, it’s too simple for me, I can’t just leave it like this.  Time to spruce it up a tad!

Nutella Ganache

1/4 cup cream
1 cup Nutella

Directions:

1. In a heavy bottom sauce pan, heat up cream

2. Pour over Nutella and stir until smooth

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It looks like it is ruined – keep stirring…

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It will come together

20141012_1222383. Pour over the cold cheesecake

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It will drip down the sides – it’s almost like art, this excites me, haha

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4. Cut Ferrero Rochers in half and place on top – return to fridge to chill

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Oh My Goodness!

This was delicious!

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It was creamy.  It was rich. It was sweet. It was chocolatey. It was smooth.  It was perfect!

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The Nutella was an amazing flavour addition to the cheesecake. The chocolate flavour came through, but you could also taste a hint of the hazelnut.  It was so creamy and smooth.  The addition of the Ferrero Rochers within the cheesecake added a slight crunch, but not with each bite.  The Nutella Ganache was divine!  I can see making it to put on other desserts, or to top ice cream with.

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All the cheesecake eaters loved this!  I will agree, it was freaking fabulous! I have no complaints or thoughts about what I should do differently.  Luckily, I bought the chocolates and Nutella at Costco, soooo there are lots left to make another! 😀

 

German Chocolate Cheesecake

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Mom and Dad were having company this week and asked if I would make a dessert.  She knew she wanted a cheesecake but could not decide on a flavour.  When I asked what she was looking for she only said “make something ooey and gooey’, instantly I thought of German Chocolate Cake, but in a cheesecake.  She loves my German Chocolate Cake and quickly agreed!  I had never made a German Chocolate Cheesecake, but I had made a German chocolate Cake as well as a chocolate cheesecake, so I just combined the two.

I used my favourite cheesecake recipe and added some chocolate then topped it with the pecan frosting from my German Chocolate Cake.

German Chocolate Cheesecake

Cheesecake:
3 sticks of cream cheese, 8 oz each
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1 cup heavy cream
1 tbsp. lemon juice
1 tbsp. vanilla extract

DIRECTIONS:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Begin to boil a large pot of water for the water bath.

2. In a double boiler melt 8 oz of semi sweet chocolate – set aside to cool

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3.. Mix together the crust ingredients and press into your preferred pan. You can press the crust just into the bottom, or up the sides of the pan too – baker’s choice. Set crust aside.

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4. Combine cream cheese and sugar in the bowl of a stand-mixer and cream together until smooth.

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

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7. Prepare your spring form pan for a water bath.  I wrap in parchment and tinfoil

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8. Combine melted chocolate and cheesecake batter – stir until well combined

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9.  Pour batter into prepared crust and tap the pan on the counter a few times to bring all air bubbles to the surface. Place pan into a larger pan and pour boiling water into the larger pan until halfway up the side of the cheesecake pan. If cheesecake pan is not airtight, cover bottom securely with foil before adding water.

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10. 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.

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COCONUT PECAN FROSTING

1 can (14 oz.) sweetened condensed milk
3 egg yolks, slightly beaten
1/2 cup butter or margarine
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1-1/3 cups Sweetened Coconut Flakes
1 cup chopped pecans

Directions

1. Stir together sweetened condensed milk, egg yolks and butter in a medium saucepan.

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2. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until mixture is thickened and bubbly.

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3. Remove from heat; stir in vanilla, coconut and pecans.

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4. Cool to room temperature.

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Assembly

The next day (yes, the next day! Waiting for cheesecake is horrid!)  spread frosting on top of cheesecake and decorate with your favourite chocolate frosting

IMG_2878Look at that! A think of beauty!

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I think I said this the last time I made a cheesecake (turtle tuxedo cheesecake with a twist), but this was the best cheesecake I have ever made!  Everything came out just perfect! The cheesecake was so smooth and creamy with a decadent chocolate flavour.  The pecan frosting was the perfect consistency, just a little ‘drippage’. It was one of those times where you take a bite, close your eyes and say ‘oh my God!’ It was amazing! It was a huge hit at the dinner.  Dad does not like coconut so he scraped the topping off and still ate the delicious cheesecake.  Not sure I can top this one, though I will continue to try 🙂