cheesecakes


How many times have I said that Cheesecake is my fave dessert?  Probably more times than you want to hear.  When the theme of Divine Desserts came up I knew exactly what I was making.

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PEANUT BUTTER CHEESECAKE TART WITH PEANUT PRALINE

Cheesecake.  Peanut Butter.  Praline.  YES!!  Super simple to make.  A nice chocolate cake/cookie bottom piled high with whipped and sour cream a tasty peanut butter filling topped with chocolate ganache, melted PB and peanut praline brittle.  So, no I didn’t make the praline.  And we didn’t care for topping the cake with whipped and sour cream.  But the melted PB brought out the flavor of the cheesecake and the ganache complimented the chocolate crust.  The only reason I didn’t make the praline – no DEMERARA SUGAR .  The brittle worked just fine.  I was mostly interested in just the cheesecake any way.  

We really enjoyed this cake.  I got to use my ‘deep dish’ tart pan my daughter gifted me a couple of years back.  It was perfect for this divine dessert.

The recipe can be found on Donna’s website.

For more sweets visit Wednesdays with Donna Hay – Divine Desserts.

And if you want to join in the themes are listed through the end of August.  Just find a recipe to fit the theme.  Blog and send us your link under Comments.  Love to have you.

And not just any cheese cake.  Ellie’s Mini Cheesecakes with Strawberries.  And Blueberries.

The theme this week for Eating with Ellie was Red, White, Or Blue.  But since it was the Fourth –  our most important American holiday celebration – I just couldn’t pass up the chance to go  Red, White, AND Blue!!

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This is a no-bake cheesecake with  a graham cracker crust. The little cheesecakes are made in muffin cups so 1 is just perfect for a quick sweet bite.  And since Cheesecake is one of my fave desserts it wasn’t hard to make this one.

Since there are no eggs in this recipe you just have to mix up the ingredients and pour the batter into the cups over the baked crusts.  Easy Peasy!

Ellie tops her cheesecakes with sliced strawberries.  There weren’t any decent ones in the store so I mixed in some home-made strawberry jam and topped with some blueberries instead.  And on some I just topped with strawberry jam and blueberries.  You can never have enough red white and blue.

The only thing wrong with these – the crust gets soggy after a couple of days in the fridge.

The recipe is from Ellie’s Comfort Food Fix  {page 266) .  Each cheese cake is only 250 calories. {And since I used Splenda instead of sugar you can take off 43 calories.  But hten I added in about 1/4 cup of strawberry jam, so maybe it evened out…..}

Check out the rest of Red, White, or Blue on Eating with Ellie!

I have found my new go-to CHEESECAKE.  Over the years I have had several recipes that I have used.  Junior’s, AB’s, Dorie’s.  And it seems every time I try a new one it becomes the best one.  Well, let me tell ya’ THIS one is it!  Probably!

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Rich! Creamy! Rich!  Yes, that’s twice but it is THAT RICH!! And then drizzled with a little caramel! YES!!!

Crust

      1 cup graham cracker crumbs

 

      3 T granulated sugar

 

    5 T unsalted butter, melted

Filling

      1 lb (two packages) cream cheese (not reduced fat)

 

      8 oz mascarpone cheese

 

      1 cup granulated sugar

 

      4 large eggs

 

      2 large egg yolks

 

      2 tsp vanilla extract (or vanilla paste)

 

      1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

 

      grated zest of one lemon

 

    1/4 cup plus 2 T heavy cream

Combine the ingredients for the crust and press into a 9 inch springform pan. Bake at 325 for 8 to 10 minutes, until lightly browned, and set aside to cool.

Bring a pot of water to boil for a bath.  Combine the cheeses and sugar in your stand mixer and beat at low speed to mix, then raising to medium speed.  Beat for three minutes until light and smooth.  In a bowl, beat the eggs and the extra yolks. Add the lemon juice and slowly add to the cream cheese mixture, beating until combined, until there are no lumps. Add the lemon zest and the heavy cream and mix until well combined.

Wrap the springform pan in foil to prevent leaks.  Boil water in a pot (you should have started this before hand) and create a water bath. Put the springform pan in the water bath so that it goes up halfway on the sides of the pan on the outside. Fill the filling inside the cheesecake and bake for one hour at 325 until set and a light golden brown.

Allow to cool in the water bath, as the water cools (so it cools slowly and does not crack {mine still cracked a little around the edge}). Then refrigerate and serve chilled.   {ad hoc page 313}

I looked everywhere for Mascarpone but was unable to find it.  Tags for it, yes, cartons of it, no.  So I made my own and it came out just fine.

THIS is one of the best cheese cakes to come out of my kitchen. You HAVE to try this one if you love cheesecake!

 “I’m linking this post with Cookbook Countdown hosted by Kitchen Flavours and Emily’s Cooking (Makan2).

Debbie does DELICIOUS!!!

    In more ways than I can count!

And lucky for me she was my assignment for June’s Secred Recipe Club.
For once I did not have any trouble picking a recipe. I WANT to do ALL of them!! But since I only had two weeks and there are TONS of delicious, healthy recipes on Deb’s site, I had to settle for two, or maybe three…

Before we start with the Recipes…Debbie of Debbie does Dinner is a mom and home cook who decided that dieting was the pits unless you had good tasting food. She has adapted and developed tons of recipes that are healthy, delicious, and lower in calorie. Thanks, Debbie. These are just what I needed.


Okay, now for the food!! Breakfast: A Breakfast Smoothie to be exact. With lots of fruit and dairy and SPINACH!! Yeah, I know what some of you are thinking. SPINACH? In a smoothie? But it totally works. AND it means more fiber and protein. Yep!

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All those beautiful healthy colors!!

    10 strawberries
    1 banana
    1 handful of blueberries (or blackberries)
    6 oz. low fat plain yogurt
    1/4 cup low fat milk
    1 big handful of baby spinach

Put all of the ingredients into a blender and mix until you reach desired texture. If you want it cold and icier, freeze the fruit before putting in the blender. {I used all frozen fruit.}
While I make smoothies quite often I have never put spinach in one. There were lots of little pieces of green, red, and blue from the spinach and berries. Great start for the day. {Original Recipe}

And Dinner meant QUINOA. Debbie has several quinoa recipes on the site. If I had had some Sun-dried tomatoes I would have made this one but the Mexican Quinoa was awesome.

P1040409Mexican Quinoa

    1 medium onion, chopped
    3 cloves garlic, minced
    1/2 cup yellow corn
    2 tsp. cumin
    2 tsp dried cilantro
    2 cups quinoa, rinsed
    3 cups veggie broth
    1 can diced tomatoes
    1 tsp. oregano
    Salt and pepper

Boil the onion in about 1/4 cup of veggie broth in a large saucepan.
When it is soft add the garlic, cumin and chili powder and cook for about a minute. Add the quinoa, broth, diced tomatoes, corn, oregano, salt and pepper.
Bring to a boil then reduce the heat, cover and simmer until the quinoa is tender and the liquid has been absorbed, about 15 minutes.

Lots of wonderful flavors in this one. The only change was to add some corn and put some dried cilantro IN the saucepan with the other ingredients. It was a tasty side. For lunch the next day I added some diced roasted chicken. YUMYY!

And Dessert! Of Course!

And lucky for us she had a cheese cake recipe. Lucky because that is our favorite dessert. And then, even better, it had PEANUT BUTTER and CHOCOLATE!!

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Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake

    Filling:
    2 (8 oz) bars cream cheese {Lower cal with fat-free}
    3 eggs
    3 egg yolks {I used Egg Beaters}
    1 cup Splenda
    1/2 cup fat free sour cream
    1 cup creamy peanut butter

    Topping:1 cup fat free sour cream
    1 cup milk chocolate chips
    2 tbsp. light brown sugar

DUMP all the ingredients into a food processor. Process until it becomes a silky smooth mixture.
Pour the filling into a springform pan (9″ or 8″) and bake for 1 hour to 1 hour 5 minutes.
Remove the pan from the the oven and place it aside allowing it to cool just a bit.
Warm the sour cream and milk chocolate with the brown sugar in a small saucepan over low heat. Gently whisk to blend in the chocolate as it melts, then take the pan off the heat.
Gently pour topping on top of cheesecake and put back into the oven for about 15 minutes.
Cool cheesecake completely before eating. The chocolate topping will harden in the fridge.
Debbie’s original cheese cake had a crust but I made mine crustless. {Original Recipe}

I have so many of Debbie’s recipes pinned. It was hard to pick and I still have to try:

Just to name a few.


So hop (Get it – Blog HOP) on over to Debbie’s blog and try some of her DELICIOUS! recipes.


I know I have said it before. Cheesecake is my favorite dessert. Ever! The creamy concoction of cream cheese, flour, eggs with various and sundry other ingredients depending on whose recipe you use. I have my faves – Junior’s is always good. AB has a good one. And I have one I found EONS ago that has become my go to. Dorie’s is also good. I haven’t found a cheesecake yet I don’t care for. This weeks Tuesday with Dorie/Baking With Julia recipe was a cheesecake with an ingredient I have not used before – Mascarpone Cheese. It is not something I buy very often. Not unless I have a recipe that actually calls for it. I had a potato recipe that called for 2TBL so when I bought it I knew eventually I would use the rest. So thank you BwJ for this weeks cheesecake.

I usually make 1/2 or 1/4 of baking recipes these days because with just the two of us we don’t need a lot of sweets. But we were going to friend’s for dinner so I made the full recipe. Instead of one cake I made 12 bite-sized and a 4″. Perfect!

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While good, it wasn’t my fave. And it rose so much it just about overflowed all my pans.

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You can see it cracked. A lot! So no party for this cake.

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The recipe called for all the chocolate to completely mixed into the batter until no white showed, but I like a swirled cheesecake so I only mixed it some. It didn’t affect the taste, just how it looked.

I don’t think I will make this one again. But visit with the other Doristas and see how they liked it.

The recipe is on page 256 of Dorie’s Baking with Julia and was contributed to the book by David Ogonowski

If I had to only have one dessert ever again it would be cheesecake. It is what I get out most often as not if they have it. Any kind of cheesecake. Any flavor is fine. Just as long as it’s cheesecake. So, when I needed to pick a cake to ‘host’ for Modern Baker Challenge I chose the……

    and I am glad I did.

They are adaptable to just about any flavor. You don’t feel bad about eating a whole one (especially if you make them sugar-free) and there is plenty of room in the fridge to store them easily. I made these back in August but completely failed to take enough pictures for ‘hosting’ so I was FORCED to go back and make them again. Yes, twist my arm!! The full recipe will yield 8 – 10 individual cheesecakes depending on the size of your ramekins. Mine were 3″ and 1/2 of the recipe resulted in 3 nice sized cheesecakes.

Nick’s cheesecakes are super easy with only 5 ingredients

    super quick as well.

Cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla are mixed up first. Then the eggs go in one at a time. Add the sour cream and you are done!

Just spoon the batter into the molds and bake about 25 minutes.

Easy!! Quick!! Delicious.

Malgieri suggested serving them with berries so the first time I made them I served them with a blueberry coulis,

but this time I drizzled them with caramel sauce.

I beat the batter more than Malgieri suggested and ended up with a lighter less dense cheesecake which we really enjoyed. And since I used Splenda instead of sugar I didn’t feel quite as guilty about eating A WHOLE CHEESECAKE after dinner.

You can find the recipe on page 264 of Nick Malgieri’s the Modern Baker. We are in the last section for this book, cakes, but there is still time to join in. Just visit The Modern Baker Challenge and bake along. We will finish the end of December. And then, well who knows!!!

Back in June Phyl sent out a notice that he was doing an Ice Cream Week “right smack in the Dog Days of Summer“. Lots of us said we would join in and then promptly several of us forgot. Well, I did, anyway!! Thankfully I was reminded on Twitter that the Ice Cream Week was fast approaching so Into the kitchen I went. I wanted to make some different ice creams than I had before so after some lengthy research I came up with some new recipes. Some of them are mine, some adapted, some straight from other bloggers.

The first Ice Cream up was labeled as Summer Fruit. Many fruits came to mind but I decided on Blueberries. I didn’t want a blueberry ice cream but rather an ice cream with a Blueberry Swirl. I found lots of recipes but decided to simply use some ideas I had already had while baking some cakes, crumbles, and pies.

    Blueberry Swirl Cheesecake Crumble Ice Cream


BLUEBERRY SWIRL: {adapted from Kokocooks}

    1 cup fresh blueberries
    3 Tbs sugarSplenda
    1 Tbs cornstarch
    1 Tbs water
    1 tsp fresh lemon juice

In a small saucepan, crush the blueberries with a potato masher. Stir in the sugar. Set over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. While the blueberries are heating up, form a slurry by stirring together the cornstarch and water in a small bowl. Add the slurry to the blueberries, stirring constantly. Continue stirring for one minute as the mixture thickens up. Remove from heat and stir in the lemon juice. Pour blueberry mixture into a heatproof bowl, cover, and chill until cooled. Keep in refrigerator until ready to add to the ice cream.


CHEESECAKE ICE CREAM
: {adapted from Kokocooks}

    6 oz. block cream cheese, softened
    ¾ c superfine sugar Splenda
    ½ c sour cream
    1 ½ c heavy cream
    Pinch kosher salt
    3 Tbs fresh squeezed lemon juice
    ¼ tsp vanilla extract

In a medium bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth. Add sugar and continue to beat until fluffy. Add the sour cream, heavy cream, salt, lemon juice, and vanilla and beat until smooth. Cover and chill overnight.

CRUMB TOPPING: {adapted from Nick Malgieri’s Blueberry Crumb Cake}

    2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (spoon flour into dry-measure cup and level off)
    1 teaspoon baking powder
    1/3 cup sugar
    1/3 cup light brown sugar
    1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
    1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
    12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted.

Mix the flour, baking powder, sugars, cinnamon and nutmeg in a bowl. Melt the butter and stir it in evenly. Rub the mixture to coarse crumbs by hand. Spread mixture on buttered foil and bake for about 8 minutes at 350 degrees until browned and crunchy.

When ready to churn, remove mixture from refrigerator. Whisk a little to make sure the mixture has no lumps. Churn in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. When Ice Cream is almost finished churning pour in the crumb topping and a few fresh blueberries. When the ice cream has finished churning spoon into a container. Spoon the blueberry mixture into the bowl and mix just enough to swirl through the ice cream. Freeze until hardened.

I had made Cheesecake Ice Cream before but with Strawberries. Blueberries sounded like a good mix. And earlier this summer I had made Malgieri’s Blueberry Crumb Cake {post to come}. I wrote on the page that the topping would make a good ice cream topping. So why not put it IN the ice cream instead. And so we have this lovely, fruity, crunchy ice cream.

I did have one problem with the ice cream. It never did soften enough to scoop. It seems to be more of a slice-and-eat ice cream. So, sorry, no pics of a pretty scoop of ice cream it a cute little bowl. Was good though.

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