Chocolate Cheesecake

April 2, 2015 by braytonbb

I am not sure why I have never had much luck with cheesecake, but this chocolate cheesecake turns out great every time. I have always made cheesecake in a water bath but this one doesn’t call for it. If you are not a chocolate fan, this recipe may not be for you. Covered with a chocolate ganache topping is just fine with me, but it is very rich and decadent so be prepared to be overwhelmed with goodness! Also, cheesecake is always best the next day so plan on two days for this goody.

Chocolate Cheesecake with Ganache Topping – Serves 12 generously chocolate cheesecake

Crust- 9 oz. of finely crushed Oreo cookies and 6 TB of melted butter

Filling – 10 oz.  Ghiradelli 60% Cacao Bittersweet chocolate chips(I have used Nestle semi sweet which is fine, but better chocolate always makes a better product!), 4- 8oz. packages cream cheese at room temp, 1 1/4 C sugar, 1/4 C Ghiradelli unsweetened cocoa (same goes here for brand), and 4 Large room temp eggs.

Topping – 3/4 whipping cream, 5 oz. Ghiradelli chocolate chips and 1 TB sugar

Spray a 10″ springform pan with high sides. Mix your finely crushed Oreo cookies with melted butter and press into the bottom of your springform pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 5 minutes.

While your crust is cooling, melt 10oz. of chocolate chips in the microwave until smooth. You should stir every 30 seconds to prevent from burning. While chocolate is cooling, blend cream cheese, sugar, and cocoa powder until smooth. Make sure there are not any lumps! Pour in chocolate. Add eggs one at a time until blended but do not overblend! Pour cheesecake filling over crust, smooth top and bake for 1 hour until sides are hour and center still looks a bit soft. Do not attempt to open oven door to check on cheesecake! Once done, turn oven off, open oven door and let cheesecake cook until at room temp. Once cool, run knife around the outside of cheesecake between pan to loosen. Cover tightly and chill in fridge overnight.

A few over before serving, make topping. Stir cream, 5 oz. chocolate and sugar in a saucepan over low heat until smooth. Pour over center of cheesecake but leaving edges bare. Chill until topping is set. When ready to serve, remove sides of springform pan.

Hints: If cheesecake cracks in the middle, no worries it will be covered up by the ganache.

To prevent cracking, use room temp. products, do not over beat eggs, and do not open oven door. Cheesecake needs to be cooled gradually. Opening oven door or cooling to quickly are sure ways to crack cake. Of course it will still taste great, but if you are going to go through the work, be patient!


Black Forest Mini Cheesecakes

February 5, 2015 by braytonbb

February in my opinion, is the perfect time to make these Black Forest Mini Cheesecakes. February is National Cherry Month and with Valentines Day around the corner, these sweet little desserts for perfect to show someone how much you love them. I borrowed this recipe off of the Cooking Classy website and will be making often. These miniature versions are hard to resist since you only get a few bites, which doesn’t seem like quite enough. This recipe is super easy, but you do have to have plenty of time for them to set up, so don’t expect to throw this together quickly.

Black Forest Mini Cheesecakes – Serves 18 Black Forest Mini cheesecakes

Crust- Crushed Oreos and 1 1/2 TB butter melted. I bought Crush Oreos off of the shelf and figured 1 heaping TB per regular muffin cup.

Cheesecake – 3/4 C semi sweet chocolate chips or chopped chocolate, melted and cooled slightly, 2/3 C sugar, 2 TB cocoa powder, pinch of salt, 12 oz. cream cheese, 2 LG eggs, 1 tsp. vanilla, 1/4 C heavy cream, and 1/4 C sour cream.

Topping – Canned Cherry Pie Filling, 1 1/4 C heavy cream, 2 1/2 TB sugar, and shaved chocolate(decoration)

For the crust, preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a mixing bowl, blend Oreo cookie crumbs and butter. Divide mixture among 18 regular sized paper lined muffin tins. Bake 5 minutes and allow to cool.

For the cheesecake filling, whisk together 2/3 C sugar, cocoa, and salt until smooth. Add cream cheese to sugar/cocoa mixture and whip until creamy and smooth. Mix in eggs one at a time, blending until combined. Add vanilla. Pour in melted chocolate and mix. Add 1/4 C heavy cream and sour cream and mix again. Divide mixture among cookie lined muffins cups about 3/4 full. Bake 20 minutes. Remove and allow to cool at room temp for 1 hour, then cover with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for 2 more hours.

For the topping, Whip 1/4 C heavy cream until soft peaks form. Add 1/2 TB sugar and whip until stiff peaks form.  Spread a thin later over chilled cheesecakes and then pipe a rim around the edge to hold the filling. Spoon a heaping amount of cherry pie filling  in the center of the cheesecake. Sprinkle shaved chocolate over the cheesecake to dress up.  Store covered until ready to enjoy.

Margarita Cheesecake

May 8, 2014 by braytonbb

Margaritas are one of those beverages that many people make, but they tend to always taste different. Nothing beats a good margarita on a hot summer day though, but did you know that they are the most caloric alcoholic beverage there is to consume. Well, that takes a little fun out of it. Most of those calories comes from the simple syrup though. For those that know me, I am always looking for alternatives so agave and me have become good friends when it comes to sweetening your favorite recipes. Sugar free triple sec also tastes just as good without all those sugar calories. Give it try and see what you think the next time to whip up a batch.
Since Cinco De Mayo was on Monday, I wanted to make a dessert over the weekend that celebrated this wonderful holiday, so margarita cheesecake sounded like just the thing to celebrate with.  For this recipe I used regular ingredients without cutting out any of the calories, but I have made it both ways by using light cream cheese, sour cream, sugar free triple sec and agave. It is a little lighter but still excellent! If you can, give yourself a day to prepare so you have time to chill before serving.
Margarita CheesecakePresenting:  Margarita Cheesecake- 10 slices. 
CRUST – 1 1/4 cups Graham Cracker crumbs, 1/4 cup sugar, and 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, melted. 
FILLING – 3/ 8-ounce cream cheese blocks at room temp., 1 1/4 cups sour cream, 3/4 C sugar, 3 1/2 TB triple sec, 3 1/2 TB tequila, 3 1/3 TB lime juice, and 3 large eggs.
TOPPING – 3/4 C sour cream, 2 TB lime juice, 2 tsp. grated lime peel (don’t be stingy), and 1 TB sugar.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray 10″ springform pan on the bottom and sides with nonstick spray.  Mix graham cracker crumbs with sugar and butter in medium bowl until blended. Press crumbs over bottom and 1 inch up sides of prepared pan. Refrigerate crust.

Beat cream cheese in large bowl until fluffy. Beat in sour cream, then sugar, triple sec, tequila and lime juice. Beat in eggs.
Pour filling into crust. Bake until the outside looks set but the center still  moves slightly, roughly about 50 minutes. Remove from oven and turn off the oven. Immediately start preparing the topping.
For the topping, whisk sour cream, lime juice, lime peel and sugar in small bowl to blend. Spread evenly over cheesecake. Return cheesecake to hot oven that has been turn off. Keep off! Let stand in warm oven for about 45 minutes. Cheesecake will look very soft, but it will set up once chilled.) Refrigerate until well chilled, at least 6 hours.
Run knife around pan sides. Remove pan sides. Place cake on platter.

Oreo Cheesecake Bites

February 13, 2014 by braytonbb

February is chocolate month, so as promised another chocolate recipe. Oreo Cheesecake Bites are so simple to throw together when you need something quick. They are also a great single serve item so its easy not to give yourself too much. At least if you can restrain yourself from not having more than one.

oreo cheesecake for twoThis recipe is only for two, but you can double, triple or make as much as you want.

2 oz. cream cheese, softened, 1 TB sugar, 1 square semi sweet baking chocolate, melted, 1/2 C cool whip and 2 Oreo cookies(mint is really tasty too).

Beat cream cheese, sugar and melted chocolate in a medium bowl with a whisk until blended and smooth.

Add whipping topping and mix well.

Place one cookie in the bottom of a paper muffin cup. Scoop or pipe cream cheese mixture over the cookie.

Serve right away or refrigerate for later.