Monday, October 15, 2012

Chocolate Velvet Cheesecake

This recipe courtesy of the Velveteen Rabbit, obviously.  Actually it's from a cheesecake recipe book that my mom has, which has been loved to near-death (just like the Velveteen Rabbit!).  I changed the instructions only very slightly, because I have discovered that the less you (over)beat this cake, the less likely it is to crack in the end.

Crust of your choice, pressed into bottom of 10in springform pan.  (Preferably made with chocolate cookies, ground and mixed with melted butter.  There are many recipes on the internet for this sort of thing, or you can wing it.)

12 ounces semisweet chocolate, in small chunks (if this doesn't say "good chocolate chips" to you, it should)
2 T butter
1.5 lbs cream cheese, chunked, at room temp
1.5 cups heavy cream
1 t vanilla extract
1 c sugar
3 eggs at room temp
2 T cocoa powder

Preheat oven to 350F.  Melt chocolate and butter carefully, stirring until smooth.  Set aside to cool.

Cream the cream cheese in mixer until completely smooth.  Scrape down sides of bowl and add chocolate, beat slowly until mostly mixed.  

Mix on medium speed for the following, and scrape down the sides of the bowl every couple minutes/between additions:
Gradually add cream and vanilla, beat until mostly blended.  
Gradually add sugar, beat until mostly blended.  
Add eggs, 1 at a time, beat until fully blended.  

Sieve cocoa powder over batter, stir in until fully mixed.

Pour into crust, smooth top.  Gently shake pan to destroy air pockets.  Bake 30 minutes, then reduce temp to 325 and bake another 30 minutes.  (KEEP OVEN CLOSED.)  Turn oven off, prop door slightly ajar, and let stand for 30 minutes longer.  Move cake to wire rack away from drafts, let cool for until room temp, then refrigerate until eating.  Cake will likely crack during cooling, which can only be fixed by covering it with fruit/ganache/whipped cream/other disastrous fates.  Cake improves with age (24-48 hours ideal), and is best (IMHO) if it warms up on the counter for a bit before you eat it.

It cracked as it cooled, but was still scrumptious!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Chocolate Pumpkin Chess Pie with gingersnap crust

There will be no pictures because the pie was eaten before I could take them. Seriously. It's that good.
This was the dessert for my father-in-law's surprise 60'th birthday dinner.  It was such a huge hit that they made me leave the table to go write the recipe down before I forgot it.  Needless to say I kinda made the whole thing up as I went along. :-p

~1.5 cups crushed gingersnaps
4 Tbls melted butter

Preheat oven to 350. Crush gingersnaps to almost powder. Slowly mix in butter until the mixture, when packed together, will form a loose ball.  Press mixture into 9" pie tin.  Bake for 8 minutes and let cool completely before adding filling.

Pie Filling
4 Large Eggs
2 Large Egg Yolks
1.5c Granulated Sugar
2.5 Tbls Cornmeal
1/4c Whole Cream
1/4c Pumpkin Puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
1/2 tsp Salt
1.5 tsp Vanilla extract
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
3 Tbls Fudge sauce (recipe to follow)

Fudge Sauce
1/2c chocolate chips
3 Tbls butter
1/4c Whole Cream

-Melt Chocolate chips and butter in a small bowl in the microwave on medium power for 1 minute intervals. When mostly melted add cream and return to microwave until able to be stirred smooth.

Filling Directions:
Preheat oven to 350. Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl using electric beaters or a whisk.  Make sure it's all smooth. Add filling to pie crust and bake at 350 for 45-50 minutes or until middle barely jiggles.  You may need to cover it in foil after 30 mins to keep crust edges from burning.