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Chocolate Wasted Cupcakes

Chocolate Wasted Cupcakes| Licious FoodIt’s that time again … yep, I am talking about my birthday. Another year older and all that jazz. Happy to be alive and such but the getting older not so much. Father Time and I have a love/hate relationship.

I know it shouldn’t be about gifts but I do love them so! Hi, my name is Jennifer and I love gifts, lots and lots of gifts. Big surprise. My birthday was a couple Fridays ago and I spent it going to a second job interview while also doing nothing.  On the positive, I did not cry hysterically and mope in the bed. I’m known to do that. This year hasn’t been what I expected but when does life ever go according to plan? Seriously.

Let me tell you what did go according to plan, these cupcakes. In my Dave Chappelle voice, “It’s rich, bitch!” Can you tell I watch alot of tv? I do, I totally do. I own it.

The cake portion is dark chocolate and moist, great flavor. When coffee is added to chocolate you know it’s going to be a great thing. The next step in this “wasted” glory is dark chocolate cheesecake filling – thanks Kraft Philadelphia Dark Chocolate Indulgence! Finally topped with a Caramel Chocolate Ganache. Oh. Em. GEEEEEEE. This Ganache is the Holy Grail of Goodness and possibly “diabeetus”.

Cooking Fail alert!  The caramel the first time was cooked too long so when I added the cream it turned into a “hard crack”. I lost a good whisk to the Hard Crack Tragedy of 2012. RIP.  Cooking on electric sucks at times. Feels like Goldilocks trying out the three bears’ porridge; “It’s too hot”, “It’s too cold”, and sometimes I get “it’s just right.”

Chocolate Wasted Cupcake is worth all the trouble and then some since the taste had me talking in tongues and exclaiming to myself, “damn, I’m good!” Modest Mouse that’s me. :)

So to all my fellow Virgos, “Happy Birthday!”

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Chocolate Wasted Cupcakes
Makes 12

Chocolate Cupcakes
Adapted from Sweetapolita Classic One Bowl Chocolate Cupcakes

Ingredients
3/4 cup all purpose flour
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup dark cocoa powder ( I used Hershey’s Special Dark)
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon Birds Custard Powder (if no custard powder, cornstarch)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 ounce Unsweetened Chocolate, melted
1/3 cup sour cream, room temperature
1/4 cup plus 1 Tablespoon brewed coffee, hot
3 tablespoons vegetable Oil
1 egg, room temperature
1/2 tablespoon Vanilla Extract

Directions:  Preheat oven to 350. Melt your unsweetened chocolate in microwave. Line your cupcake/muffin pan with cupcake liners, set aside. I typically set my microwave to power level 5 aka 50% and start with 1 minute and 30 seconds and increase by 10 seconds until melted. Sift all the dry ingredients together into a large mixing bowl or your stand mixer bowl(Flour to Salt). Add all wet ingredients to dry mix and mix/blend with your mixer until incorporated, approximately 3 to 5 minutes. Place batter into the cupcake liners; fill the batter half way. Bake cupcakes approximately 14 to 17 minutes. Once you start smelling Chocolate goodness check them to see if they are ready. I use the toothpick trick to test my cupcakes. Let the cupcakes cool; approximately one hour to one-half hour.

Whipped Chocolate Ganache Frosting
Recipe from The Boy Who Bakes

Ingredients
8 ounces of dark chocolate (60-70% Cocoa Content), chopped
3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/8 cup water
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
1 cup unsalted butter, chopped/cubed

Directions:  In a large glass or metal bowl (heatproof) place chopped chocolate and set aside. In a small saucepan add sugar, corn syrup, and water. Cook until it starts to bubble or registers 350F on candy thermometer (5 to 8 minutes). Remove from heat and let cool for one minute. While stirring the sugar syrup mixture add the whipping cream and stir for additional two minutes. Pour caramel cream mixture over the chocolate. Let the chocolate melt; approximately 5 to 7 minutes. Stir caramel and chocolate together until mixed well. Using either your hand mixer or stand mixer whip butter into the chocolate caramel. It should resemble mousse; a light and airy texture. If you can’t get that airy texture place the ganache creation to the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes and then try whipping it to get that mousse like texture.

Assembly of Cupcakes
1. Core the center of cupcakes out. Keep the cored pieces to either use as garnish (cake crumbles) or just add it back to the cupcake once you pipe the cheesecake filling into the cupcake.

2. Take the Philadelphia Dark Chocolate Indulgence and place into a sandwich bag. Snip off a corner and pipe the cheesecake filling into the cupcake.

3. In a large pastry bag with your favorite tip add the whipped ganache and pipe onto the cupcakes. Voila! Serve promptly or refrigerate until ready to eat. These cupcakes will need to be refrigerated!

Notes: Room temperature sour cream. I simply take out the measured sour cream and set on counter 30 minutes prior to baking. Room temperature egg – I place egg in hot tap water for five minutes prior to baking.

Chocolate Cheesecake

Chocolate Cheesecake v3

I have been waiting until Autumn to try my hand at Cheesecake. Cheesecake is a fantastic, rich, and yummy dessert – a dessert meant for cooler months.  Maybe it is just me – in the Spring/Summer I want light things like salad and sorbet and in the Fall/Winter I want soup and cheesecake.  There are (of course) exceptions to my rules – Jen’s prerogative.

I haven’t made a Cheesecake from scratch in some time, and when I did it cracked or was somewhat gelatinous in the middle (uck!) – typical rookie Cheesecake mistakes (from what I have read online).  This time I was ready – I studied all the tips in regards to Cheesecake baking – I will not be outsmarted by a Cheesecake (at least that is what I told myself)!

Perusing the cheesecake recipes that I had in my binders – I have binders of recipes that I have collected over a long period time – deciding to keep it simple I chose Chocolate Cheesecake. I love all things Chocolate – have not met a piece of Chocolate that I haven’t liked. Even with my Mom telling me Chocolate was the source of my acne problems during the teen years and few adult years, I refuse to give up the chocolate.  Quite simply, chocolate makes me happy and that is always a good thing!

Truly this is a simple recipe and I attempted to make it lower in calories by substituting Neufchâtel cheese for Cream Cheese and Reduced Fat Sour Cream for regular sour cream and that’s where the substitutions ended.  These changes do not compromise the taste in my honest opinion; just makes me feel a little less guilty for indulging.   The end result should be a creamy dense chocolate concoction that you may or may not want to share! There is always Cheesecake Pops with what you can’t finish!

Until Next Time,

Jennifer

Chocolate Cheesecake

Adapted from Nabisco World’s Oreo Chocolate Cheesecake

Ingredients
38 Chocolate Sandwich Cookies, divided

5 Tablespoons butter or margarine, melted

5 ounces of Bittersweet Chocolate (I used Ghirardelli 60% Bittersweet Chocolate)

1 package – 8 ounces Neufchâtel cheese

½ cup of sugar

½ cup Reduced Fat Sour Cream

2 eggs

1 teaspoon Vanilla Bean Paste

1 teaspoon Cocoa Powder

½ teaspoon of espresso *

Directions

Preheat your oven to 325F (300F if using a dark nonstick Springform pan).  Wrap aluminum foil around the bottom of the Springform pan.

Crush 24 cookies, finely with a food processor. Mix the crushed cookies and butter together and press into a 9 inch springform pan.  Stand the remainder cookies around the inside edge of the springform pan, press them firmly into the cookie crust; set aside.

Melt chocolate in a microwave safe bowl for approximately 1 minute and 30 seconds on 50% Power; since every microwave is different adjust accordingly. Set melted chocolate aside.

Beat Neufchâtel cheese and sugar until blended well.  Add sour cream, eggs, vanilla, cocoa powder, and espresso to the mixture and mix well.  Add melted chocolate to mixture and mix well.

Pour mixture over the crust, you will then set the Springform pan with unbaked cheesecake in a larger baking pan/dish.  Place cheesecake in the oven and before closing pour hot water in the baking pan/dish so it surrounds the cheesecake.  Bake cheesecake for 40 to 45 minutes.

Cool Cheesecake until its cool; approximately 1 hour and a half.  Refrigerate cheesecake for at least 4 hours.  Garnish with your favorite accoutrements – whip cream, chocolate curls, chocolate drizzle, fresh berries, mint … and serve!

* Espresso ~ ½  teaspoon of instant Espresso powder and ½ teaspoon of hot water; mixed.  Coffee is also suitable. *

Strawberry Season!!!!

Posted on

I have been neglectful, I went away for vacation to my most favorite place on earth … LA (yeah, I said LA). The dream is to actually move there by the end of 2010 but that is not what this post is about at all. It’s about strawberries (Strawberry season is in effect, YEAH BABY!), cheesecake, and chocolate!!!! Together they are orgasmic!

I was pondering what my post should be about and inspiration struck when I had some left over cheesecake filling and graham cracker crust. Now, I took a shortcut … I used box cheesecake (not my normal M.O.) however, it served my purpose. I also added a chocolate drizzle to the finished product and if you love chocolate dipped strawberries you know what an effect chocolate can have to a strawberry. Instead of scooping out the strawberries as the directions stated I cut a “V” section out of the strawberry and simply used a plastic sandwich bag to pipe the cheesecake filling into the strawberry. Easy, simple, and Yummy!

Thanks to the California Strawberry Commission for the recipe and inspiration!
Strawberry Cheesecake Bites

Happy Eating!

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