Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Deep Dark Chocolate Cheesecake

While I enjoy an occasional piece of cheesecake it isn't a favorite.  A brownie or chocolate chip cookie would be the top of my dessert list.   This is Austin's birthday so I did something he would like, Mexican meal and a chocolate cheesecake for dessert.  I haven't made a chocolate cheesecake in about 30 years but this came out amazing.  The recipe comes from Bon Appetit  2006 from Jeanne Kelley.  I adapted it a bit, this is a cheese cake to feed a large crowd.  It is so rich and dense you'll want to serve very small pieces.

Deep Dark Chocolate Cheesecake
      (my adapted version)


Crust:  24 chocolate wafers (I substituted Oreos--good choice)
           1 T sugar  (I omitted this)
           1/4 c butter, melted


1-- 9 oz bar of your favorite semi-sweet chocolate
4 -- 8oz pkgs cream cheese @ room temperature
1 1/4 c sugar
1/4 c unsweetened cocoa powder
4 large eggs


3/4 c whipping cream
6 oz semi sweet chocolate
1 T sugar

For crust:
   preheat oven to 350°.  Butter 9" spring form pan or 13 x 9 pan.

Place all cookies and sugar in food processor until finely ground, then add melted butter and pulse till blended.  Press into pan and bake 5 minutes, let cool while making filling.


In double boiler melt chocolate till smooth, let cool till room temp.
Wipe out processor blend cream cheese, sugar and cocoa till well blended, then add eggs one at a time blending between each.  Mix in chocolate.  Pour mixture over crust and smooth out top.  Bake for about 1 hour or till just set, top will look dry.  Cool 5 min, run wet knife around edge to loosen from pan.  Refrigerate overnight ( I made it in the morning and refrigerated it about 6 hours)


In top of double boiler again melt chocolate with cream and sugar stirring well.  When melted, blended and smooth spread over top of cake to within 1/2 inch of cake edge.  Chill about 1 hour.  If using spring form you can now release sides and remove cake.  Cover with foil and keep refrigerated.

crumbs baked 5 min @ 350°
spread cream cheese layer over crumbs
bake about 1 hour @ 350°
let cool, run knife around edge (mainly to remove if
using springform pan), refrigerate overnight
spread topping to just short of edge, refrigerate 1 hour

top with some grated chocolate


a few of the crew stopped by

By the way,
it is a messy clean up!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Homemade Ice Cream

When I purchased my new Kitchenaid Mixer it came with a "rebate", not in money but in an attachment of an ice cream maker bowl.  Well I'm not going to turn down such an attachment, but had never planned to make homemade ice cream before this.  So I began the searches for the top ice cream recipes, the tips, the favorite flavors, ingredients, etc. I wanted something that sounded like a newbie like me could not mess it up.  David Lebovitz's blog came up with a recipe from Jenni's Splendid Ice Cream.  Having enjoyed reading his book "The Sweet Life in Paris" last year I went on his endorsement for this recipe.   I had convinced myself this was going to be one big mess but surprisingly it wasn't at all.  It turned out creamy, decadent, intense chocolate, so very good I will have to make it again.

Chocolate Ice Cream

1 c whole milk
4 t corn starch
1 c heavy cream
1 c evaporated milk
2/3 c sugar
2 T light corn syrup
1/3 c unsweetened cocoa powder, natural or dutch-process
3 oz bittersweet or semi sweet chocolate, chopped
1/4 t sea salt
1/2 t vanilla extract (or 1 t chocolate)


make a slurry of your corn starch and a little milk in a small bowl.

In a 4 qt saucepan heat the rest of the milk, cream, evaporated milk, sugar, corn syrup.  When mixture comes to a moderate boil, whisk in cocoa and let it cook at a moderate boil for 4 minutes.  After 4 minutes whisk in the slurry cook for one minute stirring constantly until slightly thickened.

Remove from heat stir in chopped chocolate and salt, stir until completely melted and smooth.  Stir in extract.

Pour mixture into ziploc bag, then submerge bag into a bowl filled with ice and let sit for 30 minutes.  I placed the whole bowl into the fridge, my kitchenaid directions kept stating how important it is to keep everything as cold as possible.

Remove bag from ice and pour mixture into your ice cream maker following their operational directions.  I squeezed the mixture away from one corner snipped the bag and was able to empty the bag into the maker easily.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Lemon Cookie

Lemon Crinkle Cookies
I needed something quick to make to take to a post tennis lunch, this fit the bill perfectly with all the ingredients on hand.  This recipe has been on many blogs, websites, pinterest, etc. after winning a cookie contest the news spread fast how good they are. Lauren's Latest  is the blogger who won the contest and started this Lemon Cookie craze.  Thank you Lauren!  They are quick & simple to make.  A couple changes I would make for my taste are I like more tart lemon flavor so will add some lemon extract and maybe even substitute it for the vanilla completely.  I love a good tart lemon taste, so will also add more zest.  This recipe makes 2-3 dozen I did get that many out of it but will double the recipe next time.  
Lemon Crinkle Cookies
1/2 c butter, softened
1 c granulated sugar
1/2 t vanilla
1 egg
1 t lemon zest
1 T lemon juice
1/4 t salt
1/4 t baking powder
1/8 t baking soda 
1 1/2 c flour
1/2 c powdered sugar


Preheat oven to 350° line cookie sheet with parchment.

In mixer bowl cream butter and sugar until light & fluffy.  Whip in vanilla, egg, lemon zest, & lemon juice scraping sides once.  Stir together salt, baking powder, baking soda, flour and add to mixer bowl.  Mix till combined, scrape sides, mix again.  Put powdered sugar into bowl.  Drop dough by teaspoonful into powdered sugar coating the whole ball of dough.  Place on baking sheet allowing room to spread.  Bake for 9-11 min or till bottom edges begin to brown.  I used a higher oven rack and it took the full 11 minutes for mine.  Let cookies sit a few minutes then transfer to cooling rack.  

Thats my honeysuckle plant that is covered in blooms.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Brown Rice Salad with Crunchy Sprouts & Seeds

I was a long time subscriber to "Bon Appetit" about 5 years ago when the pile began to mount faster then I could read them I stopped getting it.  I would occasionally pick one up, but when I received a free subscription for one year after the purchase of cookware at "Sur la Table" I got hooked again.  The format, articles, photography have made me go back to my old rule if I get a cooking magazine I have to try at least one recipe out of it before the next one arrives.  This month I made 2 recipes within days of getting my copy.  Always looking for new salad ideas these whole grain salads are great for adapting to your likes and packed with healthy ingredients.

Brown Rice Salad with Crunchy Sprouts & Seeds


1 c packed chopped fresh chives
1/2 cup + 2 T extra virgin olive oil
2 T fresh lemon juice--I also added some zest
1tsp kosher salt

1 1/2 c mixed dried sprouted legumes (such as lentils)
1 1/2 c grated zucchini, squeezed to remove liquid
1/2 c cooked brown rice - (I used basmati brown rice, higher in fiber)
2 scallions chopped
1/3 c toasted sunflower seeds
1/3 c toasted shelled pumpkin seeds
1/3 c chopped toasted almonds

I used Goya Lentils and added some Leeks also.


Place nuts on cookie sheet and toast till lightly browned.

Puree chives, oil, lemon, and salt in processor until smooth.  Strain through mesh sieve into small bowl.  ( I used a hand blender for this and didn't strain it at all)

Cook dry sprouted legumes in pot of boiling water until just tender about 5 min.  Cover pot and remove from heat, let stand 3 min then drain.  Rinse under cold water to cool then drain again.  Transfer to large bowl.

Add zucchini, rice, scallions, seeds, nuts, and chive vinaigrette to bowl toss to combine.  Season with salt & pepper.

Toss together

Chunks of crunchy carrots, broccoli, celery, nuts,....

My best friend Priscilla is very healthy, organic, marathoner, lots of fun, with her own vegetable garden.  After sharing this recipe she returned my dish with some of her favorite salad.  Using a Quinoa base for hers, it is also very good and the recipe will show up here soon.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

French Breakfast Puffs

After 30 years my little hand mixer that was a Wedding shower gift quit working, so my husband just couldn't wait for me to replace it with this.   Wow, it is like an aircraft carrier compared to my little old mixer.  So far I love it!  My biggest concern was how much space it would take up in my small kitchen, but it is worth it.  So I was ready to bake when I saw a photo of these but no recipe, so after a little "googling" found the recipe posted a lot of places and going back to the 70's.  Not sure who to credit but I will make them again.  The simplicity of it caught my eye.  Very similar to my Snickerdoodle muffins and in fact I think these are even more tasty.

 French Breakfast Puffs              


1/2 C unsalted butter
1/2 C sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 C all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp cinnamon (I used even more)
1/2 C milk


1/2 C unsalted butter
1/2 C sugar
1 tsp cinnamon


Heat oven to 350° F & line muffin tin with papers or grease well.

Mix dry ingredients.

Mix softened butter, 1/2 C of sugar, and the egg thoroughly.  Stir in dry ingredients alternately with milk to butter mixture.  Divide evenly into muffin cups.

Bake 20-25 min till golden brown.

While baking mix sugar and cinnamon from topping ingredients.  In a cup big enough for muffin melt butter.

While hot dip baked muffin into butter then dip into cinnamon/sugar mixture.  Serve warm.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Roasted Garlic, Spinach, Walnut, Pesto


1 5 oz pkg of fresh, washed baby spinach

1 C grated Parmesan Cheese

1 C walnuts

1 whole head of garlic

Salt to taste

About 3/4 C Olive oil


Wrap garlic in aluminum foil and roast in 350° oven for about 30 min till it is slightly brown on top.  A wonderful smell will fill the house as it roasts.  Allow to cool so that you can handle it then squeeze out as much garlic as you can, it should be paste consistency.

Place all ingredients into food processor except oil, pulse processor a few times then with processor running drizzle in olive oil till desired consistency.  You could add a bit of water if you like it thinner.

While still warm toss with hot pasta and enjoy.  It can also be frozen for another day or freeze in small portions to use as needed.

My Cuisinart is 30 years old, one of the most used items in
my kitchen the pesto is ready in seconds.