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    Say Cheese!

    Posted by  ·  April 9, 2007

    Here are two fabulous recipes for cheesecake!

    cheescakes.jpg

    Both of these cheesecakes are fabulous. They get rave reviews every-time they are made. I will say right from the start —-they are very rich, so don’t make if your palette is weak! For both recipes I use chocolate graham crackers to make the crusts. I use semi-sweet chocolate chips for the Double-Chocolate Cheesecake. Baker’s White Chocolate Baking squares work fine for the White Chocolate cheesecake, but some good quality white chocolate makes it extra nice. Both these cheesecakes freeze well before adding the toppings.

    Recipe for White Chocolate and Strawberry Cheesecake

    source Bon Appetit

    crust
    1 9-ounce package chocolate wafer cookies, broken into pieces
    1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted

    filling
    1 pound good-quality white chocolate (such as Lindt or Baker’s), finely chopped
    4 8-ounce packages cream cheese, room temperature
    1 cup sugar
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    4 large eggs
    1 cup sour cream
    1/2 cup whipping cream
    2 tablespoons vanilla extract
    3 1-pint baskets strawberries, hulled, halved
    1/2 cup apricot preserves
    2 tablespoons brandy

    Position rack in center of oven; preheat to 325°F. Butter 10-inch-diameter springform pan. Wrap outside of pan with foil. Finely grind cookies in processor. Add melted butter; process until crumbs are moist. Press crumbs onto bottom and 2 inches up sides of pan. Bake until set, about 15 minutes. Cool on rack. Maintain oven temperature.

    Stir white chocolate in top of double boiler set over barely simmering water until melted and smooth. Remove from over water. Cool to lukewarm, stirring occasionally.

    Using electric mixer, beat cream cheese in large bowl until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Gradually add sugar, then salt; beat until smooth. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add sour cream, whipping cream and vanilla; beat until well blended.

    Bake cake until top begins to brown but center still moves slightly when pan is gently shaken, about 1 hour 20 minutes. Open oven door slightly; turn off oven. Leave cake in oven 30 minutes. Chill cake uncovered overnight. (Can be made 2 days ahead. Cover; keep refrigerated.)

    Run small knife between pan sides and cake. Release pan sides. Starting at outer edge of top of cake, arrange strawberry halves in slightly overlapping concentric circles, covering top completely. Stir preserves and brandy in heavy small saucepan over medium heat until mixture boils. Strain preserves. Brush glaze generously over strawberries, allowing some glaze to drip between berries. (Can be made 4 hours ahead. Chill.)

     

     

    Double Chocolate Cheesecake Recipe

    recipe source Bon Appetit

    double-chocolate-cheesecake.jpg

     

    For crust
    1 9-ounce box chocolate wafer cookies
    6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, melted

    For filling
    1 1/2 cup whipping cream
    1 teaspoon instant coffee powder
    12 ounces semisweet chocolate, finely chopped

    2 8-ounce packages cream cheese, room temperature
    3/4 cup sugar
    1 tablespoon cornstarch
    1 cup sour cream
    2 teaspoons vanilla extract
    3 large eggs

    For glaze
    1/2 cup whipping cream
    4 ounces semisweet chocolate, finely chopped

    Preheat oven to 350°F. Wrap outside of 9-inch-diameter springform pan with 2 3/4-inch-high sides with double thickness of foil. Spray bottom of pan with vegetable oil spray. Finely grind cookies in processor. Add butter and process until blended. Press mixture onto bottom (not sides) of prepared pan. Refrigerate while preparing filling.

    Combine cream and coffee powder in medium saucepan. Stir over medium heat until coffee powder dissolves. Reduce heat to low. Add chocolate; whisk until chocolate melts and mixture is smooth. Cool 10 minutes.

    Using electric mixer, beat cream cheese and sugar in large bowl until well blended. Beat in cornstarch. Add sour cream and vanilla; beat well. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating just until blended after each addition. Whisk 1 cup cheese mixture into chocolate mixture. Return chocolate mixture to remaining cheese mixture; whisk until smooth.

    Pour batter into crust. Place springform pan in large baking pan. Add enough hot water to baking pan to cone halfway up sides of springform pan. Bake cheesecake until softly set and slightly puffed around edges, about 1 hour. Turn off oven. Let cake stand in oven 45 minutes. Transfer springform pan t rack and cool. Cover; chill cake overnight.

    Bring cream to boil in heavy small saucepan. Remove from heat. Add 4 ounces chocolate and whisk until melted and smooth. Pour glaze over top of cake. Using spatula, smooth glaze evenly over top. Refrigerate until glaze is set, at least 2 hours. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)

    Using knife, cut around sides of pan to loosen cake. Remove pan sides. Cut into wedges and serve.

    I top this cheesecake with a layer of chocolate ganache. When the warm ganache is poured on it gives a beautiful smooth and shiny top. It is very professional looking (hard to see in this picture since I was trying to make it look festive for Easter!)! You probably won’t need all of the ganache for the top of the cheesecake—-the rest is great with a spoon!

    Chocolate Ganache

    Heat 2/3 cup heavy cream (must be heavy whipping cream to work)

    2 Tablespoons butter

    2 Tablespoons sugar

    Bring to a boil. Remove from heat and add 6 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips. The ganache can be made in the microwave. Stir until smooth and then pour on top of cheesecake. Refrigerate cheesecake.

    Yum!

    Leave a Comment

    Comments

    1. Tuesday, October 28th, 2008
      IM DROOLING
    2. Tom Walker
      Monday, April 28th, 2008
      I love your cakes
      can you make 1 for me at some point in your life
    3. Paige
      Monday, April 28th, 2008
      hiya
      these look very yummy
      but they would be better if there were more chocolate
      i love your cooking
      Paige
    4. Friday, March 7th, 2008
      Click on the cheesecake titles and you will be directed to Epicurious.com for the recipes. Enjoy!!
    5. Friday, March 7th, 2008
      Would love to have the recipe for these cheesecakes! They look DIVINE!
    6. Friday, April 13th, 2007
      and my invitation to dinner is in the post? awesome!
    7. Jenny
      Thursday, April 12th, 2007
      I am lucky enough to be related to SKIP TO MY LOU -- Yeah!!!! These were THE most beautiful and delicious cheesecakes I have ever had! Fabulous!! They were the hit of the meal! I honestly could have gone in a closet and eaten the entire chocolate one! Thank you, my dear sister-in-law for making the meal extra special!
    8. Wednesday, April 11th, 2007
      mmmmmmmmm...
      these look delicious!
      :)
    9. Wednesday, April 11th, 2007
      Wow! These look so yummy! I also love how the shaved chocolate looks like a nest with the eggs in it! Beautiful!
    10. Wednesday, April 11th, 2007
      Yum yum! I'm in Ireland, so I'm not sure what I can swap for your plastic easter eggs. And what *great* ideas you have!! I'm stealing a few, since we still have another week of Easter holidays and the 5 year old is going batty!
    11. Tuesday, April 10th, 2007
      those are just gorgeous!
    12. patty
      Tuesday, April 10th, 2007
      OMG, that's so dedecadent... recipe please.