Tag Archives: cheesecake

White Chocolate Raspberry Swirled Cheesecake

White-Chocolate-Raspberry-Cheesecake[10]

A delicious white chocolate cheesecake swirled with a sweetened raspberry puree is made even more decadent with a stabilized whipped cream and some toasted almonds. The crust is an Almond Coconut Crust that is easy to make gluten free.

Perfect for a summer dessert, or for raising money at a Boy Scout fundraising auction.

Cheesecakes should always be baked in a water bath. This helps them cook evenly, without becoming grainy. For a more in-depth look at cooking a cheesecake in a water bath, click HERE.

When the cheesecake has chilled for several hours (or overnight), remove it from the springform pan and prepare to transform the slightly boring cheesecake into something beautiful and mouth-watering.

White-Chocolate-Raspberry-Cheesecake[12]

Spread the outside edge of the cheesecake with chilled raspberry puree and place toasted almonds around the outside edge. The puree will “glue” the almonds to the cheesecake. Try to use unbroken almonds that are similar in size.

White-Chocolate-Raspberry-Cheesecake[14]

The whipped cream topping used to garnish the cake is a stabilized whipped cream. The addition of cream cheese to the whipped cream keeps the whipped cream from breaking down. It will keep for at least 4-5 days in the refrigerator without separating and breaking down.

Use a pastry bag and piping tips to decorate the top edge of the cheesecake. I piped large and small stars around the outside top edge and garnished the top with fresh raspberries. I piped small stars around the bottom edge of the cheesecake.

White-Chocolate-Raspberry-Cheesecake

RECIPE:

White-Chocolate-Raspberry-Cheesecake[5]

White Chocolate Raspberry Swirled Cheesecake

Almond Coconut Crust (recipe below)

½ cup heavy cream
6 oz (about 1 cup) white chocolate chips
3 (8 oz) packages cream cheese, softened
½ cup sour cream
½ cup sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp almond extract
¼ tsp salt
3 eggs

1 cup Raspberry Puree (recipe below)
about 1 cup sliced almonds, lightly toasted
Whipped Cream Topping (recipe below)
Fresh raspberries for garnish

Preheat oven to 350°F. Prepare and bake Almond Coconut Crust in a 9” springform pan. Cool completely. Wrap springform pan in a double layer of foil, or one layer of foil and then place in an oven bag (like the kind used for turkeys) or a crock-pot liner. Place wrapped springform pan in a larger roasting pan.

Place ½ cup heavy cream in a Pyrex measuring cup and heat for 1 minute in the microwave. Stir in white chocolate chips until smooth. Cool slightly while preparing rest of cheesecake batter.

In a large mixing bowl, use a mixer to combine cream cheese, sour cream, sugar, vanilla and almond extracts, and salt. Beat until smooth, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Beat in cooled chocolate mixture. Add eggs to mixing bowl and beat until just combined.

Pour half of the cheesecake batter over the crust  in the prepared pan. Measure out ½ cup of the Raspberry Puree and use this to place dollops around the top of the cheesecake batter. Use a knife to gently swirl. Top with remaining cheesecake batter and swirl with an additional ½ cup of the raspberry puree.

Fill roasting pan (not springform pan!) with very hot water to about 2-inches deep. Bake the cheesecake in the water bath for about 60-75 minutes at 350°F, or until just the very center of the cheesecake is still jiggly. Remove springform pan from the water bath and run a sharp knife around the sides, but do not remove the ring of the pan.

Let cheesecake cool at room temperature for 1 hour. Cover cheesecake pan (do not remove sides) with plastic wrap, taking care not to touch the surface of the cheesecake. Chill for at least four hours or overnight.

To serve:

Remove plastic wrap and remove the outer edge of the spring form pan. Slide a knife or spatula between the parchment paper lining and the crust, and slide the cheesecake off of the spring form base and onto a cake stand or serving platter. Discard parchment paper round.

Spread about ½ cup of the Raspberry Puree around the outside edge of the chilled cheesecake. Press toasted almond slices around the edge, covering the edge completely.

Prepare Whipped Cream Topping and use a pastry bag to pipe large and small stars or flowers around the top edge of the cheesecake, garnishing with fresh raspberries. Pipe small stars/flowers around bottom edge of cheesecake.

Almond Coconut Crust
¾ cup whole roasted almonds
2 Tbs sugar
2 Tbs flour (omit flour for gluten-free)
¼ cup unsweetened coconut flakes
4 Tbs unsalted butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350°F. Place almonds, sugar, flour, and coconut in a food processor and pulse until it forms coarse crumbs. Add melted butter and pulse until just moistened.

Line a 9″ springform pan with a parchment round. Spray lightly with baking spray. Spread the crust crumbs evenly onto just the bottom of the springform pan. Bake for 10 minutes. Cool completely before adding filling.

Raspberry Puree
12 oz raspberries, fresh or frozen (about 2 1/2 cups of not crushed fresh berries)
½ cup water
3 Tbs sugar
½ Tbs lemon juice
2 Tbs ClearJel or cornstarch
¼ cup cold water

In a heavy saucepan, combine raspberries, ½ cup water, sugar, and lemon juice. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes, crushing berries slightly with the back of a spoon. Strain the berries through a fine sieve, pushing the pulp through the sieve with the back of a spoon. Return seedless puree to the saucepan (rinse saucepan first if there are seeds clinging to the sides). Mix the cornstarch and ¼ cup cold water in a small bowl; stir into puree in the saucepan. Return mixture to a boil; lower heat and simmer for 1-2 minutes, or until slightly thickened and no longer cloudy. Cool before using. Store leftover puree in the refrigerator.

Whipped Cream Topping
1 cup heavy cream
2 Tbs cream cheese, very soft
2 Tbs powdered sugar
½ tsp vanilla extract
½ tsp almond extract
Pinch of salt

Combine  heavy cream and softened cream cheese (must be very soft, or your topping will be chunky!) in a large bowl. Beat until soft peaks form. Add powdered sugar, vanilla and almond extracts, and salt; beat until stiff peaks form.  (The cream cheese in this topping will stabilize your whipped cream and help it keep its shape even over several days.)

Advertisements

2 Comments

Filed under Desserts

Layered Pumpkin Cheesecake with Butterscotch Sauce

Layered Pumpkin Cheesecake with Butterscotch Sauce 1

This cheesecake starts with an easy-to-make lemon gingersnap crust, followed by layers of pumpkin and vanilla cheesecake. After baking, the entire cheesecake is garnished with pecans and drizzled with a butterscotch topping. This is a great make-ahead dessert perfect for Thanksgiving, or any other holiday.

The Lemon Gingersnap Crust is made from these cookies:

Layered Pumpkin Cheesecake with Butterscotch Sauce 3

For detailed information about baking a cheesecake in a water bath, see this post: Creamy Citrus Cheesecake

Once the cheesecake has baked and chilled for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight, the pecan garnish and butterscotch topping can be added.

Start by spreading a thin layer of butterscotch sauce over the top of the cheesecake, spreading to the edge. Place pecans around the outside edge of the cheesecake.

Layered Pumpkin Cheesecake with Butterscotch Sauce 2

Using a squeeze bottle or pastry bag with a thin round tip, drizzle butterscotch sauce over the entire top of the cheesecake and pecans, allowing some to drip down the sides. You can do a simple drizzle, or a lattice pattern by drizzling in straight lines along cheesecake, then turning 90 degrees and drizzling again (perpendicular to first layer).

Layered Pumpkin Cheesecake with Butterscotch Sauce 1

 

RECIPE:

Layered Pumpkin Cheesecake with Butterscotch Sauce 1

Layered Pumpkin Cheesecake with Butterscotch Sauce

Lemon Gingersnap Crust
1 (7 oz) pkg Carr’s Ginger Lemon Cremes
1/2 cup pecans
2 Tbs butter, melted

Process cookies and pecans in a food processor until finely ground. Add melted butter and mix. Press into the bottom and halfway up the sides of a 9” springform pan. Refrigerate for about 20 minutes while preparing filling.

Pumpkin Cheesecake Layer
2 (8 oz) packages cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup pumpkin puree
2 Tbs flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp allspice
1/8 tsp each ground nutmeg and ground cloves
pinch of salt
2 whole eggs plus 1 egg yolk
1 tsp vanilla extract

Mix all ingredients with an electric mixer until smooth. (You can also substitute 1 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice for the other spices)

Vanilla Cheesecake Layer
2 (8oz) packages cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup sugar
pinch of salt
2 whole eggs plus 1 egg yolk
2 tsp vanilla extract

Mix all ingredients with an electric mixer until smooth.

Preheat oven to 350F. Wrap springform pan in a double layer of foil. Place springform pan in a larger roasting pan.

Pour pumpkin filling into crust.  Slowly pour vanilla filling over top of the pumpkin batter. Fill roasting pan (not springform pan!) with very hot (almost boiling) water to about 1-2 inches deep.

Bake cheesecake in the water bath for about 80 minutes. (Cover top of cheesecake with foil if it begins to brown before it is set.) When it is cooked, the cheesecake will have puffed significantly, and the middle will still be slightly jiggly, but not soupy. Remove pan from water bath and run a sharp knife around the sides, but do not remove ring. Place on a cooling rack and let cheesecake stand at room temperature for one hour. Cover cheesecake pan (do not remove sides) with plastic wrap, taking care not to touch the surface of the cheesecake. Chill for at least four hours or overnight.

Butterscotch Sauce
4 Tbs butter
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar (light or dark)
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 Tbs corn syrup
1/2 tsp lemon juice
1/8 tsp kosher salt
1 Tbs vanilla extract
Whole Pecans for Garnish

Combine butter, brown sugar, cream, corn syrup, lemon juice and salt in a medium saucepan. Stir and cook over medium-low heat until mixture boils. Simmer for 5 additional minutes, or until slightly thickened. Stir in vanilla and cook for 2 more minutes. Cool before drizzling over cheesecake. Store in refrigerator. (This makes more than you will need for topping the cheesecake)

Remove sides of springform pan from chilled cheesecake. Remove bottom of pan and place cheesecake on a serving platter.

If butterscotch sauce has been refrigerated, you may need to warm it just slightly in the microwave until it can be drizzled (about 30-40 seconds). Spread a thin layer of butterscotch sauce over the top of the cheesecake, spreading to the edge. Place pecan halves around the outside edge of the cheesecake. Using a squeeze bottle or pastry bag with a thin round tip, drizzle butterscotch sauce over the entire top of the cheesecake and pecans, allowing some to drip down the sides. You can do a simple drizzle, or a lattice pattern by drizzling in straight lines along cheesecake, then turning 90 degrees and drizzling again (perpendicular to first layer). Refrigerate until ready to serve.

2 Comments

Filed under Desserts

Twelve Days of Christmas Cookies: Nutella Marbled Cheesecake Bars

Nutella Marbled Cheesecake Bars

DAY 8: Nutella Marbled Cheesecake Bars

Cheesecake and Nutella. I don’t think any more enticement is needed.

An easy cheesecake bar recipe that will feed a crowd, and you don’t have to fight with a water bath.

RECIPE:

Nutella Marbled Cheesecake Bars

Nutella Marbled Cheesecake Bars

Crust:
2 cups crushed chocolate graham crackers (about 1 ½ sleeves)
6 Tbs butter, melted
2 Tbs sugar

Filling:
4 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese
1 cup sugar
2 Tbs flour
2 tsp vanilla
¼ tsp salt
3 eggs
1 cup Nutella

Crust:
Preheat oven to 350°F.

Mix crushed graham crackers, butter and sugar and press into a 1/2 sheet pan for thin bars or a 9×13” pan for thicker bars (you may want less crust for 9×13” pan).

Filling:
Using a mixer, blend cream cheese, sugar, flour, vanilla and salt until well blended. Beat in eggs just until mixed through. Pour over crust. Warm Nutella in the microwave for about 30 seconds. Drizzle over cheesecake batter. Use a knife to swirl.

Place a broiler pan (or other large pan) on the bottom rack of the oven. Pour about 1/2” of hot water in the pan. Place cheesecake pan on the middle oven rack. Bake at 350°F for 25 minutes for a 1/2 sheet pan, or about 45 minutes for a 9×13” pan, or until set.

Makes about 48 bars (in a ½ sheet pan)

2 Comments

Filed under Cookies, Desserts

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins

112511 006-1

Fall and pumpkin just seem to go hand in hand. Cream cheese, however, that is an all-season ingredient. Paired together you get a moist, delicious muffin perfect for any time of the year.

A crunchy, sugary topping on a pumpkin-pie-spiced-cheesecakey muffin. Now all we need is some hot cocoa.

112511 010-1

RECIPE:

112511 006-1

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins

Muffin Batter:
1 cup pumpkin
3/4 cup oil
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups flour
2 Tbs buttermilk powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground allspice

Cream Cheese Swirl:
8 oz (1 pkg) cream cheese, softened
1 egg
1 cup powdered sugar
1 Tbs flour

Topping:
2 Tbs sugar
1 Tbs flour
1 tsp  cinnamon
2 Tbs butter, cold

Preheat the oven to 350˚ F. Line muffin pans with paper liners.

Muffin Batter: Using an electric mixer, beat together the pumpkin, oil, sugars, eggs and vanilla. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, buttermilk powder, salt, baking soda and spices. Add dry ingredients to mixing bowl and beat until just combined.

Cream Cheese Swirl: With a mixer, beat cream cheese and egg until combined. Beat in powdered sugar and flour.

Topping: Mix the sugar, flour and cinnamon in a small bowl. Using a pastry blender, cut in butter until crumbly.

Fill each muffin paper about 1/3 full with muffin batter (about 2 Tbs). Add a small spoonful of filling (about 1-2 tsp). Repeat layers in each muffin cup. Using a table knife, gently swirl batters. Sprinkle topping over the swirled muffin batter.

Bake at 350˚ F for 17-20 minutes. Cool in pan for 5 minutes before removing.

Makes 15-18 muffins.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Breads, Breakfast/Brunch, Desserts

Raspberry Cheesecake

RaspberryCheesecake (8)-3

One of the treats that we made to go with our berry-picking haul was this raspberry topped cheesecake. A simple creamy vanilla cheesecake topped with fresh raspberries and a raspberry sauce. For me, dessert doesn’t get much better than this.

For a more in-depth look at cooking a cheesecake in a water bath, click HERE.

The leftover raspberry sauce (I made a double batch)  has been great on ice cream and homemade waffles.

RECIPE:

RaspberryCheesecake (8)-3

Creamy Vanilla Cheesecake

Almond Shortbread Crust (or try this recipe for a graham cracker crust):
1 cup crushed shortbread cookies or Vanilla Wafer cookies
1 cup whole raw almonds
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 cup melted unsalted butter (omit salt if using salted butter)

Filling:
3 (8 oz each) packages cream cheese, softened
1 cup sour cream
1 cup sugar or Stevia equivalent (about 1/4 tsp powdered or 3/4 tsp liquid)
2 Tbs flour
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract (optional)
1/4 tsp salt
3 eggs

Topping (optional):
1 cup sour cream
2 Tbs sugar or pinch Stevia
1/2 Tbs lemon juice (optional)
1 tsp vanilla extract

For crust:
Combine cookies and almonds in a food processor. Pulse until coarsely ground. Add melted butter and pulse just until mixed. Press onto  the bottom of a 9″ springform pan. Bake at 350°F for 10 minutes. Cool. Wrap springform pan in a double layer of foil, or one layer of foil and then place in an oven bag (like the kind used for turkeys) or a crock-pot liner. Place springform pan in a larger roasting pan.

For filling:
In a large mixing bowl, combine all filling ingredients except the eggs; beat with a mixer until smooth. Add eggs and beat again, just until smooth (do not overbeat). Pour filling over crust.  Fill roasting pan (not springform pan!) with very hot (almost boiling) water to about 2-inches deep.

Bake cheesecake in the water bath for about 60 minutes at 350°F. The cheesecake will have puffed significantly, and the middle will still be slightly jiggly. Remove pan from water bath and run a sharp knife around the sides, but do not remove ring.

For topping (sour cream topping is optional):
While cheesecake is baking, combine sour cream, sugar, lemon juice and vanilla in a small bowl. Pour over hot (cooked) cheesecake and let stand at room temperature for 45 minutes. Cover cheesecake pan (do not remove sides) with plastic wrap, taking care not to touch the surface of the cheesecake. Chill for at least four hours or overnight.

To serve:
Remove plastic wrap and remove the outer edge of the spring form pan. If desired, slide a sharp knife under the crust and slide the cheesecake off the spring form base and onto a cake stand or serving platter. Serve cheesecake alone, or topped with fresh berries or Raspberry Sauce.

Raspberry Sauce

12 oz raspberries, fresh or frozen (about 2 1/2 cups of not crushed fresh berries)
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 Tbs lemon juice
1 Tbs ClearJel or cornstarch
2 Tbs cold water

In a heavy saucepan, combine raspberries, 1/2 cup water, sugar and lemon juice. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes, crushing berries slightly with the back of a spoon. For a seedless sauce: strain the berries through a fine sieve, pushing the pulp through the sieve with the back of a spoon. Return seedless puree to the saucepan (rinse saucepan first if there are seeds clinging to the sides). Mix the cornstarch and water in a small bowl; stir into puree in the saucepan. Return mixture to a boil; lower heat and simmer for 1-2 minutes, or until slightly thickened and no longer cloudy. Serve warm or cold. The sauce will thicken more as it cools.

Yield: 2 cups sauce (with seeds) or 1 3/4 cup sauce (without seeds)

To make a Raspberry Filling (for filling cakes/cupcakes/pastries): use 2-3 Tbs cornstarch and 1/4 cup cold water to thicken puree. Chill filling until cold before using.

 

13 Comments

Filed under Condiments/Sauces, Desserts

Waffle Week: Toppings

View WaffleToppings

What would a waffle be without a perfect topping?

Waffles are a great canvas for a variety of syrups or fruit toppings.

Here are some of the things we have been pouring in those deep waffle pockets. Click through the titles to go to a page with the topping recipes.

Vanilla Buttermilk Syrup

banana nut waffles-1

Blueberry Syrup (with some additional fresh blueberries).

Wholegrainwaffles (6)-1

Also great on Cheesecake!

blueberrysauce

Pure Maple Syrup (no recipe)

yeastwaffles (17)-1

Homemade Maple Pancake Syrup

SD Maple 031-1

Fresh Berries and Cream (no recipe)

buttermilk waffles sep eggs (18)-1

Triple Berry Syrup

050711 009-1

Happy Waffle Making!

 

2 Comments

Filed under Breakfast/Brunch, Condiments/Sauces, Desserts

Creamy Citrus Cheesecake

3711 189-1

For Brian’s birthday a couple of weeks ago we had this wonderful cheesecake. It is a very creamy cheesecake flavored with lemon and orange zest and juice. You can use blood oranges or regular naval oranges. Lime would also be a great flavor, instead of the lemon. The recipe comes from Aimée Bourque, who is the editor of Simple Bites and author of the blog Under the High Chair.

The original recipe did not have you bake the cheesecake in a water bath, but I did because I think it helps the cheesecake cook more uniformly, and reduces cracks on the top of the cheesecake. To prepare your pan for a waterbath, wrap the springform pan in a double layer of foil. Or: this time I did one layer of foil and then put the pan in an oven-safe bag (the kind used for roasting turkeys). Place wrapped pan in a larger roasting pan and add hot, almost boiling, water to the roasting pan to a level about halfway up the outside of the springform pan.

3711 143

If you are nervous about moving a pan full of boiling water: pull the oven rack out slightly from the hot oven. Place roasting pan on the oven rack, place springform pan in the roasting pan, and then add boiling water to the roasting pan. Carefully push oven rack back into the oven.3711 150-1

Just out of the oven-No Cracks!

3711 166-1

A citrus zest-spiked sour cream makes a perfect topping and hides any imperfections that develop in the top of the cheesecake as the cheesecake cools.

3711 186-1

I served this cheesecake with fresh blueberries and this fabulous homemade Blueberry Syrup.

It is flavorful enough that it could also be served on its own without any topping.

RECIPE:

3711 189-1

Creamy Citrus Cheesecake
———(adapted from Aimée Bourque on Savory Sweet Life)

Crust:
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
1 1/2 Tbs granulated sugar
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted

Filling:
3 pkg (24 oz) cream cheese
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup sour cream
Zest and juice of one lime or small lemon (wash before zesting)
Zest and juice of half an orange (wash before zesting; remaining half will be used in topping)
5 large eggs, room temperature

Topping:
1 cup sour cream
Zest and juice of half an orange
6 Tbs granulated sugar

Place oven rack on the lowest level of the oven. Preheat oven to 350°F.

For the crust:
In a small bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs and sugar. Add melted butter and mix. Press onto the bottom of a nine-inch springform pan. Bake crust for 8-10 minutes until slightly golden. Cool. Wrap springform pan in a double layer of foil, or one layer of foil and then place in an oven bag (like the kind used for turkeys). Place springform pan in a larger roasting pan.

For the filling:
With a mixer, beat together cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Add sour cream, citrus zest and juice. Mix well. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing until just incorporated.

Pour filling over crumb crust.  Fill roasting pan (not springform pan!) with very hot (almost boiling) water to about 2-inches deep.

Bake cheesecake in the water bath for about 60 minutes. The cheesecake will have puffed significantly, and the middle will still be slightly jiggly. Remove pan from water bath and run a sharp knife around the sides, but do not remove ring. Cool for 15 minutes on a wire rack on the counter.

For the topping:
Combine sour cream, orange zest and juice, and sugar together in a small bowl. Pour over slightly cooled cheesecake and let stand for half an hour at room temperature.
Cover cheesecake pan tightly with plastic wrap, taking care not to disturb the surface of the cheesecake. Chill for at least four hours or overnight.

To serve:
Remove plastic wrap and lift off the outer edge of the spring form pan. If desired, slide a sharp knife under the crust and slide the cheesecake off the spring form base and onto a cake stand or serving platter.

Serve cheesecake alone, or topped with fresh berries or homemade blueberry syrup.

 

4 Comments

Filed under Desserts

Thanksgiving Dessert: Caramel Apple Cheesecake Tart with Streusel Topping

111010 070-1

A combination of so many things that I love: apples, cinnamon, cheesecake, caramel (I used homemade Dulce de Leche, or try this Caramel Sauce), and a buttery, slightly sweet oat topping. A perfect end to a Thanksgiving meal- a perfect end to just about any meal!

The recipe is long, but not complicated. While there are a lot of ingredients, each layer is easy to put together. Just make sure you have all of your layers ready to go before putting things into the pan.

111010 100-1

For a more pronounced caramel flavor, you could drizzle individual servings with additional caramel sauce at serving time.

I used a Cream Cheese Pastry recipe for the crust, but you could also use any basic pie crust. I bake this in a tart pan (mine has an 11” diameter). You could also use a deep dish pie pan, but you might want to reduce the amount of streusel topping and increase the baking time to make sure cheesecake layer sets.

111010 043-1

Cheesecake layer on the bottom.

111010 048-1

A caramel apple filling made with apples, brown sugar, dulce de leche or caramel sauce, and cinnamon. Use a spoon to gently and evenly distribute apples over the cheesecake filling. Try to not mix the two layers together.111010 057-1

A chunky streusel topping with a nutty oat flavor gets sprinkled over the apples.111010 058-1

Cover edges of tart with a pie crust shield. I do not own one that fits my tart pan, so I make my own out of foil. See How To…Make Your Own Pie Crust Shield. Since the tart pan has steeper sides than a regular pie plate, when you are tracing the circle to cut out, be sure to cut a circle that is about 1/2” smaller than the outside edge of the tart pan. 111010 068-1

Bake until center is set (it will still jiggle just a little in the center, but will continue to set as it cools) and streusel is golden brown. I leave the foil on for all but the last 5 minutes of baking time.  111010 073-1

The hardest part: keeping little fingers (and a few big ones) from picking at the streusel topping while the tart cools completely.

111010 100-1
RECIPE:

111010 070-1

Caramel Apple Cheesecake Tart

Cream Cheese Pastry Crust:
½ cup unsalted butter, softened
4 oz (1/2 pkg) cream cheese, softened
1 Tbs powdered sugar
½ tsp kosher salt
1 ½ cups flour (divided)

In a food processor, combine butter, cream cheese, powdered sugar and salt. Process until smooth. Add ½ cup flour. Pulse just until flour is incorporated (do not overmix). Repeat with another ½ cup flour. Scrape dough from sides of bowl and repeat with the last ½ cup flour.

On a floured surface, flatten dough into a 1/2” thick disk. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30-60 minutes, or until firm enough to roll. Dough can also be frozen for later use.

Cheesecake Layer:
12 oz (1 ½ pkg) cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla

Combine all ingredients and beat until smooth with a mixer.

Apple Layer:
4 cups peeled and sliced apples (about 3-4 apples)
½ cup Dulce de Leche or Caramel Sauce
3 Tbs brown sugar
1 Tbs lemon juice
1 tsp ClearJel or cornstarch
½ tsp cinnamon
scant 1/8 tsp nutmeg
pinch salt

Combine all ingredients.

Streusel Topping:
6 Tbs butter, melted
1 cup rolled oats
1/3 cup flour (white or whole wheat)
2 Tbs brown sugar
¼ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp kosher salt

Combine all ingredients. Mix until crumbly.

ASSEMBLY:

Preheat oven to 400°F. Move oven rack to lowest level.

Remove pastry dough from refrigerator. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough into a circle 1” larger than a 10-11” tart pan. Transfer to ungreased tart pan. Crimp edges, if desired.

Pour cheesecake filling into crust. Carefully top with apple layer. Sprinkle with streusel topping.

Cover edges of tart with a pie crust shield or aluminum foil. Bake at 400°F for 30 minutes on lowest rack of oven. Reduce heat to 375°F, move tart to center rack, and bake for 15-25 additional minutes, or until just the very center (not the edges) jiggles when shaken lightly. Cover entire tart with foil if streusel begins to brown too much. Cool completely on a wire rack.

NOTE: This can be made into bars by cooking in a rectangular baking pan (put crust on bottom of the pan only, not up the sides). A 7×11” pan will give you about the same thickness as the tart, or use a 9×13” pan for slightly thinner bars.

 

8 Comments

Filed under Desserts

Dulce de Leche Mini Cheesecakes

DSC04531-3

What says “I Love You” more than cheesecake, dulce de leche, chocolate and whipped cream all in one hand-held mini dessert? In my book, dessert doesn’t get much better that this. And these pocket-sized cups of bliss are small enough that it is easy for me to justify that I’m not really cheating on that healthy-eating-plan, right?

Unless of course, you make THIS MANY, which destroys any illusion of willpower:

DSC04528-1

This recipe is a loose interpretation of Smitten Kitchen’s Dulce De Leche Cheesecake Squares.

The impetus for trying this recipe came when I found these great free-standing baking cups (technically they are for brioche) from Plastic Container City. I knew that I wanted to make cheesecakes in them, and what better than a dulce de leche flavored cheesecake!

DSC04275-1

Rather than a graham cracker crust, I used my favorite cheesecake crust which is a simple combination of finely chopped almonds, vanilla wafer cookies and butter.

DSC04286-1 Place your crust-lined baking cups on a large baking sheet (or use a muffin tin with foil baking cups) and bake for 5 minutes, to toast the almonds.

Cool and pour in the batter. This cheesecake batter is a most delicious combination of cream cheese and dulce de leche, which you can easily make yourself, or purchase premade (look in the Latin section of the ethnic food aisle in the grocery store). But it is really easy to make yourself with just a can of sweetened condensed milk. Check out these tutorials for 6 different ways to make your own Dulce de Leche.

DSC04297-1

Bake until center is barely set and allow to cool completely.

DSC04307-1

I drizzled a chocolate glaze over the cooled cheesecakes.

DSC04513-1 Not wanting to clean chocolate out of my pastry bag, I used a plastic zip-close bag to do the drizzling. (Either snip one corner of the bag, or poke a bamboo skewer through the inside corner of the bag before filling with chocolate). I do recommend using a quality brand freezer-bag, however, so that the bag will not burst at the seams when you squeeze it, leaving you with one VERY chocolatey cheesecake:

DSC04499-1After cleaning up my chocolate mess and making an additional batch of chocolate glaze:

I then topped each cheesecake with a swirl of whipped cream. The whipped cream is a stable whipped cream from Coleen’s Recipes. It will hold it’s shape for days in the refrigerator and is stiff enough to pipe with a pastry tip (this time I did use my pastry bag). I would have liked to have used a larger tip, but I don’t own one (yet!). The cream cheese in the whipped cream topping was a perfect complement to the cheesecake. Coleen’s blog has some great family friendly recipes, and I have gotten many practical tips from her!

DSC04528-1 A final drizzle with the chocolate glaze and they are ready for a few hours of chilling in the fridge-if you can wait that long!

DSC04531-1

RECIPE:

Dulce de Leche Mini Cheesecakes
_________(adapted from Smitten Kitchen)

Makes about 24 mini cheesecakes

INGREDIENTS:
Crust:

1/2 cup crushed vanilla wafers or shortbread cookies**
1/2 cup finely chopped whole almonds**
2 Tbs melted butter
1/8 tsp salt

Filling:
1 tsp unflavored gelatin (about half an envelope of Knox brand)
1/4 cup whole milk
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
2 large eggs
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup dulce de leche

Glaze:
1/4 cup (heaping) chopped bittersweet chocolate
2 Tbs butter, cut into small pieces
1 Tbs light corn syrup

Whipped Cream Topping (from Coleen’s Recipes):
4 oz cream cheese
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp almond extract
1 cup heavy cream

PREPARATION:
Crust:
Preheat oven to 350°F.

Mix all crust ingredients. Press into baking cups (use 1-2 tsp crust mix per mini cheesecake). Place baking cups on a large baking sheet. Bake at 350°F for 5 minutes. Cool.

**I use a food processor to chop the cookies and almonds

Filling:
Sprinkle gelatin over milk in a small bowl and let stand 2 minutes to soften. Beat together cream cheese, eggs, salt, and gelatin mixture in a bowl with an electric mixer at medium speed until well combined, about 2 minutes, then beat in dulce de leche  thoroughly. Pour filling over crust in baking cups.

Place an empty broiler or roasting pan on the lowest oven rack. Pour 2 cups of boiling water into the empty pan.

Place baking sheet with cheesecake batter on the center rack in the oven. Bake at 350°F for 15 minutes, or until center is barely set. Remove from oven and cool completely.

Glaze:
Place all ingredients in a microwave safe bowl. Cook on high power for 20 seconds. Remove and stir well. Add 10 seconds, if necessary. Be careful not to scorch. You can also use a double boiler to melt ingredients together.

Place melted (but not hot) chocolate glaze into a freezer bag (good quality, so it doesn’t burst) or pastry bag with a fine tip. If using a freezer bag, cut a corner (or poke a bamboo skewer through the corner). Pipe a swirl of chocolate glaze over cooled cheesecakes.

Set aside remaining glaze. Prepare whipped cream topping. Pipe an additional swirl of chocolate glaze over the whipped cream.

Whipped Cream:
Combine the cream cheese, sugar and extracts in a large mixing bowl. Beat with an electric mixer until very smooth (scraping sides often). While the mixer is running, slowly pour in heavy cream. Continue beating on high speed until stiff peaks form.

Place whipped cream mixture in a pastry bag with a large star tip. Pipe onto cheesecakes. Pipe an additional swirl of chocolate glaze over the whipped cream.

Chill cheesecakes in the refrigerator for 2-3 hours. They will keep, refrigerated (even with the whipped cream frosting!) for several days.

 

4 Comments

Filed under Desserts

Marbled Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars

DSC02368-1

I recently tried a new pumpkin bar recipe that was really good. I found the original recipe on CookieMadness. We all really liked the bars, but as cheesecake is one of my favorite desserts, I think that next time I make these I will go heavier on the cheesecake marbling. It looked really pretty, and the cheesecake swirl helped make the  bars wonderfully moist, but the cheesecake part was not a real stand-out flavor.

These bars are made by preparing a pumpkin batter, which is spread into a 15×10” pan. The cream cheese layer is added to the top and then run through with a knife to create the swirled pattern.

An easy way to create a swirl is to start in one upper corner and run the knife back and forth diagonally across the pan to the opposite lower corner. Then start in the opposite upper corner and run the knife diagonally the other way.

DSC02267-1 Doesn’t that make a gorgeous swirl!

DSC02299-1

Below is the recipe that I adapted (a little) from CookieMadness. Next time I will add more of the cream cheese batter (maybe double).

UPDATE (10/11/2011): My daughter made these last night with double the amount of the cream cheese batter. They were great! I will be making them that way from now on.

RECIPE:

DSC02368-1

Marbled Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars

6 tablespoons melted unsalted butter
1/4 teaspoon salt
1  1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 cup buttermilk or kefir
1 tsp vanilla
1  3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Swirl (Double the ingredients below for a more pronounced cheesecake flavor):
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
1 large egg

Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray a 15×10 inch pan  with cooking spray.

Pumpkin Batter: Mix together the butter, salt and sugar. With a mixing spoon or whisk, beat in eggs, pumpkin, buttermilk and vanilla until well blended, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Mix flour, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, and nutmeg together; stir into batter. Reserve about 1/4 of the batter. Spread remaining 3/4 of batter evenly in prepared pan.

Swirl: In a second bowl, with a mixer, beat cream cheese, sugar and vanilla until smooth. Add egg and beat until smooth. Drop tablespoons of cheese mixture over pumpkin batter, then drag a knife through to swirl. Drop reserved pumpkin batter over the top and swirl again. Bake on center rack until pumpkin batter springs back when touched, about 30 minutes. Let cool completely in pan, then chill for an hour or more. Cut into 24 bars.

 

5 Comments

Filed under Desserts