Rosie's Country Baking

Sharing Old Fashioned Desserts and Comfort Food, come on over to see what's baking!

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Espresso Chocolate Cheesecake


Coffee, Chocolate, Cheesecake ~ if you are lover of these 3 food groups, you will love when they are wonderfully brought together in this cheesecake.   There is just the right amount of espresso and a touch of cocoa in this creamy cheesecake batter which gets poured into a delicious and generous amount of chocolate graham cracker crust.  This combo bakes into a beautiful cheesecake, which could be enough, you could definitely leave it just like that and it would be wonderful.  But if you'd like to enjoy the coffee/chocolate flavors even further, garnish this cake with homemade chocolate whipped cream and chocolate covered espresso beans and maybe a sprinkle of dark chocolate shavings.  This cake was inspired by my nieces request for a coffee cheesecake for her birthday and adapted from Fine Cooking's Chocolate Coffee Cheesecake.

Crust:
8 oz Chocolate Graham Crackers ~ about 2 cups of crumbs
3 Tbs. granulated sugar
7 1/2 Tbs. unsalted butter, melted
Cheesecake:
3 - 8 oz pkgs cream cheese, at room temp
3/4 cup sour cream plus 1 Tbs heavy cream ~ whisked together
2 Tbs all-purpose flour
pinch of table salt
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1 Tbs pure vanilla extract
1 1/4 tsps instant espresso granules
1/2 tsp cocoa powder
 4 large eggs, at room temp
Chocolate Whipped Cream:
3 oz bittersweet chocolate chips
1 cup heavy cream
2 Tbs heavy cream
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
Garnishes:  Chocolate Covered Espresso Beans, Chocolate Shavings

Position a rack in the center of oven and preheat to 375 degrees.  In a food processor, process graham crackers until they are crumbs, add sugar and melted butter and process until evenly moist and clump together slightly.  Transfer this mixture to a 9" cheesecake pan and press evenly onto the bottom and along the sides ~ about 2 " up ~ using a flat bottomed measuring cup.   Bake 10 minutes, remove from oven.  Lower the oven temp to 300 degrees.
In a stand mixture fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese, sour cream/heavy cream mixture, flour and salt on medium speed, scraping down sides of bowl and paddle as needed until very smooth and fluffy, about 4 mins.  The Cream cheese should have no lumps at this point.  Add the sugar and continue beating until well blended and smooth.  Add the vanilla and espresso and cocoa, beat until blended.  Add the eggs one at a time, beating each until blended and incorporated.  Do not overbeat at this point or the cheesecake will puff too much and may crack as it cools.  Pour the filling into the cooled crust and smooth the top.  Bake until the center is still a bit jiggly about 65-75 mins.  The cake will look slightly puffed around the edges and the center will still look moist.  Remove from oven and after about 5 mins  run a knife around pan edges to help prevent cracking as it cools.  Let cool completely then cover and refrigerate until chilled, at least 8 hours or overnight.  The whipped cream can be prepared the night before or at least 4 before serving.
Put chocolate chips into a medium bowl.  Pour cream into a small heavy saucepan, stir in sugar.  Heat over med heat and bring to a boil.  Pour the hot cream over chocolate chips, stir until smooth and chocolate is melted.  Cover and refrigerate for 4 hours, until thoroughly chilled.  Transfer to a chilled bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment.  Beat to spreading or piping consistency.   Spread over entire top of cake if desired or pipe decoratively on edges or center of cake, alternatively top each cut slice with a dollop of whipped cream.  Garnish the cake as desired with your favorite chocolate covered espresso beans and sprinkle with dark chocolate shavings.  Let it sit at room temp at least an hour before serving.  Slice and Enjoy!!!!




My favorite Cheesecake Pan ~ Nordic Ware Leakproof Springform Pan, 10 Cup, 9 Inch, available here:  http://astore.amazon.com/rosscoubak-20/detail/B000237FSA
 



                        



Monday, December 28, 2015

Caprese Salad Bowl

This salad is fashioned after the classic and favorite Caprese salad ~ but instead of plating and overlapping the ingredients, we use similar flavor combos and make it a big beautiful, delicious, party worthy salad.  I love the flavors of baby arugula and baby spinach with juicy fresh tomatoes, soft flavorful marinated mozzarella balls, crusty fresh garlic bread croutons, all drizzled with a fresh lemon basil vinaigrette, YUM!
 
 
Ingredients:
8 oz package washed and cleaned baby arugula
4 oz package washed and cleaned baby spinach - chopped a little smaller
approx. 1/2 lb marinated ciliegini (mozzarella balls) cut in 1/2
1/2 loaf good Italian bread, sliced thin
Variety of good tomatoes quartered - I used Campari and Kumato - or use a nice baby heirloom mixed pack and cut in 1/2
 
Lemon-Pesto Vinaigrette:
1/2 cup pine nuts
2 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
4 oz fresh basil, stemmed - about 4 cups lightly packed
3/4 tsp kosher salt
1 cup plus 3 Tbsps extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
Instructions:  heat the pine nuts in a large skillet over med heat, and stir until golden brown, about 4 mins.  Remove from heat and let cool.  Place the garlic and 1/4 cup of the nuts in a food processor fitted with a metal blade and process until combined.  Add the basil, salt, 1/2 cup of the olive oil, and blend for a few mins until basil is pureed.  Add the lemon juice and remainder of the olive oil and pulse a few times, just until combined, set aside. Or make the night before and keep refrigerated.
Vinaigrette recipe adapted from Pastry Queen Parties - Rebecca Rather, salad inspired from Pastry Queen Parties ~ Table Caprese Salad
 
Prepare garlic croutons:  Mix together about 2 Tbsps melted margarine, 1 Tbsp olive oil, 1/2 clove fresh minced garlic,  couple of sprinkles garlic powder, italian seasonings, salt, pepper - to taste ~ brush mixture on 1 side of sliced Italian bread and toast up in toaster oven - turning once and spreading other side with mixture - to get both sides good and crusty.
Place tomatoes and mozzarella balls throughout top of salad, alternating them, top with croutons.  When ready to serve drizzle with vinaigrette and serve remainder along side salad along with the extra croutons.
 
Enjoy!