chocolates and cakes

Cheese cake

Cheese cake recipes

Cheese cakes are smooth and creamy in texture, satisfying to eat and the different flavors make it possible to find one that will suit any menu.

All of these cheese cakes are do ahead and can be frozen, just thaw in the refrigerator. Add fruit or garnish before serving.

Brownie peanut butter cheesecake

to make the crust

3 1/2 oz. semisweet chocolate, grated (reserve 1/2 oz.)

1/4 C. butter

1/2 C. all-purpose flour

1/8 tsp. baking powder

2 large eggs

1 C. packed light brown sugar

1 1/2 tsp. chocolate extract

for the filling

12 oz. cream cheese, room temperature

1 C. packed light brown sugar

3 large eggs

1/2 C. sour cream

1 1/3 C. creamy peanut butter

for Topping:

3/4 C. sour cream

2 tsp. granulated sugar

1/2 C. creamy peanut butter

Preheat oven to 350 F. Lightly grease and flour a 9- or 10-inch springform pan.

Crust:

In the top of a double boiler, over simmering water, melt 3 ounces of the chocolate and the butter, stirring until smooth. Remove from heat.

Combine the flour and baking powder.

In a medium bowl, with electric mixer on medium, beat

the eggs until thick and light-colored. Beat in the brown sugar until well blended. Beat in the melted chocolate, chocolate extract, and remaining 1/2 ounce of grated chocolate. Gradually stir in the dry ingredients, mixing just until blended. Spread 1 cup evenly onto bottom of the prepared pan. Chill the remaining crust mixture. Bake for 15-17 minutes, or until firm. Cool in the pan in the refrigerator for 15-30 minutes.

Filling:

In a large bowl, with electric mixer at medium, beat the cream cheese and brown sugar until smooth. Beat in the eggs and sour cream. Beat in the peanut butter.

To prepare the pan, use a spatula to spread the remaining chilled crust evenly around the insides of the pan. To make this easier, set the pan on its side and roll it, spreading at the same time. Pour in the filling mixture.

Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the filling is firm, spreading the topping on the cheesecake about 3 minutes before removing from the oven.

Topping: In a small bowl, with electric mixer on medium, mix the sour cream, sugar, and peanut butter until smooth. Spread evenly over the top of the cake in the oven 2-3 minutes before it is removed. Cool on a wire rack for 1 hour. Place in a plastic or paper bag and chill overnight.

Lemon cheesecake bars

Crust:

1 1/2 C. flour

2/3 C. confectionary sugar

3/4 C. butter

Mix ingredients together in a bowl with a pastry cutter. When it resembles coarse crumbs, press firmly in the bottom of a greased 9 x 13 pan. Bake at 350F. for 15 minutes. Cool 10 minutes.

Filling:

8 oz. cream cheese

2/3 C. sugar

3 egg whites whipped lightly

1/2 C. fresh lemon juice

1 t. vanilla

Add cream cheese and sugar to mixing bowl and beat until smooth. Add egg whites and blend in. Add lemon juice and vanilla. Blend well and pour on crust. Bake for 20 - 22 minutes or until firm.

Strawberry Cheesecake in Macaroon Crust

Sauce

3 pints strawberries, hulled, halved

1/2 cup granulated sugar

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Bring all ingredients to boil in heavy large saucepan over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until mixture has thick syrup consistency, stirring occasionally, about 1 hour. Cool. (Can be prepared 2 days ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)

Crust

1/4 cup packed dried apricots (about 1 1/2 ounces)

1/4 cup water

1/3 cup granulated sugar

2 large egg whites

2 1/4 cups shredded unsweetened coconut, toasted, (about 5 ounces)

Bring apricots and water to boil in heavy small saucepan. Cover, remove from heat and let stand until fruit is soft, about 30 minutes. Drain apricots and pat dry. Place in processor, add sugar and egg whites, process until mixture has thick fluffy consistency, and apricots are minced, scraping down sides of work bowl occasionally. Add 1/2 cup coconut and process until minced. Transfer mixture to medium bowl, stir in remaining coconut. Freeze until firm, about 20 minutes.

Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. Wrap heavy-duty foil around outside of 9-inch springform pan with 2 3/4-inch sides. Spoon coconut mixture into prepared pan. Wrap plastic wrap around fingertips and press mixture evenly over bottom and 2 inches up sides of pan to form crust. Bake until light brown, about 15 minutes. Remove from oven; maintain oven temperature.

Filling

1 1/2 pounds cream cheese, room temperature

1 1/4 cups granulated sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup sour cream

1 tablespoon dark rum

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

3 large eggs

1 1/2 pint baskets strawberries, hulled, halved

lengthwise, stems intact fresh mint sprigs, optional

Using electric mixer, beat cream cheese, sugar and salt in large bowl until smooth. Add sour cream, rum, lemon juice and vanilla extract; beat until well blended. Add eggs and beat just until blended. Transfer to crust.

Bake cheesecake until brown, puffed and firm in center, about 1 hour. Cool cake in pan on rack 10 minutes. Cut around pan sides to loosen crust. Cool. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

To serve, cut around pan sides to loosen cake. Release pan sides. Arrange berry halves and mint leaves over top of cake. Serve with strawberry sauce.

Makes 10 to 12 servings.

Chocolate caramel cheesecake

Crust:

2 cups graham crackers

1/3 cup sugar

1/2 cup butter -- melted

Caramel Filling:

30 caramels

3 tablespoons milk

3/4 cup chopped pecans

Cheesecake Filling:

1 cup chocolate chips - melted and cooled

3 packages cream cheese - softened

1 teaspoon vanilla

3/4 cup sugar

3 eggs

Graham Crust: Mix all ingredients and press onto bottom and 1-inch up sides of a 9- or 10-inch springform pan. Pour on melted caramel - pecan mixture and chill for 30 minutes.

Caramel Filling: Melt caramels with milk in small saucepan or in microwave. Stir until smooth, stir in pecans.

Cheesecake Filling: Beat cream cheese at high speed until light and fluffy. Gradually add sugar, mixing well. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well to incorporate. Stir in melted, cooled chocolate and vanilla. Beat until well blended.

Bake at 350 F. for 40-50 minutes or until center is almost set. Cool.

Refrigerate at least 3 hours. Garnish with whipped cream; drizzle with caramel and chocolate, if desired.

Makes 12 to 14 servings.

Marshmellow cheesecake

1 1/2 C. graham cracker crumbs

6 T. (3/4 stick) butter, melted

1/4 C. sugar

3/4 C. milk

12 oz. marshmallows (do not use colored marshmallows)

2 packages (8 oz. each) cream cheese, room temperature

2 t. vanilla extract

1 pint of whipping cream

1 can (8 oz.) crushed pineapple, drained

Preheat oven to 350 F.

To make crust: Combine cracker crumbs, butter and sugar and mix well. Press onto bottom and partly up sides of greased 9-inch springform pan. Bake 10 minutes in preheated oven. Remove from oven and cool completely.

To make filling: Combine milk and marshmallows in saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring until marshmallows are melted. Remove from oven and cool completely. Beat cream cheese in another bowl. Add cooled marshmallow mixture to cream cheese mixture along with vanilla and mix until combined.

In another bowl, beat whipping cream until stiff. Fold cream into cheese mixture along with pineapple. Pour into prepared crust and refrigerate overnight. Top as desired.

Makes 12 to 16 servings.

Butterscotch Almond Cheesecake

Crust:

1 cup unbleached flour

1/3 cup sugar

1/4 cup almonds, toasted

1/4 teaspoon salt

7 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled and cut into pieces

1 egg yolk

1/4 teaspoon almond extract

Filling:

4 8 ounce packages cream cheese, at room temperature

1 1/2 cups sugar

1/4 cup Scotch whisky

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

4 large eggs

2 cups sour cream

Butterscotch Topping:

2 cups sugar

2/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon Scotch whisky

2/3 cup whipping cream

1/4 cup unsalted butter

3/4 cup toasted almonds, very coarsely chopped

sweetened whipped cream

Crust: Preheat oven to 350 F. Line the bottom of a 9 inch springform pan with 3 inch high sides, with foil. Butter and flour foil.

Blend first 4 ingredients in processor until nuts are finely chopped. Add butter, yolk and extract and blend until mixture begins to gather together. Press onto bottom, not sides of prepared pan. Bake until golden, about 25 minutes. Transfer to rack, cool 10 minutes. Release cake pan sides from crust. Gently turn out crust onto rack, peel off foil and cool. Place crust back into pan and reattach pan sides. Maintain oven temperature.

Filling: Using electric mixer, beat cream cheese, 1 1/4 cups sugar, Scotch and vanilla in a large bowl until well blended. Add eggs, one at a time, beating just until combined. Pour into crust lined pan.

Bake cheesecake until set at edges, but center 3 inch area still moves slightly when pan is shaken, about 50 minutes. Place on rack and cool 10 minutes. Mix sour cream with remaining 1/4 cup sugar. Spoon sour cream mixture over cheesecake. Bake 10 minutes. Transfer cheesecake to rack and cool 10 minutes. Run small sharp knife around top edge of pan to loosen cake. Chill overnight.

Topping: Stir sugar and 2/3 cup Scotch in heavy large saucepan over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Increase heat and boil without stirring until syrup turns golden, occasionally brushing down sides of pan with pastry brush dipped in water and swirling pan. Add 2/3 cup cream and butter; mixture will bubble and stir until smooth. Cool 10 minutes. Stir in 1 tablespoon Scotch. Let stand until cool, but still pourable, about 2 hours. Mix in 1/2 cup almonds Spoon all but 1/2 cup butterscotch topping over cheesecake. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup chopped almonds. Refrigerate up to 1 hour. Run sharp knife around pan sides to loosen cake. Release pan sides. Spoon cream into pastry bag fitted with star tip. Pipe cream over top edge of cake.

Serves 12.