Saturday, July 27, 2013

Mom's Birthday Chocolate Cheese Cake

My Mom's birthday is today so I wanted to make her something special and it absolutely had to be chocolate.  My Mom is gaga for chocolate.  This creamy, rich chocolatey cheesecake is my gift to her. I gussied this cake up for her by piping chocolate ganache rosettes, then added some fresh local raspberries and placed a few fresh mint leaves from my garden on top.  No, I did'nt cut into it, the Birthday Girl gets the first piece!  Happy Birthday Mom, your the best!

For the crust...
6 oz. chocolate wafer cookies, divided
1 oz. granulated sugar
1 1/2 oz. of very soft butter
8" spring form pan, buttered and lined with a parchment circle.

Preheat oven to 375°.
1.   In a food processor, process chocolate wafers until finely ground.  (Reserve 2 oz. of crumbs and set aside.)  Add sugar and butter and pulse until butter is fully incorporated.
2.  Pour crumb mixture into a prepared spring form pan and press lightly all around the bottom of the pan. 

3.   Bake 8-10 minutes and remove to a wire rack to cool.

Reduce oven temperature to 325°.

For the Filling...
2 lbs. full fat cream cheese, softened to room temperature
10 oz. granulated sugar
1 1/2 oz. cocoa, sifted
5 large eggs, room temperature
1 tablespoon pure vanilla
4 oz. heavy cream
5 1/2 oz. dark chocolate chips

1.   In a large mixing bowl, mix cream cheese until creamy.  Add sugar and cocoa powder, mix until incorporated, scrape down bowl and mix until smooth.

2.   Whisk eggs together in a separate bowl along with the vanilla.  Stream the eggs into the cream cheese mixture in stages until all is incorporated scraping bowl occasionally. 

3.   Heat heavy cream and chocolate in the microwave on high for about 40 seconds and stir until chocolate has melted.  Add to batter and mix together until smooth and creamy and all the chocolate has been incorporated.

4.   Pour batter onto baked crust and smooth the top with a spatula.  Wrap tin foil around the spring form pan and place it in a large roasting pan.  Fill the roasting pan, about half way up the side of the spring form pan with boiling water (be sure tin foil is up above the water line) Bake for about 1 hour or until set.

5.   Remove from oven and carefully lift the cake pan from the water remove tin foil and place on a wire rack to cool.  Wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight in the spring form pan. 

6.   Remove cake from the refrigerator and unwrap.  Run a sharp knife around the edge of the pan to loosen.  Remove the ring of the pan carefully.

7.   Using a cardboard disk or a flat plate, wrap a piece of plastic wrap around either and invert cake onto disk or plate.  Flip the cake over and carefully remove the bottom of the pan and peel the parchment paper off the crust.  
   Place your cake plate over crust side of cake and carefully flip over, unwrap plastic wrap from around cardboard disk or plate, which ever your using and remove.  Carefully peel away plastic wrap from the top of the cake.   Center the cake on your plate and voila!

8.   With the remaining 2 oz. of chocolate wafer crumbs, apply crumbs with an offset spatula around the edge of the cake to give it a nice finished look.

 You may decorate further, piping chocolate ganache or chocolate butter cream rosettes and or add fresh berries to the top.  What ever you like and Enjoy!

Friday, July 19, 2013

Turkish Yogurt Soup with Minty Lamb Meatballs

 Yayla Çorbasi

 Yayla Çorbasi is a classic comfort dish in Turkey.  It's a creamy soup with a refreshingly tangy taste of yogurt.  To give this soup a little substance, I've added some delicious minty lamb meatballs.  This is a must try for anyone who loves yogurt and lamb, and it's a very quick and easy dinner to prepare.  Be sure to bring your yogurt to room temperature before adding to your hot soup and be sure to temper the yogurt first.

Serves 4
For the meatballs...
1 pound ground lamb
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
1 large clove garlic, finely minced
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt 
olive oil

Mix all meatball ingredients together in a large bowl with your hands until well blended.  Shape the mixture into little walnut sized balls.  Heat a little olive oil in a large frying pan and gently saute meatballs until they're cooked through and browned well on all sides.

 For the soup...

2 tablespoons olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
1/3 cup white rice
4 cups water or you can use half chicken stock half water
2 cups plain full fat Greek yogurt
Salt and pepper to taste
chopped fresh mint to serve

1.   In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat.  Add the onion and the garlic and add a pinch of salt.  Stir and cook until just softened, about 4-5 minutes.  Stir in the rice and red pepper flakes, plus another pinch of salt.  Cook and stir until the rice is lightly toasted, about 2-3 minutes more.

2.   Stir in the water or water/chicken broth, turn the heat down to a simmer and cook covered until the rice is tender.  Add a little of the hot soup to the yogurt and stir well, then add yogurt to the soup pot and stir until well incorporated.  Add pepper and more salt to taste.  Add meatballs to the soup if you like, or ladle soup into bowls and add a few meatballs to each bowl. Sprinkle chopped mint over the soup and serve.  Enjoy!




Thursday, July 11, 2013

Honey Ginger Ice Cream with Balsamic Roasted Cherries

      Homemade ice cream is a summertime indulgence that I'm happy to indulge in any time of the year.  Whether you crank it by hand or let a motor do the work the result is a creamy, cool delight.  We are fortunate enough to live in an area where pastured fresh raw dairy and farm fresh eggs are readily available locally.  This recipe calls for just those ingredients.  The eggs in this recipe are used raw, so I would not recommend using anything but the freshest available, not from the grocery store.  The balsamic vinegar I used in this recipe was from Fiore, a dark chocolate balsamic vinegar, but any good quality balsamic vinegar will work well.

3 cups raw unpasteurized heavy cream
3 egg yolks from a local pastured source
1/3 - 1/2 cup raw honey, depending on your taste
1 Tablespoon arrowroot powder
2 Tablespoons finely minced crystallized ginger
the contents of 1 vanilla bean
3 cups of dark sweet cherries
2 Tablespoons brown sugar
2 Tablespoons dark balsamic vinegar

1.   Mix heavy cream, egg yolks, honey and arrowroot together in a large bowl, whisk together until completely incorporated.  Scrape the seeds out from the vanilla bean and add with the crystallized ginger to the cream mixture, mix well.  Cover and refrigerate for several hours.


2.     Preheat the oven to 400°.  Wash stem and pit the cherries, add to a bowl with the brown sugar and balsamic vinegar.  Toss together to mix.  Pour cherries in a baking dish in a single layer and bake for 10 - 14 minutes, glaze will bubble but don't allow it to get dark.  Remove from oven and cool.  Place cooled cherries in a bowl and refrigerate until cold.


3.   I used a motorized ice cream maker for this recipe.  Be sure your ice cream maker bowl has been frozen at least 24 hours in your freezer before using.  Follow manufacturers instructions and process as stated.  When your ice cream starts to thicken as shown...

... drain the cherries, (saving the liquid to pour over your ice cream, yum) and continue to churn until done.  Enjoy! 


For more great recipes, click the link below

What Kate Baked 

Thursday, July 4, 2013

White Wine Posset

 Summer has finally arrived in Maine, as a matter of fact, it's arrived with quite a vengeance.  The 4th of July is here and with it some very hot and steamy weather.  I had a baked treat in mind for this weeks selection, but turning on the oven was not in the cards today!  I instead opted for a cool lemony whipped dessert for the 4th.  I found this recipe in The Dairy Book of Family Cookery.  It's a collection of traditional British recipes using farm fresh dairy products.  This recipe for White Wine Posset calls for a Riesling or a White Bordeaux, I used an Italian Sweet Moscato wine.  This is a very easy dessert to make, using few ingredients.  It's light and not at all too sweet, with a slight lemon zest and a hint of sparkly sweet wine.  


finely grated zest of 1 lemon
10 fl. oz. of fresh heavy cream
3 Tablespoons of lemon juice
5 Tablespoons of Riesling or White Bordeaux wine ( I used an Italian Sweet Moscato wine)
2 egg whites
1 oz. of confectioners sugar, sifted

1.   Put the grated lemon zest in a large mixing bowl.  Pour in the fresh cream, stir and leave to chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour.

2.   Combine the lemon juice with the wine.

3.   Whip the cream until softly stiff.  Gradually whisk in the wine until the mixture holds its shape.  Do not overwhip as the mixture may curdle.

4.   In a clean bowl with clean beaters, whisk the egg whites until softly stiff, add the sifted sugar and whisk again until stiff peaks but not dry.  Fold evenly into the whipped cream until combined.

5.  Divide the mixture between 6 stemmed glasses.  Chill for 1 hour.  Serve and enjoy!