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Try it Out | S’mores Cheesecake

I have a list of new foods I want to make this year that I will document on this blog. I cook and bake all the time, but I don’t think you all want to read about the bacon and eggs I made for breakfast, although they were pretty tasty – so maybe I should write about them! Two of those foods on my new recipes list are flourless chocolate cake and cheesecake. Today I have combined the two for a copycat version of The Cheesecake Factory’s Toasted S’mores Chocolate Cheesecake. (If you’re not drawn in by that sentence alone, then I’m not sure how else this blog would interest you.)

In searching for some type of s’mores dessert I happened upon this lovely blog with a great recipe for a copycat s’mores cheesecake. Check it out for the full recipe on how to make it. There are a few big steps in compiling the dessert, but the recipe is laid out in an easy to grasp method.

Part 1: Crust

I wanted to add an element of graham cracker aside from just adding one as a garnish so I chose to make an Oreo and graham cracker crust. We are off to a good start just with that because Oreos, graham crackers and butter are delicious.

I started off crushing them in a bag but once I realized that wasn’t going to create a fine enough crust I pulled out a blender. Once the crumbs were fine enough I added the melted butter to create the crust. From there, I dumped it out into my spring form pan and used a cup to push it into place. (Click on any of the pictures to see more detail.)

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Part 2: Flourless Chocolate Cake

Next step was creating the bottom layer which is the flourless chocolate cake. Let me say I’m drooling just writing this. It is a combination of melted butter, melted chocolate, sugar, eggs and cocoa powder. I first melted the butter and chocolate together and then added the sugar. I added the eggs in one at a time. From there I added half of the cocoa powder. Let me warn you, stir it slowly! It takes some time to incorporate. If you’ve ever struggled with hot chocolate powder mixing into milk…this presents the same dilemma.

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 Part 3: Chocolate Cheesecake

The middle layer is chocolate cheesecake. It is a combination of melted chocolate, sugar, eggs and cream cheese. It may not look the prettiest while in the bowl but the end product is spectacular!

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Part 4: Putting it together

Once you have your layers ready, it is time to bake. The flourless chocolate cake goes on the bottom, then the cheesecake goes on top. I baked mine for 45 minutes with the oven at 350. Once it is cooked let it cool for a few hours before adding the mousse topping.

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Part 5: Final toppings and serve!

The final layer is a combination of whipped cream and chocolate. It says this creates a mousse but all it did for me was create whipped cream speckled with chocolate. Still delicious, but I was thinking along the lines of a pudding-like mousse.

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Now it wouldn’t be a s’mores cheesecake without some marshmallows! The recipe called for making a marshmallow mixture, but I went for just broiling some marshmallows in the oven. Just as tasty!

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Part 6: Sit back and enjoy!

All that is left is to enjoy the fruits of your labor and share it with those you care about because sharing chocolate is caring.

In the midst of a chocolate coma,
Samantha

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Try it Out

Try It Out | Homemade Pizza

One of my all-time favorite foods is pizza. Any style. Any toppings. All the time. I didn’t realize how often I made it at home until I had a new roommate during my senior year of college and when she ordered delivery pizza I realized I had never seen a pizza delivery guy at my apartment front door! Now that is not to say that I don’t love Domino’s or Papa Johns, but if I’m going to have pizza at home it is almost always going to be made by yours truly.

I say that because making pizza yourself is an inexpensive way to have fun in the kitchen and try out new flavor combinations. I especially love making homemade pizza for friends because it is a comfort food that you can easily make new again just by switching up the ingredients. Today’s theme is sausage and pepperoni hearts (yep, I’m that girl on Valentine’s Day).

I have a few tricks I want to share that I have picked up along the way. I hope they will help you in your homemade pizza making adventures.

1. Use tomato sauce WITH tomato paste.

Tomato paste by itself is pretty boring, but when you use your favorite tomato sauce it is too watery and then your toppings might slide off. By mixing the two you get the consistency you need and the flavor you want.  It is also worth noting I prefer to use fresh dough, but take the shortcut and pick some up at the store.

 

 

 

 2. Layer cheese on the sauce before you layer on the toppings.

 This is what I think of as the “glue” to the pizza. If you put the toppings on the bottom and add cheese on top then the cheese can slide right off. Trust me, I’ve done it.

 

 

 

 

3. Make sure to add more cheese on top!

Not only is this the most delicious option, but it “protects” the toppings from burning before the rest of the pizza is cooked. So now your toppings are nestled in between two layers of cheese. Yum. Although some crispy pepperoni on top is pretty delicious. However, burned caramelized onions are not. So choose your layers wisely.

 

 

 

4. Resist temptation to immediately cut into the pizza!

As delicious as that ooey-gooey pizza will be, it is worth your while to wait 3-5 minutes to let the pizza set. My personal choice is to use kitchen scissors, but a knife or pizza cutter will work as well.

*Bonus tip: use the last few minutes of cooking time wisely and slide your pizza off of the pan and directly onto the oven rack. This will give you a crispier crust.

I don’t have a particular recipe that I use, but I thought I would list my ingredient list

  •  Flour
    • to coat the dough and keep it from sticking all over
  • Non-stick spray
    • spray the pan before putting on the dough
  • Fresh Dough
    • you can pick this up in most local grocery stores
  • Tomato Paste
  • Tomato Sauce
    • whatever your favorite may be
  • Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
  • Italian Seasoning
    • this can go in the sauce and on top of the pizza
  • Your favorite toppings!
    • try caramelized onions, roasted cherry tomatoes and basil

Now all that is left is to enjoy your masterpiece!

-Samantha

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