Monthly Archives

March 2016

Try it Out

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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Tips and Tricks

Tips & Tricks | Fajita Peppers and Onions

Just about everyone I know loves the taste of caramelized onions, but no one likes to take the time to cook them. That is where your tried and true crock pot comes to the rescue. I made fajitas this weekend and wanted to make a large batch of peppers and onions. There was not one pot large enough for me to cook them in and I did not want to get stuck stirring them for over an hour. So I thought I would try a recipe I saw on Pinterest for fajitas – but I just cooked the veggies and left out the chicken. It was a success!

To give the peppers and onions some moisture, i started with three roma tomatoes that I chopped up and put on the bottom. This helped to prevent the peppers and onions from burning in the crockpot. I have learned over the years that a slow cooker needs some moisture to work well.

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 Then I chopped up five peppers, using an assortment of red, yellow and green. My tip for cutting peppers is to cut a hole in the top, mostly because that helps you end up with the most pepper possible (money saving tip right there!).
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 From there, I cut the pepper into thirds, which allowed me to cut out the white, pithy part which does not taste good at all. Then I cut them all into slices, trying to keep them in an even width so they cooked evenly.
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 You need onions to call the fajita mixture peppers and onions – so I chopped up three onions. These ones were fighters – let me tell you. Many tears were shed and angry thoughts occurred in my head as I chopped them up. Why do I willingly put myself through torture every time I cut onions? Oh, right…because I love caramelized onions. So much.
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 From there, I stirred in three teaspoons of a fajita spice mix I already had on hand. Feel free to use whatever combination you want. I put the peppers on high for about three hours and stirred about every hour or so. They came out soft and delicious! This was so much easier than standing by a stove waiting for them to soften. The only downside is that I was so preoccupied with serving them I forgot to take a picture of the final product. Believe me, they were good.

That’s all for this installment of my tips and tricks. Moral of the story – a crockpot is your friend. If it is only an acquaintance in your kitchen, I suggest you pull it out of the cabinet this week and let it work its magic!

-Samantha

 

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