Monday, June 24, 2013

Cheesecake with Chocolate-Orange Ganache

A couple of weeks ago, we celebrated my son-in-law's birthday. He and I share a love for cooking/baking and overall good food. Really good. So given his love for cheesecake, I decided to step it up a notch and not only make the best cheesecake ever, but to try out a new recipe for ganache.

As you can see from the picture, my cheesecake got so tall, I didn't have a lot of room for ganache. I didn't use a spring form pan, so I couldn't take it out and let it run down the sides. Therefore, I had a lot of ganache left over, which was a good problem to have!

This is not an every day cheesecake. (Is there such a thing as and every day cheesecake? There should be.) I'm just saying, you might look at this recipe and start to calculate the calories. STOP! Just enjoy the cheesecake. I promise, it's worth every calorie.

The cheesecake is a modification of an old Amish recipe, the ganache is my own version. I do hope you enjoy it!

Leni's Notes:

~I had a chocolate-orange ganache in mind, so I went looking for ways to accomplish this. In the end, I decided on some premium chocolate with orange peel in it. (Linked below.) The orange peel had a wonderfully crispy crunch to it that went perfectly with the creaminess of the cake.

~I bake mine in a silicone pan, which makes it deeper, so if you use a wider pan, reduce the baking time. It will need at least one hour.

~Save any leftovers of ganache for a quick chocolate pick-me-up or stir into hot milk for cocoa. ;o)

12 graham crackers
1/2 C butter, melted

5 (8 oz) pkg cream cheese, room temp
1 3/4 C sugar
3 T flour
1/2 t. vanilla
7 eggs, unbeaten, room temp
1/2 C heavy whipping cream, room temp

Chocolate-Orange Ganache
8 oz. semisweet baking chocolate, chopped
2 (3.2 oz) Chocolove Orange Peel in Dark Chocolate, chopped
1 C heavy whipping cream

Preheat oven to 250. (Not a typo, 250)

~Pulse graham crackers in a food processor until completely reduced to crumbs.
~Drizzle melted butter in, continue to pulse.
~Press mixture into silicone cake pan (on top of a cookie sheet, so you can move it around.)
~Place in fridge until ready to fill.
~In mixer, combine cream cheese, sugar, flour and vanilla.
You want this to be well combined and smooth, but do not overbeat!!
~Beat in eggs, one at a time.
~Stir in cream.
~Bake in 250 oven for 2 hours, then turn off heat and leave pan in oven for one hour.
~Cool at room temperature.
~Place chopped chocolate in a bowl.
~Heat cream until just about boiling, stirring so it does not scorch.
~Remove from heat, pour over chocolate, and stir until chocolate is completely melted.
~Allow to cool a bit before pouring over cheesecake.
~Pour slowly and allow for puddling of the ganache.
You might not use it all, so don't flood your dish!
~Chill cake before serving.

Blessings from my busy home to yours,

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

MasterChef Night

"The only thing worse than a cook that can't boil is a narcissist in full denial." ~Joe Bastianich

I love MasterChef. lol. It's the first cooking competition I ever watched, and I was hooked.

Cooking competitions are my version of sports. I cheer for the underdog, I yell at the judges, I have a big chart to mark off the losers as they are eliminated. How geeky is that?

I have to admit, it kind of cracks me up to watch the judges get so worked up their heads are about to explode. However, it also makes me realize I would never make it in a big kitchen like that. I'd smack someone the first time they screamed at me. And then I'd leave. Cooking is a tonic to me. It relaxes me, challenges my creativity and I love watching people chow down and enjoy a good meal. I'll stick to home cooking, thankyouverymuch!

OK, off to watch the end of the show and see who is going home tonight. I promise not to give anything away...spoilers! (Said in my best River Song voice.)

Hoping you have grand kitchen adventures, with no one yelling at you...


Thursday, June 13, 2013

Catching My Breath

Did you see that big cloud of dust? That was me, skidding across the finish line! Finally, the craziness of the last few months has wrapped up and I can catch my breath. I've been trying out some new recipes as I've had time, so I have some ideas to post for you, though my photographer is off working for the next two months, so you'll have to suffer with my cell phone pics. ;o)

Today I whipped up a crock pot lasagna that the men ate all up before I could get a picture of it. lol. Added some spicy sausage in and let the noodles cook in the meat sauce. So nice to come home to a hot meal. Really trying to save the budget by avoiding having to order out because dinner never got made!

Anyways, I'll be getting some recipes and photos up soon. Hope you're all enjoying the ending of the school year and getting ready for a terrific summer!