Cheesecake is just one of those desserts you can’t go wrong with. It seems that no matter what toppings you mix in to it or what shape you bake it in, that creamy richness always shines through.
I’ve been neglecting my friends at the Mid-Atlantic Dairy Association over the last few months ( I guess I’ve been neglecting everything over the last few months) due to my community on Google+ taking up so much of my free time. Now I’m not complaining, G+ has been very good to me, and I see my future unfolding because of the time I have spent there, but you can’t forget your friends. Google may be reshaping the world of social media but what kind of world would it be without your friends.
A few weeks ago I actually made a cheesecake to share on DairySpot, remember my Meyer Lemon Cheesecake? That was supposed to be a post for DairySpot, but in my excitement over how good my Meyer Lemon Cheesecake turned out, I forgot to mention my friends…..sigh. So I decided to head back into my kitchen and create new cheesecake to share on their website. Now don’t think because I haven’t posted many dairy selections over the last few months that I’ve stopped using all those wonderful dairy products, because nothing could be further from the truth.
At any given moment you’ll find 5 or more varieties of cheese, containers of heavy cream, half and half, Greek yogurt, and of course milk, just to mention the basics……. I do love my dairy products!
I decided to take this cheesecake in a different direction, not only with the shape of my cheesecake, but with the flavor by adding two layers of chocolate. For the crust I borrowed a recipe from Paula Deen for her Savannah Cheesecake Cookies and then built an extra creamy layer of my mascarpone cheesecake with semi sweet chocolate folded in. And then for good measure topped it off with a rich chocolate ganache. Add a few chopped pecans to the top and you’ll have the perfect cheesecake for the chocolate lover in your life.
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup packed light brown sugar
- 1 cup roughly chopped pecans
- 1 stick unsalted butter -melted
- 8 ounces cream cheese -softened
- 8 ounces mascarpone cheese (or substitute cream cheese)
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 6 ounces semi-sweet chocolate cut in small pieces
- 6 ounces semi-sweet chocolate cut into small pieces
- 4 ounces heavy cream
- 2 ounces of chopped pecans (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
- Mix together the flour, brown sugar, chopped pecans, and melted butter in bowl, until well blended.
- Press the dough into an ungreased 9"x 9"x 2"-inch pan.
- Bake shortbread crust for 12 to 15 minutes or until lightly browned.
- Allow crust to cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes or more before filling
- Using a stainless steel bowl over a pot of simmering water, melt 6 ounces of semi- sweet chocolate and allow to cool (you will reuse this bowl for the ganache)
- In the bowl of your stand mixer add the cream cheese and mascarpone cheese and whip until smooth and creamy 5-7 minutes.
- Add the sugar and whip until blended
- Add the eggs one at a time, mixing in between each addition, to make sure each egg is fully incorporated.
- Add the vanilla extract and cooled melted chocolate, blending until all of the chocolate is completely mixed into the cheese mixture.
- Pour batter into prepared crust
- Place pan into preheated oven on center rack and bake for 20-25 minutes or until cheesecake is cooked and not loose in the center.
- Allow to cool on wire rack for 20 minutes
- Place chocolate and cream in a stainless steel bowl over a pot of simmering water and melt chocolate and mix in cream until smooth and chocolate has been completely melted.
- Pour Ganache over the top of cooked cheesecake, spreading evenly with an offset spatula.
- Allow cheesecake to cool for at least 4 hours, but overnight is best.
- If you are adding pecans as a topping sprinkle the pecans on top of the ganache before chilling.
- Cut cheesecake into squares and serve!
This was certified delicious by my neighbor who graciously accepted half of this creation to keep me from eating it! Just remember you’ve been warned to find someone to share this with before you make it, because once you taste this Chocolate Cheesecake you may decide to keep it for yourself!
Thanks again to my friends at DairySpot for sharing my creations on their site, and for giving the old chef his very own page. You’ll also find a lot of great ideas for using dairy products in your own home, as well as information on dairy farming, schools and nutrition.
Have a great week my friends, I’ve begun the official countdown at school, with seven weeks of school lunches left……comon’ summer!