Friday, February 18, 2011

The Foodie Girls Enter the Dessert Wars

Fellow food blogger and Internet friend Rosie Hawthorne

told me about a new blog and monthly dessert contest.

She entered the first month with this delicious looking

dessert, but didn't win.

Rosie graciously encouraged me to try my hand at

this contest.

But as I am not a baker,

I turned to the Foodie Daughter for help.

With my creativity and photographic skills and

her artistry with baking,

we thought we would give it a shot.

Dessert Wars

This month's theme is Dark Chocolate and Hearts,
each dessert must include Dark Chocolate
and have a Heart somewhere in the presentation.

The winner for the month's competition gets a nice assortment of prizes.
The prizes for this month include:

The Smartshopper Electronic Grocery List Organizer

Beanilla Sampler Pack of Vanilla Beans

Lenox Personalized Musical Cupcake

1,000 ideas for Decorating Cupcakes, Cookies & Cakes

Endless Vanilla and Cinnamon Extract

Unlimited Layers: A Recipe for Turning Your Passion into Profits

Organic Valley $50 Gift Certificate

Organic Prairie $50 Gift Certificate

Theme Kitchen $50 Gift Certificate

BEKA Cookware Crepe Pan

And this is our entry for February's

dark chocolate and hearts.

May I present the Dark Chocolate and Cheesecake

Sweetheart Delight?

First we start off with the sweet candy delight.

And yes, we will be making our own candy heart.

Why not?

Our ingredients are simple:

1/3 cup white corn syrup

1 cup sugar

2 tablespoons water

1/2 teaspoon raspberry extract

1/2 teaspoon red food coloring

And don't forget a candy or digital thermometer.

The corn syrup, sugar and water are heating in a

small pan over high heat.

This will continue to cook until the thermometer reaches

300 degrees Fahrenheit.

Never stir as sugar crystals can form.

Gently swirl the pan if needed.

Once the mixture has reached 300 degrees
the flavoring and food coloring are added

after the pan is taken off the heat.

At this point the mixture can be stirred.

I poured the mixture into metal heart forms

(cookie cutters) that were placed on a silicon pad.

I then placed cans on top to weigh down the forms

until the candy had set.

After several minutes I gently pried the cooled candies

out of the forms.

Now on to the main event.

Here we stole shamelessly from fellow blogger,

Rosie Hawthorne.

This is based off her recipe for The Best Cheesecake.

We have halved the recipe and for this challenge

have swapped out the Graham cracker crust

with a dark chocolate crust

as well as eliminated the lemon zest and lemon juice

from the recipe.

The Best Cheesecake

Process in food processor:
2-1/4 cup chocolate Graham crackers

plus 2 tablespoons pure cocoa powder

¼ cup brown sugar, packed
1 stick butter, melted

Press evenly into bottom and sides of 10-inch spring form pan

1 8oz. Package cream cheese, softened
1 cup cottage cheese
¾ cup sugar
2 eggs
3 tablespoons cornstarch
3 tablespoons flour
½ tablespoon vanilla extract
½ stick (4 tablespoons) melted butter, cooled
1 cup sour cream

Process each ingredient in a food processor,

adding one at a time and scraping sides with a spatula.
Pour filling into 10-inch spring form pan with prepared crust.
Bake at 325 degrees for 70 minutes (1 hr., 10 min.)

until firm around the edges.
Turn off oven.
Let stand in oven for 2 hours.
Remove and cool completely before glazing or topping.

The chocolate Graham crackers are processed with

the cocoa powder, brown sugar and melted butter.

The crust is pressed into the spring form pan.

The cheesecake ingredients were started out in the

food processor so that the cottage cheese ends up

smooth and creamy.

Unfortunately, our food processor is too small to

process the entire batch, so we had to switch

to a bowl and a hand mixer.

The cheesecake mixture was poured into the pan.

This went into a 325 degree oven for 70 minutes.

Be sure to place a sheet pan under the spring form pan

to guard against leakage.

Remember to turn off oven and leave the cheesecake

in the oven for another 2 hours.

Ready for the oven.

And now on to the ganache.

4 ounces of dark chocolate

1/4 cup heavy cream

Heat the cream in the microwave for about a minute

and then melting the chocolate in the cream.

Cut a couple of heart shapes in the end slices of strawberries

and we have our

Dark Chocolate and Cheesecake Sweetheart Delight.
Many thanks to the Foodie Daughter for her
baking expertise
and to Rosie Hawthorne
for her delicious cheesecake recipe.


Rosie Hawthorne said...

Looks beautimous!
Love the candy heart.

A Girl In Her Kitchen said...

Love the stawberries!

Lora said...

Lovely presentation. The candy heart is perfect!

Reeni said...

Your cheesecake sounds delectable and I love your candy hearts! Thanks for entering Dessert Wars!