Category Archives: Desserts

Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake

Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake

Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake – We made hundreds of these cheesecakes at Valentines for our customers.  Easy but look elegant.  

  • Yield: 8 to 10 servings
  • Nutrition: See Below
  • Prep Time: 20 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 35 Minutes

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 (14 oz.) can Eagle Brand® Sweetened Condensed Milk
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen raspberries, plus additional for garnish
  • 1 (6 oz.) prepared chocolate crumb pie crust
  • CHOCOLATE GLAZE
  • 1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 3 tablespoons heavy cream

Instructions

  • HEAT oven to 350°F. Beat cream cheese in medium bowl with electric mixer at medium speed until fluffy. Gradually beat in sweetened condensed milk until smooth. Add egg, lemon juice and vanilla, beating just until blended.
  • ARRANGE 1 cup raspberries evenly in pie crust. Place pie crust on baking sheet. Slowly pour cream cheese mixture over raspberries. Bake on baking sheet 28 to 32 minutes or until center is almost set. Cool completely on baking sheet on wire rack.
  • COMBINE chocolate chips and cream in small microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on HIGH 20 to 30 seconds or until chocolate mixture is melted and smooth when stirred. Spread evenly over cheesecake using the back of a spoon. Chill at least 2 hours before serving. Garnish with additional raspberries, if desired.

 

Perfect Meringues

Three Types of Meringue
French or basic meringue is made by beating egg whites at room temperature and then drizzling granulated sugar into the whipped egg whites. It is the most common in consumer recipes but is the least stable.
Swiss meringue is made by placing the egg whites and sugar in a bowl over hot water and stirring until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is warmed. The egg white mixture is then beaten until stiff peaks are formed. Swiss meringue is more stable than French meringue.
Italian meringue is made by drizzling hot syrup through partially beaten egg whites. The hot syrup cooks the eggs. The meringue in the accompanying recipe is Italian meringue. It is the most stable meringue since the egg whites are cooked by the hot syrup.


Perfect Meringue

MERINGUE:1 Tbsp. cornstarch1/3 cup cold water5 EGGS WHITES, room temperature1/4 tsp. cream of tartar1/2 cup sugar1/2 tsp. vanilla

MERINGUE: DISSOLVE cornstarch in cold water in small saucepan; bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Remove from heat; cover.
Step 4 BEAT egg whites and cream of tartar in mixer bowl with whisk attachment on high speed until foamy. Beating constantly, ADD sugar, 1 Tbsp. at a time, beating after each addition until sugar is dissolved before adding the next. Continue beating until whites are glossy and stand in soft peaks. Beating constantly, ADD cornstarch paste, 1 to 2 Tbsp. at a time. BEAT in vanilla.

Make sure your whisk or beaters are clean-as-a-whistle and completely dry. Be especially careful that they’re free of greasy residue.

Use the right type of bowl, and make sure it’s clean and dry! Copper bowls are your best bet, but stainless steal and glass bowls also work great. Plastic tends to absorb too much of the egg white.

A hot filling is important. The heat of the filling cooks the bottom of the meringue and prevents it from weeping and creating a slippery layer between filling and topping. Set up your equipment and measure meringue ingredients before you make the filling and work quickly to make meringue before filling cools.

. Make sure your eggs are at least 3 days old (chances are, they’re mature enough if you bought them at the grocery store).

Use eggs that have been brought to room temperature. Either let them sit out on the counter for 30 minutes or put them in a warm water bath for 5 minutes.

Crack your eggs cleanly and make sure you don’t include even the slightest bit of yolk. It will weigh down the whites and prevent them from properly aerating.

A hot filling is important. The heat of the filling cooks the bottom of the meringue and prevents it from weeping and creating a slippery layer between filling and topping. Set up your equipment and measure meringue ingredients before you make the filling and work quickly to make meringue before filling cools.
What’s a soft peak? To check for soft peaks, stop the mixer and lift the beater. The peaks left in the meringue should curl at the tips. If the peaks stand straight and tall (stiff peaks), the meringue has been overbeaten.  If whites develop stiff peaks, stop beating them! If you continue, the egg whites will liquefy and you’ll never get the volume back.
Do not add sugar until you have reached the soft peak stage.

To check if sugar is dissolved: Rub a bit of meringue between thumb and forefinger. If sugar is dissolved, it will feel completely smooth. If it feels grainy, continue beating.

What’s a soft peak? To check for soft peaks, stop the mixer and lift the beater. The peaks left in the meringue should curl at the tips. If the peaks stand straight and tall (stiff peaks), the meringue has been overbeaten.A hot filling is important. The heat of the filling cooks the bottom of the meringue and prevents it from weeping and creating a slippery layer between filling and topping. Set up your equipment and measure meringue ingredients before you make the filling and work quickly to make meringue before filling cools.

Anchor the meringue. Be sure to attach the meringue to the crust all around the edge of the pie. This prevents the meringue from pulling away from the edge during baking.

Beads may form on meringue when refrigerated; gently touch beads with tip of paper towel to absorb.

 

Caramel Pecan Cream Cake

Caramel Pecan Cream Cake

As you might guess, I love Southern Living recipes.  Most all the recipes I have tried over the years have been keepers and this recipe does not disappoint!   It is a mix between Italian Cream Cake meets Pecan Pie.  I usually always make this for Christmas and other special occasions!  It is fantastic!!!

Caramel Cream Cake

1 cup finely chopped sweetened flaked coconut
Pecan Pie Cake Batter

1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup shortening
2 cups sugar
5 large eggs, separated
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup finely chopped pecans, toasted

Pecan Pie Filling

1/2 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
3/4 cup dark corn syrup
1/3 cup cornstarch
4 egg yolks
1 1/2 cups half-and-half
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup butter, softened
1 (8-oz.) package cream cheese, softened
1 (16-oz.) package powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup finely chopped pecans, toasted
1 cup sweetened flaked coconut, toasted
Garnishes: raspberries, fresh mint sprig

Preparation

1. Stir 1 cup finely chopped coconut into Pecan Pie Cake Batter; See Pecan Pie Cake Batter below

Preparation

1. Beat 1/2 cup butter and shortening at medium speed with an electric mixer until fluffy; gradually add sugar, beating well until blended. Add egg yolks, 1 at a time, beating just until blended after each addition. Stir in vanilla.

2. Combine flour and baking soda; add to butter mixture alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat at low speed until blended after each addition. Stir in pecans.

3. Beat egg whites at medium speed until stiff peaks form; fold one-third of egg whites into batter. Gently fold in remaining beaten egg whites just until blended. Use immediately.

4. Spoon batter into 3 greased and floured 9-inch cake pans.

5. Bake at 350° for 25 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks 10 minutes; remove from pans, and cool completely on wire racks.

Preparation for filling

1. Whisk together first 6 ingredients in a heavy 3-qt. saucepan until smooth. Bring mixture to a boil over medium heat, whisking constantly; boil 1 minute or until thickened. Remove from heat; whisk in butter and vanilla. Place a sheet of wax paper directly on surface of mixture to prevent a film from forming, and chill 4 hours.
Cream Cheese Frosting

3. Spread Pecan Pie Filling between layers.

Preparation for cream cheese frosting

1. Beat butter and cream cheese at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Gradually add powdered sugar, beating at low speed until blended; stir in vanilla.Spread Cream Cheese Frosting on top and sides of cake. Sprinkle top and sides with toasted pecans and toasted coconut. Garnish, if desired.

The Mother Lode Brownie

The Mother Lode.  I think I must have made over 5000 of these brownies in my restaurant days.  Of course I didn’t do the 9X9 size, we did the full sheet size, usually 4 full sheets at a time.  Lots of Mother Lode in these brownies!!

1 package Duncan Hines Brownie Mix
1 can Nestle La Lechera Dulce de Leche, found in Hispanic isle*
1 1/2 cups miniature chocolate chips
1 cup white chocolate chips
1/2 cup macadamia nut, chopped
1 cup pecans, chopped

Mix brownies accd to package directions.  Spread into 9×9 inch pan that the bottom has been sprayed with pam.  Bake according to package directions.  Remove from oven and cool.  Spread the can of La Lechera on top of the brownies.  Then sprinkle the rest of the toppings over evenly.  Gently press them into the caramel topping.  Let sit at least for 2 hours before cutting.
Notes: If you want to make your Dulce de Leche, which we did, take sweetened condensed milk and put in a pot of boiling water making sure that there is always over an inch of water above the cans.  Continue to boil for three hours.  Remove carefully. and let sit until cool.  Voila, instant Dulce de Leche!!  Yummmmmm.

mother lode brownies

 You can also substitute the pecans and macadamia for nuts of your choice, and you can also use whatever kind of chips you like.  Just make sure they are good quality!  Enjoy!!!