Sunday, December 27, 2009

Double Chocolate Marble Cheesecake

1/4 cup Graham crumbs
3/4 cup Oreo Chocolate cookie crumbs
1/2 cup pecans, ground
1/3 cup butter, melted

3 packages cream cheese, at room temperature
3 tbsp sugar
3 eggs, at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup sour cream
2 tbsp all purpose flour
4 squares Bakers white chocolate
2 squares Bakers dark chocolate
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp cocoa powder

1. Preheat oven to 350F.

2. Combine the nuts, crumbs and melted butter. Press evenly onto the bottom of one 9" spring form pan. Bake for 5-8 min. Set aside to cool.

3. Melt both chocolates over a double boiler and set aside. The dark chocolate may be quite stiff and can be softened by adding the tablespoon of butter to the chocolate just before removing from the double boiler.

4. For the filling, beat the cream cheese and sugar with an electric mixer until smooth. Add vanilla and sour cream and beat until blended.

5. Take 1/3 of the mixture to a separate bowl, add dark chocolate and cocoa powder and mix it in. Beat in 1 egg just until incorporated.

6. Add to remaining white filling the flour and melted white chocolate and beat until blended. Beat in remaining eggs 1 at a time. Do not overmix.

7. Spoon the white chocolate filling on top of the baked crust in pan. The spoon the dark chocolate mixture in several places on top of the white chocolate fillng. Using a skewer, swirl the two colors together to create a marbled appearance.

8. Wrap the pan with tin foil and place into a baking pan with edges, and fill pan with boiling water 1 inch up the sides.

9. Bake in 325F oven for about 40 to 45 min. Cool cheesecake for 30 minutes, then run a spatula of knife gently around the edge of the cheesecake, to loosen (this will prevent any cracking). Cool cheesecake to room temperature and chill overnight.

10. Decorate the cake before serving with fresh strawberries cut in half, dark chocolate and white chocolate shavings.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Spinach Artichoke dip

I was surfing looking for a dip the other day because the nanny is away and here we are for a month with Kyle and not able to get out to the local pub for an appy evening. So, I was going to make it an appy evening at home. I had my chardonnay, she had her diet coke. We were missing the appy. I took a recipe from a friend's blog and kicked it up a notch. So with kudos to Merritt over at A Real American Housewife, here it is.

Spinach Artichoke Dip w/shrimp
1 cup grated mozzarella cheese, divided
1 cup fat-free/light sour cream
1/2 cup grated fresh Parmesan cheese
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 tsp chili powder
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1 (14 oz) can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
(reserve 1/2 of an artichoke heart for decorating top)
8 oz pkg cream cheese, softened
3/4 (10-oz) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed, drained, and squeezed dry
1/2 cup of peeled baby shrimp chopped

Tortilla Chips to serve with it

Mix 3/4 cup of the mozzarella cheese with the sour cream, parmesan and all other ingredients, stirring well with a wooden spoon. Place in an oven proof shallow baking dish and sprinkler remaining mozzarella over the top. Bake at 350 degrees Farenheit for 20 minutes or until cheese on top is just starting to brown. Place quartered artichoke heart as decoration in center of dip. Serve with tortilla chips.