Thursday, January 24, 2013

Mascarpone Cheesecake

 If you enjoy Nutella, mascarpone cheese, whipping cream & almonds this is the recipe for you!

1 cup slivered almonds, lightly toasted
2/3 cup graham cracker crumbs
3 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon butter, melted

2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, at room temperature
2 (8 ounce packages mascarpone cheese, at room temperature
1  1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 large eggs, room temperature

1/2 cup Nutella
1/4 cup whipping cream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Tightly wrap the outside of a 9" springform pan with 2  3/4 inch high sides with 3 layers of heavy duty aluminum foil.  Finely ground the almonds, cracker crumbs, and sugar in food processor.  Add the butter and process until moist crumbs form.  Press the mixture onto the bottom of the prepared pan (not on the sides).  Bake crust for about 12 minutes or until it begins to brown.  Cool. 
Decrease oven temperature to 325 degrees.

Beat cream cheese, mascarpone cheese, and sugar in a large bowl until smooth.  Scrap sides occasionally.  Beat in the lemon juice and vanilla.  Add the eggs, one at a time, beating just until blended after each.

Pour cheese mixture over the baked crust.  Place the springform in a large roasting pan.  Pour enough hot water into the roaster to come about halfway up the sides of springform pan.  Bake until the center of the cheesecake moves slightly when gently shaken, about 65-75 minutes.  The cake firms up when cooled.  Transfer the cake to a wire rack and cool for one hour.  Refrigerate until the cheesecake is cold, at least 8 hours or up to two days. 

Combine the Nutella and cream in a small bowl.  Heat in microwave until warm, stirring every 20 seconds to blend (about a minute).

Remove cheesecake from pan and cut into wedges and pour above mixture over the top.


Friday, January 11, 2013

Almond Joy Mini Cheesecakes

 I finally broke down and purchased a mini cheesecake pan with removable bottoms!  What a fun presentation and it is mini so fewer calories, right???
 Mom and Beth Ann are about to test the first mini cheesecakes from this hostess!
They were a hit and I have several more recipes to try.

Almond Joy Mini Cheesecakes

3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs 
3/4 cup sweetened flakes coconut, toasted
1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 stick unsalted butter, melted

2 - 8 ounce packages cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 cup sweetened flaked coconut, toasted
1/2 tablespoon coconut extract
1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted

1/2 cup chocolate chips (I used milk chocolate)
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons heavy cream
1 and 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Whipped cream
Toasted almonds
Toasted Coconut

For Crust:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
In a food processor, pulse graham crackers, almonds, coconut and sugar to fine crumbs.  With the processor running, slowly add the melted butter and pulse until it resembles moist sand.  Divide the mixture into the holes of your mini cheesecake pan and press evenly onto just the bottom (not sides).  Bake crust for 5 minutes and cool on wire rack.
REDUCE oven heat to 325 degrees.

For Filling:
In a stand mixer using a paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese and sugar until smooth.  Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition.  Add the coconut extract.  Stop mixing and gently fold in the toasted almonds and coconut with a spatula until well combines.  Place the filling into cooled crust and bake for 25-30 minutes (until puffy and golden colored).  Remove cheesecakes from the oven and allow to cool completely on a wire rack.

For Glaze:
Combine the chocolate chips, cream, and vanilla in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring frequently until smooth.  Remove pan from heat and allow to cool-at least 10 minutes-or room temperature.  
Pour or spoon the glaze over the cheesecakes (which are still in pan) and spread evenly.  Place in fridge to cool completely (overnight is best). 
When ready to serve, run a knife carefully around each cheesecake to loosen and then push bottom of each up and carefully slide cheesecake away from bottom disc.
Garnish with whipped cream, almonds, coconut or whatever you choose (perhaps mint and a stemmed cherry)

Do enjoy~