Friday, July 24, 2009

Lime Cheesecake with Ganache Layered Crust and Berry Topping

OK, I am going to make a lot of changes to the original recipe for this desert, for the benefit of anyone who actually tries this at home. I was really looking forward to this desert and when I tasted the end result, I was disappointed. I don't think the flavors came together well at all. The problems are easy to fix however and I will give you my revised version of the recipe here. With these revisions you will have a really tasty treat. Instead of the called for bittersweet chocolate for the ganache I recommend semi-sweet or even milk chocolate. The bittersweet dark chocolate I used was just too bitter. I also recommend that you use a store bought graham cracker crust. They are easy to use, and tasty too. The last thing that I am changing is the fruit. The recipe called for raspberries but I don't think they were sweet enough. I recommend blueberries and/or strawberries.


1 graham cracker pie shell
2 8oz packages of cream cheese (softened to room temp)
8 oz semi-sweet or milk chocolate bits
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 limes
1 cup powdered sugar
2 tsp vanilla
the fruit of your choosing macerated in sugar & water
maybe 1 pt strawberries sliced and a small thing of blueberries

Macerate your fruit

Melt your chocolate over medium heat in the heavy cream.

When the chocolate is melted and smooth and shiny its done.
Pour this into your pie shell and refrigerate until it has solidified.

Add sugar to your cream cheese and blend

Add lime juice and blend some more

Add vanilla and... you get the picture.

Pour your cream cheese mixture into your crust and refrigerate again until cream cheese sets.
Cover with your fruit and serve.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Desmond at Work

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Dark Chocolate, Smoked Almond, & Sea Salt Bark

While enjoying a cup of coffee and a bowl of cherries one day with her son, a young woman (OK, not sooo young woman) STUMBLED upon a recipe that quite took her fancy. If your were a reader from the start you may already know about the woman's penchant for a certain dark chocolate, caramel, sea salt creation from a trendy store that's all the rage, I'm sure you've heard of it. That Trader Joe's. Well anyway, the recipe she found reminded her of those very chocolates. She thought perhaps even more extraordinary.
Out the door she ran, fur flying. She nearly took off the dog's tail with the door in her haste to get to the store!

OK, so really she waited for her mother-in-law to arrive, checked and double checked to make sure the baby had what he needed, put the dog outside (tail safe, intact, and still a dangerous weapon), and slowly backed down the driveway, hoping that she had remembered to put everything on her grocery list. The chocolate, almonds, and sea salt especially!!!
(Read to the end of recipe for the end of the story)
  • 8 oz 53% Cacao Dark Chocolate Baking Bar
(I couldn't find this so I bought a 10 oz bag of 62% and used the whole thing)
  • 1/2 cup smoked almonds coarsely chopped
(save a few to sprinkle on top)
  • 1 tsp sea salt

2 hours and $175 dollars worth of groceries (for just one week!) later, the lady was back home and ready to tackle her latest desert.

Dark Chocolate, Smoked Almond, & Sea Salt Bark

It became clear very shortly that this beauty would take mere minutes. A major plus for a mommy with a 4 month old.

Melt the chocolate in a glass microwave safe bowl for 40 seconds. Stir. Replace in microwave, cooking in 10 second intervals, stirring between, until chocolate is almost but not completely melted. A little bit more melted than in the picture. The more you stir the chocolate the more it will melt. If you heat it too much the chocolate will seize up and you will have to start over with new chocolate. (I don't personally know how to save seized chocolate, or if there even is a way.)

Stir in the almonds.
(I added a handful of raisins to half of my chocolate mixture because I began to think that maybe something a little sweeter might break the monotony of all that salt and dark chocolate. Totally up to you.)

Spread the chocolate over a sheet pan covered with wax paper. Tap the pan to spread out the chocolate. (My pan was too big and its an 8 in)
Sprinkle with the reserved almonds and the salt.
Refrigerate for 1 hour.

When the woman removed the bark from her Frigidaire later that evening, broke the bark into pieces, and tasted her latest treat, she fainted right there on the floor, in the kitchen, and that is where her husband found her when he got home. With dark chocolate all over her face and a stupid grin from ear to ear.

The end!!!!!

Saturday, July 4, 2009