Simplicity

Ed Engoron, Co-Founder of Choclatique
Author of Ed Engoron’s Choclatique, Running Press, 2011

WikipediaSimplicity, as defined by Wikipedia, is the state or quality of being simple. It usually relates to the burden which a thing puts on someone trying to explain or understand it. Something which is easy to understand or explain is simple, in contrast to something complicated. Something is simple or complex depending on the way we choose to describe it.

Happy FamilyIn my book, I share a series of my philosophies—Box-top Wisdom. Here is one that fits especially well during these hectic times. ”I subscribe to simplicity when it allows mankind to spend his or her valuable time improving humanity, inspiring youth, preserving the family & raising our consciousness for the foods provided by the Creator.”

Crazy PeopleSo I’m taking it to heart. Rather than talk about a lot of the technical aspects of chocolate or our crazy politicians that make me see red, I thought I would introduce you to some delicious, new, easy-to-make recipes that require the ingredients you probably already have available in your own pantry or you can find on our website.

ChocolateIn some cases, simplicity can be used to imply beauty, purity or clarity. And, that is the essence of the Old Fashioned Cheesecake recipe referenced below. All things being equal, the simplest cheesecake is the most likely to be the best. By living a simple lifestyle, you don’t have to deny yourself the niceties such as chocolate and cheesecake. So pull out your mixer and begin.

The ChocolateDoctor’s Old-Fashioned Chocolate Cheesecake

Chocolate CheesecakeI was once told that you should never serve cheesecake of chocolate with a seafood dinner. This admonishment never stopped the owner of the famous Palm Restaurant in New York City. They always had a great New York Cheesecake and something chocolate on the menu. When I opened the original Fanny’s Fish Market in Foster City I figured, “What the heck—go for it” and went for them both. Here is the simplest and most delectable cheesecake in my recipe box that goes well with everything even as a great dessert after a fish or lobster dinner.

Total Time: 2 hours 15 minutes (lots of waiting time)
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Bake Time: 50 to 60 minutes, plus 60 minutes resting time
Cooling Time: 12 to 24 hours

Serves 12 to 16

Ingredients:

9 oz. (1 box) thin chocolate wafers, finely crushed
1/2 cup salted butter, melted
1 cup heavy whipping cream
2 cups (12 ounces) Choclatique Dark Chocolate Chips
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons Choclatique Black Onyx Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
16 oz. cream cheese, softened
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream, whipped
2 tablespoons Choclatique Dark Chocolate Curls

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl, combine chocolate wafer crumbs and butter. Spray the bottom of a 10-inch springform pan with flavorless vegetable spray. Pat firmly into a 10-inch springform pan, covering the bottom and 3-inches up sides. (You can use the back of a spoon or a drinking glass to squeeze the crust into every nook and cranny.) Chill.
  2. Preheat oven to 300º F.
  3. Heat the cream in a microwave oven (do not boil). Pour the hot cream over the chocolate chips. Stir until the chocolate chips are melted and the mixture is smooth. Set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, cream the sugar and cocoa powder with the cream cheese beating until creamy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the chocolate mixture and vanilla, mixing until blended. Pour into the prepared crust.
  5. Bake at 300º F. for 50 to 60 minutes. The filling should be slightly jiggly. Don’t worry, the cake will firm up when chilled.
  6. Turn the oven off. Let the cheesecake stand in the oven with door ajar for about 1 hour. Remove, cool completely.
  7. Chill the cheesecake for 12 to 24 hours. When ready to serve, remove the cheesecake from the springform pan. To finish, decorate the edges of the cheesecake with whipped cream and sprinkle with chocolate curls.

ChefSecret: To make an extra smooth cheesecake wrap the bottom of the springform pan with plastic wrap and foil to prevent leaking during baking before filling with the cake batter. After filling put the springform pan in a large roasting pan and set it on the extended middle rack of the oven. Pour enough boiling water into the roasting pan to come about halfway up the sides of the cheesecake pan; the foil and plastic wrap will keep the water from seeping into the cheesecake. Bake at 325º F.

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