Posts Tagged ‘Dessert’

The ChocolateDoctor’s Portuguese Creamy Chocolate Tart (Pastéis de Nata au Chocolat)

Thursday, December 29th, 2016
Ed Engoron, Co-Founder of Choclatique
Author of Choclatique—150 Simply 150 Elegant Desserts, Running Press

You can find pastéis de nata in most any Portuguese bakery. It is a creamy custard tart (slightly burnt on the edges) that must be the national favorite.

I wanted to make a chocolate version of the tart for my friends in Lisbon. Chef Vitor Sa Esteves told me, “Creamy tarts, sim; chocolate tarts, não. They are never served in Lisbon. They are a regional dessert found mainly in the Azores.” So Vitor and I gathered all of the ingredients to give it a go and within an hour we were eating warm, crisp, creamy pastéis de nata au chocolat.

Prep time: 20 minutes
Bake time: 35 to 40 minutes
Cool time: 2 hour
Chill time: 2 hours
Yield: 9-inch tart

Ingredients:
For the pastry shell:

1 vanilla bean
1 large egg yolk, room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
2 tablespoons toasted whole blanched almonds
3/4 cup all-purpose flour, sifted plus more for rolling
Pinch of salt
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature

For the filling:
3/4 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup milk
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 cup dark chocolate ganache (see recipe), room temperature
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/2 teaspoon Choclatique Rouge Unsweetened Cocoa Powder, for sifting over the top

Directions:
For the pastry shell:

  1. Flatten the vanilla bean with the broad side of a large knife and then slit it in half lengthwise. With a small spoon, scrape the seeds into a small bowl. Add the egg yolk and stir to blend. (Discard the bean or bury it in a canister of granulated sugar to flavor it.)
  2. Add the vanilla and almond extracts and stir to blend.
  3. In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade, mix together the sugar and almonds and process until the nuts are finely ground.
  4. Add the flour and salt and pulse to blend.
  5. Cut the butter into pieces, add to the food processor and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
  6. Add the egg yolk and pulse just until the dough begins to hold together. Do not over process; the dough should not form a ball.
  7. Turn the dough out on a lightly floured surface and very gently pat the dough into a disk, handling it as little as possible.
  8. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or until well chilled.
  9. Butter the bottom and sides of a 9-inch fluted tart pan with a removable bottom.
  10. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the chilled dough into an 11-inch round. If the dough sticks to the rolling pin, rub some flour on the pin.
  11. Transfer the dough to the prepared pan and gently press it against the sides, allowing about a 1/2-inch of dough to hang over the rim. With a fork, prick the bottom of the dough all over and refrigerate the crust again for at least 1 hour.
  12. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Set the tart pan on a cookie sheet and bake in the middle of the oven for about 5 minutes, until the pastry just begins to firm up. Remove from the oven and, with a sharp knife, carefully cut off and discard the overhanging pastry to make a smooth, even rim.
  13. Return the shell to the oven and bake for about 15 minutes longer, until the pastry is nicely browned. Transfer to a cooling rack and let cool the crust completely before filling.
  14. Do not turn off the oven.

For the filling:

  1. In a medium saucepan, bring the cream and milk to a simmer. Remove from the heat, add the Dark Chocolate Ganache and stir until melted.
  2. Let the mixture cool to lukewarm and then whisk in the egg until thoroughly blended.
  3. Pour the custard into the pastry shell and bake in the middle of the oven until the filling is almost set but still trembling in the center, 12 to 15 minutes. Transfer the pie to a wire rack to cool.
  4. Sift the cocoa powder over the tart and serve warm or at room temperature.

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Amaretto Cookies

Thursday, December 15th, 2016

The ChocolateDoctor’s Christmas Cookie Recipes

1/2 cup Amaretto liqueur
2/3 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter (no substitutes—I use Plugra)
1/2 cup all-purpose flour, un-sifted
2 tablespoons Choclatique Natura Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
1 cup pecans, finely chopped


Preheat oven to 350°F. Combine Amaretto, sugar and butter in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and stir in flour and cocoa powder, whisk until all lumps are gone, then stir in pecans until well blended. Let this mixture sit for 5-10 minutes. You’ll have the best results if you use a heavy gauge non-stick baking sheet for this procedure. Drop by level teaspoon on cookie sheet only six cookies at a time. The mixture spreads while baking. Bake for 8-10 minutes until brown and bubbly. Cool 1 minute on sheet. While still warm, work quickly removing each cookie and rolling it up immediately (barely overlapping ends). Place the cookies on a cool surface. Note: They become very fragile as they cool and become crisp. If the cookies become too hard to roll, return them to the oven for a minute. Store in an air-tight container. They freeze very well.

Ed’s Note: Every year at holiday time we get hundreds of recipes using our Choclatique Chocolate. They get saved on the computer for just this time of year. This recipe is courtesy of Courtesy of Sandy Hudson, Fountain Valley, California.

From The Choclatique Holiday Recipe Card Collection

Forgotten Cookies

Tuesday, December 6th, 2016

The ChocolateDoctor’s Christmas Cookie Recipes

Yield: 3 dozen meringue cookies

2 large egg whites
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 6 ounces Choclatique Dark Chocolate Chips
1 cup pecans, chopped


Preheat oven to 350°F. Beat egg whites until stiff, add sugar gradually and beat at high speed for 5 minutes. Fold in vanilla, chocolate chips and pecans. Drop by teaspoonful onto foil-lined cookie sheet. Put in oven and turn off the heat. Leave the cookies overnight or at least eight hours.

Ed’s Note: Every year at holiday time we get hundreds of recipes using our Choclatique Chocolate. They get saved on the computer for just this time of year. This recipe is courtesy of Ronal L. White, Goleta, California.

From The Choclatique Holiday Recipe Card Collection

Chocolate Gingerbread Cookies

Friday, December 2nd, 2016

The ChocolateDoctor’s Christmas Cookie Recipes

There is nothing better than a gingerbread cookies this time of year unless you add a little chocolate to make it taste even better.

Yield: 2 dozen cookies

1/2 cup vegetable shortening
2 ounces Choclatique Midnight Unsweetened Chocolate
1/2 cup molasses
2-1/ cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoons table salt
1/4 cup whole milk
1/2 cup frosting or confectioner’s sugar


In the top of a double-boiler over hot but not boiling water, combine the shortening, chocolate and molasses. Heat, stirring until blended, then allow to cool. Sift together flour, sugar, baking powder and soda, ground ginger and salt. Add to the chocolate mixture. Add the milk and mix well. Chill until firm. Preheat oven to 350°F. Roll out dough 1/8 inch thick on a floured board and cut into the shape of gingerbread men (or any desired shape). Bake on greased cookie sheets at 350° for 6 minutes, until browned. Decorate with frosting, royal icing or confectioners’ sugar.

Ed’s Note: Every year at holiday time we get hundreds of recipes using our Choclatique Chocolate. They get saved on the computer for just this time of year. This recipe is courtesy of Janet Plu, Road Island, New York.

From The Choclatique Holiday Recipe Card Collection

The ChocolateDoctor’s Choclatique Chocolate Pâté

Friday, December 2nd, 2016
Ed Engoron, Co-Founder of Choclatique
Author of Choclatique—150 Simply 150 Elegant Desserts, Running Press

Chocolate Pâté was one of our favorite dark chocolate desserts from The West-End Bistro our restaurant in West Los Angeles, California. It is a show stopper, but still very easy to make. The hardest part of making this recipe is waiting for the pâté to chill when you want to eat it NOW.

You can use either Choclatique Private Reserve Dark Chocolate (64%) or for a more intense, bitter-sweet chocolate flavor use Choclatique Ebony Dark Chocolate (72%). I always like to drizzle a little Crème Anglaise or chocolate ganache on the serving dish before plating. This is a very rich, intense chocolate dessert that will give even the most hard-core chocoholics a run for their money.

Prep Time: 60 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Chill Time: 4 hours (or, better yet overnight)
Yield: 8 to 12 servings

Ingredients:
16 ounces Choclatique Private Reserve Dark Chocolate
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup filtered water
7 large egg yolks, room temperature
1/4 cup cognac or brandy
1 cup heavy whipping cream

Directions:

  1. Prepare a 4-1/2 x 8-1/2 loaf pan by buttering the bottom and sides and lining with parchment or waxed paper.
  2. Melt the dark chocolate in a glass bowl over simmering water. Remove from heat when melted.
  3. Beat the egg yolks until thickened, light yellow and creamy.
  4. Meanwhile, combine sugar and water and boil to 240 degrees Use a quick read or candy thermometer.
  5. While continuing to beat egg yolks at medium speed, slowly pour the hot syrup over yolks and continue to mix until cool.
  6. Add cognac or brandy. Mix.
  7. Whip cream until stiff. Fold cream into egg mixture.
  8. Add chocolate and fold thoroughly.
  9. Spoon in the prepared loaf pan.
  10. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for 4 hours or overnight.
  11. When ready to serve place pan in hot water for about 30 seconds to release the sides of the pâté from the pan.
  12. Carefully invert the pan on a platter and using a warm carving knife slice pâté portions and place onto serving plates which have a pool of cream anglaise.
  13. At the restaurant, the pâté was displayed with a sheet of gold leaf artfully placed on the top, but you can decorate with fresh fruit, toasted hazelnuts or butter-sautéed blanched almonds or simply enjoy it just the way it is.

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The ChocolateDoctor’s Thanksgiving Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

Thursday, November 17th, 2016
Ed Engoron, Co-Founder of Choclatique
Author of Choclatique—150 Simply 150 Elegant Desserts, Running Press, 2011

pumpkin-chocolate-chip1 Okay, I made my delicious White Chocolate Ganache Pumpkin Cheesecake last week which only requires about a cup of pumpkin puree and I had the rest taking up space in my holiday-stuffed refrigerator. Never being one to waste food I decided to bake something else with the puree. There wasn’t enough to make a pumpkin pie so I made Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies instead. These cookies are light on the pumpkin flavor, but rich in holiday spices.You can make the recipe as is or you can substitute the individual spices for 2-1/2 to 3 tablespoons of a pre-blended pumpkin pie spice. I find that Penzeys Spices are about the freshest and fullest in flavor. They have several regional stores or you can buy their Pumpkin Pie Spice online.

Prep time: 15 minutes
Bake time: 15 to 20 minutes
Yield: 50 cookies

Ingredients:
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1-1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup canned pumpkin puree
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1-1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
1teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
2 cups Choclatique Milk Chocolate Chips (I added an extra half cup of chips this time)
Nonstick cooking spray or parchment paper

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350° F.

  2. Spray cookie sheets with nonstick spray or line them with parchment paper of Silpat silicon baking sheets (available online or in kitchen gadget shops).
  3. Using an electric mixer, beat the butter until smooth. Cream the sugars with the butter until the mixture is light and fluffy; about 5 minutes.
  4. Beat in the eggs 1 at a time.
  5. Mix in the vanilla extract and pumpkin puree.
  6. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and all the spices.
  7. Slowly beat the flour mixture into the batter in thirds.
  8. Gently fold in the chocolate chips.
  9. Refrigerate the cookie dough for 15 minutes.
  10. Scoop the cookie dough by heaping tablespoons (or a #30 scoop) onto the prepared cookie sheets.
  11. Bake the cookies for 15 to 20 minutes, rotating the pans about half way through until the cookies are just browning around the edges.
  12. Remove the cookie sheets from the oven and let them rest for 2 minutes. Transfer the cookies off with a spatula and cool them on wire racks.

ChefSecret: If you’re an avid cookie baker like me, one of the best investments you can make is in a #30 scoop which is equivalent to a heaping table spoon. It will provide consistent portioning making depositing the perfect cookie so much easier. These are easily found online or at restaurant supply or kitchen stores.

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The ChocolateDoctor’s White Chocolate-Raspberry Cheesecake

Thursday, November 10th, 2016
Ed Engoron, Co-Founder of Choclatique
Author of Choclatique—150 Simply 150 Elegant Desserts, Running Press, 2011

I used to love to eat Mrs. Fields’ White Chocolate-Macadamia Nut cookies fresh out of the oven. I loved the combination of the crunch of the toasted nuts and the creaminess of the warm white chocolate. The first time I made this cheesecake I used left over (slightly stale) cookies. Now that’s rare to every have leftover cookies in my house. But I digress… I thought these cookies would be great base for my White Chocolate-Raspberry Cheesecake. And it is, but just in case you don’t have a Mrs; Fields’ nearby you can substitute it with the base crust below. And of course, as you will find out, everything goes just a little better with Choclatique White Chocolate.

Prep time: 30 minutes
Baking time: 55 minutes
Chilling time: 4 hours or overnight
Yield: 16 Servings

Ingredients:
For the Crust:

1 cup pecans, toasted
2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/2 stick unsalted butter, melted

For the filling:
8 ounces Choclatique Snowy White Chocolate (33%)
4 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, room temperature and softened
1/2 cup + tablespoons granulated sugar
4 large eggs, room temperature
2 large egg yolks, room temperature
1/4 cup unflavored Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons corn starch
2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups fresh raspberries

For the garnish:
1 pint fresh raspberries and raspberry coulis

Directions:
For the Crust:

  1. Finely grind the toasted and cooled pecans and cracker crumbs in a food processor and add the butter, blending until combined.
  2. Press over bottom and up the sides of a 10-inch springform pan which has been wrapped with aluminum foil.

For the Filling:

  • Preheat an oven to 350º F.
  • Melt white chocolate in or glass bowl in a microwave oven in 15 to 20 seconds intervals stirring until smooth.
  • Using the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese with an electric mixer at medium speed until fluffy.
  • Add and beat in the sugar.
  • Add the whole eggs and yolks, one at a time, beating well at low speed and scraping down bowl after each addition.
  • Beat in the Greek yogurt, corn starch and vanilla extract until just combined (do not over mix).
  • Then drizzle in the melted chocolate in a slow stream, beating until filling is well combined.
  • Arrange the raspberries in a single layer over crust and pour filling into crust.
  • Place the springform pan in the middle a roasting pan and add boiling water so that it comes up one third of the way on the springform pan.
  • Bake in middle of oven until cake is set 3 inches from edge but center is still wobbly when pan is gently shaken, about 55 minutes.
  • Cool cheesecake completely in pan on a rack. The cake will continue to set as it cools.
  • Run a thin knife around edge of cake to loosen, refrigerate for about 4 hours (or overnight).
  • Garnish with fresh raspberries, raspberry coulis and whipped cream (and a mint leaf only if you must).

 

ChefSecret: I use a paddle attachment to my stand mixer to prevent a lot of air bubbles developing in the batter.

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The ChocolateDoctor’s Blackberry-Chocolate Chip Upside-Down Cake

Friday, November 4th, 2016
Ed Engoron, Co-Founder of Choclatique
Author of Choclatique—150 Simply 150 Elegant Desserts, Running Press, 2011

I call this recipe my end-of-summer-dessert cake. That’s when the berries are coming close to the end of the season and I don’t want to miss out on the remaining seasonal flavors. You can use any berry or stone fruit (stone fruit is any plum, peach or nectarine) for this recipe in place of the blackberries. The Choclatique Chocolate Chips add a special chocolaty sweet accent. This is an easy and luscious cake to bake. You should already have all of the ingredients in your refrigerator or pantry. This is a great cake to bake for summer dinners, parties and picnics.

Now, because berries are a lot more fragile than pineapple rings you have to treat the berries with lots of tender-lovin’ care. Because of the procedure is a little bit different than a traditional pineapple upside down cake. Please read the directions carefully before you get started.

Prep time: 15 minutes
Bake time: 30 to 35 minutes
Cool time: 30 minutes
Yield: Serves 4 to 6

Ingredients:
For the topping:

1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1-1/2 cups fresh blackberries (or any other fresh berries or cherries)

For the cake:
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup milk
1-1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
3/4 cup Choclatique Semisweet Chocolate Mini Chips

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Butter a 9-inch cake pan.
  3. In a small sauce pan, melt 1/3 cup of butter. When the butter has melted, add the brown sugar and stir vigorously until the mixture is completely incorporated.
  4. Pour the butter sugar mixture into the prepared cake pan. Place the berries around the edge of the pan, scatter the rest in the middle and set aside.
  5. Beat 1 cup granulated sugar and 1/2 cup butter together in a bowl with an electric mixer until light and fluffy about 4 minutes.
  6. Beat in the eggs.
  7. Whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together in a bowl. Alternately stir flour and milk into butter mixture, beginning and ending with the flour mixture.
  8. Mix vanilla and almond extracts into the batter.
  9. Fold in the chocolate chips.
  10. Pour batter over blackberry mixture in the 9-inch cake pan.
  11. Bake cake in the preheated oven until cooked through, 30 to 35 minutes. Cool the cake pan on a rack.
  12. Let the cake cool in the pan.
  13. While still warm (not completely cooled), about 30 minutes. Run a knife along the inside edge of the pan to separate cake from the sides.
  14. Place a cake plate over the top of the pan, and carefully flip the pan. Lift the pan slowly to release the cake from the pan.

ChefSecret: When getting ready to remove from the pan, use a cake plate that is wider than the cake. Some of the berries and berry juice run down the sides, but it is okay and adds to the look of the cake when done. I like to top this cake with a little fresh whipped cream or a scoop of French vanilla ice cream or vanilla frozen yogurt.

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The ChocolateDoctor’s Chocolate Chunk Dried-Cherry Oatmeal Cookies

Thursday, October 20th, 2016
Ed Engoron, Co-Founder of Choclatique
Author of Choclatique—150 Simply 150 Elegant Desserts, Running Press, 2011

During the golden age of great education in Los Angeles every school cafeteria had a real baker. They cooked with ingredients that were surplus from the Federal government—peanuts, butter, flour and sugar. They would bake up some of the best desserts you could imagine. They were fresh for the morning break and hot right out of the oven.

They made giant cinnamon-sugar cookies, peanut butter cookies, giant chocolate chip cookies and giant oatmeal cookies all selling for about 25¢ every day. You could smell the cookies baking all the way over in the gym. Miss Birdie was one of the best of the best bakers making giant oatmeal chocolate cookies with milk chocolate chunks and dried cherries, cranberries or raisins. I still make these easy to bake cookies the same way today. They are as much of a hit today as when I first tasted them years ago.

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Bake Time: 11 to 13 minutes
Ready In: 35 minutes
Yield: 48 cookies

Ingredients:
1-1/2 cups dark brown sugar
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2-1/3 cups quick-cooking oats
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup Choclatique Prestige Milk Chocolate Pastilles, chopped
1 cup dried cherries or cranberries, chopped

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350º F.
  2. Cream the brown sugar and butter together in a bowl using an electric mixer until smooth and creamy.
  3. Add the eggs in one at a time beating until smooth.
  4. Add the vanilla extract until smooth.
  5. Mix the oats, flour, baking soda and salt into the creamed butter mixture until the dough is well-combined.
  6. Fold in the chocolate chunks and dried fruit.
  7. Scoop about 2 ounces of the batter per cookie and place on a baking sheet 2 inches apart, partially flattening the dough with the back of the cup.
  8. Bake until the cookies are golden brown, about 11 to 13 minutes.
  9. Cool the cookies on baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack.

ChefSecret: Unless otherwise instructed always bake cookies on a parchment baking paper or Silpat lined baking sheet.

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The ChocolateDoctor’s Ultra-Dark, Midnight Chocolate Ganache Cheesecake

Friday, September 30th, 2016
Ed Engoron, Co-Founder of Choclatique
Author of Choclatique—150 Simply 150 Elegant Desserts, Running Press, 2011

Ultra-Dark, Midnight Chocolate Ganache Cheesecake is a triple hit of dark chocolate—chocolate crust, chocolate cheesecake and chocolate ganache. Whenever the dark chocolate urge hits you can be set to go with this fabulous recipe. This is a less sweet, and darker version than the one in the Choclatique cook book. It is still very rich and sinfully delicious. It goes well served with an aged cabernet or a vintage port.

I like to garnish it with a dollop of Crème Fraîche and Choclatique chocolate curls (more chocolate you know), but you can create your own fresh seasonal topping with a compote of fresh berries—I think raspberries are the very best with chocolate.

Prep time: 40 minutes (includes, crust, cake and ganache)
Bake time: Crust 6 to 8 minutes; Cheesecake 1 hour 15 minute
Chill time: Cake 8 hours (overnight); Ganache Topping 2 hours
Yield: 12 to 14 servings

Ingredients:
For the crust:

1 tablespoon unsalted butter (for the pan)
30 chocolate wafer cookies (Nabisco)
4 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 tablespoon Choclatique Onyx Cocoa Powder, sifted
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1 teaspoon pure almond extract

For the filling:
10-ounces Choclatique Private Reserve Dark Chocolate, chopped
32-ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1-1/3 cups granulated sugar
1/4 cup Choclatique Onyx Cocoa Powder, sifted
4 large eggs, room temperature

For the ganache topping:
1 cup heavy cream
8 ounces Choclatique Private Reserve Dark Chocolate, chopped
3 tablespoons granulated sugar

1/2 cup crème fraîche (recipe below)
3 tablespoons Choclatique Dark Chocolate Curls

Directions:
For the Crust:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Butter a 9-inch-diameter springform pan.
  3. Wrap the bottom of the pan in aluminum foil to water proof the pan.
  4. Pulse the cookies, 4 tablespoons of sugar and cocoa powder in a food processor until finely ground.
  5. Add the melted butter and the almond extract; process until well blended.
  6. Dip the bottom of a glass in water and press down to form the bottom crust by press the crumbs evenly onto bottom of the prepared springform pan. Do not run the crust up the sides of the pan.
  7. Bake 6 to 8 minutes. Set aside to cool.
  8. Lower the oven temperature to 325°F if you are using a dark or anodized pan.

For the filling:

  1. Using a microwave oven melt the chocolate at 50% power in 15 second increments until completed melted and the chocolate has a smooth glossy finish. Set aside to cool.
  2. Pulse the cream cheese, 1-1/3 cups sugar and cocoa powder in processor until smooth.
  3. Blend in eggs one at a time.
  4. Blend in the lukewarm chocolate.
  5. Pour filling over crust; smooth top.
  6. Allow the pan to sit on a counter for 20 minutes to eliminate any air bubbles.
  7. Place the springform pan in the center of a larger pan and fill half way up with hot water creating a water bath.
  8. Bake the cheesecake for about 1 hour 15 minutes until center is just set turn off the heat and let the cake sit in the oven with the door open for another 15 minutes to prevent the cake from falling and cracking.
  9. Cool the cheese cake for 5 minutes. Run a knife around sides of cake to loosen. Do not pop the springform pan.
  10. Chill 8 hours or best overnight.

For the ganache topping:

  1. Blend the heavy cream, 8 ounces chocolate and 3 tablespoons of sugar in heavy medium saucepan over low heat until smooth. Set aside to cool slightly.
  2. Pour the ganache over the center of the chilled cheesecake, spreading to the edge of the pan.
  3. Chill until topping is set, about 1 to 2 hours.
  4. When ready to serve, release the sides of the springform and carefully transfer the cheesecake to platter.
  5. For the best flavor, always allow a cheesecake to come room temperature before serving (about an hour or so).
  6. Portion and cut the cake slices and top with crème fraîche and sprinkle with chocolate curls.

ChefSecret: In a pinch you can use Chocolate Oreo Cookies for the crust by reducing the granulate sugar to 1 tablespoon and using only half the butter.

Homemade Crème Fraîche

Yield: Makes about 1 cup

Ingredients:
1 cup whipping cream
2 tablespoons buttermilk

Directions:

  1. Combine 1 cup whipping cream and 2 tablespoons buttermilk in a glass container.
  2. Cover and let stand at room temperature (about 72°F) 8 to 24 hours, or until very thick.
  3. Stir well before covering and refrigerate up to 10 days.

Special Note: Crème Fraîche is a great dessert topping for pies, puddings, cakes and this—Ultra-Dark, Midnight Chocolate Ganache Cheesecake.

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