Wednesday, December 12, 2012
I just KNOW KNOW KNOW this is what y’all are going to choose for your Christmas dessert, right? RIGHT?!
Isn’t she just something? She’s gaaawgeous!
Seriously, don’t let a cheesecake scare you y’all. I’ve got some good tips.
This dessert is pretty over the top. I love black forest cake, and have combined it with the richness of cheesecake.
See how I even put it on my Great Grandmother’s platinum rimmed china? NICE.
Only the best for y’all. Love you! MERRRRRRRY CHRISTMAS!
Make you a pretty little chocolate crust. I couldn’t find the chocolate cookies I like at the store, so I settled for chocolate Teddy Grahams.
It all works.
Then get out your farm fresh eggs! Our lovely friend at work just brings us a dozen every week! #luckygirl
Mix together your eggs, cream cheese and sugar, this is the important part. Keep mixing until it’s smooth! NO LUMPS.
Pour in the Kirsch cherry liqueur. That’s short for Kirschwasser cherry liqueur, no worries, it’s cheap. Be careful, you want cherry flavor without the boozing up your taste testers.
Separate your batter into two bowls. Half will be chocolate, and half will be plain.
In the chocolate half, pour in the ganache. (That’s melted chocolate and cream.) Stir slowly and make sure the chocolate has cooled some, otherwise it’ll curdle your cheesecake!
Keep stirring until it’s thoroughly mixed. Taste.
In the plain half, add drained cherries.
Pour the chocolate batter into your springform pan. Then gently scoop the cherry batter in by the cupful.
Now for the baking. I don’t use a water bath, but some love it. I’ve burned myself too many times.
Bake for 35 minutes at 350 degrees until the top of the cheesecake is set. The cheesecake will still jiggle when you move the pan.
Turn off the oven and let the cheesecake cool 30-45 minutes in the oven. This slow cooling process helps to eliminate cracks.
Then move to a counter top and allow to cool completely. Finally refrigerate overnight as it reaches the perfect dense consistency.
Top with whipped cream and chocolate curls!
I even saved some cherries for garnish, I always forget that part.
Aren’t y’all proud? I know you can do it too!!
Black Forest Cheesecake
Yield: serves 8-10
1 1/2 cups crushed chocolate cookies
1/4 cup butter, melted
14.5 ounces cherries in water
3 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon almond extract
1/4 cup Kirschwasser cherry liqueur
6 ounces dark chocolate
2 tablespoons cream
whipped cream, cherries, chocolate for garnish
To make the chocolate crust, crush the cookies and add butter. Press into a 9 1/2" springform pan. Bake at 350 for 10 minutes. Set aside.
For the filling, mix the room temperature cream cheese on medium for 3 minutes, until smooth. Add sugar and beat again. Add eggs one at a time, mixing thoroughly, then add almond extract and cherry liqueur; stir to combine.
In a small pot, melt chocolate and cream over low on stovetop.
Split the batter evenly into two bowls. In one bowl, add cherries to the batter and stir. In the other bowl, add the melted chocolate mixture to the batter and stir until thoroughly mixed.
Pour chocolate mixture over cookie crust. Slowly scoop white mixture over chocolate mixture. Bake at 350 for 35 minutes, until center is just set. Turn off oven and let cool 30 minutes in oven. Take out and cool on a wire rack to room temperature. Refrigerate for 8 hours. Then top with whipped cream. Garnish with cherries and chocolate curls.
Friday, December 7, 2012
Oh my GAWD Y’all!! Have some of y’all not heard of black bottom cupcakes?
A couple of my friends hadn’t. Have you lived under a rock your whole life? *heehee* KIDDING.
There’s lot of things I haven’t heard of.
So, for real, these are like, the bomb.
Apparently 30 *is* old, because whenever I say “the bomb” my students would roll their eyes, and be like “That is SO nineties, miss.”
Well SORR-RY for growing up in the nineties. SHEESH.
Oh, and technically, I’m still TWENTY-NINE for a couple more weeks, which means I still get to say “like” and use lots of exclamation marks!
I should also tell you…. I did one of those silly things. I entered the CBS Baking Show. These will be the recipe I’m entering…. so… wish me luck! I’M THINKING POSITIVE. And we all know the power of positive thinking, right?
So, to those not lucky enough to ever have had a black bottom cupcake, they are a moist, delicious chocolate cupcake, with a cheesecake filling.
Yeah. That. Cheesecake and little chocolate chips, all in a cupcake.
Plus, secret ingredient alert, this recipe uses balsamic vinegar. WHAA? Yeah. That.
Like in the old timey recipes, vinegar or buttermilk is often added. It reacts with the baking soda, and a finer, moister crumb is produced!
So here, we’re using balsamic vinegar, and it works well with the cocoa, giving it some sweetness. DELISH if you ask me!
ALSO, very important!! Make sure your liquids are cold, and your cream cheese is room temperature! I measure my liquids and put them in the fridge!
Mama also says to be sure and add a dollop of sour cream, and a few good squirts of chocolate syrup too, for good measure.
The cheesecake filling often sinks to the bottom, so while they look plain on top, there’s a delicious surprise sneaking up on you.
~Peace, Love, and Cupcakes Y’all
Black Bottom Cupcakes
3 cups flour
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
2 tsp baking soda
2 cups sugar
1 tsp salt
2 cups cold water
½ cup + 2 Tbl. corn oil
1 Tbl. vanilla
2 Tbl. balsamic vinegar
2 Tbl. sour cream
*good squirt of chocolate syrup
Cream Cheese Filling:
16 oz cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 cup chocolate chips
For the batter:
In a medium bowl, mix together cold water, corn oil, vanilla, vinegar, sour cream, and chocolate syrup. Refrigerate the mixture for 20 minutes or until chilled. In a separate bowl, mix together flour, cocoa, baking soda, sugar, & salt & sift. Whisk together the wet & dry ingredients. Pour through a strainer in a bowl, breaking up lumps & pressing them through. Mix again.
For the filling:
First combine cream cheese & sugar; mix with an electric mixer until smooth. Add eggs one at a time, and mix on low until smooth. The filling should be thick and smooth. Add chocolate chips and stir with a spoon until combined . Fill 36 paper-lined muffin tins about ½ full with chocolate batter. Top with 1 heaping Tbl. of cream cheese filling. Bake at 350 degrees for about 18-20 minutes, until the cream cheese mixture has set. Cool cupcakes on a wire rack.
If you wish to freeze, place 12 cupcakes on a long sheet of saran wrap. Wrap around the cupcakes and place in a gallon ziploc bag, then freeze.
Tuesday, December 4, 2012
Yup. Pembroke, Virginia. I went.
WOOT! Double WOOT WOOT!
Went to Pembroke, VA for the Mixed Conference for food bloggers, put on by Susan of Doughmesstic, and Paula of Bell’ Alimento.
Those ladies are more fun than fireworks on the fourth of July.
SO MUCH FUN Y’ALL!!
Besides the crazy transportation and layovers, it was totally, most definitely, absolutely worth it.
We got so much swag, y’all! SPOILED little food bloggers we were! Let me just shout out to all the sponsors right now, OXO, KitchenAid, Dixie Crystals, Hershey’s, Attune Foods, Way Better Snacks, Lucky Leaf, Bake with Butter, Dreamfields Pasta, and Wisconsin Cheese.
And our speakers!
Duff Goldman, BakedBree, FoodieCrush, ChezUs, RunWithTweezers, and Sweetopia.
My mind is reeling with information, might take me a day or two to relay it to you. *k, thanks*
Not to mention I’m still zombie-faced from getting 5 hours of sleep the past three nights.
But it was soooo worth it.
I had THE TIIIIIME OF MY LIFE! (pun intended)
The conference was held at Mountain Lake hotel, yes, where they filmed Dirty Dancing.
No I haven’t seen it.
Yes, they showed it there, and I fell asleep, and I’m lame, and I promise to watch it this week on Netflix.
So of COURSE I took a photo with cardboard Swayze, who is nothing compared to cardboard Russell.
(I have a crush, like my mom, on young Kurt Russell – think Overboard.)
(ps, yes, that’s kinda weird.)
(pps, I served him room service once.) (WHOA)
We took a tour of the property, along with our map -
ME AS TOUR GUIDE, the girl who has never seen the movie -
As I read descriptions of all the locations.
We saw the boathouse where *apparently* there is some really famous water scene where he like lifts her out of the water or something?
Lauren (Climbing Grier Mountain) wanted to re-enact, I have no idea what they were talking about, but the lake was dry so I suppose I lucked out of that one.
I kid. I do know of the water scene, and I also know that in high school cheerleading I was always the *base* in lifts, so there would be no lifting of me by anyone but the Hulk, himself.
Or Kurt Russell. I’ll bet he could lift me. In 1982.
Anyways, we walked around, Megan (Country Cleaver) and Lauren practiced their best Penny dance moves on the bridge, and Megan and Kirsten (Comfortably Domestic) attacked each other on the giant chess set.
You know, just a normal day at the resort, with some calm, cardboard personality food bloggers. (no pun intended)
At night, we had all kinds of mixers.
HAAAA. NO PUN INTENDED AGAIN.
Gawsh, how did I get so lucky to be funny.
Mixers? Like Kitchen-Aid get it? Hahaa. *sigh* *cricket*
So, no, I’m not narcissistic, I’m sorry I’m in every photo, I just kept throwing my camera around asking girls to take more pictures of me with my favorite people.
So, up top, we’ve got Susan and Paula acting as the “Oprah Angel Network” drawing names for mixers, OXO sets, ovens, you know, the usual.
What? Don’t you go to conferences all the time where you can win $2,000 ovens?
Well, I guess I was just that lucky then.
Next row is Evil Shenanigans and me. That’s right, Texas unite.
Then is me and BasilMomma, my seester from another meester. #soulsisters
Oh, and NO I’m not pregnant, I just like hippy shirts, and I guess I ate too many cookies. #oops #foodbloggerproblems
Then we got me and Country Cleaver, another bloggie bestie, and finally Gimme Some Oven and Damn Delicious.
These girls are THE BOMB.
No joke. I was pleasantly surprised to find that I liked all my “invisible internet friends” (as my husband likes to refer to them) as much as I love reading their blogs.
Saturday day we had class. Marian of Sweetopia is the NICEST, most GRACIOUS, SWEETEST cookie decorator and Canadian I know!
She even told me I have great hair! *blush*
Ok, probably the nicest girl ever! She teaches high school culinary class, therefore we had a LOT to talk about.
She lead us in how to decorate, how to make sea shells for our Christmas trees, let the icing “fall” from the tip (as in the second picture), then she completed the ornament by swirling some icing.
On the bottom is my completed cookies, I think I did pretty good!
ESPECIALLY compared to my fondant cake experience with Duff, in which I discovered, as if I didn’t already know, that I am NOT a cake decorator.
I can bake a mean sheet cake though. Knock your granny’s socks off.
In the cookie decorating class, I sat behind Krista of Budget Gourmet Mom, and Chung-Ah of Damn Delicious.
Those girls are a HOOT. I mean, we had as much fun as high school girls in math class.
Krista picked myself and the two Liz’s (bottom right) up from the airport. She’s from Utah, and we talked the whole way up about cows.
That’s MY kinda girl.
The two Liz’s were from Dreamfields pasta, a low carb pasta which is really good by the way, we ate it at dinner.
They were fun too. Liz number 2 had a lot of information to offer about cow butchering as well.
I just sat in the back seat and googled cow breeds and played tour guide.
Yeah, there’s the “Y’all” cake. Susan thought I was making fun of Virginians and their twaaang.
And I was all “Nuh-oooooooh, UT Austin is orange and I’m from Texas and I say Y’all!”
I was so embarrassed. #alwayshappenstome #justaskmymom
No more comments about the cake, I was stressed. HA.
Those two girls are Duff’s assistants. Mary Smith and I didn’t catch the other’s name. Mary helped me with my fondant and getting the chevron ONTO the cake without falling apart. The other girl showed me how to use the airbrush, it was pretty fun.
Till somebody shoots their eye out. (Merry Christmas)
Here’s just another picture of the property, it was pretty, even after all the leaves had fallen. The lake had dried up though, sadly.
Did you know they found HUMAN REMAINS in there?? A guy and his 1920 pointy shoes, and his dental implant and some coins.
Do do do do. Do do do do. #loveit
THEN the roomies of 208 and 206. Me, Lauren, Carrie (Bakeaholic Mama) and Kirsten. WE GOT ALONG SO GREAT!
We could have been college roomies, they were a blast. Love you girls!
And finally, our hostess, with Joe, AKA “the baby”, our Captain Morgan rep.
Oh YEAH, ANNDDDD, Bree of BakedBree took headshots of all of us! So I’ll have pretty new pictures to put up on all my social media!
She can make you look GOOOOWD, believe me. She knows how to work her camera.
So, there’s so many more pictures, but I know you’re tired of looking now. I met so many great new friends!
So, it was a JAM PACKED three days.
And as I sign off, we got to watch the Duff take off in his chopper. That’ll be me someday.
Hope y’all liked my pictures, I had so much fun. Thank you to each and every one of you who read my site, allowing me to continue doing what I love doing and attending fun (yet educational) events like these.
~Peace, Love, and Traveling Y’all!