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cheesecake

Dark Chocolate Cheesecake“Dreams are only dreams until you wake up and make them real.”
Ned Vizzini

Dark Chocolate Cheesecake … life’s guilty pleasures simply served up, or life’s simple pleasures maybe with a little guilt. Whichever way you choose to look at it, this recipe is a winner. The recipe isn’t mine. It’s a recipe created by the super talented Ruchira @ Cookaroo, on the go as she said. She did make everything sound so simple, so matter of fact, that of course I didn’t believe her!

Dark Chocolate CheesecakeThat changed very soon. In fact as soon as I put in the cheesecake to bake, I realised that it was really very S I M P L E. Absolutely fuss free. I changed a few minor things. The base for one as hers has Oreos and I prefer Digestives. No big deal there. Both packaged cookies so no work at all. I threw in some cocoa to make mine a chocolate base. Barely any other change other than using brown sugar for white!

Chocolate on vintage weighing scaleThe other guilty indulgence I added was topping the chilled cheesecake with a dark chocolate ganache as we had folk over for dinner. I wanted it to look special. the ganache and the dusting of cocoa gave it the ‘bells & whistles‘, and some more yumminess of course.

Dark Chocolate CheesecakeThe beautiful thing about the Dark Chocolate Cheesecake, other than the ease of putting it together of course, is that you can bake it a couple of days before you need to serve it. Keep it covered in the fridge in the tin for a day or two. Demold it the day you intend to serve it, top with ganache and you’re good to go. Do remember to thank the Cookaroo if you make this. I’ve thanked her, and so has a reader of my blog, Tania Fothergill, from Tasmania who I shared the recipe with over 3 weeks week ago. It was Tania’s birthday and she really wanted to bake it. Here’s what she said about the cake.

Dark Chocolate CheesecakeHow sweet is that! Thank you Ruchira.

Dark Chocolate Cheesecake
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Dark, divine, sinful, creamy, chocolaty and above all, as simple as can be, this Dark Chocolate Cheesecake will leave you wanting for more. Recipe minimally adapted from Ruchira @ thegreatcookaroo.com. You won't need another recipe ever! Can be made 2-3 days ahead of time.
Servings Prep Time
8 15 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
1 hour 8 hours
Servings Prep Time
8 15 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
1 hour 8 hours
Dark Chocolate Cheesecake
BigOven - Save recipe or add to grocery list
Yum
Print Recipe
Dark, divine, sinful, creamy, chocolaty and above all, as simple as can be, this Dark Chocolate Cheesecake will leave you wanting for more. Recipe minimally adapted from Ruchira @ thegreatcookaroo.com. You won't need another recipe ever! Can be made 2-3 days ahead of time.
Servings Prep Time
8 15 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
1 hour 8 hours
Servings Prep Time
8 15 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
1 hour 8 hours
Ingredients
Biscuit base
Dark Chocolate ​Filling
Ganache
Servings:
Instructions
Biscuit base
  1. Whiz the biscuits, brown sugar and cocoa in food processor until you get a fine meal. Add butter, whiz again to mix. Press into 7-8" loose bottom tin. Chill in the freezer while you get the filling ready, and the oven preheats.
Dark Chocolate Filling
  1. Preheat oven to 160C.
  2. Place all ingredients in bowl of food processor, and blend well to mix, 1-2 minutes on medium speed.
  3. Pour into crust, and bake for an hour.
  4. Cool completely in the oven, then chill covered in the fridge, preferably overnight.
Ganache
  1. Place chocolate and cream in a heatproof bowl. Heat in microwave for 1 minute. Whisk​ with a balloon whisk​ until smooth. Cool about 30 minutes, then whisk​ again​. Chill until a little f​irm. Whisk once again till glossy and smooth, and holds peaks. Spread over​ chilled cheesecake. Dust with cocoa.​
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Triple Cheese 'Moozberry' Cheesecake ... Mooz Formaggio, local artisan cheese at its best“Dessert without cheese is like a beauty with only one eye”
Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin

Triple Cheese Moozberry Cheesecake must be one of the best cheesecakes I have made. Ever. And I have made many over the years, almost all with homemade quark, and they’ve all been special. Yet this one turned out to be even better. It baked up perfectly, has a mix of 3 soft cheeses in it, and the most delicious topping of balsamic cherries infused with rosemary and vanilla. If it wasn’t good enough, I topped it with green almonds which are also in season these days. You can imagine, well almost, how wonderful this might have been.Cherries

Green almonds

Triple Cheese 'Moozberry' Cheesecake And of course  I need to explain why it’s called a Triple Cheese Moozberry Cheesecake. Well the guys from Mooz Formaggio were nice enough to send me a huge lot of their cheese range to sample.  Their range has been developed and designed by a fourth generation Italian cheesemaker. Delightfully enough, the Mooz folk are manufacturing all their cheese here locally and it matches up to admirably to imported cheese available.Mooz CheeseFor those who do know me, dairy is my weakness, and fresh cheese even more. For those who don’t know me, well now you do!! Fresh cheese has long held me fascinated. That it is not processed, that is has a million uses other than just eating out of a bowl or tub, that it is healthy as well as healthier than imported/processed cheese are huge pluses for me. I’ve explored and made fresh cheese – mascarpone, ricotta, quark, cottage cheese for really long, and in turn done several desserts with them.Cherries & green almondsSavoury stuff too, but what I really do enjoy is desserts using unripened f soft cheese. When I make quark myself, I just chuck it into a concoction, play around a little and then bake. When Mooz showed up, it was a new level of luxury. Imagine, I didn’t have to make my own cheese, so the mind went into overdrive. The plan was for a mascarpone galette with cherries. A nice batch of cherries recently pitted and frozen seemed just right for a wholegrain galette.Triple Cheese 'Moozberry' Cheesecake The mind is a strange place when creative ideas get buzzing. Just looking at the little tubs suddenly got me thinking further, and I knew it had to be a cheesecake. Time to experiment. I grabbed the ricotta, quark and cream cheese and turned the oven on. The recipe is simple, an experiment on a quark cheesecake I make often. This time I added zest of a Bitter Citron Lemon that Sanjeeta mailed me from Chennai, and also zest from a lime from the garden. They say lime zest cuts out any eggy aromas from a cake, and ‘they’ weren’t wrong!Triple Cheese 'Moozberry' Cheesecake Must admit to a million butterflies in my tummy as the cheesecake baked. I had my fingers crossed on this one. How I wished it would turn out well. It baked up beautifully, water bath and all, the tin size worked just perfect too, no cracks on top, didn’t sink like a crater. I was thrilled. An overnight rest in the fridge and I was up early next morning to do a topping, cherries of course. I infused them with some fresh rosemary, a few sprigs that have turned into a plant ex Switzerland, some bitter citron zest from down south, and some aged balsamic and brown sugar.

Cherries and rosemaryDarned delicious if I may say so myself, and fabulous pairing with cheesecake. The cheesecake itself darned delicious too, and got a standing ovation. You should must try making it. To cut the calories, or maybe extra work, or both, you can even go crust-less. Maybe bake mini cheesecakes.

Triple Cheese 'Moozberry' Cheesecake The entire line from Mooz is really really good, including the sour cream. So many varieties, such great flavour. You are literally spoilt for choice as far as sour cream goes. Lemon, peri peri, jalapeno, chipotle {one of our favourites}, yes they have them all. I did a quick smoked chicken farelle with the chipotle sour cream, flavoured with loads of garlic, with fresh lime and rosemary from the garden. Turned out great. Even crumbed chicken with sour cream is yum!! And nachos of course!!Mooz Pasta Also really good  are the Chili Toasty and Plain Toasty, generous stringy cheese slices for grilled sandwiches. Quite addictive and great quality, your grilled toast might never be the same again. The Chili Toasty especially has a great chili flavour and kick. The only cheese that disappointed was the mozzarella which had a slight bitter aftertaste. Not sure why that happened as all the cheese was perfectly stored and from the same batch.Triple Cheese 'Moozberry' Cheesecake

 

Baking | Triple Cheese 'Moozberry' Cheesecake... local artisan cheese at its best!
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Triple Cheese Moozberry Cheesecake must be one of the best cheesecakes I have made. It baked up perfectly, has a mix of 3 soft cheeses in it, and the most delicious topping of balsamic cherries infused with rosemary and vanilla. If it wasn't good enough, I topped it with green almonds which are also in season these days. The best thing is that this uses locally produced artisan cheese from Mooz.
Servings Prep Time
6-8 people 15 minutes
Cook Time
1 hour
Servings Prep Time
6-8 people 15 minutes
Cook Time
1 hour
Baking | Triple Cheese 'Moozberry' Cheesecake... local artisan cheese at its best!
BigOven - Save recipe or add to grocery list
Yum
Print Recipe
Triple Cheese Moozberry Cheesecake must be one of the best cheesecakes I have made. It baked up perfectly, has a mix of 3 soft cheeses in it, and the most delicious topping of balsamic cherries infused with rosemary and vanilla. If it wasn't good enough, I topped it with green almonds which are also in season these days. The best thing is that this uses locally produced artisan cheese from Mooz.
Servings Prep Time
6-8 people 15 minutes
Cook Time
1 hour
Servings Prep Time
6-8 people 15 minutes
Cook Time
1 hour
Ingredients
Crust
Balsamic Rosemary Infused Cherries
Servings: people
Instructions
Crust
  1. Preheat the oven to 200C. Line the base of an 8″ loose bottomed tin with parchment, and lightly grease sides..
  2. Run the biscuits, chilled butter and whole almonds in food processor until ground and a moist crumb forms. {Thermomix: Speed 8, 10 seconds, repeat once}
  3. Turn into the baking tin and press the crumbs into the base, building up the sides a bit if desired. Chill while you preheat the oven, and make the filling.
Filling
  1. Place the quark, ricotta, cream cheese, egg yolks, cornflour, 40g sugar,vanilla, cream and lime zest if using into the bowl of your food processor and run on medium speed till smooth. {Thermomix: Speed 6, 10 seconds}
  2. Beat the whites with the remaining 90g sugar to firm peaks. Gently fold this through the quark cheese mixture and pour over the biscuit base.
  3. Bake at 200C for 15 minutes, and then at 180C for about 45 minutes until firm.
  4. Allow to cool completely in oven, leaving the door ajar.
  5. Cover well and chill before serving, preferably overnight. Serve topped with Balsamic Rosemary Infused Cherries.
Balsamic Rosemary Infused Cherries
  1. Place all ingredients in heavy bottom non reactive pan and simmer gently for 5-7 minutes, until cherries soften. Taste and adjust sweetness if required.
  2. Remove cherries to a bowl, and reduce syrup in pan until nice an thick. Strain over reserved cherries, discarding the vanilla bean and rosemary. Chill completely before topping cheesecake.
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“Reminiscent of childhood memories, luxury, sweetness and sensuality, chocolate is more than just a food. It is therapy.”
Christelle Le Ru

Dark Chocolate Quark CheesecakeGF Dark Chocolate Quark Cheesecake … some recipes are just meant to be, and this is one of them. Come summer and quark is constantly being prepped at home. There is never a definite plan for where it goes, yet the fact that I am ‘creating’ a low fat unripened cheese is enough to keep me happy. This tangy cheese finds its way into just about anything. And this something was truly delicious!

Quark dessertsIt’s QUARK all the way! A layered parfait, savoury or sweet, in a curry instead of yogurt, while cooking chicken as a filling for wraps, turnovers like in these Chicken Quark Cross-over Puff Pastry, in frozen yogurt instead of yogurt … or then in cheesecakes of course! That this cheesecake turned out to be gluten free as well is purely incidental …but more about that in a bit!

Dark Chocolate Quark Cheesecake  There is something infinitely comforting in turning all the ingredients into the bowl of the food processor and celebrating that the filling is ‘ready’ to go into the oven. Simple! Yes that simple, but then cheesecakes usually are. The tough part is waiting for them to cool down, and leaving them sitting in the fridge overnight. The toughest bit however is when you experiment, it takes forever to figure out whether it worked, or didn’t. This one certainly was a YES! Best chocolate cheesecake ever!

Dark Chocolate Quark Cheesecake  A few cheesecake basics you might like to keep in mind… Try and bake the cheesecake in a water bath so it cooks evenly and the top doesn’t crack. Prebake the biscuit base especially if you are doing a quark version as the filling is moister than when using a cream cheese. If doing a biscuit base, it’s a nice idea to paint the prebaked base with a brush of melted dark chocolate; keeps the base from going soggy. Make sure the quark is well drained for a full day or two. Above all, use the best quality ingredients. A good dark couverture makes this cheesecake really sing!

Quite a while ago I did these Mini Quark Chocolate Cheesecakes which popped up thanks to Google while I was looking for quark inspiration. Inspired by myself {if I may say so myself}, it was time to bake a dark chocolate quark cheesecake. I had the base ready! Well actually, I had a baking disaster whereby my almond sponge flowed inexplicably out of my baking tin. I think the tin was too small and I was left with a 3/4 sponge to salvage. The idea in my head was trifles with quark and strawberries, and Googling led me ‘you know where‘!

Dark Chocolate Quark Cheesecake  Within minutes, the hapless sponge was blitzed into breadcrumbs in the Thermomix, then rapidly pressed into the baking tin to cushion a base for the cheesecake. You can gauge how much I enjoyed doing this GF Dark Chocolate Quark Cheesecake! It was the fastest cheesecake I have ever bunged into an oven! I have included a biscuit base recipe below as the coincidence of you having a failed sponge on your hands might be too much to ask for.

Dark Chocolate Quark Cheesecake  But if you are up to it, adventurous enough, a sucker for punishment like me AND/OR looking for a gluten free version, then I’ve included the recipe for an almond sponge too. It’s one I use often, here for eg in the Strawberry Almond Roulade. I swopped the Swiss roll pan for a tin, subsequently suffering defeat.

Upcycled Blondie PuddingUpcycling failed desserts {as above} is fun, and one small shove from Ruchira fixed me for life. Upcycle everything that fails is my only thought when I end up with a baking disaster. Eton Mess is a fine example and one that appeared several times as dessert when making macarons was an obsession. Just recently, when an over baked batch of blondies stared me in the face, they headed for the most delicious ‘Upcycled’ Butterscotch Blondie Pudding!

Dark Chocolate Quark Cheesecake  And another piece of happiness … this beautiful ceramic platter that Ruchira got for me recently. It has me absolutely smitten, a new addition to my endless props. That it is round and scalloped, that it is a beautiful shade of blue, that it has tiny dots like a running stitch on the edges, and that it is flat works for me like magic! That she bought it from here in India also makes me thrilled. Wholegrain Anzac Cookies I have a few other bits and bobs of ceramic that tie up with it, so while I enjoy my ever growing {read exploding} prop collection,  I’ll leave you with a recipe that I am sure you will enjoy.Dark Chocolate Quark Cheesecake  I topped the Dark Chocolate Quark Cheesecake with tiny grated chocolate curls. You could also consider  topping it with unsweetened cream and balsamic roasted strawberries, maybe a salted caramel sauce. My homemade recipe for quark can be found here! Also, find more recipes that use quark on my blog.

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Summary: Deep, dark, smooth, chocolaty, this is a GF Dark Chocolate Quark Cheesecake that is light and addictive. Making quark, the Austrian curd cheese, at home, ensures that you needn’t buy expensive and full fat cream cheese anymore. It tastes divine the next day, and maybe even better the day after! Serves 8-10

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Ingredients:

  • Almond sponge
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup almond meal
  • 2 drops almond extract
  • {or Biscuit Base
  • 200gm digestive biscuits, crushed
  • 75g butter, melted}
  • Filling
  • 200g / 1 cup quark cheese {homemade recipe here}
  • 200ml single cream {Amul low fat}
  • 150g brown sugar
  • 150g dark couverture chocolate {I used a 52%}, finely chopped or melted
  • 1 vanilla bean, scraped {or 1 tsp pure vanilla extract}
  • 10g cornstarch
  • 25g good quality cocoa {I used Kakoa}
  • 2 eggs
  • Topping
  • 50g dark couverture chocolate, grated into curls

Method:

  1. Almond Sponge {or biscuit base}
  2. Preheat the oven to 180C.
  3. Beat eggs and sugar until tripled in volume and mousse like, about 8-10 minutes on high speed. Beat in almond extract.
  4. Sift almond meal in over the mousse and gently fold in. Turn into prepared 8″ tin and bake for about 30 minutes at 180C, until light golden brown and tester comes out clean.
  5. Reduce temperature to 170C. Line the base of an 8″ loose bottomed tin with parchment, and wrap the outside with foil.
  6. If using a biscuit filling, mix the biscuit crumbs with melted butter and press it into the bottom of the tin. Bake at 180C for 12-15 minutes. Cool completely, then paint with melted chocolate. If using an almond sponge, run the sponge in the food processor to make into moist breadcrumbs, then press into the base of the tin.
  7. Filling
  8. Place all filling ingredients in the bowl of the food processor.
    Whiz until mixed through and smooth.
  9. Pour batter into prepared tin, and bake at 170C for approx 1 hour. The top should feel set when you gently touch it. Allow to cool completely in the oven, an hour or so.
  10. Remove from baine marie, chill covered in fridge overnight. Unmold before serving.
  11. Top with dark chocolate curls, or roasted balsamic strawberries over unsweetened cream.

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