Archive for ‘Cake’

April 25, 2011

Flourless Chocolate Cake

Flourless Chocolate Cake

I know Passover is almost over, but I just had to end it with a something absolutely delicious, and this cake is definitely that. It’s rich and has almost a fudge-like quality.

Almost every year, Easter falls during Passover, which wouldn’t be such a big deal except that my husband’s family always has a big Easter party with amazing food and amazing desserts…most of which I can’t eat. This year, I decided to allow myself to indulge in some of the celebration by making this flourless chocolate cake. With only three ingredients, it was a breeze to make and great for someone (like me) whose kitchen is mostly packed up in boxes (did I mention we’re moving into our first house in 2 weeks?).


Flourless Chocolate Cake

Ingredients
8 large eggs, cold
1 lb. semisweet (or bittersweet) chocolate, coarsely chopped
16 Tbsp. (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 16 pieces
Optional toppings: Confectioners sugar and/or berries

Directions:

Adjust an oven rack to the lower-middle position and heat the oven to 325 degrees.
Line the bottom of an 8-inch springform pan with parchment paper or waxed paper and grease the sides of
the pan. (Be sure to grease the sides really well!)
Wrap the outside of the pan with 2 sheets of heavy-duty aluminum foil and set it in a large roasting pan. Bring a kettle or pot of water to boil.
In a stand mixer using the whisk attachment, beat the eggs at high speed until the volume doubles (5-10 minutes).
Meanwhile, melt the chocolate and butter together in a heatproof bowl over a simmering pot of water until the chocolate reads 115 degrees on an instant-read thermometer – stirring occasionally.
Fold about a third of the beaten eggs into the chocolate mixture using a large rubber spatula until only a few streaks of egg are visible.
Fold in half of the remaining egg foam, and then the last half of the foam, until the mixture is totally homogenous.
Scrape the batter into the prepared springform pan and smooth the surface with a rubber spatula. Place the roasting pan on the oven rack and pour in enough boiling water to come about halfway up the sides of the springform pan. Bake until the cake has risen slightly, the edges are just beginning to set, a thin-glazed crust has formed on the surface, and an instant-read thermometer inserted halfway into the center reads 140° F, 22-25 minutes.
Remove the springform pan from the water bath and set on a wire rack; cool to room temperature. Cover and refrigerate overnight to mellow and firm. (The cake can be refrigerated for up to 4 days.)
About 30 minutes prior to serving, carefully remove the sides of the springform pan, invert the cake onto a sheet of waxed paper, peel off the parchment paper, and reinvert the cake onto a serving platter.
Lightly dust the cake with powdered sugar and top with berries. To slice, use a sharp, thin-bladed knife, dipping the knife into a pitcher of hot water and wiping the blade before each cut.

Source: Gimme Some Oven! , Originally from Cooks Illustrated

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April 22, 2011

New York Cheesecake with Cherry-Raspberry Topping

New York Style Cheesecake

Don’t let the bad photography skills fool you. This cake is truly amazing. Ever since I made the Raspberry Cheesecake-Cupcakes, my mother has been buying tons and tons of cream cheese ready for baking whenever I come to her house. A couple weekends ago, she asked me to use the cream cheese to create a decadent dessert for my father’s birthday, and of course, the most decadent cheesecake dessert that I could  think of was tall, rich, gorgeous (kind of sounds like I’m describing a man huh?) New York Style Cheesecake.

This cake is truly as great as people make it out to be. Guests were very much impressed by how delicious it was and most importantly, my dad loved it.

The recipe is from Baking Illustrated, which has never let me down, with a really great cherry-raspberry topping that I think I could have probably eaten plain. This one is definitely a keeper.

New York Cheesecake

Ingredients:

Graham Cracker Crust:
5 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted, plus 1 Tbsp melted unsalted butter for greasing the pan
4 ounces Graham crackers, broken into rough pieces and processed in a food processor to fine, even crumbs (approximately 8.5 crackers)
1 Tbsp sugar

For the filling:
2 1/2 lbs (five 8oz packages) cream cheese cut into rough 1 inch chunks at room temperature
1/8 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/3 cup sour cream
2 tsp lemon juice
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 large egg yolks plus 6 large eggs at room temperature.

Directions:
For the crust: Adjust an oven rack to the lower-middle position and heat the oven to 326 degrees.
brush the bottom and sides of a 9-inch springform pan with 1/2 Tbsp of the melted butter.
Combine the graham cracker crumbs and sugar in a medium bowl.
Add 5 Tbsp of the melted butter and toss with a fork until evenly moistened.
Empty the crumbs into the springform pan and press evenly into the pan bottom using the bottom of a ramekin, 1 cup measuring cup or drinking glass to press the crumbs into the bottom. Use a teaspoon to press the crumbs into the corners of the pan.
Bake until fragrant and beginning to brown around th edges, about 13 minutes.
Cool on a wire rack while making the filling.
For the filling: increase the oven temperature to 500 degrees.
In a standing mixer, beat the cream cheese at medium-low speed to break up and soften it slightly, 1 minute.
Scrape the beater and the bottom and sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula.
Add the salt, half of the sugar and beat at medium-low speed until combined, about 1 minute.
Scrape the bowl once again.
Beat in the remaining sugar until combined (about 1 minute).
Scrape the bowl with the rubber spatula again.
Add the sour cream, lemon juice and vanilla.
Beat at low speed until combined, one minute.
Scrape the bowl.
Add the egg yolks and beat at medium-low speed until thoroughly combined, about one minute. Scrape the bowl.
Add the remaining eggs, two at a time, beating until thoroughly combined, about one minute, scraping the bowl between additions.
Brush the sides of the springform pan with the remaining 1/2 Tbsp melted butter.
Set the springform pan on a rimmed baking sheet to catch any spills.
Pour the filling into the cooled crust and bake 10 minutes.
Without opening the oven door, reduce the oven temperature to 200 degrees and continue to bake until the cheesecake reads about 150 degrees on an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center, about 1 1/2 hours.
Transfer the cake to a wire rake and cool until barely warm, 2 1/2 to 3 hours.
Run a paring knife between the cake and the springform pan sides.
Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate until cold, at least three hours. The cheesecake can be refrigerated up to four days.
To unmold, remove the sides of the pan. Slide a thin metal spatula between the crust and the bottom of the pan to loosen, then slide the cake onto a serving plate.
Let the cheesecake stand at room temp 30 minutes, then cut into wedges.

Cherry-Raspberry Topping

Ingredients:
15 ounces mix of frozen cherries and raspberries (this came in two separate bags)
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 cup water

Directions:
Place all ingredients together in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil. Once it is boiling, cook it for an additional one to two minutes then remove from heat. Cool completely before covering cheesecake.

Source: Cheesecake:Baking Illustrated
Cherry/Raspberry Topping adapted from: Smitten Kitchen

Birdseye NY Style Cheesecake