Chocolate Caramel Cheesecake

The white chocolate chips are really nice as polka dots on this cake.Chocolate Caramel Cheesecake

Serves 8 to 10

1 crumb crust (recipe below)

1 cup sugar

3/4 cup heavy cream

8 oz fine-quality bittersweet chocolate (not unsweetened), chopped

1/2 cup sour cream

3 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened

4 large eggs1 teaspoon vanilla

Source: chocolate caramel cheesecake | smitten kitchen

The Torture and Temptation of the Lust for Really Good Chocolate

I’m having a small problem with chocolate… I want it! I want it often and I want it served warm and tasting like real chocolate with cream to smooth it out. I want it every day, more than once.

But, I’m trying to ignore chocolate and cheesecake and ice cream and all those soft, warm or chilled, yummy things. I lost almost 20 pounds but last month I put back two of them.

I blame chocolate, whether the chocolate truly deserves the blame or not.

I Know it will be Warm, Rich and Creamy – Everything I Lust for in Chocolate

Did you know how nice and easy it is to order chocolate to be delivered to your door? I ordered a box of chocolates from a Canadian chocolate company out on the west coast, Vancouver, British Columbia. To get to my house that chocolate had to travel across thousands of kilometres, several provinces and it made the trip a day early. I opened the box, reverently. I tried to be mindful and enjoy every moment and each nuance of chocolate. But, I had eaten three of the milk chocolate bars before I could make myself put the box away.

So, ordering chocolate is not the best way to deal with a craving for chocolate.

I’m still looking for alternative ideas. Today I noticed this Bialetti hot chocolate pot, mostly for the photo. I can taste that chocolate. I know it will be warm and rich and creamy… Everything I lust for in chocolate. I haven’t decided whether or not to order the machine. It’s a risk. What if I like it too much?!

Then I started looking at other well known (to me) chocolate companies who will send packages of chocolate to your door, via Amazon. Oh, the torture, the temptation… I can taste it and it tastes GOOD!

The best I can do is give in to the craving for chocolate but moderate it. This means letting myself have the chocolate but only once a month and then making sure the chocolate I have at that time is the best possible chocolate on the planet at that particular place and time. No supermarket chocolate bars. No packaged hot chocolate mixes. Only the best, real chocolate and I want it smooth, rich and creamy. A chocolate pudding, but not something out of a cardboard box.

I’m adding the hot chocolate maker to my list of things to buy, along with a bathroom scale. Next month there will be chocolate! Better chocolate.

Red Velvet Cheesecake Cake

red velvet cheesecakeRed Velvet Cheesecake Cake
Yields: 1 3-layer cake
Original recipe here.
 
For the cheesecake:
2 oz. white chocolate, chopped
16 oz. cream cheese, room temperature (2 packages)
1/2 cup + 2 tbsn. sugar
1 tbsn. flour
2 eggs, room temperature
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tbsn. heavy cream
 
For the cake:
2 1/2 cups cake flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tbsn. cocoa powder
1 tsp. salt
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
1 cup buttermilk
2 tbsn./ 1 oz. red food coloring
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. white distilled vinegar
 
For the cream cheese frosting:
16 oz. cream cheese/ 2 blocks, room temperature
8 tbsn./ 1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
1 tsp. vanilla
2 1/2 – 3 cups powdered sugar
pinch of salt
 
Preheat the oven to 350 F. To make the cheesecake, melt the white chocolate, set aside to cool slightly. In a large bowl using an electronic mixer, mix the cream cheese on low speed until creamy. Add the sugar and mix slowly until smooth. On low speed, mix in the flour. Turn off the mixer and scrape down the bowl and beater with a rubber spatula. Add one egg at a time, mixing well after each addition, scraping the sides of the bowl. Mix in the vanilla and cream until the mixture is smooth. Using a large spoon, stir in the melted white chocolate until incorporated. Pour the batter into a parchment paper lined 9-inch spring form pan. Bake for about 30 minutes or until the center is set when you slightly shake the pan. Allow to cool before removing from the spring form pan. Allow to cool completely before assembling the cake.
 
For the cake, preheat the oven to 350 F. Sift together the flour, sugar, baking soda, cocoa and salt into a medium bowl. Beat the eggs, oil, buttermilk, food coloring, vanilla and vinegar in a large bowl with an electric mixer until well combined. Add the dry ingredients and beat until smooth, about 2 minutes. Divide the batter evenly between 2 greased and floured 9-inch round cake pans and bake for 25 – 30 minutes, rotating halfway through, until an inserted toothpick in the center of the cake comes out clean. Let cakes cool for 10 minutes, then invert each onto a plate, then invert again onto a cooling rack and let them cool completely, then level.


To make the cream cheese frosting, cream together the cream cheese and butter in a stand mixer until creamy and smooth. Turn the mixer on low and add the vanilla and salt. Then add the powdered sugar slowly. Once mostly incorporated, turn back to medium-high and beat until light and fluffy. To assemble the cake, place your bottom layer of cake on the dish/ plate you will be serving it on with the leveled side facing up. Spread a thin layer of cream cheese frosting on top – it doesn’t matter how messy it looks since it will be covered. Transfer the cheesecake to the top of the cake, then spread another thin layer of cream cheese frosting on top of the cheesecake. Top with the remaining layer of cake – leveled side down so that you have a clean surface. Use the rest of the cream cheese frosting to frost the entire cake. Enjoy!