Triple Chocolate Cheesecake

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While I’ve never been one to turn the other way when it comes to decadent desserts, the holidays and decadent desserts go hand in hand. It’s one delectable dessert after another. Which, of course, is why most promise to eat healthier and exercise more when the New Year comes. No matter how much moderation I practice, I’ll be in that crew too, but here’s a delicious dessert that wont be the cause!

While it’s definitely not good for you, this decadent and luscious chocolate cheese cake filled with three different chocolates, is a lighter option while definitely not light on taste. Frankly, no one can tell so for those that wont eat healthier options, just keep quiet and for those that seek them out, go ahead and tell them this is good for them. Granted, I really don’t think you’ll need to convince anyone to try a slice. Who is going to say no to this when placed in front of them?

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*As with any cheesecake, keep your eye on it. Your eye is the best judge versus the clock. Also, I chose to make this using an adaptation of the water bath method because that’s how I do all of my cheesecakes. Simply prepare as shown before, but while the oven is pre-heating place a baking dish with water in it to create some humidity. Then, leave in while you bake your cheesecake.

Triple Chocolate Cheesecake

Ingredients

For the crust:

  • 2/3 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 8 chocolate graham cracker sheets
  • 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon butter, melted
  • 1 large egg white
  • Baking spray with flour
For the filling:
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 2 tablespoons cake flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 12 ounces fat-free cream cheese, softened
  • 10 ounce 1/3-less-fat cream cheese, softened
  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 ounce milk chocolate, melted and cooled
  • 2 cups frozen light whipped topping, thawed and divided
  • 1 cup blackberries

Preheat oven to 350°

To prepare crust, spread oats on a baking sheet. Bake at 350° for 10 minutes or until lightly browned, stirring after 5 minutes. Cool. Combine oats, crackers, brown sugar, and 1/8 teaspoon salt in a food processor; process until finely ground. Add butter and egg white; process until moist. Press mixture into bottom and 1 1/2 inches up sides of a 9-inch springform pan coated with baking spray. Bake at 350° for 22 minutes. Cool completely on a wire rack.

Reduce oven temperature to 325°.

To prepare the filling, sift together granulated sugar, cocoa, flour, and 1/4 teaspoon salt.

Place cheeses in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until smooth. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add vanilla and chocolate, beating at low speed just until combined. Sprinkle sugar mixture over top of cheese mixture; beat at low speed until combined. Fold 1 cup whipped topping into mixture. Pour mixture into prepared pan, smoothing top. Bake at 325° for 1 hour or until cheesecake center barely moves when pan is touched. Remove cheesecake from oven; run a knife around outside edge. Cool to room temperature. Cover and chill 8 hours or overnight. Slice cheesecake into 14 slices; top each serving with about 1 tablespoon whipped topping. Divide berries among servings.

Serves 14

Source: Cooking Light, November 2014

OXO Good Grips Food Scale Giveaway

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If you watch any cooking shows or read any articles about cooking, chances are you’ve heard how important using a food scale is. I’ve gone on and on about it in some of my posts, tweets, etc. I’ve been a food scale convert for a few years now and there’s no looking back. When mine was out of commission earlier this year, I was lost in the kitchen and only did the bare minimum of baking until I got mine back. It was a long 5 days, let me tell you. Thankfully, OXO came to my rescue and sent another one and I may have hugged it a little when it arrived. I’m a weirdo, I still have the old one in my basement because it was so good to me, I can’t just…dispose of it!

I’ve had a lot of you ask me why a food scale is important and how it will benefit you. I’ve answered so many questions regarding it that I decided I would contact OXO and see if they would be so kind as to give one lucky reader a 11lb Good Grips Food Scale so they can see what it’s all about.

I am SO excited about this giveaway! Besides my knives and my standmixer, my food scale is a work horse in my kitchen. When I was thinking of what I’d like to give one of my readers, this was one of the first things that came to mind. Not everyone thinks they need one, but you’ll see, I promise!

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What’s so cracked up about a food scale? Well, lets start off easy, you only need to dirty one bowl and a spoon when you are adding your ingredients. Just keep topping off your ingredients into the same bowl, measure, then hit the “Zero” button and start with the next ingredient. Right there it’s worth its weight in goal for this busy mommy. Secondly, it takes the guess work out of dividing ingredients, whether it be dividing cake batter by thirds or trying to measure out 12 rolls from your dough. Everyone knows that baking is pretty precise, well how much more precise can you get than with a scale? Lots of people use it as a dietary aid, measuring out their foods. That’s not me at all, but it is good for that!

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This prize is provided by OXO. This giveaway is for residents of the contingent United States and will end on December 19th, 12:00 pm EST. Physical address required for shipping; no PO boxes. You must be 18 years or older to enter.

White Chocolate Peppermint Mousse

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We’re in the thick of the holiday season here and I’ve promised myself, and family, to take it easy in the kitchen. At least for now, but I do love whipping up all sorts of goodies and I’ll deal with the repercussions come January!

What I love about this mousse is that it is so easy to make, yet so elegant. Who is going to pass up chocolate mousse? Using white chocolate and crushed candy canes makes it a perfect holiday dessert whether you’re entertaining or gathered around the kitchen island after dinner which was the case at my house last night. Chocolate and peppermint are one of my all-time favorite flavor combinations. This recipe is always well received in my house and I know we haven’t seen the last of it this season.

To get the most flavor, use a higher quality white chocolate that contains cocoa butter. Really though, I’ve used your run of the mill white chocolate and we’re still happy campers. This may be frozen.

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White Chocolate Peppermint Mousse

Ingredients

  • 1 (4oz.) bar white chocolate, chopped
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 tsp pure peppermint extract
  • 1 1/4 cup chilled heavy cream
  • 2 Tbsp chopped or crushed peppermint candies

Melt white chocolate in a double boiler, about 3 minutes. Watch closely and stir often so that the chocolate does not seize. Set aside to cool slightly.

In a separate bowl, combine egg yolks and sugar, and heat in a double boiler. Whisk constantly until egg yolks feel hot to the touch and sugar has melted, about 3 minutes.

Fold egg mixture into white chocolate. Add peppermint extract and fold to combine. Let cool about 10 minutes.

Using an electric mixture on medium-high speed, beat ream in a large bowl until stiff peaks form, about 3 to 5 minutes. Be careful not to over beat. Fold whipped cream into white chocolate mixture, mixing thoroughly.

Scoop mousse into a large resealable bag. Snip one corner of the bag and pipe mousse into 6 cups or small bowls. Alternatively, use a large spoon to scoop mousse into bowls and smooth surface. Refrigerate until chilled, at least 2 hours and up to overnight. Just before serving, sprinkle with peppermint candies. Serve chilled.

Source: Hannaford Fresh, November/December 2014

OXO Cookie Press Giveaway

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Every year, as Christmas approaches, I say, “This year I’m going to take it easy, not do as much and simply relax. Make only our favorites and not go bananas trying new recipes.” Every year I go bananas. That’s half the fun of it though, right? Cookies and other treats are obviously the most fun to make and you can share with loved ones, colleagues, the postman, etc. to get them out of your house quickly before you eat them all.

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We love making all sorts of cookies and have our favorites. Making simple butter cookies with fun sprinkles is always a must and they often find themselves waiting for Santa on Christmas Eve. My sous chef loves adorning anything with sprinkles, so we really bling them out. She, like me, also loves gadgets. I try to stay away from uni-taskers, but a cookie press is kind of needed when you do spritz cookies. You could cut a million tiny cookies out with a cookie cutter, but I’m not going there. I don’t even really enjoy making normal sized cookies with cookie cutters. Over the past couple of years I’ve really enjoyed using my OXO Good Grips Cookie Press. It had a ton of great reviews on Amazon and it has definitely lived up to its reputation. I received another OXO Cookie Press as part of a fundraising campaign and knew I wanted to save it for one lucky reader. So, here ya go. Simply enter to win below using the widget. When the contest is over my aim is to get it out to you as soon as possible so hopefully this will be putting this tool to good use and having fun this holiday season. Good luck and Happy Holidays!

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This prize is provided by The Way to His Heart, because I want cookie decorating to be more fun and less work this holiday season! This giveaway is for residents of the contingent United States and will end on December 12th, 12:00 pm EST. Physical address required for shipping; no PO boxes. You must be 18 years or older to enter.