Tag Archives: Ghiradelli Chocolate

Chocolate Cheesecake For My Anniversary

4 Oct Chocolate Cheesecake

So about a week ago was my 1 year blog anniversary. I couldn’t believe that it had been a year since I began sharing my recipes with everyone. I knew that I wanted to make something special, but it wasn’t until just a few days before my anniversary that I knew exactly what it would be: a chocolate cheesecake. Back home my dad is kind of famous for his baking. A jar of his cookies once started a bidding war at a silent auction for Visalia Assembly of the California Rainbow for Girls that even involved the jar being “misplaced” and a record winning bid. It was quite an eventful auction, and one that we still talk about, lol. Well his other signature baking dish is his cheesecake, specifically his chocolate cheesecake. Since I was in high school I would ask my dad to make one as my birthday cake. And when my dad came down for my birthday in 2012 he made one and bought a springform pan that he left for me so I could make one myself. I was always scared to make one because his are soooo good, even though he gave me the recipe while I was still in college. Well 19 months later I finally conquered my fear and made one myself. This one served as a birthday cake for my dad and my sister on a visit home. Enjoy!

Chocolate Cheesecake Ingredients L-R: Vanilla, Chocolate Graham Crackers, Eggs, Butter, Cream Cheese, Cocoa Powder, Sour Cream, Chocolate Chips, Sugar

Chocolate Cheesecake Ingredients L-R: Vanilla, Chocolate Graham Crackers, Eggs, Butter, Cream Cheese, Cocoa Powder, Sour Cream, Chocolate Chips, Sugar

CHOCOLATE CHEESECAKE (serves about 12)

  • 1 Pkg. Chocolate Wafer Cookies or 1 Box of Chocolate Graham Crackers
  • 1/2 Cup (1 stick) Unsalted Butter
  • 24 oz. Cream Cheese
  • 1 Cup Sugar plus 3 Tbsp
  • 1 1/2 Cups Sour Cream (24 oz)
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 Tbsp Cocoa Powder
  • 1 Tsp Vanilla
  • 10 oz. Chocolate Chips (I used Ghiradelli 60% chips)
  • 1/2 Cup Seedless Raspberry or Apricot Preserves (optional)
  • 9″ Springform Pan (an 8″ or 10″ one will work too)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Make your crust first. In a food processor crush the cookies until fine. You might need to hand crush a few larger pieces if you use graham cracker cookies (like I did). Transfer crumbs to a small mixing bowl. In a small pot melt your butter. Add the melted butter and the three tablespoons of sugar to the cookie crumbs and mix well.

Chocolate Graham Crackers

Chocolate Graham Crackers ready for the Cuisinart

Graham Cracker Crust

Above: The crust mixture
Below: The crust all set in the pan.

Transfer to your cake pan and press into the bottom and up the sides to form the crust (see above). It’s okay if the crust doesn’t go all the way up to the top of the pan.

Next make the filling. My dad uses his Cuisinart food processor, I used my Kitchen Aid mixer, you can also use a hand mixer or a spoon, it’s up to you. Mix together the cream cheese, remaining sugar and sour cream. Blend until smooth. Add in the eggs and mix well. Finally add in your cocoa powder and vanilla (on a low setting if using a mixer).

Cream Cheese, Sugar, Sour Cream, Cocoa Powder, Vanilla

Clockwise from Top Left: Mixing the cream cheese and sugar. After mixing in the sour cream and eggs. Adding in the cocoa powder and vanilla (so pretty!). After they’re mixed in the color doesn’t change much.

Melt your chocolate chips either in a microwavable safe bowl or in a double boiler on the stove. A double boiler consists of a pot of water with either a fitted pot on top (you can buy a set) or what I do, a bowl.

Chocolate Chips, Double Boiler

Melting the chocolate chips in my homemade double boiler

Add melted chocolate to mixture and blend until mixture is smooth.

Melted Chocolate

Melted Chocolate

Mixing in the melted chocolate. Isn’t it pretty!

Pour mixture into cake pan and put into oven. Bake for 50 minutes for a 9 inch pan (1 hour for an 8 inch pan). When done, remove from the oven and let cool. It will puff up above the pan (see photo below) while baking, which is completely normal.

Chocolate Cheesecake

Cheesecake is ready for the oven

Chocolate Cheesecake

Fresh from the oven! As you can see it puffed up about an inch. It will go down later.

Store in the refrigerator until you’re ready to serve. When ready to serve melt about 1/2 cup of seedless raspberry or apricot preserves in the microwave and pour over the top and spread over the top.

Chocolate Cheesecake

After cooling for about 45 minutes or so it deflated and is ready to go in the fridge.

Chocolate Cheesecake

The ring has been removed and is almost ready for serving, just going to add the jam.

I recommend thin slices, as it’s very rich. Enjoy with a cold glass of milk or a cup of coffee!

Chocolate Cheesecake

It’s finally ready to be served.

Chocolate Cheesecake

Served best with a cold glass of milk! Enjoy!

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Chocolate Chip Cookies by Nestle

13 Mar

The chocolate chip cookie. Probably the most commonly baked cookie in the United States. When you think cookie,  “chocolate chip” probably pops into your head first (or maybe second). Nestle Toll House has created a huge brand based around chocolate chip cookies. You can buy dough already made that just needs to be placed on cookie sheets. No mess and super easy. But I don’t like that, I like the process of making cookies. We’ve all done it and probably all have fond memories as children of making cookies with a parent or grandparent, right? I have fond memories of my sister and I making a quarter of a batch of cookie dough after school and eating it as a snack. Yup, we really did that. More than once. And nope, I don’t regret it, lol. For my 8th Grade science fair project I posed the question, “Which chocolate chip makes the best chocolate chip cookie?” (I guess you could say the love of baking has been in my blood for quite some time now.) I tested four different chips: Ghiradelli, Nestle Toll House, Hershey’s and the store brand (Vons). The winner? Nestle Toll House. Ghiradelli was second, then store brand and, sadly, Hershey’s was last. So when Towne Street’s 10 Minute Play Festival had its closing party I decided to make chocolate chip cookies, using Nestle’s recipe on the bag. Keep in mind, there are about as many chocolate chip recipes in the world as there are Starbucks in Los Angeles (if not more), so this won’t be the last chocolate chip cookie recipe I post. The cookies were a hit and I even managed to keep a few for myself and my office mates.

Chocolate Chip Cookies Ingredients L-R: Baking Soda, Brown Sugar, Butter (I used Crisco), White Sugar, Chocolate Chips, Eggs, Flour, Vanilla Extract, Salt

Chocolate Chip Cookies Ingredients L-R: Baking Soda, Brown Sugar, Butter (I used Crisco), White Sugar, Chocolate Chips, Eggs, Flour, Vanilla Extract, Salt

CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES BY NESTLE (makes between 4 and 5 dozen)

  • 2 1/4 Cup Flour
  • 1 Tsp Baking Soda
  • 1 Tsp Salt
  • 1 Cup Butter, Softened
  • 3/4 Cup White Sugar
  • 3/4 Cup Brown Sugar, Packed
  • 1 Tsp Vanilla
  • 2 Eggs
  • 2 Cups (12 oz bag) Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
  • 1 Cup Chopped Nuts (optional)
Sugars and butter about to be mixed

Sugars and butter about to be mixed

Adding in the eggs and vanilla

Adding in the eggs and vanilla

Pre-heat your oven to 375 degrees. In a medium bowl combine your dry ingredients: flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside. In a large mixing bowl (or your stand mixer), combine your sugars and butter. Blend until smooth. Add in your eggs and vanilla and beat again until thoroughly mixed. On the lowest setting start adding your dry ingredient mixture slowly. Once all the dry ingredients are thoroughly mixed add in your chocolate chips (and nuts if you wish. I don’t add nuts as I don’t like them in my cookies.) and mix until they are well blended into your dough.

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Everyone has their own style of putting cookies on the sheet to be baked. If you want pretty round ones, then make small balls about an inch in diameter (unless you want bigger cookies). If you don’t care about the shape just plop the dough onto the sheet either with your hands or a spoon. I kept my cookies about an inch in diameter so there would be lots for the party.

I used a spoon to approximate the size of the cookies.

I used a spoon to approximate the size of the cookies.

Ready for the oven!

Ready for the oven!

The bag says to bake for 9 to 11 minutes, however, I have found that every oven is slightly different, so my first batch of cookies I baked for 8 minutes. Perfect! The rest of the batches were subsequently baked for 8 minutes as well. I let them cool for another two or three minutes on the pan before removing to a cooling rack. I tasted one and it was delicious! They were quickly gobbled up (and stuffed in pockets to take home) at the party. Success!

Fresh from the oven!

Fresh from the oven!

Chocolate Chip Cookies ready for consumption

Chocolate Chip Cookies ready for consumption

Chocolate Truffles

14 Jan

The first time I asked my dad for his truffle recipe he said he would but then he’d have to kill me. Fortunately I gave him my biggest smile and he changed his mind and I’m still alive today. I was going to a holiday “balls” party (all food had to be shaped like (ornament) balls), and the first thing I thought of was his truffles. It’s one of his treats that he only makes for Christmas. Not because they are difficult but because they are a special treat that went in our baskets of goodies that we gave to friends and family. In fact, they are one of the easiest things I’ve ever made. And also one of the messiest. But thanks to Santa this year, I now have a melon baller which will make truffle making MUCH easier next time!

A couple of notes on choices of liqueur and chocolate. My dad uses Grand Marnier, which is an orange liqueur. I use Kahlua because I’m more likely to drink that later. Last year I used a coffee rum from a new company, Eastside Distilling, founded by my cousin. But alas, it’s only available in Oregon and Washington and I finished that bottle some time ago. As for the chocolate, I use Ghiradelli 60% Chocolate Chips. I think the darker chips make for a richer truffle and Ghiradelli is the best in that department. For the cocoa powder to roll in, I used Hershey because that’s what I had in my cabinet, but my dad uses (again) Ghiradelli unsweetened cocoa baking powder. (I collect Hershey products and have a couple of cookbooks from them, so look for more recipes that use Hershey products.)

Ingredients for my Chocolate Truffles L-R: Heavy Whipping Cream, Kahlua, Dark Chocolate Chips, Unsalted Butter

Ingredients for my Chocolate Truffles L-R: Heavy Whipping Cream, Kahlua, Dark Chocolate Chips, Unsalted Butter

CHOCOLATE TRUFFLES

  • 12 oz. Chocolate Chips (I use dark chocolate)
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) Unsalted Butter
  • 1 cup Heavy Cream
  • 2 Tbsp Liqueur like Grand Marnier, Triple Sec, Kahlua, etc
  • 1/8 to 1/4 cup Cocoa Powder for rolling

Place chocolate chips in a medium bowl and set aside. In a small saucepan over low heat combine your butter and cream until the butter melts. Don’t try to speed up the process with higher temperatures as you don’t want your milk to curdle. Once the butter is all melted pour over your chocolate chips. Let this sit for about a minute or two, just long enough that the chocolate starts to melt and is soft and then mix with a whisk. Start slow, pulling up the chocolate from the bottom of the bowl. Whisk until the chocolate is completely melted and the mixture is shiny. Add in the liqueur of your choice and mix again. Cover and place in refrigerator until it sets, usually a couple of hours.

The butter is melting. Seeing a stick of butter makes you feel so good about eating truffles right?

The butter is melting. Seeing a stick of butter makes you feel so good about eating truffles right?

The hot cream/butter mixture has melted the chocolate!

The hot cream/butter mixture has melted the chocolate!

All mixed and ready for the fridge!

All mixed and ready for the fridge!

You can roll your truffles in whatever you want. The “traditional” one is cocoa powder. I also have used peppermint bark (smashed), white chocolate (smashed), and toffee bits. Before you start the rolling make sure you have an apron or a shirt you don’t care about on and short sleeves. Place your coating(s) of choice on a plate (each coating should have its own). For the peppermint bark and white chocolate I used bars and smashed them with a hammer in a plastic bag until they were small bits. Set out mini cupcake papers on a plate or a cookie sheet. Once your chocolate is set take it out and with a melon baller, spoon, or mini ice cream spring release scoop, scoop out small balls of chocolate and roll in your palms to make into round balls. You can make them as big/small as you like. I make them about the size of small walnut. Once they are smooth, roll in your coating of choice then place in the mini cupcake paper. Repeat. If you feel the chocolate is melting too much on your hands, rinse them in cold water before continuing. When you’re done, offer your chocolate covered fingers to your significant other or just lick them clean yourself-LOL! Share your truffles with others and remember to save one for yourself!

Chocolate Truffles, Toffee Bits, Cocoa Powder

Chocolate Truffles, Toffee Bits, Cocoa Powder

Rolling in the white chocolate bits.

Rolling in the white chocolate bits.

It's a messy job, but someone has to do it! That's a truffle rolled in white chocolate bits.

It’s a messy job, but someone has to do it! That’s a truffle rolled in white chocolate bits.

Hmmmm!

Hmmmm!

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