Berries and Cream Cake

Berries and Cream Cake 14

Fair warning: Ode to friendship ahead. Things are about to get mushy. Maybe even teary. There’s no sayin’. You have been warned.

Bombs away.

This little cake here was born last week, to celebrate the birthday of one very special person. 25 years of shared summer adventures, cups of tea, hikes into unsuspectedly nudist corners of the countryside, vicious games of Clue and Hotel, fried eggs, French fries, mosquitoes, sunburns, swimming pools, and cheese (in no particular order).

I can’t believe I’m saying this, but my first memory is all of 20 years old, of wee Annie on her bike with little side wheels and a helmet, all curls and freckles. The nineties were a glorious riot of adventures, imagination, sleepovers and berry picking.

The latter was probably among the best things summer had to offer. After two months of running endlessly wild and free in the forest and continuously soaking up sun and water and laughter in the pool, September brought a bounty of blackberries, tumbling into our purple-stained little hands like so many little jewels.

It was utterly pure, unconfined bliss.

Those golden days shaped a friendship that has withstood the harshest tests of time. The blackberry brambles have dwindled, the unexplored paths in the woods left for the next generation of adventurers to discover – but to me, we remain unchanged. Eternally eight years old, conquering the world together. Some things never fade. Some memories are forever young. An inspiration, then and now, an unerring, unfaltering source of courage and solace.

There are no words. Years upon years of endless conversation, deep into the night, and now there are no words that will suffice.

Let’s leave it at thank you.

To summer, and friendship. They’re all your really need in life.

Berries and Cream Cake 15

Berries & Cream Cake

Servings: well, I could eat it alone, but let’s say 8

Prep time: 25 minutes, plus overnight cooling

You will need:

  • 1/3 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 cup berry preserves
  • 2 1/2 cup blackberries, when in season, or raspberries or blueberries, when not
  • 230 gr, or 8oz, Neufchâtel cheese
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 cup cream
  • slices of pound cake, enough to cover the base of your cake pan twice over

Berries & Cream Cake 1

Combine the 1/3 cup of water, honey and lemon zest in a small sauce pan. Heat while stirring to dissolve honey, then set aside to cool. Add lemon juice.

Berries and Cream Cake 7

Combine the 1/4 cup of water, preserves and berries in another sauce pan. Cook over medium low heat until it begins to thicken. Set aside to cool.

Berries and Cream Cake 10

Beat the cheese and sugar together.

Berries & Cream Cake 2

Berries and Cream Cake 3-side

Beat the cream until until stiff peak form, the gently fold into the cheese mixture.

Berries and Cream Cake 8

Cover the bottom of your cake pan with a single layer of pound cake, cutting up piece where necessary. Sprinkle half the lemon-honey mixture onto the cake. Top with half the berry mixture, then cover with half the cream mixture. Repeat.

Berries and Cream Cake 9-side

Refrigerate over night (cover with plastic wrap to avoid cracks… I didn’t 😦 ).

Top with fresh berries to serve.

Enjoy 🙂

Berries and Cream Cake 13

Cheesecake Filled Easter Eggs

Cheesecake Filled Easter Eggs 7

“Easter says you can put truth in a grave, but it won’t stay there.”  Clarence W. Hall 

I’ve been teaching for over ten years. Ironically, it is not my calling. It is, however, a means to put money in my bank account so I can buy cheese. And chocolate. And bacon. Let’s not forget the bacon.

Now, when teaching languages, I’ve repeatedly encountered the insurmountable obstacle that English makes no sense whatsoever, and German makes too much. If my words are not enough for thee, check out the poem “The Chaos”, by G. Nolst Trenité (1922). Then read “The Awful German Language”, by Mark Twain. Go ahead. Then come back, and read on.

Welcome to my everyday life. The excess of logic in German grammar and the absolute lack of it in English spelling regularly reduce my students to tears.

It’s so much fun to watch.

The greatest challenge for a language teacher is attempting to convey the many layers and fascinating nuances of the word. Some languages are easy. Some languages are not. Some are intuitive, like English, following no recognizable logic whatsoever. Others are but slight variations on a theme, close cousins, if you may, like all Romance languages. Differences notwithstanding, each language opens a door into an unknown world; centuries, no, millennia of history, psychology and anthropology unfolding before your eyes as you delve deeper into their secrets. A people’s deepest fears and yearnings are laid bare, just as bones cleared painstakingly of dirt in ancient burial sites. A civilisation’s language bears the unmistakable imprint of humanity, and when you begin to study them, you tap into an endless ocean of nuances, influenced by a myriad of seasons, woven together in an intrinsic filigree, an impossible dance, a virtuoso composition of colors you have yet to see. Through language, history comes alive.

It’s riveting.

Cheesecake Filled Easter Eggs 6

And then there is German.

You see, European languages are, for the most part, fairly similar, due to geographically and demographically imposed proximity.

German is no exception, of course, but try telling that to my exasperated students. There are rules, and rules for the rules, rules for the exceptions to the rules, and a seemingly endless supply of vocabulary. It is a language for mathematicians, logical and predictable and complex as hell.

But for all their linguistic shortcomings, Germans are the indisputable kings of seasonal celebrations. Christmas and Easter are feasts to behold, riotous and joyous, belying the complexity of their world.

Let us celebrate that complexity with sweets. German Easter sweets, of course, slightly tweaked so they could have their place on this blog. Sweets, like languages, give fascinating insight into different worlds. Eat up, and be comforted – it is merely a study in anthropology.

One year ago on May the Cheese Be With You: Shepherd’s Pie

Other cream cheese sweets: Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake Bites, Carrot Cake, Chocolate Peanut Butter Muffins, Cheesecake Chocolate Mousse, Apple Cheese Danish, Raspberry White Chocolate Cheesecake, Old Style Cheesecake, Cream Cheese Pancakes, Cookies and Cream Cheesecake Bites, Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Buttercream, Green Velvet Cheesecake Cake with Marshmallow Cream Cheese Frosting

Cheesecake Filled Easter Eggs 4

Cheesecake Filled Chocolate Easter Eggs

Inspired by the one-of-a-kind Raspberri Cupcakes

Servings: 6-8 eggs (depends on their size)

Prep time: 1 hour

You will need:

  • 6-8 hollow chocolate eggs
  • 150gr cream cheese
  • 30gr, or 1/4 cup, powdered sugar
  • a good squeeze of lemon juice
  • vanilla extract, or vanilla sugar, to taste
  • 125ml, or 1/2 cup, cream
  • apricot or peach jam, or any yellow filling you like

Cheesecake Filled Easter Eggs 5

Use a sharp knife to remove the top of the chocolate eggs. I went for the rustic, cracked look so I used a serrated knife. If you want smooth edges, hold your knife under warm water before cutting – it’ll make things easier and neater. Keep the chocolate eggs in the fridge while you prepare the cheesecake filling.

Cheesecake Filled Easter Eggs 1

For the filling, beat the cream cheese with the sugar, lemon juice and vanilla until smooth, creamy and uniform – no unsightly lumps here, folks.

Now pour the cream into the container of an electric mixer and beat until stiff peaks form – we’re going for light whipped cream consistency here. If you feel like getting in a good workout before overloading on dessert, go on and hand whip it. But be prepared to sweat.

Cheesecake Filled Easter Eggs 2

Carefully fold the whipped cream into the cheesecake until just combined.

Now spoon the filling into the chocolate eggs – you’ll need a spoon small enough to fit into the openings you cut earlier. Once filled to taste, chill the eggs in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Cheesecake Filled Easter Eggs 3

When the cheesecake has firmed up nicely, use the same spoon you were using to fill the eggs, and spoon out the centre of the eggs, in order to create a little hollow in the middle of the filling. Fill the hole with the apricot or peach jam (I used a homemade combination of both). Chill for another half hour before serving.

Enjoy 🙂

Clara

Cheesecake Filled Easter Eggs 8

Green Velvet Cheesecake Cake with Marshmallow Cream Cheese Frosting

Green Velvet Cheesecake Cake 12 So St. Patrick’s Day exploded all over my closet-sized kitchen. I have green food coloring in the most impossible of places – including under my fingernails. I’m the Wicked Witch of the West. I’ve got Irish beer overflowing from my fridge and cabinets. A leprechaun is soaking comfortably in my sink, and I can’t get rid of him. He says he wants cake. I know better than to cross a leprechaun. So I made cake. Let me rephrase that. Remember those Red Velvet Cupcakes we made for St. Valentine’s? Well I made two layers of green velvet cake and put and entire cheesecake in between, because, what the hell, that’s why. I smothered it all in marshmallow cream cheese buttercream frosting for good measure, and also topped it with sprinkles, because, you know, sprinkles. Golden Fudge Truffles 6 And then, after my kitchen was all nicely covered in food coloring, sprinkles and marshmallow fluff, I decided to go in for the kill and made these ridiculously easy two ingredient chocolate fudge truffles, and I just went ahead and made them golden to keep my leprechaun happy. Note that the cake is the epitome of over-indulgement, and the truffles whomever still stands after eating the cake. So go ahead, eat cake, eat chocolate, and get drunk. ‘Tis the season, after all. Happy St Patrick’s Day to you all – a bit ahead of time 🙂 – and may all things green, Irish and lucky be with you.

One year ago on May the Cheese Be With You: Cream Cheese Pancakes

Other cream cheese recipes: Carrot Cake, Chocolate Peanut Butter Muffins, Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake Bites, Cheesecake Chocolate Mousse, Apple Cheese Danish, Old Style Cheesecake, Cookies and Cream Cheesecake Bites, Raspberry White Chocolate Cheesecake

Green Velvet Cheesecake Cake 8 Green Velvet Cheesecake Cake with Marshmallow Cream Cheese Frosting

Servings: a gazillion

Prep time: 2 hours

You will need:

For the cheesecake:

  • 1 cup, or 250gr, cream cheese
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoons sour cream, or cream with a dash of lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon cream

For the cake:

  • 1 1/4 cups flour
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3/4 cups vegetable oil of choice
  •  3/4 cups sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon white vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk, or cream with a dash of lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon green food coloring

For the frosting:

  • 1 cup, or 250gr, cream cheese, softened
  • 5 1/2 tablespoon of butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups marshmallow fluff
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • green sprinkles, to garnish

Green Velvet Cheesecake Cake 16 Cheesecake: Beat the cream cheese with the sugar until nice and light. Beat in the egg, then add the sour cream and cream and mix until smooth. Green Velvet Cheesecake Cake 1 Pour into a small, round, greased pan, and bake on medium for about 40 minutes, or until set and only slightly jiggly. Let it cool completely, then remove from the pan and place in the freezer. Now please take a few moment to appreciate the beauty and perfection that is this cheesecake. Green Velvet Cheesecake Cake 3-side I mean, please. Green Velvet Cake: Mix together the flour and cocoa powder. Make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients, and pour in the  oil. Beat the sugar into the oil. Beat in the egg. In a small bowl, combine the vinegar and baking soda. Prepare for some fizzling. Add this mixture to the liquids, along with the buttermilk and food coloring. Finally, incorporate the flour and cocoa powder, and beat gently until well incorporated. Pour the batter into a small cake pan, the same size and shape as the one you used for the cheesecake, and bake for 30 minutes on medium, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Set aside to cool completely. Green Velvet Cheesecake Cake 2 Green Velvet Cheesecake Cake 5 Frosting: Use an electric mixer to beat the cream cheese with the butter. Green Velvet Cheesecake Cake 7 Add the marshmallow fluff, then, gradually, the powdered sugar, and keep beating until light and fluffy. Assemble: Remove the cooled cake from its pan. Trim off the top if it puffed up, so that you end up with a flat top. Using a long, sharp knife, cut it half lengthwise. Remove the cheesecake from the freezer and place it between the two layer of cake, thus: Green Velvet Cheesecake Cake 6 Now frost, frost, frost this baby like there’s no tomorrow. Go ahead, go wild. It’s St Patrick’s Day, and sipping Irish cream on the rocks is so passé. Finally, sprinkle away with any green sprinkles you have at hand. If you have no sprinkles – gasp – you can also sprinkle with cocoa powder. Green Velvet Cheesecake Cake 15 And that’s that. Keep in the fridge until time to serve. But watch yourself – a rogue leprechaun just might get into your fridge next Tuesday.

Green Velvet Cheesecake Cake 13   Bonus recipe: Golden Fudge Truffles

Golden Fudge Truffles 5 Disclaimer: This recipe contains no cheese, but it’ll rock your world anyway.

Prep time: 15 minutes

Servings: anywhere from 10 to 25, depending on the size of your molds

You will need:

  • 1 cup chopped semi-sweet chocolate
  • 1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
  • edible gold paint

Golden Fudge Truffles 1 Place the chopped chocolate in a medium saucepan. Pour the condensed milk on top. Golden Fudge Truffles 3 Let’s get a close up of this, because man, this is heaven. Golden Fudge Truffles 2 Place the saucepan over low heat, and slowly melt the chocolate into the condensed milk, stirring often. Golden Fudge Truffles 4 Once smooth, allow the mixture to cool completely before rolling it into little balls and pressing into the desired molds. Allow to harden for a few hours before removing. Paint with edible gold paint and allow color to set for another 30 minutes. Set out for leprechauns to eat. Golden Fudge Truffles 8 Or enjoy them yourself 🙂

Clara

Old Style Cheesecake

old style cheesecake 2

Avui he decidit reprendre els meus treballs de recerca formatgils i investigar sobre el “cream cheese” (en català en teoria és formatge cremós, però dit així sona molt raro. Aquí s’ha popularitzat tant la marca Philadelphia que d’aquest tipus de formatge ja se’n diu habitualment “filadèlfia”).

Doncs bé, segons la nostra amiga viquipèdia, es veu que els primers avantpassats anglesos de la filadèlfia daten del 1583. Resulta que mentre nosaltres canviàvem de Felip II a Felip III (que li deien el pietós però en realitat és el dolent de Mar i Cel), a Anglaterra ja untaven els scones amb filadèlfia.

Aquest tipus de formatge es fa normalment amb llet de vaca, tot i que he llegit que no sé on de Filipines en fan de búfal. Bueno, de búfala, espero.

I ara em posaré tècnica, ja us aviso. El quadrimestre d’anàlisi de productes agroalimentaris va fer molt de mal.

Segons la US Food and Drug Administration, la filadèlfia ha de tenir com a mínim un 33% de greix de la llet, una humitat no superior al 50% i un pH entre 4,4 i 4,9. Això de l’acidesa pot semblar una tonteria, però es veu que és un punt clau per aconseguir la textura desitjada. A l’inici de l’elaboració la mescla es troba a un pH més elevat que el final (el de la llet, ara no me’l feu buscar). Llavors, quan s’hi afegeixen els ferments làctics i el tema fermenta, baixa el pH, fet que fa coagular el que volem que coaguli. Però clar, si els deixes sols els ferments es descontrolen, i si el pH baixés massa la mescla tornaria a ser líquida, per això decideixen prescindir dels seus serveis quan s’arriba al punt isoelèctric de la filadèlfia (sí, molt surrealista) i se’ls carreguen a tots pujant la temperatura. I apa, a envasar i llestos.

I per què us ho estic explicant tot això? Doncs perquè el fet de saber que la filadèlfia es troba al seu punt isoelèctric m’ha impactat tant que ho havia de compartir, i perquè, sigui quin sigui el seu pH final, és la base de les nostres postres reines: els cheesecakes. El d’avui és el més típic d’aquí, el que no porta galeta a sota i melmelada a sobre, el que fan les àvies i, segurament, el que menjava Felip III per berenar el dia que va decidir expulsar els moriscos i liar-la parda amb el pobre Saïd.

Old Style Cheesecake

Servings: 6-8

Prep time: 10 minutes, plus 1 hour baking time

You will need:

  • 600 g cream cheese
  • 4 eggs
  • 3 lemon flavoured yogurts
  • 12 Tbsp sugar
  • 5 Tbsp corn flour

This is the easiest cheesecake recipe ever. Just mix all the ingredients in a large bowl, pour the mixture into a greased mold and bake it at 180ºC for about 1h (or until well set and golden brown, as usual).

old style cheesecake prep 1

And that’s it. Now eat.

old style cheesecake

Annie

A cheese-laden birthday feast!

Happy birthday to us!

We’ve been cheesing it for a year now, and we have been celebrating.

With cheese.

Of course.

So today we bring to you not one, not two, not three, but four recipes to put together an entire scrumptious meal orbiting around cheese.

We begin with an appetiser, featuring Feta cheese and ground walnuts, which technically make these little taste-bomb healthy. Almost. Be that as it may, these were absolutely, totally, like, awesome.

Our first course starred creamy pasta with Ricotta, paired with the freshness of lemon. The sheer simplicity of this dish belies the wonderful taste, which manages to transport you straight back into summer.

We chose chicken for our main course, and of course Parmesan, which simply had to make the cut. Dried tomatoes and basil rounded up this lovely, comforting one-skillet dish. We do, however, apologise for the pictures, but this was so good we literally forgot to take any more… You’ll just have to trust us on this one. Have we ever led you astray? 🙂

And last, but indeed not least, you cannot have a birthday without a cake. A cheesecake, of course. Scroll down and find out more about this little crowning jewel of today’s feast…

How can you say no?

Walnut Feta Cookies

Walnut Feta Cookies 6

Servings: about 40 cookies

Prep time: 20 minutes

You will need:

  • 40 g ground or chopped walnuts
  • 120 g, or 1/2 cup flour
  • 120 g butter
  • 120 g feta cheese
  • salt and pepper

Walnut Feta Cookies 7

Let’s start out with the walnut. If you couldn’t find them ground, you can use a pestle and mortar to do the job. (We did 🙂 )

Walnut Feta Cookies 1

In a large bowl, mix all the ingredients until you obtain a homogeneous dough, then roll it out to a thickness of roughly 1,5 cm.

Walnut Feta Cookies 2

Cut them out in any desired shape. We used a round cutter, but any shape will do, really.

Walnut Feta Cookies 3

Place on a greased or lined cookie sheet. Leave a little space between them, but not much is needed, since they really don’t grow at all. You can brush them them with a slightly beaten egg, or even milk, at this point, but this really isn’t necessary.

Walnut Feta Cookies 4

Place in a low oven and bake for about 10 minutes, or until light golden.

Raspberry White Chocolate Cheesecake 5

Lemon Ricotta Pasta

Lemon Ricotta Pasta 5

Servings: 4

Prep time: 10 minutes (seriously)

You will need:

  • 350gr short pasta
  • 200gr fresh Ricotta cheese
  • the zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 teaspoons dried, or 10 leaves fresh basil
  • grated Parmesan cheese, to garnish

Lemon Ricotta Pasta 3

Cook the pasta as per package instructions.

Lemon Ricotta Pasta

Reserve two cups of pasta water before draining.

Meanwhile, beat together the cheese, lemon zest and basil until thoroughly combined.

Lemon Ricotta Pasta 2

Thin out with pasta water until fairly liquid, but still creamy. Return the drained pasta to the pot and mix in the Ricotta mixture.

Serve garnished with Parmesan and a few basil leaves.

Lemon Ricotta Pasta 6

Creamy Parmesan Basil Chicken

Creamy Parmesan Basil Chicken 2

Servings: 4

Prep time: 30 mintues

You will need:

  • 4 large chicken breasts
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 bread crumbs
  • olive oil to cook the chicken
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1 cup cream
  • 1/3 cup minced dried tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, or 2 teaspoons dried
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons cream cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste

Preheat a large skillet on low heat with the olive oil. Salt and pepper both side of the chicken breasts. Dip in the milk, then coat with bread crumbs and place in the pan. Cook for about 5 to 8 minutes on each side, or until cooked through (times may vary here depending on the thickness of the breast).

Creamy Basil Parmesan Chicken 1

Remove from the pan, and add the broth to the same pan. When it boils, stir in cream and tomatoes and give it a good stir. Add the remaining ingredients and give it a few minutes to cook through.

Return the chicken to the pan.

Eat up. 🙂

Raspberry White Chocolate Cheesecake

Raspberry White Chocolate Cheesecake 10

Servings: 8

Prep time: 30 minutes, plus 50 minutes baking time, plus 2 hours chilling

You will need:

For the cheesecake:

  • 1 cup shortbread cookies, crumbled
  • 3 tablespoons ground almonds
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 4 tablespoons cream cheese
  • 3/4 cup white chocolate, cut into squares and melted
  • 2/3 cup sugar (optional; I didn’t think it was necessary)
  • 2/3 cup sour cream
  • 3 eggs

For the raspberry sauce:

  • 1 1/4 cup raspberry jam
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen raspberries

Raspberry White Chocolate Cheesecake 8

Combine the crushed cookies with the ground almonds.

Raspberry White Chocolate Cheesecake 11-side

Raspberry White Chocolate Cheesecake 13

Mix in the melted butter until it forms a crumbly paste. Press into the bottom of a greased pan.

Raspberry White Chocolate Cheesecake 16

Combine the cream cheese with the melted chocolate.

Raspberry White Chocolate Cheesecake 15

Add the sour cream, sugar and eggs. Pour on top of the cookie crust.

Raspberry White Chocolate Cheesecake 14-side

Bake on medium high for 30 to 45 minutes or until golden brown and centre is still slightly wobbly, but set. It will firm up as it cools.

Raspberry White Chocolate Cheesecake 1

Place in the fridge to cool for at least 2 hours, ideally overnight.

Raspberry White Chocolate Cheesecake 4-side

Meanwhile, place the raspberry jam in a small sauce pan over medium heat until it melts down. Add the raspberries and bring to a simmer. Cover and chill until serving time.

Raspberry White Chocolate Cheesecake 7

Spoon the raspberry sauce over the cheesecake slices as you serve.

Raspberry White Chocolate Cheesecake 9

Enjoy! 🙂

Cheesecake Chocolate Mousse

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It’s hot outside. And about time, too. This summer has put quite a few autumns to shame. I was counting on a tan, darn you. Instead, I’m still glowing in the dark. That, and I’m writing this post to the melodious, incessant, ever so slightly strident meowing of five baby kittens whom I plucked from the rain a week ago.

You can now proceed to call me momma cat. Like, of the year.

Allow me to illustrate:

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Don’t look at me that way. It was raining, it was cold, they were three weeks old and were giving me some serious puppy eyes. Or kitty eyes, as it were. And the real momma cat was not doing a very good job of it.

And it was raining.

But now it’s hot.

And they know it.

And they complain.

Profusely.

Ceaselessly.

That is how this recipe happened. I have one free hand only, as the other one is occupied keeping tiny, mischievous little fur balls out of trouble. Also, sweltering heat, and thus no appetite for anything cake-y or muffin-y or suchlike.

So mousse it is.

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One-handed Cheesecake Chocolate Mousse

Servings: 4

Prep time: 10 minutes, plus 4 hours chilling time

You will need:

For the chocolate mousse layer:

  • 5oz, or 140 gr semi-sweet chocolate
  • 2 2/1 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon instant coffee
  • 1/2 cup, or 125ml, whipping cream

For the cheesecake layer:

  • 200 gr cream cheese, softened
  • about 1/4 cup, or 70 ml, sweetened condensed milk

Let’s start with the chocolate mousse layer. Roughly chop up the chocolate and place it in a microwave-safe bowl.

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Simply dollop the butter and sprinkle the coffee on top. Microwave on high in 30 second intervals, stirring in between. Repeat as often as needed until the chocolate is completely melted and smooth.

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Once the chocolate has cooled to room temperature, beat the cream until stiff peaks form.

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Gently fold it into the chocolate.

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Spoon into your cups or glasses of choice.

If you want to achieve the fancy-schmanzy tilted effect I attempted but failed at, due to kitty interferences, incline your glasses at the desired angle before spooning in the mousse, then find a place in the fridge where they will stay that way.

Chill for about 2 hours.

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Meanwhile, prepare the cheesecake layer. Place the cream cheese in a bowl and beat until fluffy. Continue beating while you add the sweetened condensed milk; or, if holding a winding kitty in the other hand, just pour it all in at once and whip until well incorporated.

Pour on top of the chocolate mousse and chill for another 2 hours.

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When in a pinch, you can also set the mousse in the freezer, although the texture will be a bit different. The mousse will have set to a firm consistency after 15 minutes, while the cheesecake layer will resist setting in a hurry and remain quite liquid, sauce-like, even. You can sell it as Chocolate Mousse with Cheesecake Sauce and call it a day. My folks bought it 😉

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Enjoy!

Clara

Chocolate Raspberry Mascarpone Pie

Chocolate Raspberry Mascarpone Pie 19

Please believe me when I say I was not going to make this pie. Especially after the Cheesecake Bite Overload Going Straight To Hell Debacle I posted two weeks ago. If the cheesecake bites guaranteed you VIP treatment in the underworld, this here is the shortcut. Actually, this will probably guarantee you VIP treatment most anywhere you take it.

I really shouldn’t have made this.

Chocolate Raspberry Mascarpone Pie 16

But I honestly couldn’t help it. I had a rebellion on my hands. All my sweet recipes so far have starred cream cheese as the leading part (see Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake BitesCream Cheese Pancakes, Carrot Cake, and of course, the infamous Bites). Annie branched out with her Cottage Cheese and Strawberry Creation, but alas, I did not.

Anger was brewing in the cheese drawer in my fridge. There was talk of mutiny. They were getting organized. I swear I heard one of them yell, “Charge!”

So you see, I could not allow my cheeses to start attacking one another. I need happy cheeses that will pliantly meld into my kitchen experiments. I need them to feel safe and content and buoyant. That, and Lady Cream Cheese was getting cocky. That kind of fame would go to anyone’s head.

So today I present to you a new player on this blog. No, not the cream cheese understudy. This is a whole new rising star on the horizon of my shopping list, which already includes a ridiculous amount of cheeses. She has an Italian temperament, yet oozes a smooth grace and a suave demeanor few other cheeses can put forth.

Without further ado, I give you: Mascarpone.

She is very pleased to meet you. Yes, indeed, she is sitting right next to me, nodding encouragingly and smiling diplomatically, in a distinctly let-them-eat-cake kind of attitude.

I really need to stop talking to my cheeses.

Let us eat cake.

Or, what’s more: Let us eat pie.

Chocolate Raspberry Mascarpone Pie 14

Chocolate Raspberry Macarpone Pie

 Adapted from the lovely blog Pass the Sushi

Serves: 8 to 12, depending on the size of your sweet tooth

Prep time: about 1 hour, plus at least 3 hours refrigerating time

You will need:

  • 1 recipe for my all-purpose lazy-girl Pie Crust (check it out in the Quiche I used it for last)
  • 175gr, or 6 oz bittersweet chocolate, plus a bit more to grate
  • 500gr, or 18oz Mascarpone cheese
  • 125gr, or 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 250gr, or 1 cup whipping cream
  • 500gr, or 2 cups fresh raspberries
  • 80 gr, or 1/3 cup raspberry jam
  • optional: 30ml, or 2 tablespoons raspberry liqueur

Chocolate Raspberry Mascarpone Pie 18

Let’s get the show on the road.

Chocolate Raspberry Mascarpone Pie 1

Preheat your oven to high. Prepare the crust and place it into a pie plate. Remember to prick the crust with a fork, or you’ll end up with a crust-balloon, which is certainly a conversation piece, but no really what we are going for here.

Chocolate Raspberry Mascarpone Pie 2

Cover with a double layer of aluminium foil and bake for about 8 minutes. Uncover and bake for another 8 minutes, until Mr. Golden Brown arrives.

Chocolate Raspberry Mascarpone Pie 3

Roughly chop up your chocolate and place it in a large saucepan along with the mascarpone and the powdered sugar. (Trust me when I say large. The first time around making this pie I thought, yeah, whatever, small will work to. It didn’t.) Cook over medium heat, stirring steadily, until nicely melted and smooth.

Chocolate Raspberry Mascarpone Pie 6

Turn off the heat and stir in the raspberry liqueur, if you are using any. I don’t, because I never feel like buying a whole bottle of raspberry liqueur for just the 2 tablespoon-fulls. It will taste just grand either way.

Now comes the hard part. You need to allow this to cool to room temperature. You need to put that spoon away and stop “tasting” every other minute. You know it still tastes good.

Self-control is such a hard-acquired ability. I never really got the hang of it.

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Once your mascarpone-chocolate batter is nice and cool, beat the cream until soft peaks form. Carefully fold half the whipped cream into the batter, then add the remaining cream and fold in gently until completely incorporated.

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Cover the pie dish and refrigerate for at least 3 hours until set.

Chocolate Raspberry Mascarpone Pie 10-horz

Finally, place the jam in a medium saucepan over low heat until melted.

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Remove from heat, cool for a bit, then stir in the fresh raspberries so they are nicely coated.

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Cover the top of the pie with the raspberries, then top with some grated chocolate to give it the finishing touch.

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Now, enjoy!

Clara