Thursday, May 15, 2008

Hershey's Chocolate Cheesecake – Three ways

My three staple chocolate cheesecake recipes. They vary in chocolate intensity but all are amazingly good.

Chocolate Festival Cheesecake is not overly sweet but has great chocolate flavor. It uses cocoa powder, granulated sugar, and sour cream. A good combination for those who want chocolate but still want to taste the essence of cream from the cream cheese and sour cream in this cheesecake.


You need more richness? Got it- Tuxedo Chocolate Cheesecake. It uses cocoa powder and sweetened condensed milk. Hershey’s doesn’t actually call it a Tuxedo but I do because it has all those qualities- creamy, fudgy and of course, chocolatey. Please top it with sweetened whipped cream or vanilla mousse. It really compliments this recipe.
    
Okay, that was dreamy, but this final recipe will take you to chocolate heaven. If you need something divinely and insanely fudgy. Fudge Truffle Cheesecake. I think the name says it all. It uses semi-sweet chocolate chips instead of cocoa powder and sweetened condensed milk instead of sugar. Maximum richness and fudge flavor. From the fat in the chocolate chips, of course. And creaminess from the sweetened condensed milk. It doesn’t get any better. If you love dark chocolate, go with dark chocolate chips, but I like to use semi-sweet because it usually pleases everyone. As you probably would have guessed- this one is my favorite of the three.

All three use a chocolate crumb crust- which is mandatory.   


Chocolate Festival Cheesecake 

Crust
1-1/4 cups vanilla wafer or graham cracker crumbs
1/3 cup powdered sugar
1/3 cup HERSHEY'S Cocoa 
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) melted butter or margarine

Directions
Heat oven to 350°F. Combine first three ingredients in a medium bowl; stir in melted butter or margarine. Press mixture onto bottom and 1/2 inch up side of 9-inch springform pan. Bake 8 to 10 minutes. Cool.

Cheesecake
3 eggs
Sweetened whipped cream or whipped topping (optional)
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
Assorted fresh fruit, sliced (optional)
3 packages (8 oz. each) cream cheese, softened
1-1/4 cups sugar
1/4 cup HERSHEY'S Cocoa
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup dairy sour cream

Directions
Set oven temperature to 450°F. 

Combine cream cheese, sugar, sour cream, cocoa and vanilla in large bowl; beat on medium speed of mixer until smooth. Add flour and eggs; beat well. Pour into prepared crust. Bake 10 minutes.

Reduce oven temperature to 250°F; continue baking 30 minutes. (Cheesecake may not be fully set in center.) Turn off oven; leave cheesecake in oven 30 minutes without opening oven door. Remove from oven to wire rack. With knife, loosen cake from side of pan. Cool to room temperature; remove side of pan. Refrigerate several hours before serving. Garnish with chocolate curls or sliced fruit and whipped cream, if desired. Cover; refrigerate leftover cheesecake. 10 to 12 servings.


HERSHEY'S Tuxedo Chocolate Cheesecake 

Crust
1-1/2 cups vanilla wafer or graham cracker crumbs
6 tablespoons powdered sugar
6 tablespoons HERSHEY'S Cocoa 
6 tablespoons melted butter or margarine

Directions
Combine first three ingredients in a medium bowl; stir in melted butter or margarine. Press mixture onto bottom and 1 inch up side of 9-inch springform pan. Store in refrigerator until ready to use.

Cheesecake
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter or margarine
1/2 cup HERSHEY'S Cocoa
3 packages (8 oz. each) cream cheese, softened
1 can (14 oz.) sweetened condensed milk (not evaporated milk)
4 eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Directions
Heat oven to 300°F

Place butter in medium microwave-safe bowl. Microwave at HIGH (100%) 30 to 45 seconds or until melted. Stir in cocoa until smooth; set aside.

Beat cream cheese in large bowl. Add cocoa mixture; beat well. Gradually beat in sweetened condensed milk until smooth. Add eggs and vanilla; beat well. Pour batter into prepared pan.

Bake 1 hour and 5 minutes or until set. (Center will be soft.) Remove pan from oven to wire rack; loosen cake from side of pan. Cool completely; remove side of pan. To serve, garnish as desired. Cover; refrigerate leftover cheesecake. Garnish as desired. 12 servings.

Fudge Truffle Cheesecake 

Crust
1-1/2 cups vanilla wafer or graham cracker crumbs
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/3 cup HERSHEY'S Cocoa 
1/3 cup melted butter or margarine

Directions
Combine first three ingredients in a medium bowl; stir in melted butter or margarine. Press mixture onto bottom and 1 inch up side of 9-inch springform pan. Store in refrigerator until ready to use.

Cheesecake
2 cups (12-oz. pkg.) HERSHEY'S SPECIAL DARK Chocolate Chips or HERSHEY'S Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
3 packages (8 oz. each) cream cheese, softened
1 can (14 oz.) sweetened condensed milk (not evaporated milk)
4 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Directions
Heat oven to 300°F.

Place chocolate chips in microwave-safe bowl. Microwave at MEDIUM (50%) 1-1/2 minutes; stir. If necessary, microwave at MEDIUM an additional 15 seconds at a time, stirring after each heating, just until chips are melted when stirred.

Beat cream cheese in large bowl until fluffy. Gradually beat in sweetened condensed milk until smooth. Add melted chips, eggs and vanilla; mix well. Pour into prepared crust.

Bake 1 hour and 5 minutes or until center is set. Remove from oven to wire rack. With knife, loosen cake from side of pan. Cool completely; remove side of pan. Refrigerate several hours before serving. Garnish as desired. Cover; refrigerate leftover cheesecake. 10 to 12 servings.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Lime Squares with Pistachio-Graham Cracker Crust

Watching this episode of Everyday Baking with my sister was very entertaining because John Barricelli has a New York accent. We have never called these lime squares. They are “lime sqways.”

This creamy dessert is a cross between Key lime pie and traditional lemon bars. However, the pistachios added to the crust make it amazing! Who knew those two green foods complimented each other so well! 

By the way, no need to butter and parchment paper the pan. And I needed one more tablespoon of butter for the crust. You can cheat and use RealLime bottled juice, it still tastes great. If you squeeze fresh limes, please be sure to strain the pulp. You just want the juice- if you keep the pulp, you’re adding more flavor which is a bitter flavor so you’ll have to compensate by adding more sugar.


Lime Squares with Pistachio-Graham Cracker Crust


4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter melted and cooled, plus more for pan
2/3 cup shelled pistachios
1 cup (4 ounces) graham-cracker crumbs
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoons grated lime zest
2 large egg yolks
1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup fresh lime juice

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Brush an 8-inch square baking dish with melted butter. Line bottom with parchment paper, leaving a 2-inch overhang on two sides.

In a food processor, finely grind pistachios with graham-cracker crumbs, sugar, and zest. Blend in butter. Press mixture into bottom and 1 inch up sides of prepared pan. Bake until lightly browned, 8 to 12 minutes. Cool crust, 30 minutes.

To make the filling: In a large bowl, whisk together egg yolks and condensed milk. Add lime juice; whisk until smooth. Pour filling into cooled crust; carefully spread to edges.

Bake until set, about 15 minutes. Cool in pan on rack; then chill at least 1 hour before serving. Using parchment paper overhang, lift out of pan, and transfer to a cutting board.

With a serrated knife, cut into 16 squares, wiping knife with a damp kitchen towel between each cut. To store in refrigerator, cover with plastic wrap.
 
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