Chocolate Mousse Cheesecake
for 8 servings
20 chocolate sandwich cookie 1⁄4 cup brown sugar
7 tablespoons butter, melted
32 oz cream cheese, softened 4 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
1 1⁄2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract 4 egg
1 1⁄2 cup heavy cream
1⁄4 cup powdered sugar
16 oz chocolate chips
2 cups heavy cream, hot
1. Place cookies in a plastic bag and crush them into a fine crumb using a rolling pin. Alternatively, a food processor can be used to crush the cookies.
2. Pour the cookie crumbs into a medium bowl with the melted butter and brown sugar. Mix until the crumbs take on the character of coarse, wet sand.
3. Pour the crumbs into a 9- inch (23 cm) spring pan. Press the crumb firmly into the pan, making sure to coat the bottom evenly.
4. Once the crust has been formed, place it in the refrigerator to firm up.
5. Add cream cheese, melted chocolate, cocoa powder, and sugar to a large bowl and whisk, either by hand or with an electric mixer, until all the ingredients are incorporated. 6. NOTE: If mixing by hand, it is recommended to microwave the cream cheese slightly before whisking in order to soften it up.
7. Add vanilla extract and eggs, and continue to whisk until mixture is smooth and glossy.
8. In a separate bowl, combine heavy cream and powdered sugar. Whisk until the cream develops a mousse-y texture and soft peaks form.
9. Adding a small amount at a time, carefully fold in the whipped cream into the cream cheese batter, being careful not to let the air out of the fluffy mixture. Fold just until incorporated.
10. Once combined, pour the batter over the prepared cookie crust inside the springform pan. Use a spatula to smooth out the top. Give the pan a slight jiggle to release any large air bubbles that may be trapped in the batter.
11. Preheat oven to 300 ̊F (150 ̊C).
12. Place the filled pan on top of a sheet of aluminum foil and fold the foil up the sides on the outside of the pan. Then place the wrapped pan into a larger baking pan or dish lined with 2 paper towels at the bottom.
13. NOTE: The aluminum foil will keep water from seeping into the bottom of the pan and the paper towels ensure that the heat is distributed evenly along the bottom of the pan. 14. Fill the larger pan with about 1 inch (2 1⁄2 cm) of hot water.
15. Bake at 300 ̊F (150 ̊C) for 60-70 minutes--checking every 15-20 minutes to add more hot water to the larger dish, as necessary.
16. Once out of the oven, immediately run a small sharp knife around the outside of the cheesecake to release it from the pan. Allow the cheesecake to cool completely before removing it from the pan.
17. Prepare the ganache by combining chocolate chips with hot cream. Stir until chocolate is completely melted and ganache is smooth and glossy. 18. Pour ganache evenly over the cooled cheesecake.
19. Refrigerate the ganache covered cake for 30 minutes before cutting and serving.
Vegan Honeycomb Toffee
for 5 servings
2 cups of sugar
1⁄2 cup light corn syrup
1⁄3 cup water
1 tablespoon baking soda 2 cups dark chocolate
1 cup of sea salt
1. Line a 9-inch (22 cm) baking tray with parchment paper and grease thoroughly.
2. Set aside a metal whisk and one tablespoon of baking soda.
3. In a large saucepan (the bigger, the better, as this will more than triple in size) over medium-high heat, combine sugar, corn syrup, and water.
4. Stir to incorporate, then leave to boil. Insert a candy thermometer and continue to heat without stirring until the mixture reaches 300 ̊F (150 ̊C).
5. Remove from heat, and working quickly, add the baking soda and quickly whisk into the sugar syrup (whisking for no more than five seconds to prevent deflating the toffee). The mixture will begin to expand. Quickly pour it into the prepared pan and leave to set. Do not move it for 1-2 hours.
6. Once the toffee has cooled and set, remove from pan. Using a blunt object, shatter the toffee into bite-size pieces.
7. Melt chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl for 75-90 seconds. Make sure to stop and stir after every 30 seconds.
8. Dip the toffee pieces in chocolate and place on a lined baking tray. Finish with a sprinkle of sea salt and place in the refrigerator to cool for 15 minutes.
Neapolitan Brownie Bomb
for 12 servings
2 packages brownie mix, divided
2⁄3 cup vegetable oil, divided 2⁄3 cup water, divided
2 egg, divided
1 1⁄2 qt strawberry ice cream, softened
1 qt vanilla ice cream, softened 1⁄2 qt chocolate ice cream, softened
cocoa powder, for dusting
1. Preheat the oven to 350oF (180oC). Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and line a large bowl with plastic wrap.
2. In a medium bowl, mix 1 package of the brownie mix, 1⁄3 cup (80 ml) oil, 1⁄3 cup (80 ml) water, and 1 egg until just combined. Pour the mix onto a prepared baking sheet and spread with a spatula until even. Repeat with the remaining brownie mix, oil, water, and egg. Bake for 13-15 minutes, until the brownies are fudgy, yet firm. Remove from the oven and let cool.
3. Once cool, cut 1 pan of the brownies in half lengthwise, then into 8 equal rectangles. Cut 4 of those rectangles diagonally to make a total of 8 triangles and 4 rectangles. Configure the brownie pieces in the lined bowl so that they cover the sides and the bottom. Once the inside is covered, press down firmly on all the brownies, especially the seams, to create a shell. Make sure there are no openings in the outer layer.
4. Scoop the strawberry ice cream onto the brownie shell and smooth with a spatula. Cover with plastic wrap and press a medium bowl into the ice cream so that it rises up on the sides until flush with the top of the bowl. Freeze for 3 hours, until the strawberry layer is solid.
5. Unwrap and add the vanilla ice cream. Cover with plastic wrap and press a small bowl into the ice cream so it comes up the sides and is flush with the strawberry layer. Put back in the freezer for 2 hours.
6. Meanwhile, cut a circle in the other pan of brownies the circumference of the large bowl. This will cover the ice cream layers, serving as a base when the bomb is flipped over.
7. Uncover the frozen vanilla layer and fill the well with the chocolate ice cream. Cover with the brownie circle (save brownie leftovers for later!). Press the circle into the bowl to secure it, then freeze for 1 hour.
8. Carefully remove the bomb from the freezer and flip it over onto a cutting board or serving platter. It may need to thaw a couple of minutes before it dislodges from the bowl. (Running a warm towel around the bowl will also do the trick.). Once you can lift up the bowl easily, uncover the bomb and dust with cocoa powder.
Vegan Chocolate & Peanut Butter Fudge
for 25 pieces
1 cup coconut butter
1⁄2 cup maple syrup
1 1⁄2 cup peanut butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 oz dark chocolate baking bar
1. Add coconut butter and maple syrup to a saucepan over medium heat.
2. Cook for 2-3 minutes while stirring constantly. The mixture should start out smooth then thicken into a dense paste.
3. Add peanut butter and vanilla extract to the saucepan and stir to incorporate. Continue to cook for an additional 2-4 minutes until the mixture achieves a smooth and pourable texture.
4. Remove the peanut butter mixture from the heat and allow it to cool slightly.
5. While the mixture cools, break up the baking bar of chocolate into a microwave-safe bowl and microwave it for 1 minute (stirring every 15 seconds) or until it is completely melted and smooth.
6. Prepare a 9x9-inch (23x23 cm) baking tray by spraying it with nonstick cooking spray and layering it with a piece of parchment paper.
7. Pour half of the peanut butter mixture into the baking tray and spread it out evenly.
8. Add the melted chocolate to the remaining peanut butter mixture and mix thoroughly.
9. Once incorporated, layer the chocolate mixture into the baking tray, over top of the peanut butter layer, and spread it evenly.
10. Give the tray a few shakes and taps to remove any possible air bubbles and place the tray in the freezer for 1.5-2 hours to set.
11. Turnover the baking tray to remove the fudge. Cut into small rectangular pieces before serving.
12. NOTE: Fudge should be stored in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
Peaches ‘N’ Cream Poke 'Box' Cake
for 12 servings
1 box white cake batter, prepared according to package instructions
6 peach, peeled and chopped 6 tablespoons sweetened condensed milk
1 tablespoon heavy cream
2 cups whipped cream 2 peach, thinly sliced
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C).
2. Grease a 9x13-inch (23x33cm) baking dish with nonstick spray. Pour the white cake batter into the baking dish.
3. Bake for 25 minutes, or until the center is cooked through.
4. In a medium bowl, whisk together the peaches, condensed milk, and heavy cream. Use the whisk to break up the peaches.
5. Remove cake from oven and let cool for 30 minutes or until room temperature.
6. Once the cake is cool, use the rounded end of a wooden spoon to poke 6 rows of 5 holes in the cake. Tip: Clean off the end of the wooden spoon after every other hole to prevent making cracks in the cake.
7. Pour the peach mixture over the cake and use a spatula to spread it, filling all of the holes. Some of the mixtures will stay on top of the cake. Chill in the fridge for 1 hour.
8. Remove the cake from the fridge and use a spatula to cover the cake in whipped cream. Then, arrange the peach slices on top in 5 rows of 11 slices.
9. Pairs well with Chardonnay.