The Cheesecakerie

Where life is too short not to eat dessert first…

Archive for the month “November, 2011”

Chocolate Mousse Cheesecake

From Taste of Home

Shannon’s notes:

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

  • I used half light cream cheese, half regular cream cheese
  • I didn’t have pecans on hand for the crust, so used almonds instead
  • When you’re cooking the egg yolk mixture for the mousse, remember that cooking to 160 degrees makes it coat the back of a spoon.It’s pretty thick.

Yield: 12 servings


  • 1-1/2 cups chocolate wafers crumbs (about 24 crackers)
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped pecans
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/3 cup butter, melted
  • 2 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
  • 1 teaspoon Spice Islands® pure vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs, separated
  • 1 cup (6 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
  • 5 tablespoons butter, cubed
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 tablespoons strong brewed coffee
  • 1 teaspoon Spice Islands® pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream, whipped
  • Chocolate dessert decorations and whipped cream


  • In a small bowl, combine the wafer crumbs, pecans and sugar; stir in butter until crumbly. Press onto the bottom and 1-1/2 in. up the sides of a greased 9-in. springform pan. Place pan on a baking sheet.
  •    Bake at 375° for 8 minutes. Cool on a wire rack. Reduce heat to 325°.
  •    In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Beat in the lemon juice, lemon peel and vanilla. Add egg yolks; beat on low speed just until combined. In a small bowl, beat egg whites on high until stiff peaks form; fold into cream cheese mixture. Pour into crust. Return pan to baking sheet.
  •    Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the center is almost set. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Carefully run knife around edge of pan to loosen; cool 1 hour longer. Refrigerate until completely cooled.
  •    In a microwave, melt chocolate and butter; stir until smooth. Cool for 10 minutes. In a small heavy saucepan, whisk egg yolks, sugar and coffee. Cook and stir over low heat until mixture reaches 160°; stir in vanilla. Whisk in chocolate mixture. Set saucepan in ice and stir until cooled, about 2 minutes. Fold in whipped cream. Spread over cheesecake and refrigerate until set. Remove sides of pan. Garnish with dessert decorations and whipped cream. Refrigerate leftovers.

Peanut Butter – Brownie Cheesecake

From Bon Appetit Desserts

Shannon’s notes:

Rating: 2.5 out of 5

  • Just didn’t love this one, personally. It was a bit too much peanut butter for me! But…if you really love peanut butter and chocolate together, with a few tweaks, this could be a winner.
  • The main problem was the bottom crust. Although I liked that it went up the sides, the recipe says to bake the bottom crust first — for 15 to 17 minutes. WAY to long. It was quite dry on the bottom. The sides were fine.
  • The flavour of the crust was good, however. I think it would be a good substitute for any recipe calling for a chocolate crust. Keeping in mind, however, that the bottom crust needs only half the baking time to begin with.

Serves 12

For the crust:

  • 3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, diced
  • 1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

For the filling:

  • 12 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 1/3 cups creamy peanut butter

For the crust:
Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. Butter a 9-inch springform pan. Dust pan lightly with flour, tap out excess.

In a microwave-safe bowl combine chocolate and butter and heat in microwave until melted and smooth. Cool. Whisk flour, salt, and baking powder in a small bowl to blend. Using an electric mixer, beat eggs and brown sugar in a medium bowl until very thick, about 4 minutes. Scrap down the sides of the bowl. Beat in melted chocolate mixture and vanilla. Add flour mixture and beat until just blended.

Spread 1 cup brownie batter over bottom of prepared pan, reserving remaining batter. Bake until firm, 15-17 minutes. Cool bottom crust in pan in freezer for 15 minutes. Maintain oven temperature.

For the filling:
Blend cream cheese and brown sugar in the bowl of a food processor until smooth. Add eggs and sour cream and pulse until mixture is smooth, scraping down the sides of bowl as necessary. Add peanut butter and pulse until combined.

Using a small offset spatula or knife, spread remaining brownie batter evenly around sides of pan, sealing batter to bottom crust. Pour in filling (filling will not be as high as brownie batter).

Bake until center of cheesecake is set and brownie sides have fallen to form 1-inch-wide ring around filling, about 30 minutes. Set cake on rack to cool completely before covering pan with foil and chilling in the fridge overnight.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cheesecake

From Mel’s Kitchen Cafe

Shannon’s notes:

Rating: 4 out of 5

  • I used a 9″ springform instead of a 10″ as specified in the recipe. It worked…but the pan was filled RIGHT to the top.
  • Because it was thicker, I increased the baking time to 1 hour 20 minutes.
  • I cooked it in a water bath and it did not crack in any appreciable way…there were a couple of tiny cracks where the chocolate chips poked through the top.
  • I used two packs of light cream cheese, two packs of regular cream cheese.
  • This is a VERY rich cheesecake…too rich for my blood! 🙂

*Note: this cheesecake, like any good, baked cheesecake, tastes best after being refrigerated overnight.

4 tablespoons butter, melted
2 1/2 cups chocolate cookie crumbs (I like to use chocolate Teddy Grahams but you could use any chocolate wafer cookie or even Oreos)

4 (8-ounce) blocks cream cheese, softened to room temperature
1 cup sugar
4 large eggs
1 teaspoon all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup sour cream (I used light and it worked just fine)

Cookie Dough:
½ cup butter, softened
½ cup sugar
½ cup packed light brown sugar
2 tablespoon water or milk
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup mini chocolate chips
An additional 1 cup mini chocolate chips to fold into the batter with the cookie dough balls

1 cup heavy whipping cream, whipped to stiff peaks (add 1 tablespoon powdered sugar while whipping if you like a bit of extra sweetness)
Mini chocolate chips, for sprinkling

For the cookie dough:
In a medium bowl, combine the butter and sugars for the cookie dough. Add the water (or milk), vanilla and blend. Mix in the flour, salt and the chocolate chips. The dough will be fairly soft. Gently roll the dough into small balls (about a teaspoon size, maybe a bit larger) and place them on a wax paper lined plate or baking sheet. Place them in the freezer to harden while making the rest of the cheesecake.

For the crust:
Lightly grease the bottom and sides of a 10-inch springform pan. In a medium bowl, combine the butter with the chocolate cookie crumbs (you could easily use a food processor to crush the cookies and incorporate the butter). Press onto the bottom and about halfway up the sides of the prepared pan.

For the cheesecake:
Using an electric mixer on high speed, beat the cream cheese, sugar, eggs and flour until smooth. Add the vanilla and sour cream and mix just until blended. Be careful not to overmix – incorporating too much air into the batter can contribute to a cheesecake cracking on top during baking.

Pour half the batter into the prepared crust. Gently stir in the cookie dough balls and the additional 1 cup mini chocolate chips into the remaining batter. Pour into the pan, spreading the batter to the sides of the pan and evening it out across the top (it is ok to see bumps of cookie dough here and there, smooth it the best you can). Bake the cheesecake at 325 degrees for one hour. Turn off the oven and prop the door open several inches. Let the cake sit in the oven for an additional 30 minutes. Remove the cake from the oven and let it cool completely on a wire rack. Refrigerate until chilled (ideally, overnight). To serve, cut into slices and top with whipped cream and mini chocolate chips.

Oreo Cookies and Cream Cheesecakes

(from Martha Stewart’s Cupcakes)

Shannon’s notes:

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

  • This doesn’t happen very often…but I actually made this EXACTLY like the recipe specified!
  • Kids thought this was a great recipe. Not my favourite flavour combo…but they were EASY and CUTE. 🙂
  • I used cheap paper muffin tin liners so that the Oreo name showed through the bottom.
  • These are definitely best served COLD. When they warm up, they become quite soft…

Makes 30

  • 42 Oreo, cream-filled chocolate sandwich cookies, 30 left whole and 12 coarsely chopped
  • 2 pounds cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • Pinch of salt
  1. Preheat oven to 275° F.  Line standard muffin tins with paper liners.  Place 1 whole Oreo cookie in the bottom of each lined muffin cup.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, beat cream cheese on medium-high speed until smooth, scraping down sides of the bowl as needed.  Gradually add the sugar, and beat until combined.  Beat in the vanilla.
  3. Drizzle in eggs, a little at a time, beating to combine and scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Add in sour cream and salt, beat to combine.  Using a large spatula, fold in the chopped Oreo cookies.
  4. Divide batter evenly among the cookie-filled muffin cups, fill each cup almost to the top.  Bake, rotating muffin tins halfway through, until the filling is set, about 22 to 28 minutes.  Transfer the muffins tins to a wire rack to cool completely.  Refrigerate (in the muffin tins) at least 4 hours (or overnight). Remove from tins just before serving.

White Chocolate – Candy Cane Cheesecake


Shannon’s notes:

  • The peppermint flavour in this cheesecake is very subtle. Next time around, I’m going to try doubling the amount of peppermint extract.
  • I did not add the whipped topping, shaved chocolate or crushed candy to the top of the finished cake.
  • With the addition of vanilla instead of peppermint extract, I think this would make a great base for a cookies and cream cheesecake… Yum!
  • I did not cook this one in a water bath and the top did not crack.
  • Overall, this was a great success!
  • Rating: 4 out of 5

prep time: 20 min

total time: 6 hr 10 min
makes: 16 servings, 1 piece (107 g) each


1  cupHoney Maid Graham Crumbs
3/4 cup plus 3 Tbsp. sugar, divided
3 Tbsp.butter, melted
5 squaresBaker’s White Chocolate, divided
3 pkg. (250 g each) Philadelphia Brick Cream Cheese, softened
1/4 tsp.peppermint extract
3 eggs
1 tub (500 mL) Cool Whip Whipped Topping, thawed
1/2 cup crushed candy canes


HEAT oven to 325°F.

MIX crumbs, 3 Tbsp. sugar and butter; press onto bottom of 9-inch springform pan.  Bake 10 min.

MELT 4 chocolate squares as directed on package.  Beat cream cheese and remaining sugar in large bowl with mixer until well blended.  Add melted chocolate and extract; mix well.  Add eggs, 1 at a time, mixing on low speed after each just until blended; pour over crust.

BAKE 45 to 50 min. or until centre is almost set.  Run knife around rim of pan to loosen cake; cool before removing rim.  Refrigerate 4 hours.  Grate remaining chocolate square.  Top cheesecake with Cool Whip, crushed candy and grated chocolate just before serving.

Cinn-a-bun Cheesecake

Shannon’s notes:

  • I used Dad’s Oatmeal cookies and decided to bake the crust for 7 minutes @ 325.
  • I used 2 packages of light cream cheese and 1 of regular cream cheese.
  • I cooked the cheesecake in a water bath instead of just putting a pan of water in the oven.
  • I used whipping cream, not sour cream for the filling.
  • I did not use raisins — not my idea of something that should go in a cheesecake!
  • I “eyeballed” the amount of caramel sundae sauce — I don’t think it was a full 1/4 cup…
  • I used a 9″ springform pan instead of 8″.


adapted from A Passion for Baking by Marcy Goldman

1 1/2 c finely crushed Mother’s Iced Oatmeal cookies or any spice cookie
1/4 c butter, melted
2 T brown sugar

3 8-oz packages cream cheese, softened
1 c sugar
1/2 c sour cream or whipping cream
4 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
1/4 c flour
1 c coarsely chopped cookies (same kind as above)
1  c raisins (optional)
1/4 c butterscotch or caramel sundae topping
1 tsp  cinnamon mixed with 1/4 c sugar

Preheat oven to 325. Place a pan of water on the bottom rack.

For crust, mix cookie crumbs, butter and brown sugar  and press into the bottom of an 8-inch springform pan. Spray the sides of the pan with non-stick cooking spray.

For filling, blend cream cheese, sugar  and sour cream until smooth, scraping bottom and sides of bowl, about 3-4 minutes. Stir in eggs, vanilla and flour and blend well, 2-3 minutes.

Spoon 1/3 of filling into pan and top with half of each chopped cookies and raisins. Drizzle on some butterscotch topping. Dust on some cinnamon sugar mixture. Pour on another 1/3 of cream cheese mixture and other layers. Add last bit of cream cheese filling and finish top of cake with cookies and cinnamon sugar.

Bake 50-55 minutes or until cheesecake is set about 2 inches from the side and wiggles slightly in the center. Turn oven off, leave door open and let cheesecake cool until you can take it out of the oven without oven mitts. Leave cheesecake on the counter until it’s room temperature, then refrigerate overnight.

Serve with whipped cream and butterscotch topping.

Irish Cream Cheesecake


Shannon’s notes:

Rating: 5 out of 5! Super yummy!

  • The cheescake filling is *very* liquidy when you pour into the pan. The first time I made this recipe, I was SURE it would NEVER set properly. But…it does.
  • What makes this cheesecake so yummy (other than the fact that it is full of Irish Cream — hubby’s favourite) is it’s texture. Super smooth, almost pudding-like. But solid enough still to slice. Not one of my kids’ favourites, though, so more for the adults!
  • I did not make the brickle almond garnish but if you have, drop me a note and let me know.
  • (I think this one would be good with chocolate crumb crust instead of graham crackers…’tho I did like the addition of oats to a basics graham crust recipe).


Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 80 minutes
Yield: 10



  • 3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/2 cup regular oats (not quick cook)
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract


  • 2 cups whipping cream
  • 6 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1 pound cream cheese at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup Irish Cream liqueur
  • 2 large eggs

Brickle Almond Garnish

  • 1 tablespoon egg white
  • 1/2 cup whole almonds, lightly toasted
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


To Assemble

  1. For crust, preheat oven to 350 °F and grease a 9-inch springform pan. Pulse graham crumbs, oats and brown sugar in a food processor until oats have been roughly cut. Add melted butter and vanilla extract and pulse until an even texture. Press into bottom of prepared pan and bake for 7 minutes. Allow to cool while preparing filling.
  2. For filling, reduce oven temperature to 325 °F. Heat cream to just below a simmer. Pour hot cream over chopped chocolate and whisk gently until smooth and set aside. In a bowl using electric beaters or with a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat cream cheese until fluffy, scraping the sides of the bowl often. While beating, slowly pour in sugar, again scraping the bowl often. Beat in cornstarch. By this time the filling should be looking a little more fluid. Slowly pour in Irish Cream and beat in eggs, one at a time. Pour chocolate mixture into cheesecake filling and blend well. Scrape filling into pan and bake for 30 minutes. Without opening the oven door, turn off the oven and leave cheesecake in another 30 minutes. Remove, let cool to room temperature, then chill overnight.
  3. For brickle Almond Garnish, preheat oven to 350 °F. Whisk egg white until frothy. Add remaining ingredients and toss until almonds are evenly coated. Spread onto a parchment-lined baking sheet and toast for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally until sugar has browned. Allow to cool. Break apart almonds and chop in a food processor. Remove springform ring and bottom and place cheesecake on a serving plate. Press the ground brickle onto the sides of the cake and chill until ready to serve.

Spiced Pumpkin Cheesecake

From Baking Illustrated: The practical kitchen companion for the home baker

This recipe has been a huge hit — the perfect Thanksgiving alternative to pumpkin pie (which I thought there really was no substitute for…)

Serves 12 to 16


  • 9 whole graham crackers (5 ounces) broken into pieces
  • 3 TBSP sugar
  • 1/2 TSP ground ginger
  • 1/2 TSP ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 TSP ground cloves
  • 6 TBSP (3/4) stick unsalted butter, melted


  • 1-1/3 CUPS sugar
  • 1 TSP ground cinammon
  • 1/2 TSP ground ginger
  • 1/4 TSP ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 TSP ground cloves
  • 1/4 TSP ground allspice
  • 1/2 TSP salt
  • 1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin puree
  • 1-1/2 pounds (three 8-ounce packages) cream cheese, cut into 1″ chunks at room temp
  • 1 TBSP vanilla extract
  • 1 TBSP lemon juice
  • 5 large eggs
  • 1 CUP heavy cream

For the crust: Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 325 degrees. Spray bottom and sides of a 9-inch springform pan with nonstick cooking spray. Pulse graham crackers, sugar, and spices in a food processor until evenly and finely ground, about fifteen 2-second pulses. Transfer crumbs to a medium bowl, drizzle melted butter over, and mix with a rubber spatula until evenly moistened. Turn crumbs into prepared pan; using your hand, spread crumbs into an even layer. Using a flat-bottomed ramekin or drinking glass, press crumbs evenly into pan bottom, then use a soup spoon to press and smooth crumbs into edges of pan. Bake until fragrant and browned about the edges, about 15 minutes. Cool on a wire rack while making the filling.

For the water bath: Bring about 4 quarts of water to simmer in a stockpot.

To remove excess moisture from the pumpkin, line a baking sheet with a triple layer of paper towels. Spread the pumpkin on the paper towels in a roughly even layer. Cover the pumpkin with a second triple layer of paper towels and press firmly until paper towels are saturated. Peel back the top layer of paper towels and discard. Grasp the bottom towels and fold pumpkin in half; peel back the towels. Flip pumpkin off the towels onto the baking sheet: it should flop right off in a solid mass. Do not skip this step! The excess moisture in the pumpkin will make the filling taste watery if it’s not removed.

For the filling: Whisk sugar, spices, and salt in a small bowl; set aside. In a standing mixer fitted with the flat beater, beat cream cheese at medium speed to break up and soften slightly, about 1 minute. Scrape beater and sides of bowl well with a rubber spatula. Add about one third of the sugar mixture and beat at medium-low speed until combined, about 1 minute. Scrape bowl and add remaining sugar in two additions, scraping after each addition. Add pumpkin, vanilla, and lemon juice and beat at medium speed until combined, about 45 seconds; scrape bowl. Add 3 eggs and beat at medium-low until incorporated, about 1 minute; scrape bowl. Add remaining 2 eggs and beat at medium-low until incorporated, about 1 minute; scrape bowl. Add heavy cream and beat at low speed until combined, about 45 seconds. Using rubber spatula, scrape bottom and sides of bowl and give the mixture a final stir by hand.

Set springform pan with cooled crust inside a thin foil pan (I found that a small roasting pan fits the best). Bend the foil pan up and around the sides of the springform pan, making as tight a seal as you can (there will be gaps). Set the wrapped pan into a metal roasting pan or a Pyrex baking dish. Pour the filling into the springform pan and smooth the surface. Set the pans into the oven and pour the simmering water into the roasting pan or Pyrex dish; enough to come about halfway up the sides of the springform pan. Bake until center of cake is slightly wobbly when pan is shaken and center of cake registers 145 to 150 degrees on an instant-read thermometer, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours (start checking at 1 hour). Run a paring knife around the sides of the cake to loosen; set roasting pan or Pyrex on a wire rack and cool until water is just warm, about 45 minutes. Remove springform pan from the water bath and discard the foil wrapper. Continue to cool on wire rack until barely warm, about 3 hours. Wrap with plastic and refrigerate until chilled, at least 4 hours or up to 3 days.

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