Saturday, March 13, 2010

Blue Cheese Cheesecake

I went to another Wining Women event last night and I made a Gorgonzola Cheesecake. I know, it sounds crazy but the theme for the night was Wines With silly names, I thought Blue Cheese Cheesecake was kind of silly! It was really tasty though! I paired it with a ripe pear and made some candied walnuts. Try it as an appetizer. You won't regret it. Use good blue cheese or gorgonzola.

Gorgonzola Cheesecake
12 cloves roasted garlic (see below)
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
Cornmeal Crust (see below)
1 pound gorgonzola or blue cheese, room temperature
5 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, room temperature
5 eggs, room temperature

Prepare Cornmeal Crust (recipe below)

To Make Filling: Preheat oven to 375 degrees F and position rack in center of oven.

In a large bowl, place gorgonzola cheese and cream cheese; mix together until smooth and creamy. Add the eggs, one at a time, while beating to incorporate.

Pour the cheese filling into prepared Cornmeal Crust. Tap lightly on counter to remove air bubbles. Place roasted garlic cloves around the perimeter of the pan at equal distances.

Place cheesecake in center of middle oven rack. Bake for approximately 1 hour, or until internal temperature is 160 degrees with a cooking thermometer or until the center is almost set, but jiggles slightly when gently shaken. NOTE: Do not open the oven door during the first 30 minutes of baking as drafts can cause a cheesecake to fall or crack. Remove from oven and allow to cool on counter for at least 1 hour, after which you may either serve or store in the refrigerator.

Serve warm or at room temperature with toasted baguette bread or crackers.

To Serve later, store refrigerator up to 1 week. To reheat, simply slice and warm for 5 minutes in a 350 degree F oven.

Roasted Garlic: Peel the outer skin of the garlic only; leave garlic bulb whole. Slice 1/2-inch of the pointed end of the garlic bulbs. Pour 1/2 teaspoon olive oil over the top of each bulb and let it sink in between the cloves. Wait 2 minutes and then repeat with another 1/2 teaspoon olive oil over each garlic bulb. Cover and bake 1 hour or until cloves are browned at cool and remove cloves from head. Garlic may be stored in a tightly covered container in the refrigerator for several days.

Cornmeal Crust

1-1/2 cups water
1/2 cup cornmeal
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1-1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon dried basil
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

Grease a 10-inch springform pan.

In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, bring water to a boil; stir in cornmeal, garlic, salt, and basil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Fold in parmesan cheese. Remove from heat and let cool 5 minutes.

Press warm cornmeal mixture onto the bottom of the springform pan. Smooth the surface and set aside.


The Creative Cook

Friday, February 26, 2010

Chocolate Shortbread Hearts

I almost forgot to tell you about the delicious Chocolate Shortbread Hearts that I made right before Valentine's Day. The only adjustments I made were that I didn't have Dutch processed cocoa powder so I did a substitute for that and I never buy salted butter so I had to substitute for that, too. I did some reading and found out that you can add 1/2 teaspoon baking soda to substitute for the Dutch processed cocoa powder and add half a teaspoon of salt for each cup of butter to account for the extra salt in the salted butter. I also melted some white chocolate chips and dipped the hearts halfway into the white chocolate. The kids and adults loved these cookies!

Chocolate Shortbread Hearts


2-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup unsweetened Dutch processed cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup salted butter, softened
1-1/2 cups dark brown sugar, packed
2 eggs
1-1/2 teaspoon vanilla


In a medium bowl, combine flour, cocoa powder, salt and baking powder. Stir with a whisk until combined. Set aside.

In a large bowl, cream butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy.

Add eggs and vanilla. Mix, scrape down bowl and mix again.

Add flour mixture and mix until combined.

Remove dough from the bowl and divide into 2 portions. Wrap each piece in clear film, forming a disk shape.

Refrigerate 2 or more hours.

Remove one disk from the refrigerator. (If dough is too hard, let sit at room temperature for 15 minutes).

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Prepare 3 sheet pans with silpat or parchment paper.

Roll out dough on a lightly floured board to 1/4 inch thick, you do not want to use tons of flour and leave the beautiful dark dough whitish looking. The cookies also work if you like them rolled thinner.

Using a 3-inch heart cutter, cut as many hearts as you can from the dough, placing each on a prepared sheet pan.

Bake for 15 minutes. Cool cookies right on the tray, or after 15 minutes, remove cookies to a wire rack.

I melted a cup of white chocolate chips in the microwave and dipped the cookies halfway in the white chocolate.


The Creative Cook