Dark Chocolate Cheesecake

Ingredients

Base
6 oz chocolate bourbon biscuits, crushed
2 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons melted butter

Filling

1 lb Philadelphia cream cheese, at room temperature
6 oz sugar
2 tablespoons milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence
4 oz dark chocolate
3 eggs

Icing

8 oz Philadelphia cream cheese, at room temperature
1 tablespoon milk
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 lb icing sugar, sifted
6 oz dark cooking chocolate
toasted flaked almonds

Method

  1. To make the base, combine the biscuit crumbs, sugar and butter and use the mixture to line a greased 9-inch springform tin. Bake the mixture in a preheated moderate oven (160°C/325°F) for 10 minutes.
  2. To prepare the filling, beat the cheese and sugar with the milk and vanilla essence. Melt the chocolate in a bowl over hot water and beat it into the mixture. Add the eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. Pour the mixture over the base and bake the cake in a preheated moderate oven (160°C/325°F) for 40 minutes. Cool the cake in the oven for 1 hour before removing it and loosening the rim. Cool, then chill. Decorate just before serving.
  3. To make the icing, first melt the chocolate. Meanwhile, beat the cream cheese, milk, vanilla and salt until thoroughly blended. Add the sifted icing sugar gradually, beating well after each addition. Stir in the melted chocolate and beat well. Use a palette knife to cover the cake with the icing. Sprinkle toasted flaked almonds around the edge.

Makes 10 to 12 servings.

Source: Cheesecakes

Chocolate Strudel

Ingredients

1 cup regular flour
1/2 a beaten egg
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup water
a few drops of vinegar
6 tbsp butter, melted and cooled

Filling

3 tbsp butter
1/4 cup vanilla sugar
2 eggs, separated
1/3 cup raisins
1/3 cup heavy cream
a pinch of ground cinnamon
2 tbsp fine sugar
2 oz semi-sweet chocolate, grated
2-1/2 oz chopped walnuts
confectioner’s sugar

Method

  1. Sieve the flour into a large mixing bowl and make a well in the center.
  2. Beat together the egg, salt, water, vinegar and 1-1/4 tbsp of the melted butter. Pour this mixture into the well. Mix all the ingredients together to a dough.
  3. Knead the dough on a well-floured board until smooth and elastic (this will take about 15 minutes).
  4. Put the dough into a floured bowl and cover with a cloth. Leave for 15 minutes.
  5. While the dough is resting make the filling.
  6. Beat together the butter and vanilla sugar until light and fluffy.
  7. Add the egg yolks one at a time, beating after each addition.
  8. Add the walnuts, cream, cinnamon, chocolate and raisins and mix well.
  9. Beat the egg whites until stiff but not dry, and then gradually beat in the fine sugar. Fold this mixture gently into the chocolate mixture.
  10. Cover the work surface with a large, clean cloth and dust the cloth with flour.
  11. Put the dough into the middle of the cloth and brush the top with melted butter. Working around the dough, roll it out to a thickness of 1/8 inch.
  12. Brush it with more butter and, using four hands (you’ll need to enlist help!), stretch the dough outwards as thinly as possible. Try to work around the dough so it does not tear. Cut the dough into a rectangle measuring 14- x 18-inch.
  13. Butter a large cookie sheet. Spoon the filling onto the strudel pastry, leaving a margin of 2 inches around three of the edges. Fold the margins over the filling and brush the remaining pastry with the melted butter. Gently lift the cloth so that the dough rolls itself up. Roll the dough onto the prepared cookie sheet. Bake for 40 minutes, basting with melted butter once or twice, until golden and crisp.
  14. Remove the strudel from the oven and dust with confectioner’s sugar. Cut into pieces and serve warm or cold.

Makes a 14-inch strudel.

Source: Chocolate Cooking

Cinnamon Buns with Nuts and Raisin

Ingredients

1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup warm water
1-1/2 tsp active dry yeast
3/4 cup milk
1 egg
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
3-1/2 cups (approx) all-purpose flour

Filling

1/4 cup butter, softened
1 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon

Topping

1/4 cup corn syrup

Method

  1. In large bowl, dissolve 1 tsp of the sugar in warm water. Sprinkle in yeast; let stand for 10 minutes or until frothy
  2. Whisk in remaining sugar, milk, egg, butter, salt and vanilla. Whisk in 1 cup of the flour. With wooden spoon, stir in enough of the remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, to make stiff dough.
  3. Turn out onto lightly floured surface; knead for 8 to 10 minutes or until smooth and elastic, adding enough of the remaining flour as necessary. Place in greased bowl, turning to grease all over. Cover with plastic wrap; let rise in warm draft-free place until doubled in bulk, about l hour.
  4. Grease 12-inch star-shape cake pan or 13- x 9-inch pan; set aside.
  5. Filling: Punch down dough; turn out onto lightly floured surface. Roll out into 14- x 12-inch rectangle. Spread with butter, leaving 1-inch border. Combine pecans, raisins, sugar and cinnamon; sprinkle over butter. Starting at long side, roll up tightly, pinching seam to seal. With serrated knife, cut into 14 slices.
  6. Arrange in prepared pan. Cover with plastic wrap; let rise in warm draft-free place until doubled in bulk, about 40 minutes.
  7. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).
  8. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes or until golden and firm to the touch. Let cool on rack for 5 minutes. Invert onto rack.
  9. Topping: Brush with corn syrup. Let cool completely

Makes 14 buns.

Source: Style At Home

Chocolate Rum Balls with Fruit and Nut

Ingredients

2 cup walnuts
2 cup dates (pitted)
1 tbsp coconut oil
3 tbsp cocoa powder
3 tbsp rum
3 oz dark chocolate
1 tsp sea salt

Method

  1. In a food processor or blender container, process nuts until finely ground. Add dates, coconut oil, cocoa and rum. Process until smooth.
  2. Using a small scoop of 1 tbsp of the mixture each, shape into balls. Refrigerate 30 minutes or until hardened.
  3. Meanwhile, heat chocolate until just melted.
  4. Dip tops of rum balls in chocolate; sprinkle with sea salt. Keep refrigerated in a sealed container.

Makes 30 balls.

Source: Winsor Salt

Turnip, Nut and Sage Ravioli

Ingredients

1 medium sized turnip

“Burnt Butter” Sauce

1/3 cup olive oil
1/2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1 pinch smokey paprika
1 pinch Himalayan salt

Candied Walnuts

1 cup walnuts
2 teaspoons paprika
2 tablespoons maple
2 tablespoons tamari

Almond Walnut and Sage Filling

1 tablespoons finely diced shallot
1 tablespoons lemon zest
juice from 1 lemon
1 tablespoons liquid from candied walnuts
2 tablespoons finely chopped sage
1/2 cup almonds
water as needed needed
salt, to taste

Method

  1. Finely slice the turnip into 1/16 inch thick discs with the mandolin slicer, or slice very thin with your knife. Then, using the 2 inch Round Ring Mold/Cookie Cutter, punch out 2 inch circles to make the ravioli nice and even. There will be 3 ravioli per dish, so you will need 12 turnip rounds in total. Brush each turnip round with a drop of the “butter”, to soften the turnip while you create the filling. Season each round with a little pinch of salt.
  2. To make the “Burnt Butter” sauce, blend all ingredients in a small blender, and set aside.
  3. To make candied walnut, mix all ingredients together and set off to the side- can be made first, if want more of a “candied” effect and taste. Set off to the side while making the rest of the filling
  4. To make the filling, add almonds to a small blender, along with lemon zest, lemon juice and the liquid from the candied walnuts. Add a little water if needed to blend, you want to have quite a smooth consistency. Transfer mixture to a bowl. Chop shallot into a fine brunoise (very small dice), as well as half of the candied walnuts. Add to the mixture, folding it in to add some texture. Fold in finely chopped sage and salt to taste.
  5. After completing all of the above steps your turnip rounds will be almost translucent, and will look like pasta as the salt makes the turnip tender. Now you are ready to assemble your dish.
  6. Place 2 teaspoons of filling onto a turnip round. Followed by another turnip round to close the ravioli. Repeat the process so that you have 3 complete raviolis per dish.
  7. Place the three raviolis in the center of the plate, over lapping slightly. Drizzle with a little bit of the burnt butter sauce and top with a few candied walnuts. Place micro greens to garnish your dish. Shave the macadamia over the top to look like Parmesan, which gives it a beautiful look and tastes delicious. Top with freshly cracked pepper and a pinch of Maldon sea salt to finish.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: Meatless Monday