June Daring Bakers’ Challenge

The June 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Dawn of Doable and Delicious. Dawn challenged the Daring Bakers’ to make Chocolate Pavlovas and Chocolate Mascarpone Mousse. The challenge recipe is based on a recipe from the book Chocolate Epiphany by Francois Payard.

This was one delicious, chocolate-y challenge. I think the hardest part was not eating all of it in one sitting.

This is a three-part dessert, but all parts are really simple to make. It’s chocolate meringues, chocolate mascarpone mousse, and mascarpone cream anglaise sauce.

I did not find mascarpone cheese in either Lucky or Safeway, so I bought cream cheese, sour cream, and (extra) heavy cream to “make” my own mascarpone cheese, as I did not feel like making mascarpone cheese the way we did a few months back.

Anyway, I think because of my impatience (not letting the cream cheese soften), there were some parts of the mousse that had pockets of cheese, but it still tasted good and made me just as fat.

I had some cream anglaise sauce and mousse left over because I did not make many meringues, so I did a little experimenting, and mixed the two together and froze them in my springform pan. My plan was to have a no-crust cheesecake, but what I ended up with was an un-mold-able cross between chocolate ice cream and frozen chocolate mascarpone mousse. I think some people might call this a semi-freddo, but I am not sure that is the proper name for it. Anyway, it is a mighty, tasty concoction.

Follow the jump for the recipes and pictures.

Continue reading

chocolate cheesecake

I know what you are thinking, “again with the chocolate?” and to that I say, yes, again with the chocolate. See, I wanted to try out my new spring-form cake pan

(here is the pan, unloaded-without the bottom)

and cheesecake was the best thing I could think of. However, I don’t really like cheesecake, so it had to be chocolate to help mask the cream cheese flavor of classic cheesecake. I hope it will taste really good. (I am still waiting for it to come out of the oven and then it has to cool) Anyway, I made every bit of it from scratch, the chocolate wafers, the crust, and the filling. I already made the chocolate wafers, so just follow the link and you will have the recipe for that part. The rest of the recipes came from the same book, and the link about the book is on the post with the chocolate wafers, so again, just follow the link. I am getting really repetitive with my writing, sorry. There is no other word that I can use for “cheesecake” or “chocolate” or “link” so just bear with me. The pictures for this post will obviously come later.

Chocolate Cheesecake:
Chocolate Crumb Pie Crust (recipe to follow)
8 oz. (8 squares) semisweet chocolate
3 pkgs. (8 oz. each) cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup sugar
3 eggs
3 Tbs. all-purpose flour
1 cup heavy cream (I used milk-we’ll see how it turns out!)
1 tsp. vanilla or almond extract

Preheat oven to 350º.
Prepare crust according to directions.
Lightly grease 9-inch spring-form pan and press crust mixture onto bottom and 1 inch up sides of pan.
Bake for 8-10 minutes.
Remove pan from oven and cool completely on wire rack.
Melt chocolate, remove from heat, and set aside to cool.
Place cream cheese and sugar in mixer bowl and beat until light and fluffy.
Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition.
Add flour and beat until thoroughly combined.
Stir in reserved chocolate and beat  until thoroughly blended.
Add cream and vanilla and beat about three minutes until thoroughly combined.
Pour over cooled crust and bake in preheated oven 60 minutes.
Turn off oven and leave cake in closed oven 1 hour.
Remove cake from oven and cool completely on rack.
Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
Run knife around edge of cake and remove side of pan. (Impatient me will probably skip the refrigerate part! Gosh, I’ve already waited like 2+ hours!)

Chocolate Crumb Pie Crust
1-1/2 cups finely crushed chocolate wafers
3 Tbs. sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350º.
Combine crushed wafers, sugar, and cinnamon in bowl.
Add butter and stir until well combined.

Press crumb mixture onto bottom and partly up sides of lightly greased 8-inch or 9-inch pie plate or spring-form pan. Flatten to even thickness with back of a spoon.
Bake in preheated oven 8-10 minutes.
Cool completely before filling.

Use as base for cheesecake or fill with ice cream, chocolate mousse, or other pie filling.