Salted Caramel Chocolate Cheesecake

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I had such high hopes for this dessert. It looked amazing on the original site, but I was not super impressed with the turn out. My pictures never look as pretty as the originals, but even the taste of this one was a little underwhelming.
It was a lot of work! This cake requires planning ahead, which I don’t mind. You make the cheesecake at least a day in advance.

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I’ve never made cheesecake before, so this part was kind of fun. It also gave me a chance to visit a friend that I haven’t seen in a while, as I needed to borrow a springform pan.
After you have the cheesecake layer made, you have to make the two chocolate cake layers. Then put your cake together:

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I was getting excited at this point. How freaking yummy does it look? Delicious, right?
Then you make the frosting for the cake, which, after following the recipe, was runny and impossible to use:

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I checked the notes on the blogger’s site, and they said you may have to add more powdered sugar to get a good texture. Recipe called for 4 cups of powdered sugar, and I ended up using almost a full two pound bag to get the right texture.
The ganache had an overly thick texture, also difficult to use. But we persevered and finished the cake:

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We finally dug in on Thanksgiving, our Thanksgiving was on Friday thanks to work, and the overall opinions were:
Chiara ate the frosting and ganache.
Arthur ate everything except the cheesecake.
Tony enjoyed it, but said he’s had better cheesecake and the frosting was really thick.
I ate one piece and was unimpressed.

The best part about this recipe was the link to her caramel sauce recipe. This was delicious! Caramel sauce was needed for this recipe for both the frosting and the drizzling on top. I have been using the excess for apple dipping!

I’m not posting the recipe as I usually do, mainly because it is super involved. I will not be trying this cake again. It looks amazing on the original site, and I am very disappointed it didn’t come out as intended. It’s a lot of work for a dessert!

So for the moment, I’ll be sticking with chocolate caramel pie, French silk pie or pumpkin pie for my holiday desserts!

French Silk Pie

It is Christmas and I wasn’t going to blog today, but the kids are nibbling on their dessert and playing with their new toys. Tony and I are vegging on the couch watching some Scooby-Doo, so I thought, why not?
I started with some of my pie dough that I made a few weeks ago and just thawed out last night. For that recipe, check out https://superstevied.wordpress.com/2013/12/03/a-no-fail-pie-crust-recipe/. This time though, I had to “blind bake” it, which I did not do last time. I rolled out my pie dough and placed it in my pie plate and this time I lined it with wax paper and filled it with dry rice. Then you bake it at 375 for 10 minutes. I removed the rice after the 10 minutes was up and put it back in for a few minutes because the bottom was still a little doughy.
Blind Baking
The pie was an involved process, but it was so yummy that I know I’ll be making again! The original pin was from http://www.whatmegansmaking.com/2012/08/chocolate-french-silk-pie.html so be sure to check that out!
You start by taking 1 cup of heavy whipping cream and mixing it with an electric mixer for 2-3 minutes, until it becomes stiff. Think Cool Whip looking! Once you’ve achieved this look, cover and refrigerate until you need it again.
Next step is to combine 3 large eggs, 3/4 cup sugar and 2 tbsp. of water in a heat proof bowl. Place your bowl over a saucepan filled with 1/2″ of water, barely simmering. I started with a hand whisk, but you will want your electric mixer before this is over. Whisk these 3 together until it has thickened, 7-10 minutes. It’ll turn an ecru-type color and be a little fluffy looking. You shouldn’t see any egg yolk color when you’re done. After you’ve accomplished this, remove from the heat and continue whisking until it has cooled to room temperature. This should take about another 8 minutes.
Egg Mixture
Once your egg mixture is room temperature, beat in 8oz of chocolate morsels that have been melted and 1 tbsp. of vanilla extract. The original recipe called for bittersweet morsels, but I prefer semi-sweet, so that’s what we went with!
Once that’s all mixed together, add in 8 tbsp. of butter, 1/2″ pieces at a time. After your butter has all been added, use a spatula to stir in your whipped cream from earlier. Keep mixing until there are no streaks remaining. Scrape the whole mixture into your crust, be it homemade or store bought and refrigerate for 3-4 hours.
Chilled and Ready
My pie filling overran the edge of the crust, which accounts for the slightly messy edges. I don’t care though because it tasted delicious! It was like a really rich chocolate pudding. Needless to say, I had an entire glass of milk with my slice! Definitely try this out and don’t forget the whipped cream for the top!
So Good!

Chocolate filled strawberries

Chocolate filled strawberries

These were super easy and even more super yummy! Didn’t even think about doing these anytime soon, but Chiara saw the strawberries at Walmart and insisted on getting them.
Looking in the pantry later that day proved that we had some chocolate morsels left so I decided to give this a go. The first attempt to melt the morsels lead to a horrible burnt chocolate smell. Ended up doing a shorter melt time and added some water to help them dissolve.
Hulling the strawberries proved to be super easy. I started with a spoon, but a paring knife worked really well. Then you just pour the chocolate in and I set mine in the refrigerator to cool.
The original pin says to use an empty egg carton, but I didn’t have one to spare, so I just balanced them in a bowl.
This was a huge hit with Tony, the kids and myself, so we’ll definitely be doing again. I really need to find more excuses to entertain…….
Original pin at http://www.pincookie.com/inside-out-chocolate-filled-strawberries/