Earl Gray & Lemonade
In the Kitchen
This Irish Cream Cheesecake was my first attempt at making real cheesecake, not something from a box or a too easy no-bake cheese cake. I made it for my husband’s birthday and of course his folks were coming for dinner, so the pressure to impress the in-laws was on. Miraculously, I manged to pull it off without cracking the cake. To say I impressed myself would be, well, an understatement.
It’s no secret that cheesecake can be difficult, but if you are daring it can come out really well.
Irish Cream Cheesecake
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 1hour and 20 minutes
Ready in: 9 hours and 20 minutes
You need 1 9 inch spring form pan for this recipe.
1 1/2 cups chocolate cookie crumbs
1/3 cup confectioner’s sugar
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 cup butter (melted)
3 (8 ounce) packages of cream cheese softened
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3 tablespoons all purpose flour
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 cup Irish cream liqueur
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C)
For the crust: In a large bowl mix the cookie crumbs, confectioner’s sugar and 1/3 cup cocoa. Add the melted butter and stir til well mixed. Pat into the bottom of the spring form pan. Bake for 10 minutes then set aside.
Increase the oven temperature to 450 degrees ( 230 degrees C)
In a large bowl, combine cream cheese, white sugar, flour and 1/4 cup cocoa. Beat at a medium speed until well blended and smooth. One at a time add the eggs, mixing well after each one. On a low speed blend in the sour cream and Irish cream liqueur. Poor over the baked crust.
Bake at 450 for 10 minutes. Reduce the oven temp to 250 and bake for another 60 minutes.
When you remove it, loosen the cake from the rim of the pan with a knife. Let it cool and remove the rim. Chill before serving. If it cracks on you, you can take a damp spatula and smooth the crack then dust with chocolate cookie crumbs.
You can serve this with some fresh whipped cream or a drizzle of chocolate sauce. It is really good!
Halloween night is a busy evening for families; between getting home from work, dressing the kids in their costumes and feeding them a nutritious meal before the candy rush there hardly seems to be enough time. If you think ahead, it can all be done with no stress making the evening a lot of fun for everyone.
A simple soup and sandwich meal is perfect. The soup can be made ahead and the sandwiches are easily assembled. My favorite combo is spicy pumpkin soup paired with grilled sandwiches. The soup takes a mere 50 minutes from start to finish and is the perfect seasonal soup for Halloween.
1/4 cup of butter
1 onion chopped
2 cloves of garlic minced
1 tsp curry powder
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp coriander
1/8 tsp red pepper
3 cups vegetable broth
1 16 oz. can of pumpkin
1 cup of whole milk
Then in a medium stock pot melt the butter, add in the onion and garlic cook until tender. Add seasonings and cook another minute. Next add in the broth and bring to a low boil for 15-20 minutes. Add in the milk and the pumpkin and boil for 5 minutes. Garnish with roasted pumpkin seeds (optional) and enjoy!
Serve it up with your favorite sandwich.
Clean up is quick and easy, leaving you plenty of time to get the kids dressed and out the door for Halloween haunts and trick or treating.
Homemade ricotta is easier than you might think.
I collect cookbooks and during a random trip to Marshall’s I found the Gourmet cookbook. It’s a compilation of their recipes that appeared in the magazine, it’s all inclusive and has incredible recipes. As I was flipping through it I found a recipe for homemade ricotta. I thought how hard could it be? Honestly, it was pretty easy.
You will need 1/2 gallon of milk, 1 cup of heavy cream, 1/2 tsp salt, and 3 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice ( about 1 1/2 squeezed lemons). You will also need a large sieve, a bowl, 6 qt heavy pan, and cheese cloth. It will yield 2 cups.
Start by lining the sieve with the cheese cloth, and placing it inside the bowl.
Heat the milk, cream and salt to a rolling boil over a moderate heat. It will take awhile, so just stand by and stir occasionally to keep it from scorching the pan. Let it boil for a minute or two. Turn it down to low, add the lemon juice simmer and stir constantly until it curdles. Pour it into the cheese cloth and let it drain for an hour. Pour it into a storage bowl and it’ ll keep for two days.
You can serve it for breakfast with a little honey and cinnamon or enjoy it for dessert. You can also use it in any recipe that you would use ricotta in.
It is amazingly good, you may just want to eat it with a spoon.