Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Chocolate and Pumpkin Cheesecake

Back in my grad school days, pre-internet, I copied a wonderful recipe for a layered pumpkin and chocolate cheesecake with chocolate ganache. I'm not sure if this is the same recipe but it's close. It makes a wonderful holiday dessert.

  • 1 1/4 cups graham cracker crusts
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
Mix crumbs, sugar and cocoa. Pour butter over all, stir to coat. Press onto bottom and sides of 9 inch springform pan. Bake for 5 minutes at 350 degrees.

Chocolate layer:
  • 2/3 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup coffee
  • 12 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
Melt chocolate in double boiler. Mix in coffee, set aside. Beat cream cheese, sugar and salt together. Beat in eggs, one at a time, then mix in vanilla. Add chocolate mixture and blend. Pour over chocolate crumb crust.

Pumpkin layer:
  • 16 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup pumpkin
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/3 teaspoon cloves
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
Beat pumpkin, cream cheese, flour, and sugar together. Add eggs, one at a time. Mix in spices and vanilla. Pour into 9 inch cake pan lined with buttered parchment paper.
Bake both cheesecakes at 350 degrees for 1 hour 10 minutes. Turn off oven and let sit for 20 minutes. Refrigerate chocolate layer, cool pumpkin layer to room temperature.

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 12 oz chocolate chips
Boil cream, butter and sugar, add chocolate and whisk until smooth. Pour one cup of ganache onto chocolate layer. Unmold pumpkin layer and place on top of chocolate layer. Freeze for 1 hour. Frost top and sides of cheesecake with remaining ganache. Keep refrigerated until time to serve.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Frozen Dinner Rolls

I made these for my first Thanksgiving dinner as a new bride, and many times since. Very convenient since you can make several weeks in advance, then freeze until the day you bake.
  • 5 1/2 to 6 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 packages yeast
  • 1 1/4 cups water
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 2 eggs
In large bowl, mix 2 cups flour, sugar, salt and yeast. Heat water, milk and butter to warm (120-130 degrees (butter will likely not melt), add to flour and beat 2 minutes with electric mixer. Add eggs and 1/2 cup more flour, beat another 2 minutes. Add 3-4 cups more flour gradually, to make a soft dough. Knead until smooth and elastic.
Cover and let rest 20 minutes, then punch down. Shape into rolls... I like to do crescents. Freeze on cookie sheets, then store in plastic or tupperware.
When ready to bake, remove, place on baking sheet and let rise until doubled, about 90 minutes. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes or until golden brown.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Squash and pear soup

A recipe from an August 96 Mom friend. Delicious and great-smelling; I may serve it for Thanksgiving. I think it would be good with nutmeg instead of thyme
  • 1 lg. butternut squash, peeled and cubed.
  • 1 lg. onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 pears, peeled and cubed
  • 32 oz. chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme
  • salt and pepper to taste
Heat oil in Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion and squash, cook covered for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add pears and chicken stock, heat to boiling. Reduce heat and simmer 25 minutes. Add thyme. Puree in blender, two cups at a time, then return to stove. Serve hot.