Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Smokey Beef Tacos

Happy Cinco de Mayo! Here's my recommendation for tonight. Thank you Martha Stewart. The rice and bean dish isn't my favorite though. I substitute it with this recipe, minus the chicken.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Chocolate Zebra Cheesecake

I made my first cheesecake. I'm quite proud of myself. My mom got this from her friend Kathy (remember the stacked enchiladas...?) and has made it several times, but since I'm a little intimidated by baking, I've never attempted it until now.

I would recommend making this recipe a day ahead. It just takes a lot of time and I don't want to see you sending your husband home in the middle of church so he can put it in the fridge so it has enough time to cool before dinner. 'Cause I would never do that.

Let's get started, shall we?

1 1/2 c chocolate wafer crumbs (about 30 wafers)
3 T butter, melted
1/2 c (3 0z) semi sweet chocolate chips

4 8oz pkg cream cheese, softened
1 1/4 c sugar
3 T cornstarch
1/4 t salt
5 large eggs
8 oz sour cream
2 t vanilla extract
1 c whipping cream
8 oz semi sweet chocolate (if you like dark chocolate you can use up to 12 oz)
8 oz white chocolate

Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 9" spring form pan. Mix chocolate wafer crumbs and butter; firmly press onto bottom of spring form pan for crust. Bake 12-15 minutes. Remove crust from oven; sprinkle 1/2 cup chocolate chips over hot crust. Let stand for several minutes until chocolate pieces soften, spread softened chocolate evenly over crust (if you can get it to spread evenly, don't worry about it, just leave it as is). Refrigerate while preparing filling.

In a large bowl, with mixer at medium speed, beat cream cheese until light and fluffy. In small bowl, mix sugar, cornstarch and salt; gradually beat into cream cheese until blended with mixer at low speed. Gradually beat in eggs, sour cream, vanilla and 1 cup heavy cream until bleded and smooth. Divide batter evenly into 2 containers with pouring spout.

In small saucepan over low heat, melt 8 oz semisweet chocolate. In another small saucepan over very low heat, melt white chocolate. Stir melted semisweet chocolate into batter in one container and stir melted white chocolate into batter in second measuring cup.

To create Zebra design, pour 1/2 of dark batter into spring form pan. Holding white batter about 2 feet above pan, pour about 1/2 batter directly into center of dark batter (pouring at this height will cause batter in the center of the cake to be bushed toward the edge of the pan, forming zebra or bull's eye design). Repeat procedure 3 times, decreasing the amounts of batter each time and pouring from high about pan only into center, ending with white batter.

Bake cheesecake 30 minutes. Turn oven down to 225 and bake 1 hour and 45 minutes longer or until center is set. Turn off oven, let cheesecake remain in oven 1 hour. Remove cheesecake from oven. Run knife around edge of cake to loosen from side of pan. Cool cake in pan on wire rack. Refrigerate cheesecake at least 6 hours.

Raspberry Topping
12 oz. pkg frozen raspberries, thawed
3/4 cup sugar
1 t lemon juice

Puree raspberries. Separate the seeds by pushing puree through a strainer. Combine puree (without seeds), sugar and lemon juice in a small saucepan. Heat on medium until sugar is disolved.