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My foodie friend, Carrie, of Carrie’s Experimental Kitchen, asked me to be her guest on Valentine’s Day! So, of course, I had to cook up something chocolate. Triple chocolate, in fact. I belong to a volunteer organization that raises funds for our county hospital…and we do this by putting on an annual Decorators’ Show House. Local interior decorators and landscapers work their magic on a stately home, then it is open to the public for two weeks in the spring. In late January, our members get to spend an evening touring the undecorated house while enjoying nibbles for dinner…some from a caterer, some donated by restaurants, and others cooked up by guild members. Crazy me volunteered to bring in something chocolate to serve 75! This cheesecake was one of 3 desserts I baked for our Landmark Celebration. Thank goodness Bill was invited to this party…I would have been in deep trouble taking all this chocolate goodness out of the house without letting him have a sample….or two…or three…
Carrie and I met via foodbuzz…and thank goodness we still have Google+ to keep in touch. Please pop over to her blog to see this decadent, perfect for your Valentine, ultra chocolate recipe!
Connect with Carrie here:
A few tips for the perfect cheesecake:
- Have your cream cheese, sour cream, and eggs at room temperature. This help make a smoother batter and ultimately a smoother cheesecake.
- Do not overmix your cheesecake batter. Using a paddle attachment will prevent unwanted air from being whipped into batter. Mix in eggs till just incorporated.
- Bake your cheesecake in a water bath or bain marie. This keeps an even baking temperature and minimizes cracking.
- Make sure to wrap your springform pan with a double layer of foil to prevent any water seepage from the bain marie
- Do not open the door of the oven till near the end of the baking time
- Cool the cheesecake slowly (in the oven if your recipe states, then on the counter till room temperature, then in the fridge)
- Take the cheesecake out of the fridge about ½ hour before serving to take the chill off.
A few of my wonderful French Fridays with Dorie friends and I exchanged Valentine’s cookies this year. I was the lucky recipient of Salty Chocolate Chunk Cookies from Betsy, of A Plateful of Happiness. When my package arrived, I immediately opened the beautiful floral box and was greeted by an amazing, intense chocolate aroma. Truly a heavenly introduction to these crisp chocolate filled cookies with a dusting of flaky sea salt. The taste was nothing short of awesome…plus I was also given a set of festive red and white napkins (aren’t they cute???) and 3 handmade heart garlands. Yup, I struck the jackpot! THANKS so much, Betsy; you outdid yourself…but I’m not complaining. Part of this exchange includes sharing the recipe of the cookies we received…isn’t that wonderful?
- From Bon Appetit via Betsy of A Plateful of Happiness
- 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup powdered sugar
- 2 large egg yolks
- 1 large egg
- 8 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate (72% or less), coarsely chopped
- Maldon salt or other flaky sea salt
- Place racks in upper and lower thirds of oven and preheat to 375º. Whisk flour, baking powder, kosher salt and baking soda in a medium bowl; set aside.
- Using an electric mixer on medium, beat butter, brown sugar, sugar and powdered sugar until light and fluffy, 3-4 minutes. Add egg yolks, egg and vanilla. Beat, occasionally scraping down the sides of the bowl, until mixture is pale and fluffy, about 4-5 minutes. Reduce mixer speed to low; slowly add dry ingredients, mixing just to blend. Using a spatula, fold in chocolate.
- Spoon rounded tablespoonfuls of cookie dough onto 2 parchment lined baking sheets, spacing 1 inch apart. Sprinkle centers with sea salt. Bake, rotating sheets halfway through, until just golden brown around the edges, 10-12 minutes. Let cool slightly on baking sheets, then transfer to wire racks; let cool completely.
- Yield: 2 dozen cookies