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Sweet enough?

You can never have too many “go-to” dessert recipes, in my opinion! And what better way to celebrate my 300th post than with recipes for my favourite course of any meal – so much so that I always look at the dessert menu first in a restaurant, you know to plan ahead!

Last weekend we hosted two separate events and I made what might be come a new favourite along with a very old favourite whose recipe is so faded that I can barely read it!

First up, we were having an Italian-themed dinner on Friday night and whilst I didn’t want to go the all the trouble of a full-on tiramisu, I wanted something inspired by those flavours.  I did a little searching around online and I hereby present:

Mardi’s “Inspired by the flavours of tiramisu” marscapone cheesecake with a chocolate/coffee crust and molten caramel coffee sauce, served on a bed of custard.

Adapted from Epicurious.com’s Marscapone Cheesecake (December 2003)

This recipe made 8 muffin-sized cheesecakes.

Crust:

I actually made a similar crust to the one I made for my World Nutella Day cheesecake, only this time I upped the biscuit quantity to 3/4 cup cookie crumbs and added some brewed espresso (about 1/8 cup) to the butter and cookie crumbs before I baked.

Filling:

1 eight-ounce package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup mascarpone cheese at room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1 large egg plus eggwhite from one egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon salt

Make crust:

Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350°F. Butter bottom and side of a 8 muffin pans.  I also lined the pans with a criss-cross of foil to help remove them…

Stir together cookie crumbs, coffee and butter in a bowl.  Pat mixture onto bottom of muffin tins and bake for around 5-8 minutes.  Cool completely.  Leave oven on.

Make filling while crust bakes:

Beat cream cheese, mascarpone, and sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer at medium high speed until fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes. Add egg, then white separately, beating well after each addition. Add vanilla, lemon juice, and salt and mix at low speed until combined. Pour into cooled crust and bake until cake is set and puffed around edge but still trembles slightly when pan is shaken gently.  This took about 15 minutes. Cool slightly in pans on rack, about 20 minutes. Cheesecakes will continue to set as they cool and will collapse a little.   It’s ok, you can cover that with molten caramel coffee sauce later!

Do not remove the cheesecakes from the pans before they are completely cooled, otherwise this happens and you will be forced to taste them.

As I was making them at 7am, it made for a wonderful breakfast…

Molten caramel coffee sauce, from Grouprecipes.com:

Ingredients
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons water
Freshly squeezed lemon juice, two or three drops
1/2 cup fresh whipping cream
1/4 cup coffee, brewed double strength
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground coffee
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon sweet butter unsalted
Pinch of salt

Directions
Place the sugar, water, and lemon juice in a small saucepan and stir over medium heat until the
sugar dissolves.
1. Increase the heat to medium high until mixture comes to a boil.
2. If sugar crystals remain, use a wet pastry brush to help them dissolve.
3. Continue to boil the liquid until it turns a deep caramel color, but do not stir and do not allow to burn.
4. This should take about five or six minutes.
5. Remove from heat and stir in the coffee, cream, and coffee granules until all are dissolved.
6. Because the caramelized sugar is very hot, stir carefully to avoid bubbles.
7. Return the pan to medium heat and continue to stir the mixture until thoroughly mixed.
8. Turn up the heat and boil until the mixture thickens, about five more minutes.
9. Add the vanilla, butter and salt.
10. Stir once more and pour into a warmed pitcher or gravy bowl, and serve.

Notes:

I made the cheesecakes in the morning, and chilled them in the fridge all day.  About an hour before I was serving them, I took them out and kept them in a cool place.

I made the caramel sauce early in the day too and simply reheated in the microwave before serving.

Since I wanted the flavours of tiramisu and this was missing the vanilla pastry cream element, so I chose to serve it on a bed of custard (Bird’s, of course).  A bit of a ramshackle look but by golly was it tasty!!!

Next up, for St Valentine’s Day, Coeur à la crème. Or actually, just “à la crème” since I have none of the lovely heart-shaped molds you need to make this dish, like these

I confess, I did try.  I was in Williams Sonoma on February 12th like a big idiot asking for these and the guy looked at me like I was insane.  Which, in hindsight, I probably was.  So I just made them in my lovely little crème brûlée dishes brought back from France.

It’s the easiest recipe ever:

Blend 1 8 ounce package cream cheese (at room temperature) with 1/2 cup cottage cheese (I used marscapone since that’s what I had) until creamy. Mix in 1/2 cup caster sugar and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence.

Whip 1 1/2 cups cream until stiff, then mix into cream cheese mix. Blend until smooth.

Line molds (coeurs or otherwise) with damp cheesecloth, being sure to bang down the mixture to reach all edges of the mold.

Serve on a bed of raspberry coulis (blend about a cup of raspberries – fresh or frozen – with a couple of tablespoons icing sugar to taste) and should you be lacking the heart-shaped molds, you may pipe a chocolate heart on top. Clumsily, like I did!

I remember first trying this dessert in the early 1990s and thinking it was so exotic.  What’s great about it is that it tastes like you have put a lot of work into it, yet it seriously took me about 15 minutes.  And everyone LOVES it.  You should try it!

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67 Responses to Sweet enough?

  1. Yum Yucky February 17, 2010 at 05:51 #

    But what if I wanna “go-to” the eating part right away? That thing has coffee in it!!!

  2. Mr. Neil February 17, 2010 at 07:24 #

    Mmmm….yes, these were a hit Friday.

    Though I must admit all the kitchen rushing-around at 6.30 whilst I was reading the paper was a bit, well, psychotic. Even Cleo was confused. :-)

  3. Nicole @ Making Good Choices February 17, 2010 at 07:32 #

    Beautiful desserts! They look like you spent days and days on them and I’m sure they tasted like that too! Congrats on 300 posts!

  4. penny aka jeroxie February 17, 2010 at 07:50 #

    Yum Yum Yuum. yes it is sweet enough. 300 posts! Congras dearest ;)

  5. Paula - bell'alimento February 17, 2010 at 09:37 #

    Congrats on your 300th post Mardi : ) & what a sweet way to celebrate!

  6. High/Low February 17, 2010 at 11:44 #

    Congrats on 300 posts! To many, many more!!

  7. Cookin' Canuck February 17, 2010 at 11:48 #

    Congratulations! The crust on that cheesecake and the caramel coffee sauce sound incredible!

  8. Rochelle (Acquired Taste) February 17, 2010 at 11:51 #

    Wow! 300 posts already! Congrats!! Both of these desserts look great! The tiramisu one sounds like it would be a great breakfast as well as dessert. It looks sooooo good that I think I need to make some :)

  9. Christine @ Fresh Local and Best February 17, 2010 at 12:01 #

    I suffered a sugar coma just from reading this post! Swoon!

    • Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite February 18, 2010 at 20:00 #

      Actually – apart from the sauce, the desserts are not overly sweet – one of the things I like about both!

  10. Kelly @ EvilShenanigans February 17, 2010 at 12:02 #

    Well, happy 300th post! What yummy looking treats! That cheesecake … has me all warm and melty inside! Yum!

  11. Divina February 17, 2010 at 12:31 #

    Congratulations on your 300th post! Those desserts are truly awesome. What a great way to celebrate.

  12. 5 Star Foodie February 17, 2010 at 13:08 #

    Fabulous desserts, perfect for this celebration! Congrats on your 300th post!

  13. Megan Gordon February 17, 2010 at 14:58 #

    300 posts? Wowzers…that’s a big deal! Congrats! These certainly look appropriate for a celebration. Unfortunately my roommate doesn’t love cheesecake, so I’m scared to make these (as I may take down a few too many)…but hey, that’s what coworkers are for, I suppose.

    Random sidenote: Noticed you and Neil both say “whilst.” Cute. Hope you’re good!

    • Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite February 18, 2010 at 19:58 #

      Ummm you have a roommate that doesn’t like cheesecake??? Seriously???? Wasn’t that one of the questions you asked ??? (Love your random sidenote!!!)

  14. Meghan@traveleatlove February 17, 2010 at 15:19 #

    Heavenly! I wish someone would make me this right now hehe :)

  15. Tasty Trix February 17, 2010 at 16:57 #

    Oh, yum! How cute are those hearts? And I am loving that molten caramel coffee sauce!!

  16. K a b l o o e y February 17, 2010 at 17:12 #

    Holy moly; 300 posts! That’s crazily impressive. Oh, and re: Neil’s comment, feel free to go psychotic in my kitchen any a.m. I use a white noise machine and earplugs. The commute’ll kill you, though. These desserts look delicious and the name molten caramel coffee sauce sounds like it was invented to make me smile.

    • Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite February 18, 2010 at 19:56 #

      Yes, the commute will kill me! I was actually VERY quiet considering what I was taking on. And he was thankful when he tasted them!

  17. Christine@Christine's Recipes February 17, 2010 at 19:19 #

    Sweet!
    Congrats on your hard work, 300th post! It’s a milestone of your blogging.
    I’ve a long way to go, haha…

  18. Gourmantic February 17, 2010 at 19:34 #

    Felicitations pour ton 300eme! :)

    I like the creativity behind the coeur a la creme. I’ve seen those moulds in my travels around Sydney but decided it was too hard…

    • Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite February 18, 2010 at 19:54 #

      Actually it’s SO easy – and once I get the molds, I might have a much more stylish dessert on my hands…

  19. Conor @ HoldtheBeef February 17, 2010 at 20:15 #

    300 posts?!?! Good god you’re a machine. Well done my dear! Should we take bets as to how long the next 300 will take?

    What a way to celebrate. And I think that Williams Sonoma are the big idiots here – obviously they were unprepared for the pre-Valentine’s baking shopping spree. Fools!

    • Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite February 18, 2010 at 19:53 #

      The man in WS looked like he was ready to phone the looney bin actually!!! He was like “Are you serious?” ;-) And what are you insinuating re: the next 300….

  20. Mhe-Lhanee Benito February 17, 2010 at 20:20 #

    just by the looong name, i can already savor how yummy this dessert is…. looks yummy to me!! U

  21. Fuji Mama February 17, 2010 at 20:57 #

    You have outdone yourself on this one!! WOW!

  22. Meeta February 18, 2010 at 02:57 #

    congrats on 300!! while i like the cheesecake i am seriously loving the caramel coffee sauce! ummm!

  23. Daniel@CocinaSavant February 18, 2010 at 07:44 #

    These look like an awesome way to celebrate your 300th and take your mind off the blustery cold weather outside. The molten caramel is pretty nifty as well.

  24. Sandra February 18, 2010 at 13:33 #

    Congratulation Mardi on your new header and for your 300th!. I wish you many more …. These cheesecakes look decadently good!

  25. Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction February 18, 2010 at 16:03 #

    Wow … Amazing! Congrats on 300 posts!!

  26. sippitysup February 18, 2010 at 19:46 #

    #300 Wow it seems like just yesterday… Congrats though and this molten mess is a wonderful way to celebrate with style. GREG

    • Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite February 18, 2010 at 19:51 #

      It DOES seem like just yesterday actually!!! Yes, a “molten mess” is a good way to describe it ;-)

  27. Mr. P February 18, 2010 at 19:52 #

    Fabulous, Mardi.

    I am going to Paris next week. Any shopping tips? Crème Brulée dishes are on my list – why did I not think of that before? :)

  28. Carolyn Jung February 18, 2010 at 23:17 #

    Congrats on the 300th post! That’s an awesome achievement. Heck, I’d be celebrating with mascarpone, too — a whole tub of it! ;)

  29. Cat February 18, 2010 at 23:48 #

    i’d have never thought to add brewed espresso to the crust – what a great idea!
    I am totally going to try your valentine’s recipe. You had me at “only takes fifteen minutes.” :)

  30. Cathy at Wives with Knives February 19, 2010 at 08:55 #

    Congratulations on your 300th post! That’s quite an accomplishment. Your molten caramel coffee sauce has all sorts of possibilities and I can see myself indulging is a good part of it with nothing more than a spoon. Your dessert looks heavenly.

  31. The Duo Dishes February 19, 2010 at 11:12 #

    Decadent! You are encouraging a need for dessert, and it’s only breakfast time!

  32. Kelsey/TheNaptimeChef February 19, 2010 at 22:20 #

    I l-o-v-e tiramisu and enjoy this adaptation. Also, the heart is fantastic too, that is such a classic dessert that is often overlooked.

    • Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite February 20, 2010 at 09:57 #

      Kelsey – thanks for stopping by! I agree re: coeur à la crème – in fact, I had not made it for years either and its so easy and impressive. Need to make it more!

  33. nikki February 21, 2010 at 20:55 #

    oh my goodness… You’ve thrown together two of my most loved desserts….. <3 I will be doing this one!!!!!! Oh man…

  34. Lisa March 4, 2010 at 09:54 #

    Mmm these both look so good. You appear to be a talented baker. I do a baking series for Redpath Sugar and we would love to have you on it to bake something. We are trying to spotlight local bakers. Get in touch if you’re interested.

    This is a great blog btw, I’m glad I found it.

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