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.
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.
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
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:
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
Place the sugar, water, and lemon juice in a small saucepan and stir over medium heat until the
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.
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!