October 29th- Welcome ashore, Hurricane Sandy! Power outages?! Bah! This Missouri-born girl snaps her fingers at you. What is a little wind and rain to good old-fashioned American fortitude, brashness, and "just plain thing-ness"? (quotation courtesy of Jeeves and Wooster!)
"Rain may fall and wind may blow,
And many miles be still to go,
But under a tall tree I will lie,
And let the clouds go sailing by."
|-Final roses in the front garden.|
-My rendition and translation, edits included, of a favorite recipe (original in Polish):
Dark Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake
3/4 c. chocolate cookies or graham crackers
1 tbsp. cocoa
3 tbsp. melted butter
3 tbsp. melted dark chocolate (chips or baking chocolate)
1 lb. (or about 2 cups) of cottage cheese, strained, or farmer’s cheese
3/4 c. white sugar
1 egg white
1/2 c. melted chocolate
1 tsp. vanilla (or almond extract, lemon juice, or other flavoring.)
1/2 c. cream
1/2 c. dark chocolate, chopped
2/3 pint of raspberries (or other berries: strawberries, blackberries, currants, etc.)
about 1 c. seedless raspberry jelly or jam (or other flavor, complementary to berry choice)
1 c. heavy whipping cream
2 tsp. sugar
*Requires a 9” springform pan for baking. For a taller cheesecake, use an 8” diameter pan.
1. Prepare your pan by greasing the bottom and lining with parchment paper. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In small bowl, crush cookies into fine crumbs (a potato masher is good for this, especially with crushing graham crackers). Add melted butter, cocoa, and melted chocolate and mix. Press firmly into bottom and sides of prepared pan. Put into the refrigerator for about 30 minutes.
2. (In medium to large mixing bowl) blend or process cheese in food processor or with mixer until as smooth as desired. Add white sugar and mix. Then add egg white, followed by vanilla. Separate out about one quarter of the cheese mixture into another bowl and add melted chocolate (to the smaller portion). Stir until completely combined. Take the pan with the crust out of the refrigerator and spoon the chocolate cheese mixture into the pan first. Spread evenly over crust. Then spoon on white mixture, and smooth the top, careful not to mix the layers. Put the cheesecake into the oven, and immediately turn down the oven’s temperature to 275 degrees. Bake for about 45 minutes or unti l the cheesecake appears fairly firm on top. It may not look done; that is okay. Turn off the heat and leave the cheesecake in the oven for an hour to cool slowly (leave the oven closed; the cake will continue baking for a while.) After an hour, remove cheesecake from oven and continue to cool at room temperature until completely cool (or overnight). It can be put in the refrigerator after it has cooled for some time at room temp.
3. Spread the top of the cooled cheesecake with a layer of raspberry jelly and some of the berries (if desired), sliced. Then chill while preparing your ganache for the next layer.
4. Chop the chocolate finely and put in a bowl. (You can also use a food processor to chop the chocolate coarsely, but make sure the chocolate is cold and you don’t process too long, or the friction will melt the chocolate.) Heat whipping cream in a saucepan on the stove quickly over medium high heat, until it just boils and remove immediately (be careful not to burn or curdle!!). Immediately add the cream to the chopped chocolate and stir completely. Your ganache should look shiny and dark. Add to the top of the cheesecake by pouring or spooning it over the jam and berry layer. Do not spread ganache; just let it coat the cheesecake. Return the cheesecake to the refrigerator or freezer for another chill.
5. Meanwhile, whip your cream with sugar (I added a few drops of vanilla to this as well.) Spread on to the cheesecake (Yay!! This is the final layer!) And top with your choice of berries, curls of shredded chocolate, etc. Refrigerate until serving. Smacznego!!!!
"I sit beside the fire and think
of people long ago,
and people who will see a world
that I shall never know.
But all the while I sit and think
of times there were before,
I listen for returning feet
and voices at the door."