07 September 2006

the cat whisperer

that would be my cousin debbie. she came and abducted the feral kittens today. couldn't get mommy kitty just yet tho... she's going to require a dose of feline valium. she's going to be back for her tomorrow hopefully.

she's acting bereft without the babies. they're six weeks old, though, and she's got them practically weaned.

i wish she could understand that her babies will have a much better life this way. they really are quite adorable, and deb won't have any trouble finding them all a good home. i just hope once the mom is caught (and fixed, oh yes), that she will calm down enough to be deprogrammed.

cross yer fingers kids!

04 September 2006

an update on the post below

well well well... that'll be the last time i try to write up a post in word and then copy & paste into blogger! the formatting sucks deep-fried ass on the post below!

least that's the only thing about that post that sucked. the cheesecake rocked our world, yo! i just have a couple tips i wanted to add for anyone contemplating making it. if you don't have a stand mixer, i suppose you could use a hand mixer, but only if it's got a decent amount of power. making this or any cheesecake properly involves a whole lot of mixing, and i'd hate to think of the fatigue and muscle strain a person could suffer tring to mix it by hand. also, scrape down the sides and bottom of your work bowl frequently. the batter, if you will, should be mixed till completely homogenous. lumpy cheesecake would suck the aforementioned deep-fried ass.

and... use the best chocolate you can find/afford. this cheesecake was not cheap to make (it had about $30 worth of crap in it), and i spose it would have been lovely with a decent brand of chocolate chips rather than the perugina chocolate bars i used... thankfully i wasn't in the position where i had to find out. if $30 is a bit spendy for an everyday dessert for you too, save it for a special occasion or for people who will appreciate the effort.

wen'l and i went to my cousin debbie's and her wonderful (gawd i never know wot to call her... girlfriend? wife? shit, they've been together for like 20 yrs and shit!) s.o. nancy's place for dinner last night and took this. they both said it was the best cheesecake they'd ever had. i was quite stoked, to say the least.
sooo... if you make, enjoy and share it with people who deserve it!

03 September 2006

if you like choklit...

and i know you do, or you probably wouldn't be reading this particular blog...

i present to you my latest creation, chocolate cheesecake with a macadamia nut crust, drenched in gooey chocolate ganache:

5 oz (1¼c) roasted macadamia nuts
½ c panko
¼ c sugar
2 T flour
¼ t salt
3 T butter, melted and slightly cooled
pulse nuts in food processor fitted with metal blade till the consistency
of very coarse bread crumbs. combine in bowl with the remainder of
dry ingredients, and pour the butter pretty fairly evenly over the mixture.
stir till well combined and pour into the bottom of a 8½-10" springform pan.
if making for cheesecake, do not blind bake. if making for a pre-cooked filling,
blind bake in a 350° oven for 15-20 min, or until golden brown.

chocolate cheesecake
2½ lb cream cheese, @ room temperature
1½ t vanilla extract
contents of 1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
1 c sugar
3 T flour
1 c mascarpone
8-9 oz semisweet chocolate, melted and slightly cooled
3 eggs
in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat cream cheese, vanilla (both
kinds) and sugar till light and fluffy. add the flour and mix on low to incorporate, making
sure to scrape down the sides of the work bowl. add the mascarpone and melted, cooled
chocolate, and mix very well to combine, and again, scrape down the sides and bottom of the
bowl. when it's smooth and homogenous, add the eggs, one at a time, while mixing on low speed.
scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix till very smooth. pour mixture into your prepared crust.
if your springform pan is light in color, bake in a 350° oven for 50 mins to 1 hr and 10 mins. if your
springform pan is dark in color, reduce heat to 325° and bake for the same amount of time.
when the center is almost set, the cheesecake is done. remove to a wire rack and allow to come to
room temperature, then place in fridge overnight, or for at least 4 hrs.

chocolate ganache
this step is not absolutely necessary, but it is a delicious addition to your cheesecake, and it
will hide any cracks that may have developed as your cheesecake cooled.
4¾ oz semisweet chocolate - i used 1½ bars of perugina semisweet - chopped very fine
4 oz heavy cream
place chopped chocolate in a small, heavy bowl. bring the cream just to a boil over medium heat.
pour hot cream into chocolate. allow to sit for a minute or so, and then stir till well combined. spoon over
cheesecake (or whatever else you might like), and spread to evenly cover the top.