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A while back I posted a recipe for a chocolate custard cheesecake dip.  Since then, I’ve been working on modifying the recipe to be stiff enough to actually be a cheesecake, and this Thanksgiving, I think I’ve got it!

My favorite part, besides the taste, is that it is no-bake (after the crust is made), so no complicated baking regimens to prevent cake from cracking or browning.

Chocolate Custard Cheesecake

Crust*:

Cream:

1 stick of salted butter

1/2 t. vanilla

1/2 c. brown sugar.

Mix in:

1 eggs

1 egg YOLK

Add:

1 1/2 c. flour

1 t. salt

1/2 t. baking POWDER.

Stir until just combined.

Add:

3/4 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips

1/4 c. sugar

Stir/knead until sugar and flour is incorporated.

Press dough into bottom and barely up sides of a large spring form pan (at least 9 inches in diameter).

Bake at 350 for about 15 minutes, until crust is set, still soft, and only barely starting to turn golden (edges will be a bit darker golden brown).

*Alternatively, for an entirely no-bake cheesecake, you could use a traditional chocolate cookie crust (1 package crushed chocolate cookie pieces and 1/4 c. melted butter) pressed into a spring form pan.  Chill this in the refrigerator while preparing the rest of the crust.  I haven’t tried this, just read it online.

Cheesecake:

In medium saucepan, whisk together and heat to a simmer on MED:

¾ c. (or 1 small can) EVAPORATED milk

¼ c. flour

Stir in until melted, and remove from heat:

½ c. chocolate chips

Separately, beat until pale:

3 egg YOLKS

⅓ c. sugar

Slowly pour warm milk mixture into eggs, whisking constantly.  (If not done carefully, there will be small pieces of cooked egg in the custard, which should then be strained out before the next step.) Return to MED-LOW heat.

Mix in:

(another) ½ c. chocolate chips

2 t. corn starch

Cook until it thickens, about 5 minutes.  Keep stirring.

Separately, beat:

3 packages cream cheese (24 ounces total)

⅓ c. sugar

dash of salt

Pour chocolate custard into sweetened cream cheese and mix thoroughly.  Top crust with this custard mixture and chill at least 4 hours. When slicing, make sure knife goes all the way through crust; hitting chocolate chips feels like hitting the bottom of the pan sometimes.

To God be all glory,

Lisa of Longbourn

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I am not very good at baking cheesecakes.  The first ones I ever made were no-bake, involving whipped topping and no eggs.  But I am avoiding whipped topping, so I’ve been trying my hand at baking.  But it is a lot of work, and the cake tends to crack or brown on the top edges.

 

So I had an idea, for a stiff cream-cheese flavored chocolate dessert/dip.  I did online searches for recipes for anything like it, and couldn’t find any; apparently people don’t usually add cream cheese to their custards.  I was on my own inventing this dish, then.  With this recipe, you’re getting the eggs (like traditional cheesecake) to add flavor and stiffness, but cooking them on the stovetop (in milk or cream like custard) instead of in the oven.  I think it turned out great!
In medium saucepan, heat to a simmer:

1 can evaporated milk

Stir in until melted, and remove from heat:

½ c. dark chocolate chips

Beat until pale:

3 egg yolks

⅓ c. sugar

Slowly pour warm milk mixture into eggs, whisking constantly.  Return to MED-LOW heat.

Mix in:

(another) ½ c. dark chocolate chips

2 t. corn starch

Simmer until it thickens, about 5 minutes.

Separately, beat:

2 package cream cheese (16 ounces total)

⅓ c. sugar

dash of salt

Pour custard into sweetened cream cheese and mix well.  Chill at least 4 hours.

Eat plain or dip graham crackers, strawberries, pretzels, or chocolate chip cookies.

May also be frozen like ice cream.

To God be all glory,

Lisa of Longbourn

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I love chocolate.  For being such a chocoholic, I don’t talk about it much.  So today I’m blogging about my favorite chocolate cheesecake. 

chcolate-cheesecake-dippers

 

The original recipe is from Nestle.  But I’ve modified it just a bit, because while I could eat a quarter of a cake, most people like smaller portions than are easily sliced.  There are also some cheaper substitutions I’ve made. 

 

The first thing you want to do is to set out your cream cheese.  I put mine on the stove while it is preheating for the cookies to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  You will need two 8-ounce packages, and it’s ok if this is off brand, because you’re going to mix it with chocolate and with sugar!  (Walmart usually has the cheapest.  You can also stock up when cream cheese is on sale during the holidays, because cream cheese has a long refrigerator life.) 

 

Next, you’re going to make the cookies.  You can use your favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe or this one, which is a family classic. 

 

Mix 1 cup (2 sticks) of margarine with ¾ cup of sugar and ¾ cup of brown sugar and 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract.  Cream.  Add 2 eggs.  Stir thoroughly, until the batter forms pea-sized chunks in the liquid of the whites.  Now mix in the dry ingredients: 3 cups of flour, 1 teaspoon of baking soda, and 1 teaspoon of salt.  When batter is the stiff consistency of cookie dough, add 2 cups of semi-sweet chocolate chips. 

 

Scoop heaping tablespoons of dough onto a cookie sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes, until golden brown.  While the first pan is cooking, refrigerate your dough if possible.  Remove cookies from pan to wire rack to cool.  When all your cookies are done baking, you can start the filling. 

 

Begin with the two 8-ounce packages of cream cheese.  Add 1 cup of sugar, 12 tablespoons of cocoa powder, and 4 tablespoons of Crisco (solid vegetable shortening).  Stir for a really long time until: 1) your hand feels like it will fall off, 2) the bowl gets a hole in it, 3) the spoon breaks, 4) you can get a friend or family member to take over.  You will need the mixture to look thoroughly chocolate brown with no white showing. 

 

Then you are ready to add two 8-ounce tubs of whipped topping.  This will initially turn all of that lovely chocolate brown to fluffy white.  Stir, and you will begin to see signs of the brown reemerging.  Then stir some more, and your mixture may turn a lighter brown.  Stir, cream, press, beat until the whole thing is an even medium-brown color with a smooth texture.  Don’t use a mixer at any time, because the whole thing is pointless: the beaters get stalled in the thickness of the cream cheese, and you spend more time scraping than mixing. 

 

When this is accomplished you’re pretty much done.  Spoon the cheesecake filling into a pretty glass bowl, and line the sides with cookies or cookie halves.  You may want to provide spoons or knives with which to spread the dip over the cookies.  Cover with plastic and refrigerate at least for a couple hours before serving. 

 

The image at the beginning is half a batch.  I almost forgot the sugar on that one, and we got a Marine to do the beating, so my mom’s plastic mixing bowl broke.  Oops!  But oh, this is so yummy, and really popular.  Plus, except for it being really important not to forget the sugar, you can adjust almost any of the rest of the ingredients.  Use the low-fat or low-calorie versions of the whipped topping and the cream cheese.  Or use less whipped topping.  You can do less cream cheese.  And if when you’re counting you miss a tablespoon or two of cocoa, I dare you to notice the difference.  This recipe is very forgiving, and tastes great.  I’ve stored it in the refrigerator for over a week, still good.  The original recipe is actually a cake, where the cookie dough is the crust in the spring-form pan.  I’ve also thought about doing this parfait style in glass cups.  In the comment section of Nestle’s website, a few women mentioned making them in muffin cups and swirling the cheesecake filling like you would frosting.  Finally, I hear the filling is great frozen, almost like ice cream. 

chocolate-cheesecake

To God be all glory,

Lisa of Longbourn

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Have I ever mentioned that I think chocolate pudd+ is # world’s perfect food?  I always forget to list it with my favorite foods, but it really is.  Just recently I realized that # temperature of # pudd+ is a significant factor in its quality. 

 

For years my family has teased me about my chocolate obsession.  One of my favorite places to eat was Country Buffet (a treat usually reserved for visits from Grandpa and Grandma) because #re I could get my pick of this feast of desserts.  Instead of choos+, however, I put them all together.  Start with a brownie or hot fudge cake.  Add a help+ of chocolate soft serve topped with chocolate syrup, chocolate chips, oreo pieces and hot fudge.  Beside that add a spoonful of # chocolate pudd+ (# sugar free dessert offered there; but I really don’t recommend # sugar free variety).  The mixture of chocolate flavors was exceptional, and usually filled me up for # whole day afterwards. 

 

I say all this in past tense like I’m over it. 

 

Anyway, one of the highlights was # pudd+, super-chilled by way of its proximity to the ice cream. 

 

When I took lunches to school or work, for years I brought along a snack pack pudd+ cup, those highly preserved room-temperature servings of the world’s perfect food.  They’re good, oh, yes, and far better than noth+ at all, but noth+ beats cold pudd+. 

 

I still remember a happy day when Pizza Hut still had dine-in locations everywhere and they even had a lunch buffet.  Including salad and a variety of pizzas, it was always a close tie whether I preferred # best pizza in # world or the heap+ piles of cold chocolate pudd+. 

 

So even if I were to refrigerate # little snack cups, where would be # seemingly bottomless portions of my buffet-spoiled childhood? 

 

Recently a few developments have made my life considerably happier.  (Amaz+ what dessert of # chocolate variety can do for a woman’s mood!)  The first was get+ a car, which actually occurred about four years ago.  With this advantage I can go shopping by myself for things I want.  Secondly, # office where I work acquired a refrigerator, which currently houses # third and final innovation of my recent life in # direction of blissful foods: a six-pack of chocolate pudd+ cups, # creamy refrigerated kind with an expiration date – which means it’s healthier.  This way, unfettered by the watchful portion control of parents, grandparents, teachers, or lack of supply, I can have as much chocolate pudd+ as I desire. 

 

Happy day. 

 

To God be all glory,

Lisa of Longbourn

 

PS: For the regular-font version, see my other blog. 

 

 

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Mugs and Cocoa

To think this pile of brown dust turns into a delicious, warm, indulgent chocolate drink is wonderful. And if I pour the steaming water from several inches above the brim, the cocoa will be frothy. After a few minutes, casually stirring and waiting for the cup to cool, the bubbles are still there, but smaller, a foamy chocolate layer on top featuring swirls and spots of darker chocolate, not totally blended yet. Marshmallows keep hot chocolate warm longer, by insulating the cup from the top, like the ice on top of a lake that allows fish and life to continue beneath. One small sip, breathed rather than drunk, promises a mug full of pleasure, a sweet and filling substitute for a healthier lunch.

I love my mugs. The one at work, whence I type this, is cobalt blue with white etching of Colorado evergreens. I can slip most of my fingers through the handle to warm my hand without doing anything useful. It’s a thinking position, the cozy act of a multi-tasker not really thinking about her work. The brim of the mug has no lip, is simply straight, allowing the breathe-sipping and preventing strange sticky mustaches from forming on my lip.

At home there is a large, paler blue glass mug that promises abundance, luxury, a long afternoon to enjoy its contents. There is a rounded goblet-like mug that looks like a candle-lamp, with a small, finger-sized ring for a handle near the bulbous bottom. It looks more like dessert and beauty than comfort and ease. And I have my Chicago cup, short and wide, purple and unappealing except for the complete redemption of having Chicago written on the outside, reminding me constantly of my favorite city.

Ok, so I have several more mugs, and sometimes I even feign British propriety and use a teacup and saucer (which is almost always profaning the use, as I drink cocoa much more readily than tea). Each of my mugs is a privilege to use, and makes me wish that I stayed home more, reading a good book, instead of shopping or skipping about to work and libraries (the last thing I need is to read books I do not own instead of the stacks of those unread editions that I do).

The very fact that I’m writing about cups and cocoa proves that I am absolutely given over to a writing craze. I’ve been reading a lot, and every thought forms itself into a communicative sentence that insists on being written and remembered. I will try to be an Elinor, of Sense and Sensibility, to push aside my instincts and follow my sacrificial duty. Perhaps my sense of story will infiltrate my responsibility and make it poetic. Wish me luck.

A few hours later I have most irresponsibly finished reading a book. My cobalt blue mug contains a half inch of cold, watered-down cocoa, having been refilled with hot water to make the last bit last longer. I cannot get into the story of Ephesians 5 and 6 sufficiently for it to say what I thought it said, so maybe I should start over and let God say what He says. I want connection, though, between what God has been saying and what He will say.

To God be all glory,

Lisa of Longbourn

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