Grandma’s Lemon Topped Cheesecake (A Tribute)

I’m doing something a little different from the norm today and sharing a food video with you. A food video called Grandma’s Lemon Topped Cheesecake that brought back strong, sweet and vivid memories of my own Grandma.

Please watch the heartfelt video! It’s beautifully crafted and worth a few minutes of your time…. 

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Gingerbread Cheesecake

A dreamy gingerbread cheesecake baked on a gingersnap crust! It’s laced with rich, warm spices that dance across your tongue and fill your house with the welcoming smell of Christmas.

A holiday season without Gingerbread would be like Christmas without Santa! A criminal offense as far as I’m concerned. Being one of the most loved flavors of the holiday season with a permanent place in my heart…. 

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Caramel Macadamia Cheesecake

Ottolenghi's Caramel Macadamia Cheesecake

The Heavenly Housewife recently issued a cheesecake challenge to bake Ottolenghi’s Caramel and Macadamia Cheesecake. She was inspired to recreate this remarkable cheesecake after trying it at Ottolenghi’s restaurant.

A rich and creamy cheesecake topped with soft, gooey caramel and the irresistible crunch of macadamia nut brittle? Umm, o.k…no need to ask me twice!

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Strawberry Cream Cheese Pie


I inwardly cringe every time I see a recipe for a baked strawberry dessert. Being that strawberry season is in session, that can add up to a lot of cringing.

While my fellow bloggers are raving over their strawberry desserts, I’m screaming like a banshee and throwing my dessert plate…. 

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Layered Pumpkin Cheesecake with Belgium Chocolate

Layered Pumpkin Cheesecake with Belgium Chocolate

A tall and luscious triple layer pumpkin cheesecake covered generously in Belgium chocolate shavings. Rather than having a cheesecake and a pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving I thought it would be fun to combine them into a layered cheesecake. A thick layer of warmly spiced pumpkin cheesecake batter is encased between two thin layers of plain cheesecake batter. Adding to the decadence is the chocolate topping made by pulling a vegetable peeler across a small slab of chocolate.

The crust is made with a biscuit-like tea cookie called Maria cookies. You can find them on the cookie aisle and also in the Goya section of your market. Inexpensive, they come packaged in cylinder shaped rolls. You will need one roll plus part of a second. You can use a different cookie or graham crackers if you like.

The flavor contrast between the layers is intense and unexpected! It’s a lovely treat for the taste buds. First you taste the dense, tangy outer layers followed by the pop of pumpkin and the hit of sweet spiciness it carries with it. This was a welcome change from the traditional Thanksgiving pie with two of my favorite desserts in one!

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Layered Pumpkin Cheesecake
(loosely adapted from Martha Stewart)
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pans
About 2 cups Goya Maria Cookies or a different cookie or graham crackers, finely crushed
2 cups sugar
32 ounces cream cheese (half mascarpone cheese, if desired), room temperature
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sour cream, room temperature
1 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 eggs
1 cup pumpkin puree
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
Belgium chocolate, for shaving over top

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter the sides of a 10-inch springform pan. Wrap exterior of pan in a double layer of foil. In a medium bowl combine melted butter with crushed crumbs. Press mixture evenly into the bottom and slightly up the sides of the prepared pan.

2. Place pan on a baking sheet and bake until crust is set, 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer pan to a wire rack to cool completely.

3. In a large mixing bowl beat the cream cheese on medium speed until fluffy, about 3 minutes, scraping down sides as needed. In a separate medium mixing bowl whisk together sugar and flour. With mixer on low speed, gradually add sugar mixture to cream cheese; mix until smooth. Add sour cream and vanilla; mix until smooth. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until just combined; do not over mix.

4. Pour 2 cups of the cream cheese filling into prepared pan. Remove an additional two cups of the cream cheese mixture to a small bowl for the top layer. To the remaining cheese mixture stir in pumpkin puree and spices. Gently spoon into pan over top of the bottom cheese layer. Then gently spoon the 2 cups of cheese mixture set aside over top of pumpkin layer.

5. Set pan inside a large, shallow roasting pan. Carefully ladle boiling water into roasting pan to reach halfway up sides of springform pan. Bake 45 minutes; reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees. Continue baking until cake is set but still slightly wobbly in the center, about 30 minutes more. Turn off oven; leave cake in oven with door slightly ajar, 1 hour. Transfer pan to a wire rack; let cake cool completely.

6. Refrigerate, uncovered, at least 6 hours or overnight. Before unmolding, run a knife around the edge of the cake. Shave chocolate pieces generously over top using a vegetable peeler.

Printable Recipe

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Layered Pumpkin Cheesecake with Belgium Chocolate

Don’t forget to enter my Tate’s Bake Shop Cookbook and Cookie Gift Pack Giveaway!

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Cranberry Cheesecake

Cranberry Cheesecake

I hope you all had a lovely family and food-filled Thanksgiving! My Mom’s table was a heavily laden carb fest of deliciousness; broccoli/velveeta casserole, streusel-stuffed baked sweet potatoes, sausage stuffing, potato-rutabaga-cheese casserole, buttermilk biscuits, cranberry sauce, and of course a giant turkey. We gobbled gobbled our way through that and then for dessert we had this cheesecake, pumpkin pie, and fruitcake.

The cheesecake was scrumptious and so gorgeous with the vibrant cranberry sauce on top! And is there a more fitting topping than cranberry sauce at this time of the year? The cheesecake bakes up light but dense with the creamiest consistency I’ve ever tasted in a cheesecake. There’s no excuse for not making your own cranberry sauce – it’s so simple and so much fresher tasting and healthier than the high-fructose canned variety. This is perfect to bring to a holiday party or potluck. And I think it will find it’s way onto our Christmas table.

Cranberry Cheesecake

Cranberry Cheesecake
(adapted from Good Old Food by Irena Chalmers)
1 cup Graham Cracker Crumbs
4 tablespoons butter, melted
1 and 1/2 pounds Cream Cheese
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1/2 teaspoon Almond Extract
1 and 1/2 cups Sour Cream, at room temperature
1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly butter a 9-inch springform pan.
2. Combine the graham cracker crumbs and the melted butter in a small bowl. Press the mixture evenly onto the bottom of the springform pan.
3. Put the cream cheese in a large bowl and beat until smooth. Beat in the sugar and the eggs, scraping the sides of the bowl frequently. Beat in the vanilla and almond extracts and sour cream.
4. Pour the mixture into the crust and bake* for 55-60 minutes until cheesecake is puffed and firm to the touch. Remove from oven and run a thin knife around the edges to loosen it from the pan. Let cool completely and chill for several hours or overnight before serving.
5. Serve with cranberry sauce and whip cream.
*I recommend cooking this in a bain marie to prevent cracking. Put the uncooked cheesecake/pan into a larger baking pan, put on oven rack and fill halfway up sides of springform pan with boiling water. Bake as directed.
Cranberry Sauce
1 cup water
3/4 cup sugar
12 ounces fresh Cranberries
To flavor add one or a combo:
orange zest, lemon zest, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg
In a medium sauce pan dissolve the sugar in the water over medium heat. Add cranberries and continue to cook, stirring, carefully, the cranberries will pop, about five – seven minutes. Add your flavoring element. Combine well. Remove from heat. Cool. Store in fridge.

Cranberry Cheesecake