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Chocolate–Peanut Butter Cheesecake
Image by djwtwo
The other dessert I made for Thanksgiving at my sister’s this year, a peanut butter–chocolate cheesecake with an Oreo cookie crust. I served this with bourbon–caramel sauce. The base cheesecake recipe is derived from one from Cook’s Illustrated, if memory serves.
2 tbl. unsalted butter
24 Oreo cookies
2 lb. softened cream cheese
1 1/4 c. sugar
4 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 c. heavy cream
1/4 c. sour cream
8 oz. bittersweet chocolate
2 tbl. dutch process cocoa powder
3/4 c. creamy peanut butter
Preheat your oven to 325°F. Place a roasting pan on the middle rack of the oven. Line the outside of a 9" springform pan with aluminum foil (to help make it water-tight from the outside, since we'll be cooking in a water bath). Place a large pot of water on high heat on the stove to boil.
Pulse the cookies into crumbs in your food processor. Melt the butter, combine with the cookie crumbs, and press into an even layer on the bottom of the springform pan, and put the crust into the refrigerator to firm up while you prepare the other ingredients.
Beat the cream cheese at medium speed, then add sugar and continue beating until the sugar is dissolved. Add the eggs one at a time while continuing to beat the cream cheese mixture, scraping down the bowl between each egg to ensure that no lumps of plain cream cheese will remain in the batter. Fold in the vanilla, heavy cream, and sour cream, then separate the batter into two equal portions (I use my kitchen scale for this).
To one half of the batter, add the peanut butter and blend just until combined.
Chop and melt the chocolate, and add the still-warm chocolate and cocoa powder to the other half of the batter and blend well.
Pour the peanut butter batter into the springform and spread with a spatula to an even layer. Carefully pour the chocolate batter on top and even out that layer as well. Alternately, add the two batters in dollops and marble by running a butter knife through the batter, being careful not to disturb the crust.
Place the springform pan into the roasting pan, and pour the boiling water into the roasting pan, enough to come about halfway up the side of the springform pan. Bake for 55-65 minutes, until the edges are set and the center continues to jiggle like gelatin. Turn off the heat, prop oven the oven door slightly (a wooden spoon is great for this), and allow the cheesecake to sit in the oven for another hour. Remove, cool to room temperature in the pan, then transfer the pan to refrigerate until cold (several hours, preferably overnight).
Run a thin knife around the outside of the pan before removing the ring from the springform pan. Place parchment or plastic wrap on the top, invert carefully onto a plate, remove the bottom of the springform pan, then invert carefully onto your serving platter and remove the parchment or plastic.
This is very rich, and should serve 16-20.
Classic Carrot Cake
Image by SusieWyshak
adorned with man eating organic walnuts