Mocha Cheesecake

Hi there all–  Here’s a cheesecake made for a game night with friends– lots of talk, laughs and a dose of noisy competitiveness!  Finished off with a couple cheesecakes.

This desert has two layers of creamy cheesecake, one coffee flavored, one chocolate, topped with a creamy chocolate ganache.  Pretty irresistible!

MOCHA CHEESECAKE

Crust:
1 prepared Oreo piecrust*
2 tab. butter, melted

Filling:
2 tab. instant coffee granules
1 tab. boiling water
1 cup chocolate chips
32 oz. cream cheese (4 –8 oz. packages)
1 cup sugar
3 tab. flour
3 eggs
1 cup sour cream

Ganache topping:
1/4 cup whipping cream
1 tab. butter
2/3 cup chocolate chips

Mix the Oreo crust and the melted butter in the bottom of a 9″ springform pan.  Press the crumbs to make a uniform thin layer covering the bottom of the pan.  Set it into a 350 degree oven for 10 minutes.

Dissolve the coffee granules in the boiling water and set aside.

To make the filling, use an electric mixer the beat together the cream cheese and sugar until it’s creamy.  Then beat in the flour, eggs and sour cream.  Divide the batter evenly between two bowls.

Melt the chocolate chips in the microwave for 1 1/2 minutes and then stir until it is smooth.  Fold the chocolate into the fist bowl of batter until it is thoroughly blended.

Stir the dissolved coffee granules into the second bowl of batter until it is all incorporated.

Spoon the chocolate batter over the crust and smooth out the top.  Add the coffee batter over the top and spread it evenly over the top.

Pop the cheesecake into a 350 oven for 50 to 60 minutes until it is firm to the touch and just a little wobbly when you shake it.  Open the oven door, turn off the heat and let the cheese cake sit 1 hour in the cooling oven.  Then take it out, slide a sharp knife around the edge to loosen the cheesecake from the pan and set it into the fridge for 3 or 4 hours.

To make the ganaches, heat the whipping cream and butter in a small pan on the stove until it just starts to simmer.  Take it off the heat and stir in the chocolate chips and beat for 3 or 4 minutes until it’s glossy.  Let it cool and when you’re ready to serve up the cheese cake, drizzle it over the top.  Delish!

*The recipe I worked from used 20 Oreo cookies, crushed.  But getting the pre-made Oreo crust was cheaper and already to use.

Mocha Hazelnut Cookies

IMG_3298Hey there– If you look in our freezer, you’re likely to find mocha almond fudge ice cream tucked in between the frozen blueberries and ice cube bin (unless I’ve just slurped it all down).  It’s my favorite.  So how could these tender fudgey coffee tinged cookies not be delicious?  They’re not too sweet, but chock full of chocolate and hazelnuts.  Big and cake-like and melt-in-your-mouth good.  (OK, did I convince you??)

MOCHA HAZELNUT COOKIES
1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. coffee liqueur (optional)
1  1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. instant coffee crystals
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup hazelnuts, chopped
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

IMG_3301With an electric mixer cream together the butter, 2 sugars, egg, vanilla and coffee liqueur.  Then beat in the flour, cocoa, baking powder, coffee crystals and salt.  Finally, mix in he hazelnuts and chocolate chips.*

Drop the batter by full tablespoons onto a baking sheet that has been sprayed with cooking spray–about 3″ apart.  Smash each cook just a bit flatter with the bottom of a glass.

Bake the cookies at 350 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes.  Let them sit on the cookie sheet for 5 minutes before you lift them off to a cooling rack.  Makes about 18 large cookies.  Enjoy them with a mug of tea!

*I save a handful of chocolate chip and hazelnuts to sprinkle on top of the cookies before I slip them into the oven– so they are prettier.

IMG_3268

Mocha Frosting

IMG_9682Hi chocolate lovers (that should include most of you!)–  I have a predilection for the simplicity of cake mixes– except to make fruity cakes, carrot cake…  I know that doesn’t make me a very gourmet baker– but they are so light and tender.  Nevertheless, I draw the line on pre-made frosting.  ugh. It takes 5 minutes to beat up your own frosting and it is SO much tastier.  (Thank you for listening to me rant on that one).  So for years I’ve kept those little packs of instant coffee around to add in brownies or other chocolatey treats.  But I just discovered that mixing it into good old chocolate frosting, elevates it to a new level of delicious.  So here it is…

MOCHA FROSTING
1 stick butter (1/4 pound)
1/3 cup Hershey’s Dark unsweetened cocoa
1 tab. instant coffee crystals*
8 oz. cream cheese
1 pound box of powdered sugar

Melt the butter in the microwave and then stir in the cocoa and coffee crystals.  With the mixer beat in the cream cheese completely and then beat in the powdered sugar (starting on low so you don’t get a sugar blizzard!).  Spread it on your cake.  That’s all!

*Lots of baking recipes call for espresso powder, but I just use Nestle instant coffee packets– not fancy, but so much cheaper (sorry Jill– more affordable!).

This cake has salted almonds squished all over the sides.   A little extra yummm.