Saturday, February 23, 2013

Cheesecake Factory Chocolate Godiva Cheesecake

I'm usually not a fan of overly indulgent, creamy, heavy, mega portioned Cheesecake Factory food.
Particularly their Chocolate Godiva Cheesecake.
(Yes it's a zillion calories, but so heavenly I'll take the hit!) 

I made it once a long long time ago, and decided to try a different copy cat recipe (half batched from recipe secrets) for Bryan when he came to visit for our 2 year anniversary.

This is one labor intensive cheesecake. I roped the lucky boyfriend into being my sous chef. He said this was so much work.

B: "OK, now I know you really love me when you make cheesecake." 

I tell him good thing he's worth the effort!

Flourless Chocolate Cake:
4 oz dark chocolate
a little less than 1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar, divided use
2 eggs, separated

Chocolate Cheesecake:
1 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 oz. semi-sweet baking chocolate, melted

Chocolate Mousse: (prepare this in advance)
2 large egg yolks
1/8 cup sugar
1  1/4 cups heavy (whipping) cream, divided use
3 oz. semi-sweet baking chocolate, chopped in small pieces

Chocolate Mousse:
Beat egg yolks in a small bowl on high speed until thick and lemon colored, about 3 minutes. Gradually add sugar then beat. Set aside.

Heat 1/2 cup heavy cream in saucepan over medium heat just until hot. (Do not boil.) Gradually stir half of the hot cream into egg yolk mixture then combine back into hot cream in saucepan. Cook over low heat about 5 minute, stirring constantly, until mixture is blended and thickens. Let cool for 10 minutes, then add chocolate to mixture and stir until thick, about 5 minutes. Cover and refrigerate for about 2 hours, stirring occasionally, just until chilled.

Beat remaining heavy cream in chilled medium bowl until stiff. Mix 3/4 of the whipped cream into chocolate mixture until blended. Fold remaining whipped cream gradually into chocolate mixture until well blended.

The Flourless Chocolate Cake:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Break the chocolate into small pieces and melt it with butter over hot water. Beat the egg yolks with 1/4 cup sugar. Fold in the melted butter and chocolate mixture. Beat egg whites until frothy by using an electric mixer; gradually add the remaining 1/4 cup sugar, beating until stiff peaks form. Fold in the beaten egg whites. Set aside.

The Cheesecake:
Blend cream cheese with 1/4 cup sugar; add eggs. Add melted chocolate, beating until thick and smooth.

To Assemble And Bake: Pour flourless chocolate cake mixture into prepared pan; very carefully, spread cheesecake mixture over batter.

Bake at 350 degrees F for 40 minutes or until cheesecake is firm in center. Cool completely.

After cheesecake has completely cooled and chilled for about 30 minutes, spread a layer of mousse over cheesecake and let it set in refrigerator or freezer. After mousse has firmed, spread a layer of ganache over that and let it firm in the refrigerator or freezer.
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Friday, February 22, 2013

Mom's Baked Bass

Mom's Chinese home cooking is the best, and everything I learned came from her kitchen :D

Everything is adjusted by taste so there's no real measurement. This is why according to mom, each dish comes out a little bit different.

Of course, with this cooking style, it's a little hard to teach it. I have messed up my fair share of dishes, since fish sauce is super salty.

Chef Uy: How much do I add?
Mom: To taste!
Chef Uy: Man this is soooo salty >__<

With mom's cooking though (and philosophy on life), it goes on and everything can always be fixed.

1 sea bass, butterflied
chinese cooking wine
chinese vinegar
fish sauce
2 carrots, thinly sliced
2 tomatoes, quartered
1 bunch green onions
1 onion, chopped
salt and pepper
garlic, minced
ginger/ginger powder

Line tray with foil. Stuff vegetables inside and around the fish. Pour chinese cooking wine and chinese vinegar. Add salt, pepper, garlic, and ginger.

Bake at 400 degrees F for 40 min.

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Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Honey Balsamic Chicken

Recipe from Budget Bytes. Cooking with my friend Lisa as a fun study break! Although we burnt the sauce to a blackened crisp in our attempt to "thicken the sauce," we just threw it away and started over. Too bad we can't do the same with bad block exam grades...

chicken breasts/thighs/legs
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
3-4 cloves garlic
olive oil
salt & pepper
4 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
6 Tbsp honey

Marinate the chicken with 1/4 cup of balsamic vinegar, one clove of garlic (minced), olive oil, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. When the oil is hot, cook the chicken until browned on both sides. Place the cooked chicken on a clean plate.

Turn the heat down on the skillet to medium-low and add olive oil and 4 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar to the skillet. Stir the balsamic vinegar, the honey, and allow the sauce to simmer until thickened. Once the sauce has thickened, season to taste with salt and pepper. Add the chicken back to the skillet and toss to coat in the warm balsamic sauce. Serve immediately.
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