Chocolate-Mascarpone Cheesecake

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Today is the day for posting and I am not completely done with my cheesecake!  The problem  is that you bake the cheesecake one day but it isn’t ready to serve until the next day…sooo I have the cheesecake baked and will blog what I know but I won’t have a final picture and the results of what people think until tomorrow.

This recipe is another funny one for me.  I am not a cheesecake fan at all so that is probably the reason I have never made one before.  Those of you who have read many posts know I am not a huge dessert fan period which begs the question I have heard many times “why do you bake things you don’t even like?”.  I guess that is a justified question but it cracks me up because the main reason I enjoy baking doesn’t really have anything to do with actually eating what I make.  I think for me the joy comes from two things: 1) it provides a wonderful creative outlet for me and a feeling of competence when my creations turn out and 2) I feel a deep sense of contentment when I can produce something that makes other people really happy.  That is why I bake. 🙂

This cheesecake recipe uses a lot of cream cheese and mascarpone!  It is fairly simple though.  I did make a few changes after getting some hints from fellow blogger Cathleen.  Instead of adding the crumb crust after baking as the recipe calls for, I made an oreo cookie crumb before filling and baking.  I was also very intrigued by Cathleen’s cheesecake because she added this beautiful chocolate ganache to the top which I will be adding as well. (Got that part finished finally..still waiting to taste)

I made the cookie crust by dismantling oreos and scraping out the filling…it was all I had on hand so I went with what I had.  Baked the crust up for 15 minutes meanwhile beating the cream cheese on medium low to prevent air being added to the batter.  This particular recipe uses cream cheese, mascarpone, sour cream and very small amounts of flour, sugar, vanilla and 3 eggs….adding to that, melted bittersweet chocolate.  To cook the cheesecake properly and prevent cracking you bake it placing the pan in a roasting pan filled with hot water.  I added a foil liner to prevent water from seeping into the springform pan.

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This cooks for about an hour and comes out looking like this..

photoCThis is the spot I am at now…waiting for the cheesecake to come to room temperature.  After that, I am suppose to chill it for at least 6 hours or overnight.  Once I have the chocolate ganache on top I will take a picture of the final product and let you know what everyone thinks since I am pretty sure I won’t be tasting this one…but who knows…I might be persuaded.  😉

Follow-up: I sent this cake out to many tasters this time as it is a rather large and thick cake; my usual tasters, my bible study small group, my son’s girlfriend, brother and sister-in-law’s family and the response was pretty much unanimous!!  Everyone LOVED it…as long as you like cheesecake.  It did not turn my son and I into cheesecake lovers but we both said it was better than most we have tried.  I have to say it is a beautiful cake to take somewhere and not really that difficult.  Here are some finished pictures:

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Onion Bialys

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This was a new one for me.  I have never had an onion bialys…wasn’t sure what one was.  The picture looked a lot like a bagel but without the hole in the middle.  That area was to be filled in with a sautéed onion mixture.  Sounded yummy to me.

The recipe starts out with making a sponge…surprise, surprise!  This one was a little different from the ones we have made before in that it had a few more ingredients including sautéed onions and optional black pepper, which I included.

This rested for 1.5 hours.  Add flour/salt and rest for another 1/5 hours.  Not too long in comparison to other bread recipes.

After the rising, you work with the dough forming 12 bialys.  This dough was very easy to work with, not sticky at all.  I found that I didn’t need dust the towels.  One thing that did concern me was when the recipe compared these to the Oasis Naan.  I was not successful with making that “flatbread” flat.  I made sure I was so diligent with using the fork to prick the center…doing it all three times to ensure they would turn out with a well in the middle and round on the edges.  I filled the center area with the sauteed onion mixture and put them into the oven.

These smell SO good while they are baking!  Just plain bread baking smells wonderful but add in the sautéed onion and it makes your mouth water.  I couldn’t wait too long after removing them from the oven to taste one.  They were delicious…BUT looked very much like a bagel.  Seems I have issues with using a fork to preserve an indentation.  Thankfully the look of these bialys had nothing to do with the taste!! 🙂  Everyone loved these!  If I made them again, I would make more onion mixture for on top of the bialys.  Even though it gets a little burned, it is so delicious and really adds to the flavor!  Maybe if my indentation had held it wouldn’t have burned. 😉

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