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Chocolate Truffle Cheesecake March 17, 2007

Posted by Sarah in Desserts.

I was pretty excited to see that Peabody was hosting the Donna Day Cheesecake event because I was just looking for something to take to a potluck. My best friend tore her ACL in Taekwondo and had to have surgery to repair it this week. Her kind roommate decided to throw a potluck for her once she got out of the hospital and I really wanted to bring something special. For my very first Donna Day submission, I give you Chocolate Truffle Cheesecake.


This cheesecake is extremely rich. If you decide to have some, cut a small slice. Trust me, it will be enough! It is very creamy and smooth. I topped it with some broken chocolate drizzle.

This recipe comes from Eating Well magazine’s cookbook. I haven’t made many things out of it, but I wanted a lighter cheesecake, and I wanted to see how Eating Well dessert recipes were. The recipe called for 1/3 reduced fat cream cheese and 1% cottage cheese. I had never made a cheesecake with cottage cheese before and was happy to see that it worked out pretty well. I felt that I could have cut back on some of the coffee in the filling. I used Ghirardelli cocoa powder and some good dark chocolate so the chocolate flavor didn’t need that much enhancement. I think if I had cut back on the coffee, it would have been less rich… but maybe that was Eating Well’s plan… make it so rich that you can only eat a little bit! It worked for me! It was delicious.


1 cup chocolate wafer crumbs (about 20 wafers)

1 tablespoon brown sugar

1 tablespoon canola oil

1 teaspoon instant coffee granules dissolved in 2 teaspoons hot water


24 oz. 1% cottage cheese

12 oz. reduced-fat cream cheese (1 1/2 cups) cut into pieces

1 cup packed brown sugar

1/2 cup sugar

3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted

1/4 cup cornstarch

1 large egg

2 large egg whites

2 tablespoons instant coffee dissolved in 2 tablespoons hot water (I think you could get away with just 1 tablespoon)

2 teaspoons vanilla

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 oz. bittersweet chocolate, melted

Preheat oven to 325. Put a kettle of water on to heat for the water bath. Spray a 9-inch springform pan with cooking spray. Wrap the outside bottom of the pan with a double thickness of foil.

Blend crumbs, sugar, oil and coffee in a small bowl with a fork or your fingers. Press into bottom of the pan.

Puree cottage cheese in food processor until very smooth, stopping once or twice to scrape down the sides. Add cream cheese and blend. Pour into a large bowl. Whisk in brown and white sugars, cocoa and cornstarch. Add egg, egg whites, coffee, vanilla, salt and chocolate and blend well. Pour into crust-lined pan.

Place cheesecake in a roasting pan and pour in enough boiling water to come 1/2 inch up the side of the springform pan.

Bake the cheesecake until the edges are set but the center still jiggles, about 50 minutes – 1 hour. Turn off oven. Spray a knife with cooking spray and run it around the edge of the cake (I did not do the knife part and it worked out okay…) Let stand in the oven, with door ajar, for 1 hour. Transfer from the water bath to a wire rack; remove foil. Let cool to room temperature, about 1 hour. Refrigerate, uncovered, until chilled.

Before serving, garnish as you like (whipped cream, chocolate covered coffee beans, chocolate drizzle…).

Makes 16 servings

228 calories, 8 g fat, 27 mg cholesterol, 33 g carbohydrate, 10 g protein, 2 g fiber, 310 mg sodium


Nutmeg Angel Food Cake with Caramel Drizzle March 11, 2007

Posted by Sarah in Uncategorized.

Way back in November or December, my school had a staff potluck. I don’t remember what it was for, but I made a Nutmeg Angel Food Cake. I made it the night before and took it to school. Once I got to school, I fell ill and had to go home. However, I left my cake there for everyone to enjoy. I didn’t get to taste it, but everyone liked it, especially the caramel sauce. A co-worker of mine wanted the recipe and I promised it to her. Unfortunately, I kept forgetting to post it! I apologize for taking so long to put this up, Connie!

I will be making this cake again soon (I think for my dad’s birthday) so I’ll get some pictures then and post them. In the meantime, enjoy!

Nutmeg Angel Food Cake with Caramel Drizzle

From Food and Wine Magazine

Tips: Freshly grated nutmeg is very fluffy. When measuring it out, be sure to pack it slightly.

To bring egg whites to cool room temperature, separate eggs and place whites in a large bowl. Place bowl in sink or pan filled with 2-3 inches of hot tap water. Let stand 1-3 minutes until whites are at cool room temperature, stirring occasionally.


1 cup flour

1/2 cup powdered sugar

1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 cups egg whites (10-12 large) at cool room temperature

1 1/2 teaspoons cream of tartar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup superfine sugar


1/4 cup unsalted butter

1/2 cup packed light brown sugar

1 cup whipping cream

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Place flour, powdered sugar, nutmeg and salt in medium bowl. Sift 3 times to evenly distribute ingredients.

Place egg whites in a large bowl. Beat at medium-low speed until loose and foamy. Add cream of tartar and vanilla; beat at medium-high speed until soft peaks just begin to form. With the mixer running, slowly add superfine sugar in a steady stream, beating just until egg whites are glossy and hold peaks that slightly bend (Do not over-beat; peaks should not be dry and stiff).

Sift one third of the flour mixture over egg white mixture; gently fold to incorporate. Repeat with remaining flour mixture, making sure no lumps of flour remain but being careful egg whites do not deflate. Gently spoon mixture into ungreased 10-inch tube pan with removable bottom. Run long narrow spatula through cake to eliminate any large air bubbles; gently smooth top.

Bake 35-40 minutes or until cake is golden brown, springs back when gently touched and skewer inserted in center comes out clean. (Top may crack as it bakes.) Invert cake onto neck of a bottle or funnel, or let stand upside-down on feet attached to tube pan. Cool completely in pan 2 – 3 hours.

Meanwhile, to make sauce, melt butter in medium saucepan over medium heat. Add brown sugar; cook and stir 1-2 minutes or until sugar is dissolved. Add cream; bring to a boil. Boil 5-6 minutes until slightly thickened; cool to glaze consistency.

To remove cake from pan, slide thin narrow knife or spatula around edges of pan and tube. Lift tube out of pan; invert cake onto serving platter. Spoon caramel onto cake, allowing some to drizzle down the side; let stand until caramel is firm. Slice with serrated knife.

Serves 12: 265 calories, 10 g total fat, 5 g protein, 39.5 g carbohydrate 32.5 mg cholesterol, 110 mg sodium, .5 g fiber per serving.

Skillet Sausage and Pasta March 9, 2007

Posted by Sarah in Dinner.

Skillet Sausage Pasta 1

Well, I must say I did not intend to be away from blogging this long. However, life happens and things get busy. We added a sweet European Golden Retriever to our family. His name is Staccato and he is 1 year old. I also just got through parent-teacher conferences and I had several IEP meetings as well. Needless to say, there were several late nights and a period of recovery. But, things are settling down here on the home-front. The dog is settling into his new home and we are quite the little family now.

Because things have been so busy, and money has been tight, I have been making a lot of easy “30-minute meals”. Many of these are “skillet” suppers from the New Best 30-Minute Recipe that I got for Christmas. Most of the recipes I have made have been pretty good and are ready in about 30 minutes, including prep time. Some that I have made and liked are Skillet Tamale Pie (ground beef, black beans, tomatoes, cheese and spices with a sweet cornbread topping), Skillet Shepherd’s Pie, Skillet Chili Mac and the recipe I am featuring here, Skillet Penne with Sausage and Spinach.

We ended up not having any penne in the house so I used a mix of rotini, broken linguine, and wagon wheel pasta (weird, I know… but it was what we had…) and it still tasted great. One of their “tips” is that the spinach seems like a lot when you add it, but that it cooks down quite a bit.

Skillet Sausage Pasta 2

Skillet Penne with Sausage and Spinach

(Serves 4)

1 T. olive oil

1 pound Italian-style turkey sausage, sweet or hot (I used a mix of both), casings removed

3 garlic cloves, minced

2 1/4 cups chicken broth

2 1/4 cups water

1/2 cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, rinsed and chopped fine

salt and black pepper

1 6 oz. bag baby spinach

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted (toast in a dry skillet over medium heat, stirring until golden)

1. Heat the oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat until just smoking. Add sausage, breaking it up and cook until lightly browned (3 min.) Stir in garlic and cook (30 sec.)

Stir in broth, water, penne, sun-dried tomatoes. Increase heat to high and cook, stirring often, until pasta is tender and liquid has thickened, 15-18 minutes.

Stir in spinach, handful at a time, and cook until wilted. Off heat, stir in Parmesan cheese and pine nuts. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Skillet Sausage Pasta 3