Saturday, October 17, 2009

Grilled Pork and Chocolate Cheesecake

For his birthday, Dan asked for a meal of grilled pork (I used some brisket grillers we had in the freezer), and a chocolate cheesecake for dessert. So being the loving wife that I am, I happily prepared the meal with some garlic and rosemary redskin mashed potatoes, steamed broccoli and a salad. Here is my seasoning blend for the pork. It could be used on anything really.

Pork Rub

2 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. thyme
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. coriander
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. salt

As far as cheesecake goes, I usualy fancy plain with some sort of tart fruit element, like raspberry or lemon. Plain cheesecake with raspberry sauce, delicious. However, because of this little chocolate number, I may have to rethink my order the next time I visit The Cheesecake Factory.

Chocolate Cheesecake
a combination of Kraft's Chocolate Lover's Cheesecake and Classic Cheesecake

1 1/2 c. graham cracker crumbs
1/3 c. melted butter
3 Tbsp. sugar
3  packages (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
3/4 c. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
3 eggs
6 squares (1 oz.) semi-sweet chocolate, melted, and slightly cooled

Preheat oven to 325 °F, or 300 °F if using a dark, non-sitck springform pan. In a microwave safe bowl, melt the chocolate according to the package directions and set aside to cool. In a small bowl, mix graham cracker crumbs, melted butter, and 3 tbsp. sugar. Firmly press into the bottom of the springform pan.
Beat together cream cheese, sugar and vanilla on medium speed until well blended. Add eggs and mix until just blended. Stir in the melted chocolate.
Pour filling over crust and bake for 40-45 minutes, or until almost set. Cool completely, and refridgerate overnight.

I think it was the graham cracker crust, rather than a chocolate cookie crust, that sealed the deal. I must give credit where it's due...this was Dan's idea.  Melted butter with graham cracker crumbs is a match made in heaven. I had to taste the mixture before putting in the pan, to make sure it was safe. It was. I am not a fan of those super sweet dessert scented candles that some people rave about. They are just too overpowering for me. But, if someone comes up with a graham cracker crust candle he or she may have a new customer. You hear that, Yankee? Even if you think you don't like chocolate cheesecake, try this. I promise you won't be disappointed.

If you'd like to try my raspberry sauce, put about 2 cups mostly thawed, frozen raspberries into a blender with a couple teaspoons sugar and 1/4 - 1/2 c. water. Blend until smooth. These measurements are approximate. I usually just eyeball it. Make it as thin or think as you like. Serve over any plain cheesecake, or try it on this one. We like Kraft's Classic Cheesecake listed above.

Oh, and I almost forgot. I made my own graham cracker crumbs for the first time. This was partially due to the fact that my grocery store stopped carrying the brand of crumbs that I typically buy, and that the crackers, by the ounce, were cheaper-and we'll have something in the pantry to munch on. I just used store brand honey graham crackers, and pulsed them in the food processor until fine. The ones I bought were squares rather than the rectangular sheets, so it took about 20-22 squares to yield 1 1/2 c. of crumbs. This made the crust very fresh and not completely uniform in texture. Lets just say that I don't think I'll be using the ready made kind anymore. I'll refrain from raving about this crust again. Maybe when I am feeling extra ambitious I'll try my hand at these.

1 comment:

Beth Dargis said...

Looks delicious! So you cook too, Dan is really blessed to have you :) My daughter just got done saying the Pizza Hut commercial looks better than what we're having for dinner.