Its true. I have officially become Foodzilla. I couldn't help it, I just snapped. Why? Someone said they were bringing a store-bought grocery store cake to an event where I was planning all of the food. Uh-uh. That ain't happenin' sister. EVER. Keep that crap as far away from me as you can, or I will go all crazy Kung fu Panda on your ass. Not cool.
I was able to smooth things over after my initial reaction: pure rage. We talked respectfully to each other, she heard my side of the story and promised me "no store-bought grocery store cake".
GAWD! When did I turn into such a food snob?
In all fairness, I was jointly planning this event with someone who knew nothing of my skills in the kitchen, and in the end everyone was pleased. The food was for a good friend's bridal shower and it all went off without a hitch. The favorite of the day? German Chocolate Cheesecake. Uh huh.
|Me and Ashley, the bride-to-be|
It fills me with unreasonable amounts of joy to plan menus, cook for hours and then watch people devour my works of "art". And this time I got to cook and create alongside my best girlfriend, her mom and our three amigos. It was the most fun I've had in the kitchen in a long time. If anyone else wants to get married I'd be happy to throw you a shower...or at least make you a bunch of food!
German Chocolate Cheesecake
Adapted from Midwest Living
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
9 graham cracker sheets
1/2 cup pecans
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted1/4 cup sweetened flaked coconut
24 ounces cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup full-fat sour cream
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
2 tablespoons cream
2 tablespoons corn syrup
1 cup sweetened flaked coconut
1/2 cup pecans, chopped
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
To make the cheesecake: Preheat oven to 350F.
Melt the chocolate in a microwave safe bowl on high power for 1 minute. Stir the chocolate and if it isn't melted continue to microwave in 20 seconds increments until chocolate is smooth and melted. Set aside to cool.
Add graham crackers to the bowl of a food processor and process until finely ground crumbs are formed. Pour crumbs into a medium sized bowl. Add pecans to processor bowl and process until finely chopped (make sure not to over-process or you will end up with pecan butter!) and add to the bowl with the graham cracker crumbs. Add coconut to bowl, stir until well combined and then pour melted butter over the top. Stir with spoon or using your hands until butter is thoroughly incorporated. Press into the bottom of a 10-inch springform pan. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until slightly browned. Set aside.
Increase oven temperature to 375F.
In the bowl of a stand mixer beat cream cheese, sugar, sour cream and vanilla on medium speed until thoroughly combined, about 2-3 minutes. Add the flour, beat well. Add the eggs and cooled chocolate and beat until just combined.
Pour cream cheese mixture on top of the crust and bake for 45-50 minutes, or until the center appears to be almost set when you jiggle it. Cool on a wire rack for 30 minutes.
To make the Topping: In a small saucepan, melt butter. Add brown sugar, cream and corn syrup. Cook over medium heat until bubbly, stirring constantly. Stir in the coconut, pecans and vanilla. Remove from heat and allow to cool 5 minutes. Melt the chocolate in a microwave safe bowl and set aside to cool.
Using a knife, gently trace the inside of the pan to release the cheesecake from the sides, then loosen the side of the springform pan and remove it. Spread the coconut topping over the cheesecake (the cheesecake will still be warm). Using a spoon, drizzle the melted chocolate over the coconut. Garnish with a few whole pecans if desired.
Put the springform ring back on the cheesecake, then cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 3 hours before serving and then...