Sunday, March 27, 2016

Eat: Mint Swirl Cheesecake with Dark Chocolate Whipped Cream Topping

Happy Easter, friends! & to those who don't celebrate it, happy day! 

True to Jenny form, I am going to talk about a recipe for a holiday, but not today's holiday - the one before that: St. Paddy's Day. 

I work in an engineering group that has a lot of fun, despite being so busy. We have monthly "all hands" meetings where all of the employees of the three sub-groups of the larger organization (which is still only a sub-organization of the overall Engineering organization of my company) get together to discuss current events, cover safety topics, and build friendship and morale.

In addition to these monthly meetings, we also like to put together feeds and celebrate with one another often. 

This month, we had a St. Paddy's day feed and it was delicious. One of my coworkers has a "Cowboy Oven" in his backyard that was big enough to cook pounds upon pounds of brisket that he corned himself over the week and potatoes and cabbage all together over a wood fire. As a lover of food, I was in heaven and in dire need of a nap afterward (not exactly the most productive form, but happy workers mean hard workers! - - once they're done digesting). 

I was unable to assist with the main course - though, what I wouldn't do for a Cowboy Oven! 

I decided to make a dessert, because with all that smokey, salty, savory goodness, who wouldn't like to follow up with a sweet treat?

For these feeds, I often like to try a new recipe. It's a bit risky and I'm always a little nervous that it won't turn out, but so far, the recipes have been a success, including this recipe for a "St. Patrick's Day Cheesecake" by the Cooking Channel

I made a few tweaks before starting though - 

  • I knew I didn't want to use a sweetened sour cream as my topping. I replaced it with a dark chocolate whipped cream. Dark chocolate and mint are the way to go. 

  • I only used one 3/4 oz package of fresh mint (instead of one packed cup of mint leaves). 

  • I switched out the cream cheese for Neufchâtel cheese, for a lower fat content. I know for some purists, this is a disgrace, and I am a big fan/proponent of full fat = full flavor, but I have to say that with  Neufchâtel vs. cream cheese and full fat sour cream and light sour cream, the difference is minimal. 

You'll also notice that my cheesecake is super thin. That's because my springform pan is like 12" rather than 8"... and I didn't have the time to buy another more appropriately sized pan. I also didn't want to risk adjusting the recipe to size. 

In the end the cheesecake was delicious and a hit. The thinness actually worked out for the better after such a heavy main course. The fresh mint came through in the baked end result and tasted so much better than mint cheesecakes made with the extract alone. 

What's your go-to potluck dessert? 
Do you have a good St. Paddy's day dessert? Any good ones for a work/alcohol free event?

Happy Spring, Friends!

A photo posted by Jenny (@jennyjakalope) on

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