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Cheesecake

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A filo base cradles an unusual cheesecake with a Middle-Eastern accent

These are cheesecake minis. Cheesecake ‘rounds’ or truffles are cut out of a pan of vanilla cheesecake and rolled in chocolate crumbs. This is a symphony of ice cream, cream cool cheesecake and hot fudge. You can also make these in muffin cups but simply cutting them out with a cookie cutter after the cake is chilled make a more elegant look.  If you want them for a party, then bake in muffin cups and freeze them up to two weeks ahead.

 These very special recipes were commissioned for Costco for their 2011 Cooking the Costco Way Cookbook. The cookbook was free but disappeared like hotcakes. Some recipes of mine, and other chefs such as Jamie Oliver were posted online at Costco. And Ebay copies of this fabulous cookbook did a fast trade - who doesn't like Costco? Enjoy!

This is a cake-cum tart that features an added cheesecake layer (but it only needs a pound of cream cheese). It's smooth and light, and pretty as a picture and offers that amazing taste of mellow apricots in a dairy land setting. Did I mention it looks like a French pastry shop made it?

Latin sweet with a maple beat. This is ‘bless me/hate me’ recipe for it is the most unctuous, smooth, heavenly concoction you will ever have. Curses, it’s also easy so you are warned – decadence without sweat.  Instead of caramelized sugar, boiled maple syrup makes the bottom layer.  This makes one large flan or 8-10 ramekins or individual ones. What I liked about this recipe is that it takes the guess work out of caramelizing sugar. However, if you want to go that route, slow cook 1 cup of sugar and 1 tablespoon water over the lowest possible heat until it caramelizes and then pour that into the prepared mold. This recipe also is the most definitive, using condensed milk, real milk, and cream in a triumpherate of custardly smoothness. Serve chilled with fresh raspberries and homemade, small shortbread cookies.

Bigger than life - a hefty pure cheesecake. Plain and simple yet as modern cheesecakes go. Dry cottage cheese is also called baker's cheese or hoop cheese or no curd cottage cheese. If you cannot find it, use cottage cheese or ricotta (or more cream cheese) but drain it overnight in a paper towel lined sieve. This is a tall and stable cake - not a plain jane but not moussey and cloying - it is share-a-piece after the theatre cheesecake.

A ribbon of sour cherry preserves runs through this creamy cheesecake and then more fresh, sweet cherries on top create a riveting finish. Best prepared the night before.

This cake stands tall, and features a unique, creamy ripple or ‘tunnel’ of cheesecake like filling through its center. You can bake it is in three 8 by 4 inch loaf pans (freeze two or give one away) but a angel cake pan or Bundt pan makes a more statuesque appearance. You can top it with strawberries and whipped cream for a decadent shortcake.  Ingredients should be at room temperature.  

This is perfect party fare. A big, classic but extra creamy brown sugar cheesecake, with swirls of dulce de leche in it. You can make the dulce yourself (recipe included) or buy it in Latin supermarkets.

This features sumptuous, silky smooth homemade vanilla ice-cream with vanilla bean bits throughout and a swirl of homemade dulce de leche, miniature marshmallows and toasted pecans. Ok - you can just make the ice cream or stop at ice-cream with dulce. It's over the top luscious to begin with. I sometimes cheat with this recipe, purchasing ice-cream base (at local food service supply stores), and just dump in the vanilla ice-cream base into my Cuisinart ice-cream maker. You then drop dollops of  dulce de leche just as the ice-cream begins to set up. Freeze, and serve once the ice-cream is fully hardened. This is gorgeous, easy, and better than anything you can purchase. Save some extra dulce de leche, warmed up, to drizzle with toasted buttered pecans over the final offering. (Make the dulce a day ahead – it is just easier to have it ready). This is Haagen Daz/Ben and Jerry rich, ice-cream.

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