17 March 2014


This month in school we have been focusing on food photography.

This has been my favourite unit so far. Going into photography school I knew that I wanted to learn more about photographing food. I have been open to new experiences and thought that I might find something new that would excite me even more...I haven't. Food is still my favourite. I really love shooting in natural light ...

 but I have been learning how to do some fun stuff in the studio as well. 

I love shooting food. I think it could be because I love cooking and baking so much and I have very little time to make anything interesting. With food as my homework I can spend more time in the kitchen without feeling guilty. Not that anyone really complains when I spend more time in the kitchen...

I'm excited about the new things I am learning. I think I am improving...at least I hope I am.

This quadruple chocolate cheesecake is one of my favourite desserts. It is my most requested cake. I've been making it for a number of years and I have yet to find a recipe that is better. The recipe is an old Philadelphia cream cheese recipe that I haven't really changed all that much.

I use a 9" springform cake pan and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

The crust is a basic Oreo cookie crust using 1 1/4 cup boxed cookie crumbs (feel free to make your own chocolate wafers and crush them yourself - I did that once - I do love making things from scratch, but life is short and I have to draw the line somewhere. I find the boxed crumbs work perfectly). Add 1/4 cup melted butter to the crumbs and stir to combine. Press evenly into the bottom of the pan. Bake at 350 degrees F for ten minutes. Take out of oven and cool on cooling rack. Increase oven temperature to 425 degrees F

The filling is: 3 - 250 g. packages of room temperature Philadelphia full fat block cream cheese - I have tried light and I don't think it is as good. I have also tried other brands and they are not as good. This is not a paid advertisement, but if the Philadelphia cream cheese company - aka Kraft - wants to send me some free product I will be happy to take it! I'll just say again - It really needs to be the Philadelphia - regular full fat - block styled - cream cheese...

I mix the cream cheese in my trusty kitchen-aid mixer ( I may as well continue with my advertising theme - and yes I do love my kitchen-aid mixer - and again - not getting paid to say that). I add three large eggs, 3/4 cup sugar and 1 tsp vanilla and mix until combined well and smooth.

While this is mixing, I melt - in two separate double boilers/bain maries - 3 oz. of dark chocolate in one and 3 oz. white chocolate in the other (or if you are careful you can melt the chocolates in the microwave just watch that they don't burn). For this cake I think it is really important to use good quality chocolate. I like to use either Lindt or Callebaut.

When the chocolate is melted, I divide the cream cheese mixture in half. In one half I stir in the dark chocolate and in the other I stir in the white chocolate. I pour the dark chocolate mixture onto the crust and spread it out evenly. Then I carefully scoop the white chocolate batter on top and carefully spread it over the dark chocolate layer.

I put the cake in the preheated 425 degree F oven and bake for 10 minutes. Then I turn down the heat to 250 degrees and bake for another half hour or until the cake looks soft in the middle still but not overly jiggly (Although once I forgot to change the temperatures and baked the cake at 350 the entire time and it still tasted great...so you choose what works best for you).

Take it out of the oven  - run a thin knife or cake spatula around the sides and let cool on a wire rack. When cool remove sides of pan.

In a saucepan - pour in 3/4 cup whipping cream and simmer on low heat. Add 6 oz dark chocolate (again using the best quality you can find). Stir until all the chocolate is melted and the mixture is silky smooth...pour or spoon over the cheesecake until the entire cake is covered - make sure the chocolate ganache glaze is not too hot when you do this - or too cold for that matter... chill for at least three hours in the fridge. The cake tastes best the next day.

This cheesecake is so good that if it doesn't turn out perfectly (as mine sometimes don't - as any experienced baker will notice) it doesn't really matter. The people you serve it too will love it anyway.

Can't wait to try something new in the kitchen this week-end...

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