Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Paradise Lost??

Yeah vacation is great, but by the time you go through security, get on the plane for 5 hours, go through customs, reclaim your bags, go back through security (where they confiscate the jerk sauce and other spices you forgot were in your carry-on) wait 3 hours, get on another plane, get in your car that's developed an alarming shudder over the week it sat in the airport parking lot, get home with two suitcases filled to the top with smelly clothes. The vacation glow has worn off and your feeling somewhat less relaxed. Oh yeah, then suddenly remember your rash decision to cater an art museum luncheon for 20 on Monday. No problem. What was I thinking?!
By the way all the food has to be cooked ahead of time and only warmed at the museum because no cooking is allowed. So coming up with a menu that could be made ahead, but still needs look "artistic"(event directors idea), was a bit of a challenge.
So I hit the ground running, shopped for all the food and started cooking.

Salad of mixed greens with apple, blue cheese, spiced walnuts, and cranberries in a balsamic vinaigrette

For the entree I made chicken and mushroom filled crepes with a mornay sauce and asparagus

Unfortunately, in the chaotic frenzy of trying to keep the crepes warm and get them served as quickly as possible, I forgot to get a picture. *sigh* Not superwoman after all:(

The events director for the museum requested that the dessert be made in individual servings and be "something very chocolaty. So before I left for vacation, while surfing through various foodblogs, I came across the recipe for Shockolate Cheesecake on Quellia's blog All thing's edible.

I adapted the recipe a bit for my needs and made these adorable individual chocolate cheesecakes with a brownie crust and Gran Marnier whipped cream.
Perfect! Individual, beautiful and very chocolatey.

This is a low-fat recipe however I used all full fat dairy for mine. I wanted a very rich chocolate taste. I also added 2 tsp Gran Marnier into the batter.
1 x box (15.5 oz/440 g) low-fat brownie mix (I made brownies -not low fat)
2 cups 1% cottage cheese
1 cup light sour cream (not fat-free)
1 x pkg (8 oz/250 g) light cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
6 ounces (170 g) semi-sweet chocolate squares, melted and cooled slightly (see Tip)
1 cup fat-free egg substitute or 4 whole eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup fresh raspberries
Melted chocolate for drizzling (optional)
Shockolate Cheesecake

I cooked mine in a flat bottomed silicon muffin pan. I undercooked the brownies and took them out of the oven when they had just set up some. Then I let them cool slightly and pressed the brownie down to give as much room for cheesecake on top. I had to watch the cheesecake cook time carefully. Mine took between 20-25 minutes to cook. Take care not to overcook.

Spray a 9-inch springform pan with cooking spray. Prepare brownies according to package directions, baking in springform pan instead of regular cake pan. Brownies should bake in 20 to 25 minutes.
Remove pan from oven and reset temperature to 325ºF. Set brownie crust aside to cool slightly while you prepare filling.
To make filling, whirl cottage cheese, sour cream and cream cheese in a blender until perfectly smooth. Scrape out mixture into a large mixing bowl. In a small bowl, sift together sugar, cocoa and flour.
Gradually add sugar mixture to cream-cheese mixture and beat on medium speed of electric mixer until well blended. Add melted chocolate and beat again, scraping down sides of bowl as necessary. Add eggs and vanilla. Beat just until eggs are incorporated into batter.
Before pouring batter over crust, lightly grease sides of pan. This will help prevent cheesecake from cracking as it cools. Pour batter over brownie crust and smooth top.
Place on middle oven rack and bake for 60 to 70 minutes. Cake will be puffed up and center will jiggle slightly when pan is shaken.
Turn off oven, open oven door halfway, and leave cake in oven to cool for 1 hour. Remove from oven, run knife around edge of pan to loosen cake from sides, and cool completely. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
To serve, remove sides of pan, slice thinly (it’s rich!), and serve with fresh raspberries and chocolate drizzle, if desired

I whipped cream with powdered sugar and a tablespoon of Gran Marnier and piped that on top. I drizzled chocolate sauce on the plate and topped the whipped cream with grated chocolate and served with raspberries.


Peabody said...

I love that you went the full fat route...they look devine.

Cynthia said...

Love your menu for the event.

Yeah, security and long plane rides really take away the glow of a vacation.

Half Baked said...

Thanks peabody,
Fat tastes good!!!

Half Baked said...

thanks cynthia!!!

BC said...

Full fat is full flavour! When I was a student we had a party with the food as art. Our Rice Krispie sculpture was pretty interesting,

Nora B. said...

Sounds like you did a fantastic job with the food. I hope the event director appreciated it.

kellypea said...

That's one of my favorite salads (gets raves from family), the chicken mushroom crepes sound divine, and that lovely chocolatey morsel? Well, goodness. But I'll have to try the low-fat version.

Anonymous said...

Wow. Both of those look divine!! :)