I am still going strong with Secret Recipe Club and #BundtBakers (having missed only one month in each so far) and I continue to participate in Foodie Extravaganza and The Crazy Ingredient Challenge when my allergy restrictions allow it.
As if I didn’t have enough commitment on my plate I have added Blogger CLUE Society and The Sunday Supper Movement to my blogging community adventures. The latter has been a huge boost to not only my site’s traffic but also my social media accounts. If you’re a blogger looking for ways to venture out, I encourage you to join a group like these – the camaraderie you’ll find is more reward than you could imagine.
I feel like my blogging has grown over the past two years and my food photography has improved considerably (staying home with my son has definitely contributed to that as I now have natural light!), my photography editing skills have become second nature, and I think my story telling ability is on the rise. My efforts have even been rewarded when I was nominated for the Liebster Award!
For my blog-iversary I decided to try something that’s been on my culinary bucket list. Making marshmallow. I saw these adorable mini s’mores cheesecakes and knew that’s what I’d do to celebrate another blogging milestone. Unfortunately I don’t have a mini cheesecake pan – but how awesome is that?! – and didn’t think using cupcake liners would create the same impressive dessert. I decided to make a full size cheesecake. I increased the crust amount but didn’t think about the actual cheesecake, as a result my cake is very thin. However, the silky richness of the chocolate cheesecake doesn’t leave you feeling cheated. (If you want a thicker cake I’d suggest adding another 1/2 recipe to the filling.) To top this decadent cheesecake, homemade marshmallow frosting. If you have a blow torch I highly encourage you to take the s’mores factor to the next level. I simply garnished mine with extra graham cracker crumbs.
This cheesecake is sexy. Now there’s a word I’ve never used for food before! But seriously. Next time you want to impress your date make this cheesecake. It’s smooth, it’s rich, and it melts in your mouth.
Ingredients for crust:
- 9 full sheets graham crackers
- 3 tbsp melted butter
- 1 tbsp sugar
Ingredients for cheesecake:
- 12 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1/2 C sugar
- 3 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp vanilla paste (I used Nielsen-Massey)
Ingredients for topping:
- 2 egg whites
- 1/2 C sugar
- 1/8 tsp cream of tartar
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9″ springform pan.
- Place graham cracker sheets, butter, and sugar in a food process. Pulse until the mixture looks and feels like wet sand. Press into the pan evenly. Bake 5 minutes.
- Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees F.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Mix in the cocoa powder and salt until combined. Add the egg and vanilla paste, mixing until incorporated. The mixture will look like chocolate pudding. Spread cheesecake filling on the crust.
- Bake 25-27 minutes, or until set. Turn off the oven and crack the door. Allow cheesecake to cool completely before chilling in the refrigerator.
- Whisk egg whites, sugar, and cream of tartar over a double boiler until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is warm. Remove from heat. Beat using a hand mixer, starting on low and increasing speed to high, until mixture becomes white, thick, and sticky. Add the vanilla extract and beat until stiff peaks form. Gently spread over the chilled cheesecake.
*This recipe is adapted from Rachel at http://www.bakedbyrachel.com/mini-toasted-smore-cheesecakes/*