Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Valentine's Day...another cheesecake for hubby

Here it is Valentine's Day again and once more I have the opportunity to make another cheesecake for my sweetie. The cheesecake or cream cheese pie is really nothing too special, but my guy loves them, so over the 35 years that we have been married, we estimated that I have probably made him around 150 cheesecakes. I used to always top them with cherry pie filling, but as of late, he has opted for raspberry. I whip up the entire cheesecake filling in the blender, so it's super simple. Here's the recipe:

1 (8 oz) package of cream cheese
1 can of sweetened condensed milk (or you can make your own)
1 tsp. vanilla
1/3 cup lemon juice
1 graham cracker crust
1 can pie filling of your choice

Blend together the cream cheese and sweetened condensed milk. When smooth, add the vanilla and lemon juice, and blend for a few more seconds until combined. It will thicken up immediately. Spread the filling into the pie crust. Refrigerate until set and top with pie filling. 

See, nothing special and very simple, but when something isn't broken, you don't fix it, and he says that this recipe was what "caught" him before we were even married. So, if this lends in any way to our 35 years together, I'll keep doing it!

Here's the recipe for my homemade sweetened condensed milk. I mix this up in my blender first, then add the cream cheese.

1/2 cup water
1/4 cup butter
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup non-instant milk powder

Combine the water and butter in blender. Mix together the sugar and powdered milk, and add it slowly through the top opening in the blender while it is going on a slow speed. After all is added, scrape down the sides, and blend on higher speed until thick and smooth. Saves money and I think it tastes better made fresh. 

Here's a cheesecake that I made for a friend's birthday with topping made with fresh strawberries, and garnished with chocolate covered strawberries...

Now, because I usually don't share any of "his" cheesecake, I decided today to try a new lo-cal version of something I've been wanting to try. So here is my Valentine treat... 

fresh strawberries piped with lo-cal cream cheese mousse and drizzled with dark chocolate...

Recipe for cream cheese mousse:

1 (8 oz) package cream cheese
1/3 - 1/2 cup of powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
6-8 oz. Cool Whip or whipped cream

Blend together cream cheese, vanilla, and sugar with mixer until smooth and fluffy. At a slower speed, fold in Cool Whip or whipped cream. To make a lo-cal version, I used fat-free cream cheese. I also use this recipe to make a variety of flavored mousses as a filling for my cakes. When making a chocolate mousse, I add a little cocoa powder along with the powdered sugar. When making peanut butter mousse, I add some peanut butter (to taste) along with the cream cheese and sugar. Any kind of fruit mousse, I usually just fold the fruit or fruit filling into the mousse after it is done. 
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