No Bake Raspberry Cheesecake Cups

Private Chef Peggy Eagan’s recipe for “No Bake Raspberry Cheesecake Cups”…. just another example of why you should have Private Chef Eagan create a delicious dinner party for you and your friends.                                 

                                      No Bake Raspberry Cheesecake Cups

Serves 6

6 – 4oz jars or glasses
2 tbs butter, melted
6 chocolate graham cracker planks
8 oz cream cheese, softened
6 oz mascarpone or goat cheese
1/3 cup seedless raspberry jam, melted
1/3 cup fresh or frozen raspberries
4oz dark chocolate
2 tbs heavy cream

In a food processor, crush the crackers, then mix in the melted butter.  Press equal amount of the chocolate cracker crumble into the jars/glasses.  Press the crumbs to the bottom of each jar/glass with the thick handle of a wooden spoon or the bottom of a smaller glass.  Refrigerate while preparing the cheesecake.

Using a food processor, mix softened cream cheese, mascarpone or goat cheese, and jam until smooth.  Add fresh or frozen raspberries and pulse until combined, but allow the fruit to give the mixture some texture.  Taste the mixture, to adjust it to your liking.  Pour the mixture into each of the prepared jars/glasses.  Refrigerate 1 hour to allow the mixture to firm.

Melt chocolate in a microwave or over a double boiler, whichever your preferred method.  Stir in the cream and mix until smooth.  Spoon the chocolate ganache over the tops of each dessert.  Refrigerate 1 hour.  Serve with whipped cream and more berries.

Buen provecho!

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Franck’s Mashed Potatoes

                                            Franck’s Mashed Potatoes

This recipe comes from Oceania Cruise Lines Corporate Chef, Franck Garanger.  It was one of the recipes shared in their Paris Bistro cooking class.  It’s one of the best mashed potatoes that we have ever tasted, plus it is easy.  The recipe serves 4 to 6 unless you really love lots of mashed potatoes.

Franck’s Mashed Potatoes (Serves 4 to 6)
1 lb. russet potatoes, peeled
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup whole milk
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
8 tablespoons unsalted room temperature butter, cut into pieces
1 teaspoon kosher salt

In a medium saucepan, combine the potatoes with enough salted water to cover them by at least 1 inch, and bring to a simmer over med-high heat.  Adjust the heat to maintain a simmer and cook until tender when pierced with a paring knife, about 25 minutes.  Drain and let cool for 5 minutes.
While the potatoes are cooling, combine the cream, milk, and nutmeg in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring until the mixture is hot.  Remove from the heat.
Pass the potatoes through a potato ricer (if you ideally have one, or mash with a potato masher) into a clean saucepan.  Place over medium-low heat and stir with a wooden spatula for 5 to 10 minutes to remove any excess water and dry the potatoes.
Gradually stir in the hot cream mixture with the spatula, a little at a time.  Adding it slowly allows the potatoes to absorb it gradually, resulting in creamier mashed potatoes.  Stir in the butter pieces a few at a time until fully incorporated, and then add the salt.

Bon Appetit!!!

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Carrot Cake

                                                           Carrot Cake

Although our kids are grown, we still have the traditional egg hunt (although the plastic eggs are filled with $1′s and $5′s these days).  We also bake a fabulous carrot cake in the  shape of a bunny’s head – I tried to eliminate the cake several years ago but met with outrage from my family.  This cake also freezes very well.  When we moved a few years ago, I was cleaning out the freezer and found a bunny cake ‘ear’ that was a little over a year old (wrapped in foil and then in a Ziploc).  I was going to pitch it but my son got to it first.  Unbelievably, the cake was still moist and it tasted great – thanks to the canola oil and grated carrot in the recipe.  We hope you have some fun with this one – and be sure    to freeze all the leftovers.

Carrot Cake
4 large eggs
1/2  teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups Canola oil                        2 teaspoons baking soda
2 cups sugar                                     3 cups grated carrot
2 cups flour                                       1 1/2 cups chopped walnuts
2 teaspoons cinnamon                     1 teaspoon vanilla

Beat eggs, add sugar and oil.  Sift dry ingredients and add.  Fold in nuts, carrots and vanilla.  Pour into two greased 8″ cake pans.  Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or test with toothpick.  When cake is cooled, cut one layer according to the chart and assemble bunny.

Cream Cheese Frosting
1 stick unsalted butter
1 8 oz. pkg. lower fat cream cheese
1 lb. box powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

At room temperature, with an electric mixer, cream butter and cream cheese.  Add powdered sugar in small amounts and vanilla until thoroughly blended.  Frost cake and use raisins or small gumdrops for eyes, nose & mouth.

Happy Easter!!!!!


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