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We Are Celebrating Life: Rich and Creamy Chocolate Cheesecake (No Bake)

Chocolate Cheesecake als kleiner Seelenschmeichler (ohne backen)

Guys, today is a special day for me. Exactly two years ago I had a horrible bike accident. Including hemorrhage. It is a special day for me as I didn’t get any long-term damage. Yeah, it did take a while for me to recover, but I made it back with a clean health bill. And since this is a special day for me, I always make a special cake on this occasion. Last year I made this vegan Oreo cake and the previous year I made one gigantic cookie with the cookie monster on top. Needless to say that I am a huge cookie monster myself. Yes, all of these cakes are very decadent and rich, I am celebrating life and don’t want to hold back. Yes, this year’s cake is decadent as well. This rich and creamy chocolate cheesecake is anything but healthy. In total we have 400 grams of chocolate and 600 grams of heavy cream. I promise you, if you are a chocoholic like I am, you will love this cake. But be warned, you won’t manage to eat more than a small slice. For that reason I made it in a 20cm/8inch cake pan because you really don’t need a lot to satisfy your chocolate craving. And I am saying this as somebody who can eat chocolate all the time, regardless if it is summer or winter. I will never understand why some people say they don’t need chocolate in summer. I definitely do. If you are the same, this cake is for you.

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Chocolate Hot-Cross Buns

Schokoladige Hot-Cross-Buns

Today you will get chocolate hot-cross buns! Never heard of this? It is tradition, I believe originating in the UK. Lent is broken on Good Friday with these buns, hence the cross on them. I thought this was such a special ritual and since Easter is approaching, I felt like introducing the recipe here. You may not celebrate as big as you would normally, but hey, I will definitely make something special event even if it is only the two of us celebrating Easter this time.

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Moist Raspberry Chocolate Cake (with Video)

Saftige Himbeer-Schoko-Torte

Apparently I am not the only one who loves the combination of raspberries with chocolate. For that reason I am introducing today this moist raspberry chocolate layer cake. I was surprised that I got so many reactions when I posted the entire process and end-result as an Instagram story. I am not alone in my love for a things chocolate with some tart raspberries to offset the sweetness of the chocolate.

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Espejitos from Uruguay

Espejitos aus Uruguay

Espejitos or small mirrors is the literal translation of these cookies from Uruguay. They are made as a shortbread cookie, filled with jam and the caramel cream dulce de leche and have a chocolate covering. Sounds good? I just love these cookies, jam PLUS, caramel, PLUS chocolate, who can say no to that? Unfortunately it never takes long and they disappear so quickly whenever I make them, I simply can’t say no. These are my fourth recipe of my Uruguayan cookie week, check out the other recipes here.

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Chocolate Caramel Tart

Chocolate Caramel Tart

Chocolate Caramel Tart! This is chocolate heaven. If you want the perfect combination of chocolate and caramel, you have to try this tart. A shortbread chocolate crust, a gooey caramel as the first layer and then topped off with chocolate ganache, I couldn’t ask for more. Well, maybe a little more. For flaky sea salt if you really want to take this tart to the next level.

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Vegan Chocolate Raspberry Cake

Vegane Schoko-Himbeer-Torte

I have to admit, I am not that much into vegan cakes, but with this vegan chocolate raspberry cake I may be converted. I honestly can’t say whether I prefer this one to the non-vegan version. It all starts with a moist chocolate layer cake. I love the fact that you basically have to throw the ingredients together, whisk them and that’s about it. The raspberry filling is also the perfect companion for the chocolate. And don’t get me started on the frosting. It only contains two ingredients: chocolate and coconut cream, yum! And don’t worry, the coconut flavor is very subtle, I don’t really like coconut and I had a hard time tasting it, so I am sure you will be fine.

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Black Forest Eclairs

Recipes that have a story to tell are my favorite recipes. That’s definitely the case for these black forest eclairs. The reason for me making eclairs after a while again was because a blogger colleague of mine named Julia (her German blog is called Julia bakes) was hospitalized and eager to eat some proper eclairs. Obviously the hospital didn’t provide such a treat so Julia asked if anyone was willing to bake her some. Since I live in the same city and had some time off before starting to work again, I volunteered. Baking eclairs for her reminded me of the fact that my husband is a huge lover of eclairs. For that reason I have been whipping up eclairs more regularly again. These black forest eclairs are definitely one of my favorite flavor combinations.

Schwarzwälder-Kirsch-EclairsI do admit that eclairs take a while, but the good thing is you can prepare the cherry filling in advance. Since these eclairs are based on the famous black forest cake, I added chocolate shavings to the whipped cream. So imagine an eclair filled with lots of delicious cherry filling, topped off with whipped cream and chocolate shavings and then being dipped in chocolate ganache. Sounds like music to my ears.

Schwarzwälder-Kirsch-EclairsChoux pastry, the dough the ecalirs are made with, is not difficult to make. I honestly don’t know why so many people are intimidated by it. If you ask me, I find it easier than working with than yeast. What you should keep in mind when preparing choux pastry? Do NOT open the oven door while they are baking. The eggs need a consistant environment, so don’t be tempted to check and open the door. Just like cheese cake, choux pastry likes a humid environment, so my little trick is to put a container with water on the bottom of the oven. And secondly, you need to be sure to bake them long enough. The outside should be crunchy and the elcairs easy to cut through. That way it will be easier also to hold up all the filling and for them to stay fresh longer.

The ony part that is a little tricky is knowing how many eggs you need to add to the dough. But if you have a glossy dough that is pipepable, you got the right consistency and boy, I can tell you that home-made and from scratch eclairs are simply the best. A light and fluffy dough which is filled with cherries and complemented by whipped cream with chocolate shavings and chocolate ganache, I don’t know what else to ask for. Are you going to give these beauties are try?

Black Forest Eclairs

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Serves: Around 16-20 eclairs
Prep Time: 30min Cooking Time: 30-35min Total Time: 1 hr

These Black Forest Eclairs have a regular houx pastry, are filled with a super fruity cherry filling and are then topped of with whipping cream with chocolate shavings and some extra chocolate glaze.

Ingredients

  • Eclairs
  • 250 grams of water
  • A pinch of salt
  • 50 grams of butter
  • 150 grams of all-purpose flour
  • 3-5 eggs, size M at room temperature

  • Cherry Filling
  • 1 can of cherries of 800 grams
  • 50 grams of regular sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of lemon juice
  • 25 grams of tapioca starch or cornstarch

  • Whipped Cream
  • 300 grams heavy cream
  • 25 grams of regular sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract, see here how to make your own
  • 100 grams of chocolate shavings

  • Chocolate Ganache
  • 100 grams of heavy cream
  • 100 grams of semi-sweet chocolate

Instructions

1

For the eclairs heat water, salt and butter in a pot and let the butter melt completely. Change temperature to low and add all the flour at once while still stirring. Stir until a ball forms. Be sure to move the ball around for about one or two minutes, there should be a thin white layer on the bottom of the pot. Move dough ball to a bowl and let cool off.

2

Add first egg. Beat in one egg at a time. First the dough will appear crumbly. Depending on the size of the eggs, you will have to beat in between 3-5 eggs. The right consistency is reached if the dough slowly drops off a spoon and looks glossy.

3

Preheat oven to 220 degrees Celsius and place a large ovenproof container with water on the bottom of your oven. Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper and pipe stripes of about 2 centimeters in width and 12 cm in length on the baking sheet. Leave space between each as they will puff considerably. You can wet your fingers with some water to smooth away any inconsistencies. Bake eclairs on medium rack for 10min, reduce temperature to 180 and bake for another 15-20min. The crust should be a little darker and crunchy. Do NOT open the oven door as otherwise the eclairs will shrink. Cut eclairs in half while still warm.

4

For the cherry filling drain cherries while keeping the juice. Take about have the juice and bring to a boil with sugar and lemon juice. Stir tapioca starch with some water until you see no lumps. Once the juice is boiling, add the tapioca and stir for about one to two minutes, until it become thick. Add the cherries and set aside.

5

For the whipping cream whip the cream with all ingredients except for the chocolate shavings for about four minutes or until stiff. Fold in chocolate shavings.

6

For the chocolate ganache heat the heavy cream, once almost boiling, take off heat and add chocolate in chunks. Stir until chocolate is completely melted.

7

Spoon cherry filling on the bottom of each eclair and either dollop or pipe on the whipped cream. Dunk the top part of the eclair in the chocolate ganache and place on top. Eclairs taste best on the same day they were made. However, you can keep them chilled for a few days in an airtight container.

Notes

Eclairs taste best on the day they were made. If kept chilled in an airtight container, they can be eaten for a few days.

Schwarzwälder-Kirsch-Eclairs

Simple and Delicious Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Unaufgeregte Schoko-Haferkekse

These simple and delicious oatmeal chocolate chip cookies are perfect for any and every occaison. They contain a lot of oatmeal, are chewy, with a nice buttery flavor, and contain a lot of chocolate chips. I love cookies this way. Apparently I am not the only one who loves these cookies. I invited a whole bunch of girls for coffee the other day and these cookies were gone so quickly, I was really surprised. Several asked for the recipe. That is always a good sign.

Unaufgeregte Schoko-HaferkekseYou need to know that baking cookies is something only reserved for the holidays in Germany. Baking cookies throughout the year is something that is only starting. Finally it is possible to find cookies in bakeries, but usually only a few different ones. I am so glad that this is finally changing. Funnily enough, if you offer a cookie to anyone, young or old, people will not decline. But for some reason we still don’t bake as many cookies as Americans. Hopefully that will change soon. Especially since I am a huge cookie monster and love cookies any time of the year. Especially such a classic oatmeal chocolate chip cookie like this one.

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Triple Chocolate Muffins

Triple Chocolate Muffin

Triple chocolate muffins are a chocoholic’s dream come true. There is no other way of saying this. I am a chocoholic and I will never understand why some people say they eat less chocolate in summer because it is warm. Seriously? I don’t get what the wheather has to do with anything. I will eat chocolate, all the time. I love chocolate. Always. Period.

Triple Chocolate MuffinAnd I was craving chocolate when we moved from the north of Germany to the south. I don’t know, unpacking boxes, scrubbing the old apartment, decorating the new apartment, whatever the cause was, I wanted something very chocolaty, desparately. And then I thought of this recipe I had seen some time ago. If you don’t know the blog Bake to the roots, check it out, it is one of my favorite blogs.

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