Prize Winning Recipes

Chocolate Cherry Cheesecake



Combine chocolate wafer crumbs, 2 tbsp. sugar and melted butter. Press into bottom of 9 inch spring form pan. Bake in moderate oven, 350 degrees, for 10 minutes. Cool. Reduce oven temperature to 300 degrees.

Have cream cheese at room temperature. Beat in large mixing bowl at medium speed until creamy. Gradually beat in the one cup of sugar and cocoa. Add vanilla. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Beat until smooth. Pour over chocolate crust. Bake in slow oven, 300 degrees, about one hour until center of cake is firm. Remove from oven and cool to room temperature.

Combine cherry pie filling with liqueur, if being used. Pour over cooled cheesecake.

Add the two tbsp. sugar and vanilla to whipping cream in bowl. Whip until stiff. Spoon onto cake, covering evenly. Chill several hours before serving.

Decorate with grated chocolate. Makes 10 to 12 servings. This cheesecake freezes well.

Brandied Pumpkin Cheesecake



For crust, combine crumbs, sugar and butter in a bowl and mix well. Press crumb mixture firmly into bottom of 10 inch spring form pan and 2 inches up sides. Bake in moderate oven, 350 degrees for 10 minutes.

For filling beat together cream cheese and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition until smooth and creamy. Add pumpkin, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and brandy and mix until well blended. Pour cheese mixture into crust and bake in slow oven, 325 degrees, for 50 or 60 minutes, or until well risen. Turn off heat and let cheesecake cool in oven. When cold, decorate top with whipped cream and sliced ginger.

Sicilian Ricotta Cheesecake

Sponge Cake


To Make the Sponge Cake

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Butter a 10 inch spring-form cake pan.

Whisk the eggs yolks with the sugar, grated lemon rind and 3 tbsp. hot water until light and foamy.

Sift the flour and baking powder together, and fold it into the egg yolk mixture.

Whisk the egg whites until stiff, but not dry. With a large spoon, fold them into the cake mixture.

Pour the mixture into the prepared cake pan and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the cake is a rich golden color and springs back when pressed lightly. Turn out and cool on a wire rack.

For the Filling

Dissolve the sugar in 3 tbsp. of water over low heat. Beat the sugar syrup with the ricotta cheese until it is smoothly blended. Put aside about half of the best pieces of candied fruit to decorate the cake. Chop the remainder coarsely.

Add the cinnamon to the sweetened ricotta and beat until smooth and creamy. Put aside a few tbsp. of the mixture for decoration. Combine the remainder with the chopped fruit and chocolate.

Cut the sponge cake in half horizontally. Put one layer on the bottom of the cake pan, cut side up, and sprinkle it with half of the Maraschino. Spread with the remaining cheese mixture. Fit the ring of the cake pan in position and chill the cake for several hours.

When ready to serve, remove the cake from the pan and place it on a large, flat serving dish. Coat the top and sides with the reserved cheese and decorate with the reserved candied fruit.

You may also decorate the cake with whipped cream, and the candied fruits may be supplemented with chopped nuts.

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