The (lazy) Grad Gift — Triple Chocolate Cheesecake & Salted Caramel Sauce

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Life Hack: Tell all of your friends you can bake, by generously humblebragging on all of your social media websites with your one-trick pony shots of close ups of food. This is how you get out of buying people presents.

I’m probably a bad a person. I mean hey, I don’t exactly have the best moral compass since I developed a crush on Scar from the Lion King at a tender age. I knew there had to be something wrong with me. Thanks Jeremy Irons.

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Naked and ready to party

But here me out: baking gifts exempts you from BUYING gifts. Not that I’m cheap or something, but like I hate buying people gifts. There I said it! It’s out on the internet! I hate buying gifts. I don’t know what people want, and lets be real here, most of the time your friends get you things and you hate it anyway while you politely smile and say you love it. But they know. You’re not fooling anyone.

So, do what I do and bug the shit out of your friends until they revel their favorite kind of dessert and just fucking make it. Gift: done. But it has to be kind of hard for it to be a good gift, I believe.

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I have to show off my glamor shots somewhere

My friend from high school {who’s brother I dated last. I know. My life is tragedy. Don’t make my mistakes.} graduated from college too, and I went to her grad party empty handed because I’m bad at planning ahead. Also her party was the first week of June. I’m apparently also bad at giving gifts on time.
All of our other friends gave her gifts of money, and I felt like a bum, so I offered to bake up her favorite dessert: A cheesecake!

Specifically she loves chocolate, so how do we make this better? TRIPLE CHOCOLATE CHEESECAKE BITCHES. And even better than that? SALTED CARAMEL SAUCE. Psh, who needs your money when you can have a mouthgasm. Certainly not me!
pls give me money

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I would have taken more pictures, but I was drunk off my ass already

So, I ended up inviting everybody over on Thursday, and before that embarked on my two day chocolate baking misadventure. Just as a note: I have only baked up a cheesecake twice before this, and the first one burned, the second one cracked and this one was a mystery in my mind. According to my track record it should probably fly out of my hands, which I’m sure you noticed, it didn’t. BUT IT ALMOST DID.
The recipe I ended up following was from Lick The Bowl.
Just a warning: BE SURE YOU HAVE A SPRINGFORM PAN OR ANY KIND OF FALSE BOTTOM LATCH RELEASE PAN. Your cheesecake will be garbage and/or impossible to remove. DON’T USE ANYTHING ELSE. It’s a mess. I’ve seen it. I’VE SEEN UNSPEAKABLE BAKING HORRORS.

Triple Chocolate Cheesecake
Serves: 8 drunk high school friends + more for your friend to take home and feed her family

*1 Package of chocolate graham crackers. I tried to count them but I forgot. I think it’s like at least 6 but no more than 8 crackers.
*3 tbsp. sugar
*6 tbsp of butter, melted yo
*1/2 cup sour cream
*2 tsp. vanilla extract (use that real shit people. none of that vanillin)
*1 tsp. instant espresso powder
*8 oz.-ish bittersweet chocolate, broken up (Use that bittersweet or you’re missing out on RADICAL FLAVOR)
*3 packages (8 oz each) cream cheese
*3 tbsp cocoa powder (unsweetened or I will fight you)
* 1/4 tsp salt
*1 cup sugar
*3 large eggs, room temp

1. You need to crumble this packet of chocolate graham crackers. Sure, you can do it the elementary kid school way by putting them in a ziplock bag and crushing them, but that’s no fun. Pull out your mortal and pestle like a goddamn WIZARD and you fucking grind at it. Any other way is wrong. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees at this point.

2. Throw your EXPERTLY crushed crumbs into a bowl and throw the sugar and cinnamon. Please be sure to pause and take a picture of the “natural” beauty behind perfectly layered ingredients. Be sure to snap this and show off to your friends. You gotta put that shit on your story.
Microwave your butter and dump it in there, and toss that shit around with a fork until it’s wettish or something. I used more crackers than the original recipe called for, so my first 4 tbsp of butter ended up with dry-ass crackers. Don’t do this. Listen to me. You need 6 tbsp. Don’t bitch out by trying to be healthy. It ain’t gonna end well. that’s not why you bake. Be tru to urself

3. Roll up yo’ sleeves, because you’re gonna have to get your hands dirty. I KNOW I KNOW I HATE IT TOO UGH WHY Spread your crust around in your springform pan, and then get some flat thing and just kind of punch at your crackers until it’s as flat as you feel like making it. I got super bored of the crust at 11pm at night, and decided fuck this I’m moving on. Pop it into the oven and bake it for about 5 minutes, but no more than 10. It’s hard to tell when you’ve burned chocolate. I know this from experience

4. At this point I forgot to take notes because I’m an airheaded valley girl, bare with me. Uhh, put your oven down to 300 and BE SURE THAT’S WHERE IT IS. I HAVE BURNED MY CHEESECAKES AT HIGHER TEMPS. I’m not trying to scare you. Okay, maybe I am. Don’t make my mistakes kids. Cheesecakes take too fucking long to have them burn on you.

5. Take your sour cream and plop it into a glass bowl for aesthetic reasons. Pour in your vanilla and espresso powder and stir that shit around nicely and watch the colors swirl and feel special. Like you did something really awesome in baking. What? When batters and shit swirl I feel accomplished OKAY? Pls don’t take that away from me. 😥

6. If you fancy, you pull out your double boiler. If you’re 22 and living at your mother’s house, you pull out two pots that stack on each other and call it a double boiler. this is post grad living, son. I don’t believe in recipes asking for “chopped” chocolate. Have you ever chopped chocolate? I have, and that shit is miserable. It’s like fighting a losing battle that doesn’t matter because it FUCKING GETS MELTED ANYWAY. Don’t chop chocolate ever again. Listen to your friend Nutmeg here, and just snap it into chunks with your hands.
you’re welcome
Make sure you have your flame on medium because you’re in a hurry since it’s 11:30pm and you still want to watch Orange is the New Black. Once melted and stirred, pull the top pot off and set aside to cool.

7. Grab your bricks of cream cheese, and throw it into your stand mixer with a PADDLE attachment and fluff that shit up. Mix it around a bit, adding it in one brick at a time, so you don’t have cream cheese flying everywhere like me. Add in your cocoa powder and your salt. Keep that shit beating until it’s super smooth and fluffy almost like a cream cheese frosting. It’s gotta be fresh to death.

8. Add your sugar in 1/4 cup at a time. The original recipe called for 1 cup and a 1/4 but like no. I hate overly sweet desserts. Don’t agree with me? Add more sugar. Think I’m making your shit too saccharine sweet? That’s why you add that sugar in 1/4 at a time, son. You taste as you go along. I’m not here to take any blame. Add your cooled chocolate and mix it.

9. Okay I need you guys to listen to me here. No seriously LISTEN TO ME RIGHT NOW. This is the most IMPORTANT STEP OKAY. Be sure to add in YOUR SOUR CREAM MIXTURE AND BEAT IT UNTIL WELL BLENDED, BECAUSE IN TYPICAL NUTMEG FASHION I FORGOT TO. I just added my eggs in, one at time and then looked around and I was like WTF HOW DID I FUCKING DO THIS AGAIN HOW NUTMEG HOW.
If you do mess up by adding it after your eggs, and you haven’t started sobbing, grab a rubber spatula and just kind of fold that shit in. Just gently. I left it kind of swirled. It made no fucking difference when it cooked anyway. Eh.
If you didn’t spectacularly fuck up then add the sour cream in first, mix until blended, and then add your eggs in one at a time and mix until JUST COMBINED. I know I love to overmix shit, BUT DON’T DO THIS HERE. YOUR CHEESECAKE WILL PUFF AND IT WILL BE WRONG. But hey, it’ll taste the same, so if you don’t care, then fuck it, right? I usually eat all of my desserts in my underwear at 2am alone.

10. Once you’ve made peace with yourself, pour your chocolate batter into the chocolate crust and KEEP YOUR EYEBALLS ON THE TEMPERATURE and bake it up. Find a big enough casserole dish and pour water into it. You gotta bake this sucker up bain marie, baby. I obsessively checked it every 30 minutes which gave me time to watch two and a half episodes of Bob’s Burgers. So I guess that means an hour and like 10-15 minutes, for those of you who live under a rock.
or you know, are responsible adults without time for silly cartoon shows
i use my biting sarcasm to hide my feelings
Oh, you’ll also know it’s done if there is a small jiggly part in the middle. If it’s not jiggly anymore then you’ve overbaked it. Buuuuuuut, my cheesecake was good, so f’ that.
Chill this baby for a few hours or for like 2 days like I did.

How to Serve
Well, remove it from the pan, duh. You can cut right into this sucker and shove it down your facehole, or you can be anal like me and decorate it! Grab your favorite whipped cream recipe. I ain’t showing you how to make it, because lets be real this is easy enough. I used sour cream in my whipped cream and my caramel because FUCK IT I DO WHAT I WANT. only in baking I guess you can say the flavors complimented each other.
Take your piping bag and the biggest star tip you can find. I use Ateco, and I would give you a number, but I used this jumbo plastic tips and there are no numbers on it. USE THE BIGGEST TIP POSSIBLE PLS. I started frosting with a small Ateco tip, #20 or some shit, AND IT WAS TOO SMALL AND FROSTING GOT STUCK AND IT WAS HORRIBLE SO I HAD TO WIPE IT DOWN AND START AGAIN.
At this point instead of crying I was cursing–loudly. My friends were gonna start arriving and I had no makeup on and I was in my panties in the kitchen with a pastry bag in two hands and the Spin Doctors playing. Nothing was able to quell the red I was seeing.
And because I was angry with how my pipping was coming out, I started to get wild ideas, and ran back into the pantry and got some chocolate and started shaving it with a vegetable peeler.
note: shaved chocolate melts between your sweaty fingers. It will not fall delicately down. It will melt and you will be covered in chocolate which isn’t fun. unless you’re into that sort of thing like me
Do not worry friends. Your cheesecake will be as unique and as beautiful as you.

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You thought I was playin’
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it’s shit like this that makes baking worth it
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life styles of the rich and the famous

Yes that is me in the pot’s reflection.
Yes I do only have one pair of yellow sweatpants.

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I am a horrible photographer and this is proof
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I still haven’t figured out the wizardry of how other bloggers and professional people get their tops so smooth. I do my dues. I smooth it out with my rubber spatula. Maybe I’m just missing something.

I have one more recipe here, but I’ll be short since I’m nearing 2000 words. I mean, what do I think I am? Funny? Ha! Interesting? PSHAW!

The recipe I used is from Food & Wine since they had a recipe with sour cream. I technically could have used any really.

*1/2 cup sugar
*1/2 tap water {whatever temp}
*4 tbsp butter, sliced or something
*1-1/2 tbsp sour cream
*as much fucking bourbon whiskey as you want baby {I used like 6 tbsp}

1. If you fancy, you pull out your candy thermometer. I actually have this one because I got it as a birthday present. ❤ If you don’t have one, then you’re gonna have a bad time.
Pour all of your sugar into a pot, and dump half the water. Turn the heat onto high if you’re in a rush, or medium if you got dick to do. Don’t stir. Just stare at it, until it starts turning brown. Your thermometer should let it get to about 320-350. Website says 3 minutes, but that is whack and a boldfaced lie. It took like like 15.

Once it’s all whisked in, add your butter, all of the bourbon you want (party party!) and then your sour cream and whisk.

You’re done.
Wow that was easy.
Mine looked sort of weird and greasy and sort of separated and was watery. I was angry since I wanted it to be a thick beautiful sauce. However, as it cooled down it thickened. It separated again for some reason. I just kept furiously stirring at it with a spoon until it got thick and beautiful and then promptly forgot to take a picture because my friends showed up.

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Let’s play a game: How much whiskey can I put in caramel?

Reminds me of college, only with less sliding off my bed and tears

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I’m fancy, huh?

Don’t be fooled. I don’t even know how to use the damn thing.

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When alchemists were trying to turn lead into gold, they forgot that sugar does that for them

That was corny as hell and I know it.
The party was pretty nice. It was just the 8 of us and we went through two bottles of wine. One was vinho verde, and the other was just a red merlot. Me, being a future wino in my house, generously drank the most. We gossiped and listened to music and ate so many cherries. At some point I even pulled out the Maria crackers and made some tea, and I got teased for being the “most portuguese woman” ever.

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If you don’t have vinho verde, your host is not portuguese. Reject all imposters

But yeah. The party was cool and it turned out to be nicer than I thought. My college friend ended up texting me asking me how my night went. I told her I danced around topless in my room until I passed out while listening to Beyonce. I don’t know, you tell me.


P.S. I got her a present anyway.




2 thoughts on “The (lazy) Grad Gift — Triple Chocolate Cheesecake & Salted Caramel Sauce

  1. Oh holy moly, I don’t think I’ve ever laughed so much whilst reading a recipe! Love it! And your cheesecake looks divine, that cream and chocolate so just makes it

    • Oh my gosh, you’re gonna make me blush! I can’t! I’m so happy I made you laugh!!
      You bake everything so beautifully! I’m honored you even thought my cheesecake looks nice, much more “divine”!
      Excuse me, I have to sit down, I’m seeing stars in my eyes. ❤

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