A few weeks back we went camping with our church! We had a wonderful time fellowshipping, eating, and just camping with our friends and family. It was our first time camping and we brought Thea, so it made for an interesting experience. She did not do well being tied up and away from us. She also didn’t sleep well at all! She was all over the place sliding up against the tent and jumping to try and see out of the top.
They brought in line dancing instructors and we took a swing at it! I was very confused at first and it took me awhile to get the hang of it. Normally, I catch on pretty quickly, but this time that was not the case!
It was fun none the less! 🙂 The view wasn’t bad either. We had a beautiful sunset and danced under lights!
We were in charge of bringing a dessert for Friday night. My sister-in-law was in our group and she is gluten free! I know noting about gluten free-ness, so of course, I took to Pinterest! It’s definitely my go to especially if I have something that I don’t know how to cook or what to cook with it. We have meat waiting patiently for me to find a recipe to make it with! Anyways, I ran across this beautiful cheesecake recipe! I LOVE cheesecake, so I figured I’d give it a shot! I am so glad I did! Like most recipes I stumble upon, this one has a lot you can do with it!
In this post, I will be showing you its versatility by including two recipes! The basic and then the additional! The first will be the basic, then I will talk about what to add to make it a little bit different and for the flavors to pop more!
Here are ingredients that you will/may need…
8 oz. bitter chocolate (I kept a little extra for the shavings!)
3 tbsp. unsweetened dark cocoa powder
1 or 2 bags chocolate gluten-free graham crackers (Can be done with one, but I’d do two!)
1 cup powdered sugar
6 tbsp. unsalted butter
2 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream (make sure you have extra!)
8 oz. cream cheese
9 in. springform pan
9 in. deep pie pan
For the crust, crush the 2 bags of chocolate graham crackers and mix in the 6 tbsp. of unsalted butter. Put it in the freezer to cool while you whip up the rest! When putting the crumbs into the pie pan, make sure you push the sides up to create a heavy-duty type crust!
For the chocolate mix, melt 6 oz. of the chocolate in the microwave. I finally mastered the melting of the chocolate and for my microwave- it’s 2 minutes! No more, no less! It was PERFECTLY melted! First time that it has happened to me! Once melted, add the 3 tbsp. of cocoa powder. Stir in until combined and smooth again! Set aside to cool.
For the cream, mix the heavy whipping cream into a stand mixer using the whisk. I have a kitchen aid and I LOVE it. My siblings are to thank for having this! They bought us the most expensive thing on our registry!
Stir on medium-high speed until you see it thicken. There will be a lot of bubbles! Once here, add the powdered sugar. Stir until whipped. When it is time, you will know! It will look like whipped cream! It’s puffy and there will be peaks! Put in a new bowl and place in the refrigerator to cool.
Now to finish off the chocolate mix! Switch the beater to the paddle and stir the 8 oz. cream cheese on medium-high speed. Once mixed, pour the chocolate mix in and continue to stir. Get the cooled cream out of the fridge and add it to the mix. It should become creamy, fluffy, chocolate goodness! If it needs a little puffing, add cream by the tablespoons until you get the consistency that you want/need!
Get the base out of the freezer and pour the cream, chocolate mix onto the graham cracker crumbs. Curl up some chocolate crumbs/toppings using a knife or a skin slicer! Let cool for 1 hour in the freezer or 2-3 in the fridge. I always go with the freezer because I like the colder cheesecakes!
Now it’s time for the alternative recipe! I changed 4 things. In the chocolate mix/cream mix, The first was adding 2 tsp. of ginger. The second was adding 4 drops of lemon oil! This stuff is strong, so don’t get carried away. This is probably the one time you will hear me say to follow the recipe! Adding even less than that would be alright! The third thing that I changed was making another layer of whipped cream. The fourth thing that I changed was the crumbs! I used ginger snap cookies! (This obviously no longer makes it gluten free…) If you want to add that second layer, just follow the directions previously shared!
I hope you enjoy! I know I enjoyed sharing with friends and family!
Also, this was my first time using a black backdrop and I am IN LOVE. I don’t know how I’m going to go back to white! I’m realizing that I really like the darker, thicker contrast images. I always thought I liked the higher exposure ones, but I guess that is a part of the journey! Finding yourself! So here’s to that and learning something new!