So, it’s that time people. Time for desserts aplenty and no holds barred calorie attacks. For me the holidays start on December 1st. The tree goes up, all the decorations are strung about the house and our giant blow up snowmen go on the roof. (Yes, I’m that person). I’m listening to Christmas music right now, a little Diana Krall to get the spirit going.
This weekend we are going to pick out our tree and cut it down at a neighbouring Tree Farm. I’m very excited! We have never cut a tree down before. In fact, last year was our first with a real tree as a family. We bought it December 1st, and by Boxing Day (that’s December 26th for curious foreigners ) there were needles in every corner of the house. This year I’m restraining myself by 4 whole days!
This cake is a family tradition. Every year for Christmas, my Mother and sister and I, would all gather around the kitchen and begin preparing The Cake. Only, in years past, it was more of a pudding with a graham cracker crust. The cream cheese layer was uncooked and only mixed with whipping cream and sugar. Don’t get me wrong, It was always delicious but this year I just wanted to tweak it to stay upright a little more. I like a little more texture to my dessert. I took the original recipe (originally from TV Guide!) and completely rearranged it, but held on to the core flavours. It still tastes the same, but it is much more “cake” like then pudding like this time.
The title is apprepeau as I have a little announcement to make as well. Remember back a few weeks, when I said I had some big news? I can’t say for sure that this cake is Better Than Sex, as I have been away from home for two weeks…hard to compare. But I will say it filled a craving. Cravings I’ve been having for a couple of months. Cravings that could just not be satisfied by your run of the mill puddings and cakes. Yes, that’s right readers…the Guilty Kitchen is expanding. We found out a few weeks ago, and confirmed yesterday by our midwives, that we are entering the second trimester of our second pregnancy! A bit of a surprise, but we are ecstatic nonetheless.
I’m over the hump of feeling queasy all day, but I have to say it was a struggle to cook for some of the meals in the past month or so. I was very happy to be in my sisters kitchen for two weeks sharing the burden with others.
So enjoy this recipe friends, and I hope it finds it’s way to your holiday tables this year as well.
Better Than Sex Cake
2 cups Graham Wafer Crumbs
2/3 cup white sugar
2/3 cup melted butter
1 1/2 oz Frangelico Liquer
1 Tbsp gelatin powder
1/4 cup whole milk
8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
scant 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup sour cream
1 1/2 tbsp flour
1 1/2 oz. Grand Marnier
1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. In a large bowl, mix graham crumbs, melted butter, sugar and Frangelico.
3. Press into bottom of a greased, 9 x 13 glass pan. Bake for 8 minutes and remove from oven to cool slightly.
4. In small bowl pour 1/4 cup whole milk, sprinkle gelatin over to soften and let rest 5-10 minutes.
5. In separate bowl, cream together cream cheese, sour cream, sugar and eggs.
6. Add in salt, vanilla, Grand Marnier and flour.
7. Mix in gelatin/milk mix. Beat with a whisk until well incorporated.
8. Pour cheesecake mixture over baked crust and spread to evenly layer it.
9. Put 1″ of water into a separate oven safe dish and place on bottom rack of oven. Steam can help the cheesecake from cracking.
10. Bake cheesecake for 20-25 minutes.
11. Allow to cool completely at room temperature before placing in refrigerator. Must be cooled completely before adding next layer.
Chocolate Pudding Layer
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 cup sugar
1/8 tsp salt
1/3 cup cocoa powder
3 cups whole milk
1 Tbsp gelatin
6oz semi-sweet chocolate, roughly chopped
1 tsp vanilla
2 oz. Kahlua
1. Take 1/2 cup of the milk in a small bowl and sprinkle the gelatin over. Allow to sit for 5-10 minutes to soften.
2. Combine cornstarch, sugar, salt and cocoa powder in top of double boiler. Mix until well combined.
3. Slowly whisk in the milk, making sure to use a spatula to scrape the sides and bottom to fully incorporate all ingredients.
4. Set over slowly simmering water in bottom of double boiler.
5. Using a whisk, stir for the next 15-20 minutes (it is not necessary to stir constantly).
6. Add in chopped chocolate and gelatin/milk mixture and stir for another 3-5 minutes.
7. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla and Kahlua.
8. Pour over cooled cheesecake layer and allow to cool in refrigerator, uncovered until completely set (30 minutes to 3 hours or more).
2 cups Whipping cream
1 oz. dark chocolate
1. Whip cream until stiff peaks form.
2. Spread over cooled pudding layer and grate chocolate over for garnish.