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Posts Tagged ‘black cherry’

Trading homemade cheesecake for 20 pounds of beef from a local cattle ranch may seem like an ancient bartering activity but in fact, it’s happening right here in the Midwest. One cheesecake of choice is an extra-rich black cherry cheesecake that’s baked smack-dab on the top of sweet brownies.

Brownie bottom black cherry cheesecake

My sister Kalli and her husband, Jason, own and operate (with the help of their kids, Nick and Katera) Voss Ranch in southeast South Dakota.

Vossarosa sign

I, with not much help from anyone, can bake a cheesecake that lures you out from under a pile of cozy blankets to the fridge in the middle of the night. So, it only makes sense that Kalli stocks my freezer with the highest quality, juiciest ground beef a taco lover could ever eat, and I in turn, see to it that her family has cheesecake in the fridge and freezer.

No those aren’t the night lights from Voss Ranch. Kalli and Jason are in Florida. She’s so pretty!

Kalli and Jason in Florida

Katera isn’t afraid of the John Deere. And she definitely isn’t afraid of a little hard work. She loves the farm and she LOVES all the animals.

Katera in John Deere

Did I mention they have donkeys?

donkeys at Voss Ranch

Katera’s favorite dog is Otis. She doesn’t want anyone outside the family to touch him, or look at him really, so she won’t show him at 4-H. But her photograph of Otis won a blue ribbon at the South Dakota State Fair.

Katera and Otis

Nick shot his first buck last year. Clearly, if you don’t believe in hunting I don’t want to hear about it because we live in the heart of deer, duck, and pheasant hunting country. And I strongly support our Second Amendment right to bear arms.

Nicks first buck

The brownie black cherry cheesecake is a new flavor that I made for Christmas. We all liked it, Jason especially was searching for the leftovers so it’s one that I gave to them as part of our beef-for-cheesecake-trade.

The recipe is from Ghirardelli, called black bottom cherry cheesecake bars. The only thing I changed is that I used black cherry preserves instead of cherry. For Christmas, I baked them in a 9×9-inch pan like the recipe instructs but for Kalli and Jason I baked the black cherry cheesecake in a 9-inch round springform pan like a traditional cheesecake. There’s no stopping you from using whatever flavor of preserves is your favorite. I’d like to make it with boysenberry and chokecherry preserves.

Turtle was the most recent cheesecake I baked for them. I’ll share that one with you as soon as I remember how I made it.

Now, I just need to find people who will participate in a gas-for-cheesecake-trade, coffee-beans-for-cheesecake-trade, L’ANZA-professional-products-for-cheesecake-trade, car-maintenance-for-cheesecake-trade, and hockey-expenses-for-cheesecake-trade.

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Two things inspired me to create these extra moist, richly decadent cupcakes — old-fashioned, glass-bottle black cherry soda and chic & stylish cupcake papers.

I found the Olde Brooklyn Brighton Beach Black Cherry Soda at a HomeGoods® in Minneapolis. I love drinking ice-cold soda from a glass bottle. Who knows if it really tastes better or if it’s just the sentimental feeling it sparks when you pop the cap off.

The stylish cupcake liners were given to me by Sutton Gourmet Paper. I was excited to try them because the company claims that the papers keep their color and design even after baking chocolate cupcakes in them. They are right! As you can see in my photos, the liners look just as pretty after I baked the cupcakes. Thank you, Natalie!

Cupcakes are *rock stars* of the bakery world right now (although getting a run for their sugar from the current pie craze), but I’ve never really been a big fan of them. They are often dry with a big glob of frosting on top. But these are moist with the perfect balance of chocolate and black cherry flavor infused in the cupcake and frosting.

Black Cherry Soda Cupcakes

Makes 24-28 cupcakes

1 package chocolate cake mix (for 9×13 pan)

1/2 cup cocoa

3 eggs

1-1/3 cup black cherry soda

1 teaspoon cherry extract

1 cup Miracle Whip salad dressing

1/2 cup cherry flavored baking morsels, finely chopped or ground—I used my cheese grater to finely grind the chips into tiny shavings

Let’s bake!

Preheat oven to 350°. Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Beat on medium speed until blended. Fill cupcake liners* 2/3 full. Bake at 350° for 20-25 minutes or until toothpick inserted in middle comes out clean. Cool completely before frosting. Store frosted cupcakes in the refrigerator.

*Note: I used square cupcake pans.

Black Cherry Soda Frosting

8 ounces cold cream cheese

5 Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened at room temperature

2 teaspoons cherry extract

1 teaspoon black cherry soda

2 to 2-1/2 cups powdered sugar

In a medium bowl, beat cream cheese and butter with a mixer just until blended. Be sure the cream cheese is cold and the butter is at room temperature. Add the cherry extract and the black cherry soda. Add 1/2 cup of the powdered sugar at a time and beat just until smooth. Add more/less powdered sugar and black cherry soda until you get your desired frosting consistency.

What’s your favorite glass-bottle soda?

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