Greek Yogurt Chocolate Cake

This Greek Yogurt Chocolate Cake has got everything a cake needs: chocolate, chocolate chips, and a gooey chocolate center. I would have left it at that, but then I remembered my local bakery’s chocolate blackout cupcakes. Those cupcakes have chocolate cake, a chocolate icing center, and then more icing on top! Yes! If it’s good enough for cupcakes, it’s definitely good enough for cake.

I found this recipe on dessert for two.  Since it’s already a small portion, I didn’t change it much, but I did make a few tweaks.

Because I don’t use cooking spray, I prepared my mini baking pan with butter and a dusting of flour. 

Keep Your Cake From Sticking

Just rub the butter over the bottom and sides of the pan, then sprinkle flour over it and spread it around with a butter knife.




Also, I didn’t have chocolate chips, so I cut up part of a bar of chocolate with a large knife (a mini-chopper would work too). Since I was going to add the icing, I cut the amount of “chips” to 1/4 cup.  I don’t like espresso powder, particularly not with chocolate, so I left that out.

Finally, I topped it all with a ganache topping, which is simply equal parts chocolate bar and butter.  Just combine 2 oz. of chocolate with 2 oz. of butter and melt that gently in a small saucepan.  Let it cool for fifteen minutes (or it will just soak in to your cake and disappear) and then and spread it over the top of your cake. If you want, you can add a splash of vanilla extract to the mixture.

Since this is a small cake, you don’t need to use your mixer.  You can easily make the whole thing by hand in a single medium-size bowl.

Tools and Ingredients for Greek Yogurt Chocolate Cake

HIC Porcelain Square Baking Dish 6.5- by 6.5- by 1-inch

This dish is the perfect size for this cake, a small coffee cake, brownies, or apple bread.  It cleans up easily and you can put it in the dishwasher if you like. It’s also microwave safe.

Cadbury Bourneville Cocoa

This cocoa is far richer and more full-flavored than the usual American cocoa. It’s darker chocolate and has no added sugar or fillers. Just plain cocoa.


Silicone Spatula Set

It’s getting harder and harder to find these in the stores. They’re all too wide: fine for turning fish or an egg, but useless for scraping cake batter out of your mixing bowl or spreading icing. Since they are silicone, they’re more heat-resistant than rubber would be. They’re also dishwasher safe and have built-in holes for hanging.

More Chocolate Dessert Recipes

easy chocolate mousseEasy Chocolate Mousse

One of the very first things I learned to cook. Only five ingredients, and you don’t have to separate eggs or melt chocolate. Easy, delicious, and chocolate. What more could you want?

small batch brownies cocoa powderSmall Batch Brownies with Cocoa Powder

Just enough brownies for one person (because a full batch is just too much). These are made with cocoa powder, so you don’t have to melt chocolate to make them.

 

single serving double dark chocolate pudding recipeSingle Serving Double Dark Chocolate Pudding Recipe

Double dark chocolate pudding, in a single serving. This is actually two recipes in one. Cook it more, you get pudding. Cook it less and you get thick European hot chocolate.

 

chocolate banana breadMini Chocolate Banana Bread

Banana bread + chocolate! All downsized for one person.  Just mix everything together in a bowl, and bake.

 

 




Greek Yogurt Coffee Cake Recipe for One

I was in the mood for something sweet with my morning coffee one weekend. After some thought, I settled on a Greek yogurt coffee cake.  The trouble was, I didn’t have a recipe I liked, and most of the small batch recipes for coffee cake I found were the sort of thing you make in a mug, which I didn’t want.

I have tried a few of those and did not like them. I wanted something made from scratch, in a real pan, in the oven.  That way, the flavors have time to meld, and the flour/sugar/fat can work their magic.

I found a great recipe for sour cream coffee cake muffins (for two), but that required a muffin pan. I got rid of mine because I never used it and it was taking up valuable kitchen space.  The funny thing is, she said she decided to make the recipe as muffins instead of a cake since most people have muffin tins. So, I had to revert to her original plan and make a single small batch dessert coffee cake instead!

I made a few other changes too.  The topping sounded delicious, but much too sweet for me, so I decided to cut the sugar she called for in half.




Next, since I have a Kitchenaid mixer, I only mixed the oil and sugar for two minutes, rather than four. Because I usually have Greek yogurt in the fridge, but not sour cream, or heavy cream, I used that instead. You can use the traditional sour cream if you prefer.

Because my mini baking pan is porcelain, and I didn’t want the batter to stick, buttered and floured it before I added the cake mixture.

Since I was baking a single, solid small cake instead of muffins, I also reduced the cooking temperature and increased the baking time slightly.

The result was a delicious, not too sweet, crumbly, cinnamony cake that was just perfect for a weekend treat.

Tools and Ingredients for Greek Yogurt Coffee Cake


Farberware Classic Stainless Steel 5/8-Quart Butter Warmer

This mini saucepan is great for melting butter, making a single cup of cocoa, or for filling in (in a pinch) when you’ve broken your French coffee press again (oy!).

 

HIC Porcelain Square Baking Dish 6.5- by 6.5- by 1-inch

I have been using this dish quite a lot. It’s great for this cake, for my small batch brownies, and a single serving of apple crisp. And, it’s dishwasher safe, if you have one. If there’s any leftover cake, the dish can also go in the microwave, if you want to reheat it.

More Single Serving and Small Batch Dessert Recipes

Easy Pear Crepe Dessert Recipe for One Person

Small Batch Brownies with Cocoa Powder

Cinnamon Sugar Bananas with Brandy




The World’s Best Cheesecake Recipe

The Best Cheesecake Recipe

My mom got this recipe for New York cheesecake from a family friend in the cream cheese business. It’s a home kitchen version of the original Lindy’s cheesecake – which has been a New York institution since 1921.

In fact, Lindy’s (along with Junior’s) made New York cheesecake famous. It’s got sour cream, cream cheese, and heavy cream, so it’s very rich and very creamy. Everyone who has tried it (friends, family, co-workers) says it’s the best cheesecake they ever had! When my brother got married, this recipe was the first one his wife asked for.

A few years ago, when I was visiting my friend Betsy, she served me cheesecake for breakfast. It was the best breakfast ever!

I had originally posted this recipe on Squidoo, but now that Squidoo is gone and I have my own blog, I have republished it here.




Use a Kitchenaid Mixer!

This cheesecake is thick and rich. You’ll need a Kitchenaid mixer or other powerful mixer to make it. A low-powered or hand-held mixer won’t work.

KitchenAid Five Quart Stand Mixer 

The reason this mixer works so well is because it has dual spinning action (planetary motion), which means it spins both on the beater’s axis, and around the bowl.  That means it mixes faster and you get more mixing power than ordinary mixers.  You also don’t have to keep scraping down the sides of the bowl. You spend less time mixing and more time enjoying your cheesecake.

Some poor fellow tried to make this recipe by hand. It took him two days to mix it! I bet his arm was awfully sore.

If you don’t already have one, you’ll need a springform pan. This one, by Calphalon,  is perfect for cheesecake. It’s extra thick to distribute heat evenly, so your cheesecake will cook properly. The fluted base means it won’t leak. Makes cooking cheesecake easy (and a lot less messy).

Best Cheesecake Recipe Toppings

You can eat your cheesecake plain, garnish it with fresh berries, or go all out and make a topping.

Blueberry Cheesecake Topping

1/2 C sugar
3 T cornstarch
1 pint fresh blueberries (or use frozen)
2 T lemon juice
1 T butter.
Combine everything except the butter in a saucepan. Cook over medium heat until it gets thick. Add the butter and let cool.

Raspberry Topping

2 C raspberries
1 C sugar
1 T cornstarch
Combine berries, sugar, and some water. Bring to a boil. Simmer for 3 minutes. In a separate, small bowl, mix the cornstarch and a little water. Add to the berry mixture. Cook, stirring, for five minutes, or until the sauce thickens.

Temperature control is critical when baking cheesecake. Too high, and your cake will be hard and dry, more likely to weep (pull out all the moisture) or crack; too low and it will fall apart. Get this thermometer to check your oven and make sure your cheesecake comes out perfect!

Chocolate Ganache Cheesecake Topping

1 C heavy cream
8 oz. semi-sweet chocolate
Melt chocolate and cream over very low heat (or use a double boiler). Stir constantly until smooth and thick. Pour it over a chilled cheesecake. Spread quickly before it hardens. Once the cake is covered with chocolate, return to the fridge to set. Keep any leftover ganache in the refrigerator, covered. If you want to reuse it, reheat it gently.

Strawberry Topping

1 pint strawberries
1/3 C sugar
1 tsp vanilla
Chop the strawberries. Set aside about 1/3. Add the remaining berries to a saucepan with the sugar and vanilla. Cook over medium high heat. Stir occasionally, until it thickens. Puree the mixture with an immersion blender (or use a regular blender). Then add the uncooked berries, and serve over your cake.




(Topping recipes adapted from Baking 911)

Cheesecake Baking Tips

Keep the oven door closed and it shouldn’t crack.
Cheesecake keeps well in the fridge and freezer.
Make it ahead and defrost when you need it.

 A Note on Measurements

For anyone confused about the measurements (why 1/2 pint instead of 1 cup), it’s because pints and cups are different depending on whether it’s a liquid or solid volume of measure (yeah, it’s confusing), so a half pint of sour cream is not the same quantity as a 1/2 pint of heavy cream.

It’s also easier to measure that way, since the heavy cream comes in half pints and the sour cream comes in pints (just pour the entire container of cream, or half the container of sour cream, into the mixture).

If you don’t have sour cream where you live, you can use crema salvadorena instead.

Cheesecake Cookbooks


Junior’s Cheesecake Cookbook: 50 To-Die-For Recipes of New York-Style Cheesecake

After Lindy’s, there’s Junior’s, born in Brooklyn, and now famous worldwide. This cookbook has recipes for all of Junior’s best-selling varieties, from Strawberry Swirl to Cappuccino to Peanut Butter and Jelly!


125 Best Cheesecake Recipes

Become the king or queen of cheesecake with the recipes from this book. One reader on Amazon said her cakes used to come out burned or grainy, but now, they’re perfect every time.


A Passion for Baking: Bake to celebrate, Bake to nourish, Bake for fun

Marcy Goldman’s book on everything from cheesecake to muffins and cookies. Who could resist a recipe with a name like Chocolate Eruption Cheesecake?

The Cook’s Illustrated Baking Book

This guide to all things baking tells you not only what to do, but why. For example, it explains how the temperature of your ingredients can affect the final result (particularly important in baking), and when to use different fats (oil, butter, shortening). Each step is easy to understand and follow, whether you’re a beginner or an expert.

More Ways to Use Your Kitchenaid

Kitchenaid Pasta Recipes

How to Use Your Kitchenaid Mixer and Attachments

Kitchenaid Bread Recipes

Kitchenaid Ice Cream Recipes