Green Living Desserts!

So what do you do when you have a dinner party and there is too much dessert left over? It seems that you are doomed to either keep eating or you have to throw it into the trash to avoid the excess calories. Yes, you could freeze it for another time but that really doesn’t preserve the quality, and it’s a shame to waste all the hard work you put into making something so perfect. Making a dogie-bag for your guests is another great option but only if people are willing to take some home with them.  You could take some to the office, or give some to the neighbors, but that’s not so attractive when it’s a half eaten cake or pie.

With all our commitment to re-purposing products in an effort to save waste, it dawned on me recently when looking over a leftover cheesecake that the same principles can be applied to desserts. Let’s be clear, I am not talking about leftover desserts from people’s plates, or ones that are a week old and stale, I am referring to the untouched fresh pieces remaining on the serving dish! Even if your office pals are fine with eating a half desolated cake, perhaps you can use this method when you have two events/potlucks in the same week and don’t have time to make two separate items from scratch (or can’t afford the extra expense!). Likewise, if you decide to eat the dessert leftovers with your family over the next day or two, this could help change things up so it doesn’t feel like the exact same flavour profile. (We do this with turkey after Thanksgiving so why not with our cherry or pumpkin pies?)

We had some friends over for dinner and I made a Raspberry White Chocolate Cheesecake. Once the evening was at an end, I knew I was in trouble! I have found the most incredible new york cheesecake recipe but in doing so, I am now almost powerless in resisting a bite whenever we have some in the house. (It is another form of cheese after all so no one should be surprised!) It was at this point that I saw the extra tube of crescent roll dough and decided to re-purpose my cheesecake into a dessert that can be given away. Although I have outlined the guidelines for this specific idea, I have since thought of many different options such as:

Cheesecake balls– get your cheesecake really cold by placing it in the freezer for about 20 minutes and then scoop out little balls with a large melon baller.  Place them back in the freezer for at least an hour and then you can reshape them into perfect balls with your hands. Enrobe with melted chocolate and dust with coloured sugar crystals. The great thing about this is you can also use the crumb base for added genuine cheesecake flavour. After all the beauty of this dessert is the salty, creamy and sweet combination

Cake Balls– these are made from mixing cake crumbs with icing so why not just use your leftover cake? Place remaining cake into the food processor and just lightly blitz until well mixed. (you can always add a little extra frosting or simple syrup to keep your cake balls moist if they appear on the dry side). Shape into balls and place in the freezer for an hour. Cover in melted chocolate and decorate as desired. You could make these into pops but I can’t be sure the ‘structure’ will hold as well.

Chocolates/Candy: Why not mix up cheesecake into a small pastry bag and pipe into a chocolate mold (see my post from December 2011 called Chocolate Time).

Mini Pies. This one is a little more challenging but you could always scoop out the filling from your pie to make mini ones by placing them in crescent rolls. Or place spoonfuls of fruit pie filling into little phyllo shells and crumble some of the crust on top.

Once you start thinking about all the various options, the possibilities seem endless and rather exciting. I would love to hear your suggestions and ideas in the comments below 🙂

Cheesecake Crescent Rolls

Take your remaining cheesecake

this is my White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake

I love the dense texture of this cheesecake

and gently mix with a fork.

Feel free to remove some of the crust according to your preferences.

Open up the crescent roll dough into triangles. Place about a tablespoon of cheesecake onto the larger end and roll up as usual. (For my international friends who don’t have crescent roll dough, you can just use puff pastry and cut it into about 10 cm triangles)

Follow the crescent roll instructions for baking times.

You can always drizzle some melted chocolate over the top for added flair!

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Chocolate time

During a rather tight financial period last Christmas, I decided to just use my baking skills to prepare little gift baskets of inexpensive goodies as presents for our loved ones . I spent a few years living on a Greek Island when I was a teenager and I began remembering a friend there who once made us Nutella filled chocolates which were incredible.  Because hand made chocolates stretch your money a LONG way, it became my mission to recreate those nutella nuggets of goodness from my teens. I discovered you can buy  many differeny varieties of chocolate molds and different coloured melting chocolate from craft stores, baking supply stores or on-line and just follow the instructions on the packets. It really is that easy. Although I will post at a later time with my  own instructions/advice etc, for now, we are going to talk fillings!

My first experiments with nutella that Christmas were such a hit that I had new inspirations this year and wanted to share them with you. I am convinced that if there is a flavour you love, you can work it into a chocolate! This year, my obsession revolved around cheesecake among other things. I hope you get inspired to try your hand at making these yummy treats.

Nutella:I melted it a little first and then placed it into a squeezy bottle for a nice controlled pour into the chocolate shell.  There are many tasty variations on the basic nutella filling such as adding a tiny drop of raspberry/strawberry jam or a small toasted hazelnut so experiment to your heart’s content!

Caramel Crunch– I filled the shell with ready made caramel (not ice cream sauce but a much thicker version like that used for dipping apples etc) and topped with a few pieces of crushed Heath bar. Of course, plain caramel is perfectly acceptable if you prefer.

Cheesecake Filled: There are tons of options with this one because all you need is prepared cheesecake filling (store bought is just fine if you want it to be easy) and your imagination! There are a couple of variaties pictured below but I also made pumpkin pie cheesecake (just mix canned pumpkin with the cheesecake base and any pie spices you choose). I suggest blending the cheesecake filling with peanut butter, caramel, nuts or even bacon if you are feeling adventurous!

Raspberry Cheesecake. I filled the shell with a tiny drop of raspberry jam (use a good quality seedless variety and blend until completely smooth) then piped on top the prepared cheesecake filling. You could use this method with any of your favourite jams.

Coconut Cheesecake. Mix prepared cheesecake filling with shredded sweetened coconut and pipe into chocolate shell.

 

What’s your favourite cheesecake chocolate idea? I would love to hear from you and maybe I can even try them out for you and write about it.