De La Grana Cheesecake

Boy do I have something totally out of the box for you today. Get ready to be blown away by this cheesecake!

Let’s roll back the hands of time a bit… the Month – June, the Year – 2010. I received an email from Casey regarding my assignment for this month’s Progressive Party over at Kitchen Play.



Chocolate Garlic Cheesecake Truffles

Now before you run away… let me just say that I wanted to start the year by challenging myself to come up with a new recipe using an ingredient you wouldn’t normally think of using to make a dessert.

Last summer I created a video for Paula Dean’s Real Women of Philadelphia in which I demonstrated how to make Espresso Hazelnut Cheesecake Ice Cream

Well, just a few weeks ago Real Women of Philadelphia announced a new video challenge using Philadelphia’s newest product, Philadelphia Cooking Cream.



Chocolate Cheesecake with Nutella Mocha Affogato

Are we drooling yet?

If so, first grab a napkin. Then head on over to Bell’almiento the fabulous blog of my Italian friend Paula, (la mia amica italiana) to read more about my guest post, and pick up the recipe while you are there.

I hope you like it, she did! 😉


Last Sunday was the last day to submit a recipe video for Paula Deen’s Real Women of Philadelphia Challenge, it also happened to be dessert week!

A friend of mine told me about this challenge a few weeks ago, but I hadn’t been able to participate because I was missing a key component; a video camera.

After a bit of persuasion and a touch of pouting, I was given the green light, and went out and bought a little flip HD camera, just in time to make a video for the very last round in the challenge.

Saturday morning I wrote out a quick script, rehearsed it a little, and then we shot the video. Sunday morning I worked on the editing.

Here’s how it went. I had a few clips that I needed to piece together, so I opened the video editing software, and had no idea where to start. I decided to search on-line for tutorials, after finding and watching a couple I was able to figure out the basics, well, kind of.

Honestly, I still had have no clue. After going through all that trouble I decided I was going to go forward and submit my badly edited video anyway.

I’m sure it won’t be picked but it was an interesting learning experience to say the least. If you are into self torture you can view the video (I’ve included the link to it below).

The recipe I chose is quick and easy to put together, it is also as tasty as it is rich.

Espresso Hazelnut Cheesecake Ice Cream

16 oz cream cheese
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons instant espresso powder
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 cup hazelnut spread

In a medium bowl combine the cream cheese, heavy cream, sugar, espresso powder, and vanilla extract.

Begin by beating on low until heavy cream has been incorporated, increase speed to medium-high and continue beating until cream cheese is smooth and creamy.

Transfer mixture to your ice cream maker and follow your manufacturer’s instructions.

Approximately 5 minutes before the ice cream is down microwave the hazelnut spread for about 50 seconds at 50% power until it has reached a pouring consistency.

Pour the hazelnut spread into the ice cream maker and as soon as it has swirled through you can turn it off.

Transfer ice cream to a resealable plastic container and freeze for at least 2 hours.

Espresso Hazelnut Cheesecake Ice Cream

Espresso Hazelnut Cheesecake Ice Cream

And, here’s my silly and very badly edited video submission to the Paula Dean’s Real Women of Philadelphia Cream Cheese Challenge.

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Please don’t judge, to tell you the truth… and I’m almost embarresed to admit it. I had no idea nor had I heard of Donna Hay, until Mardi from Eat Live Travel Write invited me to participate in this event – Hay Hay it’s Donna Day (HHDD).

Isn’t it funny as soon as someone points something out to you, you seem to come across it more often then ever before? Like a coworker’s bad habbit, or tick. You just hear white noise until someone point it out, then unfortunately it’s there… for ever present.

So, like I said I haddn’t heard of Donna Hay until just a couple of days ago. Then, just this week I was at Barnes and Noble, I made a quick stop just to pick up my daily Americano fix.

As I was browsing through their endless magazine racks in the, what else? Culinary section I stumpled upon, yep you guessed it. A Doona Hay magazine, I did a double take once I saw it and I was about to pick it up and browse through it when I heard my coffee order was ready.

I was running late and didn’t have time to look through it. I do however intend to go back and take a quick gander, becuase now I’m just intrigued ‘cmon I hear she is the “Australian” Martha Stewart?!?!

Before we move on to the recipe I would like to quickly thank Denise of Chez Us for being our facilitator and for keeping the HHDD tradition going. – Feel free to invite me anytime dessert is involved! :)

Donna Hay's Blackberry Cheesecake Pots

Mardi picked a great dessert for us to share with you, it’s quick, it’s easy, it’s tasty, and… it’s perfect for summer. So enjoy!

Donna Hay’s Blackberry Cheesecake Pots
adapted from


250 grams cream cheese
1/4 cup (55g) caster (superfine) sugar
1/4 cup (60ml) heavy whipping cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
120 grams fresh blackberries, divided
8 biscotti, to serve


In a small bowl whip the heavy cream with a whisk attachment. In a medium bowl combine the cream cheese, sugar, whipped cream and vanilla extrack beat with paddle attachment or regular beaters until smooth.

Donna Hay's Blackberry Cheesecake Pots
Donna Hay's Blackberry Cheesecake Pots
Add half (60 grams) of the fresh black berries to the bowl and beat on medium speed until just crushed.

Spoon into 4 x ½ cup-capacity (125ml) dishes and refrigerate for 1 hour or until firm.

Donna Hay's Blackberry Cheesecake Pots

Serve with the biscotti and the remaining (60 grams) of blackberries. Serves 4.

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