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February Chocolate Dessert Challenge REVEAL


Chocolate-Cake, Vanilla Bean Cheesecake, Espresso Ganache Topping

Rocky Road Cookies_0001

I’m renaming our blog 2CreateinChocolate for today! MMmmmmm!!! Can you believe these? Our February blog challenge was to create a dessert with at least 2 different preparation methods; whipped cream and frosting couldn’t count. Of course we had to create with chocolate since it is almost Valentine’s Day! Sam’s are the cookies, and mine is the Cheesecake Factory wannabe!

Sam says:

I’m going to call these Deconstructed Rocky Road Cookies!  Doesn’t that sound fancy?  (Or maybe I’ve just watched too many fancy cooking shows…) Chocolate cookie, melty marshmallow, peanut butter-chocolate sauce, with peanuts on top!

I’ve never been a huge fan of Rocky Road anything, but for some reason when I thought of putting this cookie together I really liked the idea… maybe because it seems more like a smore than a rocky-road combination.  And I LOVE smores!!  My wood stove sees the occasional marshmallow during the winter.  :)

For my 2+ prep methods I’ve got rolled cookies, halved marshmallows added mid-bake time, a double-boiled melted peanut butter-chocolate sauce, and chopped nuts as a topper… all constructed in this rocky-road cookie mound!  (I’m not sure what exactly counts as a prep method, but I’m sure two of those will suffice!)

Rocky Road Cookies_0002

But really, does it matter?  When all those methods combine in your mouth for this taste experience, you won’t be thinking about how you made them.  (You might, however, be thinking about how many minutes you have to work out in order to compensate for having another one.)  ;)

Want to know more??  I’ve got my recipe and process photos for you tomorrow, first thing!  -Sam


And now mine:

I’m thrilled with how my Cheesecake Factory wannabe creation turned out! I’m calling it Three Layer Chocolate Coma hahaha … actually, the amount of espresso in the chocolate-espresso ganache glaze on the top will prevent any kind of coma. I always overdo the coffee! But *I* like it!

The bottom layer is a buttermilk-based chocolate cake with some extra vanilla and a touch of coconut extract that I adapted from a cookbook recipe I’ve used several times. Next I stacked a crustless cheesecake on top!

Chocolate-Cake, Vanilla Bean Cheesecake, Espresso Ganache Topping detail

This is absolutely the best tasting cheesecake batter I have ever Ever EVER made! I broke open the test tube of Tahitian vanilla beans my hubby brought me a couple years ago. I swooned! One whole pod was scraped and steeped in a small amount of hot cream, then incorporated into my basic cheesecake batter (with some other secret improvements.) I will post the recipe either Friday or this weekend because You Must Have It! Yes, it will include the secrets! I can’t wait to use this cheesecake all spring and summer with fresh fruit!

To top it off, I made my Espresso Bomb Truffle ganache and when it was at the right temperature, I poured it over the top. I have plenty left for some truffles, too!  A bit of simple fudge frosting to tidy up the sides, the heart doily and sifted cocoa powder for the top, and I am one happy creator-baker-EATER.

I can’t get enough of the strawberries I found. Love them a garnish for this Valentine’s Day dessert — all their little red heart-shaped goodness is perfect!

Chocolate-Cake, Vanilla Bean Cheesecake, Espresso Ganache Topping

What better blog challenge could we have had for February? I can’t wait to serve up my delicious stacked construction to my husband and mom tonight, and I am sure hoping there’ll be a Deconstructed Rocky Road Cookie of Sam’s left on Saturday that she can bring me!

Happy Chocolate from us!

Gail and Sam

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