Friday, May 4, 2012

Uncorked Blackberry Coolies

I have been reading on the net recently about the discoveries all the old cargo ships that were full of wine that have sunk into the ocean.  Needless to say the corks on the containers are long since gone as with the wine.  However, it does make you wonder just how much wine has been absorbed into our ocean waters.  Yes the ocean is vast, but at the time when all the corks came out of these bottles that area must have been like a wine fest!

Anyhow, my mother recently told me recently about a man from a small town in West Virginia that has gotten quite popular with his frozen lime cheesecakes dipped in chocolate on a stick.  I thought it sounded like a pretty tasty idea.

So, I went about deciding on what flavor I would want to make.  Blackberry came to mind. I had seen a lot of cheesecakes with berries in them.  However, because of the iciness that fruit takes on when frozen, I decided not to use fresh berries.  Then came the thought of blackberry wine, but it still needed something else. Then I added freeze dried fruit powder.

Once the first bite hits your mouth, the cheesecake starts to melt into just a cold creaminess.  It  tastes of blackberry with an undertone of wine and cinnamon.  The rich chocolate on the outside does tie everything together deliciously. I can remember when I first tried blackberry ice cream with chocolate chunks at the ice cream shop-I have been in love with it ever since. Also, I opted for using some granola on top for an added texture. The recipe below is for 12-14 coolies.

Uncorked Blackberry Coolies
by Flourtrader

1 tsp cinnamon
1 tbs and 2 tsp cornstarch
2 tsp freeze dried blackberry powder
3 eggs
1 egg yolk
1/2 cup blackberry wine
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup sour cream
24 oz cream cheese
3/4 cup sugar
2 tbs melted butter

10 oz semi sweet chocolate chips (about 1 1/4 cups)
1 cup heavy cream
2 cups granola

Using the melted butter, coat the inside of 14 ramekins ( 3 inch in diameter).  Then line the bottom inside with a round of parchment paper.  Then butter the surface of the parchment paper.  Set aside.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Fill a large mixing bowl with the cream cheese, cinnamon, sour cream, sugar and fruit powder.  Then sift in the cornstarch.  At medium speed, beat ingredients until it has a smooth consistency.  Then add one egg and beat until blended.  Continue to add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition.  Then do the same with the egg yolk.  Add the blackberry wine and vanilla extract and mix until evenly distributed.

Pour the mixture into the prepared ramekins, filling to 1/4 inch below beveled edge mark.  Place all ramekins on baking sheet and put sheets in oven.  Let cheesecakes bake for about 10 minutes.  Then reduce heat to 225 degrees and bake for about 20 minutes more or until the center is firm and no longer shiny on top.  Remove the cakes from the oven and run a knife along the edge.  Chill uncovered for about 4 hours.  Then freeze overnight.

The next morning, remove the cheesecakes from the freezer.  Line a baking sheet with wax paper. Dip one of ramekins, placing it in hot water, measuring about 1/2 way up the sides of the ramekin.  Then invert onto baking sheet and remove parchment paper.  Insert one wooden stick into the side edge of each cheesecake to a depth of about 1 1/2 inches.  Cover with plastic wrap and place back in freezer.

For topping, pour cream into a small saucepan and put chocolate chips in a separate heat proof bowl.  Place saucepan on top of medium high heat and let come to a boil and then remove pan from heat.  Pour cream over chocolate chips and let sit for about 30 seconds.  Then stir until all the chips are melted and the cream is incorporated.

Set bowl aside to cool for at least 5 minutes.  Pour granola onto a baking sheet and smooth out evenly.  Take the cheesecakes out and dip halfway into the chocolate.  Holding upside down, let the excess drip off.  Then place upside down into granola, moving gently for the granola to adhere.  The coolie should be able to stand upside down in the granola by itself.  Continue with this process until all coolies are standing upside down in the granola.  Then place in freezer for 2 hours for chocolate to freeze and cream cheese to freeze up again. Then they are ready to serve.

Tips and notes:
The parchment paper will give the bottom side of your cheesecake a wavy look due to the dampness, so topside is best for display.
As with any dipping, there will be granola and chocolate left over, the quantities were used for the depth and ease in coating.
Without the fruit powder, your flavor will be subtle unless you opt for a citrus fruit in place of the wine.
Coolies can be placed back on their sides on wax paper after freezing to store.  Cover tightly with plastic wrap.
Removing the cakes from the ramekins may take a few taps on the baking sheet for them to come out.
           LAST YEAR:Lemon White Choc Lattice Cupcakes**