Finally the weekend—it seems as if the week leading up to the weekend just drags by, and then the weekend itself is gone in a blink of an eye! Can anyone relate? Today my parents are coming down for the day and we’re going to have a nice dinner together and just catch up a bit! So I decided to make the dessert ahead of time (yesterday) just in case it didn’t turn out. I have never made a Black Forest Cheesecake before, but I am a fan of anything with cherries and/or cream cheese so that sealed the deal!
But first, while I was in Wal-Mart the other day getting groceries for the weekend and such, I was rifling through the cream cheeses to find the lowest priced one when it hit me as to how many different types of cream cheese there was; regular, low-fat, fat-free, and Neufchatel. Of course I knew there was various types, just like most things, but I wanted to find out the difference in how they perform in certain recipes. As I was researching, I found some other interesting differences in foods that I thought you would like—enjoy!
What’s the Difference
- Neufchatel- Real Neufchatel cream cheese hails from the town of Neufchatel France in the Normandy region. It is a soft, unripened, somewhat salty, yet mild cheese with a fat content of 20 to 45 percent. In America, Neufchatel cream cheese has a fat content of 23 percent.
- Low-Fat- Emulsifiers—which help ingredients stick together—and thickeners account for most of the rest of the extra ingredients needed to stabilize the cream cheese. Not a huge taste difference from the full fat version.
- Fat-Free- Fat-free cream cheese is a good choice for some recipes but doesn't work everywhere. It is made with skim milk and the texture is not as creamy as regular cream cheese or the low-fat versions. The best use for fat-free cream cheese is to use it in a chilled dip, dressing or dessert or where it is blended into other ingredients. It can work well in baked goods also
Brown sugar is simply regular white sugar combined with molasses. To make sugar, the juice from the sugar cane is boiled and the sugar crystals are then extracted. The remaining syrup is molasses. Dark brown sugar has a higher concentration of molasses and hence, a stronger flavor than the light brown.
Corn syrup is made by processing cornstarch with acids and/or enzymes. Cornstarch is the starch harvested from the endosperm of corn kernels. Light corn syrup has been refined to increase its clarity and remove any color. Dark corn syrup has had caramel coloring added and has a stronger flavor.
- Cocoa beans are fermented and roasted and then ground to remove most of the cocoa butter, (the natural vegetable fat in the cocoa bean). What remains is a paste called chocolate liquor. This is dried again and ground to produce cocoa powder. Dutch cocoa powder has been treated with an alkali which neutralizes the powder’s natural acidity. Depending on the recipe, you cannot substitute regular cocoa powder for Dutch cocoa powder or vice versa. The leavening effect of many baked goods requires a delicate balance of acid and alkaline ingredients. Regular cocoa powder is acidic while the Dutch variety is neutral.
Coffee and Espresso
The term espresso refers to the method of making the coffee, not the beans or how they are roasted. Nevertheless, espresso normally employs beans that are roasted more than regular coffee beans and then finely ground. The espresso part of the equation is injecting very hot, pressurized water through the grind to produce a dark, rich cup of coffee in a fraction of the time of regular coffee. A cup of espresso has about the same amount of caffeine as a regular cup of coffee BUT a “cup” of espresso is approximately 2 oz. as compared to a 6 oz. cup of regular coffee. Thus, ounce for ounce, espresso has notably more caffeine.
Ground pepper, like any ground spice will lose its flavor rapidly. Within no time it will have little taste although it might retain its kick. It is absolutely worth buying fresh peppercorns and grinding them as needed on your dishes. You will add greater dimensions of flavor as well as a bite to your food.
Black Forest Cheesecake
Chocolate Fiber Crust
- 1 c Fiber One cereal
- 1 bag Chocolate Fudge Hybrid Cookies(pictured below)
- 1/4 c I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter
- 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
- water as needed
- Pulse cereal and cookies in a food processor. Add butter, vanilla, and water until completely moistened.
- Press into 9-inch pie plate and bake on 350 F for 10 minutes.
Info adapted from here.