Happy Thanksgiving Everyone! I should have said happy Thanksgiving to all Americans wherever you are because people around these parts don’t celebrate the Nina, the Pinta or the Santa Maria’s arrival in the New World. Whether you’re in the states wearing Pilgrim hats or in sunny Australia where I am – Thanksgiving is a holiday every American celebrates. I’m no exception!
We’ll be having Thanksgiving dinner tonight. It’s summer here and I’m sweating bullets but cooking anyway. I started last night by making my dessert – a dark chocolate cheesecake with chocolate ganache and topped with toasted macadamia nuts. I saw a similar recipe from Monique at ambitiouskitchen.com and thought I’d do something similar but Australianify it just a bit. She used oreo cookies and hazelnuts as a crust and I used chocolate ripple cookies and macadamia nuts.
She used nutella in her ganache and I used chocolate, butter and cream. I received a big box of Chobani yogurt last week and I’ve been looking forward to making this cake since I opened that box. Thanks Chobani!
I mentioned to my new friend, food photographer Ros McLaughlin, that I was going to be making this cake for Thanksgiving and she said she’d be happy to come down to my house and photograph it. Well… I scrubbed the dining room table, polished the silver, vacuumed the carpet and didn’t think a thing about the patio. She arrived and within 5 minutes we’d carried the coffee table outside to the patio to get good light. She was kind enough not to mention the spent dog bones lying around. Sometimes old bones become good friends, just ask Charlie.
I made the cake last night so it would have time to be nice and cold but I didn’t pour the ganache on top until Ros got here. I wanted it to look shiny and semi-liquid and that it did. Ros took photos of me plating the cake, pouring on the ganache, making it dribble over the edge and sprinkling the nuts. I don’t have those photos yet but I’ll share them when they arrive.
Ros is an accomplished pet photographer and has a steady gig at Australia Zoo, photographing guests with the animals. Can you say, Crikey? They say that a lot at the crocodile hunter’s zoo. The zoo isn’t too far from where Ros and I live. She began photographing food not too long ago and she’s already won a photo contest judged by Jamie Oliver. How lucky am I that she offered to shoot my cake? Pretty damn lucky, I reckon.
Here’s how I changed up Monique’s great cheesecake.
- 1 package Arnotts Chocolate Ripple Biscuits (or any chocolate cookie)
- 1 cup macadamia nuts
- ¼ cup butter, melted (you might not need that much)
- 285 grams (10 oz) Dark Chocolate (at least 70%) chopped
- 3 250 gram (8-oz) packages Philly cream cheese - room temperature
- ¾ cup Chobani Yogurt
- 3 large eggs - room temperature
- 1 egg yolk
- 1¼ cups sugar
- ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa
- 170 grams (6-oz) Dark Chocolate chopped
- ¾ cup whipping cream
- 1 tbs butter
- 1 cup toasted macadamia nuts coarsely chopped
- Preheat the oven to 180C/350F
- In a food processor, grind the nuts for a few seconds and then add the cookies and finally add the butter. You want just enough butter so that the crust will adhere to the sides of the pan.
- Place the mixture in a 9-inch springform pan and create a crust along the bottom and up the sides. I used a drinking glass and worked on the sides first and then the bottom.
- Place in oven for 10 minutes. Not a minute longer.
- Place on wire rack to cool while you make the cheesecake.
- Place chopped chocolate in a double boiler over (not touching) slowly simmering water. When melted and smooth, set aside to cool while you make the rest of the cake.
- Cut the cream cheese and place in a mixing bowl along with the yogurt and beat until creamy.
- Add cocoa and sugar and beat until smooth, scraping the sides of the bowl
- Add in the eggs and egg yolk and beat just until the eggs are fully incorporated.
- Remove bowl from mixer and pour in chocolate and fold to combine.
- Pour mixture into cooled crust and tap to remove any possible air holes.
- Place back in the oven for about an hour. Mine took one hour and 7 minutes.
- Leave to cool on a rack and then place in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours but best if overnight
- Place all ingredients in the top of a double boiler over (but not touching) slowly simmering water.
- Stir often and when melted beat til smooth
- Pour over chilled cheesecake and garnish with toasted macadamia nuts.
It’s Thanksgiving link-up with my friends from the Deep Dish, Simply Sweet Justice and From My Sweet Heart who’ve all done a Thanksgiving post.
Thanks so much to Chobani for sending the yogurt to create this recipe and to Ros McLaughlin for coming by to photograph my cake. I added a couple of my own photos (the ones without the watermark) just because I can’t leave well enough alone. 🙂 Happy Thanksgiving!
Ros McLaughlin says
Oooh, I’m so excited seeing my photos in your food blog Maureen. Thanks for letting me be a part of it. It was so much fun, and I loooved the tastings. Gee, no wonder food bloggers love what they do. Can’t wait for the next one.xx Ros
It was great fun, Ros, can’t wait to catch up again! Thanks heaps.
Oh, wow, Maureen! I’m making this tomorrow! In fact I wish I’d seen this earlier and I would have made for tomorrow – so now I have to wait that bit longer. I’m going to cheat, tho and use my Thermomix. 😉
I made the crust in my thermomix too. :). I made the cheesecake in my kitchenaid.
lizzie - strayed from the table says
This looks so good! I am drooling – I want to make this for dinner, right now. 🙂
Come by for coffee tomorrow!
Hotly Spiced says
If I had a photographer around here she’d trip on more than just dog bones! What a gorgeous looking cake and I love the plate you served it on. I wish you the very happiest of Thanksgivings Maureen and I am wondering what you’re cooking up in all that heat xx
Thanks! Turkey, gravy, praline topped sweet potato casserole, green bean casserole and baked onions in cream topped with buttered bread crumbs -delicious!
Fortunate indeed; and happy thanksgiving to you too! I can’t fathom heat right now, as I’m coming down with a cold, and there is nothing worse than a summer cold.
The photos look amazing, the light is enviable, particularly now that we’re in pitch darkness when we get up and when we go to bed. And I’ve said nothing about that gorgeous cheesecake yet! Mouth watering. I particularly love the first image with the chocolate oozing down the side of the cake. I used to make cheesecake all the time, yum! I’m going to have to make one again soon.
Happy thanksgiving to you!
Thanks, Eva, one of the most difficult things for me is the heat and light fr the holidays. I’m getting used to it though. Christmas is always cold salads and cold seafood because it’s always over 40C on Christmas day.
Now that cake is pretty much a dream come true!! SO rich and decadent!
Maureen, those look fantastic and Happy Thanksgiving. Ros the photos are beautiful. My gig last night did not look as glorious. As a non-cook I tried my hand at baking a Chocolate Cake for my son’s 13th birthday. Apparently it tasted good, but truth be told – the finishing off needed loads more polish!
Terese, it’s all about practice. When I first started cooking I realised if I could read, I could cook. I got an instruction book with all the cooking methods, saute, whip, fold, cream, braise, etc and every week I’d practice that until I got all the methods working. Then I got glossy magazines to copy the plating. For me it’s a lot of fun.
Happy Thanksgiving Maureen! I almost made a cheesecake for dessert but then I decided to make my hubbies favorite cake recipe which I converted it into cupcakes. Today’s his birthday. I really wish I had a friend that was a food photographer! I could use some help in a couple areas. That is one of many things you can be thankful for today 🙂
Wendy Read says
OMG, this cheesecake looks incredible. I just pinned it, hopefully I will get to make it during the holidays. Love your blog Maureen!
Thank you so much, Wendy!! I’m off to visit you now. 🙂
What a luscious looking cheesecake!
That certainly looks like something to be thankful for 🙂 I think it is fun you do thanksgiving there as well, a good excuse to cook up a great meal!
I think if you’re American, you carry your traditions with you no matter where you go. I bet every American has Thanksgiving. 🙂
Great looking cheesecake! Love the flavors. And Ros’ pictures are really good. When we lived in Texas and Florida it was sometimes (not always) really warm for Thanksgiving. We’d often cooked our turkey outside in the grill — it’d work particularly well. Plus you can add aromatic wood chips if you want a nice smokey flavor. Anyway, I’ll have to share your cheesecake with Mrs K R — she’d love it.
Her photos are really good. One of these days I’ll get there. 🙂 My son does his turkey outside too, either smoked or God forbid, deep fries it. I keep saying I’m going to get a smoker and try that. My next door neighbor has an outside oven and they roast a suckling pig for Christmas every year. It smells so good I want to jump the wall holding a fork.
Claire - Simply Sweet Justice says
Happy Thanksgiving my friend! This looks so delicious, and I love the combination of dark chocolate and macadamia nuts. I’m always telling people that macadamia nuts come from Australia, not Hawaii!! 😉 Dark chocolate is from the cocoa bean, which is a vegetable, so this is really just another yummy way to get a vegetable serving. We have a store here that sells some imported Arnotts cookies, so I will be adding this to the “must bake soon” list. 🙂
I got up this morning and realized I forgot the linky! I finished the post and had to get to the kitchen to get dinner on the table before midnight 🙂
Ooooh, so good! Happy Thanksgiving to you too!
That looks really YUM and fantastically photographed, too. I’m craving…
Happy Thanksgiving to you!
Thanks, Iska. I was very lucky to have someone like Ros take these photos.
Kari @ bite-sized thoughts says
Oh goodness me, this is quite amazing. And Happy Thanksgiving to you too!
Thanks! in my best icanhascheezburger language – ma belleh is full 🙂
Laura (Tutti Dolci) says
That is one gorgeous cheesecake! Love the ganache!
yeah, the ganache was pretty special 🙂
Gorgeous cheesecake, plating and photography. Wish I could have just one bite.
You can have all the bites you want!
Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella says
Maureen, that oozy chocolate topping is doing things to me! 😛
I love it when I do things to you, Lorraine.
Stephanie - The Dessert Spoon says
A chocolate lovers delight! I might start celebrating Thanksgiving too if it gives me a reason to make this!
Lizzy (Good Things) says
Wow… if I ate that, I would have to come to your thanksgiving dinner in a kaftan!!!!
You could have just a small piece, Lizzy! 🙂
Nami | Just One Cookbook says
Happy Thanksgiving Maureen! How nice that you continue to celebrate American holidays along with Australians. This dark chocolate cheesecake looks so rich and delicious. Ganache makes it even better too. And your friend is a great photographer!
Ros is terrific. I’m sure there are traditional Japanese special days that you still celebrate in the US – it’s the same thing, I’m sure. 🙂
Glamorous Glutton says
How fab to have your cake professionally shot, it looks wonderful and a definite for the Christmas table. Happy Thanksgiving. GG
It was a great experience and I learned a lot.
Hmmmm…..must be a delay on the e-mail notice becasue I did not receive this notice till the day AFTER Thanksgiving. And now all the cake is gone. (sigh) But it looks delicious.
I haven’t figured out how to get MailChimp to send it out right when I hit publish. I’m not the geek in this house. 🙂
Fabulous! I must try this one soon!
I hope you like it, Martha!
I am stuffed to the gills but you can bet I’d find room for a piece of this.
It looks like you two worked well together — gorgeous dessert AND photos! If you’re ever in need of a taste tester…
Jackie @Syrup and Biscuits says
Lovely from start to finish, Maureen!
The Squishy Monster says
Ah, you both are evil! To be such temptresses after the gigantic-I’m-beyond-stuffed-and-maybe-keel-over from all the Thanksgiving food- food coma yesterday, lol! Who am I kidding, though? I’d devour this in a heartbeat—are you sure I’m only allowed a small slice? =)
Barbara Bamber | justasmidgen says
That’s the perfect Thanksgiving… or any occasion dessert. Your friend is a great photographer.. I see a cookbook in your future:)
Choc Chip Uru says
The photography of this cake is absolutely astounding my friend, brilliant job 😀 the recipe is to die for!
Hope you celebrated well!
Choc Chip Uru
Oh my God that looks good – healthy, ha, right, hardly, but sometimes it’s good to go a bit nuts and “splash out”. Cheesecake and chocolate – two of my favourite things 😀
The Life of Clare says
This looks so fantastic! How exciting to have your friend the photographer come over!
Oh my word!!!!!! Such a gorgeous cheesecake, and truly beautiful photos:-). Doesn’t Chobani ROCK? 🙂 Yum, Hugs, Terra
you had me at dark chocolate!!! WOOOOWWW!!! gorgeous, gorgeous cheesecake!!
Sam - Bubble n Squeak says
Oh wow Maureen, this looks delicious. My mouth is watering!
So pleased to meet you. I can’t wait to introduce you to all my food blogging friends!
Valerie @ From Valerie's Kitchen says
Oh my, oh my, OH MY! I’m full of Thanksgiving pie and the like but this looks absolutely wonderful!
Roxana | Roxana's Home Baking says
Chocolate cheesecake is my #1 dessert choice and will have to try this version using yogurt. Thanks for sharing the recipe Maureen
Kim Bee says
Love the recipe and the photos. You make a great team. Crikey! Just had to throw that in.
Sometimes, Crikey!! is the only word that fits. Bugger. I use that a lot too. 🙂 It sounds more like ‘bugga’ and used when I’m disappointed.
Amy (Savory Moments) says
Oh, my! What an absolutely divine and decadent looking cheesecake!! I’d love a piece right now.
Christine @ Cooking Crusade says
Stunning looking cheesecake – looks so rich and velvety 🙂
Ashley - Baker by Nature says
This cake looks dangerously good, Maureen!!!
It’s so dense and rich you can’t eat much at one time, Ashley! 🙂
oh wow!!This is so yummy!
Thanks for coming by Amy and I really appreciate the comment!
Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious says
Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving! And this looks absolutely sinful! I don’t think I could have this around the house because I would seriously eat every last bite of it 🙂
Jenny @ Ichigo Shortcake says
Love the photos and the recipe! You’re making me drool lots…you’re so lucky to know a food photographer, I wish I knew one too!
Jasline (Foodie Baker) says
Your cheesecake looks so decadent, so sinful and so delicious! I’m swooning just looking at the photos! Yummmmmm!
Parsley Sage says
Awesome photos! And an awesome Thanksgiving Dessert…wowsa! Love the change up with the macadamia nuts…yummy 🙂
Norma Chang says
Chocolate cheesecake with chocolate ganache, just looking at all this I think I gained a few pounds. Adding macadamia nuts to the crust is a wonderful idea.
How cool to know a food photography, looking forward to the other photos.
Oh my!I just can;t take my eyes off this cake!!It looks so rich and decadent and that ganache is amazing!!Beautiful!!
Glorious! I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving! Surely you’re not saying our friend Charlie has old bones? 😉
Claire @ Claire K Creations says
Very lucky Maureen. Oh how luscious the cake looks with the chocolate oozing over the sides. Hope you had a very Happy Thanksgiving!
Happy Thanks giving Maureen 🙂 even though I don’t celebrate Thanksgiving I think it’s such a wonderful celebration to spend the time to just reflex and be grateful for everything we have 😉
Ohhh I’ve never thought of using Chobani in cheesecake even though I love the yoghurt!
Thanks for the great idea!
Elizabeth @Mango_Queen says
Oh my goodness, this chocolate cheesecake with chocolate ganache just blew me away. I must make this for the holidays. My family will just devour it. Thanks for sharing the recipe & the blog-visit!
Beautiful cheesecake Maureen! And how lucky to have an accomplished photographer photograph your food! What a treat! The photos are lovely, but you know, if you didn’t tell us the story, I’d think they were your usual gorgeous pictures! (Love your nails in the picture of you sprinkling the nuts!) I bet this cake flew off your dinner table!!! : )
I have not one, not two but three lovely friends who are food photographers. I’ve met them in the flesh even. 🙂 LOL I consider myself very lucky indeed. I’d like it bettr if their talent rubbed off on me.
Oh geez this looks good. I have been thinking since I arrived in Australia that I have to get used to making Australian desserts, rather than Canadian ones, since they never seem to taste the same as at home. I love that this dessert looks just like something we’d make at home, probably not for Thanksgiving, but definitely for Christmas. Well done. Can’t wait to see the rest of the photos from Ros!
Melanie are you in Australia now or back in Canada?? Thanks heaps for coming by.
Marina@Picnic at Marina says
Maureen, Happy Thanksgiving (belated) to you! This cheesecake looks lovely, even for a hot summer day. Great photos!
Thanks Marina it WAS a hot summer day for me 🙂
Julia | JuliasAlbum.com says
Those are beautiful photos! She is a pro. But it’s you who created this gorgeous cheesecake!
Aww Julie, that’s really kind. It WAS a good cake. 🙂 Thanks heaps for stopping by.
Katrina @ In Katrina's Kitchen says
I adore this recipe!! Wow! You are a rockstar!!! 🙂 xoxo- K
I LOVE cheesecake. It is my all time favorite. I like the addition of Greek yogurt as well!