Monday, March 8, 2010

One Plate. Two Forks. Five Years.

Saturday, March 6th, was our 5th year wedding anniversary. Mr. H and I were high school sweethearts and we were together for 6 years prior to getting married. I patiently waited for that man and I' m glad I did because he's the love of my life. We get engaged on Father's Day in 2004 and I had just gotten off work wearing a long sleeve shirt and pants. It was about 100 degrees outside and he took me to a private place that overlooks the lake. Very romantic but you have to climb about 99 steps to get to the top! By the time we got there I was sweaty and cranky but it was all worth it in the end because this is also where we went on our first date.

We had planned to get married outside in a beautiful quaint little courtyard but the day of the wedding it was drizzly and cold so at the last minute we moved it indoors and got married by fireside with our friends and family sitting cozily around us. It was nothing like we had envisioned but perfect nonetheless. On Saturday I sat and looked over our leather bound digital album. Gorgeous and heavy. It made me so happy and brought back so many memories of that day.

One of my favorite pages in our album is this one below. I still have my flowers though they're dry and brittle and resemble nothing like the original bouquet. I held some of my favorite flowers on that day- red peonies, anemones, tulips, and roses all wrapped in pure white satin. I wore a strapless white satin beaded gown. It wad some detail on the front but the back was my favorite part. Mr. H looked so handsome in his tux. Swoon. I love weddings, if I could get married every year in different spots, I would. To the same man of course! but I would get married in different places. I'd have a beach wedding in the Summer and a wintertime wedding in the snow in the mountains. ah!

This year for our anniversary I decided to make something with chocolate. If you know Mr. H at all then you know he loves it and it's my duty as his wife to make him least once a year anyway :-) On our wedding day we had two cakes (click to see). I had a carrot cake covered in the silkiest buttercream and he had a chocolate cake with chocolate mousse and strawberries. It was then decorated with dark and white chocolate tiles. Not only was it stunning but it was delicious. Last year I attempted to make a similar chocolate cake and while it was pretty it wasn't nearly as good. So this year I made the love of my life a triple chocolate cheesecake.

In this cheesecake are some of my favorite flavors- cream cheese, chocolate, cinnamon and espresso. The only thing missing was strawberries so I added those on the side. Like most cheesecakes, this was rich and decadent but it was oh so creamy and tall. So tall that I didn't think it would fit in the pan and creamy from the addition of sour cream. One slice was all we needed so I plated it up on our wedding china and grabbed two forks.

Triple Chocolate Cheesecake from Fine Cooking

For the crust:

  • 1-1/2 cups very finely crushed chocolate cookie crumbs (about 30 Nabisco Famous Chocolate Wafers)
  • 3 Tbs. granulated sugar
  • 1/8 tsp. ground cinnamon (I increased this to 1/2 tsp.)
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted

For the filling:

  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. instant coffee granules or espresso powder
  • 8 oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped (I used semi-sweet)
  • 3 packages (8 oz. each) cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 3 Tbs. natural, unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 tsp. table salt
  • 1-1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature

Make the crust: Heat the oven to 400°F. In a medium bowl, stir together the cookie crumbs, sugar, and cinnamon until blended. Drizzle with the melted butter and mix until well blended and the crumbs are evenly moist. Dump the mixture into a 9-inch springform pan and press evenly onto the bottom and about 1 inch up the sides of the pan. Bake for 10 minutes and set on a wire rack to cool. Reduce the oven temperature to 300°F.

Make the filling and bake: Mix the sour cream, vanilla, and coffee granules in a small bowl. Set aside and stir occasionally until the coffee dissolves.

Melt the chocolate in a double boiler over medium heat (or in a microwave). Stir until smooth. Set aside to cool slightly.

In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese, cocoa powder, and salt until very smooth and fluffy, scraping down the sides of the bowl and paddle frequently (and with each subsequent addition).

Add the sugar and continue beating until well blended and smooth. Scrape the cooled chocolate into the bowl; beat until blended. Beat in the sour cream mixture until well blended. Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat until just blended. (Don’t overbeat the filling once the eggs have been added or the cheesecake will puff too much.) Pour the filling over the cooled crust, spread evenly, and smooth the top.

Bake at 300°F until the center barely jiggles when nudged, 50 to 60 minutes.* (see note) The cake will be slightly puffed, with a few little cracks around the edge. Let cool to room temperature on a rack and then refrigerate until well chilled, at least a few hours, or overnight for the best texture and flavor.

To serve: Unclasp the pan’s ring, remove it, and run a long, thin metal spatula under the bottom crust. Carefully slide the cake onto a flat serving plate. Run a thin knife under hot water, wipe it dry, and cut the cake into slices, heating and wiping the knife as needed.

NOTE: Next time I would increase the crust recipe by 1.5 times so there was more crust to go up the sides.

Also I baked this in a waterbath at 300 degrees for 70 minutes so it cooked evenly, stayed creamy and there were no cracks. Click HERE to read more tips on baking cheesecakes in a waterbath.

Five years ago, hand in hand, "smoking" cigars. hee hee!

And this weekend enjoying a romantic dinner.

In case you're wondering, the traditional wedding gift for the 5th anniversary is...WOOD. ha ha!


Julie Harward said...

Ohhh, that looks so rich, I can just taste it now! Nice to hear about you guys, sweet story! Have an awesome year and lifetime! Come say hi :D

Memória said...

Awwww, I almost cried when I saw the slice of cheesecake with the overlapping forks. It was like the forks were you two.

This was such a sweet story. You and your husband are so beautiful!!! Wow. ¡FELIZ ANIVERSARIO! HAPPY ANNIVERSARY!

Oh, and that cheesecake looks AMAZING!! I love the inclusion of cinnamon yum!

Selba said...

Happy Anniversary, Monica & Mr. H!

Wow... a romantic story of your engagement though you gotta climb so many steps :)

You look so beautiful in the wedding dress!

I wish I could have a slice of that yummy cake... *drools*

Katie said...

What a wonderful post. I loved seeing your weddings pics and hearing how he proposed - so romantic. Both your wedding cakes look stunning and the cheesecake looks divine and so indulgant. I'm so impressed you didn't get a crack in the middle - mine always do. So creamy and delicious.

tamilyn said...

Awww, what a happy story! Many congrats! Is that blond hair in your photo?

The cheesecake looks heavenly!

Our wedding cake was marble with chocolate frosting and bride and groom cows on one of the tiers. My mother was certain that the cake would cause all sorts of waves at the reception.... because of chocolate frosting. What? Who cares, all they want is cake that tastes good. My friend had cupcakes-it was awesome! No one had to stand up there and cut slices and worry that they did it wrong.

I'm uber tired and just realized I went on a rant.

Congrats again on your very happy union and Happy Anniversary!

Julie @ Willow Bird Baking said...

Happy happy anniversary!!

I've been pondering several cheesecake recipes for awhile now, and I might do a mix-n-match with another crust I saw and this filling. Hmmm!! It looks amazing!

cookies and cups said...

The cake looks beautiful and so do you guys!!!
Congrats on 5 years with many many more to come!

Sandy aka Doris the Great said...

Congratulations! And many many more years of happiness and chocolate!

Velva said...

Happy Anniversary to you! No doubt your triple chocolate cheesecake was a delicious hit.

Sn3a said...

Happy Anniversary

Michel-lee said...

What a beautiful story. Happy "Belated" Anniversary.

Cassie said...

I love this post! You guys have such an amazing story. And the cheesecake looks to die for!

Joycee said...

Happy Anniversary and the cheesecake recipe looks so good, can't wait to try it!

Smitten Sugar said...

Happy Anniversary! Congrats to you both! The cheesecake looks amazing!

Louanne said...

Happy Anniversary! The cheesecake looks luscious - I think it will be one my Easter desserts.

Lissaloo said...

Congratulations! That cheesecake looks so good. if it tastes anywhere as good as it looks Mr. H is one lucky guy :)
You and your bouquet look absolutely gorgeous :)

dawn said...

awww momma happy happy! he's lucky to have you as such a wonderful baker.

Laura P said...

Happy Anniversary! March 6 is also mine and hubby's anniversary (17 years) and it was also my grandparents anniversary-which is why we chose that date to begin with. They would have been married 73 years. We wanted an outdoor wedding but with such unpredictable Texas weather, we played in safe and had it indoors and it was the most beatiful perfect day--you just never know with March in TX! Congrats and many more--and the cheesecake looks fabulous. I just recently found your blog and I LOVE it! One I check everyday--thanks for sharing!

Maria said...

Happy Anniversary! Great dessert to celebrate with!

Keeley said...

We have the same anniversary! I just celebrated my 5th on Saturday, March 6th. I blogged about it:

Your cake looks so good!

Connie said...

thanks for a beautiful post. I agree with you on how nice it would be to get married to the same man in different places. I love weddings also. I love cheesecake too. Especially chocolate. Best wished for many more delicious years.

Julie said...

Such a beautiful story...maybe you should get married someplace new every year :) And the cheesecake leaves me speechless!

Monica H said...

Laura P and Keeley- Happy Anniversary to you too!

Laura- Where in TExas are you from?


Debbie said...

What a sweet story and happy anniversary to the both of you! Your cheesecake, like all your desserts, looks wonderful!

Ruth's Photo Blog said...

Congratulations! I hope the two if you can still be holding hands and smiling as you add a 0 behind that 5 meaning 50 years.

oneordinaryday said...

So romantic.
Jim and I are lucky if we even remember our anniversary. heehee. It's been 17 years!

Lori said...

Very beautiful cheesecake. I think it is smiling in these pics.

Congratulations to you and your husband. Very sweet.

Laura V. said...

Happy Anniversary! What a beautiful story of your relationship together. I am so glad to hear you have a wonderful partner in life to walk this journey with you. We are lucky to have the love and support of wonderful men as we walk this road as Babylost Mamas :)

Sophie said...

Gorgeous wedding photos! What a sweet wedding, I love that you guys were together for so long before getting married! Soul mates, for sure. Chocolate dessert is the perfect treat for your special day.

A Feast for the Eyes said...

What a romantic story. I loved all the photos-- especially the one with the photo album, a corner shot of the cheesecake and the rich red berries. So artistic! What a beautiful cheesecake. Craig loves berries. Anytime I want to please him, all I have to do is make a berry pie or crips. He's putty in my hands. So enjoyed sharing your sweet memories.

Jennifer Pemberton said...

Congrats, you two! Thanks for sharing the story of you and Mr. H - and, of course, the recipe!

Ingrid said...

Aw, LOVE the photo of you two smoking a cigar! So cool!

Your cheesecake looks perfect.

Jackie said...

Hi Monica

Ah!!Congratulations, I hope you and Mr.H have many more 5 year anniversaries together. I wish you and Mr.H the best of LUCK!!

The Duchess of Wessex said...


Your retelling of your love story is as sweet as I'm sure that cheesecake was!

Thank you for your blog. Thank you for sharing your world. Thank you for being my friend!

Laura said...

What a beautiful post Monica. You guys look so beautiful together!! We have been married for 5 years too. But we got married in our kitchen by the friend who introduced us. It was a second for each of us no big nice wedding for us.

The captcha word for my comment is jewscrum...weird

Diane {} said...

Happy Anniversary!
As always your cake look so delicious--mmmm...enjoy!

Laura P said...


I'm in South Texas, the Victoria area.

Kerri said...

Happy Anniversary you sweet girl! I pray this coming year of wedded bliss finds you blessed over and over again! Hugs from KY!

Mini Baker said...

stopppp monica! its only 8:15 am and now you have me craving this! it looks sooo scrumptious!
Congrats on 5 years :)
You two seem very much in love!
-Mini B.

A 'n D said...

HUGE congrats on FIVE years!! YAY!

Coleen's Recipes said...

What a beautiful post!!! That cheesecake looks gorgeous...and the photo looks like it came from a magazine, well done!! I'm going to bookmark your cheesecake tips...I have trouble with minor cracking. Congratulations on 5 years, may you have 95 more.

From the Kitchen said...

Happy anniversary. You two are a hoot with those cigars. And that dessert looks sublime.

P.S. Didn't they change all anniversary gifts to either gold, silver or diamonds?

Kim said...

Happy Anniversary!!

The chocolate cheesecake looks droolworthy. Thick, creamy and rich - I love it!

The Blonde Duck said...

Popped in to say hi! You have a beautiful blog and a even prettier cheesecake! Happy anniversary, and here's to many more years of happiness!

Jeanette said...

Happy Anniversary. Congratulations

Mary said...

Happy Anniversary! I'm a first time visitor to your blog and feel like I hit the motherlode. Everything looks delicious and your photos are fabulous. I'll be back often to see what you are cooking up. Have a great day...Mary

Colleen said...

You guys are so stinkin' cute! Thanks for sharing your photo's!

Happy, Happy Anniversary!!!

Mya said...

Happy Anniversary. My husband and I celebrated 8 years yesterday. :) He loves cheesecake and chocolate too. I will DEFINITELY make this.

Kerstin said...

Happy Anniversary! Your wedding pictures are so gorgeous! Our ceremony had to be moved indoors because it was raining too - booo.

Sook said...

Ahhhh that cake looks sooo yummy!! I wish I could have a bite.

Sinful Southern Sweets said...

LOL! I just found your blog. Love it!! And congrats!!

Bethie said...

I just found you blog through links regarding the thieving blogger. LOL! Your blog is amazing and I can not wait to poke around. Beautiful pictures and delicious recipes. I also see you are on Twitter, but no followers. I am now your first follower!


mbc said...

Love this post...the way you intertwined your wedding, anniversary, and food together just like real life. I love it! Happy Anniversary!

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