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TIP OF THE DAY: Sweet Cheesecake, Savory Cheesecake, Unique Cheesecake

There are sweet cheescakes for dessert and savory chesecakes for appetizers and first courses. Here are one of each for Cinco de Mayo, each with south-of-the-border flair. Both recipes come from


This recipe can be served in individual slices and eaten with a fork, or can be a cocktail hour centerpiece served with crackers and/or tortilla chips.


  • 1-3/4 cups crushed nacho tortilla chips
  • 1/3 cup butter, melted
  • 3 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 envelope taco seasoning
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 4 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1-1/2 cups finely chopped cooked chicken breasts

    Nacho cheesecake, a Mexican spin on the appetizer cheesecake. Photo courtesy Taste Of Home.

  • 1-1/2 cups (6 ounces) shredded Mexican cheese blend
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped green onions
  • 1 cup (8 ounces) sour cream
  • Garnish: whole kernel corn, cubed avocado, chopped tomato and sliced ripe olives
  • Optional garnish: salsa
  • Assorted crackers or additional nacho tortilla chips

    1. COMBINE crushed tortilla chips and butter; press onto the bottom of a greased 9-inch springform pan.

    2. BEAT the cream cheese, mayonnaise, taco seasoning and flour in a large bowl until smooth. Add eggs; beat on low speed just until combined. Stir in the chicken, cheese blend and onions. Pour over crust. Place pan on a baking sheet.

    3. BAKE at 325°F for 60-70 minutes or until center is almost set. Gently spread sour cream over the top; bake 10 minutes longer or until set.

    4. COOL on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Carefully run a knife around edge of pan to loosen; cool 1 hour longer. Refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight.

    5. REMOVE sides of pan just before serving. Garnish with corn, avocado, tomato and olives. Serve with salsa and crackers if desired. Yield: 24 servings.


    Now onto dessert! In addition to dulce de leche caramel, this Mexican-accented cheesecake has chili powder mixed into the chocolate swirl.


    Ingredients For The Crust

  • 1-3/4 cups crushed gingersnap cookies (about 35 cookies)
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped walnuts
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 6 tablespoons butter, melted

    Dulce de leche cheesecake, a Mexican spin
    on the creamy dessert. Photo courtesy Taste
    Of Home.


    Ingredients For The Filling

  • 3 packages (8 ounces each) Philadelphia Cream Cheese, softened
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 cup 2% milk
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 can (13.4 ounces) dulce de leche (Taste Of Home uses Nestlé’s; look for it in the international foods section)
  • 1 cup (6 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips or other semisweet chocolate
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons chili powder

    1. PLACE a greased 9-inch springform pan on a double thickness of heavy-duty foil (about 18 inches square). Securely wrap foil around pan. (If you have a leakproof springform pan, you can omit this step.)

    2. COMBINE the cookie crumbs, walnuts, sugar, cinnamon and butter in a large bowl. Press onto the bottom and 2 inches up the sides of the prepared pan.

    3. BEAT cream cheese and sugar in a large bowl until smooth. Beat in the milk, flour and vanilla. Add eggs; beat on low speed just until combined. Pour into crust.

    4. POUR dulce de leche into a microwave-safe bowl; microwave at 50% power until softened. Drop dulce de leche by tablespoonfuls over batter; cut through batter with a knife to swirl.

    5. PLACE the springform pan in a large baking pan; create a water bath (bain-marie) by adding 1 inch of hot water into the larger pan. Bake at 350°F for 60-70 minutes or until the center is just set and top appears dull.

    6. REMOVR springform pan from the water bath. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Carefully run a knife around edge of the pan to loosen; cool 1 hour longer.

    7. MELT chocolate chips in a microwave-safe bowl; stir until smooth. Stir in chili powder. Spread over cheesecake.

    8. REFRIGERATE overnight. Remove sides of pan. Yield: 16 servings.

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