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Today I’m celebrating RenovationKitchenBlog’s first anniversary! This month has been a blur – I’ve done so many new and exciting things and I’m trying to catch my breath. 

I thought this would be the perfect time to clear up a few things about the blog and me. First, this is not a recipe blog. This is a blog that’s meant to document my culinary journey – the interesting people I’m meeting, the challenges I’m facing, and the wonderful new things I’m discovering. From time to time that will include recipes and now that Fall is here, I’m sure I’ll be on a tear very soon. (There’s a recipe today!) Sometimes my posts will be cheery and full of hope, and other times they will reflect my sadness, anger, or frustration. 

A couple of months ago I described my hopes and fears to Chef Ben Ford of Ford’s Filling Station and he said two things that laid the groundwork for this blog. First, that my ideas were good but that I lacked confidence and then when I expressed my fear of being too late on the blog train he simply said, “There’s room”.  I believed him and this blog was born.  I don’t know where I’ll end up but my hope is that I’ll doubt myself a little less, get more comfortable sharing my soul recipes, and end up with a culinary career that I’m proud of. I hope you’ll continue to follow my journey. 

City girl S’mores Cheesecake (Renovated version based on Joyzz S’mores Ice Cream Cake recipe)



2 cups graham cracker crumbs, 1 stick of butter (melted)

Chocolate cheesecake filling

4 Ghiradelli baking chocolate bars (I used 2 bittersweet and 2 semi sweet), 3 eight ounce containers of cream cheese (room temp), 3 eggs (also room temp), 2 teaspoons vanilla extract, 1 cup of sugar, 1 cup of plain greek yogurt (don’t use fat free)

Marshmallow fluff (adapted from Yummly)

3 large egg whites, 2/3 cup plus 2 Tablespoons sugar, 3/4 cup light corn syrup, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350

Place the graham cracker crumbs in a large bowl and add melted butter. Mix until well combined and press the crumbs evenly on the bottom and up the sides of a springform pan. Bake for 10 minutes and then let cool.

Using a double boiler, heat 3 cups of water (should simmer), and chop the baking chocolate. Add to pan and stir frequently until melted (keep warm)

While chocolate is melting, mix the cream cheese and sugar until smoothe. Add melted chocolate and mix until well incorporated. Add eggs one at a time and mix thoroughly. Add yogurt and vanilla. Pour contents into cooled crust and bake until set. (Depends on your oven, mine takes about 35-45 minutes) Be sure to use a water bath on lower oven rack – I use a jelly pan.  Once cheesecake is set (middle will jiggle slightly but edges will remain firm) let cool.

While cheesecake is cooling, make fluff: Beat egg whites in metal bowl with hand or stand mixers whisk attachment. While mixer is running add 2 tablespoons of sugar and beat until soft peaks form.

In a large saucepan, combine 1/3 cup water, corn syrup, and remaining 2/3 cup sugar. Place over medium heat and cook until boiling. Start cooking over medium heat stirring occasionally – don’t go too far! Raise heat to medium high and continue cooking until mixture reaches the soft-ball stage, about 240 degrees F on a candy thermometer, it will take about 10-15 minutes.

Drape an old, clean kitchen towel over the front and side of the mixer, leaving one side open to pour in the syrup. With the mixer on low, slowly add hot syrup to egg-white mixture. Increase mixer speed to high and continue beating for 6-8 minutes. Add vanilla and continue to beat until mixture looks like marshmallow cream, 2-4 minutes more.

Allow to cool, spoon over cheesecake and refrigerate for at least 3 hours. The remaining fluff can be stored refrigerated in jars for 2-3 weeks.

Lot’s of work? Yes! But oh so impressive at a dinner party or special occasion.