Saturday, June 27, 2009


     Whenever I walk Charlie on the street, everyone asks, "What kind of dog is that?" 
     "A Catahoula Leopard Dog," I answer. 
     "A cata-what?"  
     Because of the length and tongue twistiness of his name, these interactions get annoying fast. But, there's just something about Charlie. A Catahoula Leopard Dog is the state dog of Louisiana, a cattle herding dog, stubborn as a mule, with the eating capacity of a goat. He'll eat anything, buttons, any type of poop, coins, rocks, dirt, sticks, tin foil, push-pins, anything. He experiences the world first through his big gorgeous camouflage nose. He will dig giant holes, only in perfectly manicured gardens of course, then stick his snout right in there and inhale whatever aromas his olfactory glands can pick up. Then, if it passes as something edible, and most things do, Charlie will eat it. 

     Here's where we come to the Louisiana Catahoula Leopard Cake. As Rocco proudly says, "he's american!" And a state dog should have his own cake. Rocco adores Charlie, so for Father's Day, aside from ridiculous Catahoula paraphernalia I gave him, I baked this Cheese Cake in the likeness of Charlie's unique coat. Mommy calls Charlie her Peanut Butter Catahoula, so the cake naturally is peanut buttery. The cake is also chocolately so Charlie wasn't allowed to eat any, but we did give him lot of treats for being such a good boy and taking photos near it. There were a few close calls, but the cake remained safe and quite delicious in the end. 

For the base I used Mommy's Cheese Cake recipe.

Quoting Mommy:
"Hi Jen,
Here's the basic cheese cake recipe that I use. I think you can add the peanut butter and chocolate just like you said.

Cheese cake:
Preheat the over to 350 degrees

2 8 oz. pkg. cream 
cheese at room temp. You can take the chill off in the microwave.
1 Cup sugar
3 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup sour cream.
Graham cracker crust
You can buy the crust pre-made or make it with crushed graham cracker crumbs and butter, slightly softenen.
Mix them up and then press onto the bottom of the spring form pan.

Beat cream 
cheese til smooth, then add sugar. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each one. Add vanilla, beat. Then add sour cream and beat.
Pour into the crust. Bake at 350 degrees for a half an hour or til the top is a light golden brown. Turn off oven and leave in one half hour with the door closed. Then open the door and leave open for another half hour (doesn't have to be wide open in case one of the cats might want to jump in the over for a piece.)

Can't wait to have Catahoula Cheesecake.
Love Mommy"
For the design, I used Peanut Butter and Chocolate Ganache.

Chocolate ganache - 1/2 C. chocolate chips + 1/2 C. heavy cream melted). Its best to use a double boiler for this. If not, use a heavy sauce pot and heat it on low and stir constantly.
For the peanut butter I tried to do the same, melting it with heavy cream, but I had really "natural" PB and it turned into this weird texture. I think regular JIFF would fair better. The PB actually was quite creamy so I ended up using it at room temp.

I randomly dropped 1/2 tsp of the ganache and PB on top of the cheese cake batter. At first I was going for a more camo look, but when I started making designs with the tip of a tooth pick, it came out so pretty, I just ran with it.
You just drag the tooth pick through the chocolate ganache and PB, and make little swirls and curls. Fun! 


Jennie said...

Jen, this looks fantastic and delicious!

Eat It Brooklyn said...

This is the most beautiful concoction ever! I'm so impressed. Not sure I can venture into this territory, but happy to admire from afar!

Jennifer Galatioto said...

Thanks! It was really so so easy. Just a regular cheese cake with a pretty design!

Rocco Galatioto said...

I cab taste the cake again. And what a beautiful dog!
What kind of dog it it?

Rocco Galatioto said...

What' with this GANACHE stuff, Is this about good food or about French food..Ganache...give me a break..where are the cucuzzi, the stigghioli, the tripe recipies, and all the real foods that make a man a man and a dog a Catahoula?

Rocco Galatioto said...

That is one fine looking dog.
You've got to be kikding me..Is this some sort of joke.
It looks like a Latvian short haired retreiver to me. Cataloula, give me a break already!

adozeneggs said...

Jen, the cake looks amazing, and Charlie sounds a lot like our Lily. She's a Basenji/lab mix and no one ever knows what a Basenji is.
I'm going through your blog tonight and tomorrow. Love everything so far!!

Anonymous said...

i too have a catahoula. everytime i walk him, i get stopped atleast 4 or 5 times, they ask, what kind of dog is he? I answer a catahoula leopard, and 9 out of 10 times they say cata-whata? it gets kinda old dont it?


Jennifer Galatioto said...

Yes, we were thinking of getting Charlie business cards so we wouldn't have to keep repeating ourselves! LOL!

BarryE said...

Aarroo! The cake looks great! You all please come visit Catahoula-Ville for more Catahoula tails.

Hannah R. said...

I own a half catahoula/half corgi (corgahoula?), named Charlie and every 5 feet I am stopped and asked "what kind of dog is that?" I live in Boston where NOBODY has ever heard of the catahoula. Found your site by googling "Charlie the catahoula." Cake looks insanely delicious.

Anonymous said...

I have a dog that looks almost identical to yours, love the picture.