It might be sacrilege to admit I'm not a cheesecake fan, but I usually find the dessert boring and far too dense. But there are occasions—like when I sampled Decadence Gourmet Cheesecakes' offerings—that I've been proved wrong.
Decadence is a mail-order company based out of Grand Junction. After working in the newspaper industry for more than 20 years, Lee Mathis found his passion in baking cheesecakes of all varieties. Of the 20 dessert flavors (17 of which are available year-round), one of his best sellers is the German Chocolate—a silky blend of chocolate, caramel, and coconut—but my favorite is the Outer Banks, which swirls chocolate with peanut butter. What I like best about these treats is that they are light (even deceptively so) and almost mousse-like instead of thick and solid.
In addition to making full-size, 9-inch cheesecakes, Decadence offers single-serving desserts (baked into 4-ounce jars and sold in crates of six), so there's little guilt after finishing one off. Mathis has also developed a line of savory cheesecakes—in flavors such as Sun-Dried Tomato and Smoked Salmon—that are ideal for appetizers. (Word is that Vail chef and Top Chef contestant Kelly Liken is a fan of the El Diablo flavor, which is made with fiery ghost peppers and habañero.)
Bonus: 5280 readers will receive a 10 percent discount when ordering online. Just use the promotional code "5280." Offer valid through the 2010 holiday season.