I used heart shape mini cheesecake forms, and some adorable cupcake papers I found , that are produced in Sweden. Aren't they beautiful?
DIRECTIONS:1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (Gas Mark 4 = 180C = Moderate heat). Begin to boil a large pot of water for the water bath.
2. Mix together the crust ingredients and press into your preferred pan. You can press the crust just into the bottom, or up the sides of the pan too - baker's choice. Set crust aside.
3. Combine cream cheese and sugar in the bowl of a stand-mixer (or in a large bowl if using a hand-mixer) and cream together until smooth. Add eggs, one at a time, fully incorporating each before adding the next. Make sure to scrape down the bowl in between each egg. Add heavy cream, vanilla, lemon juice, and alcohol and blend until smooth and creamy.
4. Pour batter into prepared crust and tap the pan on the counter a few times to bring all air bubbles to the surface. Place pan into a larger pan and pour boiling water into the larger pan until halfway up the side of the cheesecake pan. If cheesecake pan is not airtight, cover bottom securely with foil before adding water.
5. Bake 45 to 55 minutes, until it is almost done - this can be hard to judge, but you're looking for the cake to hold together, but still have a lot of jiggle to it in the center. You don't want it to be completely firm at this stage. Close the oven door, turn the heat off, and let rest in the cooling oven for one hour. This lets the cake finish cooking and cool down gently enough so that it won't crack on the top. After one hour, remove cheesecake from oven and lift carefully out of water bath. Let it finish cooling on the counter, and then cover and put in the fridge to chill. Once fully chilled, it is ready to serve.
Pan note: The creator of this recipe used to use a springform pan, but no matter how well she wrapped the thing in tin foil, water would always seep in and make the crust soggy. Now she uses one of those 1-use foil "casserole" shaped pans from the grocery store. They're 8 or 9 inches wide and really deep, and best of all, water-tight. When it comes time to serve, just cut the foil away.
Prep notes: While the actual making of this cheesecake is a minimal time commitment, it does need to bake for almost an hour, cool in the oven for an hour, and chill overnight before it is served. Please plan accordingly!
Some variations from the recipe creator:
** Lavender-scented cheesecake w/ blueberries - heat the cup of heavy cream in the microwave or a saucepan until hot but not boiling. Add 2 tbsp of lavender flowers and stir. Let lavender steep in the cream for about 10-15 minutes, then strain the flowers out. Add strained cream to cheesecake batter as normal. Top with fresh blueberries, or make a quick stovetop blueberry sauce (splash of orange juice, blueberries, a little bit of sugar, and a dash of cinnamon - cook until berries burst, then cool)
** Cafe au lait cheesecake with caramel - take 1/4 cup of the heavy cream and heat it in the microwave for a short amount of time until very hot. Add 1-2 tbsp. instant espresso or instant coffee; stir to dissolve. Add this to the remainder of cream and use as normal. Top cheesecake with homemade caramel sauce (I usually find one on the food network website - just make sure it has heavy cream in it. You can use store-bought in a pinch, but the flavor is just not the same since its usually just sugar and corn syrup with no dairy).
** Tropical – add about a half cup of chopped macadamias to the crust, then top the cake with a mango-raspberry-mandarin orange puree.
** Mexican Turtle - add a bar of melted dark chocolate (between 3 and 5 oz., to taste) to the batter, along with a teaspoon of cinnamon and a dash of cayenne pepper (about 1/8 tsp.). Top it with pecan halves and a homemade caramel sauce.
** Honey-cinnamon with port-pomegranate poached pears – replace 1/2 cup of the sugar with 1/2 cup of honey, add about a teaspoon or more (to taste) of cinnamon. Take 2 pears (any variety you like or whatever is in season), peeled and cored, and poach them in a boiling poaching liquid of port wine, pomegranate juice/seeds, a couple of "coins" of fresh ginger, a cinnamon stick, and about a 1/4 cup of sugar. Poach them until tender, then let cool. Strain the poaching liquid and simmer until reduced to a syrupy-glaze consistency, then cool. Thinly slice the cooled pears and fan them out atop the cooled cheesecake. Pour the cooled poaching syrup over the pears, then sprinkle the top with chopped walnuts and fresh pomegranate seeds.
Some variations from Jenny (from JennyBakes):
**Key lime - add zest from one lime to sugar before mixing with cream cheese. Substitute lemon juice, alcohol, and vanilla with key lime juice.
**Cheesecakelets - put in muffin tins, ramekins, or custard cups. Try baking 20-35 minutes, or until still a little jiggly, and cool as before.
Akara is a typical West African snack made of Black Eye peas.Its confusing because I have seen many names and spelling for this dish. The Congo Cookbook cites 11 names for this dish. I remember eating these when my father made them as a child. I actually posted these once before on the blog as a New Years appetizer since they had the requisite black eye peas. that would bring in good luck for the year. What made my fathers so yummy was the addition of chopped shrimp . What I love about this recipe is that you can play around with your spices and additions. Along with the traditional ingredients I choose to add ground shrimp powder, minced sun dried tomatoes for extra flavor. I also purchased a small bottle of palm oil in the African shop. Palm Oil is favored in West African cuisine and highly coveted. You can debate on the health aspect of it, but one thing is certain, its aromatic and imparts a wonderful flavor and research is backtracking and taking a second look at it.I say all in moderation. Palm Oil gets its rich red color from beta carotene. If you don't have or want to fry in palm oil, vegetable oil, peanut oil work just as fine.
1 1/2 lbs of Black Eye Peas soaked overnight in water
2 tbsp rice flour
1 small onion chopped fine
1 green bell pepper chopped fine
2- 3 eggs to bind
1 tbsp ground shrimp powder
4 sun dried tomato's minced
1 tsp curry
1-2 chilies chopped( depends on your spice heat threshold)
salt and pepper to taste
palm, vegetable. or peanut oil for frying
Rinse the black eye peas which have been soaking overnight.In a food mill grind the beans . Take a blender or food processor and add the ground beans , eggs,and some water . Mix until you you have a light paste( not to runny, but enough to hold shape while frying). Add your dry seasonings and chopped onions, peppers, chilies and sun dried tomatoes.
Add a few tablespoons of oil in your fry pan. Heat the oil. Carefully drop spoonfuls of the bean mixtures and fry until golden and done in the center. Be sure to turn the bean cakes as you fry to make sure its fries evenly.
Akara is my second entry( a savory one as compared to sweet one before) this month in MLLA 10... Starters and Desserts created by Susan of The Well Seasoned Cook. You still have time to submit your entries this month. Starters, desserts, light snack, etc. Get creative with legumes!
Earlier in the month I started making the gum paste flowers and leaves using a rose cutter and stretching and manipulating the petals to form the Nasturtiums. Then I went back over and brushed color and shimmer over the flowers to give more detail. You can call my style Impressionistic. I let thse dry for sevral days to become hard.
The cakes were actual cake dummies of 6, 10, and 12 inch. I decided to stick with simple white fondant as there would be a lot of color with the flowers. I rolled the fondant, took about 3 Wilton boxes, and centered with a wooden skewer.
Chef Laura Ragano gave an excellent demo with Wayne Johnson of local NBC on basic sugar craft and how she made her cake for Esperanza and a television segment with Wayne earlier in the week. While they did this Celebrity Cake Decorator Nicholas Lodge judged with other experts from Wilton and the community.
I wish I had a picture of the High School levels 1st prize winner. My Blackberry ran out of memory. The boy was phenomenal and it was great to see his family and friends go all out to support him.
Here is the Culinary level in which I was competing.The first and 4th cakes on the table placed 1st and 3rd respectively.
You still have time to submit you enteries for My Legume Love Affair 10... Starters and Desserts. My Legume Love Affairs Deadline is April 30.Enter to win the great book !
In the previous post I gave a link to articles I had written for the Ebony Jet.com site. This lunch used some elements from that post but made some changes. I served the salmon in a new way,
Dessert will be revealed later on this month so hold tight. I will tell you they were a success! This time I decided to place the salmon on a bed of sauteed spinach on puff pastry. The topping had a Dungeness Crab Imperial . Via Twitter one night watching the Number One Ladies Detective Agency, I struck up a conversation with the people of Ocean Harvest out of Charleston Oregon.
I am so happy to host this months My Legume Love Affair 10 this month. As I always love a challenge, I decided to put a theme on the event. This month’s entry must be either a Starter or Dessert. I can think of several dishes already. In Asian cuisine, it is not unusual to find desserts made of Adzuki or Mung beans. Moreover, I was just reading the Rooibos teas is in the legume family. Is this helping you? Susan of the Well Seasoned Cook is the brainchild behind this phenomenal event which draws a large volume of entries each month.
Here are a few facts about MLLA 10:
A pod, such as that of a pea or bean, that splits into two valves with the seeds attached to one edge of the valves.
Such a pod or seed used as food.
Legumes are not to be confused with the French term for vegetable. Think beans, lentils, pulses, and/or the sometimes edible pods that contain these seeds, and derivative products like tofu that are made from soy.
*Multiple recipes are permitted, but only the first submission is counted towards the random drawing.
*Recipes to other events are permitted.
*You don’t have to a blog to enter.
*Photos are preferred but optional. Please be sure send your photo in a reasonable size not to exceed 400 pixels.
*Recipes from your older archives are permissible, but must be updated with the event info and links. Archived posts need to be re posted as current.Or you may link to your older recipe in your most current post as an FYI with all the pertinent info and requirements for the current MLLA10.
*Feel free to use the badges on your post.
*You must link your entries to both my post and the MLLA Host Line Up
*All geographic locations are eligible for drawing.
*Last day for submissions is April 30. Email cococooks[AT]hotmail[DOT]com.
*Roundup will be posted the first week of May.