Do you have any recipes in your family that are defining? You know, the kind that you just assume will grace the tables and your belly at certain family gatherings? We have a lot of them, and I love sharing those recipes with you because they are not only delicious, but precious. Although a handful of them are chinese dishes from my father, some of those precious family recipes hail from my mother's southern roots, and will knock your socks off. Strangely enough (or not so very strange at all), the majority of them are desserts. Lemon Meringue pie, bread pudding, gingerbread, and then there's this cheesecake. Well, cream cheese cake. with a sour cream layer on the top. And then I had to go and add a dark chocolate ganache on top of that (today's zupas post). aaand then I couldn't resist drizzling a tart pomegranate syrup underneath.
I just don't know when to stop.
Even if you forget the ganache and syrup, this cheesecake is good (can I do anything else to emphasize?) and I happen to think we know good food.
Dessert is an exception I make when it comes to eating a diet of healthy wholesome food. It's worth every bite because it's essential to indulge every now and then. and again. especially for valentine's day. and maybe easter... that is the next holiday right?
Don't forget about the AMANO CHOCOLATE class this saturday! A perfect little gift for your valentine. more information + registration here.
wishing you a loving weekend surrounded by happy cuddly people. preferably ones that you like.
p.s. are you sick of chocolate yet? how could you? see you tuesday.
mama's cream cheese cake
1 2/3 cup gingersnaps, crushed
5 (1/3 c) Tablespoons softened butter or coconut oil
2 Tablespoons sucanat or brown sugar
Mix thoroughly then pat into the bottom of a 10-inch pie plate or springform pan.
24 ounces (3 8-ounce packages) cream cheese or neufchatal
1 cup natural cane sugar*
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Beat the cheese, adding sugar gradually. Add the eggs one at a time, then add the vanilla. Pour into the prepared pie shell, bake for 45 minutes at 350 degress fahrenheit. When it's finished, immediately preheat the oven to 500 degrees fahrenheit.
1 pint sour cream
3 Tablespoons natural cane sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Whip topping ingredients together, pour over the top of the baked cheesecake. Return the pie to the preheated 500 degree oven and bake for 5 minutes. Cool thoroughly, then refrigerate about 8 - 12 hours.
for the ganache: prepare ganache according to this post after the pie has refrigerated for the allotted amount of time. While the ganache is still fairly warm, pour or spoon enough of it over the chilled pie, spreading the ganache around to smooth the top. Return to the refrigerator to allow the ganache to set.
for the pomegranate syrup: Bring 100% pomegranate juice to a low boil over medium low heat. Let it boil until it condenses and thickens. Watch closely so it doesn't burn.
To test the syrup's consistency, put a plate in the freezer, then spoon a little of the hot syrup on the chilled plate. Swirl it around until it cools, then feel the thickness of the syrup. The plate should bring the temperature of the syrup down and allow you to see how thick it will be when it cools.
to serve: Drizzle a little bit of the pomegranate syrup on a plate. With a warm knife (run it under hot water then pat dry), slice cheesecake into 8 - 16 wedges, depending on how generous you're feeling.
- * the cane sugar can be replaced with 3/4 cup agave nectar or 1 cup sucanat, play with other sweeteners, see what you like.
- this cheesecake freezes incredibly well (in case you're not up to eating the entire thing by yourself), I wrapped slices in plastic wrap, then in freezer paper; or try a big gallon ziplock. It mightn't be fancy, but it works.
- I used dairy free (tofutti) cream cheese and sour cream in our version, it worked beautifully. You could also use ener-g egg replacer if you want to completely veganize this dessert.
- the original recipe calls for graham crackers rather than gingersnaps. If you use graham crackers, mama says to add 2 T of sugar and 1/2 tsp of cinnamon to the crushed crackers and butter.
- I had recently read an article that linked to a recipe for making your own neufchatal... if you tried it, I'd be sore impressed.
- you know what makes this dessert even more romantic? making it with your valentine. aww...