Sunday, June 13, 2010

Happy Birthday Alex!


Today was Alex's 30th birthday, and in honor of the occasion he requested a cheesecake when I asked what I should bake. He just wanted something simple, no crazy flavored kinds. I had found a recipe online that I was going to use, but then upon paging through my Cafe Brenda cookbook, I found one that sounded even better, and pretty healthy as far as cheesecake goes!

Cheesecake with Fresh Strawberry Glaze
Cafe Brenda Cookbook

2 packages (not 2 boxes) graham crackers
6 TBS butter, melted
1/4 C Honey (I actually forgot this and didn't realize until too late, shoot)
1/2 C ground pecans

Crush the graham crackers into fine crumbs. A food processor works great. Add pecans, butter and honey, and mix well. Press the crust into the bottom and sides of a lightly greased springform pan. Pre-bake crust for 5 minutes at 375 degrees.

16 oz cream cheese, softened
1/2 C maple syrup or honey (I did half and half)
1 C sour cream
2 tsp vanilla
1 egg
2 TBS cornstarch
1 TBS lemon zest

Beat cream cheese until smooth. Add honey or maple syrup and beat until well combined. Add sour cream, vanilla, and egg. Blend together. Spring cornstarch on mixture and beat it in with lemon zest. Pour the batter over the crust and bake at 375 for 25 - 30 minutes or until set. The center may jiggle a little at first, but will set as it cools. ... (I had issues with this. I'm not sure if my oven is wonky or what. I baked my cheesecake for 35 minutes and it jiggled a bit in the middle, but I thought it would be ok. Not so much. Our final product is a bit gooey. I would recommend baking until you're sure the middle is pretty well cooked. )

Fresh Strawberry Glaze:

1 pint Strawberries
1/2 TBS cornstarch
1/4 C cold water
1/4 C honey

Clean and hull the strawberries, set a few aside to decorate the cake. Puree the rest to get 1 C of strawberry puree. Dissolve the cornstarch in water. In a sauce pan, combine the strawberry and honey. Bring to a boil. Slowly stir in the cornstarch and water, stirring constantly. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat.

Decorate the top of the cheesecake with a few strawberries. Pour the glaze over the top while everything is still warm. Refrigerate until set, at least 2 to 3 hours.

I was curious how this was going to turn out since it has no refined sugar, it's just sweetened with honey and maple syrup. Aside from the fact that it wasn't as firm as I would have liked, which was totally my fault, it was delicious. Not too heavy and great with the strawberries on top!



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