2.13.2013

Happy Valentine's Day! Red Cheesecake and Champaign




The star of this post is not the cheesecake.  It's the velvet fruit sauce dedicated to Valentine's Day tomorrow. I made the sauce with frozen fruit that I usually use for making smoothies and jams for the kids.

Cheesecake was always my childhood treat.  My dad would bring back a dozen lovely European style cake slices and my first choice was almost always cheesecake.  I'm one of those people who can't let go and be brave enough to try different things when it comes to my absolute favorites.

The cheesecake I grew up eating is the fluffy kind - similar to soufflĂ© - light and yet very creamy. It's so simple and very delicate. 





The sauce has strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, pomegranate, black currants and black cherries.  It's a simple sauce made by taking the frozen berries and adding some sugar, lemon juice and a little starch to thicken it. But the key to making it more interesting is to keep the shape of the fruit instead of mushing or pureeing them. Don't you agree? It gives more character to the dessert. 




For a Valentine treat, you can add a tea spoon full of the berry sauce to a glass of champaign and voila! a perfect lovely cocktail for the celebration of love.




Tomorrow, we'll be staying in at home with the kids and have a special dinner prepared by ME : ) Whatever your special plans are, wishing you all a lovely and loving Valentine's Day!



Recipe:

Velvet Sauce (makes one big jar)

2 cups of mixed berries and red fruit like strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, pomegranate, currants, plums, etc. 
1 cup of raw cane sugar
1 table spoon of corn starch
1/2 lemon juiced

Dust fruit mix with corn starch and mix it well. Add sugar and lemon. Put the mixture into a pan and bring it to boil with high heat. Then turn the heat down to medium and cook for another 30 minutes or so.

Let cool until it's room temperature. 



Lemony Cheese Cake

3 eggs
8 oz of cream cheese (room temperature)
2 table spoons of rice flour
1 Meyer lemon (juiced and zested)
3/4 cup of raw cane sugar
1 tea spoon of vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 340 degrees and grease a container (6"x 2") 

Separate egg yolks and whites.  Mix half of the sugar and egg whites in a medium bowl and beat with a hand mixer for 5-10 minutes until it looks silky and can form a peak.  I like to beat it a bit longer so that it becomes firmer and less likely to shrink after being baked. 

Beat egg yolks for 5 minutes until fluffy.  Beat cream cheese with the rest of the sugar and vanilla extract with a hand mixer.  Add cream cheese to egg yolks and mix well.

Gently pour 1/2 of the egg yolk and cream cheese mixture into egg white mixture and mix them by folding carefully and quickly.  Add the rest and repeat mixing.

Pour the mixture in a greased container and bake for 45 minutes. 

Serve the cake with the velvet sauce! 





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