Monday, June 28, 2010

Tangerine-Ginger Cheesecake

Okay so it's not the prettiest picture in the world but it is something different in the way of your everyday cheesecake.  I'm still tweaking the recipe a bit as it is a SERIOUS piece of cake but I still love it, and it's one of the few recipes I can call my own.  And it's perfect for Summer because it's all fresh and citrusy... is that a word?

I first had a cheesecake like this one at my beloved Five Spice Cafe in Burlington, Vermont which has since been sold, burned to the ground, and NEVER rebuilt which is an abomination in my mind.  The place was fantastic... at least it was before they sold it to people who apparently messed with ingredients and customer service.  There is nothing like being snubbed by a waitress with dreads and the every present aroma of patchouli (not that I have a lot against patchouli it reminds me of home) who lives in an apartment with about 6 people, but is apparently too far above your station in life to see if the order she dropped off tastes okay, even if it's the wrong order, but hey like I said... it WAS fabulous when run by the original owners, and honestly I would take the snotty waitress if I could just have their spicy cucumber recipe... YUM!

Anyway, this recipe came about as most of my original recipes do which is... I had it somewhere, I loved, and there was no recipe on-line anywhere for it so I had to make one up.  This fits the bill, tangy, spicy and delish.

Tangerine Ginger Cheesecake

from BossyChef's brain (a.k.a Eileen)

2 cups finely ground gingersnap cookies (about 9 ounces)
2 Tablespoons sugar
½ teaspoon ground ginger
¼ cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
for the record these pieces were TOO big

4 8-ounce packages cream cheese, room temperature
1 ¼ cups sugar
4 large eggs, room temperature
1 cup sour cream
1/4 cup finely chopped crystallized ginger (this takes awhile make sure it's teeny tiny)
2 Tablespoons finely grated peeled fresh ginger
2 Tablespoons fresh tangerine juice
4 teaspoons grated tangerine peel
Tangerine slices for garnish (optional)

1 1/4 cups orange marmalade
½ vanilla bean, halved lengthwise (or 2 teaspoon real vanilla extract)
1 1/2 Tablespoons freshly squeezed tangerine juice
1 1/2 Tablespoons bourbon


Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Generously butter 10-inch diameter springform pan with 2 ¾-inch-high sides. Double-wrap outside of pan with heavy-duty foil. Blend ground cookies, sugar, and ginger in processor. Add melted butter and process until moist crumbs form. Press mixture onto bottom and ½-inch up sides of prepared pan. Bake until crust sets, about 10 minutes. Cool. Maintain oven temperature.

Using electric mixer, beat cream cheese in large bowl until fluffy. Beat in sugar, scraping down sides of bowl occasionally. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in sour cream and whipping cream, then crystallized ginger, fresh ginger, tangerine juice, and tangerine peel.

Pour filing into crust. Place springform pan in large roasting pan. Pour enough boiling water into roasting pan to come 1 inch up sides of springform pan. Bake cheesecake until filling is set and golden brown on top (cake will rise slightly about edge of pan), about1 hour 25 minutes. Turn off oven and prop open oven door with wooden spoon. Let cake stand in oven 1 hour (cake will fall).

In a small heavy saucepan heat 1 medium jar of orange marmalade until liquid thin. Add whiskey and vanilla. Cool to room temperature. If the sauce thickens too much before cheesecake is ready, reheat until it can be easily poured over the top.

Remove springform pan from water bath. Remove foil and cool cheesecake completely on rack. Top with sauce. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Release pan sides from cheesecake. Cake can be prepared ahead and refrigerated 4 days or frozen up to 2 months without glaze. Before serving make sauce and pour on top of cake before serving.

Monday, June 14, 2010

On vacation

I am still on vacation only I don't have internet this week.  Will be back next week.  Here is the main difference between tailgating inVermont and tailgating in Nebraska.  In Nebraska you get Chili.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Semolina Pancakes

You didn't think I had forgotten about you did you?  Okay... maybe just for a minute but I am making it up to you with these!  You may have gathered we eat a lot, and I mean A LOT of pancakes in our house.  They are my son's favorite food and if you ask him what he wants for dinner he will always say PIZZA, which was a trained response but he doesn't normally eat it.  If you ask him if he wants pancakes he will get a huge smile and lick his plate clean.  These were very light and delicate, and the honey buter sauce used to top them was TO DIE... sorry just watched the Sex in the City movie...  Look at the golden color.  I thought of bringing it to the paint store to have them match it for our walls.  The picture doesn't do it justice.  And there is only the one set of photos because there is only so much you can do with yellow on tan... really, I need to take a photography class, or maybe a food styling class or something.  I'll get right on it, I have plenty of time........ oh sorry had to pick myself off the floor...that was funny, well it was funny to me.

According to Food and Wine these crepes, called begrhir, are served in cafes in Marrakech (and now I have to google Marrakech, I may have to go there, ahh it's in Morocco, I definitely would like to go there).  They can be topped with the honey butter below or apricot jam.  Enjoy.

Semolina Pancakes
Food and Wine May 2010

3 cups warm water
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 3/4 cups fine semolina
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
vegetable oil, for cooking (I used 1 teaspoon for every 2-3 pancakes)
1/3 cup honey, warmed
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted


In a bowl combine 1/4 cup of the warm water with the bakingpowder.  In a food processor, combine the semolina with the flour, yeast, sugar and remaining 2 3/4 cups of warm water; process for 30 seconds until smooth.  Add the salt and baking powder mixture and process for 30 seconds longer.  Pour the batter into a large bowl, cover with a kithcen towel and let rise at room temperature until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.

Heat a 10-inch non-stick skillet and coat it with a thin layer of vegetable oil.  In a small bowl, blend the honey with the melted butter.  Whisk the batter until creamy.  Ladle 1/3 cup of the batter into the skillet, tilting the skillet to distribute it evely.  Cook the pancake over moderate heat until bubbles appear all over the surface and the bottom is pale golden, about 2 minutes.  Shake the skillet to loosen the pancake (I just lifted a corner as it started to pull away from the pan) then slide the pancake onto a plate.  Drizzle with the honey butter and serve right away.  Repeat with more oil and the remaining batter and honey butter.  If you cannot seve them immediately like in our house I stacked them after they cooled slightly with a paper towel in between each so they wouldn't get soggy. I also freezed the remaining in a single layer on a cookie sheet and then stacked them in a freezer bag.  They reheated perfectly at 350 for about 2 minutes.

WARNING: if you have read Julie and Julia and you wondered how she repeatedly burned her fingers during the crepe pages, this recipe will make it all too clear for you.  They retain a whole lot of heath so keep the fingers away if possible.