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Today marks the one year anniversary of Daisy’s World, and I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of you for reading my blog and for giving me the opportunity to share my world with you. I am grateful for all of your comments and kind words of encouragement and praise. I have enjoyed writing about my culinary adventures and I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about them. My goal was to inspire you to create something delicious that showcases your own passion for food, and I hope I’ve succeeded.
My sincere thanks to my fellow bloggers who, in turn, have inspired me all year long. I have learned so much from all of you. You’ve help to expand my culinary boundaries and exposed me to new recipes and ingredients, cooking methods, and techniques. I feel a kinship to all of you who, like me, are passionate about food and who support me in my creative endeavors.
A big round of applause to all of you who have liked, pinned, tweeted, emailed and shared my posts and photos. Special thanks also goes out to Foodgawker, Tastespotting, Tasteologie, Kitchen Artistry, and Serious Eats for giving me a forum to reach a wider audience and share my food photographs. While many of my photos grace your curated sites, your “rejections” motivate me to keep improving my photography skills.
I have loved this past year of blogging and I am truly grateful for your continued support and interest in Daisy’s World. I look forward to another year of sharing the delicious things in my life.
To commemorate this milestone, I thought it fitting to conquer another cooking phobia. Still feeling triumphant from my successful gnocchi experience, I was feeling confident to take on another kitchen challenge that has frustrated me – cheesecake. My few attempts years ago have resulted in cheesecakes with hideous cracks that haunted me, even when they were successfully hidden from view by piles and piles of topping. I was ready to try again, already envisioning the water bath in the oven, when I stumbled into a recipe for individual cheesecakes with an orange-cranberry sauce that are baked in muffin tins. No water bath needed!!
The orange in the sauce reminded me of a recipe for blood orange-rhubarb compote from Susan Eats London, and I had the brilliant idea (if I do say so myself) to combine the two recipes together to make my “First Anniversary” cheesecakes. A big thank you to Susan, who is one of those inspirational bloggers I was referring to earlier. Her blog is beautifully written and full of great recipes and photos. Believe me, you will definitely learn alot from her. She blogs about wild garlic, nigella seeds, and uses duck egg for her pasta. Cool, right?!
Trust me on this, the blood oranges and rhubarb combine to make a flavorful burst of tartness which complements cheesecake very nicely indeed!
Mini Cheesecakes with Blood Orange and Rhubard Compote
Yields 24 mini cheesecakes
For the crust
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs (place graham crackers in a plastic ziploc bag and use a rolling pin to crush crackers into crumbs)
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
For the filling
24 ounces cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 vanilla bean, split in half and seeds scraped (I used 2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste)
zest from 2 blood oranges
3 eggs, at room temperature
1/3 cup heavy cream
Toasted walnuts, chopped, for garnish
Whipped cream, for garnish
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line muffin tins with paper liners.
To prepare the crust, combine graham cracker crumbs, melted butter, sugar, and cinnamon in a small bowl. Stir together until well combined and the mixture resembles wet sand. Press 1 tablespoon of the crust mixture into the bottom of each cupcake liner. Bake until set, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack.
Lower the oven temperature to 300 degrees F.
For the filling, place the cream cheese in the work bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat until smooth. Add sugar and beat until well combined. Mix in the salt, vanilla, and the orange zest. Add in the egg, one at a time, making sure the egg is well incorporated after each addition. Add the heavy cream. Mix just until blended. Do not overmix at this point.
Spoon or scoop in 3 to 4 tablespoons of batter over cooled graham cracker crust, filling each liner to about 3/4 full.
Bake until filling is set, about 22-25 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack and let cool to room temperature before transferring to the refrigerator to chill at least 4 hours, or preferably, overnight. Top each mini cheesecake with the blood orange and rhubarb compote, a dollop of whipped cream, toasted walnuts.
For the compote
2 blood oranges, supremes and juice
1 pound rhubarb, sliced into 1-inch pieces
3/4 cup sugar, divided
2 tablespoons butter
splash or two of Cointreau or other orange liqueur
Cut the blood oranges into supremes, or segments. The remaining pulp still contains juice, so squeeze it into a container and set aside.
Toss the rhubarb in the sugar. Set aside.
Melt the butter over medium heat. Add the rhubarb, blood orange juice, and Cointreau and cook over medium heat, for approximately 10 minutes, until the rhubarb is tender and the mixture looks thick. Stir occasionally and very gently to keep the rhubarb from getting too mushy. Remove from heat and add the blood orange supremes.
© Daisy’s World, 2012. All rights reserved. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Daisy’s World with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
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