Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Happy Birthday To Me and a Gluten-Free Cheesecake

Hello all, today is my 23rd birthday! YAY! I don't really feel any different, this year's a tight one, being out of college with no job, so it's just me making a pizza and cupcakes for my mom and I ( I'll let you know how they turn out). It's difficult being so far away from family at a time like this but alas, I must go on and just be happy to be with my mom this year, which I am. I love her dearly and I'm so glad to have someone like her in my life, so supportive and so loving.

I'm updating my etsy shop tonight with a few Valentine's Day goodies so I thought I'd give you a  peak at what will be in the shop tonight. I should have more cards to post tomorrow and so I'll post them here first!

These are the V-day embellishments that are going in my shop. They are die-cut pieces ranging in size from about 1" to about 1 3/4" and then have a dimensional square on the back for easy embellishing! I made them from a bunch of different cricut cartridges and some free svg files, then decorated with with glitter, glossy accents and pop-dots to make them even more dimensional. They turned out so cute, lots of romantic stuff like hearts, lovebirds, love-squirrels and chocolates!

Here's the different cards that I've made for the shop. I'm really excited about them, trying out something a little different. I drew out the backgrounds and messages for each one (except the "All We Need is Love" one), imported them into Illustrator and printed them out, then placed my decorated embellishments on top. I really liked this effect and will definitely do this sort of card again. I'll have 2 sets of 6 in my shop later tonight or early in the morning.

Now on to the Delicious part! Cheesecake! I made this one a while back and really loved it so I thought I would share it with you. There's no pesky crust to worry about and it's gluten-free with out any special instructions, even better.
Family Cheesecake (adapted from a recipe in Family Circle magazine) Ingredients:
4 pkgs (8 oz each) cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 c. sugar
1/4 c. brown sugar
1 c. (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 c. cornstarch
2 c. heavy cream
6 eggs

1. Heat oven to 350F. Coat a 10-inch spring form pan with nonstick cooking spray. Wrap outside of pan with foil. In a large bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth. Add sugars, then cornstarch, butter, cream and eggs, beating well after each addition. Pour into prepared pan. Place in a pan filled with 1 inch of water.

2. Bake at 350F for 1 hour or until golden brown. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

3. Once cheesecake has cooled (about 3 hours) remove side of pan, cover and put in refrigerator.

I like my cheesecake on the sweeter side so I added a 1/4 c. of brown sugar to give it a sweet, caramel-ly flavor.This doesn't make the cake sickening sweet or anything, it justs makes it taste more like a dessert and less like a blob of cream cheese!  Make sure to use a 10-inch pan to bake in, I used a 9 incher and it was way too full and ended up a little undone in the middle. This makes a large cheesecake you can devor. I topped my cheesecake with a simple strawberry compote, just a bag of frozen strawberries, a splash of lemon juice and a couple of tablespoons of sugar and wah lah!, a delicious topping. You could also make a quick toffee sauce with a tab of butter, a bit of brown sugar, a splash of cream and a tiny pinch of salt ( I just eye-ball the amounts I need based on how much sauce I want, remember that the sauce cooks down as it turns into thick toffee sauce).

*disclaimer: this cheesecake is a dense, New York style, touch your lips and you know it's cheesecake, cheesecake, not a whimpy light one, so if you prefer the lighter version, back away...

This is the easiest and most delicious cheesecake I have made and it's definitely staying in my easy-access recipes. Enjoy!

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